Intro to Modern World History

6 Revolutions & Industrialization

Shelley Rose


Between 1750-1850 people negotiated new relationships with their governments all over the world. This module focuses on these political “reorderings,” as Tignor et. al. term them in Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (4th Edition, Chapter 15), highlighting the rise of the concept of nation-state and citizenship. In the context of the French Revolution, historians see renegotiated agreements between individuals and the state, as well as challenges to Enlightenment ideals that often neglected women and minorities as part of these political conversations. The effects of ideas and industrialization traveled across national and imperial borders; changing global power relationships- such as those between China and Britain in the Opium Wars- and encouraging “alternative visions,” another useful term from the Worlds Together, Worlds Apart team, in which people reimagined the ideal relationship between subjects, citizens, and the state.
Objectives: After completing Chapter 6, you will be able to

  1. Identify and examine the effects of Enlightenment ideas on revolutions in the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
  2. Define nation-state and how the rise of this concept challenged relationships between people and their governments.
  3. Analyze the effects of the industrious revolution and industrialization on various world regions.
  4. Understand the changes in power dynamics between industrialized empires and agricultural, or pre-industrial, empires.

Political Reordering & Revolutions

  1. Read/Browse the “Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite: Exploring the French Revolution” exhibit.
  2. Listen to the following 15-Minute History podcasts: “The Haitian Revolution,” “Simon Bolivar,” or “The American Revolution in Global Context Part I”
  3. Primary Sources: “The Tennis Court Oath,” “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
  4. OPTIONAL: Visit Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast French Revolution index. The Ottoman History Podcast, “The Ottoman Empire in the Age of Revolutions.”

Empire, Conflict, & Industrialization- The Opium Wars

  1. Read Peter Purdue’s essay “The First Opium War” on MIT Visualizing Cultures website. (See “The American Revolution in Global Context Part II” for optional listening on the American Revolution seen as a conflict between subjects and the British Empire)

Information Literacy & Historical Thinking

  1. Go to the “War Stories” tab in Purdue’s essay. Choose a primary source from the list and evaluate it using the Historical Thinking Worksheet.
  2.  Think critically about the “War Stories” group of sources. Do you notice similarities and differences between the documents? What might have caused them? Be prepared to explain your answer in a 2-3 sentences.

Share This Book