Period 5

Key Concept 5.1 - Blue Key Concept 5.2 - Green Key Concept 5.3 - Orange


American Revolution

1765 - 1783

The American Revolution was a war that took place in Colonial England between the American colonists and imperial England. The colonists were sick of the taxes imposed by the British, and felt they shouldn't have to be taxed when they didn't have any representation in the British parliament. The colonists waged war on the British, and their revolution was successful. Colonial England became the United States of America. The American revolutionaries were inspired by Enlightenment authors such as John Locke, and these authors were inspiring similar revolutions around the world. Revolution, nationalism, and reform was becoming a global movement. (Key Concept: 5.3)

James Watt Perfects Steam Engine


The steam engine was the most crucial technological breakthrough of the early industrial era. Steam engines burned coal to boil water and create steam, which drove mechanical devices that performed work. Steam engines were especially prominent in the textile industry, where their application caused greater productivity for manufacturers and cheaper prices for consumers. The steam engine was the invention that really caused industrialization to boom, because factories could quickly make products like never before. (Key Concept: 5.1)

Reign of King Louis XVI

1774 - 1792

Unfortunately, Louis XVI was a weak king at a time when France desperately needed a strong one. France was in debt from helping the revolutionaries in the American Revolution, and the peasants were starving after a particularly harsh winter. The peasants saw the French monarchy living in luxury while they wondered when their next meal would be. This fostered resentment, and Louis found himself in the middle of a revolution. Louis was forced to abdicate his throne, and was eventually executed, as was his wife, Marie Antoinette. The execution of the king of France was a huge turning point for the country, as it was a public outcry against the monarchy. Before then, a large majority of the French revolutionaries wanted a constitutional monarchy, but when Louis lost his head, this desire seemed less viable. Louis signified the end of an era in France, and the beginning of a time of revolutions. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Simon Bolivar

1783 - 1830

In South America, a creole elite named Simon Bolivar led the movement for independence. Bolivar was a fervent republican steeped in Enlightenment ideas about popular sovereignty. He took up arms against Spanish rule in 1811, and in 1819 assembled an army that crushed the Spanish army in Colombia. He also campaigned in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, and was eventually successful in deposing Spanish rule throughout South America. Bolivar dreamed of welding the former Spanish colonies into a confederation like the United States, but his confederation disintegrated, and an extremely disappointed Bolivar died of tuberculosis. Though Bolivar's dream never transpired, his revolution movements laid the groundwork for what would happen in South America in the years to come. (Key Concept: 5.3)

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

The French Revolution drew inspiration from Enlightenment thinkers, much like the American Revolution. The revolution arose out of problems with the French monarchy, as the lower class was starving and felt they weren't being represented in the government. The revolutionaries turned extremely radical and overturned the monarchy in order to put a new government in place. This new government, called the Convention, saw the executions of thousands of French citizens, and was only ended when the leader of the Convention himself, Maximilien Robespierre, was captured and executed. The revolution ended when Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the most recent (and ineffective) government of France, the Directory, and set up a new government, the Consulate. Though the French Revolution didn't accomplish its original goal of equal rights to every man, it was an example of the many revolutions that were happening throughout the world. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

The Haitian Revolution was the only successful slave revolt in history. It took place on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which was a center of sugar production. The western part of Hispaniola (modern day Haiti) was owned by the French. The slaves on Hispaniola had to work under brutal conditions, and the mortality rate was high. Sick of their lot in life, slaves rose up in rebellion. Led by Toussaint Louverture, the slaves in Haiti were able to create the Republic of Haiti, and the former western Hispaniola was an independent state. The Haitian Revolution was inspired by the Enlightenment ideals that also had influenced the American and French Revolution. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Cotton Gin Developed


The cotton gin was developed by Eli Whitney. It was a device that sped up the production of cotton by separating the cotton seeds from the cotton fiber. The cotton gin brought extreme prosperity to the southern part of the United States, and the demand for slaves grew as a result of the rapid production of cotton. A lot of the cotton was shipped to England as well, where it was used to boost industrialization in cotton textile factories. The cotton gin contributed to the growth of slavery but it also contributed to an industrializing world, meaning it was one of the most important inventions of the eighteenth century. (Key Concept: 5.1)

Reign of Napoleon

1802 - 1815

Napoleon was a brilliant military leader who came to France in 1799, overthrew the current French government, the Directory, and established a new government, the Consulate. Having established a dictatorship by 1802, he crowned himself emperor of France. Napoleon was able to bring political stability to a land previously torn apart by revolution and war. Napoleon's Civil Code affirmed the political and legal equality of adult men, and he conquered lands such as the Iberian and Italian Peninsulas. However, a disastrous campaign to occupy Russia led to the downfall of his reign, and he struggled to retain his authority in France until he was defeated at Waterloo by the British in 1815. Napoleon symbolized nationalism, which he promoted in France and spread to other countries. He also promoted reform and revolution as a way to make a nation stronger. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Napoleonic Wars

1803 - 1815

Napoleon wanted to stabilize France while extending his authority throughout Europe. His armies conquered the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, occupied the Netherlands, and inflicted crushing defeats on Austrian and Prussian forces. Napoleon sent his relatives to rule his newly conquered lands, and forced Austria, Prussia, and Russia to ally with him. His empire started to collapse after a failed attempt to invade Russia. Napoleon was later defeated by his European enemies. Throughout the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon, who supported the Enlightenment ideal of equality, spread revolutionary, nationalistic, and reform ideals to other European countries. It is no wonder that after his defeat the Congress of Vienna tried so desperately to retain sovereignty in European countries. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Wars of Independence in Latin America

1810 - 1825

Revolutionary ideals were able to make their way to the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. The colonies were governed by peninsulares (colonial officials from Spain or Portugal), but the colonies had a powerful class of Euro-American creoles. The creoles resented administrative control and economic regulations. They wanted to displace the peninsulares using Enlightenment ideals while retaining their privileged position in society. From 1810 to 1825, creoles led movements that brought independence to all Spanish colonies in the Americas (except Cuba and Puerto Rico). As a result, creole-dominated republics were created, as the creoles found political independence on the model of the United States as an attractive alternative to colonial status. Once again, Enlightenment ideals and other revolutions happening throughout the world inspired these revolutions in Latin America. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Congress of Vienna


Conservative political leaders feared that European revolutions would undermine traditional authority. Therefore, "the great powers" that had defeated Napoleon met in the Congress of Vienna to discuss the restoration to pre-revolutionary order. Napoleon's empire was dismantled, and Europe's royal families were restored to their thrones. No one state was allowed to dominate another. The Congress of Vienna only had limited success, because it was too late to suppress nationalism in Europe, and eventually the continent broke out into a global war in 1914. However, this was an example of the formation of nations as a way to create stability. (Key Concept: 5.2)

War of Greek Independence

1821 - 1832

The War of Greek Independence was a nationalist uprising against the Ottoman Empire, and it ended with the declaration of Greece as an independent nation from the Ottomans. The Ottomans were defeated by the combined forces of the Russian, British, and French fleets. This marked the end of Greece being under the control of the Ottomans, but in a larger sense it symbolized the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Unwilling to industrialize, the Ottomans found themselves constantly defeated in battles by armies with superior weapons. Greek independence was just one of the factors that led to the decline of the Ottomans. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Opium War

1839 - 1842

The English wanted to trade opium to the Chinese in return for silver, but the Chinese government was worried about the effect the powerful drug was having on government officials. Lin Zexu was charged by the government with destroying the opium trade. He destroyed some 20,000 chests of opium, but his acts ignited a war with England. It was made very clear in the Opium War that England had the superior weapons, and China was crushed. Defeated and embarrassed, the Chinese were forced to sign a number of unequal treaties, which broadened the English presence in China. Later, other European powers such as France and Germany began to encroach on China's rights, and China was carved up into Spheres of Influence. China, due to the Opium War, was an example of European imperialism at the time, and the desire of Europe to become a series of powerful nation-states. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Communist Manifesto Published


Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto, which promoted their views of communism. In a communist society, private property would be abolished, and the proletariat (the lower class) would rise up and defeat the bourgeoisie (upper class) in a violent revolution. The result would be an equal society, where everyone owned equal amounts of land. The writings of Marx and Engels was an attack against industrialization and the way it exploited the lower class. These writings inspired governments throughout the world, and they promoted social reform from the eastern hemisphere to the western. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Women's Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, NY


Throughout the nineteenth century social reformers pressed for women's rights. An American feminist named Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the most prominent figures in this movement. Infuriated by the lack of women's rights, Stanton organized a movement for women's rights in the United States. She organized a conference of feminists who met at Seneca Falls, New York. In this conference the feminists passed twelve resolutions, inspired by Enlightenment ideals, demanding that lawmakers grant women rights equal to those enjoyed by men. This movement experienced little success in the nineteenth century, but it laid the foundation for large-scale reform in the twentieth century. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Taiping Rebellion

1850 - 1864

The Taiping Rebellion in China was caused by increasing poverty and discontent of the Chinese peasantry. China experienced a large population boom in the nineteenth century, but the amount of land under cultivation increased only slowly. Most of the land was concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, which made the peasants angry. The Taiping program included more than just rebellion; it also promoted reform. The leader of the movement, Hong Xiuquan, wanted an entire remodeling of Chinese society, with free public education, industrialization, and the establishment of a democracy. The Taiping Rebellion was ultimately defeated, but it brought the Qing dynasty to the brink of collapse. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Sepoy Rebellion

1857 - 1858

Sepoy was the name for Indian troops controlled by the British army after the British had created an imperial colony in India. However, sepoy discontent was triggered when they discovered that in order to load their rifles they were biting off the ends of lubricated cartridges that were covered with pig and cow fat. This was severely offensive to Muslims and Hindus, and the sepoys ignited a general anti-British revolution in central and north India. The sepoys were joined by Indian princes whose lands had been annexed by the British, and others who found British rule too constrictive. A full-fledged war erupted in India, but after several months British forces gained the upper hand. However, this was an example of British imperialism causing widespread mutiny and rebellion in India. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Origin of the Species Published


The Origin of the Species was a book by Charles Darwin that argued that all living species had evolved over thousands of years in a ferocious contest for survival. Species that adapted well to their environment survived, while others declined and went into extinction. This theory of evolution was called the "survival of the fittest." Scientific racists drew heavily from the writings of Charles Darwin to prove that white men were superior to Africans and other races of color. These kinds of writings served as a justification for imperialism, because Europeans believed that they had a right to dominate other races and take their land because they were biologically superior. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Suez Canal

1859 - 1869

The Suez Canal was crucial in the building of global empires, because it enhanced the effectiveness of steamships. The Suez Canal facilitated the building and maintenance of empires by enabling naval vessels to travel rapidly between the world's seas and oceans. It also lowered the costs of trade between imperial powers and subject lands. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Emancipation of Russian Serfs


When Japan defeated Russia in the Crimean War, the Russian tsar Alexander II realized how far behind Russia was from Japan technologically. He emancipated the Russian serfs to end feudalism in Russia and to bring the nation into the industrialized era. Though the serfs were free, their lives didn't much improve. Most who remained to farm found themselves in debt to their former landowners, and those who became part of the industrialized workforce migrated to cities for an unsafe job with a measly wage, Though the Russian serfs were treated poorly, their emancipation signals Russia's desire to become an industrialized nation. (Key Concept: 5.1)

Meiji Restoration

1868 - 1912

Opposition forces in Japan overthrew the militaristic Tokugawa Shogunate, ending the system of feudalism in Japan. Emperor Meiji took the reigns of power and brought industrialization to Japan. He returned authority to the Japanese emperor and brought an end to the former military government. Meiji observed the industrial lands of Europe and the United States to create the new Japan. In just a single generation, Meiji leaders were able to transform Japan into a powerful industrial society that was going to play a major role in world affairs. Japan was able to gain political and economic equality with western Europe and the United States, and the system of extraterritoriality in Japan was ended in 1899. The successful industrialization of Japan led it to have a global capital, and to gain the respect of lands near and far. (Key Concept: 5.1)

Unification of Italy


The unification of Italy came about with practical political leaders Count Camillo di Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Cavour combined forces with nationalist advocates of independence to expel Austrian authorities from most of northern Italy in 1859. He then turned his attention to southern Italy, where Garibaldi was leading the unification movement. Garibaldi had an army of about one thousand men, and he successfully swept through Sicily and southern Italy, delivering crushing blows. Eventually, the kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia became the Kingdom of Italy, and over the years the new monarchy absorbed Venice, Rome, and other surrounding regions. In 1871 Rome became the official capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Cavour and Garibaldi were able to provoke nationalism in Italy, which helped stir up the will to get rid of foreign powers. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Unification of Germany


The unification of Germany was carried out by Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck was able to harness nationalist aspirations in Germany, which led to its unification. Appointed as prime minister of Germany by King Wilhelm I of Prussia, Bismarck reformed and expanded the Prussian army. He intentionally provoked three wars with Denmark, Austria, and France to whip up German sentiment against the enemies. Prussian forces won all three wars, which swelled German pride. In 1871 the king of Prussia proclaimed himself emperor of the Second Reich (the Second German Empire) which was a powerful national state. Bismarck was an example of nationalism executed extremely well. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Berlin West Africa Conference

1884 - 1885

During the Scramble for Africa, tensions arose between European countries who were all seeking African colonies. This led to the Berlin West Africa Conference. At this conference the ground rules for African colonization were recognized. Agreements were produced for future claims on African lands, and European powers were basically poised to carve the continent into colonies. The conference led to massive colonization in Africa, which in turn led to the slaughter of countless Africans. The imperialism was mainly done with forceful military conquest, and African society was thrown into turmoil to feed the greed of Europe. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Indian National Congress Founded


The Indian National Congress was founded with the support of Britain as a forum for educated Indians to communicate their views on public affairs to colonial officials. However, the congress morphed into a forum to get rid of British rule and impose Indian self-rule. Indians aired grievances such as Indian poverty, the transfer of wealth from India to Britain, and British racism towards Indians. Indian nationalists called for immediate independence, and it turned into a movement in India that would bring independence from colonial rule in 1947. Therefore, Britain's imperialism of India eventually led to the loss of one of its largest colonies. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Boxer Rebellion

1899 - 1901

Empress Cixi of the Qing dynasty threw her support behind an antiforeign uprising known as the Boxer Rebellion, because she believed foreign powers were pushing for her retirement. The "boxers" went on a rampage in northern China and killed foreigners and Chinese Christians as well as Chinese who were believed to be associated with foreigners. European forces quickly crushed the rebellion, and the Chinese government was forced to allow foreign troops to station troops in Beijing and along the route to the sea. This catastrophic event for China was one of the factors that led to the abdication of the last Qing emperor, and the establishment of the Republic of China. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Boer War

1899 - 1902

Afrikaner (also sometimes Boer) was the name for newly arrived settlers from Europe who came to South Africa to take up farming and ranching. The more the British encroached into South Africa, the more Afrikaner expansion was encouraged. However, British rule became too restrictive for the Afrikaners, and they migrated east in what was called the Great Trek. Britain was lenient towards Afrikaners until the government realized that large mineral deposits were in Afrikaner territory. Tensions between Britain and the Afrikaners culminated in the Boer War. The Afrikaners were eventually defeated, and the British government tried to soothe tensions by promoting the privileges of white colonial society. Overall, it should be noted that this conflict was mainly due to global migration from Europe to South Africa, and then from South Africa to east Africa. (Key Concept: 5.4)

Russo-Japanese War

1904 - 1905

Though Japan was becoming a powerful industrialized nation, the rest of the world didn't notice it until the Russo-Japanese War. From 1894 to 1895 the Japanese had defeated the Chinese in a war, but to most of the world the Chinese weren't considered a very strong opponent. However, when the Japanese defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War, some eyebrows were raised. This war ended with the destruction of the Russian navy, and it was an amazing display of military prowess in a victory over a powerful and old empire. This marked the time when Japan was ready to move into the larger world, and become an imperial empire of its own. (Key Concept: 5.2)

All-India Muslim League Founded


The All-India Muslim League was the most prominent organization in India working to advance the political and social interests of Muslims, who at that point made up about 25 percent of the population. The All-India Muslim League joined forces with the Indian National Congress, a group devoted to reform in India such as less British involvement in the country. The All-India Muslim League laid the foundation for India to rebel against the British, and it sparked nationalism in the country. Additionally, this group wouldn't have developed if it wasn't for British imperialism. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Mexican Revolution

1910 - 1920

Liberals and conservatives in Mexico in the early twentieth century were bitterly divided, and a revolution was triggered when middle-class Mexicans joined with peasants and workers to overthrow the powerful dictator Porfirio Diaz. This revolt was an attempt to topple the grossly unequal system of landed estates, where 95 percent of Mexican peasants were landless. Revolutionary leaders Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa organized mass armies of lower class Mexicans fighting for "land and liberty." However, they were unable to capture Mexico's major cities, and the movement was defeated by government forces. The revolution wasn't a complete failure because some issues of inequality were addressed and provided important guarantees for the future. (Key Concept: 5.3)

Fall of Qing Dynasty


The Qing dynasty of China fell because of both foreign and domestic pressures. European countries were carving China up into Spheres of Influence, which weakened the power of the Qing dynasty. Monarchs of the Qing dynasty were forced to sign unequal treaties that gave even more power to Europe. Additionally, movements such as the Taiping Rebellion against unequal land distribution in China and the Boxer Rebellion, led by Empress Cixi against foreigners, weakened China's position even more. Finally, revolutionary uprisings rose in 1911, and the last Qing emperor abdicated his throne in 1912. This marked a huge turning point for China, a country that had always had an imperial family with a "Mandate of Heaven." It made way for Europe to take more control in Asia, and established new nations (The Republic of China) and forms of imperialism. (Key Concept: 5.2)

Henry Ford and the Assembly Line


Henry Ford improved manufacturing techniques for industrialization when he created the assembly line for automobile production. The assembly line was a conveyer system that carried parts past workers. Each worker performed a specialized task and turned out a complete product in 93 minutes. Previously this task had taken 728 minutes. The invention of the assembly line caused a huge boom in car manufacturing, and prices of cars plummeted. The arrival of the age of the motor car was a gargantuan boost to industrialization. (Key Concept: 5.1)

Panama Canal


The United States wanted to build a canal across a narrow stretch of land in Central America to facilitate communication and transportation between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. The isthmus of Panama in northern Colombia was found to be the best option, but Colombia was unwilling to cede land. In response, the current president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, supported a rebellion against Colombia in 1903. In return for the president's support, the United States won the right to build a canal across Panama. Roosevelt also added a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine called the "Roosevelt Corollary" that exerted the U.S. right to intervene in the affairs of other nations if they appeared unable to maintain U.S. investments. This corollary and the canal strengthened U.S. military and economic claims, and they were an example of United States imperialism. (Key Concept: 5.2)