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The Industrial Revolution led to a change from agriculture to manufacture, wind and water to coal and steam, and countryside to city. The Industrial revolution in Britain began in the 1780s. Key inventors of Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution include James Hargreaves, Edmund Cartwright, James Watt, Henry Cort, Richard Trevithick, George Stephenson and his son. James Hargreaves invented the spinning Jenny in 1768, which allowed spinners to produce more yarn. Edmund Cartwright’s loom, which was invented in 1782, allowed the weaving of cloth to catch up to the spinning of yarn. In the 1760s James Watt invented a steam engine that could pump water out of mines three times quicker than other machines. Then in 1782 James Watt invented a rotary machine that could drive machinery.
In the 1780s Henry Cort developed the puddling system which would develop a better quality of iron. Richard Trevithick, in 1804, developed the first steam powered locomotive on an industrial rail line in Wales. George Stephenson and his son created the Stephenson’s Rocket that was used on the first public rail line, opening in 1830. Between 1870 and 1914 the major industrial change was the substitution of steel for iron. Electricity was also evolving in the fact that it was easily converted into heat, light and motion. In the 1870s the first practical electrical generator was put on the market. By 1910 hydroelectric plants and coal-fired steam generating plants were introduced. Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan permitted cities to be powered by electric lights. With the help of electricity, Alexander Graham Bell was able to invent the telephone in 1826 and Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio waves across the Atlantic in 1901.
The Industrial Revolution not only had extreme economic impacts but also social impacts. Major epidemic disease was decreased, and food supply was increased due to the new machines being invented. Manufacturing was taking off which led people to migrate to cities to have work, but cities were death traps. Rooms were small and overcrowding and sanitation was so horrendous that death rates outnumbered birthrates. The factory workers had no minimum wage and no job security. They worked 6 days a week, 12-hour shifts, with only 30 minutes for lunch and dinner. Children were forced to work until the Factory Act of 1833 was passed, however children over the age of nine were still permitted to work just with restricted hours. Due to the fact the industrial production was growing so rapidly, after 1870 workers’ wages increased and manufactured prices decreased.
On the eve of the revolutions of 1848 Marxism became known with the publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The short treatise basically states that the history of previous societies is really the history of class struggles. The major political party that formed due to this belief was the German Social Democratic Party. It emerged it 1875 and when it won the 1912 election for the Reichstag it became the largest single party in Germany. Marxist parties divided over revisionism, which believed in violent revolutions, and revolutionary socialism, which believed in mass political parties.
On September of 1814 the Great Powers—Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia—met in Vienna to reach a peace settlement after a decade of war with Napoleon. The leader, Prince Klemens von Metternich, believed in reestablishing the monarchs and he backed the conservative ideology. After 1815 conservative forces were dominant. Later liberalism emerged, and it believed that people should be as free as possible from restraint. Liberalism was adopted by middle-class men. Nationalism was more powerful and was about unity in a nation. Nationalism also created a unified military that could be used against other countries. The Crimean War was on March 28, 1854 and Britain and France attacked Russia after they invaded Ottoman provinces. The Crimean War was poorly planned and fought so the Treaty of Paris was created in 1856. Austria became an enemy of Russia because they didn’t support Russia in the war and because they remained neutral they no longer had a friend in the Great Powers.
The Triple Alliance of 1882 consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The Triple Alliance was committed to an alliance against France. Bismarck maintained a separate treaty with Russia. When Emperor William II took over German’s foreign policy and realized the treaties with the two opposing countries he ended the treaty with Russia. This led to the creation of the Triple Entente in 1907 which consisted of Great Britain, Russia, and France. The two groups led to conflict in the Balkans between 1908 and 1913 which started World War 1. Simon-bolivar and Jose de San Martin became leaders of the independence movement in Latin America. Napoleon Bonaparte weakened Spain and Portugal’s empires and in doing so led to a series of revolts. The first revolt was a slave rebellion led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and gave Haiti it’s freedom in 1804.
In 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in Mexico, tried to gain Mexico’s freedom but ultimately failed due to planning. However, Mexico still celebrates September 16 as Mexico’s Independence Day. Bolivar was claimed to be Venezuela’s liberator in 1813 even though he didn’t defeat the Spanish forces until 1821. San Martin was determined to rid Latin America of Spanish control and surprised them at the Battle of Chacabuco on February 12, 1817. San Martin next went to liberate Peru and asked for Bolivar’s help but was left disappointed. Bolivar instead crushed the last Spanish troops at Ayacucho on December 9, 1824. Central America was free in 1823 and split into five republics between 1838-1839. President James Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 to guarantee the independence of the new nations of Latin America.
John Marshall was the chief justice of the Supreme court from 1801 to 1835 and he was known for allowing the court to overrule an act of congress if it violated the constitution. The United States banned importation of slaves in 1808. President Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and made it clear that the U.S. could not be half slave and half free. By February 1861 seven southern states voted to repeal the state’s ratification of the U.S. Constitution. This led to the formation of the Confederate States of America. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which made slaves free. The Confederate cause was defeated on April 9, 1865 by General Ulysses S. Grant forcing General Robert E. Lee to surrender.
The 13th amendment abolished slavery in 1865 and the 14th and 15th gave citizenship to blacks and the right for black men to vote. The British gained control of Canada in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. Canadians wanted self-government so in 1837 rebellions broke out against the British authority. By 1867, Canada had their first parliament with its own constitution. In order to solve national unity problems, the prime minister, John Macdonald, pushed for construction of a transcontinental railroad. It was finished in 1885. Despite new job opportunities, wages were low, and employment was unstable, so lower-class women had to turn to prostitution to survive. For most of the century, marriage was thought to be the only honorable career a woman could have. In 1882 Europe’s first birth control clinic opened in Amsterdam. Daughters in working-class families were expected to work until they were at least married.
Until 1870 in Britain, 1900 in Germany, and 1907 in France did women have the right to own property. Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale transformed nursing into a profession for women. Women did not receive the right to vote before 1914 except in Norway and some American states. The first female colleges were really training teachers. Romanticism challenged the ideas of enlightenment. Walter Scott novels were European best sellers. Romantics gave rise to gothic literature. Famous authors that fall under this category include Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein, and Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote short stories of horror. Romantics saw poetry as a direct expression of the soul. William Wordsworth was known for expression the love of nature in his poetry. Casper David Friedrich painted landscapes expressing his preoccupation with God and nature. Realism was first used to describe a style of painting in 1850 but soon spread to literature as well.
Mid-nineteenth realists rejected the romanticisms ideas. They avoided emotional language and dealt with more realistic characters. Gustave Flaubert was the leading novelist of the 1850s and 1860s. His most famous work was Madame Bovary in 1857, which was about the life in France. Gustave Courbet was a famous realist painter who portrayed the working people. His most famous work was The Stone-Breakers in 1849, which depicted two men building a road. Modernism came around after 1914 and the artists were rebelling against traditional styles that were once dominating Europe. Symbolists were a group of writers who believed the external world was just made of symbols that reflected the reality of an individual. Impressionism was a movement in France where artists chose the countryside to paint instead of studios. Berthe Morisot was an important impressionist painter that had wished men had treated women as equal. Vincent Van Gogh was the famous Post-Impressionist painter, who felt art was a spiritual experience. Pablo Picasso is another famous modern artist who developed the new style called cubism. Abstract painting began in 1910. Vasily Kandinsky was a founder of abstract painting and believed art should speak to the soul.
The industrial revolution sparked a new interest in scientific research. Louis Pasteur discovered the germ theory which was used to increase modern medical practices. Dmitri Mendeleev classified all the material elements known at the time in the 1860s. In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The ideas in the book evolved from organic evolution and created a process called natural selection. In 1905 Einstein published his theory of relativity which states that space and time are relative to the observer. Sigmund Freud believed human behavior was determined by the unconscious, past experiences and internal forces of which people are unaware of. He published these major ideas in 1900 in The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud also developed psychoanalysis to trace the repression back to its origins.
The relationship between the West, Asian, and African societies is called the new imperialism. The Industrial Revolution originally started it, but another factor was that when consumer demand lagged, economic depression threatened. Jules Ferry in 1885 warned about the relationship between colonialism and nationalism. Economic wealth, national status, and political power all went hand in hand. So, by 1900 almost all of Africa and Asia were either under colonial control or about to collapse. Colonialism was ruled under indirect or direct rule. Indirect rule involved cooperation with the local elites that could be easily persuaded. Direct rule involved removing all the local elites and replacing them with their own officials. Countries could choose to assimilate or associate with the locals. Colonial rule had both positive and negative aspects to it. For example, the British started an education system in India, which taught both boys and girls. In 1875, a Madras medical school accepted the first female student. The British also outlawed sati, allowed widows to remarry, and attempted to end the thug epidemic. They introduced Indians to modern inventions. However, the introduction of British textiles put thousands out of work and damaged the local textile industry.
Southeast Asia was under colonial rule by 1900. The French had seized Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos which then created the French-ruled Indochinese Union. Thailand was the only nation left not under colonial rule. King Mongkut and his son, King Chulalongkorn, were able to turn Thailand into an independent buffer zone in 1896 by maintaining relations with the major powers and introducing western learning. The U.S. gained control of Manila Bay in 1898 and ended resistance in 1901. Indirect rule was a better method for Europeans because it was less costly and corrosive to locals. The colonials were concentrating on exporting cheap raw materials for their economic gain. Many people worked on the farms for poverty level wages in conditions so inhumane that many died. The high taxes imposed on the peasants were a heavy burden. Colonial rule led to the beginnings of a modern economic infrastructure.
The Dutch ended slave trafficking in 1795 and the Danes stopped in 1803. Then in 1808 Great Britain and the United States made it illegal. After applying pressure, many nations ceased trafficking by 1815, after the Napoleonic wars. In early 19th century the British set up agricultural plantations for the freed slaves. Many Europeans wanted a permanent presence in Africa, but most African states were able to remain independent. The same encroaching European movement happened at the Nile river. In 1798, Napoleon unsuccessfully invaded Egypt because the British stepped in to help the Mamluks but then in 1805 Muhammad Ali seized control. Muhammad Ali modernized their army, introduced an education system, and created industrial sectors. The Nile Valley grew more popular, so the Suez Canal construction was completed in 1869 by Ferdinand de Lesseps.
In 1881, the British established a protectorate to protect the canal. In 1881, Muhammad Ahmad led a religious revolt that gave him control over the Upper Nile. Charles Gordon tried to regain Egyptian authority in Khartoum, but Muhmmad Ahmad’s troops stopped them in 1885. European countries were in a scramble over territories in Africa and although trade had increased between them it didn’t justify the risks involved over takeovers. However, rivalries between the Europeans did explain it. David Livingstone believed that missionary work and economic development went hand in hand and begged the Europeans to introduce the three C’s, which were Christianity, commerce, and civilization. The conditions in which Africans worked were so inhumane that the British formed a commission in 1903. Otto von Bismarck led a conference with the Great Powers to set ground rules for future annexations of Africa in 1884 but no African delegates were there. Indirect rule of colonies in Africa did not work with some nations and direct rule worked well with the French. Colonial policy in Africa entered a high colonialism phase which meant Europeans stayed in control until Africans were able to self-govern. Colonial governments attempted to bring an end to forced marriage, bodily mutilation, and polygamy.
Colonies with a powerful central government and defined borders weakened local religious and ethnic loyalties. Modern nationalism began in Asia and Africa by resisting colonial conquest. A peasant uprising, led by Saya San, started in Algeria in 1840 due to discontent with high taxes, corruption, rising debt, and famine. Emperor Menelik bought modern European weapons to defend Ethiopia in 1896 at the Battle of Adowa. In 1857, the British adopted the Enfield rifle for sepoy infantry to use but it caused tension because it went against Hindu and Muslim beliefs. It was met with little success. Ram Mohan Roy founded the Brahmo Samaj in 1828 to defend their Hindu faith against British acquaintances.
In the scientific studies and developments there was tension between Christianity and secularism. George Jacob Holyoake founded the movement of secularism from 1851 to 1852. Some of the sciences and research developed suggested that God either had a restricted role in the world or to some was non-existent. The scientific and technological advancements undermined religion. More people were now believing that truth was found in concrete scientific findings. Charles Darwin created the term organic evolution and it was applied to Social Darwinism, which is the belief that societies were formed from organisms that had evolved. Unfortunately, racists and extreme nationalists used his work to push their own agendas. In these cases, only the fittest would survive and to them, the fit only included their race or nationality. Previously it was mentioned that colonial rule was due to economic development or rivalry in the case of Africa but for some colonialism had a moral purpose. The British colonial official, Henry Curzon, believed that their empire “was under Providence, the greatest instrument that for good that the world has seen”. Cecil Rhodes also believed this and thought his purpose was the extension of the British Empire. He believed that came first over economic wealth and had therefore put God above all.
The European presence in West Africa may not have always done the best things towards the locals but they got Africans educated and offered them jobs. However, the best thing they did for them was introducing Christianity and making believers out of them. This would have been difficult with the Europeans invading their homeland and making them either associate or assimilate to their culture. Somehow though they were able to show enough of Christ’s character that many were turned into Christians. Slave trade was huge in East Africa and Zanzibar was the largest slave market in Africa in 1840. Christian missionaries were drawn to this region because they saw how much help the people needed there. Doctor Livingstone was a Christian missionary who arrived in 1841. Dr. Livingstone liked exploring central Africa and was criticized as being more explorer than missionary. However, he was convinced this was the mission God had for him. He strongly opposed slavery which didn’t generate a lot of support for the abolitionist cause. British tried harder to end the slave trade and it closed in 1873, just after Dr. Livingstone’s death.
As Christians, it is our job to love our neighbors but a lot of what was shown in the industrial revolution, colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, and the culture of societies did not always demonstrate that. There were countless numbers of wars, slave trades, inhumane working and living environments, removal of cultures, and greed, pride, and ego-filled nations. In a lot of aspects many leaders did not show Christianity well and only came and took what they wanted because they could. Christianity and religion were almost a second thought all together. Religion, or the lack thereof, caused some of the wars and battles depicted in these chapters. Ram Mohan Roy had to defend the Hindu faith from the British and the sepoys had to fight the British when they adopted the Enfield rifle which used animal fats and therefore went against the Hindu and Muslim religions. Then in Russia, Jews were forced to live in certain regions, but it wasn’t enough to just live separately. Many Jews found themselves fleeing the country in order to avoid persecution. In Mexico there was a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla who tried to gain Mexico’s freedom. He ultimately failed but because of the work he had done Mexico celebrates that day, September 16, as their Independence Day.
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