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Themes from Ways of the World

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  • 1. Themes from Ways of the World
    by:
    Josh Skinner
    The European Movement &The Most Recent Century
  • 2. Part Five:The European Movement
    Chapters 17 – 20
    1750 - 1914
  • 3. In the late 18th century, a wave of revolutions swept across the Western world, encompassing North America, France, Haiti, and Latin America. These violent clashes were clearly influenced and affected by one another.
    The ideas that inspired these revolutions were derived from the European Enlightenment, and were exchanged in a world that had become interlinked through economic, intellectual, and cultural ties.
    The key idea present in all these clashes was that of "popular sovereignty," which meant that the power to govern was in the hands of the people, and not from God or birthright, as was the established practice before the Enlightenment.
    This challenged the preconceived notion that social and political contracts could only be altered by God or tradition, and not by human action.
    Chapter 17: Revolutions Around the World
  • 4. Highly successful French general who seized power during the French Revolution in 1799.
    Spread the influence of the French Revolution through conquest, creating the largest European empire since the Romans.
    Preserved aspects of the Revolution dealing with social equality, but disregarded liberty in the name of a military dictatorship.
    Was interested in spreading the benefits of the Revolution, such as ending feudalism, enacting equal rights, promoting religious tolerance, and rationalizing government administration, to the far reaches of his vast empire.
    However, in 1815, his forces were defeated by Britain and Russia, who resented the French domination in Europe.
    Chapter 17: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
  • 5. In the eighteenth century, European Enlightenment philosophers had become increasingly disapproving of slavery, as they believed it to be a violation of natural human rights and a detriment to equality. Similarly, religious believers came to view it as morally unacceptable. In addition to this, many saw slavery as economically unnecessary.
    All these strands of thinking converged, leading to many countries around the Atlantic, in the Americas and Europe, to ban the trading and ownership of slaves by the latter half of the 19th century. Additionally, similar thought processes led the Tsar of Russia to free many serfs in 1861.
    Unfortunately, many of the slaves who were freed by the "abolitionist" movement did not end up in a better social or economic climate than they started in. Even after slavery was made illegal, most freed slaves were still faced with legal replacements for slavery, like indentured servitude and sharecropping.
    Chapter 17: Abolitionism
  • 6. The burgeoning middle class benefitted most conspicuously from the industrialization of the western world. This group of people included extremely wealthy business and factory owners who were not originally nobility, but often worked their way up to it. It also included many smaller businessmen, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, journalists, scientists, and other professionals.
    The middle class in Europe was politically liberal, with a capitalist mindset. The core belief of their culture was that of "respectability," which combined notions of social status with virtuous, moral behavior.
    By the end of of the 19th century, the a lower middle class had formed, and represented about 20% of Britain's population. This group was proud to distinguish themselves from the lower working class that was shackled to manual labor.
    Chapter 18: The Rising Middle Class
  • 7. German philosopher who spent much of his life in England, witnessing the brutal conditions of the Industrial Revolution upon the working class, which he called the proletariat.
    Had an enormous influence on socialism through the multitude of books he wrote
    Believed that the driving force behind society was that of "class struggle," the conflict between the upper and lower classes that was so evident in the capitalism that was becoming popular in Europe.
    While he believed capitalism had its benefits, he saw it to be inevitably doomed to fail because of the oppression of the poor by the rich. He believed the working class would rise up in violent revolution, overthrow the bourgeoisie, the upper class, and begin a new era of communism in which class struggle would finally be disposed of.
    Chapter 18:Karl Marx: (1818-1883)
  • 8. American industrialization grew explosively in the latter half of the 19th century, after the Civil War. This was due to multiple reason, including the fact that the country was so huge and full of natural resources, government influence through tax breaks, huge public grants to the railroad companies, absence of industry regulations, and pioneering techniques in mass production.
    By 1914, the United states had become the world's leading industrial superpower, at which time it produced 36% of the world's manufactured goods.
    Chapter 18:Industrialization in the United States
  • 9. With the advent of their industrial age, Europeans developed a "secular arrogance," viewing themselves as superior to others. This bred racism and xenophobia, not religiously as it had been in the past, but in terms of modern science.
    Biologists, physicians, phrenologists, and craniologists turned to pseudoscientific practices that led them to the conclusion that whites were mentally superior over any other race.
    This led to a type of "social Darwinism" to be developed, in which imperialism, war, and aggression were justified as a "natural" occurrence of the "stronger" peoples dominating over the "weaker."
    Chapter 19:New Perceptions of the "Other"
  • 10. Once deemed the "strong sword of Islam," the influence of the Ottoman Empire vastly declined in Europe over the course of the 19th century.
    From 1800 to 1914, the territory ruled by the Islamic Ottomans shrank exponentially, as it could not compete with a rapidly industrializing and militarizing European world. It could not compete with modernization.
    Government administration within the empire declined as well, as it was unable to raise considerable revenue or keep control over the extent of its territories. Whereas the Ottomans had once controlled much of the trade coming into Europe, an increase in European self-sufficiency led to a drop in revenue for the Ottomans as well.
    Chapter 19:"The Sick Man of Europe"
  • 11. In 1900, an anti-foreign movement called the Boxer Rebellion occurred in Northern China as an example of China's "self-strengthening" movement.
    Militia organizations calling themselves the "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" killed many Europeans and Chinese Christians, and also sieged foreign embassies in Beijing.
    In turn, Western powers and Japan occupied Beijing and crushed the Rebellion, proving that China was to remain a dependent, foreign-controlled country.
    Chapter 19:The Boxer Rebellion
  • 12. Half a dozen European nations "scrambled" to establish colonies across the continent of Africa, which they devised up into dozens of states under their control. This all happened in under 25 years, at the end of the 19th century.
    The intensity of their rivalries sped up this process, in which they acquired huge territories about which they knew relatively little.
    This conquest was heavily resisted in many places.
    The boundaries of these states that were established during the scramble for Africa still provide the political framework for many of Africa's state borders today.
    Chapter 20:"Scramble for Africa"
  • 13. Prominent and influential Indian religious figure.
    Believed in a revived Hinduism, without the distortions he had seen in it. to him, this would uplift the country's village communities, as it was the heart of their culture.
    Visited the First World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, bringing Hinduism to the attention of small groups in Europe and the United States.
    Chapter 20:Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
  • 14. Prominent scholar and political official in Liberia.
    Defined African identity by praising the differences between European and African cultures.
    Believed that the uniqueness of African culture was defined by its communal and egalitarian societies, which were in sharp contrast to Europe's capitalist-driven society; it's harmonious relationship with nature, unlike Europeans who essentially tried to dominate nature with machines; and in Africa's religious sensibility, which he argued was in sharp contrast with Europe's loss of religion to material goods.
    Chapter 20:Edward Blyden (1832-1912)
  • 15. Part Six:The Most Recent Century
    Chapters 21– 24
    1914 – 2008
  • 16. The modernization, militarization, and industrialization that had occurred in 19th century Europe led to a tense atmosphere of competition and instability. The "proud tower" that Europe had created for itself over the past four centuries would soon topple as the result of a minor incident.
    Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian national in 1914. This was a sign to the European powers that their grip on many of their colonial empires could easily be thwarted by nationalists. They decided they had to crush it.
    This led to an all-out war between the strict system of alliances many European nations had developed with each other.
    Chapter 21:The First World War
  • 17. After WWI, many American industries, which had been so stimulated by exportation during the war, were producing much more goods than they could sell. This led to price drops.
    Eventually, the stock market crashed on October 24th, 1929. Banks closed, many people lost their life's savings, investment dried up, and world trade drop by 62%.
    This meant a loss of work for most people, and unemployment was everywhere, including both American and Europe.
    The Great Depression was an example of the dangers of a booming capitalist society.
    Chapter 21:The Great Depression
  • 18. Charismatic leader who brought fascism to Italy in 1922.
    His private army of disillusioned veterans and jobless men, the Black Shirts, allowed him to assume power of the country in 1922.
    Operated out of fear, allegedly causing the "trains to run on time," out of fear of execution if they did not.
    Eventually established a "corporate state" in which workers, employers, and professional organizations organized themselves into corporations supervised by the state.
    Envisioned his new Italy to be a harkening back to the Roman Empire, and consequently was very nationalistic. Wanted to revitalizer Italy and give it a global mission.
    Chapter 21:Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
  • 19. Leader of the small socialist party in Russia called the Bolsheviks.
    The Bolsheviks forcibly took power of the provisional government after the Russian Revolution, and Lenin assumed control in the vacuum.
    Called his ideology "communist," it was a revision to Marxist thinking in which he believed that Russia, although industrially backward, would be able to assume a collectivist state and spark violent proletariat uprisings around the world.
    Lenin's rule led to the formation of the Soviet Union.
    Chapter 22:Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)
  • 20. Charismatic communist leader of China in the early 20th century.
    Originally a member of the extremely small CCP, or Chinese Communist Party, he rose to power during the Long March of 1934, in which the communist journeyed 6,000 miles on foot to establish a new base in the north.
    Brought communism to China by mobilizing the very small urban working-class and driving out the Japanese invaders of China after WWII.
    Chapter 22:Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
  • 21. Assumed power of the Soviets after Lenin died in 1924.
    Initially provided the Union with job opportunities, however, eventually became paranoid and began to execute members of the Soviets that he saw as a threat, including Leon Trotsky.
    Built up the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe out of fear that the United States would establish an economic system there. Ironically, this meant that many of the countries were forced into communism, rather than assuming it domestically by revolution as Russia had.
    Chapter 22:Joseph Stalin (1878-1953)
  • 22. Established in 1885, this was a collection of educated Indian lawyers, journalists, teachers, and businessmen coming from high-caste Hindu society.
    Represented of an all-Indian identity, free of British colonial rule.
    Its demands were mostly moderate, initially seeking greater inclusion into the British-controlled social structures in place.
    Believed they were much more suitable to protect the interests of Indians than foreign, imperialist administration.
    Chapter 23:Indian National Congress
  • 23. Although an independent nation since 1910, white settlers in South Africa remained in control of the country, and blacks had basically no political rights whatsoever.
    Similar to the Indian National Congress, the African National Congress attempted to have blacks be seen as "civilized men" within a white society.
    By the 1950s, the ANC launched nonviolent civil disobedience campaigns, similar to Gandhi's, but were give tremendous repression by the government in response, including a massacre at Sharpeville of innocent demonstrators in 1960.
    After this, the ANC turned to more violent forms of protest, and this continued on for most of the century, until in 1994, when most prominent apartheid policies were abandoned.
    Chapter 23:Ending Apartheid in South Africa
  • 24. Iran turned to Islamic revival in the 1970s, opposed to the modernizing, secularizing, American-supported government that the Shah, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, had created.
    Many were opposed to his close relations with American and British governments, and the brutality of his secret police forces.
    Provoked Shia religious establishment by threatening to redistribute their holy lands.
    Eventually, he was forced to abdicate and flee Iran, and the Ayatollah Khomeini assumed dictatorial control over Iran in 1979.
    Chapter 23:Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979)
  • 25. Period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia which began in the late 1960s under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.
    The Prague Spring was a response to the domination of the Soviet Union and its policies.
    Dubcek led reforms that attempted to give rights to the Czech people by decentralizing the economy and democratizing the country.
    The Soviets responded by invading the country with other members of the Warsaw Pact to crush resistance and stop the reforms.
    Chapter 24:Prague Spring
  • 26. Argentine-born revolutionary who embraced the Cuban Revolution, and embodied the spirit of rebellion seen in many oppressed, third-world countries across the world.
    Attempted to ignite revolution in different parts of Africa and Latin America. He was anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, and became a heroic figure to those who were fed up with the materialism and complacency of the capitalist world.
    Although he was a failed revolutionary who died at the hands of the Bolivian military in 1967, he became a symbol of radicalism and third-world liberation.
    Chapter 24:Che Guevara (1928-1967)
  • 27. Most countries had achieved universal suffrage by the early 19th century, and by 1920, feminism had lost most of its momentum.
    It was revived again in the 1960s, however, with a different agenda that was more focused on recognizing the social inequalities women faced.
    Western feminism maintains a lot of focus on sexual liberation, and liberation in a system of patriarchal dominance.
    Chapter 24:Feminism in the West
  • 28. Strayer, Robert W., Ways of the World: A Brief Global History. Volume 2: Since 1500. (2009). Bedford/St. Martin’s. Print.
    Images from Google Images
    Sources: