Themes of the 19th Century

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Revolutions of the Long 19th Century
During the “Long 19th Century” (1750-1914) there were many changes happening around the globe and shaping the world we live in today. At this time, amidst other changes such as industrialization and imperialism, some of the world’s most important revolutions began taking place. In America, the first revolution of the 19th century took place and set the foundations for one of the most important world powers in modern history. The French revolution led to a new imperialistic power and was one of the most influential revolutions of its time with its effects being felt throughout the world. Although there were numerous amounts of changes in all aspects of life at this time, more importantly were the revolutions that took place in France and America because they led to great political and social change that influenced the globe and also made two world powers.

During the 19th century in America, there was growing discontent for their mother country, Britain. A series of events had led to Americans feeling more distant from their mother country and that they could not effectively rule their colonies with such a large distance. The first key event that began the demand for independence was the French and Indian War. This war was fought between France (before French revolution) and Britain from 1754-1763 over the colonies in America and soon became a world-wide conflict between the two nations. The rivalry created between the two nations became a key part of the American Revolution later on. Although Britain came out victorious, their economy took a big hit and left them in huge debt which they looked to the colonies to repay. After 1763 all the way to the beginning of the war in 1775, Britain put in place a slew of acts which increased taxes, and as a result resentment of the British government. These acts included the sugar act, currency act, quartering act, stamp act, Townshend acts, tea act, and intolerable act, all of which were not approved by the colonists. Some acts, such as the stamp act and tea act, led to small resistance and uprisings of their own. The sons and daughters of liberty began tar and feathering tax collectors to show their discontent of the stamp act, and in response to the tea act, colonists took place in the Boston tea party in which they dumped tea over board from ships in the Boston harbor. To stop these uprisings and prevent future ones, Britain put forth the Intolerable act in which town meetings were now outlawed. However despite this the first continental congress took place in which 12 of the 13 colonies came together in Philadelphia and began boycotting British goods. (Stearns 639) (Kelly) In 1775 British troops had been commanded to go to Lexington and Concord to prevent future revolts by removing military supplies and disarming any rebels in these areas and also arresting Samuel Adams and John Hancock who were leaders of the rebellion. The Americans had received word of the British plans and were waiting and ready for them when they came. However once the British arrived, they surrounded the small militia of about only 80 men and commanded the rebels to put down their weapons. But among all of the confusion and shouting, the Americans did not hear their commander John Parker’s order to disperse and go home and they stood their ground. Although both sides were commanded not to fire unless fired upon, an unknown source fired a shot and soon after without command British troops began firing volleys killing 8 colonists and wounding another 10, with the rest running away. The British suffered only a very minor causality which was a foot wound. The British then marched onto Concord where the rebels were once again waiting. Expecting there to be no fire exchanged again, another battle broke out and the Americans, surprisingly, forced the British to retreat after the loss of 70 men. This was the first time warfare had been exchanged between the two groups and was...
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