1750-1900

The Modern Age






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Take a minute and look this map over; see how much you can describe each one of these. Identify major trends that affected each, reasons for the size and span(amount of time) for each, major leaders; state of the empire(expanding or retracting).

Key Concept 5.1. Industrialization and Global Capitalism

Industrialization fundamentally altered the production of goods around the world. It not only changed how goods were produced and consumed, as well as what was considered a “good,” but it also had far-reaching effects on the global economy, social relations, and culture. Although it is common to speak of an “Industrial Revolution,” the process of industrialization was a gradual one that unfolded over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenthcenturies, eventually becoming global.
I. Industrialization fundamentally changed how goods were produced.


  • The development of machines, including steam engines and the internal combustion engine, made it possible to exploit vast new resources of energy stored in fossil fuels, specifically coaland oil. The “fossil fuels” revolution greatly increased the energy available to human societies.
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  • As the new methods of industrial production became more common in parts of northwestern Europe, they spread to other parts of Europe and the United States, Russia, and Japan.
  • The “second industrial revolution” led to new methods in the production of steel, chemicals, electricity and precision machinery during the second half of the nineteenth century.
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2. New patterns of global trade and production developed and further integrated the global economy as industrialists sought raw materials and new markets for the increasing amount and array of goods produced in their factories.
  • The need for raw materials for the factories and increased food supplies for the growing population in urban centers led to the growth of export economies around the world that specialized in mass producing single natural resources (Cotton, Rubber, Palm oil, Sugar, wheat, meat,guano, metals & minerals). The profits from these raw materials were used to purchase finished goods.
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  • The rapid development of industrial production contributed to the decline of economically productive, agriculturally based economies (Textile industry in India)
  • The rapid increases in productivity caused by industrial production encouraged industrialized states to seek out new consumer markets (British and French attempts to "open up" Chinese markets during the nineteenth century) for their finished goods.

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  • The need for specialized and limited metals for industrial production, as well as the global demand for gold, silver and diamonds as forms of wealth, led to the development of extensive mining centers (Copper in Mexico, Gold and diamonds in South Africa)
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3. To facilitate investments at all levels of industrial production, financiers developed and expanded various financial institutions.

  • The ideological inspiration for economic changes lies in the development of capitalism and classical liberalism associated with Adam Smith andJohn Stuart Mill.
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  • The global nature of trade and production contributed to the proliferation of large-scale transnational businesses (United Fruit Company, The HSBC- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
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4. There were major developments in transportation and communication Required examples of developments in transportation and communication
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5. The development and spread of global capitalism led to a variety of responses.
  • In industrialized states, many workers organized themselves to improve working conditions, limit hours, and gain higher wages, while others opposed capitalist exploitation of workers by promoting alternative visions (Utopian socialism, Marxism, Anarchism) of society
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6. The ways in which people organized themselves into societies also underwent significant transformations in industrialized states due to the fundamental restructuring of the global economy.

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Key Concept 5.2. Imperialism and Nation-State Formation

As states industrialized during this period, they also expanded their existing overseas colonies and established new types of colonies and transoceanic empires. Regional warfare and diplomacy both resulted in and were affected by this process of modern empire building. The process was led mostly by Europe, although not all states were affected equally, which led to an increase of European influence around the world. The United States and Japan also participated in this process. The growth of new empires challenged the power of existing land-based empires of Eurasia. New ideas about nationalism, race, gender, class, and culture also developed that facilitated the spread of transoceanic empires, as well as justified anti-imperial resistance and the formation of new national identities.1. Industrializing powers established transoceanic empires.

2. Imperialism influenced state formation and contraction around the world.
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3. New racial ideologies, especially Social Darwinism, facilitated and justified imperialism.
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This Political Cartoon, titled 'The White Man's Burden-with apologies to Kipling' clearly shows the racist attitudes attributed to the Social Darwinist beliefs.

(The above CRASH COURSE straggles the line between the last era and this one. But, the open letter... is to WHITE MAN's BURDEN!)

Key Concept 5.3. Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform

The eighteenth century marked the beginning of an intense period of revolution and rebellion against existing governments, and the establishment of new nation-states around the world. Enlightenment thought and the resistance of colonized peoples to imperial centers shaped this revolutionary activity. These rebellions sometimes resulted in the formation of new states and stimulated the development of new ideologies. These new ideas in turn further stimulated the revolutionary and antiimperial tendencies of this period.
1. The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought that questioned established traditions in all areas of life often preceded the revolutions and rebellions against existing governmentsEnlightenment 2012.jpg

  • Thinkers (Voltaire, Rousseau) applied new ways of understanding the natural world to human relationships, encouraging observation and inference in all spheres of life.
  • Intellectuals critiqued the role that religion played in public life, insisting on the importance of reason as opposed to revelation.
  • Enlightenment thinkers (Locke, Montesquieu) developed new political ideas about the individual, natural rights, and the social contract
  • The ideas of Enlightenment thinkers influenced resistance to existing political authority, as reflected in revolutionary documents
  • Required examples of revolutionary documents

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2. Beginning in the eighteenth century, peoples around the world developed a new sense of commonality based on language, religion, social customs and territory. These newly imagined national communities linked this identity with the borders of the state, while governments used this idea to unite diverse populations.

3. Increasing discontent with imperial rule propelled reformist and revolutionary movements.
  • Subjects challenged the centralized imperial governments (the challenge of the Marathas to the Mughal Sultans)
  • American colonial subjects led a series of rebellions, which facilitated the emergence of independent states in the United States, Haiti, and mainland Latin America. French subjects rebelled against their monarchy. Required examples of rebellions







4. The global spread of European political and social thought and the increasing number of rebellions stimulated new transnational ideologies and solidarities.

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The Seneca Falls Convention was an early and influential women's rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, July 19–20, 1848.The meeting spanned two days and six sessions, and included a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society.
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The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen was written in 1791 by Olympe de Gouges. The Declaration is ironic and based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, seeking to expose the failure of the French Revolution.


Key Concept 5.4. Global Migration

Migration patterns changed dramatically throughout this period, and the numbers of migrants increased significantly. These changes were closely connected to the development of transoceanic empires and a global capitalist economy. In some cases, people benefited economically from migration, while other people were seen simply as commodities to be transported. In both cases, migration produced dramatically different societies for both sending and receiving societies, and presented challenges to governments in fostering national identities and regulating the flow of people.adl362194.jpgnby332248.jpg

1. Migration in many cases was influenced by changes in demography in both industrialized and unindustrialized societies that presented
challenges to existing patterns of living.

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  • Because of the nature of the new modes of transportation, both internal and external migrants increasingly relocated to cities. This pattern contributed to the significant global urbanization of the nineteenth century.

2. Migrants (manual laborers, specialized professionals) relocated for a variety of reasons.
  • Many individuals chose freely to relocate, often in search of work
  • The new global capitalist economy continued to rely on coerced and semicoerced labor migration Required examples of coerced and semicoerced labor migration
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Chinese Coolie
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Indian Serving a British Troop


3. The large-scale nature of migration, especially in the nineteenth century, produced a variety of consequences and reactions to the increasingly diverse societies on the part of migrants and the existing populations.
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This map shows global migrations in the year 1858

  • Due to the physical nature of the labor in demand, migrants tended to be male, leaving women to take on new roles in the home society that had been formerly occupied by men.
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  • Receiving societies did not always embrace immigrants, as seen in the various degrees of ethnic and racial prejudice and the ways states attempted to regulate the increased flow of people (Chinese Exclusion Act, White Australia Policy) across their borders.
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A political cartoon from 1882, showing a Chinese man being barred entry to the "Golden Gate of Liberty". The caption reads, "We must draw the line somewhere, you know."



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