a movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions; movement during the 1700's that spread the idea that knowledge, reason, and science could improve society
American intellectual, inventor, and politician. He helped negotiate French support for the American Revolution.
Virginian, patriot, general, and president. Lived at Mount Vernon. Led the Revolutionary Army in the fight for independence. First President of the United States.
Mohawk leader who supported the British during the American Revolution.
Meeting in 1787 of the elected representatives of the thirteen original states to write the Constitution of the United States. In Philadelphia, called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.
France's traditional national assembly with representatives of the three estates, or classes, in French society: the clergy, nobility, and commoners. The calling of the Estates General in 1789 led to the French Revolution.
French Revolutionary assembly (1789-1791). Called first as the Estates General, the three estates came together and demanded radical change. It passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.
Declaration of the Rights of Man
Statement of fundamental political rights adopted by the French National Assembly at the beginning of the French Revolution.
Radical republicans during the French Revolution. They were led by Maximilien Robespierre from 1793 to 1794. (See also Robespierre, Maximilien.)
Young provincial lawyer who led the most radical phases of the French Revolution. His execution ended the Reign of Terror.
Overthrew French Directory in 1799 and became emperor of the French in 1804. Failed to defeat Great Britain and abdicated in 1814. Returned to power briefly in 1815 but was defeated and died in exile.
gens de couleur
Free men and women of color in Haiti. They sought greater political rights and later supported the Haitian Revolution.
Francois Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture
Leader of the Haitian Revolution. He freed the slaves and gained effective independence for Haiti despite military interventions by the British and French.
Congress of Vienna
Meeting of representatives of European monarchs called to reestablish the old order after the defeat of Napoleon I.
Revolutions of 1848
Democratic and nationalist revolutions that swept across Europe. The monarchy in France was overthrown. In Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary the revolutions failed.
The transformation of the economy, the environment, and living conditions, occurring first in England in the eighteenth century, that resulted from the use of steam engines, the mechanization of manufacturing in factories, transit, and communication.
The transformation of farming that resulted in the eighteenth century from the spread of new crops, improvements in cultivation techniques and livestock breeding, and the consolidation of small holdings into large farms from which tenants and sharecroppers were forcibly expelled.
The manufacture of many identical products by the division of labor into many small repetitive tasks. This method was introduced into the manufacture of pottery by Josiah Wedgwood and into the spinning of cotton thread by Richard Arkwright.
English industrialist whose pottery works were the first to produce fine-quality pottery by industrial methods.
division of labor
A manufacturing technique that breaks down a craft into many simple and repetitive tasks that can be performed by unskilled workers. Pioneered in the pottery works of Josiah Wedgwood and in other eighteenth-century factories, it greatly increased the productivity of labor and lowered the cost of manufactured goods.
The application of machinery to manufacturing and other activities. Among the first processes to be mechanized were the spinning of cotton thread and the weaving of cloth in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century England.
English inventor and entrepreneur who became the wealthiest and most successful textile manufacturer of the early Industrial Revolution. He invented the water frame, a machine that, with minimal human supervision, could spin several threads at once.
Building erected in Hyde Park, London, for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Made of iron and glass, like a gigantic greenhouse, it was a symbol of the industrial age.
A machine that turns the energy released by burning fuel into motion. Thomas Newcomen built the first crude but workable steam engine in 1712. James Watt vastly improved his device in the 1760s and 1770s. Steam power was then applied to machinery.
Scot who invented the condenser and other improvements that made the steam engine a practical source of power for industry and transportation. The watt, an electrical measurement, is named after him.
A device for rapid, long-distance transmission of information over an electric wire. It was introduced in England and North America in the 1830s and 1840s and replaced telegraph systems that utilized visual signals such as semaphores.
Recurrent swings from economic hard times to recovery and growth, then back to hard times and a repetition of the sequence.
The idea that government should refrain from interfering in economic affairs. The classic exposition of laissez-faire principles is Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776).
European government policies of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries designed to promote overseas trade between a country and its colonies and accumulate precious metals by requiring colonies to trade only with their motherland country. The British system was defined by the Navigation Acts, the French system by laws known as the Exclusif.
A philosophy developed by the French count of Saint-Simon. Positivists believed that social and economic problems could be solved by the application of the scientific method, leading to continuous progress. Popular in France and Latin America.
Philosophy introduced by the Frenchman Charles Fourier in the early nineteenth century. Utopian socialists hoped to create humane alternatives to industrial capitalism by building self-sustaining communities whose inhabitants would work cooperatively.
The most important military leader in the struggle for independence in South America. Born in Venezuela, he led military forces there and in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Mexican priest who led the first stage of the Mexican independence war in 1810. He was captured and executed in 1811.
Jose Maria Morelos
Mexican priest and former student of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, he led the forces fighting for Mexican independence until he was captured and executed in 1814. (See also Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel.)
Confederation of 1867
Negotiated union of the formerly separate colonial governments of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. This new Dominion of Canada with a central government in Ottawa is seen as the beginning of the Canadian nation.
Political leaders who rely on charisma and their ability to mobilize and direct the masses of citizens outside the authority of constitutions and laws. Nineteenth-century examples include Jose Antonio Paez of Venezuela and Andrew Jackson of the US.
First president of the US to be born in humble circumstances. He was popular among frontier residents, urban workers, and small farmers. He had a successful political career as judge, general, congressman, senator, and president. After being denied the presidency in 1824 in a controversial election, he won in 1828 and was reelected in 1832.
Jose Antonio Paez
Venezuelan soldier who led Simon Bolivar's cavalry force. He became a successful general in the war and built a powerful political base. He was unwilling to accept the constitutional authority of Bolivar's government in distant Bogotá and declared Venezuela's independence from Gran Colombia in 1829.
President of Mexico (1858-1872). Born in poverty in Mexico, he was educated as a lawyer and rose to become chief justice of the Mexican supreme court and then president. He led Mexico's resistance to a French invasion in 1863 and the installation of Maximilian as emperor.
Shawnee leader who attempted to organize an Amerindian confederacy to prevent the loss of additional territory to American settlers. He became an ally of the British in War of 1812 and died in battle.
A rebellion of the Maya people against the government of Mexico in 1847. It nearly returned the Yucatan to Maya rule. Some Maya rebels retreated to unoccupied territories where they held out until 1901.
Men and women who agitated for a complete end to slavery. Abolitionist pressure ended the British transanatlantic slave trade in 1808 and slavery in British colonies in 1834. In the United States the activities of abolitionists were on factor leading to the Civil War (1861-1865).
the adoption of the language, customs, values, and behaviors of host nations by immigrants.
Women's Rights Convention
An 1848 gathering of women angered by their exculsion from an international antislaery meeting. They met at Seneca Falls, New York to discuss women's rights.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the economic process that led to industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of a large and prosperous middle class, and heavy investment in education.
The condition experienced by economies that depend on colonial forms of production such as the export of raw materials and plantation crops with low wages and low investment in education.