Period 5 (1750-1914)


American Revolution

1775 - 7/4/1783

The American Revolution was a series of events that changed the course of history. The colonists of this portion of North America became fed up with the harsh rule of the British. Due to economic struggles caused by the Seven Years War, the Brits started heavy taxation on the Americas. This eventually led to the Americans declaring their freedom and independence on July 4, 1783.

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

The incompetence of King Louis XVI as a ruler. Recognizing the need for financial reform, he hired Charles de Calonne as a financial advisor. Calonne's ideas to tax the rich led to much unrest and made it clear that France would not last much longer under these conditions. The people of France, after a Period known as the Reign of Terror because of the lack of safety for all, eventually came under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Haitian Revolution

1791 - 1804

The French colony of what is today Haiti underwent a slave revolt in 1791 that led to their freedom. The colony provided massive revenue for France. Lead for the most part by Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitians defeated their enemies and earned their liberty in just 13 years.

War of Greek Independence

1821 - 1832

The Greek War of Independence was fought over the span of 11 years, and eventually led to the formation of the kingdom of Greece and the freedom of it's people. Greece had been under Ottoman rule for centuries, a chain of revolts through the region finally rid them of their oppressors. The Greek's created a navy presence that inspired the fighting rebels and would eventually lead them to victory.

Opium War

1839 - 1842

Fought between the Chinese and the British, this war is commonly referred to as the First Opium War. The East India Company discovered the value of the opium market and began a ludicrous trade centered around Chinese silver. Although initially this had benefits for the Chinese as well, it eventually became clear that China had both a drug problem and a money problem due to their lack of silver. The Chinese government stepped in in order to stop this. The British commercial agents were enraged when 20,000 chests of opium were confiscated and destroyed. The agents then made their government begin the war.

Taiping Rebellion

1850 - 1864

Chinese schoolteacher Hong Xiuquan was a leader of this rebellion, beginning for his call for the destruction of the Qing Dynasty and the program he made for radical change that sparked the interest on many Chinese citizens. The program included many revolutionary ideas, including that of creating a communal wealth pool and abolishing private property. The Taipings desired sexual equality for women, free public education, and numerous other ideas that at the time seemed far out of reach. With the aid of the Europeans, a Qing-built army of native Chinese people squashed the rebellion.

Crimean War

1853 - 1856

This war was essentially the Russians versus the Brits, French, kingdom of the Sardinia and the Ottomans. The Russians had been pushing their eastern, southern and southwestern borders into Manchura, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and the Mediterranean. The last of these caused strain upon Europe. The European nations (as listed above) systematically defeated Russia in its efforts and set economic strife upon it.

Opium War

1856 - 1860

Due to the ineffectiveness of the Treaty of Nanking, the British restarted their feud with China. The Brits wanted to legalize trade of opium, which would cause the Chinese to lose the control they desired. This war included the French, and was fought on several issues outside of the opium trade.

Sepoy Rebellion


Commonly called a mutiny, this rebellion of native Indian soldiers in 1857 came as a shock to the British in control. The Inidans were revolting against the use of a new weapon that came wrapped in a was paper made of animal fat. This was in blatant disregard to the Hindu religion, therefore the soldiers rebelled.

Boer War

1880 - 1881

Fought between the British and the Boer (Dutch descendents in Africa), the Boer rebelled in fear for their independence. Policies implemented by Joseph Chamberlain and Alfred Milner were seen as a threat to the freedom of the Transvaal state. Using only 88,000 soldiers, the Boers successfully defeated the British forces.

The Second Boer War

1899 - 1902

The second portion of the original Boer War, this was fought when discoveries of gold and diamonds in the region led to a mass migration of British miners to the region. To fight for their land back, the Boer people declared war.

Boxer Rebellion


With the backing of the dowager empress Cixi, the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists (known as the bowers) rampaged northern China and killed all foreigners, Christians and those associated. The Boxers were quickly defeated by opposing European forces.

Russo-Japanese War

February 8, 1904 - September 5,1905

This war was fought over the Koreas, Manchuria, and other near regions, by Japan and Russia. The two at the time had conflicting imperialistic intentions which at teh time was causing trouble. By the time Teddy Roosevelt stepped in neitehr side had gained any upper hand. Each nation (Russia and Japan) sent a representative to Portsmouth where a treaty was formed.

Innovations and Inventions

James Watt perfects Steam Engine


Initially invented by Thomas Savery, the steam engine is arguably on of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution. He later worked on the engine with one Thomas Newcome. Watt entered the equation when assigned to repair one of Newcome's engine's.

Spinning Mule Developed


The spinning mule is an 18th century invention designed to turn textile fibers into yarn. Invented by Samuel Crompton in 1779, it allowed the spinner much more control over the weaving process.

Cotton Gin Developed


Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, it removed seeds from cotton fibers. Cotton could be processed quickly and cheaply from this point on. This invention resulted in more cotton being grown and more slaves being needed for more acres of cotton fields.

Bessemer process developed


The Bessemer process was a newly developed way of make steel quickly and for a low price in mass quantities. This was done by using a Bessemer converter to push air through molten iron and burn off the excess carbon and other undesirable molecules. It was the first successful method for such an operation.

Suez Canal


Initially created in Egypt to lower travel expendatures and shipping costs and times, the Suez Canal shortened incredibly the amount of time to travel from Europe to Asia and vice versa. It would later be the source of conflict with the Suez Crisis. In addition, because it was controlled by Europe it gave Europeans and their companies an advantage in world trade.

Panama Canal


The United States built the Panama Canal with the intention of facilitating trade between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In exchange for support of a rebellion in what was then Colombia that resulted in the free state of Panama, it was agreed that a canal could be built in the new state. The States also won control of of the territory adjacent to the canal, known as the Panaa Canal Zone.

Lives and Reigns

Toussaint Louverture

May 20, 1743 - April 7, 1803

Born Francois-Dominique Toussaint, L'Ouverture eventually changed his name to mean "the opening" in French, or the one who creates an opening in the enemy lines. He led the Haitians to victory in their revolution. He created an army that best all of their foes and won the nation's freedom.

Reign of King Louis XVI

1774 - 1792

King Louis XVI, married to Marie Antoinette, ruled France during its revolution and died by beheading. An incompetent ruler, Louis would rather play locksmith than rule a nation. The French Revolution is said to be the result of his poor ruling skills.

Simón Bolívar

1783 - 1830

Bolivar was a military leader that played a key role in the South American revolutions. Born a creole elite, Bolivar was raised surrounded by enlightened ideas. He assembled an army that crushed the Spanish oppressors, and eventually died en-route to a self imposed exile after being unable to unite South America like the United States of America.

Reign of Napoleon

1804 - 1815

Initially a general, Bonaparte eventually used his military prowess to become the emperor of France. His reign was a series of tactical offensive maneuvers intended to expand his territory. Internal struggle and the unification of surrounding regions eventually caused the collapse of his rule.

Henry Ford and the Assembly Line

1863 - 1947

Henry Ford was a revolutionary leader of the Industrial Revolution. He is credited with inventing the assembly line, which opened up opportunity to increase the workforce tenfold - now they no longer needed knowledge of the entire product. Henry Ford also worked to improve working conditions.

Social and Political Developments

Congress of Vienna

1814 - 1815

The Congress of Vienna was a meeting of the main powers of Europe to reestablish order after the chaos of Napoleon's reign. They divided up the land into several strong nations to avoid an excessive France. They created a balance of power such that if one nation became too powerful the others could come to tack it down a notch.

Communist Manifest Published


Marx and Engels wrote this for the Communist League in Germany. Published in January of 1848, it was inspired by Engels's work on Conditions of Working Classes in England. The authors thought that the revolutions that were breaking out in Europe were a confirmations of the class struggle thesis. The book was intended to be inflammatory. It discussed the working class being exploited, religion an opiate, and encouraged working classes to stick together.

Unification of Italy

1848 - 1870

Known to Italians as "The Resurgence," this move to unite northern and southern Italian lands politically and culturally was initially led by Giuseppe Mazzini and his ally, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Unfortunately, they failed to create an Italy in this first attempt. In the end, it was the aristocratic politician named Camillo di Cavour who eventually united Italy using realpolitik tactics.

Origin of Species Published


Written by Charles Darwin in 1859, this highly noted book outlined his theory of evolution. It had a major impact on the scientific community. It has been used as an argument against Christianity ever since.

Emancipation of Russian Serfs


The emancipation of the Russian serfs was the result of growing social tension in Russia. Growing disapproval to serfdom-stemming from both moral issues and the idea that serfdom stunted Russia's economic growth- caused the government to want to intervene. They created a deal in which they gave landowners compensation for the loss of the serfs, and gave the serfs their freedom. This resulted, however, in a heavy tax upon the freed serfs that stored up even more trouble.

Meiji restoration

1867 - 1868

With the weakening power of the Tokugawa, discontent began to grow through the nation. The shogun eventually resigned and left power in the hands of the then child, Emperor Meiji. The Meiji Restoration brought back the reign of emperors. It eventually brought upon Japan industrialization and amazing economical power relative to the previous era.

Unification of Germany


Napoleon's conquests sparked German nationalism, so when Otto von Bismark came into power and used "blood and iron" tactics he managed to unite German states under Prussian rule. This success was achieved through Bismark's realpolitik and by making harsh decisions for the good of Germany. Bismark used money from various places to go to three victorious wars that paved the way for German unity. Along the way, Bismarck strengthened Germany's economy by industrializing.

Berlin West Africa Conference

1884 - 1885

Delegates from twelve European sates, the U.S.A., and the Ottoman Empire created a set of general rules for the colonization of Africa without the consultation of any African person. Only 50% of the delegates' countries had desire for such conquering, however they were included to convince the world they (the other delegates) had international approval. An agreement was devised that any claim made upon land would be run by and agreed upon by the others.

Indian National Congress Formed

December 28, 1885

Founded in 1885, the congress was created to allow Indians to communicate their stances of public matters to the colonist leaders. The group created a myriad of complaints about the wealth transfer from India to Britain, Indian property, harmful policies to Indian business, lack of relief efforts for natural struggles, and more. They eventually partnered with the All-India Muslim League in an attempt to create a self-ruled India.

All-India Muslim League Foundation


The All-India Muslim League was a prominent group working to advance the social and political interests of Muslims. Founded in India in 1906, it was designed to defend the interests of India's Muslim minority. Led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it attempted to negotiate with the Indian National Congress.