92 terms

Western Civilization 2 CLEP

based on the REA guide for this test (note: sorry, I know this isn't perfect and there are many typos but I don't have time to fix it after I am done studying for this test)

Terms in this set (...)

historical eras
-baroque is a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed mannerism and is characterized by ornate detail. In architecture the period is exemplified by the palace of Versailles and by the work of Bernini in Italy. Major composers include Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel; Caravaggio and Rubens are important baroque artists
-romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850
-realism (1840-late 19th century) in French art was more realistic and of scenes from everyday life of the working class
-the (British) Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 1837 until her death in 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence for Britain
-impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s
Thirty Years' War
1618-1648 (during the Holy Roman Empire), a series of wars in Central Europe, a "war of religion" (however with primarily political motives), between Calvinists, Lutherans, and Catholics (primarily the Hapsburgs) in present-day Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, France, etc. (phases: Bohemian, Danish (Edict of Restitution, and Cardinal Richelieu), Swedish (Peace of Prague), and French)
Treaty of Westphalia
1648, ended the Thirty Years' War, it reaffirmed that the ruler of each state should determine its faith (and, in order to stop the spread of Protestantism, any prince who changes his faith in the future forfeits his rule), it also recognized both Calvinism and Lutheranism, the division between Protestants and Catholics was recognized as a permanent schism, and the papacy lost its huge political influence
-it recognized the Swiss Confederacy/Switzerland and the United Provinces of Holland/Dutch Republic as sovereign nations which were independent of Hapsburg control, as well as other states of the Holy Roman Empire which effectively eliminated the Empire as a meaningful political entity, and France became the most powerful state on the Continent.
Protestant Reformation
A religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches (Martin Luther and his Ninety-five theses were a key part of this), the Counter-Reformation (1545-1648) was the Catholic response in order to protect the traditional doctrine which was considered completely without error
-the strongest German state after the Thirty Years' War which would become the core of present-day Germany; it had a powerful army (30k men in 1960 grew to 80k men in 1740)
-Prussia's Great Elector, Frederick William (r. 1640-1688), his son Frederick I (r. 1688-1713), and his grandson Frederick William I (r. 1713-1740) laid the foundation for the powerful German nation
-the Fredericks gained the favor of Prussia's nobles/Junkers by giving them tax exemptions and legally establishes privileges for them; also created an organized bureaucracy governed by the Central Directory (made up of nobles and professionals who weren't nobles)
Austro-Hungarian Empire
this began to take shape after the Treaty of Westphalia, it was unstable due to having many different ethnic and religious groups (for example, Austria's Hapsburg monarchy acquired many Muslims after Hungary was liberated from the Ottoman Turkish Empire), Austria's military was also affected by the linguistic, cultural, and political differences in the empire, the empire fell apart after WWI
developed after the 30 Years' War, it says that a nation's ruler should have complete authority
-Thomas Hobbs (1588-1679) had this viewpoint in his much read 1651 book Leviathan, saying that if people are left to their own devices they will create miserable lives for themselves and others because of their natural selfishness, greed, and shortsightedness, in his book they must give their power to an absolute authority/the "Leviathan" (his book quotes the Bible but was political not theological)
-Bishop Bossuet (Louis XIV's tutor) 1627-1704 advocated absolutism shown in his book Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Scripture, arguing that a king got his power from God and was accountable only to God, no one could criticize the king and revolution was beyond consideration, kings were chosen by God and ruled by "divine right" (his views were based on Cardinal Richelieu [1585-1642], who was France's powerful secretary of state and chief minister to Louis XIII [1601-1643])
John Locke
1632-1704, (disagreed with absolutism) believed that a ruler should only rule as long as the ruler kept the peoples' trust by respecting the inherent rights of human beings to possess life, liberty, and property, he believed that if the ruler disregarded those rights than the people had a responsibility to replace that ruler, (this was first popular in England, thus later the English colonies/US), he was an English Enlightenment thinker who wrote Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690 in which he theorized that the human mind is a tabula rasa/blank slate at birth which is filled in by experience (thus experience is the only thing that determines differences in status/equality)
Louis XIV
1637-1715, he was called the Sun King, when he became the king of France in 1661 he determined to have total power, he gained more power than any European monarch had ever acquired before him supposedly saying "I am the state/L'etat c'est moi" (he censored books and tortured political opponents), he also rewarded loyal nobles (who also received tax breaks) the honor of coming to his palace in Versailles (near Paris) to get the privilege of handing the king his slippers or holding his candle while he prepared for bed, etc., he also promoted science
-he never convened the Estates General which was the weak medieval French representative institution which had not convened since 1614 and wouldn't meet again until 1789 (thus taking power away from the nobles)
-during his reign the French were in several wars with England, the Dutch, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire [present-day central Europe] which added to his power but were also expensive (leading to decades of financial problems for France)
-in 1685 he revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598) which had allowed some religious tolerance (thus many of France's highly skilled Protestants/Huguenots left the country, a lot went to England, some went to Brandenburg-Prussia in 1685, and some went to Britain's colonies in America, they were hard workers and brought economic gain to the countries they fled to)
English monarchs vs. Parliament
James I (r. 1603-1625) claimed that he ruled by divine right and that Parliament's only purpose was to advise him but Parliament saw this as trying to take away their authority, his son Charles I (r. 1625-1649) tried to raise money for war against Spain without Parliament's permission causing Parliament to pass the Petition of Right in 1628 which said that English subjects possessed basic rights that no king could violate, Charles agreed with this but didn't reconvene Parliament until 1640 when he needed to raise money for war with Scotland (however by this time Protestants in Parliament were convinced that he wanted to return England to Roman Catholicism)
English Civil War
in 1640 Parliament had impeached many of Charles I's ministers, dismantled his judicial system, and declared his non-parliamentary taxes null, it broke into war after Charles tried to get five members of Parliament arrested for treason
-those who agreed with Parliament/the "Roundheads" (so called because Puritan hats didn't have have hat bands) created the efficient, well-trained New Model Army led by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) won against the king's forces/the "Cavaliers" in 1648
-then the Puritans (who saw Cromwell as their leader) drove the Presbyterians out of Parliament, which created Rump Parliament in 1649 which destroyed the House of Lords/Parliament's upper house, then Charles was executed and England became a republic governed by what was left of Parliament
-however there were differing views: radical republicans called "Levellers" wanted every Englishman to vote, others believed that only those who owned property should vote; the army led by Cromwell didn't believe the Rump Parliament was creating a godly society so more Parliament was purged again (leaving the Bare Bones Parliament), in 1653 Cromwell was proclaimed Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland and ruled along with Parliament until he died in 1658 (this brought stability), by 1660 England generally agreed it should restore the monarchy
Glorious Revolution
both Charles II (r. 1660-1685) and James II (r. 1685-1688) believed in the divine right of kings but were realistic enough to know that they would never rule absolutely, certain members of Parliament (called Whigs) tried to prevent Charles' Catholic brother James from taking the throne (Charles' supporters were called Tories, which later became synonymous with Britain's political conservatives), later James II gave Catholics exemptions from some laws (enabling them to serve in the army, courts, and local governments)
-the fear of England becoming Catholic again united Parliament's Whigs and Tories who invited the Protestant William III of Orange (in the Dutch Republic) to take the English throne from his uncle (William's wife Mary was James' oldest daughter) this led to a bloodless revolution in 1688 when William III of Orange invaded England and defeated James II (who fled to France), William and Mary were crowned as England's co-monarchs the next year and agreed to a bill of rights made by Parliament (this required Parliament's permission before monarchs could pass laws, protected people from "excessive bail" and "cruel and unusual punishments," and it gave England's residents the right to address their grievances to the government)
Dutch Republic/United Providences of the Netherlands
-maintained a republican form of government through the 17th century, it was made up of sovereign states that formed a loose confederacy
-Holland was the strongest province: although they were unable to control their counterparts, they were a major power due to engaging in international trade from their port city of Amsterdam (ex. the Dutch language of Afrikaans is still spoken in South Africa), the Dutch East India Company was established to conduct trade in Asia, Amsterdam became an international banking center, and Dutch philosophers such as Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) advocated free trade among nations, (the Dutch started the colony that is now New York)
-in the 17th century there was significant religious toleration in the Netherlands (which became a refuge for Europe's persecuted people), and it was the Dutch Golden Age in painting (when artists like Rembrandt [1606-1669] painted realisticand elegant scenes of businessmen at work, landscapes, and portraits), by the early 18th century the Dutch Republic had been displaced as a major world power by England and France
Tsar Peter the Great/Peter I
(prior to the late 17th century Russia drew very little from Western culture) he turned Russia towards the West because he saw European countries growing more powerful and successful and wanted the same for Russia, he copied Western methods of military and economic organization, he required men in Russia's upper class and government officials to shave their beards, the French language and Western clothing became popular among Russia's important people, privileged youth were sent to western Europe for education and Western art was imported into Russia, in his Northern War (1700-1721) he fought the Swedish using techniques he had learned from the Swedes, he brought Russia's Orthodox Church under state control, improved the administration of Russian government, and built Russia's new capital/St. Petersburg (his "window to Europe") in western Russia
Age of Discovery
staring in the late 15th century, the main countries which were succeeding in oversea explorations, colonies, and trade were Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and France, these countries' influence in the Americas is still seen by the official languages which are spoken in the Americas
the belief that there is a limited amount of wealth in the world (thus a country wants to sell more than it buys when trading with other countries in order to keep gaining wealth for your country, especially in the form of gold) [France's Louis XIV's chief minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, was one of many who thought this way]
Age of Discovery conflicts/wars
-Britain (with the British East India Company) and France (with the Compagnie des Indes) fought as they tried to colonize the West Indies, America, and India, they passed tariffs and navigation laws to benefit themselves
-the War of Jenkins' Ear started in 1739 because Prime Minister Robert Walpole was pressured by Parliament to strike at Spain (this treated British soldiers in the West Indies with contempt, this war was named after the incident in 1731 when English captain Robert Jenkins had his ear cut off by a Spaniard)
-the War of Jenkins' Ear merged with/subsumed by the War of Austrian Secession 1740-1748, France supported Prussia's aggression against Austria (who was an enemy of France) but Britain wanted the Netherlands to continue to be controlled by Austria (instead of France, who Britain was at war with) so France and Britain began fighting for that reason, by 1744 the war expanded into the New World and France supported Spain in its war against Britain, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended this war but it was more like a truce
-the diplomatic revolution of 1756 was when Britain and Prussia (former enemies) became allies because of the Convention of Westminster, and agreed that France was a threat, (consequently, former enemies France and Austria became allies)
-the Seven Years' War (called the French and Indian War in America) 1756-1763 was primarily between the French and the British in the New World, it began in the colonies when the American officer George Washington attacked French forces in the Ohio Valley, and it started in Europe when Prussia invaded Saxony (another German state which Frederick II/the Great distrusted) which led to Austria, France Sweden, Russia, and other German states joining Saxony against Prussia (after Russia's empress died and was replaced by Tsar Peter III in 1762, Russia and financial aid from Britain under the secretary of state/William Pitt the Elder [1708-1778] to weaken France enabled Prussia to win)
-while France was financially weakened, Britain sent troops to help the colonies take land from the French, the most significant French defeat was on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City in 1759 (which marked the end of the French Empire in America and the beginning of French-Canadians being ruled by the British, the British tried not to make them angry thus not establishing the Church of England as Quebec's official religion), and the major British victory over the French in India at Plassey in 1557 made it easier for the British East India Company to conquer much of India
-the Seven Years' War/French and Indian War was ended by the Treaty of Paris in 1763 which gave Canada, the Ohio River Valley, and territory east of the Mississippi (except Florida, which was Spain's) to Britain (they also made important gains in the West Indies and India), Prussia had gained significant power and land at the expense of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire
government-sanctioned pirates/buccaneers (ex. Sir Francis Drake plundered Spanish ships with the English monarch's approval)
American Revolution
-1765-1783, this was the American revolt against the government of King George III (1738-1820), this had several significant effects: it led to the creation of the United States, it contributed to the growth of English-speaking Canada because many Loyalists/Tories who opposed the revolution went to Canada, the most important documents to come out of the revolution drew heavily on some of the Enlightenment ideas, and it helped set the stage for the French Revolution
-after the Seven Years'/French and Indian War the British issued the Proclamation of 1763 (which prohibited American settlers from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains in order to avoid war with American Indians) because they wanted to end fighting in North America in order to use their army elsewhere, Britain also decided to enforce the various navigation laws passed by Parliament since the late 1600s (which the colonists didn't like because they were notorious smugglers and traded illegally with the French, Dutch, Spaniards, etc.)
-the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was an American protest which was a result of the British East India Company being granted a monopoly on selling tea in the colonies in order to deal with the company's financial difficulties (this made colonial tea merchants and smugglers upset)
-France was the first to help the colonies in their war against Britain (because they were still enemies) and they provided much help in the form of troops, gunpowder, and a navy (most of these resources were provided to the Americans by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais [1732-1799] under the cover of the nonexistent corporation Rodrique, Hortalez, and Company), later the Spaniards, Dutch, and other enemies of Britain from the 7 Years' War helped the Americans
-even though Britain lost the American colonies they were still the greatest and most powerful empire in the world at that point in time because they had land in other places which were generating wealth for them
Scientific Revolution
-in the late Middle Ages the Islamic world was ahead of Western civilization in scientific and mathematical knowledge (we even get these words from them: algebra, alchemy, almanac) but by the time Muslims made their second failed attempt to capture Vienna in 1683 the West had surpassed the Muslim world in scientific achievement (one reason was because the printing press had been completely banned in the Muslim world in the 16th century)
-Paracelsus (1493-1541) observed that illness often stems from a chemical imbalance in the body; Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) dissected human cadavers/corpses (a practice considered sinful by many in the Middle Ages but which helps us to know more about the body); William Harvey (1578-1657) studied the heart and blood circulation
-throughout the Middle Ages Europeans thought that the earth was the center of the universe (because it was the view of the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Ptolemy, and certain passages of the Bible like the sun standing still seemed to indicate this and that Earth's inhabitants are the center of God's concern, thus this belief was scientific and theological)
-emphasis on the scientific method/the empirical method (focusing on observation and experimentation) had roots prior to the 17th century (the ancient writers Herodotus, Thucydides, and Saint Luke tried to discover the truth and report historical events acurately) but the demand that one's life should conform exclusively to these findings is essentially a modern idea
Nicolaus Copernicus
1473-1543 (from Royal Prussia, which was part of the Kingdom of Poland), he wrote On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (which was finally published the year of his death due to anticipated controversy), this was the first work to doubt the Ptolemaic view of the universe (it replaced the idea of the universe being geocentric with the idea that is was heliocentric, he came to this conclusion because Ptolemy's view was messy and illogical which conflicted with Greek philosopher Plato's view of a perfectly symmetrical universe), it sparked controversy and was placed on the Index of Prohibited Books (and his view was banned by the Roman Catholic Church until the 1820s)
Galileo Galilei
1564-1642 (an Italian), he was the first person to use a telescope (developed in the Netherlands) to study the universe, he observed craters, mountains, and valleys on the moon and spots on the sun (which challenged the prevailing view of the heavenly bodies being perfect) and he saw that Jupiter had four moons (challenging the view that heavenly bodies orbited nothing but the earth), he published his most important work The Starry Messenger in 1610, he believed that the universe was a "grand book...written in the language of mathematics" and that we should apply reason to observation and experimentation in order to expand our understanding of the world God has made, he wasn't against Christianity but he did challenge church authorities and scholars who accepted ancient views uncritically in his 1632 book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems--Ptolemaic and Copernican (which contained the doctrine of uniformity), church authorities (who already felt embattled by the growth of the Protestant Reformation) summoned him in 1633 to come to Rome where he was tried by the Inquisition and ordered to renounce his views, he renounced his views (believing that the truth would eventually prevail) and spent the rest of his life under house arrest where he was forbidden to write about the universe, (in the 1990s Pope John Paul II would formally acknowledge what everyone knew: that Galileo had been right)
Johannes Kepler
1571-1630 (a German), he agreed with Galileo that God wanted us to learn about the world, he was also a Lutheran and mathematician, he had been the assistant of the astronomer the Dane Tycho Brahe (1546-1601, who had recorded the positions of planets and stars for over 20 years), although Brahe rejected the idea of a heliocentric universe Kepler accepted it and correctly argued that the planets' orbit around the sun was elliptical (instead of the popular circular idea) in his 1609 book The New Astronomy although he couldn't explain why
Isaac Newton
1642-1727 (British), he was a scientist who discovered many things including why planets had elliptical orbits, in Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy/Principia he argued that gravity (the mutual attraction of physical objects in the universe) explained the orderly movement of the planets, the way he scientifically explained the heliocentric universe caused opposition to fade
Sir Francis Bacon
1561-1626 (British), he was the most important early advocate of the scientific method, he was a philosopher (as well as a lawyer and a royal official) but he had little patience with philosophers and theologians when they base their ideas about the world on abstract ideas, he advocated inductive reasoning/the inductive method (gathering particular information and using that information to arrive at a general theory that can be tested using repeatable experimentation) which is the primary method used by many scientists, he was the first major figure to argue that knowledge should be used for the betterment of society, his best known books are Novum Organum (1620) and New Atlantis (1627)
Rene Descartes
1596-1650 (French), he is most credited with formulating the deductive method (which is used by mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, and theologians) which is beginning with general principles and derives particular information from them, ex. he noted the definite principle that he could think and from it derived the particular fact that he existed, "Cogito ergo sum/I think therefore I am" this is an important principle in ontology (the study of being) and which he derived other principles from, he also argued that the fact that humans can contemplate the idea of perfection (even though they have never seen it) must mean that God exists because we could only have gotten the idea from an outside source which is perfect, in 1637 he wrote the influential work Discourse on Method, he died in Stockholm where he had been the teacher of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689)
Blaise Pascal
1623-1662 (French), he was a mathematician who invented a calculating machine in 1640, he devised an influential theory of chance and probability, he learned a lot from intellectuals (ex. Bacon and Descartes), he didn't think that religion and science needed to conflict (he wrote: "If we violate the principle of reason our religion will be absurd, and it will be laughed at"), in his collection of notes called Pensees/Thoughts he argued that reason alone was insufficient to understand all of human experience, Pascal's Wager appealed to common sense by saying that it is reasonable to risk believing in God because if God doesn't exist he will have lost nothing in the next life but if God does exist than the believer has gained everything
Gottfried Leibniz
1646-1716 (German), an important mathematician who appears to have developed calculus independently of Newton, he also invented a calculating machine 30 years after Pascal, he made rational arguments defending the concept of God, in his Theodicee he argues that this (a world with both good and suffering) is the best of all possible worlds (because neither a world with no suffering nor one with no good to counteract suffering would be as good)
The Enlightenment
by the early 18th century intellectuals more commonly believed that all human phenomena could be understood through the study of the natural world instead of through religion (for example, church authorities had opposed theories like the heliocentric universe which had turned out to be true), there were very few atheists but many les lumieres/enlightened ones/philosophers were deists (believing in a God who is like a watchmaker, God created the universe but doesn't involve Himself with it, like laissez faire), some of these people believed that humans could create perfect societies after they uncovered the truth about how the world and people operate, most key figures were Frenchmen who admired England's political system (the monarch and Parliament sharing power) because France had a lack of freedom (they were preceded by Francois Fenelon 1651-1715 was a writer and Catholic bishop who revered but also criticized Louis XVI for his excessive power and advocated a limited monarchy and the equality of all people in the eyes of the law, he died in exile)
Charles Montesquieu
1689-1755 (French Enlightenment thinker) a philosophe who indirectly criticized France's monarch and the Roman Catholic Church in his 1721 Persian Letters, and in his 1748 book The Spirit of the Laws he tried to explain the "natural laws" governing politics (including the importance of checks and balances and separation of powers in government) which greatly influenced James Madison (most credited with coming up with the American Constitution) and Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence)
Francois Voltaire
1694-1778 (French Enlightenment thinker) he influenced people psychologically/in their thinking, he admired the English political system (its relative religious liberty, freedom of the press, etc.) as is expressed in his 1733 Philosophic Letters on the English, his 1759 novel Candide urges people to improve society by putting Enlightenment ideas into practice, he advocated religious freedom in his 1763 Treatise of Toleration saying that "all men are brothers under God"; one of his famous quotes was "Ecrasez l'infame!/Crush the infamous thing [meaning unquestioning religious faith, traditional religion, and superstition]!"; and a devastating earthquake killing 100k people in Lisbon (in Portugal) on a Sunday in 1755 caused him and many other philosophes to question the idea of a loving God
Denis Diderot
1713-1784 (French Enlightenment thinker), he attacked the church, most remembered for editing the West's first multivolume (28) collection of learning Encyclopedia, or Classified Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades in 1751-1752 which became important to enlightenment people (it attacked uncritical religious belief/superstition and advocated religious tolerance, political liberalization, and social improvement based on reason and scientific discovery)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
1712-1778 (Switzerland/France Enlightenment thinker), he was a friend of Diderot and was one of the Enlightenment's most influential thinkers, he made famous the concept of the noble savage, although the central concept of the general will [the sum of a societies highest aspirations and which seeks the good of all] in his 1762 Social Contract [a theory which Hobbes and Locke also believed forms of] is difficult to define in practical terms this work was very influential (it government was a necessary evil and the best thing a society can do is govern by the general will and those who disagree should be forced to submit to the general will for their own good, thus dissenters are "forced to be free")
Cesare Beccaria
1738-1794 (Italian Enlightenment thinker), he advocated the humane treatment of prisoners, reform more than punishment, and argued against the death penalty and torture in his 1764 book Essay on Crimes and Punishments
Adam Smith
1723-1790 (Scottish Enlightenment thinker) wrote The Wealth of Nations which promoted a laissez-faire approach to economics, he thought that the "invisible hand" would shape the economy for the good of all who pursued their own self-interest (which requires you to price things so people would want to buy them) which is the essence of capitalism
David Hume
1711-1776 (Scottish Enlightenment thinker [the capital Edinburgh was sometimes called the "Athens of the North"]), he wrote Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (published after his death) and Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) in which he argued against the credibility of miracles, maintained that all religious claims are open to question, and that all beliefs people have are derived from the perceptions of their senses
Edward Gibbon
1737-1794 (English Enlightenment thinker), in 1776 he wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire a multivolume work that explained the historical processes that led to the downfall of Rome strictly in secular terms (many people no longer considered the will or God or providence as a viable explanation of historical events)
Jeremy Bentham
1748-1832 (British Enlightenment thinker), he is the one most associated with utilitarianism (a philosophical innovation of the late 18th and early 19th century which calls for the "greatest good for the greatest number" of people)
Mary Wollstonecraft
1759-1797 (English Enlightenment thinker), argued that women should have greater freedom to pursue their own intellectual and political interests, in her 1792 The Vindication of the Rights of Women she wrote, "Till women are more rationally educated the progress in human virtue and improvement" will be slowed
Marie Jean [Antoine Nicolas] de Condorcet
1743-1794 (French Enlightenment thinker), he was one of the most optimistic writers, in his 1794 Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind he claims there is "no limit to the perfecting of the powers of man" and through reason, study, and tolerance humans could achieve perfection
Benjamin Franklin
1706-1790 (American Enlightenment thinker), he published influential newspapers, he was an early advocate of American colonial unity, he gave money to help the poor, his autobiography humorously noted that perfection is beyond the human grasp, in 1776-1785 he went to France to ask them to help the colonies in the American Revolution and he exemplified America's commitment to ordinary people, he was a deist and encouraged his readers to "imitate Jesus and Socrates," his experiments proved that lightning was a form of electricity, some of his inventions were the Franklin stove and bifocals, he also began public libraries, founded the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society, and organized firefighters
Rene de Chateaubriand
1768-1848 (French Enlightenment thinker), he studied and wrote about many topics, in his 1802 Genius of Christianity he discusses the effects religious feelings have on history, government, the arts, nature, and the conscience
Joseph II
r. 1765-1790 the Catholic emperor of Austria (influenced by the Enlightenment), he tried to govern according to principles of sound political and moral philosophy, his Edict of Toleration in 1781 granted Christians of various persuasions (ex. Lutherans, Calvinists) the freedom of worship, after 1781 Jews in the Austrian empire had more freedom (they could live outside ghettos, didn't have to wear the yellow identification star, and could attend a university), he gave himself control of church lands instead of the pope (of which he sold about 1/3 of the monasteries and converts to raise money to support hospitals), he valued education as a way to make the rich and poor more equal therefore he didn't interfere with Catholic orders that promoted education (by the end of the 1700s more children attended school in Austria than any other European country), he also freed serfs which meant that peasants didn't legally have to work the land of property owners
-however he let tariffs/high taxes on imports stay even though philosophes argued against them, and the abolition of serfdom in Austria was repealed after he died
Frederick the Great
r. 1740-1786 ruler of Prussia (influenced by the Enlightenment), he invited Voltaire to live near Berlin for three years, he improved the land for farming, he allowed Catholics and Jews to settle in his mostly Protestant (Lutheran) country, he granted his subjects limited freedom of speech, tried to make a more efficient legal system, and established a more professional bureaucracy (a collection of government offices and functions that would carry on after his death)
-however Prussia actually ended up more aristocratic after his death and Prussia's nobles continued to enjoy great power, privileges, and influence
Catherine the Great
r. 1762-1796 Russia's ruler (influenced by the Enlightenment), she carried on correspondence with key Enlightenment figures (ex. Voltaire and Diderot), advocated several reforms, she also questioned the death penalty and torture in criminal punishment, and questioned the institution of serfdom
-however she also made government more power hungry/conflicting by dividing Russia into 50 provinces, and a rebellion led by Emelyn Pugachev against Russia's wealthy landowners ended in greater repression of peasants
Agricultural Revolution
this started in England (which had large supplies of coal and iron and a longstanding tradition of mining, a transportation system made of roads, rivers, and canals, and its private businessmen were mostly not interfered with by the government), it mainly involved improving methods for raising crops
-Jethro Tull (Englishman) 1678-1741 incorrectly argued that manure was not useful for fertilizer, but he did use the more successful method of using metal plows to plant seed (which had greater crop yeilds) instead of just throwing the seed on the ground
-Charles "Turnip" Townsend (Englishman) 1674-1738 found that if different crops were planted in fields in different years the soil would not become depleted of minerals (because different crops take different minerals out of the soil)
-land formerly shared in common was combined with other properties and fenced off to be used for raising sheep (the enclosure movement), this made it hard for small farmers but it also made farming more productive so that by 1800 less than half of Britain's population had to be farmers (before most people had to be farmers)
Industrial Revolution
this started in England (which had large supplies of coal and iron and a longstanding tradition of mining, a transportation system made of roads, rivers, and canals, and its private businessmen were mostly not interfered with by the government), people began investing in other innovations
-in the 18th century cotton cloth factories emerged (which was made possible by the invention of the spinning jenny, which enabled one person to produce much more cloth faster than it took to spin cotton into fabric by hand), this textile industry provided jobs in cities to people who had formerly worked as farmers (the city of Manchester and Liverpool [a port city] both grew), cotton was used for many things and was mostly from the American South (where "king cotton" ruled)
-James Watt (Scottish living in England) 1736-1819 invented the steam engine (the first steam powered machine) which powered cotton mills and iron production, eventually leading to Britain's first railroad which connected Liverpool, Manchester, and many other cities by the mid-1800s
-the demand for cotton kept slavery going (because it was primarily from the American South), steam powered machines and factories made them easier to operate so many women and children ended up working in factories, thousands of people left the country to work in factories in the cities (thus greatly increasing the population of cities), there were no laws concerning sanitation and pollution so disease spread through many cities (in the early 19th century more than 1/4 of Britain's children died before they were 5), Britain's mines/pits was also difficult and dangerous (from which we get the term "the pits"), factory work kept people tied to clocks (because they started and stopped at precise times) and many employers kept meticulous control over their employees (with harsh/strict fines, productivity standards, and even physical punishment or being fired), there were no laws protecting workers from being overworked or abused by their employer, however incomes did rise and what we call the middle class came into existence in the 19th century
-the Luddites (early 19th century, in northern England) were workers who saw industrialization as something that threatened their livelihood so they would attack and destroy factories and machines (thus people who do not like new technologies are sometimes called "luddites")
-by the 1840s technical schools were established in France and Germany and governments encouraged industrialization (through building roads, railroads [which covered western Europe by the 1860s], canals, etc. and contributing money to some projects)
-Germans, French, and others had also copied Britain's institution of the joint-stock investment bank, leading stock corporations: Darmstadt Bank in Germany and Credit Mobilier in France (in 1872 officers of the Union Pacific Railroad/UPR in the US formed the Credit Mobilier in America Corporation in order to build railroads at the expense of the government and citizens but used the company to give themselves large salaries and they bribed key congressmen and the vice president with stock to keep it quiet, after this both economic freedom and government regulation were emphasized in the US)
industrial economy reform
this started in England (although in late 18th and early 19th century Britain didn't have democracy as 21st century American think of it there was more freedom and interaction across classes than anywhere else in Europe)
-in 1829 Catholics received the right to sit in Parliament, in 1833 slavery was abolished in the British Empire, the Public Health Act of 1848 encouraged local cities and towns to pass sanitary measures
-the expansion of suffrage/voting was crucial to bringing reform, the early 1800s some cities had representation in Parliament and others didn't (sometimes sparsely populated rural areas/"rotten boroughs" had representatives in the House of Commons), the House of Commons passed the Reform Bill of 1832 (to let Britain's middle class vote) but the House of Lords refused to pass it this led to riots, strikes and mass meetings among workers and King William IV (r. 1830-1837) thought it might start a revolution so he pressured the Lords until they passed the bill
-the Sadler Committee heard reports from children about the bad working conditions consequently the Factory Act of 1833 prohibited children under 13 from working more than 9 hours a day and people 13-18 from working more than 69 hours a week (later the Factories Act of 1847/Ten Hours Act prohibited women and boys under 18 from working more than 10 hours a day, and in 1874 Parliament passed a law prohibiting requiring men to work more than 10 hours a day)
-the Chartist movement in 1838 was the first large-scale movement of lower-class workers in history, they got millions of Britons to sign petitions that included the language of a People's Charter, these petitions said that all adult men should be able to vote and that members if Parliament should get paid (in order to make corruption less attractive)
-labor unions began to emerge: (labor unions became legal in Britain in 1871, in France in 1884, and in Germany in 1891), labor unions mainly wanted things like better pay and better workplace conditions (including many things workers now take for granted), British social reformer Robert Owen formed the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union in 1834 (mainly to agitate for an 8-hour workday), and union members of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers paid a small weekly sum in exchange for unemployment benefits from the union
French Revolution
the country's financial situation grew progressively weaker (mainly due to constant wars), when France helped Prussia in the War of Austrian Succession the helped create another strong power in Europe (which would later be a threat) and it also brought Britain into the war (and because they were both global powers this made the war more expensive)
-before the revolution France was divided into three classes/estates: the First Estate (the clergy who paid no taxes except for the Roman Catholic Church's relatively small monetary "gifts"), the Second Estate (the nobility, further divided in nobles of the sword [who could trace their noble status back many generations although not all of them were wealthy] and nobles of the robe [who had purchased their status, ex. by buying positions in France's high courts/parlements] who had great influence, paid few taxes, and collected dues from peasants living in their land, some nobles wanted governmental reform and others wanted to protect their status/privileges), and the Third Estate (those who weren't in either of the other estates, including relatively wealthy merchants, today's middle class, bourgeoisie [professionals, ex. doctors, lawyers, bankers] and peasants)
-factors encouraging the revolution: by 1789 the bourgeoisie owned about 20% of France's land and wanted to become nobles of the robe but the offices for sale were either too expensive or there weren't enough to go around, also urban workers (gardeners, factory workers, etc.) experienced a rapid increase in the cost of living with only a relatively small increase in pay (62% and 22% respectively in 1785-1789), although peasants were better off than those in other European countries they were still poor, had to pay taxes to the king and involuntary tithes to the church, some of them rented land to work from nobles, and sometimes the game on their land would be taken by nobles
-Abbe Emmanuel Sieyes 1748-1836 published the 1789 pamphlet What is the Third Estate? which expressed the frustration leading to the revolution ("What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been in the political order up to the present? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something.")
-due to France's financial position Louis XVI (r. 1774-1792) convened an Assembly of Notables in early 1787 to get permission to get the First and Second Estates' permission to tax them but after he of course didn't get it and French bankers stopped lending money to the king he finally called for the Estates General to convene in 1788 [and finally assembling in 1789], as delegates for the Estates General were being chosen cahiers de doleances/complaint reports were being written (topics they covered included requiring laws to apply to French military personnel the same as other Frenchmen, and for no tax to be considered legal "unless accepted by the representatives of the people and sanctioned by the king"), once the some 1700 delegates assembled they were politically divided the Third Estate thought every delegate should vote and it also wanted to double its number of delegates (because the Third Estate made up 95% of France) and the king allowed them to have more delegates however he insisted that each estate only get one vote, the Third Estate's dissatisfaction with this led to the first action of revolution: led by Sieyes and Honore Gabriel Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791) the Third Estate renamed itself the National Assembly and called the other two estates to join it however Louis XVI locked them out of the hall where everyone was meeting so they met in an indoor tennis court and swore not to leave Versailles until they had written a new constitution for France then the king ordered the first two estates to join the National Assembly and this Tennis Court Oath of June 20, 1789 marked the beginning of the revolution
-now called Bastille Day: riots had broken out in many cities due to a downturn in the economy and Louis XVI sent 17,000-20,000 troops to Paris to help the 5,000 already there to stop the riots, then people in Paris attacked the Bastille (which used to be an arms depot but was now a prison and a symbol of the king's power) and they freed the prisoners killed the guards (parading some of their heads through the streets), and about 100 rioters were killed in the process
-chaos ensued: some peasants attacked nobles in the Great Fear due to rumors that nobles were hoarding grain to starve peasants
-the National Assembly passed laws which completely ended the ancien regime/old order of absolute monarchs and left France with a constitutional monarchy (working with the National Assembly under the constitution, the French constitution of 1791 allowed the king to choose and dismiss his ministers as he wanted, direct foreign policy and the armed forces, and veto legislation from the Legislative Assembly unless the veto was overrided by the assembly), by 1790 nobles and clergy lost many privileges: the tithe was abolished, nobility cold not longer hunt on peasants' land, and nobles lost their titles (all residents of France were now called citoyens/citizens) and the 1789 "Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen" made all citizens politically equal and enjoyed inherent rights to "liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression" (it also said that "all authority rests essentially in the nation" which lead many to say that this was the roots of modern nationalism)
-the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790 required clergy to take an oath of loyalty to the nation (and the 10% of land owned by the church was made available to the nation) and injected democracy into the church politics by requiring bishops to be elected by laymen but about half of France's clergy refused to sign the oath and many people remained loyal to the church
-in 1791 4/26 (million) of the people could vote (requirements: men over 25 who paid taxes valued at 3 days' wages), additionally to be eligible to serve in the national government was based on property and wealth (only 50k were eligible), this was based on the assumption that people without property did not have a vested interest thus should not vote (although they had inviolable rights of free speech and fair trials) but political activists would eventually change this
-Olympe de Gouges 1748-1793 wrote Declaration of the Rights of Women and Female Citizens which called for political equality for men and women
-Louis XVI and his family tried to escape France in 1791 (in order to Austrian emperor Leopold II's [r. 1790-1792] help and the help of the numerous nobles and military officers/emigres who had left France when the revolution started) but they were arrested 40 miles before the Netherlands boarder and returned to the capital and the rumor that they were kidnapped was spread, two months later the Austrian emperor and Prussia's King Friedrich Wilhelm II (r. 1786-1797) in the Declaration of Pillnitz said that their armies would invade France if if its royal family was harmed, radicals in the Legislative Assembly (including Georges Jaques Danton [1759-1794] and Jean Paul Marat [1743-1793] who were members of the Jacobin Club, which is why political radicals afterwards have been called "Jacobins") responded by declaring war
-early defeats in battle contributed to the revolution becoming even more radical, in 1792 mobs invaded the Legislative Assembly (which had replaced the National Assembly) and forced them to end the monarchy and allow all men to vote, then the revolution was temporarily controlled by the Paris Commune (many of whose members were called sans-culottes/people without fine clothing) instead of the assembly, then Danton led the Paris Commune in executing thousands of people who they considered to be antirevolutionary or potentially threatening to the cause
-in late 1792 the new National Convention (which had taken the Legislative Assembly's place) had ended the monarchy and early the next year Louis XVI was publicly beheaded on the newly invented guillotine
-in the National Convention there were the Girondins (who represented the countryside, favored a federal system, and had been opposed to eliminating the monarchy) and the Mountain (who represented Paris and a more centralized government, had liked the elimination of the monarchy), radicals in the Paris Commune and their allies in the National Convention began to purge the leading Girondins, and Vendee (a region in western France) revolted against the questionable authority of the National Convention and started a counterrevolution (called for an end to the new military draft, for a decentralized form of government, and for the monarchy and the ancien regime to return)
-meanwhile France was still at war with Austria and Prussia as well as their allies Britain, the Dutch Republic, Portugal, and Spain (who were fighting to end the revolution and restore the monarchy in France), France's war effort was directed by the Committee of Public Safety which was led by Danton and later by Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) which rallied much of the nation to form a national army (for the country instead of for a ruler)
-to ensure political allegiance to France during this time of distress the Committee of Public Safety (the 12 man team which governed France at this time) killed (with the guillotine, drowning [like in Nantes], etc.) 25k-50k potential enemies of the revolution (including Olympe de Gouges, many Girondins, and Queen Marie Antoinette) in the Reign of Terror
-laws were passed to move further away from the ancien regime but they ended up upsetting many French people who considered themselves Catholic: Churches were closed, monasteries' and nobles' libraries were confiscated and combined with the new National Library, antirevolutionary clergy were executed and others were encouraged to abandon their vow of chastity, the word "saint" disappeared from street names, the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris was renamed the Temple of Reason, Robespierre started a new religion called the "Cult of the Supreme Being," and they even changed from using the Christian calendar to using a calendar which started on the day the Republic of France/Sept. 22, 1792 (thus Sept. 22, 1795 was called "year three") was proclaimed and which had 10 day weeks (the 10th being a day of rest) and the months were renamed (ex. a summer month was named Thermidor/heat) but this calendar never became popular and completely died in 1806
-all's fair in love, politics, and war: the tables turned on the radicals in the Paris Commune and Committee of Public Safety when Robespierre (who had ordered the execution of Danton a few months earlier) was executed
-the radical revolution came to an end in the Thermidorian Reaction when Jocobins were purged from political groups and the influential Jocobin Club of Paris was shut down, peace was achieved between the Vendee and central government, and former revolutionaries were now the target of persecution, in 1795 the National Convention wrote a new constitution which established a legislature overseen by a Directory of 5 men however their was still political instability (challenges from the political left/radicals and right/royalists suggested that the Directory wouldn't last long), plus France was still at war (which would last almost constantly until 1815)
-France had drafted 700k men although many of them deserted, and the army's leadership was lacking due to the execution of many officers (many were nobles who potentially had antirevolutionary sediments), the political upheaval also effected the armies physical resources, this revolutionary army took land from the Netherlands (which was governed by Austria) to promote political liberation form monarchs, they also liberated northern Italy from Austria in 1797 (consequently the Catholic Church lost many of its privleges in Switzerland, and the pope fled from the Italian Papal States when the French arrived), the constant warfare stalled industrial investment/advancement in Europe so the British pulled ahead in that area, by 1799 the military was the only large institution which held broad esteem in France
-throughout Europe and in the Americas France (especially Paris) was looked to as the center of change, the London Corresponding Society kept up with revolutionary thought and the anti-British Society of United Irishmen appreciated the French Revolution's nationalist sentiments, but governments with monarchs tried to repress pro-revolutionary groups (like Britain repressing the Society of United Irishmen and passing the Alien and Sedition Act in the US partially to prevent French revolutionaries from immigrating there), in the 1790s battles were fought in Poland (where some sympathized with revolutionary concepts) which promoted nationalism and anti-Russian policies, however Austria,Russia, and Prussia (who didn't want the possibility of a revolutionary Poland) wiped Poland off of the map between 1793-1795 (it wouldn't become a separate country again until after WWI)
Napoleonic Europe
-forces who wanted to bring back the monarchy (a strong person who could bring stability and order to France) attempted to capture the city of Toulouse, then in late 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821 the most impressive French general from Corsica) returned to Paris where (with the help of conspirators and soldiers) he abolished the Directory and established a three-man consulate to govern France (Napoleon claimed the title First Consul) and drew up a new constitution making him France's sole ruler, after someone tried to kill him in 1804 Napoleon said that he had to have complete control to maintain order and renamed himself France's emperor (which was approved in a plebiscite by France's voters), Napoleon was generally popular because he brought stability to France and led several successful military battles which brought France wealth, Napoleon also understood the importance of Catholicism to the French (his 1801 Concordat with the Roman Catholic Church gave the pope power to depose bishops [which only Napoleon could appoint], and he abolished the anti-Christian revolutionary calendar in 1806), he also ensured that advancement in the government and military would come from merit instead of status: his 1804 Civil Code abolished primogeniture (which required most of a father's property to go to his firstborn son) and protected personal property and he gave male peasants rights so they were equal to others in the eyes of the law, he also put most newspapers out of business and the remaining ones had to submit articles to the government for approval
-Napoleon threatened British naval and trade routes to India by occupying Egypt (where the French instituted some European reforms in this Muslim country: ex. religious taxes, torturing prisoners, and slavery were abolished, and many people of particular trades/educations came to Egypt, some of whomfound the Rosetta Stone [which enabled Europeans to translate Greek and Egyptian hyroglipgics]) until Britain led by Lord Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) defeated them at Aboukir Bay
-due to costly wars Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana Territory to the US for $15 million in 1803 (President Thomas Jefferson authorized American agents to purchase only New Orleans in order to be able to freely use the entire Mississippi River, many people still speak French in Louisiana parishes) which made the US double in size and get more power and wealth (before selling the Louisiana Territory Napoleon's army had lost a war between slaves and their French masters in Haiti)
-the French spread changes (including abolishing serfdom, establishing the concepts of property rights and advancement by merit) in the places they conquered and occupied, countries which wanted to defeat France also had to reform in order to be better equipped: Prussia made changes (they learned from the French that a well-trained citizen army is better than a mercenary, excessive punishment of soldiers was abolished, colleges for studying war were started, professional strategists studied war tactics, and patriotism was promoted, however their Junker/noble class retained much power) which were also influenced by the Romantic movement and contributed to the growth of Prussian nationalism, and although Napoleon had limited Prussia's army to 42k Prussia had 270k in 1814 because they conscripted a new army each year
-Napoleon's army was on its way to Portugal to stop them from trading with Britain but Britain contributed forces to help Spain stop France's army by using guerrilla warfare (sometimes called asymmetrical warfare, this is using nontraditional tactics in order to defeat a stronger opponent, ex. hit-and-run raids, destruction of supply and communication lines, staying hidden, wearing the enemy down, etc.) on the French army going through Spain (other times these tactics were used include by the Vietcong and communist North Vietnamese fighters against US forces, Afghanis and Muslims against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and partisan groups [especially in eastern Europe] against the Nazis in WWII)
-in 1805 Napoleon was defeated at Trafalgar (off the southwestern coast of Spain)
-in the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit Russia gave some territory to Napoleon but in 1810 Russia decided to stop tolerating Napoleon's Continental System (which was trying to economically break Britain by preventing European countries from trading with Britain), in 1812 about a million of Napoleon's men invaded Russia and Russia responded with a scorched-earth policy (burning crops and towns [including Moscow]) to prevent Napoleon's forces from living off the land, snow and the Russian forces worked against the French as they began to retreat in Oct. (only 1 out of each 6 French soldiers survived)
-he had the most power of any European (until 1940 when Hitler controlled most of Europe) evidenced by: he defeated Austria and Russia at Austerlitz (in central Europe) in 1805, his Berlin Decrees in 1806 which forbade countries under his rule from trading with Britain (this gave rise to the Continental System, and led to an undeclared war [in which the Americans took many less ships than the French did, threatened to arrest the American officials in Paris who were also asked for a bribe before doing business/the XYZ Affair, it was mostly fought in the West Indies between 1798-1800] against the US because they were trading with Britain), and acquired the title King of Italy
-after Napoleon's failed Russian invasion the Quadruple Alliance (Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain) tried to defeat him in 1813, he suffered a major defeat at Leipzig in present-day Germany, and in 1814 his enemies' troops entered Paris and hen lost his throne and was exiled on the island of Elba off of Italy
-Napoleon escaped from Elba to Paris and got the French excited with promises that the early French Revolution was fighting for but the Quadruple Alliance defeated him in 1815 at Waterloo in Belgium, then he was exiled to a small island in the Atlantic named St. Helena where he died six years later
immediately after Napoleon
-the Congress of Vienna in 1814 and 1815 discussed how Europe would be organized after Napoleon was defeated and sought to maintain peace, they wanted to prevent any country from dominating the others, new buffer states (ex. Belgium) were established, Prussia's territory expanded to the Rhine River in the west, and Austria gained control of northern Italy, France lost territory and was required to restore the monarchy but the peace terms weren't burdensome, (Russia, Prussia, Austria, Britain, and France [the major powers] were called the Concert of Europe, and the most influential member was the Austrian prince Klemens von Metternich [1773-1859])
Crimean War
1853-1856 Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire were fighting against Russia, mostly fought along the coast of the Black Sea
-the Ottoman's gave France the right to oversee Christian shrines in the Middle East but Russia wanted to do that so they occupied portions of present-day Romania which threatened France and Britain's interests in the eastern Mediterranean, however Russia lost and had to renounce authority over Christian shrines in the Ottoman Empire and allow French and British ships to trade in the Black Sea
-(like most wars) more soldiers died from disease than from battle wounds, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) greatly helped by making sure there were sanitary conditions in the field hospitals, and she also helped make nursing a respectable profession for women
conservatism and liberalism
-the Englishman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is sometimes called the "father of modern conservatism" in his 1790 book Reflections on the Revolution in France he wrote "People will not look forward to posterity who never look back to their ancestors"; conservatives value reason but don't put unrestrained confidence in it (nice-sounding ideas can still be wrong, tradition helps people determine which ideas are worthwhile), they emphasized traditional communities and considered revolutionary ideas dangerous
-liberalism made some of the new ideas more acceptable to Europe's middle class/bourgeoisie (especially in England), the best-known liberal work of this period is the 1859 On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) which argues on behalf of ideas that are now taken for granted by many in the Western world (ex. people should be left alone to pursue their interests as long as they are not being "nuisances," people should keep an open mind regarding their beliefs because they may find many of their beliefs to be mistaken, etc.), they wanted things such as freedom of speech, complete freedom of religion, and for all adult men (and some people like Mill though women should too, which would happen throughout Europe after WWI) to be able to vote
had its roots in the French Revolution, the fundamental principle of this is that all citizens are servants of the state, monarchs and political leaders under this are theoretically trying to do the good of the nation as a whole (not their own agenda), ex. after the American Civil war/1865 Americans began to refer to the Unites States as a single entity rather than a collection of entities (singular instead of plural)
-the Romantic Movement also helped nationalism, it was intellectual (thinkers began to think that groups/collectively of people have souls and personalities, German aurthor Johann Gottfried Herder [1744-1803] said that a people has its own Volksgeist/"people's spirit") and artistic focusing on the unique histories, languages, and customs of different countries, nationalists try to win people over through people's emotions and reason
-German philosopher Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) wrote a lot which is very difficult to understand but his best-known theory is that history takes shape/society develops as long-held beliefs (thesis) clash with newly emerging ideas (antithesis/the opposite or contradictory to the previous belief) which ends up forming a new set of beliefs (synthesis)
-(however romantics in England are more so remembered for their literature based on nature and emotion and thought country life was better than city life: Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834 author of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, William Wordsworth 1770-1850, Lord Byron 1788-1824, Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle 1795-1881 was influenced by German Romanticism and influenced the major American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882)
-however nationalism made some linguistic minorities feel excluded so many nationalist and regionalist movement sprang up (ex. in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland against the English, in Brittany against the French, in Quebec against the English-speaking majority in Canada, and among Serbs and other Slavs against the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
important revolutions
-in 1820 Spanish military leaders revolted against the conservative rule of Ferdinand VII (r. 1814-1833) who ignored Spain's written constitution and disbanded the country's parliament after Napoleon's defeat and the revolt caused Ferdinand to promise to abide by the constitution, later that year a revolution broke out in Naples which led to a constitutional monarchy there
-radical movements in Spain and Italy made Austria, Prussia, and Russia nervous so they joined together to make the Holy Alliance which announced the Protocol of Troppau in 1820 (which allowed them to intervene in countries which are unable to conservative order on their own)
-in 1821 Austrian troops invaded Naples and reestablished a nonconstitutional monarchy and French troops did the same in Spain in 1823 for the sole reason of restoring peace (not in order to acquire any territory)
-the Greek Revolution in 1821 was when Greek liberals and nationalists wanted independence from the predominately Muslim Ottoman Empire, this attracted the attention of influential European liberals and Romantic artists (ex. Lord Byron) because they hoped to see a rebirth of classical Greek democracy, it also pointed to the Eastern Question (which referred to the weakness/instability of Ottoman rule in the Mediterranean region, which endangered trade routes important to France and Britain so they and Russia sent ships to help the Greeks), with the additional help Greece was able to declare independence with the Treaty of London in 1830 and got a monarchy, (Belgium similarly gained its independence from the Netherlands in the 1830s)
-Russia's Tsar Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855) had to put down the Decembrist Revolt of 1825 in which nobles and military officers tried to establish a constitutional monarchy on the first day of Nicholas' rule, liberals who were his enemies hoped to take over but liberals who joined political clubs (ex. Society of True and Faithful Sons of the Fatherland) were divided, Nicholas ended the revolt and executed its leaders
the decline of France
-since the end Napoleon's regime in 1815 France was ruled by a very conservative monarch that favored the nobility and Catholics, through the late 1820s ultraroyalists (people who wanted to take France back to the ancien regime) harassed and sometimes killed Protestants and liberals (with the permission of Louis XVIII [r. 1814-1824] and Charles X [r. 1824-1830]), in 1829 Charles X dissolved the Chamber of Deputies (a legislative body which liberal reformers had just won a majority of), censored newspapers, and restricted the franchise to men with significant property, this all caused riots which Charles couldn't control which led to Charles renouncing his throne
-Charles was replaced by the liberals' choice of Louis Philippe I (r. 1830-1848) who was open to reform (the number of men eligible to vote doubled, and Catholicism was removed as the official religion) but wasn't sympathetic to radical ideas, in 1848 protesters (who wanted the franchise to widen and for the government to assist small businesses) in Paris caused the king's National Guard to open fire on them (killing 40) and barricades went up in the streets but the king decided to give up his throne instead of trying to regain control
-the Chamber of Deputies (made up of 9 men, republicans and socialists) established provisional government, Louis Blanc 1811-1882 (one of the Chamber of Deputies' leaders) established government-run shops to provide employment, soon all men were able to vote, however enough people elected a majority of conservatives to the new National Assembly that the government workshops were closed and some of their workers were drafted into the military, there were many riots but the government retained control (about 1,500 radicals were killed and 4k were exiled, and others [including Blanc] fled to England) this Revolution of 1848 ended when Louis Napoleon Bonaparte 1808-1873 (Napoleon's nephew) became president
-however in 1851 the National Assembly refused to change the constitution in order that Louis Napoleon could run for reelection so he took over (about 200 resisters were killed and 10k were exiled to Algeria in North Africa) and he held a plebiscite to ask for the people's approval of his new position and he got it (7 million to 600k) so he took the title Emperor Napoleon III (Napoleon II was Napoleon Bonaparte's son who had died) which was also approved in a plebiscite, Napoleon III tried to expand France's power, in 1858 he promised Count Camillo Benso di Cavour (the prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia) that he would help the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia to break free from the Austro-Hungarian Empire but he withdrew his troops before they were both able to gain independence (this angered French liberals [who supported the Italian's desire for independence] and conservative Catholics [who were unhappy to be at war with Catholic Austria])
-in 1862 the French went to war with Mexico (to collect debts owed to French citizens), they captured Mexico City and made Maximilian (r. 1864-1867) prince there, in 1867 France withdrew its forces in Mexico to avoid war with the US, meanwhile France acquired other colonies in Africa and Asia which they would control through the mid-1900s
-the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (which lasted six months), Napoleon III was captured and his army was quickly defeated (100k soldiers were taken prisoner at Sedan), Paris was besieged for 4 winter months (threatening starvation), German troops paraded through Paris and France had to pay the victors twice as much as the war had cost Germany, the Treaty of Frankfurt in 1871 gave France's eastern territories of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany (including their important iron and cloth mills), afterwards France was never again a dominant European power and they were angry at the Germans, France also now decided to be a republic
-Giuseppe Mazzini 1805-1872 was the most outspoken nationalist in the 19th century, he spent most of his life in exile due to his radicalism, in Switzerland, France, and England he argued for the unification of the Italian states (with Rome as the capital), his Young Italy movement constantly failed to bring revolution but it inspired many Italians, he felt no loyalty to the pope, he is most known for advocating the radical Risorgimento/resurgence movement
-obstacles to Italian nationalism in the first half of the 19th century: parts of northern and southern Italy were controlled by Austria (and in 1848 the Austro-Hungarian Empire [which was ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty] experienced a revolution), the Papal States were controlled by the Catholic Church, and Ferdinand I dismissed Metternich from office (who went to England in exile) due to protesters rioting in Vienna
-in 1848 radicals in Milan and Venice wanted independence from foreign rule, and protesters in the Papal States, Piedmont, Tuscany, and Naples got written constitutions, Charles Albert (r. 1831-1849, king of Piedmont-Sardinia, and the constitution he wrote would later become a model for Italy's national constitution) declared war on Austria but the Italian states had trouble working together and Austria was strong so the Italians lost
-political figures (including Count Camillo Benso di Cavour) and revolution brought nationalism back to Italy, in 1848 Count Camillo Benso di Cavour was elected to Peidmont's Chamber of Deputies then king Victor Emmanuel II (1820-1878) made him his minister of agriculture and trade where Cavour focused on increasing Peidmont's power (he gained international friends including Britain and France by helping them in the Crimean War), then Britain helped Italy by being against Austria's interference in Piedmont, France helped Italy against the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the Austro-Piedmontese War of 1859 but France left before the end
-Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) brought Italy closer to unification, he led volunteers into battle in the 1859 Austro-Piedmontese War, in 1860 he and a thousand of his soldiers (called "Red Shirts") began conquering southern Italy (and was joined by locals) they conquered Sicily and established a government in Naples, Cavour sent troops to the Papal States to protect them from Garibaldi and king Victor Emmanuel II went south to meet Garibaldi and he gave the king the territory he had united, the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1861 with Cavour as its first prime minister (and he died two months later)
-by the 1850s Germany's important states enjoyed the "Zollverein" (a form of free trade), railroads provided easy transportation which created a strong sense of community among German speakers who shared a common culture
-Prussia was the most powerful German state and Kaiser/Emperor Wilhelm I (r. 1861-1888) worked to build a stronger military however Prussia's parliament (which was dominated by liberals) was opposed to this so the kaiser called on Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898, who was ambassador to France and Russia and was appointed Prussia's prime minister in 1862) to resolve it
-Bismarck was a patriot who was practical and not idealistic ("The great questions of the day will not be decided by speeches and majority decisions, but by iron and blood"), and he was often associated with the word realpolitik (basing politics on what is possible not on appealing theories), however his ideas/methods weren't very popular
-Bismarck waged war against Denmark (which had annexed the northern partly German duchies of Schleswig and Holstein) and he quickly won which made him more popular and which added Schleswig to Prussia's territory (Austria got the other one) but the arrangement led to disputes and Austria was defeated in the Seven Weeks' War in 1866 clearly making Prussia the most dominant force in central Europe, the city of Frankfurt and the German states of Hanover, Hesse, and Nassau were annexed by Prussia because they had supported Austria which created the North German Confederation, the Reichstag/parliament was formed but most of the power resided in the kaiser and Bismarck (now called the chancellor), the confederation was dominated by the military (of which most of the patriotic and nationalistic Germans approved)
-the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 was started by Bismarck when he edited a telegram sent from the kaiser to make it seem like the kaiser had insulted the French, and the French were also afraid that a German would become king of Spain because of a military coup in Spain in 1868, France declared war in June 1870 and the southern German states joined the Confederation against France, the battle at Sedan (near the France-Luxembourg border) was the one that gave the Germans victory, afterwards the southern states remained united with the rest of Prussia and became the country of Germany
turn of the century inventions
-mega-businesses as we think of the today started in the late 19th century, (during 1846-1932 over 50 million Europeans emigrated, mainly to the US, Canada, Argentina, and Brazil), from 1882-1907 the number of German factories with more than 100 employees went from 205k-879k, millions of people moved to cities for factory jobs (ex. from 1800-1900 London's population went from 1 million to 6.5 million, and Berlin's population went from 172k to 2.7 million)
-urbanization made it necessary to form organized police departments, departments of health, hospitals staffed by professional nurses and doctors, gas heating made indoor hot baths possible, sewage systems made indoor plumbing possible (Britain's Public Health Act of 1875 required all new building to have plumbing)
-by the end of the 19th century many ordinary Europeans had electrical lighting in their homes, electricity also powered subways and streetcars
oil and steel
-the American John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) owned the company Standard Oil which had monopolized over 75% of US oil (which was important for the growth of industry) in the 1890s
-steel (like oil) was very important (for things including ships, trains, bridges, and weapons) and its production in Europe's major powers went from 125k tons in 1860 to 32 million tons in 1913
turn of the century transportation
-by the end of the 19th century there were many improvements to transportation and trains covered Europe and North America
-by 1909 American automaker Henry Ford made his factories so efficient that his Model T was affordable for most consumers
-at the end of the 19th century the German engineers Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) and Karl Benz (1844-1929) perfected the internal combustion engine
-the German Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine in 1897
-in 1900 the zeppelin airship made air travel possible (although it quickly disappeared as a mode of travel after the media covered the Hindenburg [the first transatlantic flight] caught fire while landing in NJ in 1937)
-in 1903 the first airplane briefly flew in the air
turn of the century communication
-in the late 19th century daily newspapers (instead of the church pulpit) became the public's main source of news, penny press newspapers were inexpensive, mass-circulation newspapers increasingly emphasized sensationalism and quickly spread ideas, the telegraph enabled newspapers to print news about the previous day's global events, (the first intercontinental telegraph cable was laid between North America and Britain [transatlantic] in 1867)
-by 1900 the telephone (which was invented in 1876 by the Scottish/UK inventor Alexander Graham Bell [1847-1937]) was almost taken for granted in big cities
-in 1901 Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937, an Italian) sent the first radio waves across the Atlantic
turn of the century medical advancements
(newspapers were helpful in spreading new discoveries so that people everywhere could benefit from them)
-although death from disease decreased by 60% diseases were still a serious problem: thousands of Europeans died from measles each year, in 1918 a flu epidemic killed 600k Americans (more than 3 times the number that had died in WWI), but people living in the West believed that human reason would slowly but surely conquer nature
-Frenchman Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) discovered that the source of contagious diseases is bacteria (not water, air, or odor) and he disinfected/pasteurized milk
-German professor of public health Robert Koch (1843-1910) isolated the tuberculosis bacillus
-beginning in the late 19th century anesthetics began to be used to make childbirth less painful for women
-in the late 19th century the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel studied the inherited traits in peas, he is called the "father of genetics"
turn of the century breakthroughs
-in 1895 the X-ray was discovered which led many to question the common views on the solidity of matter
-in 1898 the chemist Marie Curie (1867-1934) and her husband Pierre discovered radium which didn't act according to how the theories of that day thought it should, they won the Nobel Prize in 1903 for their work
-in 1905 Albert Einstein (1879-1955) published an article which explained his theory of relativity and added the fourth dimension (time) to the standard three dimensional (height, width, depth) view of the universe
turn of the century thought
-there were also several new worldviews which changed many of the popularly held opinions, Darwinism said that humans evolved from lower life forms, Freudian psychology said that most human mental processes are unconscious and irrational, Higher Criticism said that the Bible was full of wisdom but historically inaccurate, many people now believed Jesus was only a notable good-deed-doer or a moral philosopher (nit God in human form), some people advocated the social gospel which wanted to build a kingdom of God on earth (instead of in Heaven), the Salvation Army (founded by William and Catherine Booth in 1878 and still helps the poor in the US, Canada, and Britain) emphasized both religious and social salvation (focusing on drug addicts, prostitutes, the homeless, and others in need)
-churches/religion had many competing ideas which were more popular due to people being more educated (primary education was made mandatory in Austria in 1869, in France in 1882, and in Britain by 1902,although still only a few attended universities), the curriculum were quite rigorous compared to today (including an emphasis in ancient and modern languages, history, science and math), by 1900 illiteracy among adults was nearly eliminated in Britain,Scandinavia, Germany, and France (however not in eastern Europe, ex. in 1900 79% of Russians couldn't read)
-the ability to vote was also being given to more people (ex. the liberal British prime minister William Gladstone [1809-1898] oversaw the passing of a Reform Act that gave voting rights to 60% of Britain's adult men)
-because urban workers typically worked 10-12 hour days for 6 days a week they had more leisure time, by the end of the 1880s London had 500 music halls, tourism also took hold (indicating growing wealth), team sports and athletic events were organized and provided entertainment, and churches competed with other activities which occurred on Sundays, the bicycle fad was another sign of a more leisurely lifestyle
-Joseph Conrad's 1902 novel Heart of Darkness takes place in the Congo (where rubber was made by native directed by Belgian taskmasters)
Sigmund Freud
1856-1939 (Austrian) he is considered to be the founder of psychoanalysis, he though that a lot more goes through a person's mind than what they are conscious of and beneath what a person is conscious of is where the irrational, violent, and self-destructive desires prevail, one way to find out what is in the unconsciousness is through dream interpretation, his 1900 The Interpretation of Dreams was very influential, many of his theories have been rejected but some of the concepts he developed (including the various defense mechanisms people use [which are developed as a way for the "ego" to protect itself from the impulses of the "id"] ex. denial, displacement [aiming your emotional reactions at a safer target], projection [projecting your feelings onto another person]) are worthwhile, he also made a significant contribution to secularization by saying that God is merely a person's "projection" into the heavens of a father figure
Charles Darwin
1809-1882 (British) he wrote about his theory of evolution in his 1859 On the Origin of Species and his 1871 The Decent of Man, he learned from Charles Lyell (1797-1875) who argued that the earth couldn't be 6k years old as a literal reading of the Bible requires in his 1830 Principles of Geology, and was influenced by Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) who said that all species (including humans) produce more offspring than can survive due to the limited food supply (thus those who survive are the winners in the unending struggle of life), his theory of evolution has two fundamental ideas: variation (usually minor differences among organisms which give some an advantage over others) and natural selection (advantageous variations survive and eventually species evolve and other species become extinct)
Friedrich Nietzsche
1844-1900 (German) he hated Christianity because it emphasized self-sacrifice instead he encouraged readers to exercise a "will of power", he made the phrase "God is dead" famous, he criticized the West's emphasis on reason and said that more attention should be given to raw human impulses (which are irrational and emotional), he thought that the minority of the strongest should rule and he had little room for compassion or pity
Social Darwinists
this was a term created by the British philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) which applied Darwin's basic ideas (variation and natural selection) to individuals, societies, and nations (thus ex. Nietzsche, church ministers), he made the phrase "survival of the fittest" popular and he said that the most fit had a moral duty to rule the weak (many imperialists would take this to heart and treated natives in Africa and Asia with contempt)
-other people (including British poet Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936]) spoke of the "white man's burden" which was his obligation to uplift the colonized
-others thought that the best and brightest had an obligation to help the less bright reach their potential (ex. American multimillionaire Andrew Carnegie [1835-1919] promoted a gospel of wealth saying that the rich should help the poor help themselves, he also built libraries in communities across the US)
(extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force) in the late 19th century most of the globe was directly or economically and politically controlled by Western nations
-the most powerful was Britain who had a good navy and controlled over 20% of the world's population, "the sun never set on the British Empire" (or the French Empire either), the British Empire had the famous Rhodes Scholars program (named after Cecil Rhodes [1853-1902] who was a key British figure in South Africa who wanted select students from the colonies to be educated in England so they could bring back British civilization to their home, the African country Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] was also named after him) for study in Oxford England
-due to many missionaries being in new colonies ("the Bible follows the flag") Europeans translated many Bibles into native languages, the Bible or portions of it was usually the first book translated into local languages
-much of the freedom that exists in the world (including India, Jamaica, Hong Kong, and USA) is a product of the British Empire, however some of the troubles African nations continue to experience partly stem from the fact that very hostile groups with very different customs and cultures live within national boundaries which were invented by Europeans
contributing factors leading to WWI
tensions continued to build as European powers struggled to see which was stronger/better
-ex. in 1902 ships from Britain, Germany, and Italy blockaded Venezuela and seized its warships to force them to collect the money they owned to Europeans
-the Berlin Conference in 1885 divided Africa among the Europeans thus greatly contributing to the "Scramble for Africa" which was an attempt to prevent war, however Germany's leaders came to believe that they hadn't gotten their fair share of Africa (so Kaiser Wilhelm II [r. 1888-1918] wanted more African colonies)
-Germany also wanted to prevent Britain from building a railroad from Cairo (Egypt) to the Cape of Good Hope so in the mid-1880s Germany acquired African territory in the east and west (which would become the nations of Namibia, Togo, Cameroon, and Tanzania)
-Germany wanted to build a railroad from Berlin to Baghdad (in present-day Iraq) but the British thought this would threat their interests in the Middle East
-in 1905 Germany's government publicly favored Moroccan (which was controlled by France) independence and in 1911 they sent the warship Panther to the Moroccan coast after they had an uprising against the French (this showed France and Britain that Germany still wanted to insert itself into North African affairs)
-Germany's support of Austria-Hungary in its attempts to keep control of Slavic minorities made Germany Russia's (who supported the Slavs who wanted independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire) enemy
-Three Emperors' League (1873): Germany, Austria, and Russia
Dual Alliance (1879): Austria and Germany
Triple Alliance (1882): Germany, Austria, and Italy
Franco-Russian Alliance (1894)
British-Japanese Alliance (1902)
Entente Cordiale (1902): Britain and France
Triple Entente (1907): Britain, Russia, and France
(the two in bold went to war in 1914, although Italy soon changed sides, and the Ottomans [present-day Turkey] fought with Germany and Austria-Hungary because Russia was also their enemy)
Hapsburg Empire
(after 1867 it was called the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was also called the Duel Monarchy) it was ruled by Francis Joseph (r. 1848-1916), it was a German-speaking government based in Vienna and it included many linguistic and ethnic groups, he didn't care much about industrialization or political liberalization, Hungary enjoyed considerable independence especially in internal affairs but the central government foreign affairs and defense
-the Czechs wanted to have autonomy similar to Hungary but Hungary feared that others would start wanting that too so they didn't want the Czechs to have that, eventually the rise in nationalism caused these minorities to want to break away from the kingdom in order to retain their individuality/culture (some thought Russia might help them with this, and Serbia wanted to acquire some of those minorities for their own territory)
politics leading to socialism
-between 1700 and 1800 factory and urban workers rioted to bring about reform and by the late 19th century some (never a majority) workers were banding together in labor unions and left-wing [so named because the before the French Revolution the Third Estate/lowest class which wanted reform sat to the left of the National Assembly and the First Estate sat on the right] political parties which promoted liberal reform and/or socialism, journalists and authors (ex. Henry Mayhew [1812-1887] who wrote the 1851 London Labour and the London Poor) also encouraged the English to "improve the condition of a class of people whose misery, ignorance, and vice, amidst all the immense wealth and great knowledge of [London] is a national disgrace"
-Britain's Labour Party was Europe's first political part devoted to the interests of the labor movement, it had 29 members in Parliament in 1906, although it didn't start as a socialist party it attracted many Socialists
-the Fabian Society contained some of Britain's genuine early Socialists and advocated gradual societal evolution, the society's best-known members were H.G. Wells (1866-1946) and George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
-the National Insurance Act of 1911 (which made unemployment benefits and modest health care available to workers) was one of Britain's reforms which Socialists and liberals worked for, financing this required new taxes and this made government more involved in the economy, beginning during the Great Depression/1930s governments became more involved in Western economies, France began paying couples who had more than one child, the Swedes were the first to establish a state-run tax-funded health care system (which is now the norm in the West [except in the US were it is only for the poor, elderly, and military veterans]), however by the late 20th century many European countries had to cut back on these programs (British prime minister Margaret Thatcher [b. 1925] is especially noted for this) because of the slow economy
-revisionists (including Eduard Bernstein 1850-1932, German) were Socialists who believed that communism could be achieved through democratic means
-some radicals in Britain and France (including Marx) formed the First International in 1864 (its successor the Second International was formed in 1889) which was devoted to revolution, Socialists in Britain were for more gradual reform but those in France were more radical (by 1914 France's Socialists held the second-greatest number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and radicals periodically threatened the government, however France never had a communist revolution)
-Germany never had a communist revolution but its Social Democratic Party/SDP (formed in 1875) was western Europe's most influential socialist political organization, the SDP was always divided between revolutionaries and reformers, Germany's chancellor Otto von Bismarck passed antisocialist laws (suppressing socialist newspapers and meetings), despite antisocialist laws their party continued to grow so Bismarck decided to institute change himself instead of the socialists doing it (in the 1880s he got the Reichstag/parliament to pass laws providing modest health and accident insurance as well as pensions for the elderly)
-Russia did have a communist revolution, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Russia experienced industrialization (which was promoted by Russia's finance minister Sergei Witte 1849-1915), they nearly doubled their railroads and produced significantly more steel and coal, however industrialization was not as beneficial for workers' lives as it was in Britain (labor unions were illegal and taxes were high), there was also a large increase in population (from 50 million to over 100 million between 1860-1914) which led to a food shortage, in response reformers and revolutionaries formed the Social Revolutionary Party and The Constitutional Democratic Party but there was no system for these parties to work in because Russia was ruled by a tsar (the leaders of these parties also had to operate in exile out of Russia)
-anarchists (people who advocate the elimination of government) were also present in politics (they killed American president William McKinley, French president Marie Francois Sadi Carnot, and high-ranking leaders in Italy, Austria, and Russia) but they were never as successful as Socialists and Communists were
Karl Marx
1818-1883, his 1848 Communist Manifesto spurred on socialist thinking, however his ideas were typically applied in a more moderate form (ex. Marx called for revolution but Europe experienced gradual reform, and Marx claimed that it was a scientific [thus irrefutable] approach to politics but most Socialists were more practical in their outlook)
-he thought that to achieve Utopia (an economic system without economic classes and without property) required the proletariat (the industrial working class) to liberate itself from the oppression of the capitalist system (in which the few/capitalists benefited from the labors of the many) by rebelling against the bourgeoisie/middle class
-Marxism required great faith in the wonderful world to come but the widespread failure of communist societies in the late 20th century shows that many lost faith in Marxism, (plus the fact that industrialization made the middle class grow in size and gave people more leisure time instead of less was appealing to the working class and gave them aspirations)
Vladimir Lenin
1870-1924 he was the most important Russian radical, he was exiled in Switzerland for many years but Germany helped him to return to Russia (in order to make Russia unstable, which would help Germany)
people in South Africa who the British were at war with before WWI
World War I (aka the Great War)
1914-1918 (8 million died and all casualties [killed, wounded, missing] totaled 37 million), afterwards the US emerged as a global power, Russia was a center of global communism, the view that Europeans were morally superior to other peoples was discredited, philosophical pessimism and religious doubt grew, and culture changed
-Germany's chancellor Otto von Bismarck maintained a workable diplomatic relationship with Germany's enemy Russia but Kaiser Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890 and Germany's diplomatic relationship with Russia deteriorated
-countries' race for national prestige and superiority (which was partly spured on by social Darwinism) regarding territory, discovery/inventions, and armed forces (for ex. the Fashoda Crisis was when Britain and France nearly went to war over the possesion of Sudan in 1899) also contributed to the outbreak of war
-Europe had also not had a lengthy and expensive war since the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815, many volunteered to fight in order to gain glory and be home by Christmas
-nationalism was also a big reason for the war (especially because of the many nationalities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire which wanted independence), Serbian nationalists assassinated the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914) and Austria demanded that Serbia repay them by becoming part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but Serbia refused thus Austria declared war on Serbia (on 7/28), then Russia (who wanted to defend the Slavic people) declared war on Austria, then Germany (Austria's ally) declared war on their enemies Russia (on 8/1) and France (on 8/3), then Britain (who wanted Belgium [who Germany had invaded on 8/1] to remain neutral) declared war on Germany (on 8/4), and the First World War between the Central Powers (Germany and its comrade nations [includin Austria]) and the Allies (Russia, France, Britain) was begun
-Germany strategy was the Schlieffen Plan: 1) avoid France's defenses along the Franco-German border, 2) smash through Belgium to enter northeastern France and quickly capture Paris (in order to knock France out of the war before Britain had time to mobilize), and 3) when France was defeated Germany could focus on defeating Russia, this plan would have worked but Germany's supply lines became too long and the French and British troops were able to stop the Germans before Paris, the Germans dug in and built a series of trenches for 300 miles (from the coast of Belgium to the border of neutral Switzerland) until the end of the war this western front was characterized by armies hurling themselves against a defender's artillery, trenches, and machine guns and many people died there (ex. on the morning of 7/1/16 the beginning of the Battle of the Somme the British lost nearly 60k casualties and didn't have anything substantial to show for it by the end of the day)
-the terrible experiences of war helped create the so-called Lost Generation (the young people who came of age during and soon after WWI)
-England's Wilfred Owen (1893-1918, killed in battle) was one solider who wrote poetry about the horrors of trench warfare his most remembered poem is "Dulce et Decorum Est"
-poison gas was used in this war but afterwards the Western powers agreed not to use it in future conflicts (an important step towards civilizing war), beginning in 1864 Western countries signed agreements called the Geneva Conventions (including agreeing to care for wounded soldiers and not torture or deprive them of basic necessities when in captivity, to make the identities of the enemy's dead known to the government so information can be provided to a dead soldier's family, and medics, hospitals, and transportation vehicles clearly marked with medical symbols [especially a red cross] are not valid targets of war or allowed to be used to hide weapons for covert military actions)
-in 1918 Russia left the war and the Germans finally broke through the Allies' trenches but just before they got to Paris American troops helped push the Germans back
-President Woodrow Wilson said that the US joined the war because of Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare on all ships destined for the British Isles, ex. the British noncombat ship Lusitania was sunk by the Germans killing 1,200 people including 128 Americans, another reason they entered was because of the Zimmermann Telegram which was intercepted by the British and given to the US government (it was Germany asking Mexico for help and saying that Germany would help Mexico get New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas after the war)
-by the fall of 1918 Germany sued for peace, President Wilson advocated "peace without victory" (aka not kicking Germany when they were down), however the French represented at the peace talks at Versailles (near Paris) by Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) and the British represented by David Lloyd George (1863-1945) had lost more and the French were especially vengeful, the Versailles Treaty (which humiliated Germany and motivated Adolf Hitler to seek revenge) Germany had to acknowledge its full responsibility for the war and pay reparations (repay the cost of the war $31.5 billion [in 2004 dollars]) to the Allies, all of Germany's colonies (in Africa and Asia) were given to or supervised by the Allies, Alsace-Lorraine (which Germany had taken in the Franco-Prussian War) was given back to France, the German army was limited to a 100k man defensive force and not allowed to have any warplanes or tanks, and the coalfields of Germany's Saar region were to occupied by the French for 15 years
-after WWI the Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist (from it emerged Czechoslovakia [currently the Czech Republic and Slovakia], Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria), and the Ottoman Empire went out of existence (from it emerged Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq)
social changes during WWI
-the Great War was the first international total war (seemingly every citizen, men and women, had a role to play) the people who weren't soldiers supported the war effort by working in factories to make supplies or farming to make enough food, governments took increasing control of their economies (ex. labor strikes were banned, natural resources like coal were rationed, and prices were controlled)
-women helping with the war efforts set the stage for women suffrage/vote, women were allowed to vote in Britain in 1918, in Germany in 1919, and in the US in 1920 (even the pope approved of women voting), the most-known British "suffragette" was the radical Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) who led the Women's Social and Political Union which led large, noisy, and sometimes violent demonstrations/protests
-the war was the first chance for governments to use large-scale propaganda which got more people to enlist, ex. one thing that influenced the Americans to join the war against Germany was the British anti-German campaign (newspaper advertisements depicted the Germans (sometimes called the Hun) people who always were apes, rapists, baby killers, and library burners which were only slightly based in fact regarding Germans attacking the Belgians and the university at Louvain at the beginning of the war)
-conscription (compulsory enlistment for state service) was used in most countries to maintain good armed forces
-war bonds/victory bonds (which would be returned with interest) were patriotic and encouraged by propaganda
-soon after WWI Westerners began to dress more casually: by the 1980s jeans at church services and t-shirts on public airplanes was the norm, during the 1920s skirts became shorter, slip-on shoes, jazz music, the jitterbug (a dance), and trendy women smoking in public became fashionable among urban young people, art forms such as cubism (which emphasized the fragmentation of human experience) were encouraged and the best-known cubist painter is Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
-the British agreed to give them more freedom/Home Rule in 1914 but it was postponed because of WWI, it became the Irish Free State in 1921
-in 1916 nationalists in the Irish Republican Army were led in the Easter Rising/revolt by Eamon de Valera (1882-1975), this made it hard on Britain because they were already fighting a war
-the Irish remained neutral during WWII, and in 1949 the government of Ireland declared itself a completely independent republic, however Ulster (the 6 mostly Protestant northern counties of Ireland) continued to be part of Britain, consequently Irish republicans and Northern Irish (who were loyal to the British) continued to face conflict through the 20th century
Russia after WWI
-after WWI the Brest-Litovsk Treaty of March 1918 (Russia's peace agreement with Germany) took most of Russia's western territory (including present-day Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland), Russia contained many ethnic groups who were more loyal to their ethnicity than to Russia, in 1905 Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War (marking the first war a European power had lost to an Asian country)
-Russia's communist revolution of 1917 emerged out of the hardships of war (which were even harder for Russia because they weren't as industrialized as other countries), the hard conditions led to riots
-some people blamed Tsar Nicholas II (who was at the front trying to direct war) for Russia's problems, back in St. Petersburg Nicholas's wife was being influenced by Rasputin (a bizarre "holy man" and unwashed peasant) who was taking care of her unhealthy son
Russia's provisional government
-in 1905 thousands of Russians marched to the Winter Palace (the seat of the government) in protest and nearly 100 were killed by Russian soldiers but in 1917 soldiers (and they also were abandoning the front and taking property from landowners) joined the protesters and Nicholas II gave up powers, then Russians formed a provisional government with leaders who had served in the Duma (the nearly powerless legislative assembly Nicholas established after the events of 1905) in positions of authority, there were political moderates in this government who wanted Russia to become a socialist or democratic state, they immediately passed laws providing universal suffrage, an 8-hour workday, and political equality for all
-radicals in the Soviets (local communist councils established in Russia, and communists in Russia were sometimes called Soviets) opposed the provisional government, ex. the soviet in St. Petersburg/Petrograd was dominated by radicals (including Vladimir Lenin)
-the provisional government wanted Russia to keep its commitments to its allies but the Soviets withdrew from the war, the provisional government wanted to pass laws making it legal to confiscate the Tsar's land but the Soviets wanted to just take it, the Soviets' slogans "Peace, land, bread" and "All power to the Soviets" appealed to Russians
-in late 1917 the Bolshevik Party (a wing of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party) had grow to 240k members and Lenin (assisted by the skilled/organized Leon Trotsky [1877-1940]) led the party in overthrowing the provisional government on 11/6-7/1917 and leaving Russia with a dictatorship (he claimed to have taken power from the bourgeoisie on behalf of the proletariat), Lenin and his associates ruled with absolute power for the first six years of Bolshevik rule, Lenin's Cheka (his secret police) executed 200k people (whereas the government only executed 14k people in the 50 years before the Bolsheviks), the Bolsheviks withdrew from WWI and declared all land national property and gave workers control over factories (making Russia the first large-scale communist experiment)
-in 1919 the Soviets founded the Third International (aka the Comintern) which gave Socialists throughout Europe rules to follow (its Twenty-one Conditions included rejecting all political forms that institute communism through gradual means, as well as requiring strict allegiance to Moscow [the center of revolution] thus some Socialists in Western Europe saw Russia as the model country), some Europeans were afraid that Russia wanted to foster revolution in other countries and this led many people to join radical anticommunist parties (ex. Fascists in Italy and Nazis in Germany)
-Lenin's excuse for leading Russia as a dictatorship (which was more tyrannical than Russia's Tsars) was that Russia's peasants weren't ready for socialism they needed to be led to Utopia by the Bolshevik vanguard (those on the revolution's cutting edge) and soon "Revolution from above." was used to justify dictatorship in the name of freedom
-George Orwell (1903-1950) wrote in his 1945 political novel Animal Farm "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"
-soon after the Bolsheviks took power civil war broke out between Red Russians (Bolsheviks) and White Russians (all opposed to the Bolsheviks, including liberals and monarchists) and the Bolsheviks used this as an opportunity to eliminate all potential threats
-during the civil war 14 countries (including Japan, Britain, France, and the US) sent troops to various parts of Russia to support anti-Bolshevik forces but they were ineffective, the Bolsheviks used this to spread propaganda saying that Russians should rally behind the government because their country was threatened by foreigners, Lenin instituted "war communism" which sent food from the countryside into the cities thus taking food away from potential anti-Bolsheviks, large strikes occurred in 1920-1921 and part of the Russian fleet mutinied at Kronstadt, in 1921 many in Russia were experiencing famine so Lenin instituted his New Economic Policy which allowed peasants to sell some of what they produced (thus farmers increased production and famine subsided)
-when Lenin died in 1924 Russia experienced a power struggle dominated by Leon Trotsky (he advocated governments controlling all farms and selling farm products to gain money for industrial growth, and he said party members should have freedom to criticize the government and that revolution outside Russia was vital for revolution inside Russia to succeed) and Joseph Stalin (who had the newspaper Pravda/truth supporting him, he wanted to continue the New Economic Policy and for "socialism in one country" which indicated that Russia could succeed without outsiders' help), Stalin won and Trotsky was exiled to Siberia and was eventually murdered in Mexico by Soviet agents
Stalin's regime (1927-1939)
-Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) was one of the greatest murderers of all time (China's communist Mao Zedong was the only one who comes close) historians disagree on how many he killed while trying to rid the Soviet Union of troublemakers but recent estimates are in the tens of millions, Stalin was paranoid, brutal,lacking in conscience, and fully in command
-Stalin's five-year plans (which started in 1928) finally industrialized Russia the plans made quotas of industrial goods to be produced in a systematic fashion (emphasizing steel, iron, electricity, and heavy tools such as tractors however clothing was hardly produced at all) and moved workers from rural areas into industrial towns/cities where health and work conditions were terrible, as the 1930s progressed the Soviet industrial workplace became more oppressive (ex. workers who were fired also lost their apartments and access to rationed food, and about 1/4 of construction work was done by political prisoners, the few who succeeded in the system were almost required to eliminate their own personality), everything was done for the good of the nation (which was determined by Stalin), during the Great Depression (1929-1940, when unemployment in the US rose to 25%) the Soviet Union/Union of Soviet Socialist Republics/U.S.S.R. experienced full employment and their industrial production rose by 400%, the Soviet government's effective propaganda campaign made many Russians feel that they were doing something important and were on the cutting edge of progress, Stalin also ended the free commerce of the New Economic Policy and brought all farming back under strict government control (he got rid of the kulaks/farmers who had grow prosperous with the earlier system) and farmers who resisted collectivization (by burning their crops or killing their animals) were also called kulaks and disposed of (some were killed, others exiled, and others moved to collective farms) and famine broke out again (5-million+ died)
-the assassination of the chief of Leningrad's Communist Party Sergei Kirov (1886-1934) was used as a pretext to purge the party throughout the Soviet Union, beginning in 1934 the Great Purges got rid of many who had worked to achieve political status in the Soviet Union (2/3rds of the elected members of the Communist Party's Central Congress were arrested and shot), show trails (which were attended by journalists from around the world) condemned Soviet leaders (incluing high-ranking military officers including almost 60 of the 80 corps commanders) to death, the purge eventually turned into a general witch hunt (in 1936-1937 food production was in steep decline due to the weather and old priests, suspicious neighbors, and anyone who might ever have been critical of the communists became targets), a million people were killed and millions more were exiled to places such as Siberia, the purges were popular in the Soviet Union (because people were trying to stay alive and those who survived had more job opportunity, etc.) and Stalin statues and poster were throughout the Soviet Union
-(unlike Lenin) Stalin had promoted nationalism, referring to Russia as the "motherland" or "fatherland" were common in public life, Stalin outlawed abortion and payed pregnant women (as Italy's Benito Mussolini and Germany's Adolf Hitler at least for the favored parts of their populations) in order to ensure a future supply of communist true believers
-although the Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany were on opposite sides of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 the Soviets and the Nazis signed a nonaggression pact/the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which publicly declared that the countries wouldn't go to war against each other (it also secretly said that Germany and Russia would divide Poland after Germany attacked it the next month, and gave much of the territory Russia had lost in the Brest-Litovak Treaty of 1918 back to Russia), Hitler didn't intend to keep his promise of not attacking the Soviet Union but he wanted to temporarily keep the USSR at bay
Spanish Civil War
-in 1936 Spain's Spanish Civil War started between the Popular Front/Republicans/the government composed of socialists and communists which had been elected in 1931 against the antisocialist forces/Nationalists led by Francisco Franco (1892-1975) and other military officers and (although Spain stayed neutral during WWII) this helped set the stage for WWII, Stalin (although he was Georgian) was a Russian nationalist but he gave the Popular Front aircraft and tanks and other Socialists and Communists in the Western world also sent brigades to help the Spanish government in battle (ex. 3k Americans went to Spain forming the Abraham Lincoln Brigade), Mussolini and Hitler assisted Franco's forces and Franco won in 1939 and became dictator if Spain (which he would be until the mid-1970s)
Mussolini's Italy
-many of Benito Mussolini's (1883-1945, aka Il Duce/"the leader") supporters were war veterans who thought Italy should have gotten more of the Austrian Empire after WWI
-Italy's Fascist Party was antidemocratic (in 1919 the Socialist Party and the Catholic Popular Party both did well in the elections but they were so different that they couldn't work together because there was no compromise [as there often must be in democracy] so they were politicly deadlocked and the fascists promised to end the deadlock) and anticommunist (which appealed to landowners), fascists were very nationalistic and the Italian nation mattered more than the people (as liberals said) or laborers (as Socialists and Communists said) or traditions (as conservatives said), fascists (like Social Darwinists) believed that violence and warfare cleansed the body politic (thus they would break up socialist meeting and beat up the attenders)
-Mussolini had formed the Fascist Party in 1919 and three years later he became prime minister of of Italy after thousands of his followers marched on Rome in the "Black Shirt March" (King Victor Emmanuel III [1900-1946] and instead of breaking up the march he asked Mussolini to become the prime minister), in 1924 the Fascists were voted into power and all other parties were made illegal and by 1926 Mussolini was in complete control, although Mussolini was an atheist he made the Lateran Pact (which declared Catholicism Italy's official religion, recognized the church's authority over the Vatican, made church lands tax exempt, and allowed the church to oversee rules regarding marriage, in return the church recognized Mussolini's status as Italy's ruler) with the Catholic Church (because he knew most Italians were Catholic) to consolidate his power
-Mussolini also wanted to reestablish the Roman Empire he started to do this by expanding Italy's territory in North Africa (thus Italy invaded Ethiopia [who had defeated Italy at the Battle of Adowa in 1896, which was the only time a European country had been defeated by Africans in war] in 1935), this invasion of Ethiopia in 1935-'36 involved massive bombing of civilian population centers and it showed how weak the League of Nations (an international organization formed after WWI which was designed to prevent wars of aggression, President Wilson came up with the idea but the US Senate voted against the US joining the league) was (although they protested the invasion and placed embargoes on some goods they weren't effective)
Hitler's Germany
-the Nazi Party was small when it started in 1921 and its leader Adolf Hitler was a political nonentity who had been imprisoned for several months in 1923 for trying to seize the government of the German state Bavaria in the "Beer Hall Putsch" and his trial gave him publicity (thus the party grew to 70k by the end of the year), while in prison he wrote the political memoir Mein Kampf/"My Struggle", the fact that Germany's Weimar Republic (which had been established near the end of WWI as a result of liberal, socialist, and communist agitation/demonstrations) was unstable was to Hitler's advantage, Hitler hated communists because he saw it as a stab in Germany's proverbial back when this new government surrendered to the Allies in 1918 and he hated Jews because several communist leaders and socialist leaders were Jewish, the German military also didn't favor the current government
-in the early 1920s there was an economic collapse were many lost their bank savings and German currency became worthless, in the early 1930s unemployment in Germany skyrocketed because of the Great Depression, thus Germans who were angry or bored joined the Nazi Party because it gave them a sense of purpose, uniforms, and an enemy to blame (mainly the Jews)
-anti-Semitism (prejudice against Jews) had been common in Europe since Roman times and had happened long before the Roman Empire (this was unlike any other group of people), Jews were not always persecuted (ex. British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli [1804-1881] was a Jew who had converted to Christianity) however it was the norm (ex. in the early 19th century Napoleon restricted Jews' movements within France), the Dreyfus Affair (when the French military officer of Jewish heritage Alfred Dreyfus was found guilty of selling military secrets although his prosecutors were mostly driven by anti-Semitism which was pointed out by the French writer Emile Zola [1840-1902] in an essay which said "J'accuse/I accuse", in 1906 they found evidence which led to Dreyfus' full justification) in 1895 showed that anti-Semitism was still present
-Hitler gained complete power because many Germans believed he would restore Germany's dignity and strength instead of letting Germany be dictated by foreign powers and was a strong leader, in 1933 Hitler blamed communists for a fire at the Reichstag and used it as an excuse to take complete control of Germany, then Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations and began to conscript large numbers of young men into the German military (which was against the agreement made at the end of WWI), he also violated the conditions by sending military forces into the Rhineland (near France's eastern border) in 1936, that year he also allied himself with Mussolini's Italy in the Rome-Berlin Axis, two years later he broke the conditions of the Versailles Treaty again by occupying Austria and absorbing it into the new German Empire/Reich (this absorption was called the Anschluss/"joining") and he demanded that the Sudetenland (the German-speaking western part of Czechoslovakia) be included in his growing empire so the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) at Munich (in the German state of Bavaria) and the French prime minister Edouard Deladier agreed to allow Hitler occupy Sudetenland (then Chamberlain returned to England promising "peace in our time" and encouraging Briton to sleep well however Hitler prepared for war)
World War II
1939-1945 afterwards Europeans looked for ways besides war to settle their differences (by the early 21st century warfare was unthinkable), in 1941 when Germany controlled most of western Europe Hitler said he had freed Germany "from the death sentence of Versailles [referring to the treaty at the end of WWI]"
-after WWI many Europeans turned away from democracy (because it didn't seem to work) and toward one-man or one-party rule (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, and other countries became dictatorships, some of which were elected), Benito Mussolini brought political stability to Italy and Hitler brought political stability to Germany
-on 9/1/1939 Hitler's skilled tanks, troops, and air force/Luftwaffe invaded Poland (the first time the world saw the blitzkrieg/"lightning war" military tactic), a few days later France and Britain declared war on Germany, Russia invaded Poland from the east, and within a month the Polish army collapsed, after several weeks of fighting the fighting stopped and Hitler didn't make any more aggressive moves until spring of 1940 (this silent period was called the "phony war"), in 1940 Hitler's forces overran Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark in rapid succession
-within six weeks Hitler had gotten past France's Maginot Line (a series of secure defenses) and northern France was occupied by the Germans until 1944 and southern France was ruled by the Vichy Regime (a government governed from the town of Vichy by the war hero Marshall Petain and supervised by Nazis, and would kill some Allied troops in North Africa) and in 1942 all of France was occupied by the Nazis (some French tried to sabotage the Germans [called the Maquis] others helped the Germans and others did nothing), the Free French (who had fled France to fight the Nazis another day) along with Frenchmen from France's colonies were based in London and led by General Charles de Gaulle
-as France was being defeated 200k British troops and 140k French troops were evacuated at Dunkirk on the coast of Belgium using every type of British boat available they took the troops across the English Channel to Britain, Hitler had hoped he wouldn't have to fight the British but the new British prime minister Winston Churchill wasn't going to appease Hitler and he encouraged Britons to courageously endure the Blitz (bombings by German's planes), in the Battle of Britain Germans had a larger air force but the British had radar (which detected incoming planes) and the British had broken Germany's secret code (which was encrypted on a machine called Enigma) and they often knew in advance what the Germans intended to do
-Churchill knew that Britain couldn't win without the US' help but since the 1930s the US Congress had passed several neutrality acts designed to keep the US out of any foreign war (although the Americans who wanted to get involved in the war were on Britain's side), Churchill had convinced the US to give them old warships in exchange for US military bases on British territory in the Western Hemisphere (ex. Newfoundland and the West Indies), the Lend-Lease Act passed by Congress made it possible for the US to supply Britain with necessary war supplies which would be paid for after the war (they also helped the Canadian fleet), by mid-1941 Hitler had started an undeclared war at sea with American vessels (ex. the USS Reuben James was sunk off the coast of Iceland killing over 100 US sailors), on 12/7/1941 Japan (Germany's ally) attacked the American Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the next day the US formally entered the war against Hitler's ally Japan and a few days later Hitler declared war on the US (saying that the Axis powers [Germany, Italy, and Japan] would "wage the common war forced upon them by the U.S.A. and England")
-Britain's victory over Germany's Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and the US entering the war both played a major role in the defeat of Hitler (the relationship between the US and Britain remained good [although it wasn't always easy] even into the the early 21st century), the US provided much of the industrial material, manpower, and firepower the Allies (the US and Britain) would needed to defeat Hitler in North Africa, Italy, and western Europe
-the Soviet Union (a member of the Allies) wanted to invade France early in the war but the US and Britain decided to first attack the Axis powers' "soft underbelly," they started in North Africa (where they won against the Vichy French, Italians, and Germans in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt), the British general Bernard Montgomery's (1887-1976) victory against the German field marshal Erwin Rommel (1891-1944, who was later implicated in an assassin plot against Hitler) at El Alamein in Egypt in 1942 was important in the Allies' keeping control of the Suez Canal
-then the Allies invaded Sicily in order to control the Mediterranean, the Italian king dismissed Mussolini as prime minister and the new Italian government declared war on Germany in 1943 (thus Italian troops and civilian fighters called partisans joined the Allies in fighting the Germans occupying Italy), in the last two years of the war Italy became a base from which Allied planes would bomb Axis cities, in 1945 Mussolini was captured and executed by antifascist Italians
-the D-Day invasion of German occupied France was launched from Britain on 6/6/1944, the 2 million men and 5k vessels used to successfully invade France landed on Omaha Beach (a code name) on the coast of Normandy, many were killed but they took the beach and the British, Americans, and Canadians established beach-heads and began to slowly but steadily began pushing the Germans back into Germany
-the Germans launched a serious counterattack in Belgium in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944-'45 which forced the Americans to temporarily retreat (this was the deadliest battle in American history) but the Allies regained the upper-hand by January
-in 1941 Hitler attacked Russia (which went against the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact/Nazi-Soviet Pact which had made them allies) and his forces got to the outskirts of Stalingrad (a center for rail transportation and provided access to oil fields) and Leningrad and within 20 miles of Moscow but Russians (including soldiers and citizens) put up fierce resistance and German supply lines were thin (plus the severe Russian winter) caused the Germans to retreat in early 1943 after the battle of Kursk (where the Germans lost 300 tanks), many people on both sides died at this eastern front, in 1945 the Russians captured Berlin and German civilians suffered greatly
-V-E Day ("Victory in Europe") was on May 7, 1945 when Germany surrendered unconditionally, a week earlier Hitler committed suicide, in his last political statement he said "Above all, I charge the leadership of the nation and their followers with the strict observance of the racial laws and with merciless resistance against the universal poisoners of all peoples, international Jewry"
-just before the end of WWII the Allied leaders met at Potsdam where President Truman correctly accused Stalin (the Soviet leader) of wanting to make satellite states of the East European countries which Soviet forces had liberated from the Nazis (these differences would soon develop into a "cold war"), Truman also revealed that the US had a new weapon which was vastly more powerful than any seen before (four days later on 7/6 the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Japan surrendered after Truman ordered a second bomb to be dropped on Nagasaki)
-through the 1930s the Nazis had put increasing pressure on Germany's Jews, Hitler thought about exiling Jews to Madagascar but that was impractical and his Final Solution which was exterminating Europe's Jews, Hitler put Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945, who was head of the Nazi Schiitzstaffel/"protective force"/SS [an element of the SS was the Einsatzgriippen was a mobile unit of killers who murdered women, children, and the elderly]) in charge of this program which exterminated the Jews and the Wehrmacht (the regular army) sometimes helped to round up Jews and in eastern Europe they were helped by Ukrainians, Lithuanians,and Latvians
-death camps were established in eastern and central Europe (the largest was at Auschwitz [about 40 miles from Cracow, Poland] was built by the Nazis and well over 1 million Jew, Poles, Gypsies/Roma, and Soviet prisoners were killed there, before prisoners were executed in the gas chambers they were put to forced labor, many died due to poor conditions, some were experimented on by ruthless doctors, and even the gold in prisoners' mouths were extracted and put in a bank), about 6 million Jews were exterminated (and 90% of Jewish children in Nazi occupied lands died) as well as gypsies, Christians who resisted Nazism or helped Jews to hide, and developmentally disabled people were also murdered, the Nazis also considered the Slavs (Poles, Russians, etc.) who they considered to be untermenschen/"subhumans" and they were treated almost worse than the Jews
-the Germans were educated and otherwise civilized people but many of them felt no guilt after the war, at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials after the war some excused their work by saying that they were simply following orders and some still believed they had done the world a favor, into the early 21st century Germans and their allies who were linked to Nazi war crimes were tracked down, arrested, tried, and executed or imprisoned, ex. the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) lived in Argentina for years before he was captured by Israeli agents and put on trial in Jerusalem (in the Jewish intellect Hannah Arendt [1906-1975] said in her 1961 book Eichmann in Jerusalem that Eichmann seemed hardly demonic, he seemed more like a bureaucrat who became part of a death machine he was not very interested in, he was a careerist who saw Germany's deadly policies as a way to advance himself)
-the holocaust was partially responsible for establishing Israel as a nation, after the war there was a sense that the Jews (who had been dispersed around the world since the first century) should have a homeland, Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) was an important early advocate of Zionism/Jewish nationalism, in 1897 the First Zionist Congress met in Basel (in Switzerland) and called for a Jewish homeland in Palestine which actually happened in 1948, the US was the first nation to recognize Israel as a nation (since then the US has been involved in Middle Eastern affairs to some extent)
the Cold War (1945-1991)
-in 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill drew up the Atlantic Charter which created the United Nations/UN (which replaced the League of Nations) which was "determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war" by disarming aggressor nations, UN headquarters are in New York (US) and the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 made the US dollar the world's reserve currency
-communist parties were strong (especially in France and Italy) and some people were open to the radical political views of communism, soon after WWII Greece erupted in civil war and it looked like Greece (Western civilization's cradle of democracy) might turn to communism, the US (the strongest Allied country after WWII) tried to prevent the spread of communism by providing European nations over $12 billion of economic assistance from 1948-1951 in the European Recovery Program/the Marshall Plan (named after US secretary of state George Marshall) which was implemented by the Organization for European Economic Cooperation
-the Third World was made up of the countries which resisted being on either side of the Cold War (the sides were the US and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, which was for the most part noncommunism, democracy, etc. vs. communism)
-the Soviets had captured Berlin and occupied East Germany and the Allies (the British [including Canadians], Free French, and Americans) occupied West Germany as well as occupation zones in Berlin, the Allies wanted Germany to become a democracy but the Soviets wanted to establish puppet governments throughout eastern Europe (in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany, and many small states acquired by the Soviets [ex. Lithuania and Latvia]), in 1955 the Soviets formed the Warsaw Pact which was a counterpart to NATO/North Atlantic Treaty Organization (which was created in 1949 as a military alliance with the US, Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Iceland, Norway, Canada, and West Germany) but after the Cold War many countries previously in the Warsaw Pact joined NATO
-the US gave $400 million in economic and military aid to assist anticommunists in the Greek Civil War and in Turkey, this was based on the Truman Doctrine of 1947 when he said "I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures"
-the Truman Doctrine was also applied when the US tried to prevent the Soviets from controlling all of Berlin, in 1948 the Soviets blockaded the corridor connecting West Berlin to West Germany but the Allies overcame this obstacle by flying supplies into West Berlin (which was called the Berlin Airlift and it lasted a year, at its peak they flew 13k tons of supplies in per day) which demonstrated the Allies' power, the Soviets built the Berlin Wall in 1961 (to reduce American influence and prevent people from traveling west/leaving communist land) and Checkpoint Charlie was the best known gate which passed from West to East Germany
-in 1949 China (the country with the largest population) became communist
-in 1950 soldiers from communist North Korea (with permission from the Chinese and apparently from the Soviet Union) invaded noncommunist South Korea, then the UN authorized a conflict against communist forces from North Korea and China (the main anticommunist force in North Korea [excluding North Koreans] was the US, plus some troops were also sent there by Britain, Turkey, Australia, and other countries), the Korean War of 1950-1953 ended with the militarily guarded line between communist North Korea and noncommunist South Korea straddling the 38th parallel (as it would be into the early 21st century and the war hadn't formally ended)
-in 1953 attention was on French Indochina (French colonial territories in Southeast Asia including present-day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos which were returned to France after WWII), many Vietnamese (especially those in the north who favored communism) were tired of the country being occupied and consequently the French suffered a major defeat in Vietnam at Dienbienphu in 1954, western democracies (especially the US) wanted to prevent Vietnam from becoming communist (because they feared the Domino Theory which said that other Southeast Asian countries would also fall into communism) so beginning in the late 1950s US military advisers, weapons, troops, and funds were sent to Vietnam, the US became more involved in Vietnam in 1964 but by 1973 (after several military defeats and domestic protests) the US decided to remove its troops from Vietnam and by the end of 1975 all of Vietnam was communist (the US' involvement in Vietnam was very controversial), Laos and Cambodia also became communist but Thailand didn't become communist
-the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was when US president John F. Kennedy gave the Soviets a deadline by which to stop building missiles in Cuba (which had a communist revolution in 1959 and was 90 miles from the US coastline) if the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971, ruled Russia from 1956-1964) hadn't stopped and removed all the missiles already in Cuba there most likely would have been a war, (the US' policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union seemed to be working), in order to prevent accidentally starting a nuclear war (due to rouge military leaders) the US and Soviet Union an emergency communications system in the early 1960s so that the nations' leaders could immediately contact each other
-in 1979 the Soviets (led by Leonid Brezhnev) invaded Afghanistan (although not all of the reasons are clear, they wanted to maintain a pro-Soviet government there thus it was based on the Brezhnev Doctrine of 1968 in which Soviets said that they had the right to interfere in the domestic politics of communist nations), about 2k Soviet soldiers died per year in this Soviet-Afghan War, the US and China funneled weapons through Pakistan, in 1989 the Soviets withdrew completely from Afghanistan, (there were many similarities between the American war in Vietnam and the Soviet war in Afghanistan including the US and Soviets being at a disadvantage because they were "out of their element" and using children in the warfare, etc.)
-Nikita Khrushchev gave Russians a little more freedom (ex. he eliminated restrictions on small private farms, and allowed the novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich which criticized parts of Soviet life, the author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn b. 1918 later lived in the US and was the best-known critic of the Soviet Union, in 1956 he gave a speech at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party which denounced Stalin and some of his tactics [the speech was supposed to remain secret but didn't])
-then reform-minded Communists in Poland led by Wladyslaw Gomulka (1905-1982) to reduce restrictions against the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and to seek greater political independence from the Soviet Union, then c. 1956 reformers in Hungary (most notably Imre Nagy 1896-1958) wanted Soviet troops to leave Hungary and for Hungary to leave the Warsaw Pact, these reform attempts were met with force and mostly defeated, in 1968 reformers in Czechoslovakia led by Alexander Dubcek (1921-1992) launched the Prague Spring which sought to make political culture less repressive but the Soviet troops moved in and replaced Dubcek thus ending political liberalization
-lasting reforms which ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union starting in the late 1980s, the Soviet-Afghan War was a big factor which led to the end of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev b. 1931 (he though that communism was the best possible system but that it had been hijacked in practice in the USSR by corruption) was the leader of the USSR when it ended, he used the slogans perestroika/"restructuring" and glasnost/"openness", he allowed more political liberty (thus less censorship), released political prisoners, was willing to be publicly criticized, and followed Lenin's New Economic Policy (allowing private property), in 1988 he made a new constitution for a Congress of People's Deputies (which many reformers and government critics were elected to), however Gorbachev soon lost control of the reforms
-in Soviet-dominated Poland the Solidarity (a labor organization) was challenging the Communists for political power, due to Poland's communist government having more freedom since the early 1980s the Communists lost overwhelmingly in the 1989 elections thus a noncommunist prime minister was appointed and Lech Walesa (b. 1943, Solidarity's founder) gained international fame
-in 1989 Hungary opened its borders so that people could pass between it and its neighbor noncommunist Austria (thus people living behind the Iron Curtain [which Churchill called it between the communist East and the noncommunist West after WWII] could get to the west), and they made noncommunist political parties legal, large anticommunist demonstrations broke out in East Germany, before the end of 1989 the Berlin Wall was torn down, and in Dec. the anticommunist dissident Vaclav Havel (b. 1936) became president of Czechoslovakia, change in communist Europe occurred so quickly because Gorbachev rejected the Brezhnev Doctrine of 1968 (which gave the USSR the right to interfere with the internal affairs of communist countries) and withdrew Soviet troops from eastern Europe, Gorbachev wanted to maintain the communist system but recognized that political competition could be good for the government, Russia's president Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931) favored movement toward capitalism, anti-Soviet nationalist movements broke out in the USSR (including in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), anti-Soviet feeling became public in the Islamic states bordering Afghanistan and Iran (including Azerbaijan), in 1991 a failed coup against Gorbachev by communist hardliners indicated that his reforms would hold but his government was unstable (Yeltsin was the most public person involved in the coup and was considered a hero and Gorbachev was humiliated by the fact that his own appointees had proverbially stabbed him in the back), Gorbachev resigned on Christmas Day in 1991 and the Soviet Union ceased to exist and was replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (the Cold War had ended and reform was encouraged in other parts of the world, ex. in 1993 the South African government's policy of apartheid [strict racial segregation] was abolished)
-in the late 1990s and into the early 21st century some countries that had received US assistance would become enemies of the US by aiding and harboring radical Muslim terrorists
the Space Race
during the Cold War the US and Soviets vied for dominance in outer space, in 1956 the Soviets were the first to launch a satellite (which was called Sputnik) into space, President Kennedy encouraged Americans to work toward landing a man on the moon and the American flag was planted on the moon in 1969 when Neil Armstrong stepped out of his spacecraft saying, "That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind."
post Cold War
-the Commonwealth of Independent States was led by Boris Yeltsin from 1991-2000 (even though in 1993 he suspended Russian parliament and they declared his disposed the military was on his side and he retained power), Vladimir Putin (the 2nd Russian president) had to deal with a civil war with separatists in Muslim Chechnya who wanted to become a nation independent of Russia and were aided by radical Muslims from around the world (including fighters from the Taliban [which took control of Afghanistan after the Soviet-Afghan War]) and wealthy radicals (ex. Osama bin Laden) financed the Chechnyans
-after the terrorist attacks on the US on 9/11/2001 the Us went to war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda (Osama bin Laden's terrorist network) which took responsibility for the attacks (thus both the US and Russia were fighting/enemies of radical Muslim terrorists but they still disagreed on many important issues), after the short "Operation Desert Storm" (in the Gulf War) in 1991 (which started because Iraq annexed Kuwait) the US invaded Iraq in 2003 because the incorrectly thought that Iraq (whose leader Saddam Hussein clearly favored anti-American terrorism) had weapons of mass destruction and this invasion was protested by Russia and other countries (including France and Germany)
-after Yugoslavia's strong leader Marshal Tito (1892-1980, who had led Yugoslavia's anti-Nazi resistance movement) died the country broke into civil war in 1990 when Slovenia and Croatia (their were many ethnic groups in Yugoslavia including Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians, Croats, Montenegrins, and Macedonians) declared their independence, the Serbs held the policy of "ethnic cleansing" and killed thousands and forcibly removed Muslims from Serbia (their leader Slobodan Milosevic was tried for war crimes at an international criminal tribunal established by the UN), after NATO bombing strikes against Serbian targets the Dayton Accord of 1995 gave Bosnia independence and required NATO troops to remain in the Balkans into the 21st century
-Haiti had experienced chaos for decades before American and French troops went there in 2004 to reestablish order, in the early 2000s the UN also tried to bring peace to Sudan (a former British possession) which had experienced decades of war
-many countries that had entered the modern world because of European influence wanted independence from Europeans, in 1956 Egypt's leader Gamal Abdal Nasser (1918-1970) declared that his country had complete control over the Suez Canal (this threatened English and French interests especially to access oil in the Middle East so they used a war between Israel and Egypt as a pretext to move troops into the canal zone but the US and Russia still recognized Egypt's authority over the canal), Algerians (in North Africa) gained independence from France in 1962 after a bloody war, by 1970 most of Africa's nations were independent (ex. independence from England was gained by Nigeria in 1960 and by Kenya in 1963), in 1947 Britain kept its promise made before WWII to let go of its most important colony of India, just before the 21st century Britain of the important colony of Hong Kong (which is now under Chinese rule), in the 1982 Falklands War (regarding small islands off the east coast of South America) Britain fought Argentina (showing that the UK would still fight for territory far away)
social and political trends
-although Portugal and Spain remained dictatorships for awhile after WWII in general Western civilization was characterized by increasing freedoms (especially freedom of religion and freedom from religion), and Cuba, China, and Vietnam were communist countries and communism was born in Western civilization
-as more people went to colleges/universities and in the 1960s and early '70s student demonstrations contributed to the US withdrawing their troops from Vietnam and in 1971 a US Constitutional amendment gave 18 year-olds the right to vote, student demonstrations in France in 1968 nearly toppled the government of Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970, who was the leader of the Free French during WWII) ex. one poster showed Gaulle with his hands over a young person's mouth saying "Sois jeune et tais toi/Be young and be quiet"
-birth rates throughout western Europe plummeted (ex. in 2003 Italy's population couldn't replace itself and relied on immigrants to do much of its poorly paid labor)
-rock-and-roll music and widespread television viewing began in the 1950s and youth culture (especially in the US) came to dominate popular culture, young people had their own music, dress/styles, and way of speaking
-young intellectuals were influenced by the existentialist (which stresses the individual's responsibility to make life meaningful for himself even in the face of life's apparent absurdity) writings of Albert Camus (1913-1960) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), later the popular new outlook became postmodernism (which emphasizes suspicion towards all claims of truth and authority, ex. not making the definite statement that Shakespeare is better literature than comic strips)
-environmental protection was also important to young people, Rachel Carson's (1907-1964) 1962 Silent Spring is credited with beginning the global environment movement, Green political parties emerged in western Europe to promote environmental protection (often by allying themselves with other left-wing parties), the accident at the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986 as well as the fear of scientists that industrial emissions were causing global warming both contributed to people's concern for the environment
-the New Left (which many of the Green party members could be included in) emerged in the 1950s and '60s, they held socialist (and sometimes Marxist) doctrines but rejected the authoritarianism of the Soviet Union and wanted to bring socialist reform through the democratic systems already in place, the New Left also included feminists who wanted to reform society, in the French feminist Simone de Beauvoir's (1908-1986) 1949 The Second Sex said that womanhood was largely a construction of a male-dominated culture and that "One is not born a woman, one becomes one"
-the Second Vatican Council significantly altered some Roman Catholic beliefs: Mass was permitted to be said in local languages (instead of the required Latin), it acknowledged that sexual relations within marriage weren't only for procreation and recognized that parents might have good reasons to limit the number of children they have (although the church still opposed artificial birth control), however there were some traditions which didn't change (ex. only men could be priests and they had to remain celibate)
-beginning in the 1960s mass immigration to European countries from former colonies altered western Europe's ethnic and religious makeup, immigrants from North Africa also caused France's Muslim population to increase dramatically (in 2000 more Muslims went to mosques than French people attended church)
-the 1957 Treaty of Rome formed the European Economic Community/EEC (aka the Common Market) which was several western European countries which didn't have tariffs on goods when trading with other members, the EEC grew over time (ex. the former dictatorships of Spain and Portugal joined it in 1982), the 1991 Treaty of Maastricht called for a common currency to be used in western Europe and by 2001 most of western Europe had adopted the euro, the EEC has been called the European Union/EU since 1993 because many of the less prosperous eastern European nations as well as Turkey wanted to join, the EU set conditions for membership (ex. Turkey was required to abolish the death penalty in order to join), by 2005 it seemed obvious that the large US troop presence in Germany since the end of WWII (which had been to prevent Soviet aggression) would disappear but some Americans were afraid that Germany would build a large military again
-entertainment and American popular culture pervaded societies across the globe (the average American watch more television than anyone else in Western civilization [which was 4 hours per day in 2000]), people from around the world went to universities in Western countries because they were considered the best in the world, in the early 21st century many believed that
Western civilization was in decline and that some other power or collection of powers would overtake it in a few decades