Culture

Which Era Would You Want to Live In? 

Jacob Shelton
Updated June 3, 2020 41.6k votes 5.5k voters 192.4k views 20 items

List Rules Imagine that you are an average person of average means (you don't get to be royalty!) and choose the era(s) in history you'd most enjoy living in.

Which historical era would you want to live in? Most people have their favorite eras of history, be it the Renaissance, or the '90s in Seattle, but rarely do we get to choose which time period(s) we would deposit ourselves into forever if we could. Imagine that you have a time machine and could choose which historical era you want to live in.

Different people will debate and disagree on what is the best time in history. Depending on what you can or can’t live without, you might be surprised at the era you'd prefer. Even though there’s no TARDIS to take you back, it’s a fun philosophical question to ask: what age would you want to live in? Does it matter to you if the mortality rate is just under 90%? Can you live without pizza? Find out who you are by looking through the historical eras on this list, then vote up the era you would want to live in the most!

LA In The 1980s is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Which Era Would You Want to Live In?
Photo: Valley Girl/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Atlantic Releasing
1
LA In The 1980s

Where You'd Live: Like, totally, The Valley. Or Orange County, if your parents were bogus. 

What You'd Do: You'd either be at the mall, the galleria, or a Black Flag show in some seedy dive in Hollywood. 

Who You'd Hang Out With: Everyone knows that in the '80s you had a very clear cut line of who to hang out with: the brains, the athletes, the basket cases, the princesses, or the criminals. 

The Highlight of Your Day: Getting away from your parents.

Would you choose this one?
The Roaring Twenties is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Which Era Would You Want to Live In?
Photo: Walery/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
2
The Roaring Twenties

Where You'd Live: If you wanted to be anyone who was anyone, you'd live in New York, Chicago, Paris, or Berlin.

What You'd Do: Celebrate being ALIVE! Post World War I, people flocked to the big city to drink, dance, and take part in full blown debauchery until the break of dawn. You might even write the next great American novel.  

Who You'd Hang Out With: If you went to Paris you'd be hanging out with expats like Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds. If you went north to London, you'd be seen out on the town with the Bright Young Things, a collective of socialites whose only rule in their manifesto was that they had to party.  

The Highlight of Your Day: Going out for one drink or maybe 16.

Would you choose this one?
America In The 1950s is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Which Era Would You Want to Live In?
Photo: Leave it to Beaver/CBS
3
America In The 1950s

Where You'd Live: The suburbs.

What You'd Do: After the atrocities of World War II, Americans wanted everything to go back to normal. There was a population boom, and large families were moving away from big cities like New York to settle down in smaller communities. You'd either be working at a high-paying job in the city before returning home for a hot dinner, or, if you were coming of age in the '50s, you'd spend your days reading EC comics and putting baseball cards in your spokes. 

Who You'd Hang Out With: Guys from work, gals from around the neighborhood, or the kids who lived on your street. 

The Highlight of Your Day: If you were a father trying to balance your job and the family at home, the highlight of your day was more than likely that first drink after you got out of the office.

Would you choose this one?
The Renaissance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Which Era Would You Want to Live In?
Photo: Attributed to Jacopo de' Barbari/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
4
The Renaissance

Where You'd Live: Most of Europe benefited from the Renaissance period, but Italy was the epicenter for the change from the Middle Ages, so it's presumably the place to be.

What You'd Do: More than anything you would become self-aware and realize that you were living in one of the most interesting time periods in the world to date. There's a good chance you would write music, make a painting, or create a sculpture for someone in the bourgeois class. 

Who You'd Hang Out With: Depending on where you lived, you could hang out with William Shakespeare, Gutenberg, or even Machiavelli. Just uh... watch your back with that last guy.

The Highlight of Your Day: Combining intellectual and physical excellence to transcend the mortal flesh. Sounds like fun!

Would you choose this one?