Theme 1: Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

(Migration, Disease, Settlement Patterns, Technology)

Industrial Revolution

1760 - 1840

Great Britain began the industrializing of its economy the manufacturing of textiles became possible. The need for resources to fuel this venture acted as a global catalyst. Coal and later oil became exponentially important commodities. The impact of the expulsion of these resources as gases would drastically affect the wold’s atmosphere, but this was only noticed recently outside of then smog-bound cities.

Theme 2: Development and Interactions of Cultures

(Religions, Belief Systems, Ideologies, Philosophies, Science and Technology, Arts and Architecture)

The Enlightenment

1650 - 1775

After the Renassiance, liberalism as an ideology took root. The spread of the Enlightenment began in salons, and especially the coffee houses of Europe. People would come to acquire coffee; a necessary ingredient in an accelerating lifestyle. As opposed to spending time laughing in a pub, people were able to discuss their thoughts, and the spread of new ideas was possible. Innovation and individualism were a core part of this European philosophy, bringing new ways of thinking into play.

Theme 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict

(Political Structures and Forms of Government, Empires, Regional, Trans-Regional, and Global Structures and Organizations)

Franco-Prussian War

July 19 1870 - May 10 1871

The Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismark published the Ems Dispatch, an edited conversation between King Wilhelm of Prussia and France’s ambassador to Prussia. The goal was to make both parties look as though they had been insulted, in an order to raise political tension between the two powers. This was just one of many intrigues with which the chancellor involved himself, the overarching goal being the portrayal of France as scheming and greedy. By doing this, a French Declaration of war would cause the other German states to come to the defense of Prussia. When France finally declared war, the countries combined into a unified Germany. The French Main was defeated within six weeks, showing the industrial and militaristic might of this united empire. Germany’s existence added a significant central power to Europe, making a large imposition to the power of Britain, France, Russia, and Austria at the time. Rising nationalism would soon consume both of the war’s belligerents.

Theme 4: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems

(Agricultural and Pastoral Production, Trade and Commerce, Labor Systems)

Eastern and Western Hemispherical Economic Imbalance

1789 - 1960

There was an imbalance in the economic systems of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The Eastern still had feudal labor systems, whereas that of the Western was moving towards capitalism. A middle class was developed only in the West, and nations were industrializing. This lack of a middle class would lead to a division between the two hemisphere; a technological and economic imbalance that would favor the west in terms of overall power, as one might witness in the Opium Wars

Theme 5: Development and Transformation of Social Structures

(Gender Roles and Relations, Family and Kinship, Racial and Ethnic Constructions, Social and Economic Classes)

French Revolution

July 14, 1789 - November 9, 1799

The French Revolution led to massive change in social status amongst the classes. The ramifications of the revolution were widespread. Many nations and their people followed suit, changes in land ownership and politics as well as the surge in the power of the bourgeois. Religion and monarchies were greatly sidelined in favor of republic-like and liberal-minded ideals.

Other Key Historic Events

American Revolution

April 19, 1775 - September 3, 1783

The American Revolution was the product of fomenting anger in British colonists. Heavy taxes and a lack of representation in Parliamentary government led to the revolution against the British imperial power. The colonists sought independence, the freedom to create their own government, rather than being ruled by those that were on the opposing shores of the Atlantic. After succeeding in their revolution, they began a mass westward expansion, which was previously impossible due to the British Proclamation of 1763 over the Appalachian Mountains. As other groups around the world heard of their victory over their motherland, many groups also revolted against their own governments. This was the first example of what would be a century of revolutions.

The Discovery and Usage of Electricity

1791 - Present

It is a trite but meaningful reputation. Benjamin Franklin walks outside and into a storm, proceeding to attach a key to a kite, allowing lightning to bounce to his hand, proving that lightning is indeed electric. It wouldn’t be until much later that electricity was widely used, but inventions such as the light bulb and the fan were on the docket before the turn of the twentieth century. Where would we be without electricity? It has revolutionized the lives of nearly everyone on the planet. Communication, transportation, and quite simply new ways of doing things are possible because of electricity.

Widespread Abolitionism

1794 - 1981

Since the Neolithic age, most societies have had some form of forced labor system. While it typically was seen as immoral, it was also seen as necessary for economic progress. A trend reveals itself: As it becomes less necessary to maintain an economy, it is also frowned upon in greater magnitude. After the first wave of European colonialism, and the large exportation of African slaves to the Americas, slavery was for the first time related to race. They became necessary on colonial plantations, as it seemed to be the only way to make a profit harvesting the necessary amount of resources. As technology advanced, the trend mentioned earlier revealed itself.

Opium Wars

1839 - 1860

The Opium Wars were considered the climax in a series of economic disputes between the British Empire under Victoria and the Qing Dynasty. Britain wished to sell opium, an illegal analgesic in China. Qing could not afford having the drug possessing their citizens, and seized opium trading posts. The two powers collided, and the economic and technological advancement of the British allowed them to easily overcome this massive eastern power. China paid greatly in result, and was forced to cede Hong Kong, as well as submit to a score of trading contracts favoring Britain. This sort of economic advantage lifted the United Kingdom to one of its strongest points in time.

Scramble for Africa

1881 - 1914

Following the revolutions of many American colonies, European powers attempted to colonize Africa. European empires competed over African land, with the intention of amassing power for themselves through the subjugation of the indigenous and the acquisition of valuable territory. The beginning of the partition took place after the Franco-Prussian war had ended, and as a result of the Berlin Conference there would be little fighting between Europeans while there was African territory to colonize. It would not be unfair to say that by partitioning apart Africa, Europe was simply avoiding war with itself.