World Revolutions Study Guide + Notes
Review the Enlightenment and describe its influence on emerging governments.
The Enlightenment was an age of reason, where science and learning overtook superstition. It was also a time period where newer ideals like liberty, equality, fraternity, and more were encouraged. People wanted to replace old, outdated political systems, like absolute monarchies; they wanted a voice in their government. The Enlightenment influenced emerging governments by encouraging them to adopt the new ideals and structure their government better for all. Enlightenment ideas inspired revolutions in many different countries.
Identify major global political and economic systems. Hint: there are 11.
Capitalism (economic): A system where a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, instead of the state. The role of the government is limited.
Communism (economic): A system where all properties in society are publicly owned, and each person works and is paid based off of their own needs and abilities. The intent of communism is absolute economic equality.
Socialism (economic): A system where workers own and control the means of production. The government also owns and controls some things. Individuals become reliant on the state for many things, such as foods and healthcare.
Feudalism (economic): A system where royal governments cannot defend their subjects; they offer nobles protection and land in return for military service. There are exchanges like these between the tiers in the hierarchy.
Constitutional Monarchy (political): A system where the monarch shares power with a government and a constitution.
Democracy (political): A system where the government is run by the people, either directly, or through elected representatives.
Dictatorship (political): A system in which the leader governs through absolute power.
Fascism (political): A system where the state is put above an individual by encouraging the need for a dictator and a strong central government.
Oligarchy (political): A system where a selected group of people holds all control.
Republic (political): A system where the leader is not a monarch and certain citizens have the right to vote.
Theocracy (political): A system where the Church/priests rule for God.
Identify and explain the characteristics of a revolution.
The motive is the reason that drives people to revolt. It can stem from problems like national debt, inequality, starvation, weak & ineffective leadership, humiliation, religious intolerance, etc.
The method of a revolution is basically the plan and the acts people take to revolt against their leaders. Methods include protesting, physically fighting, stealing weaponry and other supplies, writing up papers & declarations, taking oaths, and forming new assemblies.
The change part of a revolution is what the results and outcomes were. What changed? Was it for the better or for the worse? Was the revolution successful? Many changes can take place, such as new political systems, leaders, laws, the executions of the former leaders, independence, etc. Some changes can also be very negative for those who rebelled. New tyrannical rulers, tighter restrictions and laws, less equality, less liberty, and the killings of innocent people can happen, if the revolution is not successful (or only partially successful).
Explain the causes of the French Revolution.
- France had accumulated quite the national debt from military campaigns and overspending. Their financial problems stemmed from food shortages, rising prices, unemployment, France’s assistance in the American Revolution, and the fact that the French monarchs kept spending money on luxuries, despite the economic issues.
- There was inequality in France. The social class system, the Estates General, was set up so that the Third Estate was severely disadvantaged. The Third Estate had the most people, yet they held little political power and had to pay all the taxes. Not only did the First and Second Estates have special privileges, they were also excused from paying taxes. Some people of the Third Estate were starving, unemployed, and/or poorly paid, leading them to riot.
- The French people had weak and ineffective leadership. Their king and queen, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, did not seem to do anything to fix the problems the country was facing. Louis XVI was uninterested in his job, and preferred spending time doing his hobbies instead of leading France. Marie Antoinette may have cared about her people, but her reputation was tarnished, and her extravagant, luxurious lifestyle was costly. The monarchs’ overspending contributed to the collapsing economy, and only made them more unpopular with the public. They sought to remove the king and queen from power and revolt.
Explain the consequences of the French Revolution (What changes?)
As a result of the French Revolution, the government system was changed from an absolute monarchy to a limited monarchy, a republic, an oligarchy, and finally, a dictatorship. At first, the people forced the monarchs to recognize the legislative assembly. The National Assembly then declared France a republic (which would change) & abolished the monarchy. King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed via the guillotine for treason. The Committee of Public Safety took over the National Convention (which governed the republic), leading to the Reign of Terror, led by Robespierre. 40,000+ people were executed for allegedly opposing the revolution. Then, an oligarchy was formed, led by a directory. Riots were suppressed, there was corrupt leadership, and chaos threatened public safety in France. Those events allowed for a new leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, to take over.
Analyze the political, economic and social consequences of Napoleon’s influence on Europe.
The political consequences of Napoleon’s influence on Europe are that he let himself have absolute power when he was supposed to make France a republic, and that he conquered many countries, leading other countries in Europe to ally against his empire. The conquered dependent states also developed a hatred for Napoleon. The economic consequences of Napoleon’s influence on Europe include a more reformed, stable economy within his empire. He allowed for more economic freedom by getting rid of previous trade restrictions, monopolies, etc. Napoleon attempted to conquer Great Britain by using his Continental System, which would stop British goods from reaching Europe. He figured that if he could weaken GB economically, he could easily conquer them. His plan failed, as his allies resisted the order and began secretly trading with the British. The Middle East & Latin America also gave Britain new outlets for its goods. In fact, by 1810, British exports were at record highs, greatly benefiting France’s enemy in Europe. The social consequences of Napoleon’s influence on Europe include less power of the Catholic Church, equality, the right of an individual to choose their own profession, religious toleration, the opening of government jobs to a wider range of people, and the abolition of feudal obligations. Those principles were preserved by the Civil Code. However, the Civil Code was a step back for women and children. During the Revolution, new laws made divorce easier and allowed children, including girls, to inherit property equally. Now, women were treated less equal than men; they lost property upon marriage, could not testify in court, and were treated like children in a way. Napoleon also got rid of some revolutionary ideals. Liberty was replaced by despotism, many newspapers and books were banned, all manuscripts had to be subjected to government scrutiny before they were published, and the mail service was opened by the government police.
Analyze the causes of the Haitian Revolution.
The causes of the Haitian Revolution include a racist society, brutal slavery, no equality, even for mixed-race people, the growing hatred of the whites, and the inspiration from the French Revolution. San Domingue (Haiti) was a colony of France, whose wealth and economy depended on slaves and sugarcane. Work on sugar plantations was extremely exhausting, and slave owners treated their slaves very poorly. Most could not read or write. If slaves refused to work, they could be shot, whipped, tortured, or amputated, as it was the law. The slaves were likely inspired when they heard about the French Revolution through travelling ships and sailors. The mixed-race population was actually the first to ask for equality, since they were born free, but not made equal. Whites were still treated superiorly. While the white men on the island were furious, the National Assembly extended equality to mixed-race people born to two free parents. Voodoo also connected slaves, and they planned their revolt at their meetings.
Analyze the consequences of the Haitian Revolution.
The consequences of the Haitian Revolution include the deaths of many Haitian slaves, the freedom of all slaves in Haiti, Toussaint L’Ouverture’s rise to power, the burning of land, the murders of the white French, and the creation of the first black republic. Also, the Spanish and British were unsuccessful in stealing San Domingue away from France, since the freed slaves were now French citizens and aligned with the French army. The Haitian Revolution introduced ideals such as human rights for all, liberty, equality, and independence. It inspired the abolition of slavery and the fight against racism for future generations around the world. However, Haiti still struggles today. France demanded indemnity payments, the U.S. refused to recognize their independence, authoritarian leaders worsened the race and class divides, and other violent, poverty, and environmental issues continue to this day. The Haitians burned the land and murdered whites, successfully driving the French away, but when they started to rebuild their land and their economy, it was very difficult with all the destroyed land. The Haitian Revolution remains an unfinished project.
Identify the causes and consequences of revolution in Latin America.
- Spanish Mercantilism in Latin America
- Forced Natives & slaves to work & get raw materials
- Mother countries forced colonies to sell the materials back to them at cheap prices
- Mother countries turned them into manufactured goods and forced the colonies to buy them at expensive prices
- Leads to debt in colonies; colonists want to save their economy and gain independence
- Inequalities in Rigid Social Structure
- The caste system (Castas) was based off of ancestry
- Order: people born in Spain, Spanish people born in the Americas, mixed race people, enslaved Africans, Native Americans
- Creoles (people born in America) wanted to rebel; they could not hold high political office and were treated differently than people born in Spain
- Life as a slave was hard; they had no rights
- Napoleon took over Spain
- Spanish colonists, mostly Creoles, felt no loyalty to a French king
- People believed the power shifted to them, now that there was no Spanish king
- Simón Bolívar and his people showed nationalism by believing in themselves, not the French king
- Would drive people in South America to unite and revolt against Spain
- Revolution was successful
- First black colony to become free from European control
- Gave other Latin American colonies the courage to revolt; their president also supplied them with men, munitions, etc. to fight
- Federation of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, & Ecuador
- Led by Simón Bolívar, a wealthy Venezuelan Creole
- Successful revolutions: were free from Spanish rule, although the government was weak
- Simón Bolívar succeeded in uniting most of South America; declared himself dictator
- Countries in the federation wanted to be single & independent, so they weren’t united like the U.S.
- Inspired nationalism, since they proved that they could gain independence; they also stood loyal to their own nation, not Spain/France
Describe the development and characteristics of the Trans-Atlantic trade especially the Middle Passage.
People were kidnapped from Africa, and were taken to the Americas via the Middle Passage, as a part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. According to Olaudah Equiano’s experience of the Middle Passage, the smell of the ship was horrible and the slaves were whipped, cut, and tortured for refusing to eat, attempting suicide, etc. He also added that the white people acted savagely not just towards the blacks, but to whites as well. One white man was whipped so hard that he died; he was tossed over the ship, into the ocean. These actions made the slaves fear the white men even more. Once they arrived in the Americas, the conditions weren’t any better. They were forced to work on exhausting plantations, and also had horrible punishments, such as branding, whipping, and other forms of torture. The death rate was high. Some slave colonies, such as Haiti, staged a rebellion, and were successful in gaining their freedom. Great Britain became the first European power to abolish the slave trade. Historical figures like William Waberforce, Thomas Clarkson, and Olaudah Equiano helped in the abolition of slave trade in Great Britain. To raise awareness, abolitionists would gather evidence, whether it was physical, or interviews with those who witnessed slavery, and present them to the Parliament, so they could see how morally wrong it was. Abolitionists also published writings detailing how brutal the slave trade really was, so the literate British could relate to the slaves as human beings, feel sympathy, and see the need for change. They also mobilized the general public by making posters and drawings for the mostly illiterate public to see, convincing them to sign petitions, boycott sugar produced by slaves, etc. The pictures were displayed around the country, to get their point across. You didn’t need to understand any statistical information to get that slavery was wrong. Pro-slavery politicians could no longer ignore the public opinion. The Slave Trade Act of 1807 abolished the slave trade; in 1833, the Parliament passed a law banning slavery in all British colonies.
Describe the change in social and economic structures in the Americas after the abolition of slavery.
After the abolition of slavery in the Americas, the social structure changed. There were no more slaves, but African Americans were still treated inferior (in the United States). In Latin America, blacks were no longer inferior to whites. Some economic structures began to crumble and collapse once slavery was outlawed, since many countries’ economies depended heavily on slavery and the labor slaves did. In Haiti, the slaves had gained their freedom and independence; however, they did so by scorching everything, so it was difficult to rebuild their country and economy.
Describe the causes and consequences of the Industrial Revolution.
- A wide variety of natural resources in Great Britain, like coal and iron, and its access to ports for shipping made the country an ideal location for an industrial boom
- The Industrial Revolution spread across Europe, to the U.S., and to Japan
- The rise of capitalism influenced the start of the Industrial Revolution
- The many inventions created changed people’s lives, such as the steam engine, telephone, cotton gin, electric, light bulb, etc.
- Mass production allowed goods to become cheaper and more readily available
- New technology led to more efficient communication & transportation
- Business owners became extremely wealthy
- Bad working conditions
- Workers had limited bargaining power with employers; they were desperate for work & feared unemployment
- Safety hazards and dangers: high heat, machinery, frequent accidents & injuries, and lack of compensation
- Skilled workers like handweavers became very poor and unemployed; they couldn’t keep up with the industry’s machines
- At first, the working class had little time for recreational activities
- Poorhouses were created; they were like prisons & forced people to work in horrible conditions
- Rapidly growing cities (urbanization)
- The striking increase in population contributed to crowding, pollution, etc.
- Working class neighborhoods were bleak, crowded, dirty and polluted
- Environmental hazards formed with pollution and disease; waste management was terrible & trees and wildlife were likely cleared to make room for buildings
- Lowering public health & life expectancy
- Working class neighborhoods were densely populated and poorly constructed, leading to widespread disease
- The medical treatments reverted back to the Middle Ages; bloodletting, leeches, toxic poisons, etc. were used
- Poor nutrition, sanitation, medical care, & rampant disease lead to a drop in life expectancy in the cities; there was also a high infant mortality rate
- Child labor: children were often exploited because they were cheap, could squeeze into tight spaces, and wouldn’t “rebel”
- Working women were paid much less than men, had horrible working conditions, lack of education, and decreasing quality of home life
- New urban industries required more white collar jobs, like lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc.; introduced the middle class
- During the second stage of the Industrial Revolution, wealth & income in England did eventually increase
Define “imperialism” and its causes in the context of Europe’s increasing global power.
Imperialism is an action by a strong nation to take control over another country, or o ne country dominating another region or country’s political, economic, and/or cultural life. The causes and drive for imperialism in Europe were national security, economic gain, moral duty/spread of Western ideology, spread of religion, political/strategic, and exploration. Oftentimes, countries would be motivated to take imperialistic actions because they want something for themselves, such as natural resources, free labor, and new markets, in the case of economic gain. Or, they feel superior and racist, and want to “civilize” supposedly barbaric people, in the case of the spread of Western ideology. Sometimes, countries feel the need to imperialize because “everyone else is doing it,” and they don’t want to fall behind. European countries imperialized Africa, Polynesia, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Europe’s policy of imperialism made it an increasingly powerful global force.
Analyze political, economic, and social consequences of imperialism in China.
- Since many of the Chinese were addicted to Opium, their government tried to limit Great Britain’s access to their economy; they banned trade
- The British fought to maintain control over ports and warehouses; they won
- Treaty of Nanjing/Nanking
- It was unequal, it greatly favored Great Britain over China
- Increased ports in China
- China was forced to pay for the war in silver dollars; they were exploited
- Nothing changed for the better in China
- Rebels were angered at the weakening economy & Western influence
- Anti-Qing messages
- Threatened the wealthy elite
- It fails; 20-30 million people die from famine & the resurgence of the plague
- England & France had teamed up with the Qing; they only wanted to maintain trade
- China loses; gives up Korea & Taiwan
- West demands 90 ports
- “Hundred Days” reform fails
- Anti-foreign movement
- Chaos in Chinese government
- Two-year-old becomes emperor
- National People’s Party seizes power
- The British balanced trade with China by bringing introducing Opium, leading to large scale addiction (they still wanted to maintain mercantilism)
- The Treaty of Nanjing/Nanking forced China to increase its ports and pay for the Opium War in an exaggerated amount of silver dollars
- After the treaty, the rich evaded taxes and the opium trade continued
- The Taiping Rebellion threatened the status of the wealthy elite
- When the rebellion was put down, agricultural centers were destroyed, weakening the already weak economy
- Chaos ensued in the Chinese government; the National People’s Party took over and was corrupt economically & politically
- The British introduced opium to the Chinese, leading to large scale addiction of many people
- Christian missionaries influenced China, until they were outlawed
- The Taiping rebels, who were angry at the imperialistic actions of the West, banned foot-binding and encouraged women to work and fight in the army
- 20-30 million people died from famine and plague, as a result of the destroyed agricultural centers by the Qing & Europeans in the rebellion
- China loses to Japan in the Sino-Japanese War, which leads to the “Hundred Days” reform, which are unsuccessful politically, culturally, and educationally
- Revolutionary leaders of the Boxer Rebellion focused on nationalism, socialism, and Confucian philosophy to unite people
Analyze political, economic, and social consequences of imperialism in Japan.
- Meiji Restoration: power is in the hands of the former samurai & allies from imperial court
- Japan believed that they had to imitate the West in order to avoid takeover/being imperialized, so they transformed their political system
- No more feudal system
- Abolished privileges for the samurai
- Centralized political control in the national government
- Moved the capital to Tokyo
- New constitution where emperor holds supreme power and there is a two house legislature
- No more isolation policies; Western ideas like modernization & industrialization are pursued
- Japan invested in some imperialistic policies, too
- They wanted more land in Asia
- Japan seizes Korea & Taiwan from China
- Japan defeats Russia to gain control of Manchuria
- Feudalism is dismantled
- New leaders aggressively pursued industrialization and modernization, benefiting the economy
- The first railroad was built
- The government started steel, silk, cement, mining, & shipping industries; sold them to private companies cheaply
- However, high land taxes and rent impoverished farmers
- Japanese land victories stimulated markets, improving the economy
- Japan conquered more land in Asia, seeking to benefit their economy
- Japan closely imitated the West to avoid takeover
- Japanese students were sent abroad to learn western culture
- European technicians were brought to teach new technology
- Meiji Emperor wore western-style clothes, which were mandatory in court
- They began playing golf & baseball
- Some worried about too much western culture overshadowing Japanese traditions, or cultural blending
- Industrialism led to frequent epidemics & fires in urban areas; high taxes and rent impoverished farmers
- The Meiji Restoration brought nationalism to Japan
Analyze political, economic, and social consequences of imperialism in Africa.
- Most of Africa becomes imperialized; each of the colonizing countries is trying to gain more power
- King Leopold of Belgium’s managers killed as many as 10 million people through forced labor
- A conference was held to divide up Africa; Africans were not invited
- Free trade
- Elimination of slavery
- Respect for other territory claims
- Improve the well-being of Africans
- They did not consider the land claims of Africans themselves
- European countries wanted to use Africa for its vast natural resources; they wanted to improve their own economy & trade
- European industries benefited from African colonies because of the resources and labor produced
- Great Britain made roughly 14-15 million more pounds from imports and exports in South Saharan Africa from 1854 to 1900
- Exports to Africa greatly increase and surpass the amount of imports by quite a bit
- Mercantilism was used by Europe to gain as much wealth as possible
- Europeans desired to spread Western ideology to Africans, since they believed that they were superior, and that it was their moral duty to do so
- Native Africans are slowly but surely being taken over, as they are being “civilized” and controlled by European forces, especially the English and the French
Analyze political, economic, and social consequences of imperialism in India including the Sepoy Rebellion.
- The British East India Company was allowed to become involved in India’s political and military affairs; as a result, they would build forts and hire soldiers
- A sepoy was a hired Indian soldier that fought for the British East India Company
- Imperialism in India leads to the Sepoy Rebellion, as British influence is taking its toll in many ways
- As a result of the rebellion, the British Parliament transferred the company’s powers to the British government; Queen Victoria became Empress of India
- Viceroys, who were governors that ruled as a representative of the monarch, were put into place
- There was a fairly honest and efficient government
- FInancial hardship was brought to millions of Indians living in cities and the countryside; taxes had increased, and peasants either became tenants or lost their land
- British manufactured goods destroyed the local Indian industries
- The cheap, manufactured textiles from Great Britain put thousands of women out of work; the Indian textile industry was also hurt
- The British encouraged many Indian farmers to grow cotton instead of food; as a result, food supplies couldn’t keep up with the growing population, and 30 million Indians died of starvation between 1800 and 1900
- Imperialism lead to conflicts between the British and Indians
- A rumor spread that the rifle cartridges of the sepoys were greased with cow & pig fat; soldiers would bite off the end of the cartridge to load the rifle
- Cows & pigs are sacred to Hindus & Muslims, so they found it insensitive
- When the sepoys refused to load their cartridges, the British were angry; they were publicly humiliated & put in prison; the rest of the sepoys were furious
- The Sepoy Rebellion was unsuccessful in overthrowing British rule because of the sharp divide between Muslism & Hindus; although it failed, nationalism spread throughout India
- Under British rule, India…
- Had order & stability in their society
- Had a new school system set up to train Indian children for government and military jobs; however, this was reserved only for the elite, upper-class citizens
- Had built roads, canals. Universities, medical centers, etc.
- Created a postal system
- Opened its first rail network
- Had better health & sanitation conditions
- Had the English language introduced to them
- Experienced the racism, arrogance, and degrading leadership quality of the Brits; this would lead to the rise of the Indian nationalist movement