AP World History: Period 5
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The Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid-eighteenth century and was a major part of the West’s enormous social changes and economic and political expansions in the nineteenth century. It marks the shift from slow hand-made to rapid machine-made production. Industrialization spread to Russia, South and East Asia, and North and South America by the end of the nineteenth century
Like the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment was a western European development in this era that had tremendous effects on a global scale. Having its foundations in scientific study and intellectual reason, its basic tenets included individual rights such as freedom of speech and participation in government. It greatly influenced the American and French Revolutions, which in turn inspired political revolutions around the world.
An offshoot of the Enlightenment and strongly attached to the Industrial Revolution, capitalism is an economic system based on individual economic development. Private investors use their money (capital) to invest In potentially profitable activities. Adam Smith was an important English proponent of capitalism. The industrialized nations of the early twenty-first century hang their economic hats on capitalism to varying degrees.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Karl Marx proposed an alternative to capitalism in an attempt to close the gap between the rich and poor in industrial western Europe and one day, he hoped, the world. In Marxism, the many poor unite and overthrow the few rich, and establish a political and economic system where the government controls production and labor to the benefit of all.
Belief that a group of people with similar cultural backgrounds rightly belong together in one nation. It became popular in western Europe in the nineteenth century and spread globally, leading to many wars for independence, most notably in Latin America.
Age of Revolutions
During the mid-nineteenth-century "Age of Isms" in western Europe (see Nos. 52 through 54), many revolutions seeking political and social change occurred, inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. In Latin America, most countries successfully revolted against European political control in this era.
In the nineteenth century, western Europe’s economic and industrial power made It the world’s strongest political force, and its nations accumulated colonies all over the world. Russia, Japan, and the United States also participated. A famous quotation that reflects the national pride that accompanied imperialist expansion was, "The sun never sets on the British Empire." At its peak, Britain claimed colonies in half of Africa and much of South and Southeast Asia.
Connected to strong nationalist ideas, Europe’s political and industrial superiority led to the belief that it was socially and morally superior to the peoples it conquered. Charles Darwin’s "survival of the fittest” scientific theory in the animal world was applied to non-European peoples around the globe.
Resistance to Western Hegemony
Local resistance to European imperialism was widespread. Examples include the following: The Chinese government attempted to stop England’s importation of opium; anti-colonial rebellions broke out In Africa; and in India, the National Congress promoted self-rule.
In an attempt to compete with the West’s industrial and political power, Japan embarked upon the Meiji Restoration, reorganizing its government in the late nineteenth century. The emperor’s power was reestablished, and Japan purposefully westernized its industrial base and even its society.
The Industrial Revolution included improvements in transportation that made ocean travel safer and cheaper. Pushed by revolutions and poor living conditions, and pulled by stories of opportunities, millions of people, especially Europeans but also South and East Asians, migrated to North and South America in the nineteenth century.
Part of the nineteenth-century migrations was a result of the end of slavery in areas under Western control. Thousands of South Asians migrated to South Africa and the Caribbean as agricultural indentured servants. East Asians were also employed as indentured servants in the Americas.
Open Door Policy
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States flexed its new global muscles by proposing that the United States, Japan, and the European powers share open access to trade with China, and the other powers accepted the U.S. plan. The weak government in China was unable to resist the economic and political influence of these nations. The Open Door Policy is widely regarded as a sign of the "arrival” of the United States in global affairs.
"Second” Industrial Revolution
The “first” Industrial Revolution involved the mechanization of agriculture and textiles, but in the last half of the nineteenth century, its focus changed to innovations in electricity (telephone and radio), chemistry (fertilizers), transportation (cars and airplanes), and steel (skyscrapers and modern weapons). These developments continued to influence the rapid social and economic changes in the West into the twentieth century.
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