Remember: the Dutch Republic was an exception in the 16th and 17th centuries

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Remember--Going into the 18th century, England is the exception in terms of developing a limited constitutional monarchy against a backdrop of absolutism
Remember:  the Dutch Republic was an exception in the 16th and 17th centuries

--a model of a prosperous economy, toleration, commerce, art, science, learning

  • Enlightenment Ideas

  • progress, science, optimism

2 figures:

Sir Isaac Newton--nature can be studies using scientific laws

--inspires:  John Locke (who knew Newton)

--”the Big 5”=Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Montesquieu, Voltaire  (also--Diderot, Beccaria, Wollstonecraft)

2 Social Contract thinkers

Locke--scientific laws can be discovered to govern society

--surrender some freedoms in a social contract

--big on property rights

--inspires Montesquieu (3 branch government)

vs. Thomas Hobbes:  Leviathan

people surrender freedoms to an all powerful government

Voltaire--religious freedom
Rousseau--”general will”--power exists in the governed

also protects the right to revolt

Adam Smith--father of capitalism, free trade, laissez faire, competition

opposed mercantilism

Enlightened monarchs, aka“enlightened despots”

pass some enlightened policies

  • Joseph II--Austria--frees serfs (later  reversed)

religious toleration

  • Catherine the Great--organize legal system--Russia

support the work of the philosophes--patronage

support the arts

  • Frederick the Great --Prussia


1st segment--Liberal-middle class

2nd segment--Radical phase--now the lower classes are engaged

3rd segment--Reaction

debt, nobles not getting taxed, no govt. revenue, + new ideas --Enlightenment, famine

Louis XVI--ineffective king.  Louis marginalizes nobles rather than working with them.
fiscal crisis--Estates General called by Louis XVI  (believes they’ll vote his way!)  

voting--by estate (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) BUT…

3rd Estate--creates the National Assembly--Tennis Court Oath--demand for a Constitution

--Storming of the Bastille-carried out by ordinary people

--National Assembly dominated by bourgeoisie --they want, therefore, LIBERAL change  vs. (radicals, peasants, etc.)--point--this is a middle class revolution

--write the Declaration of the Rights of Man

--begin to talk of economic reform

--demand loyalty oath--Civil Constitution of the Clergy--this fires up more controversy

(meanwhile--famine gets worse)

March on Versailles-by French women

Louis XVI--tries to flee to Austria  --which angers the people

Louis XVI is captured and executed

National Convention formed--ruled by the Committee of Public Safety (kind of like the executive branch)--went after enemies of the Revolution--they dechristianize France, introduce calendar, the Cult of the Supreme Being

--Robespierre is inspired by Rousseau’s idea of the General Will

--Robespierre misreads the masses, who want more stability and order

--Robespierre is executed

MEANWHILE--Austria has declared war on the French--the French Revolution alarms monarchs

these wars instill nationalism:  among the French

  • the Directory--corrupt, ineffective

  • replaced in 1799 by Napoleon--1st Consul, then Emperor

Napoleon’s achievements:  was he an enlightened despot?  opinions vary.

  • Napoleonic Civil Code  (some liberal--which appeals to middle class)

  • banking system--stabilizing the economy

  • rebuilds Paris--puts people to work

  • advent of public education in France--the Lycees

  • Concordat of 1801

MEANWHILE--neoclassical art, Jacques Louis David’s giant murals, somewhat propagandistic
Napoleon’s Wars

--successful early on--

spreads himself too thin

invades Russia

defeated, returns, defeated again, and then exiled


Agricultural Revolution--late 1600s

cottage industry--putting out system--first division of labor BUT its still inefficient

SO--this leads to the factory

key innovation:  steam engine
Industrial revolution

textiles first (soft goods)

division of labor in factory

cheap wages

thinkers who argue for cheaper wages for factory workers:

David Ricardo--Iron Law of Wages

Malthus--population growth
emergence of consumer revolution--fueled by cheaper products + the Atlantic System:  as people have more money the demand growth
responses to new problems:  hours, wages, conditions, poverty

Government reforms--women, children--hours, working conditions

Great Reform Bill of 1832--widens vote--this expands--wider circle of voting power--more from the lower classes, who will ultimately demand more from government
Comparing the regions

France and the Continent industrialize later, only after the chaos of revolution and war

key feature:

England--entreprenurial capitalists

Continent--government support, investment (which means continental countries can industrialize rapidly)
Rise of Isms:  ideology

socialism--protests working conditions

romanticism--responds against destruction of nature
early socialists--”utopian socialists” --like a commune--Blanc, Fourier, Owen--disagreed too much to unify and organize  (later socialists will organize much more effectively)
socialists will later mobilize the working classes--growth of modern political parties, mass culture, mass politics

conservatism:  Congress of Vienna in 1815--monarchs of Europe achieve some degree of consensus about ruling in Europe  --the “Concert of Europe”  

(remember--a lot of people welcomed this because it promised some stability and order)


multiple revolts and revolutions take place--liberal and nationalistic

Belgium--okay--monarch is on board

Greece--weakens the Ottomans + hey, it’s classical Greece
1820s:  several uprising

ie, German student movement which is liberal and nationalistic is

2 French Revolutions--liberal

France 1830

Louis XVIII--Constitutional Monarch, then Charles X--who want no constitution--

liberal revolt in 1830--replaced with Louis Philippe--a favorite of wealthy businessmen

the Hungry Forties--series of bad harvests, famine

1848:  revolution in France, Provisional Government --National Workshops  (very popular)--they are popular AND expensive--the govt. shuts them down--so, another REVOLT--

and then, Napoleon III comes into power

In central Europe, the 1848 revolutions are nationalistic and they all fail.
RISE OF THE NATION-STATE:  mid to late 19th century

  • the push toward order

  • responsive national states, governments

  • avoid revolution through reform and public policies

  • **CHANGE FROM ABOVE, which allows for greater control



  • Alexander II--frees serfs, starts to talk of reform, but assassinated by radicals-the People’s Will  “Bread and Land”

  • Alexander III--reactionary--expels radicals, oppressive policies, BUT he does rapidly industrialize Russia--rail, factories  (Russia plays catch-up)


  • Count Cavour (Piedmont and Sardinia) --unifies Italy from North (Garibaldi from the South)

  • opposed the Pope, France, and Austria!


  • German unification--Zollverein already

  • failed unification in 1848 “Crown from the Gutter”

  • Bismarck--Prussia  “Blood and Iron”

  • fights 3 wars to unify Germany:  Denmark, Austria, France (1871)

  • Franco Prussian War 1871--Alsace and Lorraine

  • Napoleon III-in exile, and will die in England


--social welfare

--opposed Social Democrats (socialists)
--prevents revolution

--controversy--tries to oppress Catholic church--Kulturkampf


realpolitik, cautious diplomacy, careful about alliance

AFTER Bismarck--German foreign policy is more reckless--helps to lead to WWI

Napoleon III

rebuilt Paris, sewer system, Haussmanization!, widens streets, helps to industrialize France

Positivism:  order and stability will bring out positive improvement for France

will declare himself Emperor

gets entangled in foreign affairs


  • 18th century--series of weak German-born/related kings

  • increasing power of Parliament

  • increasing power of Prime Minister


Government adapts with continual reforms, expansion of the vote


creation of the Dual Monarchy

by this time Europe is saturated--therefore need to expand empire

from Romanticism to Realism (paint ordinary life as it is), Gustave Flaubert--then moves on to impressionism, post impressionism, expressionism


make colonies a political part of your empire


  • God:  White Man’s Burden--paternalism

  • Glory--balance of power

  • Gold--expand markets

key events

India--taken over by British by the 1850’s

Scramble for Africa

Bismarck  1884--Berlin Conference to set the game rules to avoid war

Suez Canal--makes north Africa really important--site of competition
Belgian Congo

King Leopold--human rights abuses

--rubber industry


  • it embarrassed every European power involved

  • everybody realized they needed to modernize their military  (remember that the second industrial revolution emphasized iron, steel, heavy industry

  • therefore, they try out these weapons on native resistance

  • the Boer War will notably feature the use of the machine gun (also--first concentration camp)

World War I
the MAIN causes

  • militarism, alliances--get tangled, imperialism, nationalism--the assassination of Franz Ferdinand

  • Serbia--hope for a greater Serbian state

  • Austria annexes Bosnia

  • series of Bosnian War

June 1914  Franz Ferdinand assassinated--the alliance system

  • Austria--declares war on  Serbia

  • Germany provides support

  • Russia mobilizes against Germany and Austria

  • Germany declares war on Russia

  • France drawn in

  • Belgium invaded, and puts up resistance--brings in England

  • trench warfare

The war

  • Kaiser abdicates

  • Weimar Government formed

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