Revolutions in the Atlantic World

Revolutions in the Atlantic World

What were the major differences and similarities among British North America, French, Haitian, and Spanish American revolutions?

Even though the principles brought to light during the revolutionary upheaval had a relationship, the revolution was very different. The American republic comprised of a democratic government with a constitutional convention. This government drafted a new constitution, with a representative government consisting of the elected legislature to represent the governed citizen’s wishes. France set up a public schooling system controlled by the government and upheld peasants’ rights to own land. It advocated for merit-based advancement, equality of all citizens, and religious tolerance. Haiti, a slave colony, belonging to France, fought Napoleon’s army and emerged victorious (McKay et al., 2011). General Toussaint Louverture wrote their first constitution, declaring all blacks free. Inspired by France and America, Latin Americans craved for independence. After familiarizing with enlightenment ideas, Simon Bolivar, a wealthy Venezuelan, created an army to fight for freedom. He went on to defeat the Spanish rule. Mexico and Central American countries also began fighting for independence, leading to an end of the European domination in Latin America.

How did the growth of empire and transatlantic trade contribute to the outbreak of revolutions on both sides of the ocean?

The transatlantic trade and growth of empire intensified slavery and the slave trade. The enforced migration introduced violence in the places where slaves were brought from, along with trade routes, and during laboring on American plantations. Slave owners were given immense power over their subjects, allowing for profit maximization, excessive physical punishments, and sexual abuse. Slaves responded by resisting violence with the injustices waged against them leading to the formation of the African-American community (McKay et al., 2011). They attempted to dodge physical abuse through escape, accommodation, and violent rebellion which led to a revolution. Likewise, Africans were against forcible transportation, leading to a war between them and the colonizers.

To what extent would you characterize the revolution discussed in this chapter as enlighten movement?

The revolution created institutions that still describe the image of Americans. Moreover, revolutionaries led to the emergence of new ideas which motivated a global revolution age. The revolution was, however, unpredictable and inconsistent. Although it advocated for liberty, the war on slavery was partial. Disparate colonies drew closer under new governments to fight the resistance to central authority. Politicians who advocated for the protection of the public became selfish. Although the founding fathers fought to secure independence, they failed to advocate for democracy (McKay et al., 2011).

The Revolution in Energy and Industry 1760-1850

Why did Great Britain take the lead in industrialization, and when did other countries begin to adopt the new techniques an organization of production?

Industrial revolution marked a change from handicraft and agrarian economy to a manufacturing and industry dominated one. The process began in Britain, seeing it experience the tremendous economic difference between 1760-1840. Several factors favored Britain’s role as the pioneer of the industrial revolution. Notably, it had vast iron ore and coal deposits which were an indispensable source of energy for industrialization. Moreover, it enjoyed a period of political stability and was the chief colonial power. This allowed it to access raw material and a market for their processed goods. Increased demand for British products led to the innovation of better production means, leading to the rise of factory systems. Industrialization began to spread to other European countries starting from 1850. Competition from Britain forced other countries to industrialize as the only way to survive. British businesses opted to build roads and railways for smooth movement, due to the established businesses abroad, thus helping the countries to industrialize (McKay et al., 2011). Constant contact with Britain aided the spread of knowledge and information which facilitated industrialization.

How did the achievement of the agricultural and rural industry of the late seventeenth and eighteenth century pave the way for the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth century?

The Agricultural Revolution led to an increase in agricultural output, allowing for population growth. A larger population translated into increased labor for industries. During the revolution, many people were left landless, forcing them to migrate to urban centers. This availed an urban workforce which boosted Industrialization. Agriculture formed a basis for the development of Intermarket trade. This made it easier for industries to sell their products. There was the use of agricultural products as raw materials for several production processes (McKay et al., 2011).

How do you compare the political revolutions of the late eighteenth century with industrial revolution? Which seems to you to have created the most significant changes? Why?

Both the industrial revolution and political revolutions led to a better livelihood for many. While people solely initiated political revolutions, the government backed the Industrial Revolution. The society had a concern with the method of governance, prompting them to run revolutions. An increase in the number of immigrants led to the rise in the middle and lowered social classes, causing overcrowding and poor living conditions (McKay et al., 2011). The growth of cities saw the government introduce higher taxes, a move that the citizens were against. The political revolution began as they sought to gain independence and freedom. Although both revolutions had positive effects, the political revolutions were more critical as they upheld human dignity in an age where there was the prioritization of industrialization.

Ideologies of Changes in Europe 1815-1914

How did the spread of radical ideas and the movement for reform and revolution explored in this chapter draw on the “unfinished” political an industrial revolution of the late 1700s?

The French revolution (1789), the American War of Independence, and other revolutions in Europe contributed to societal reforms in Britain. The contributions of the 1832 Reform Act had minimal impact as people were not empowered. The demands for more changes persisted in the 1830s and 1840s. The Chartists, a prominent reformist group, insisted that living conditions would improve only if there was an extension of democracy to the working class (McKay et al., 2011). Despite presenting several petitions to the parliament, they failed to persuade the government. However, a combination of gradual economic and social changes made political reforms inevitable.

How and why did the relationship between the state and its citizens change in the last decades of the nineteenth century?

The period was marked by an era of economic, political, and social transformation. Responsive dimensions of human nature were recognized, enriching European culture’s emphasis on diversity and individual freedom. Changes in the industrial society and political spectrum influenced shifts in government functions. The government started universal public schooling, peacetime military conscriptions, civil marriages, record-keeping, and census-taking (McKay et al., 2011).

How did the emergence of a society divided into working and middle classes affect the workplace, homemaking, and family values and gender roles?

Previously, families worked and lived together in farms. However, the rise of working and middle classes separated work and home life. Skilled weavers were forced to seek employment in industries. Children had to work and failed to attend school. Women and children were forced to work on dangerous jobs at minimal wages. They were forced to support the breadwinner to earn enough for the family (McKay et al., 2011). The houses acquired in the cities were not large enough, and some families had to live separately.

Africa, the Ottoman Empire, and the New Imperialism 1800-1914

Explain the transition in Africa from the slave trade to legitimate trade to colonialism in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. How was Europe’s Industrial Revolution related to these transitions?

During the early eighteenth century, Portuguese used to ship African slaves to Europe. With the rise of the industrial revolution in the eighteen and nineteenth, there was high demand for cheap labor, seeing slavery rise to a triangular trade, where ships brought in European manufacturers to Africa, exchanging them for slaves who were forced to move to America. They traded them for cotton, tobacco, molasses, indigo, sugar, and other goods. In 1807, Britain’s parliament passed a law that led to the abolishment of the slave trade, and British territories had abolished the practice by 1833. Through diplomatic efforts, other slave-trading powers abandoned the trade. However, there was a need for more raw material for growing European industries. The vast pool of natural resources attracted the European powers which colonized Africa to acquire raw material.

Europeans had been visiting Africa’s coasts for four hundred years before colonizing the entire continent in thirty years in the second half of the nineteenth century? Why hadn’t they colonized Africa earlier, and what factors allowed them to do it then?

Although European presence in Africa can date to periods before the new world, they took time to colonize Africa. Most of the Europeans lacked immunity to the prevalent tropical diseases, which Africans had an inherent resistance. Most of the explorers would get infected and die within their first few months. As a result, it was difficult to progress into Africa’s interior with most European settlements being within 100 kilometers off the coast (McKay et al., 2011). However, the 19th century saw western medicine advance, allowing survival of the tropical disease victims. Moreover, improved railroad technology allowed deployment of ammo, drugs, and troops into Africa’s interior, facilitating colonization.

What were the causes of the great migration in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century?

The great migration saw African Americans migrate from the south to the north. They readily left for the major cities in Northeast and Midwest, where they found better-paying jobs in shipyards, meatpacking plants, and steel mills. They also desired to flee from segregation and racism which was less in the North. Kinship and community networks within the North and South aided the migration as the black communities would communicate and share information regarding the availability of jobs, homes, and other connections.






McKay, J. P., Hill, B. D., Buckler, J., Beck, R. B., Ebrey, P. B., Crowston, C. H., & Wiesner-Hanks, M. E. (2011). A history of world societies, combined volume. Macmillan.