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Summary: the World at the Beginning of the 20th Century (Stage 6 Modern History) Essay

Summary: The World at the Beginning of the 20th Century

Overview
The world in 1900 was dominated by European powers, the industrial revolution had over the proceeding century given Europeans (specifically Western European nations such as France and Great Britain) a technological advantage over the rest of the world which these nations used to develop huge global empires under a system known as Imperialism. The late 19th and early 20th saw dramatic changes in many aspects of European life.

The Nature of European Society and the Effects of Industrialization -Key features of this era included:
* The unequal distribution of wealth and power
* Imperialism and economic rivalries
* Nationalism and cultural identity
* The decline of dynastic authority
* The class system and demands for change
* Slavery and worker exploitation
* Emerging ideologies and their challenge to traditional structures * Diplomacy, aggression and war as instruments of foreign policy Rich and Poor:
* An individual’s ‘membership’ of the upper, middle, or lower class reflected their own economic role in society & their opportunities * Upper classes
* Tended to have status derived from family background and wealth * Generally had ownership of extensive areas of land
* Dominated European political life
* Enjoyed high status, prestige and influence that did not necessarily reflect talent or ability * Access to luxuries and education
* Middle classes
* Involved in the development and control of industries + commercial ventures * Also those in professions such as law and medicine
* Wealth + influence in society resulted from individual efforts more than family connections * Had access to similar education opportunities
* Sought the same social and political influence as the upper class *
Mimicked the lifestyles of the upper class
* Lower classes
* Also known as the working class
* Consisted of both urban and rural dwellers
* Provided the labour for those who controlled a nation’s resources * Endured low wages and inadequate living conditions
* Everyone in a working class family struggled for survival * Children needed to contribute to their families income * Living conditions were unsanitary + disease was common
* Were seen by other classes to be “lazy, dishonest, and undeserving” * Had few educational opportunities
* Low wages made the poverty cycle hard to break

Social Change:
* Challenge to the traditional roles of women
* Women everywhere were second class citizens and were limited to few opportunities * Rarely attained positions with status or pay that were available to men * The development of democracy in some European countries led to demands for female suffrage * Demands for the vote and women’s increased involvement in the world of paid work helped expand women’s experiences + opportunities * This demonstrated many women’s commitment to feminism * Rapid growth of two new classes

* Working class or proletariat
* middle class or bourgeoisie
* Sectarianism
* The view that on religious belief has superiority over others that are perceived as being inferior to it * Christian’s religions had a centuries-old hostility towards Jewish peoples. * Anti-Semitic = an attitude of prejudice against Jews

* Within Christian religions, rivalry and even hostility between Catholics and Protestants also provided evidence of sectarianism. * L’Affaire Dreyfus case divided French society for many years and ultimately led to the separation of church and state in French politics and increased
secularisation in French society. * Power of autocracy slowly eroded

Industrialisation:
* By the end of the nineteenth century, western Europe had undergone an industrial revolution; changing the ways in which people worked. * In urban areas, factories replaced homes as places of production * Machinery replaced manual labour

* Work itself became more specialised
* Productivity became significantly greater and more efficient * Advanced military, medical, and communication technology * Industrial skills of the major European powers underpinned their success in imperial expansion. * Britain and Germany were Europe’s industrial giants

* the two nations competed for technological dominance and the economic and colonial power that could come from it * their industrial strength enabled them to impose their political, economic, social, cultural and religious influence throughout the world * Britain would eventually concede its dominance to Germany and the newly emerging industrial powers of the US and Japan * Stimulated technical innovation and encouraged the growth of advertisement * Countries that had no begun to industrialise or were making slow progress suffered from the changing balance of power that industrialisation created Urbanisation and Demographic Change:

* Urbanisation is the trend for people to leave their rural environments to live and work in cities and the growth and expansion of cities that occurred as a result * Industrialisation was a major catalyst for challenge and change ^ * The nineteenth century witnessed a massive growth in number, size and population densities od cities * Rapid growth of industrial cities and ports

* Cities without industry stagnated or declined
* European population grew 25% between 1870 and 1900 from 300million to 400million * Emigration from Europe to the United States rose rapidly Imperialism:
* Huge technological gap between industrial Europe and the rest of the world * Racism used to excuse exploitation (for example the scramble for Africa) * The stereotyping of people according to race, class or religion was commonly accepted * Those who benefited from such stereotyping seemed only ‘natural and right’ * Kipling’s ‘White Man’s Burden’ can be seen to display these racial stereotypes and European attitudes towards the acclaim for imperialism and supports the imperial endeavour of European nations * “White supremacy and a ‘duty’ to ‘civilise’ savage peoples and cultures” * New imperialism

* Refers to the colonial expansion adopted by Europe’s powers and the US * The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions * Missionary activity increased dramatically

* Markets, raw materials and investment attracted imperialists as tariffs rose in Europe * Stimulated nationalism and imperial rivalry
Expanded Role Of Government:
* Industrialisation and growth of cities led to major problems * Governments were forced to intervene:
* Public health and housing
* Working conditions
* Education
* Public facilities >>> to improve the standards of living that had declined * Led to an increase in government power
* Parliamentary governments were developed
* Power retained by the aristocracy
* Socialism grew more slowly
Racism, Social Darwinism and Anti-Semitism
* Technological leadership and Darwinism (theory of evolution) led to increased racism in Europe * Darwin’s theory was based on the survival of the fittest * Social-Darwinists adapted this theory to suit their racist ideals * Race and Military strength were seen as ‘fitness’

* Rise of middle-class conservatives also linked to an increase of anti-Semitism in Europe: * France – Dreyfus Case
* Germany – Pan-German League
* Britain – Upper/middle class attitudes
* Anti-Semitism used as a form of repression in Russia
Types of Government
Absolute Monarchy
* A monarchy that is not limited or restrained by laws or a constitution e.g. Tsarist Russia * A form of government where the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as the head of state and head of the government Constitutional Monarchy

* Or Limited monarchy
* A monarchy in which the powers of the ruler are restricted to those granted under the constitution and laws of the nation * The power of the sovereign is restrained by a parliament, by law or by custom * Nations that passed from Absolute to constitutional in modern times include: * Great Britain

* Belgium
* Denmark
* The Netherlands
* Norway
* Spain
* Sweden
Republic
* a state in which supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to votes * is exercised by representative chosen directly or indirectly by them * head of state is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state Political Ideologies and Groups in the Early 1900’s

Reasons for development of new political ideologies:
* development of industry led to growth of cities + middle and working classes * new classes demanded political changes:
* Middle class:
Liberalism
* Working class:
Democracy
Trade unions
Socialism
Socialism
* Developed in the 19th century as a result of the industrial revolution * Based on enlightenment assumptions
* Is an economic system in between capitalism and communism, advocating collective ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods * A government owed a duty to its citizens
* Problems of society could be resolved
* Appealed to the working class and peasantry
Marxism
* The political and economic philosophy in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society * inevitable violent revolution of workers

* overthrow of capitalist middle class
* establishment of dictatorship of the proletariat
* abolition of private property
* development of a ‘classless society’
Liberalism
* political philosophy of the middle classes
* based on:
* end of autocratic government
* extension of political power to the middle class
* freedom of the individual
* civil liberties
* elimination of aristocratic privilege
* careers open to individuals talent
* opposition to democracy, socialism and trade unionism
* Became an important political influence in 19th century Britain and US

Anarchism
* Radical form of socialism
* Belief in the abolition of all government and the organisation of a society on a voluntary , cooperative basis without a resource to force * Never very popular or powerful
* Based on these main ideas:
* People are all born good but are corrupted by corrupt society * All social instruments must be destroyed before a socialist system can be developed * Socialist society to be based on small co-operative units without the need for central government or bureaucracy Democracy

* Political development of the late 18th and 19th centuries * Based on:
* Political power shared by all citizens
* Votes for women not initially considered
* Citizens to vote for parliamentary reps
* Parliament was to be a legislative and responsible body * All votes are of equal value
* Equal electoral districts
* No property qualifications
* Secret ballot
* Payment of parliament members
* Political philosophy of democracy became powerful in Britain, western Europe and US * Supported by intellectuals of the middle class and many workers Background Causes of World War I
Nationalism:
* Nationalism is the strong belief that one’s nation is better than all others * EVERYONE WAS NATIONALIST in those days
* Made countries like Britain, France and Germany more bellicose (warlike) * People were enraged when someone insulted their country * for example: Franco-German war > loss off Alsace-Lorraine> French desire of revenge against Germany * Nationalism made races such as Romanians, Bulgarians and Serbs (ruled by Turkey and Austria) want to be free. (pan-Slavism) * This led to rebellions and terrorism which destabilised the Balkans * Russia supported Slav nationalist because it hoped to extend its influence into the Balkans and sought prestige after their defeat in the Russo-Japanese War * Nationalism was important to all Great
Powers, creating an explosive force

Imperialism:
* Imperialism is the desire to build an empire for the benefit of the mother country * Countries believed that they were superior and it was alright to conquer and rule others * Germany’s power was cantered in Europe and tied to the strength of their army, they wanted to obtain power and prestige but obtaining colonies to increase their continental power status to world power * When the Kaiser decided that ‘he wanted some land too” HUGE tensions arose * European scramble for Africa caused powers to clash with one another as they tried to attain land Militarism:

* Militarism is the control of government and policies by the armed forces, and a willingness to build up the armed forces and to consider a military solution for foreign relations problems * All the countries in Europe built up their armies and navies * as one country increased its armies, all the others felt obliged to increase their own armed forces to keep the ‘balance of power’ * the Anglo-German Naval Race saw Germany compete against Britain to create the strongest militaristic power * role of military in Government decision making increased Alliances:

* Alliances are treaties of friendship and support between countries who promise to support each other in the event of war or conflict * As well as seeking protection in the size of their armies the countries of Europe sought protection by forming alliances. * Countries of Europe thought that the alliance system would act as a deterrent to war; in fact it tied the countries together so that, when one country went to war, the others felt themselves obliged to follow. * These alliances raised fear and suspicion amongst the countries outside them * France hated Germany, both sought allies, German policy was to isolate France * Germany created the Dual Alliance (1878) with Austria Hungary * This then became the Triple Alliance when Italy joined in (1882) * To protect herself from Austria-Hungary and Germany, France developed the Franco-Russian Alliance (1894) * In 1904 an Entente Cordiale (friendly relationship) was signed between Britain and France * Then Russia joined, thus forming the Triple
Entente (1907) * Britain made a naval treaty with Japan (1902)

* The Triple Entente alarmed Germany, which felt itself surrounded by the Franco-Russian Alliance

Crises in Morocco:
* First Moroccan Crisis (1905-1906)
* Kaiser of Germany opposed French influence in Morocco. He visited Tangier and promised the Sultan of Morocco German support * The Sultan rejected French intervention in Morocco
* This enraged France
* A conference was held in 1906 where 12 nations met, all nations except for Austria Hungary were against Germany * Second Moroccan Crisis (1911)
* Moroccan people rise up and rebel against pro-French Sultan * Germany sends in the gunboat “Panther” to Morocco but soon withdraws her * Britain in support of France
Assassination at Sarajevo:
* On the 28th of June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated * Was heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne
* Visited the capital of Bosnia
* Shot by Gavarilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb member of the Black Hand * Austria became enraged
* This started a sequence of events (collectively known as the July Crisis) that soon led to the outbreak of World War One.


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