On the Generation of 1914
"What allowed European intellectuals born between 1880 and 1900 to view themselves as a distinct generation was that their youth coincided with the opening of the twentieth century…The primary fact of this world - and the first thing that young people noticed about it - was that it was being rapidly transformed by technology. Europeans were being freed increasingly from the traditional constraints imposed on mankind by nature. Life was becoming safer, cleaner, more comfortable, and longer for most sectors of the population. Death had not been vanquished but its arrival was now more predictable, and the physician, along with the engineer, had been elevated to the priesthood of the new civilization.
"At the same time that life was becoming more secure, its pace quickened and the sense of distance among people shrank. Even rest became recreation….
…It is difficult to determine the precise effects that these changes of velocity had on the sensibility of intellectuals growing up in early twentieth century Europe. Certainly, though, the acceleration of movement enhanced the feeling of novelty and encouraged the conviction that the twentieth century would be fundamentally different from its predecessor, if only because it would be faster.
…Technological innovations including the telephone, wireless telegraph, x-ray, cinema, bicycle, automobile, and airplane established the material foundation for this reorientation; independent cultural developments such as the stream-of-consciousness novel, psychoanalysis, Cubism, and the theory of relativity shaped consciousness directly. The result was a transformation of the dimensions of life and thought.” - from www.historyguide.org