World History Concise

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Pre-19th century

Feudal Society Explained


division of societies into classes based on birth - feudal lords and serfs

  • structuring society around relations derived from holding of land in exchange for service or labor
  • Non democratic, kings claimed divine rights, non contiguous boundaries, multiple nationalities within, division of same nationality some under local ruler others under church

Impact of Feudalism

started 9th century and lasted for almost ~1000 years

  • led to an unequal class structure
  • made erstwhile state weaker and local provincial feuds emerged powerful
    • fragile and weak political system prone to wars and conflicts
  • made society closed and travels were minimized, suppressed spread of knowledge
    • paved way for 'Dark Age' in Europe while Asia flourished


  • religious wars (started 11th century) against Islam, heretic (dissident), pagans (non-Christians)
    • aimed at bringing holy places under control of church
  • used as facade to fulfill ambitions of local rulers in name of religion and control crucial trade routes like Silk Route


  • not only military success but also reestablishment of lost contact of feudal society w/ outside world
  • Europe tasted new luxuries due to plunder- led to expansion of trade once again
  • new economy of trade led to new social class which helped in weakening of feudal system as imp. of land decreased
    • devt. of port cities, trading centers and urban centers
  • this devt. required centralized security apparatus- provided by new set of monarchies replacing feudal lords
    • wealth by trade used to finance armies by monarch to protect traders and expand empires
    • nation state started to appear as centralized system of control expanded


  • greater travel, rising wealth, greater knowledge of outer world led to new philosophy of life
  • rising material consumption led to displacement of church with worldly pleasures
    • human and not God became center of activities
  • individualism and human potential took place in society- humanism was key ideological pillar
    • not only about religion and polity but also about state of mind
  • classics were revived and search for knowledge began- intellectual facet of renaissance
    • invention of printing press played a key role as books were widely available now
    • advances in fields of science, maths, physics, literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, astronomy etc.
    • cultural re-birth- secular paintings were made
  • began in Italy as it was center of wealth and trade at that time
  • numerous sea voyages and new geographical discoveries
    • direct sea routes were discovered to places like India
    • reduced dependency of West on Central Asia and West Asia
  • new era of world trade- created hyper demands and opening of new mkt. provided further push to industrial revolution

Later, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution led to American War of Independence, French Revolution and Russian Revolution


Rise of Nationalism

Global Events Timeline 1
  • spirit of nationalism began to evolve with formation of nation-states
    • feudal societies had small provinces which were driven by narrow concerns and were also not permanent
    • evolution of large nation states bred feeling of nationalism
  • American Revolution was the 1st manifestation of this feeling
    • also evident in French Revolution- became contagious in Europe after 1789
  • Nationalism is a modern movement in which loyalty of individuals is not to vested interests, monarch or political group but to a nation of people
    • earlier loyalties were attached to land (feudal society), territory and so on
Global Events Timeline 2

Impact of Nationalism on 19th century Europe

  • two facets-
    • revolts against autocratic monarchies
    • movements against foreign rule
  • success of American Revolution sowed the seeds of nationalism in Europe- French Revolution was the 1st fruit
  • 1st revolt in Serbia in 1804 which led to successful implementation of nation state in 1817
    • similar attempts made by Greece against Ottoman empire
    • led to toppling of Austrian Hungarian empire, Romanovs of Russia, Ottoman empire
  • Vienna congress tried to stifle tide of nationalism but it was evident by 1830s that nationalism is unstoppable force
    • in 1831, Belgium obtained independence from Dutch
    • attempts made by Italy, France and Poland were however suppressed
      Global Events Timeline 3
  • Unification of Italy under Mazzini and Unification of Germany- strongest manifestations
  • nationalism led to reactionary conflicts from conservatives who wanted to restore old order
  • transformed into jingoism resulting into ambitious conquests, colonialism and conflict as well
    • ethnic nationalism gave rise to sub-nationalities and disintegration of many states. e.g. disintegration of Ottoman Empire (earlier Islam was basis)
  • struggle for world resources due to emergence of new industrial nationalities

Industrial Revolution

  • profit making became the core of all economic activities in Europe
  • Capitalism and Colonization
    • Capitalism promoted colonialism - discovery of new lands led to expansion of trade and accumulation of wealth by merchants
    • Led to Slave Trade in Africa, impoverishment of colonies - eg Aztec civilizations (Mexican) were plundered by the Spaniards.
    • Large scale exploitation of natives- eg in mines, plantations
    • Taking over of local government and plunder of wealth e.g. Bengal
  • Mechanized low cost production to fuel capitalism, began in 1750 England. Why?  
    • Capital: Vast profits through overseas trade, slave trade
    • Colonies to supply raw material for Industrial revolution
    • Disappearance of serfdom - no shortage of labor (ousted from farms)
    • Stable government as a result of 17th century revolution
    • Plenty of natural resources such as iron and coal- necessary of IR
    • Large shipping industry to transport finished goods, strong navy
  • Machines such as plough, air-pump, printing press and spinning wheel existed even before but IR speeded up the process of mechanization
  • Factory System: Production no longer happened in homes. Factories managed by capitalist, workers worked for wages and produce belonged to owner of factory
  • Textile Revolution (IR started with this sector)-  
    • England used to import cotton textile from India- Dhaka muslin, Calicut Calico etc. leading to huge forex drain
      • machines made possible to make finer, cheaper thread and finally powerlooms running initially by horses/bullocks and in factory by rivers and canals
    • Cotton Gin (Jenny) - 300 times faster removal of seed from cotton
    • Steam Engine - led to trade thus allowed cotton import and finished product export
  • Blast Furnace - to utilize iron
  • Transport Revolution - Railways 1814, Macadamized road, Canals were built
  • Communication revolution- Postal Revolution, Telegraph
  • Agriculture Revolution -  
    • Farm Mechanization- Steel Plough, harrow, mechanical drill for seeding, horse drawn cultivator, thresher, reaper  
    • Crop Rotation - Manuring, staple food replaced with cash crops like cotton, indigo etc.
    • Land Consolidation- as industrialization started, land became valuable commodity; big landlords started snatching land of small farmers ('enclosure movement')
  • commodification of labor with introduction of wage system

Industrial Revolution in Other Countries

Unstable government and unrest among people slowed down IR in these countries

  • France - had to import both iron and coal
  • Germany - caught up after 1870 unification
  • Russia - Last of big EU Power to have an IR. Rich in mineral but lacked capital and free labour
  • USA - started after gaining independence from England, American industry grew very rapidly after 1870
  • Japan - First Asian country to industrialize  


  • Social- new urban centers (like Manchester, Leeds), slums, nuclear family, class inequalities, concentration of economic power
    • Poor housing, No Social Security, No Labor Laws - 1802 first Factory Act, 1819 law forbade employment of children under nine
  • Economic- birth of industrial capitalism, transnational trade, cheap goods, ruin of handicrafts, Laissez Faire
    • Labor became dependent and was exploited, Exploitation of women, children
  • Political- colonialism, division of countries as developed and under-developed, Europeanization of different parts of world
    • Chartist Movement (1838-48) was for giving right to vote for workers
    • new movements like Socialism, Marxism; rise to TUs

American Revolution

The Revolutionary War waged by the American colonies against Britain influenced political ideas and revolutions around the globe, as a small fledgling nation won its freedom from the greatest military force of its time.

Settlements in America

  • 16th century - by France, Holland, Spain, England
    • 1607 - English settlement in Virginia on eastern boundary of NA
  • 18th century - England drove France out of eastern part of continent and Canada
    • by mid-18th century England had 13 colonies on Atlantic side
  • Landless peasants, people seeking religious freedom, traders and profiteers had settled there. Population consisted of independent farmers, Infant industries had developed too
  • In North - fishing and ship building, In South - tobacco and cotton plantation
  • Every Colony had a local assembly elected by qualified voters - power to enact laws concerning local matters, levied taxes but subordinate to England

Causes of War of American Independence

  • Economic:  
    • England's policies prevented American Colonies from developing own economies
      • Forbade use of non British ships in their trade, Navigation Law of 1651 made it compulsory to navigate American ships towards Britain before navigating for rest of world
      • Certain products, such as tobacco, cotton and sugar - exported only to Britain
      • Heavy Duty on imports from other colonies
      • Forbidden to start iron works, textile industries-import dependent on Britain
    • Rent: They prevent colonists to move west, continue to provide rent to English aristocrat
    • Taxes to finance wars in Europe - 1765 Stamp Act - English Parliament had no representatives from the colonies, it had no right to levy taxes on them
  • Philosophers - spread ideas of injustice, unfairness and need to dislodge British hegemony
    • Jefferson inspired by French philosophy, Thomas Paine had come to America after detesting inequalities in English society
    • Benjamin Franklin established 'Philosophical society of America' with objective of wakening Americans
  • Proclamation of 1763 introduced massive boundary between white settlements and Indian country in west
    • any developments, settlements to west of boundary was prohibited
  • 7 years war 1756-63 between Britain and France for possession of Canada put Britain in debt
    • Britain emerged victorious and Paris Peace Treaty 1763 signed
    • during war, Americans got free hand in world trade, tasted fruits of economic freedom
    • Britain imposed old restrictions (Stamp Duty etc.) thru Greenville Policy 1765
  • Political - "No taxation without representation" by Massachusetts Assembly
    • threatened to stop import of British goods -> Stamp Act repealed (Rockingham Declaration)
    • but Parliament still insisted that it had the right to levy taxes
      • tax imposed on consumer goods coming into colonies, such as paper, glass, tea and paint etc. (Townsend Plan)
      • led to revolts which were suppressed in Boston Massacre of 1770
    • 1689 English Bill of Rights discriminated between rights of Americans and English natives
  • Boston Tea Party: Tax on Tea. 1773 - several colonies refused to unload tea from English ships. English Govt closed the port. Immediate cause of revolution
  • Declaration of Independence - 1st Continental Congress at Philadelphia in 1774, appealed English king to (i) remove restrictions on industries, trade, tax; (ii) give Americans representation in British legislature
    • Declaration perceived as mutiny and soldiers were sent to suppress it
  • 2nd Continental Congress - 4 July 1776 - declaration that 'all men are born equal'
    • People are the source of authority - colonies have right to be free. They were no longer fighting as Englishmen but as Americans
  • 3rd Philadelphia Convention (1787) led to formation of American Constitution

The War of Independence

  • George Washington - commander of American Force
  • France helped with troops, Spain and Holland started fighting elsewhere with English
  • Threat of rebellion in Ireland
  • Parliament opposing the war with the colonist
  • War ended after Cornwallis surrendered in 1781 - Treaty of Paris in 1783
  • Expansion
    • Purchased territories from France (Louisiana), Spain (Florida)
    • War with Mexico- extended its territory till Pacific
    • Civil war 1861-65 when slave owning states of south seceded from Union

Significance of American Revolution

  • American Constitution:
    • States (colonies) were united
    • Republican form of government- 1st written republication constitution
    • Federal system
    • Bill of Rights - freedom of speech, press and religion and justice under law
  • Inspiration to many revolution: 'equality of all men' and the ‘inalienable rights’ of man electrified the atmosphere in America and outside.
    • Many American Revolutionaries also participated in French Revolution eg, Thomas Paine, Lafayette (French General). Also Spanish and Portuguese colonies rebelled
  • Biggest achievement- establishment of republic. Men of property could vote
  • Mercantilist theory that colonies exist for benefit of mother country was debunked
  • American Indians were driven out of their territories and reduced in numbers

American Civil War 1861-1865:

  • despite revolution, social conditions didn't change much- condition of blacks was deplorable
  • rift due to introduction of tariff policy by northern states to protect indigenous industries
    • southern states were agrarian states and opposed this policy
  • Slavery system was prevalent in agrarian economies of southern states
    • northern states wanted to abolish but southern states wanted to retain
  • Missouri Agreement 1820- states above 36 N will be slavery free states, rest slave states
    • southern states became suspicious of anti-slavery activities in northern states . e.g. Anti-Slavery society, novel Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • increasing suspicion led to adopting policies of siding more and more states on their sides
    • Kansas, Nebraska became slave states, federal court held slavery legal
  • Republican Party was born in 1854 with sole agenda of abolishing slavery
    • James Brown turned it into a militant movement; Abraham Lincoln was elected Prez
  • southern states formed 'Confederation of States' in 1861, 3 point resolution- sovereignty of states, abolition of tariffs, slavery as legal, Immediate cause of Civil War
  • war started on issue of slavery but shifted towards issue of unity of federation
    • independence seen as hard earned, Lincoln played key role in strengthening pro-unity, anti-slavery sentiments
  • 13th amendment introduced in 1865 abolished slavery; America was reborn
    • Juneteenth celebrations to commemorate as Africans Americans in Texas were set free after end of civil war

Critical Analysis:

  • Not a true revolution- Americans wanted reforms in political system on constitutional lines, wanted to preserve traditional rights
    • war emanated from desire for greater rights and not change of system per se
    • power was not transferred in hands of people themselves- rested in hands of few
    • citizens were discriminated even after independence- blacks still treated 2nd class, women not given franchise
    • slavery system persisted in southern states- soon followed by American Civil War (Lincoln played crucial role)
  • Natural & Expected Event- culmination of evolutionary changes rather than abrupt radical
    • politically, 13 colonies had certain degree of independence but yearned for more
    • economically, situation of America was better- no class confrontations during war, no mass poverty, no seething social discontent and no grinding oppression
      • America was more prosperous than other colonies and had ambitions to expand trade with world which was forbidden
    • gradual evolution of political philosophy started from 1st Continental Congress and culmination into making of Constitution

French Revolution


  • Social Structure -  
    • Clergy (First estate) ~1.3 lakh clerics
    • Nobility (Second estate) ~80k families
    • First, Second Estate were exempted from taxes and controlled administration
      • owned about 40% of land in France (5% of population)
      • Extravagance and luxury
    • Monarchy - Louis XVI - absolute monarch, mediocre intelligence, indifferent
      • wife Mary Antoinette always sided with nobility, opposed financial reforms
    • Financial troubles at the time of revolution
  • The Third Estate- the noble fight, the clergy pray and the people pay
    • Peasants- ~80% of population, free unlike serfs but great majority were landless. Huge rents extracted from tenants ~3/4th. Taxes, forced labor, starvation
    • Middle Class- educated writers, doctors, judges, lawyers, teachers, civil servants, rich merchants, bankers and manufacturers
      • Economically most imp. class- builders of industries, developed trade contacts with America
      • clergy, nobility indebted to them but had no political rights
    • Proletariat- Artisans, Workers, poor in towns and cities under inhuman Bourgeoise
      • inferior creatures, no shift in employment w/out employee consent and certificate of good conduct
      • long working hours, heavy taxes, formed secret societies  
  • Intellectual Movement -
    • Rationalism - Kant
    • used female allegory (Marianne) to portray ideas such as Liberty, Justice and the Republic (~ Germania in German nation)
    • many French people had participated in American Revolution and took home ideas
    • Attack on Church, Clergy - Scientific Revolution, Renaissance, Voltaire (freedom of expression),
    • Montesquieu & Separation of Powers Theory-
      • govt. has duty of maintaining law & order, public liberty, property
      • opposed absolute monarchy, advocated constitutional form of govt.
      • admin. powers should be separate from sovereign powers
    • Physiocrats (or French Economist of that time) - laissez faire, tax should be levied with consent of taxed
    • Rousseau- The Social Contract (1762) and General Will-
      • Man was born free and everywhere he is in chains
      • rejected divine authority of king, argued people as sovereign
      • to protect rights, liberties, properties, people should enter into a social contract in which they give up all rights to 'whole community' not to king
      • advocated direct democracy where people exercise 'general will' to make laws for 'public good'- no concept of separation of powers
      • ideal of general will reflected in Indian Constitution- 'We, the people...'

The Revolution

  • 7 years war in America led to huge burden at exchequer- exacted from commoners
    • aristocracy refused to share burden of state, royal expenses weren't reduced
  • 3rd state was refused entry into Estates General- commoners gathered in tennis court to declare themselves 'National Representatives'
  • Fall of Bastille (prison in Paris, 14th July 1789) started the revolution which spread to other cities and towns and finally to countryside  
  • National Assembly enacted laws - Declaration of Rights of Men
    • equality before law, eligibility to hold public offices, freedom from arrest without proven cause, freedom of speech and press, equitable distribution of burden of taxation, rights to private property
  • Clergy and Nobles asked for foreign support against revolution
    • Austria declared Declaration of Pilnitz in 1791 asking France to restore monarchy
  • National Convention (1792) replaced National Assembly, declared war against Austria, Prussia
    • 'fraternity, assistance' to all people wishing to destroy old order in their country
    • England, Holland, Spain joined Austria-Prussia as 'First Coalition', declared war  
  • Jacobian - radical group believed in direct democracy, felt it was their duty to preserve revolution even if it meant violence- "Reign of Terror".
  • Army became increasingly powerful - rise of Napoleon

Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815)

  • Between 1793-96, French army conquered almost all of western Europe
  • France occupied Italian territories under Treaty of Lunewill after defeating Austria
    • resources of Italy to compensate war costs, Austria concentrated on Balkans
  • Napoleon became Emperor, wanted to establish peace took following steps-
    • Concordat Agreement 1802- Catholic religion as religion of majority (not state), Pope as formal religious head (not actual)
    • Land reforms undertaken, Bank of France was established
    • educational reforms- 3 tier program, freed it from clutches of religion, made it secular
      • education promoted extreme nationalism, Napoleonism
    • Napoleonic Code (French Civil Code) did away with all privileges based on birth
  • England formed "3rd coalition" which was defeated by Napoleon
    • Napoleon lost in Battle of Trafalgar- paved way for British naval supremacy
    • could not lead sea front as Royal Navy was powerful due to steam engine
  • invaded Russia in 1812 though Russia was on friendly terms (but pulled out of Continental Plan)- war won but army suffered due to harsh weather
  • Fourth Coalition formed by Britain, Russia, Sweden, Austria
    • defeated France in Battle of Leipzig in 1813, Napoleon imprisoned at St. Helena
    • attempt at recovery was foiled at  Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.
    • peace settlement, which involved all Europe, took place at the Congress of Vienna

Congress of Vienna 1814

  • European heads met to settle terms by which Napoleonic wars be concluded i.e. return security and stability to Europe
  • 2 principles-
    • Principle of Legitimacy- restoration of monarchs like Louis XVIII as French monarch, Papal states to Pope
    • Principle of Compensation- countries compensated with lands conquered by Napoleon
      • Austria declared leader of Germany, strengthened to prevent recurrence of events like French Revolution (Germany, Italy revolted)
  • Quadruple alliance (Austria, Prussia, Russia, Britain), Holy Alliance (all Christian countries)
  • spirit of nationalism was suppressed- Austrian Chancellor Metternich openly declared policy of intervention in other countries where revolts happened

Holy Alliance

  • 1815 - rulers of Austria, Britain, Russia and Prussia also joined by ruler of France
  • Opposed democratic ideas eg Austria sent armies into Naples
  • 1830- revolution broke out in many countries France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Germany and in Poland - suppressed
  • Greece and Belgium emerged as nation state
  • 1848 - in almost every country of Europe - end of Holy Alliance
  • French ruler Louis Phillipe (1830) was replaced by Napoleon III after an interval of republic state. Finally in 1871 republic established
  • Rulers of many German states including Prussia agreed to introduce reforms
  • Austrian empire shaken - revolts in Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, Yugoslavia and many other areas
  • Workers were major force of these revolution
  • Growth of Democracy in England -
    • Parliament at times was not truly democratic, right to vote limited
    • Until 1832, representation was based on election districts- counties and boroughs and not population
    • Act of 1832, unpopulated areas or 'rotten boroughs' were abolished and their seats were given to new towns and cities
    • Right to vote extended to 10% of the population
    • Chartist Movement - right to worker movement. By 1929, all citizen were franchised

Consequences of the Revolution

  • Destruction of Feudalism (Fall of Bastille) in France. Privileged class abolished. Lands of nobles were confiscated
  • Beginning of modern administration in France. e.g. Municipal Corporation was formed
  • Napoleonic Reforms-
    • Napoleonic Code 1804 based on 3 ideals of French Revolution-
      • Laws should be based on reason and common sense
      • all men should be treated equal under law- rule of law
      • all men should have certain freedoms- religious, economic etc.
    • unified, progressive legal system; right to property
    • Administrative Reforms- simplified admin. divisions, abolished feudal system and freed peasants from serfdom and manorial dues
    • Economic reforms- standardized weights and measures, introduction of common currency, new commercial code, central bank for monetary policy
    • Religious freedom- abolition of nobility, separation of church and state, religious freedom to all
      • provided Freedom to Jews (most persecuted community) and made them full citizens of France
    • Education reforms- to create middle class cadre of leaders, promoted education of girls and improved teacher training 3 tier system
      • restarted primary schools
      • created new elite secondary system of school
      • other schools for general populace
    • European Unity- worked towards creating unified Italy, Poland and Germany
      • responsible for sweeping away old regimes and promoting ideals of equality and European solidarity
    • Capitalism
  • Nation state got its modern meaning, promoted secularism
  • Idea of popular sovereignty - Napoleon was Emperor of French Republic
  • Abolished slavery in all French Colonies
  • For 1st time, workers, peasants, non-propertied classes given equal political rights
    • equality didn’t solve much of problems of peasants, workers as they wanted economic equality - ideas of social equality, socialism originated  
    • Right to vote under Jacobin Constitution

Impact of French Revolution on world

  • Inspired revolution in almost every country of Europe, South and Central America
    • Tipu Sultan, Raja Ram Mohan Roy responded to ideas coming from France
  • Idea that Nobility had no divine power
  • Autocratic government found increasingly difficult to rule people
  • Some changes in EU and AM were direct consequences of Napoleonic wars
  • French occupation during Napoleonic wars spread idea of equality, liberty and Fraternity
  • Serfdom abolished in their territory
    • Slavery abolished in Haiti (French colony of Black)-  it became a republic
  • Spain was occupied by France and Portugal was on war with it, their colonies in south America were cutoff and they became independent. By 1830, almost entire Central and South America had been liberated and slavery was abolished

Critical Analysis:

  • Revolution noble in spirit but failed to leave great impact
    • Changes proposed by National Assembly/Convention were mainly from above and had little social acceptance
    • National Convention was divided into no. of groups amidst confusion- radicals hijacked agenda and behaved in immature manner
    • suppression of opponents also led to elimination of intellectuals
    • condition of 3rd estate didn't improve drastically- land wasn't distributed (instead went into hands of capitalists)
    • economic reforms were lofty in design but failed on ground
    • restriction of religion attracted ire of conservatives- micromanaging aspects of reforms like dress code irritated people
    • desperateness led to birth of Napoleon who brandished aggressive nationalism
      • put France on war-path which France wanted to avoid from the start
  • Napoleonic Empire was self-defeating
    • money was diverted from development to wars due to fetish of power
    • Napoleonic code didn't breed Nationalism but Napoleonism
      • didn't provide equal status to women- subject to authority of fathers, husbands
      • went back to limited suffrage
    • sought to popularize ideas of nationalism but cared little for nationalistic sentiments for others- led to resentments even from areas under him
    • despotism suffocated his own people whom he had won thru war exploits
    • recruitment of foreign mercenaries had little loyalty to France
    • Spanish Ulcer- undue interference in internal affairs, no respect of sovereignty converted allies like Spanish into adversaries
  • Napoleon indirectly sowed seeds of WW I when he directed attention of Austria towards eastern Europe

German Unification


  • German states fulfilled all requirements for industrial revolution but still lagged behind
    • had ample resources like coal, iron, fertile land etc,
  • exploitation of German state by foreign states- France and Austria hurt both nationalists and capitalists
  • Intellectuals like Hudror, Fickle emphasized on ideological bonds of German race, glorified German concepts

Events leading to unification:

  • Rhine State Federation: 1st step towards unification
    • comprising 300 small kingdoms was created by Napoleon
    • for any fundamental constitutional change, acceptance of every state was necessary
    • German Diet (general assembly) formed, remained in existence even after Vienna congress (made Germany confederation of 39 states with Austria as Prez)
  • Zollverin: Customs Union formed in 1819 under leadership of Prussia
    • brought economic unity of Germans + economic consolidation
    • unions provided conducive circumstances for devt. of trade and industry (many such unions formed after 1830 excluded Austria)
  • revolutions of 1830, 1848 in Europe further stoked feelings of nationalism in Germany
    • Revolution of 1830 France challenged idea of divine rule of king i.e. ruler has to be representative of people
    • Revolution of 1848 was socialist revolution led by labor class
  • 2nd Soviet Frankfurt Parliament 1848- two imp. proposals given by representatives but rejected by Prussian king as they were not proposed by king himself
    • formulation of union of German states under leadership of Prussia
    • formation of constitution of German union
  • Austria foiled unification attempts of Prussian king in 1850- war with Austria became German destiny for unification
  • Rise of Prussia & Bismarck:
    • Bismarck (supporter of monarchy) made CM, took aggressive steps to bolster economy and military
      • set up imperial banks, strengthened infra, promoted state socialism
      • pursued policy of 'Blood and Iron' or war
    • 1st war with Denmark with Austria's help over 'Schleswig and Holstein' territories- Denmark was defeated, territories captured by Austria, Prussia resp.
    • Prussia alienated Austria from its European allies to regain Schleswig as it adopted pro-Poland attitude to win over Russia, promised Italy to help in its unification, committed rewards for Napoleon III of France
    • War broke out between Austria, Prussia- Prussia won and Austrian influence in Germany came to end
  • other states of north which resisted were also annexed
  • southern unification was tricky due to opposition by states themselves and by France due to rising Prussia
  • Bismarck, first alienated France from European Allies
    • made public, the demands of France which Prussia promised to alienate Austria
    • wanted pretext of war which came when Spanish throne became vacant
      • France opposed accession of Leopold to Spanish throne
    • Battle of Sedan- France was defeated and southern states were united, Prussian monarch became German king in 1871


  • Bismarck followed foreign policy which focused on maintaining peace and status quo in region (so that Germany stays united)
  • tried to isolate France by following policy of alliances which resulted into counter-alliances
    • alliances divided Europe into armed camps with fuzzy loyalties
    • France remain unplacated over its loss of Alsace Lorraine
  • alienated Russia and created war like situation as it sided with Austria which had rough relations with Russia

Italian Unification

  • Like Germany, divided into many states, Sardinia, Venetia, Kingdom of two Sicilies
    • Sardinia = most powerful, Venetia and Lombardy under Austrian occupation
  • Young Italy Movement,1831 by Mazzini and Garibaldi - independence and Unification
  • 1848 revolution - Sardinia introduced political reforms, and its PM took initiative of uniting Italy under his leadership.
  • 1859 - alliance with Napoleon III and war with Austria - Lombardy was taken over by Sardinia
  • Many other northern states also joined Sardinia
  • Uprising in Sicilies - Garibaldi liberated Sicily and Naples
  • King of Sardinia declared as King of Italy in 1861
  • Rome was ruled by Pope with the support of Napoleon III till 1870 when it became capital of Italy

Comments of both unification -

  • Finally emerged as monarchy and not democracy
  • Forces still being felt everywhere transforming political, social, and economic life
  • Gradual start towards democracy
  • Also led to cut throat competition for colonies
  • 1857 in India, Taiping rebellion in China

Liberation of Latin America

Simon Bolivar- revolutionary who freed 6 countries, intellectual who aregued problems of nat'l liberation, general who fought war of unremitting violence

  • inspired extremes of devotion, detestation; product of enlightenment
  • leader of bourgeois, reformist who secured political change but left colonial heritage of his continent virtually intact

Role in Liberation-

  • Spanish America's independence movement started around 1810- 1st official declaration
  • Bolivar envisioned independent countries under pan-American entity
  • Bolivar joined resistance movement against institution of King of Spain by Napoleon
  • invaded Venezuela in 1813 to mark beginning of his 'Campana Admirable' which resulted in formation of Venezuelan 2nd Republic later
  • Bolivar hailed as El Libertador though civil war soon erupted in republic; forced to flee
  • wrote Letters from Jamaica detailing his vision of South American Republic with Parliamentary setup modeled after England under life-long Prez
    • idea of nation's chief who couldn't be removed from power heavily critiqued
  • gained support from Haiti, Bolivar returns to leash military battles to create Gran Colombia under his leadership
    • federation included Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador
    • named as Dictator of Peru in 1824 followed by creation of Bolivia in 1825

Collapse of "Greater Columbia" idea:

  • mixed republican principles and authoritarian rule (unlike US)
  • rejection of pure federal model in newly freed lands
  • fear that introducing too much liberty to uneducated masses would result in anarchy, thus need for strong central authority
  • 1826 Constitution of Bolivia- 4 separate branches of govt.
    • Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Electoral College
    • Executive heavily weighted with power
    • Prez to serve for life, to be succeeded by Vice-Prez chosen by him
    • Prez to have full control of armed forces, power to appoint, remove all officials
  • geography made it hard to rule vast expanse of Latin America under common ruler
    • terrain of mountains, plateaus, rainforests
    • physical barriers between major metros discouraged large scale governance

Napoleon Policy of Continental Blockade

  • to paralyze GB thru destruction of British commerce pacing way for French exports, increased political influence
  • plan
    • allies and neutrals were not to trade w/ British
    • restrictions on movements of British ships, debarred from using ports
  • reason for failure
    • inadequate french naval power to control vast expanses vs powerful british navy
    • counterblockade by British
    • whole Europe was distrubed, started conspiring against France e.g. Portugal, Spain declared war
    • France waged wars against many countries to enforce the policy e.g. Russia, Spain
    • long term policy but shortage of goods/articles irked people
  • led to Napoleon's downfall in Battle of Leipzig, Waterloo

1890s to World War I

World between the World Wars

World War & India

World since 1945