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The Atlantic Revolutions and the Industrial Revolution

Category: Analysis 7th October 2019

Free essayThe Atlantic Revolutions is a collective term for the wave of revolutions that emerged in the 18th and early 19th century from the so called the Enlightenment. Some of the examples of these revolutions include the American Revolution of 1775-1783, the Revolt of the Dutch Patriots of 1785, The French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution. On the other hand, the Industrial Revolution refers to the period that was characterized by enormous transitions in the manufacturing and production processes. The transition implied that individuals moved from the hand-production techniques to machine-boosted ones. Again, new technologies emerged during the industrial revolution including the use of steam power, the improvement of the efficiency of the water energy, and the development of machine tools. It is significant to note that both the Atlantic Revolutions and the Industrial Revolution have had a significant impact on the history of the world through their massive effects. This essay explicates the effects that both revolutions have had on the history of the world.

One of the most significant impacts of the Atlantic Revolution on the global history can be seen through the advocacy for women rights in the respective countries and later in other countries in the world. Notably, the period of the Enlightenment that characterized the Atlantic Revolutions was a period of change in all aspects of life including the rights of both sexes in society. The Atlantic Revolutions played had a major effect on the world history through the provision of rights for women, the movement that spread to all parts of the globe. For instance, Gouge (1791) affirms that the Atlantic Revolutions enabled individuals around the globe to understand that all individuals regardless of their gender have equal rights to participate in matters concerning the country. Additionally, these revolutions enabled all other countries in the world to understand that their constitutions have to guarantee the separation of powers in the performance of their activities in the state. These Revolutions also did not leave out men as they advocated the forgotten rights of men in society. All men were also to be given enormous respect and their rights were to be respected and protected by the constitution. Both of these assertions noted in the Atlantic Revolutions reiterate the enormous contributions they have had on the history of the world by bringing about a balanced society that does not restrict the rights of genders. Therefore, there has been a tremendous change of roles between the genders all over the world due to the advocacy emanating from the Atlantic Revolutions.

More so, the Atlantic Revolutions can be said to have had great effects on world history because of their contributions to shaping of nationalism. Nationalism is patriotism that citizens develop toward their countries reflected in a vow to stand by their countries in all matters. It is important to note that the Atlantic Revolutions played an instrumental role in enhancing the spirit of nationalism among most individuals in other countries around the globe, hence ensuring that they stood firm in fighting for democracy in their countries. The spirit of nationalism created by the Atlantic Revolutions is deemed to have spread across the globe at a faster rate, hence facilitating the development of better systems of governance in most parts of the globe. In addition, nationalism is also seen to have contributed to the growth of democracy that was desired by individuals in all countries of the world and these revolutions set the stepping-stone for its understandability. Therefore, the emergence of nationalism from the Atlantic Revolutions and its subsequent spread to all parts of the globe in later years underscores the enormous contributions that these revolutions have had on the world history.

The Industrial Revolution has also had enormous impact on the world history through its great contributions to the change of production and manufacturing systems in the agricultural sector. According to the class notes (2013) on Industrialization and the Rest, the revolution meant the transformation from the hand-assisted modes of production to the machine-assisted ones. With this understanding, the Industrial Revolution introduced new technologies in the agricultural field that spread across different parts of the globe. For instance, there was a development of the cotton spinning machine that later spread to all other parts of the world. New manufacturing systems spread as different countries around the globe influenced each other leading to the adoption of these systems of agricultural and industrial production. It expanded output and facilitated the continued sharing of these technologies between different countries. High levels of the spread of new industrial and production systems in different parts of the globe depict the revolution’s effect on the world history.

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In addition, the Industrial Revolution has had significant effects on the history as witnessed by the revolution of the transport sector through the improvement of road networks, the railway network, and the waterway network. It is crucial to note that raw materials had to be moved to their respective industries at a faster pace for the manufacturing process to commence. The transformation of the transportation system was especially common in Europe and spread to other countries in a gradual manner. Effective transportation emanating from the Industrial Revolution also contributed to enhancing connectivity around the globe through trade. Increased levels of trade promoted the exchange of diverse ideas among individuals across the globe, hence highlighting the key contributions of the Industrial Revolution to the history of the world. The world was more connected through the transportation systems and the new methods of trade that were brought about by the improved transport network set in place by the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, the Industrial Revolution was crucial in opening up the world and improving the manufacturing processes that enhanced trade across the globe. This highlights its impact on the history of the world.

In conclusion, it can be underscored that both the Atlantic Revolutions and the Industrial Revolution have had a major effect on the history of the world. The major effects of the Atlantic Revolutions can be seen through its advocacy for rights among women and the emphasis on the forgotten rights of men in society. It asserted the view that both genders were subject to a high level of equality in terms of their treatment. Moreover, the historical effect of the Atlantic Revolutions can be seen from their promotion of the spirit of nationalism that later spread to different parts of the globe. Nationalism was a vital ingredient in the fight for a better country that recognizes the rights of everyone. The Industrial Revolution, in its turn, can be said to have had major effects on the history of the world through its promotion of improved production and manufacturing methods. These were gradually embraced by the entire world leading to massive production and food security. It also facilitated the improvement of transportation system in different places across Europe and other parts of the globe. The contributions made by both the Atlantic Revolutions and the Industrial Revolution emphasize the effects they have had on the history of the world.

Nationalism

Nationalism is a strong feeling of love for one’s own country as well as the feeling of pride for it. Nationalists are believed to share common characteristics: such people could be speaking the same language, practice common cultural practices, share common history or even speak one language. This feeling is deeply embedded among many patriots who courageously fought for their countries’ freedom. Notably, nationalist are driven by a self-compelling force of the need to be loyal to one another and pursue a common goal for the benefit of all. Nationalism erupts where the citizens rely on each other rather than on their leaders to form a movement. Convinced nationalists are found where individuals come together to form some kind of a self-governing body in a bid to put efforts against an intruder who is regarded as an interloper and, therefore, should leave the area. It could be caused by the deprivation of people’s liberty and freedom to enjoy their civil and/or political rights. However, there are dual aspects inherent to this concept: nationalism can both be a unifying force while at the same time is a divisive force. In the struggle for independence, citizens of the respective nations came together, formed movements and unrelentingly fought against imperialism. For instance, the people of America came together to join hands and fight against the imperialism of the British government. Nationalism was perceived as the key factor for national unification and independence in the 19th century, whereby nationalists of countries such as Germany came up with the idea of Volk and stood firmly against the empire of Napoleon I. On the other hand, nationalism in the 20th century expressed itself in a wide array of situations as a drive for the division of nations.

During the 19th century, the concept of nationalism was widely utilized across many nations, particularly in the Atlantic regions. The enlightenment of the native citizens across the Atlantic region such as the American Revolution and the French Revolution necessitated the need for nationalism in a bid to fight for the rights and liberty of all people. The struggle for independence was a hard tussle that was otherwise ideal in a bid to set individuals free and allow equal enjoyment of human rights. The America revolution started from the people of the country who were taxed without representation in the government. The people of America became more concerned over the escalating tax levied by the British soldiers. Their agreement to come together and act as one gave them a competitive advantage that helped them face the British army which was trained and had the expertise required to enter the battlefield. Prolific contributors to the success of The American Revolution were the Jefferson, Washington and a multitude of patriotic Americans who ensured that America won the war, declared independence and headed to the amendment of a new constitution that aimed at providing equal rights and freedom to all Americans. On the other hand, Orwell (1936) confirms that the French Revolution which was necessitated by the enlightenment of the national bankruptcy, inequality of the power structure of the clergy, aristocracy, and the commoners as well as the fact that the Americans had won their independence. All these struggles were very successful as they led to the social progress of all these nations as it can be ascertained even at present. It proves the concept of Social Darwinism, whereby the struggle for the fittest ensured that those who emerged the victors were left to enjoy their rights and freedom. Apparently, the progress is still very evident, as these nations have continuously advanced as far as social and political facets are concerned.

Fascism, on the other hand, is an anti-socialism and anti-liberalism that emphasizes national community and is characterized by an aggressive foreign policy. It combines fierce nationalism as well as nurturing of a sense of nationwide dominance with signs of an idealized and pure past and assures to distil the nation through force and violence when necessary. Japan resorted to radical nationalism during the reign of Hirohito where the country was believed to undergo a revolutionary right. This was thought to bring people together but instead it witnessed a radical erosion of democracy, which led to the rise of the military rule to govern the people of Japan. It is a perfect example of nationalism representing a force of division.

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New Imperialism manifests itself in the Social Darwinism, whereby countries like Japan, America, England, and France sought to expand their territorial reign overseas while trying to prove who the superpower was. In line with the class notes of (2013) on Empires of the Authoriterian Right and the Return of War, it can be emphasized that the New Imperialism was characterized by nations trying to outsmart others in the name of free trade, which would lead to wealth, consumerism, and world peace. They were also after the spread of their culture civilization mission of which was to facilitate the introduction and spread of new ideas and information that would promote democracy and awareness of human rights to those countries they deemed potential for them to extract some resources from. Scientific racism was widely used, whereby there was a classification and segregation of individuals into different races according to their ethnicities and phenotypes. Consequently, empires sought to show their supremacy through engaging their enemies into numerous attacks. There was hardly liberty for individuals, for the latter were denied to exercise their religious freedom. Some individuals collaborated but others did not. It is a fact that made nationalism meaningless and instead of uniting people it was expressed as a divisive force that separated individuals from trusting each other, depending on each other, and definitely peace was lost amongst them.

In conclusion, the paper has explained with relevant examples that nationalism, indeed, can act both as a unifying force and a divisive force. The aftermath of all the historical events as highlighted above in the discussion clearly shows that nationalism was either a unifying effort or a divisive force. The more people realized the need for nationalism, the more they became aware and relied on each other’s trust and love for the country in the struggle for their rights and liberty as witnessed in the Atlantic Revolutions. The Americans realized the kind of heightened oppression of the British tyranny as it kept increasing the taxes for Americans who did not have a representative in the government to protect their rights and freedom. Consequently, there was a need to come together as a country and stand firm against the Britons and demand for their political and social rights not to be violated. On the other hand, some governments were in the struggle to integrate people, which, however, did not turn out to be effective because instead of uniting individuals stood against each other due to a strong nationalism which gave rise to the commencement of the First and even the Second World War. The paper has shown that in the 19th century, nationalism contributed to the integration of people that lead to building of nations but in the 20th century strong nationalism lead to the division of people.

New Imperialism

New Imperialism refers to the desire for colonial expansion embraced by the United States, European countries, and later Japan. It is significant to note that New Imperialism came into place in the 19th century and the early 20th century and the wave of expansion started from the French Conquest of Algeria till the World War I. New Imperialism adopted the term “new” to effectively distinguish it from the preceding waves of European colonization during the 15th to the early 19th centuries. Importantly, it should be noted that New Imperialism was not fundamentally different from the rule of world empires that had existed before 1800 as they bore similar characteristics. Some of the earliest empires such as the Ottoman Empire and the Qing Dynasty had almost similar objectives with the New Imperialism, hence indicating the view that they were not fundamentally different.

This essay explicates New Imperialism and compares it to the Ottoman Empire and the Qing Dynasty. Additionally, the essay expounds on the political, economic and cultural justifications of New Imperialism.

Comparing New Imperialism to the Ottoman and the Qing Dynasty, it can be noted that all these empires were focused on expanding their boundaries and influence. It exemplifies the view that New Imperialism was not fundamentally different from the rule of empires that existed before 1800. As noted earlier, New Imperialism was focused on colonial expansion and the assertion of their influence. European countries and the United States of America were determined to build their empires with advanced forms of technology and resources acquired from the conquered lands. Thus, they engaged in conquests to seize resources that promoted the growth of their respective empires. Similarly, the Ottoman Empire is regarded as one of the most powerful empires that existed in the world because of its multinational and multilingual nature. The Ottoman Empire was also dedicated to acquiring more territories and significantly expanding its borders, hence acquiring the centrality in interactions between the Western and Eastern worlds. It took enormous control of all the vast lands in the Mediterranean basin, which indicated its continued expansion and the derivation of influence. The Qing Dynasty that begun its rule in 1644 was also focused on promoting the expansion of its boundaries. During the existence of the Empire, it is asserted that the Qing Dynasty went further beyond the China’s initial boundaries, hence increasing the level of authority of the Dynasty. The Dynasty also aimed at addressing the technological disparities among different provinces indicating its similarity to the New Imperialism that made most European nations concentrate on technological advancements through colonial expansions and exercise of authority. Therefore, the abovementioned similarities between New Imperialism, the Qing Dynasty, and the Ottoman Empire highlight the view that New Imperialism is not fundamentally different from the rule of the world empires that existed before 1800.

It is also significant to understand the political, economic and cultural justifications of New Imperialism. Firstly, the political justification of New Imperialism was the spirit of nationalism. Notably, New Imperialism was politically justified by the spirit of nationalism that had emanated from Social Darwinism through the concept of survival for the fittest and the Obligations of the Whiteman’s Burden that had been popularized by Rudyard Kipling. Therefore, Tsunoda (1958) opines that the spirit of nationalism is deemed to have justified the colonial expansion that had been embraced by the European countries, America, and later Japan. They were of the view that they were exercising the spirit of nationalism and were geared toward achieving the best from their nationalist activities. Again, these countries could only secure a long survival in cases when they worked in line with their spirit of nationalism hence acquiring different territories and bringing them under their control. They also emphasized that they were destined to promote the political welfare of their colonial states through their activities boosted by nationalism in the country. Therefore, European countries and America justified New Imperialism as an act of nationalism as promoted by Social Darwinism and the Obligations of the Whiteman’s Burden.

Secondly, the economic justification of New Imperialism was the Industrial Revolution that is deemed to have created enormous surpluses of the European capital and increases in the demand for raw materials. Moreover, it was emphasized that the Industrial Revolution had bequeathed large sums of money to Europe, which required investments in other countries. The emergence and the effects of the Industrial Revolution formed the basis for the economic justifications of the New Imperialism. It is crucial to note that the Industrial Revolution introduced new methods of production and put many industries in place in European countries. These industries needed raw materials for operation and the core source of these raw materials was the colonial countries, especially on the African continent. Thus, they invaded with the belief that they were going to derive raw materials to promote the functioning of their industries. Moreover, these countries held the view that Europe had large sums of money that had been brought by the Industrial Revolution. These sums were to be invested in countries abroad and ensure that they also realized some form of economic growth. Thus, the need for investment in foreign economies justified the existence of New Imperialism.

Finally, New Imperialism was culturally justified with the humanitarian and religious reason. Most of these countries pointed out the need to reach to other countries, especially on the African continent, in order to spread their religions and facilitate humanitarian assistance. Drawing from the class notes of (2013) on Empires of the Authoriterian Right and the Return of War, these countries were determined to bring their new religions and replace the existing cultures that they perceived barbaric and unordinary in the world that was tremendously changed after the wave of industrialization. They had gained in terms of culture and religion and they believed it was superior to that of the colonies they were trying to reach out to. However, the humanitarian and religious justifications intertwined with the spirit of nationalism that was driving these individuals toward deriving maximum benefits from their colonies. Again, it is commonly believed that the religious justification embraced by these countries was only aimed at pacifying their colonies before the actual colonization and acquisition of resources.

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In conclusion, New Imperialism was focused on the colonial expansion of the European countries, America, and Japan. They wanted to promote the growth of their industries through the acquisition of raw materials from their colonies in different parts of the globe, especially on the African continent. New Imperialism was not fundamentally different from the rule in such ancient empires as the Ottoman Empire and the Qing Dynasty. All these empires were motivated to expand their borders and acquire more influence. New Imperialism was justified with the spirit of nationalism that had taken shape in the European countries. Additionally, it was justified by the Industrial Revolution that had led to the establishment of industries in Europe requiring raw materials for operation. The revolution also necessitated the need to invest in other countries and this could be effectively done in colonies. Finally, it was justified by the need to spread new cultures and religion across the globe, especially to most colonial countries of Africa.