European Hegemony during 1750-1914 CE

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PART II, UNIT IV:1750-1914
The era between 1750 and 1914 C.E. was one of clear Europeanhegemony. In the previous era (1450 to 1750 C.E.), Europeans hadtilted the balance of world power away from Asia, where powerfulcivilizations had existed since ancient times. However, despitegrowing European influence based on sea trade and colonization, majorland-based empires in Asia still influenced long-distance trade andshaped political and economic conditions around them. In this era,Europe not only dominated the western hemisphere, as it had in thelast, but it came to control the eastern hemisphere as well. How didthey do it? Part of the answer lies in a set of discoveries andhappenings that together constitute an important "Marker Event" - theIndustrial Revolution. Another set of philosophical and politicalevents were equally important - the establishment of democracy as amajor element of a new type of political organization - the"nation." QUESTIONS OF PERIODIZATION

Very important characteristics that distinguish 1750-1914 fromprevious eras in world history include: • European dominance of long-distance trade - Whether by "unequal treaties" or colonization, sea-based trade gave European countries control of all major trade circuits in the world. • "Have" and "have not" countries created by Industrialization - The Industrial Revolution gave huge economic and political advantages to countries where it occurs over countries that remained primarily agricultural. • Inequalities among regions increase due to imperialism - Industrialized countries set out to form overseas empires, sometimes through colonization and other times by economic and/or political domination. • Political revolutions inspired by democracy and desire for independence - These revolutions continue to the present, but "seed" revolutions that put new democratic forms of government in place occurred during this era. The "nation" emerged as a new type of political organization. We will analyze these important characteristics of the period byexamining these topics: • Changes in global commerce, communications, and technology - Patterns of world trade and contact changed as the Industrial Revolution revolutionized communications and commerce. Distances became shorter as the Suez and Panama Canals cut new channels for travel, and new technology meant that ships were faster than before. Railroads revived land travel. • Demographic and environmental changes - Huge numbers of people migrated to the Americas from Europe and Asia, so that population in the western hemisphere grew dramatically. The slave trade ended, and so did forced migrations from Africa to the New World. Industrialization had a huge impact on the environment, as demands for new fuels came about and cities dominated the landscape in industrialized countries. Industrialization also increased the demand for raw materials from less industrialized countries, altering natural landscapes further. • Changes in social and gender structures - Serf and slave systems became less common, but the gap between the rich and poor grew in industrialized countries. We will explore the controversy regarding changes in women's roles in response to industrialization. Did women's status improve, or did gender inequality grow? • Political revolutions and independence movements; new political ideas - Absolutism was challenged in many parts of the globe, and democracy took root as a result of economic and social change and Enlightenment philosophies that began in the 17th century. "Nations" arose as political entities that inspired nationalism and movements of political reform. • Rise of western dominance - The definition of "west" expanded to include the United States and Australia, and western dominance reached not only economic and political areas, but extended to social, cultural, and artistic realms as well. Although coercive labor systems as such declined during this era,new questions of...
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