The world in 1999 has changed much from the way it was in 1900. Many would say that it has changed for the better.
In the early 1900s, for example, women were denied the right to vote and many other rights that men had. This made a women's life substantially harder than a man's because she did not have a say in how her county was run and how she would have to live. Women would also have to stay home with her children and not be allowed to persue a career or education. Many women suffered at the hands of cruel husbands when it was legal to beat and physically abuse their wives. Women were defiantly insubordinate in a society dominated by men.
Since that time, society has progressed in many ways. Women were granted the right to vote and other legal rights. They were allowed to persue careers and earn as much money as men.
Medical technology has also made great advances since the early 1900s. We have discovered vaccinations for many otherwise fatal diseases and the human life expectancy has extended.
Civilization seems to be progressing even more as we move through the century. Since the World Wars, North America has remained relatively peaceful. The United Nations has sought to keep the peace throughout the world, with many successes and there are numerous charity groups and nonprofit organizations that are trying to make the world a better place.
Society has also become more open to the lifestyles of others. Very recently same-sex marriages became legal and accepted by most people, whereas in the early 1900s, it was considered morally wrong and shameful to be homosexual or bisexual.
We have also come to accept divorces, remarriages, and stepfamilies. We no longer think that the "perfect" family consists of a mother and a father in the same home. Affairs in marriages are even becoming more and more common. The President of the United States openly admitted to having improper sexual relations outside of marriage and still remains in office.