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The Age of Revolutions in the Atlantic World, 1776–1848

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to the history of the Age of Revolutions in the Atlantic World from 1776 to 1848. You will learn about the revolutionary upheavals that took place in the Americas and Europe during this period. Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as the secession of the American colonies from the British Empire, the outbreak of the French Revolution, the dissolution of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the Americas, and the spread of revolutionary ideals throughout the Atlantic World. Running alongside and extending beyond these political revolutions is the First Industrial Revolution. By the end of the course, you will understand how an Atlantic World, dominated by European empires in 1776, was transformed through revolution into a series of independent states by 1848 and of the profound changes that Europe would experience, and continue to experience, through the development and consolidation of capitalism.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to HIST303. General information about the course and its requirements can be found below.
 
Course Designer: Mark Hoolihan and Concepcion Saenz-Cambra, PhD
 
Primary Resources: The study material for this course includes a range of free online content. However, the course makes primary use of the following resource:
 
- YouTube: Yale University: Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s The American Revolution Lecture Series

Requirements for Completion: In order to successfully complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and its assigned resources in order. You will also need to complete:
  • Unit 1 Assessment
  • Unit 2 Assessment
  • Unit 3 Assessment
  • Unit 4 Assessment
  • Unit 5 Assessment
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all course materials, including the assessments listed above.
 
In order to pass the course, you will have to attain a minimum of 70% on the Final Exam. Your score on the final exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. You will have the opportunity to retake the exam if you do not pass it.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 66 hours. A time advisory is presented under each subunit to guide you on the amount of time that you are expected to spend in going through the lectures. Please do not rush through the material to adhere to the time advisory. You can look at the time suggested in order to plan out your week for study and make your schedule accordingly. For example, Unit 1 should take approximately 18 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1.1 (a total of 5 hours) on Monday and Tuesday nights; subunits 1.1.2 through 1.1.5 (a total of 6.5 hours) on Wednesday and Thursday nights; etc.
 
Tips/Suggestions: As you study the materials in this course, make sure to take comprehensive notes. Write down any historical events, dates, people, and concepts that stand out to you. These notes will serve as a useful review as you study for your final exam. 

Khan Academy  
This course features a number of Khan Academy™ videos. Khan Academy™ has a library of over 3,000 videos covering a range of topics (math, physics, chemistry, finance, history and more), plus over 300 practice exercises. All Khan Academy™ materials are available for free at www.khanacademy.org.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • think analytically about the history of the revolutionary age between 1776 and 1848;
  • define what a revolution means, and describe what made 1776–1848 an “age of revolution”;
  • define the concept of the Atlantic world, and describe its importance in world history;
  • explain the basic intellectual and technical movements associated with the enlightenment and their relations to the revolutionary movements that follow;
  • identify and describe the causes of the American Revolution;
  • identify and describe the many stages of the French Revolution: the end of absolutist monarchy, the implementation of constitutional monarchy, and the rise of the Jacobin Republic;
  • compare and contrast the declaration of the rights of man and other major statements of the revolutionary period and enlightenment thinking;
  • identify and describe the impact of the first successful slave rebellion in world history—the Haitian Revolution;
  • compare and contrast the debate between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine; and
  • analyze and interpret primary source documents that elucidate the causes and effects of the age of revolutions.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed all of the courses listed in “The Core Program” of the History discipline: HIST101, HIST102, HIST103, and HIST104.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: The Enlightenment and the Origins of the Revolutionary Age  

    In the mid-18th century, the Atlantic world was dominated by European empires and their colonies.  Europe was ruled by monarchies, many of them absolute.  Beginning in 1776, a series of revolutions shook Europe and the Atlantic World.  European countries and colonies, formerly ruled by aristocratic regimes, embraced new and radical principles of self-governance and equality.  Absolute monarchies were dismantled in Europe and independent republics emerged in the Americas.  Although revolutionary fervor swept across Europe and the Americas between 1776 and 1840, each revolution—whether in British America, Haiti, France, or South America—had its own distinct character.      
         
    In this unit, you will examine how the European Enlightenment and the crisis of monarchy paved the way for the revolutionary age.  You will also consider how the idea of equality took on increasing importance in the Atlantic world during this time.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Revolution  
  • 1.1.1 What is a Revolution?  
    • Reading: Virginia Tech: Gustave Le Bon’s “The Psychology of Revolution”

      Link: Virginia Tech: Gustave Le Bon’s “The Psychology of Revolution” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this text.  The author of this text, Gustave Le Bon, was a renowned French social psychologist who specialized in the study of the psychology of crowd dynamics.  This text is of great importance for the understanding of the social causes, development, and consequences of revolutions.  Although, some of his theories are outdated, pay special attention to his description of the role played by national traits in revolutions.  Remember that Le Bon wrote this text in 1913, just one year before the outbreak of WWI, a war which spawned European nationalisms.  

      Reading this text should take approximately 4 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Virginia Tech: Karl Kautsky’s “Evolution and Revolution”

      Link: Virginia Tech: Karl Kautsky’s “Evolution and Revolution” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this text. The author of this document, Karl Kautsky, was a famous 20th century German Marxist.  In this text, Kautsky theorizes about the concept and legitimacy of social revolutions and upheavals.  Pay special attention to how he describes the French Revolution as a legitimate social revolution in comparison with the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, which he did not believe to be a legitimate and historic social upheaval.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.2 The Enlightenment  
    • Reading: Washington State University: Professor Paul Brian’s “The Enlightenment”

      Link: Washington State University: Professor Paul Brian’s “The Enlightenment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text, paying special attention to the role of reason as an agent of social reform.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Immanuel Kant’s “What Is Enlightenment?”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Immanuel Kant’s “What Is Enlightenment?” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this essay.  In this famous essay, Kant re-defines the role of metaphysics by stating that reason is the path to understanding the natural world; in other words, for Kant moral law can be derived from reason.  Remember, for Kant only humans can have rationality and morality.

      As you read, consider the following study questions: How does Kant describe rationality? How does Kant describe morality?
       
      Reading this essay and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: The article above is in the public domain.

  • 1.1.3 The Social Contract  
    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract, 1763”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Jean Jacques Rousseau’s “The Social Contract, 1763” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  In his philosophic masterpiece, Of the Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right, Jean Jacques Rousseau theorizes about the foundations of society.  Pay particular attention to his definition of property.  Remember that this book had immense historical influence, particularly in the writing of modern constitutions, including the United States Constitution.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.4 Absolute Monarchy and the Divine Right of Kings  
  • 1.1.5 World Trade and Its Discontents  
    • Reading: Virginia Tech: Karl Kautsky’s “The Social Revolution”

      Link: Virginia Tech: Karl Kautsky’s “The Social Revolution” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this text.  In this document, Karl Kautsky, a Marxist, theorizes about the concept and legitimacy of social revolutions and upheavals.  Pay special attention to his description of the differences between revolution and reform.

      Reading this text should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2 Revolutionary Ideas  
  • 1.2.1 Monarchy  
  • 1.2.2 Aristocracy  
  • 1.2.3 Democracy  
  • 1.2.4 Slavery  
  • 1.2.5 Jews and the Emancipation  
  • 1.2.6 Equality  
    • Reading: Anne Robert Jacques Turgot’s Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth

      Link: Anne Robert Jacques Turgot’s Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this essay.  In this essay, Turgot describes the development of society from its beginning to modern commercial society. Pay special attention to his thoughts on state control.

      As you read, consider the following study questions: Why is Turgot described as “an early advocate for economic liberalism”?  How would you summarize Turgot’s position on state control?

      Reading this essay and answering the questions above should take approximately 3.5 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 1 Assessment  
  • Unit 2: The American Revolution  

    The American Revolution was the first of the Atlantic Revolutions.  The roots of the American Revolution can be traced back to both the Enlightenment and British concepts of Law and Representation.  The tensions between Britain and her American colonies were exacerbated by the French and Indian War, the subsequent taxes imposed on the colonies, and British mercantile policies.  These tensions led to violence in 1775.  Unable to get their grievances addressed, the colonists ultimately declared themselves independent in 1776.
     
    In this unit, you will study why the revolutionaries went to war and what they hoped to achieve through independence. You will also consider the impact of the revolution on Europe and the Caribbean. 

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Origins of the Crisis  
  • 2.1.1 Taxation and Mercantilist Policies  
  • 2.1.2 The French and Indian War  
  • 2.1.3 The Estrangement of the Colonies  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The American Revolution”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The American Revolution” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  In this reading, you will learn about the Revolutionary War that made America independent of Britain. This reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 2.1.4.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: How did America survive in a dangerous world dominated by European empires?

      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes. 

    • Lecture: YouTube: Yale University: Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s The American Revolution: “Lecture 3: Being a British American”

      Link: YouTube: Yale University: Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s The American Revolution: “Lecture 3: Being a British American” (YouTube)
       
      Also available in:
      HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash, and QuickTime
       
      Instructions: Please watch this video lecture. In this video, Professor Joanne B. Freeman tries to answer one of the many unresolved questions that the American Revolutionary War brought to the forefront: What constituted the American people?  What could bind the American people together?  Take some time to write a summary about how Freeman responds to and reconciles these questions about what constitutes and unites the American people.
       
      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and completing the writing activity above should take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1.4 Taxation and Representation  

    Note: The reading assigned below subunit 2.1.3 covers this topic.  Focus on the sections titled “Political and Economic Factors Leading to the American Revolution” and “Boston Tea Party.”  Take approximately 15 minutes to review these sections.

  • 2.2 The Coming of Revolution  
  • 2.2.1 Protest and Solidarity  
  • 2.2.2 Violence and Organization  

    Note: The lectures assigned below subunit 2.2.1 cover this topic.

  • 2.3 Revolution  
  • 2.3.1 The Declaration of Independence  
    • Reading: Archives.gov: “The Declaration of Independence”

      Link: Archives.gov: “The Declaration of Independence” (HTML)
       
      Also available in:
      JPG    
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  The Declaration of Independence of the United States justifies its independence of Britain by asserting several natural and legal rights.
       
      As you study the declaration, consider the following questions: Which sentence of the Declaration of Independence is considered to be a major statement on human rights?  What are the intentions of the authors of the declaration?
       
      Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: YouTube: Yale University: Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s The American Revolution: “Lecture 11: Independence”

      Link: YouTube: Yale University: Professor Joanne B. Freeman’s The American Revolution: “Lecture 11: Independence” (YouTube)
       
      Also available in:
      HTML, MP3, Adobe Flash and QuickTime
       
      Instructions: Please watch this lecture.  In this lecture Professor Freeman discusses the Declaration of Independence and its unique role in history. 
       
      As you watch this lecture, consider the following study question: Why do you think the Declaration was initially ignored after the Revolution?
       
      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and answering the question above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.3.2 War and Victory  
  • 2.4 Goals of the Revolution  
  • 2.4.1 Independence  
  • 2.4.2 Equal Rights  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Goals of the Revolution”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Goals of the Revolution” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  This reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 2.4.3. This reading offers a fresh look at the thinking of the individuals who made the Revolution.
       
      As you read, consider this study question: Based on your knowledge of each of the following and in consideration of this reading, how did each impact the goals of the revolutionaries: intellectual influences, Enlightenment ideology, traditional common law, and covenant theology?

      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 2.4.3 Democracy  

    Note: The reading assigned below subunit 2.4.2 covers this topic.  Consider how unity and the identity of the American people as well as what they wanted freedom from (i.e., tyranny) relates to democracy.

  • 2.5 Challenges of the Revolution  
  • 2.5.1 What Kind of Government?  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Challenges of the Revolution”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Challenges of the Revolution” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read “Challenges of the Revolution.” This text analyzes the main challenges of the new nation, from foreign relations to the fact that there was no clear governing head.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: Why did the European powers believe that an American federal union would not succeed?
       
      Reading this text and answering the question should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 2.5.2 The Articles of the Confederation  
  • 2.5.3 Threats to the New Nation  
  • 2.5.4 The Constitution  
  • 2.6 Outcomes  
  • 2.6.1 Revolutionary Change  
  • 2.6.2 Impact of the American Revolution  
  • Unit 2 Assessment  
  • Unit 3: The French Revolution  

    The French Revolution was the primary catalyst for spreading revolutionary ideas throughout Europe.  The Ancient Regime had divided the society into three estates: the clergy (first estate), the nobility (second estate), and the townspeople and peasantry (third estate).  The Revolution broke out when the third estate rebelled against the king as well as the first two estates and proclaimed themselves the true representative of the French people.  The French Revolution overthrew the monarchy as well as the estate system and introduced new radical ideas of government and what the nation meant.
     
    In this unit, you will examine the causes of the French Revolution: famine, poverty, the Enlightenment, and the outdated and oppressive nature of the Ancient Regime.  You will also study the different phases of the Revolution and the spread of revolutionary ideas.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 The Old Regime  
  • 3.1.1 Society and Government  
    • Reading: Peter Kropotkin’s The Great French Revolution: “The People before the Revolution”

      Link: Peter Kropotkin’s The Great French Revolution: “The People before the Revolution” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this text.  The author, Peter Kropotkin, was an early 20th century Russian philosopher, renowned for his anarcho-communist ideas. In his text, Kropotkin, an authority in French history, describes the conditions of the French peasantry before the revolution.  Pay special attention to how his anarcho-communist beliefs are reflected in this very subjective document.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Khan Academy’s “French Revolution – Part 1”

      Link: Khan Academy’s “French Revolution – Part 1” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Please watch this video lecture.  The French Revolution began in May 1789 with the meeting of the Estates-General – a general assembly representing the three French estates of the realm: the nobility, the church, and the common people.  Summoned by King Louis XVI to propose solutions to his government’s financial problems, the Estates-General sat for several weeks in May and June 1789 but came to an impasse as the three estates clashed over their respective powers.  It was brought to an end when many members of the Third Estate formed themselves into a National Assembly, signaling the outbreak of the Revolution.  On July 14th of that same year, the Bastille – a medieval fortress and prison which represented royal authority in the center of Paris – was stormed by a mob that demanded the arms and ammunition stored there.

      Note that this video will also cover the topics outlined in subunits 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, and 3.2.3.

      Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.  It is attributed to the Khan Academy.

  • 3.1.2 Breakdown of the Old Regime  

    Note: The reading and video lecture assigned under subunit 3.1.1 cover this topic.

  • 3.1.3 The Estates General  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.1.1 covers this topic.

    • Reading: Ashland University: Professor J. Moser’s “The Opening of the Estates General (1789)”

      Link: Ashland University: Professor J. Moser’s “The Opening of the Estates General (1789)” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  Remember that the Estates-General was a legislative assembly that represented three social classes: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: ThinkQuest: “The Estates”

      Link: ThinkQuest: “The Estates” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  This reading provides an overview of the composition and powers of the Estates-General.

      As you read, consider the following study question: Would you describe the social structure of 18th century France as closed or open? Explain your reasoning.

      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2 The Revolution  
  • 3.2.1 The National Assembly  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.1.1 covers this topic.

  • 3.2.2 The Storming of the Bastille  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.1.1 covers this topic.

    • Reading: Peter Kropotkin’s The Great French Revolution: “Chapter XII: The Taking of the Bastille”

      Link: Peter Kropotkin’s The Great French Revolution: “Chapter XII: The Taking of the Bastille” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  Anarcho-communist author, Peter Kropotkin, uses this text to reflect his ideas on the State as undesirable and harmful.  In this document, the Bastille represents the State, while the garrison represents those who work for it.  Although, most anarchists oppose all forms of aggression, Kropotkin justifies the use of violence, in this case, as a form of self-defense by the masses against an oppressive force.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.2.3 Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.1.1 covers this topic.

  • 3.2.4 The Flight to Varennes  

    Note: The video lecture assigned below subunit 3.2.1 covers this topic.

  • 3.2.5 The Constitution  
  • 3.2.6 Jewish Emancipation  
  • 3.2.7 Declaration of Rights of Women  
  • 3.3 The Jacobin Republic and the Terror  
  • 3.3.1 The Execution of the King and Queen  
    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Edmund Burke’s “The Death of Marie Antoinette”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Edmund Burke’s “The Death of Marie Antoinette” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please read this text.  In this excerpt, Irish intellectual Edmund Burke describes the death of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.  Keep in mind that Burke was one of the first political figures to attack the principles of the French Revolution.  Note that this topic is covered in greater detail in subunits 3.3.2 and 3.3.3.

      As you read, consider the following study question: How does Burke describe this event?  What is the tone of the reading?
       
      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.3.2 The Terror  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.3.1 covers this topic.

    • Reading: Fordham University: Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Maximilien Robespierre’s “Justification of the Use of Terror”

      Link: Fordham University: Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Maximilien Robespierre’s “Justification of the Use of Terror” (HTML)

      Instructions: Please read this text.  In this reading, Robespierre argues that terror was necessary and inevitable to defend France from internal upheavals and foreign intervention.

      As you read, consider the following study questions: In this text, Robespierre mentions virtue several times.  From his point of view could terror be pure and virtuous if used to defend France and the Revolution?  Why, or why not?
       
      Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.3.3 Thermidorian Reaction  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.3.1 covers this topic.

  • 3.3.4 The Directory  
  • 3.4 Impact  
  • 3.4.1 The Radical Phase  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.3.4 covers this topic.

  • 3.4.2 European War and the Levee en Masse  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.3.4 covers this topic.

    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “The Levee en Masse”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “The Levee en Masse” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  Remember that the Committee of Public Safety raised this army not only to defend France but also to suppress any internal uprisings.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: Was this mass conscription the first step toward the Reign of Terror?
       
      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.4.3 The Rise of Napolean  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 3.3.4 covers this topic.

  • 3.4.4 The Spread of the Revolution  
    • Reading: he Saylor Foundation’s “Radicalism and Danger”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Radicalism and Danger” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read “Radicalism and Danger.”  Remember that during 1679 to 1832 a whig was a member of a British political party who held liberal principles.  The Whig Party was later called the Liberal Party.  During the French Revolution, the Whig Party divided in two factions: those who were sympathetic to the French Revolution, led by Charles Grey, and those who opposed it, led by Edmund Burke.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 3.4.5 France after Napoleon  
  • Unit 3 Assessment  
  • Unit 4: Latin America and Caribbean Revolutions  

    Beginning in the early 19th century, a spate of revolutions swept through the European territories in the Americas.  The independence movements that proliferated in Americas in the early 19th century were a direct result of the American and French Revolutions, as well as the Peninsular War, a conflict over the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars.  The slave revolt in Haiti was the only truly successful slave revolt, as well as the first of the new Independence movements.  Napoleon Bonaparte dismantled the Spanish Bourbon monarchy, allowing for the establishment of several junta governments in Spanish America that advocated independence from Spain.  While Napoleon’s forces occupied Portugal, the monarchy fled to Brazil, its South American colony.  When the Portuguese king returned to Portugal in 1821, his brother, the prince regent, declared Brazil independent of Portugal.  The wars for independence that ensued in Central and South America during this time resulted in protracted and bloody conflicts, the adoption of free trade policies, the rise of many unstable regimes, and the expansion of representative government. 

    In this unit, you will consider the many causes of the Latin American and Caribbean Revolutions of the early 1800s as well the particular character of each revolution.  You will also study how the revolutionary movements helped better integrate Central and South America into the world economy and forge alliances with America and Great Britain.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 The Haitian Revolution  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Haitian Revolution”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The Haitian Revolution” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please read this text.  This reading will give you an excellent introduction to the main causes, events, and consequences of the Haitian Revolution.  Pay special attention to the permanent effect of colonial rule in Haitian society, politics, and economy.  This reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 4.1.1 through 4.1.4. 

      Reading this text should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • 4.1.1 Slave Society in Haiti  

    Note: The reading assigned below subunit 4.1 covers this topic.

  • 4.1.2 The Revolt of 1791  

    Note: The video lecture assigned under subunit 4.1.1 covers this topic.

  • 4.1.3 The French Response  
  • 4.1.4 Independence  

    Note: The reading assigned below subunit 4.1 and the video lecture assigned below subunit 4.1.3 cover this topic. 

  • 4.2 Causes and Independent Movements  
  • 4.2.1 Discontent in Colonial Society  
  • 4.2.2 The American and French Revolutions  
    • Reading: Florida International University: Robert A. Peterson’s “A Tale of Two Revolutions”

      Link: Florida International University: Robert A. Peterson’s “A Tale of Two Revolutions” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  This comparative study of the French Revolution and American Revolution reveals interesting issues relating to their substantive common features and dynamics, as well as their cultural, political and ideological differences, which provided two contrasting models of revolutionary change.  Write a summary about how these revolutionary models compare and contrast.
       
      Reading this text and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2.3 The Napoleonic Wars  
  • 4.3 The Spanish Empire  
  • 4.3.1 Mexico  
  • 4.3.2 Simón Bolívar and South America  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Simón Bolívar and José de San Martin”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Simón Bolívar and José de San Martin” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  General Simón Bolívar was hailed as El Libertador (the Liberator) by his compatriots.  Historians have sometimes called him the George Washington of Latin America. José de San Martin was an Argentinian general who fought for independence.
       
      As you read about Bolívar, consider the following study questions: Do you think that comparing Bolívar to George Washington is fair? Why, or why not?
       
      Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • 4.4 The Portuguese Empire  
  • 4.4.1 Colonial Brazil  
  • 4.4.2 Impact of European Wars  
  • 4.4.3 Brazilian Independence  
  • 4.5 Impact of American Revolutions  
  • 4.5.1 The New Nations  
  • 4.5.2 Monroe Doctrines and the Americas  
    • Reading: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s The Avalon Project: “The Monroe Doctrine”

      Link: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library’s The Avalon Project: “The Monroe Doctrine” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.   The Monroe Doctrine was a presidential proclamation by which the United States declared that any intervention by European nations in North or South America would be seen as a threat to the US and would be treated as such.

      As you read, consider the following study questions: Was the Monroe Doctrine an effort to stop European colonialism in the Americas? Why, or why not? 

      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 4 Assessment  
  • Unit 5: The Industrial Revolution  

    The Industrial Revolution is not a revolution in the same sense as the previous units, but a series of long-term changes that reshaped first Europe and then the world.  The Industrial Revolution does not have a start or end date, and there is much disagreement on what constitutes a ‘revolution’ when referring to these changes.  The Industrial Revolution involved new technologies and ideas, as well as long-term changes in the social and economic relationships within Britain, Europe, and the wider world.
     
    The Industrial Revolution made countries that adapted to these changes much more powerful economically, both overall and per capita, than countries that did not.  These changes came at a price for many people who saw their way of life and standard of living destroyed by the new modes of production.  The revolutions of 1848 were in a large part brought about by the changes the Industrial Revolution brought to European society.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 What is the Industrial Revolution?  
  • 5.2 England: The First Industrial Revolution  
  • 5.2.1 Economic Preconditions and Incentives for Technological Development  
  • 5.2.2 The Steam Engine and Technology  
    • Reading: Dionysis Lardner’s The Steam Engine Explained and Illustrated

      Link: Dionysis Lardner’s The Steam Engine Explained and Illustrated (HTML)

      Instructions: Carefully view the illustrations and read Dyonysis Lardner’s The Steam Engine Explained and Illustrated, a study of engineering and scientific breakthroughs that drove the invention of the steam engine and the entire Industrial Revolution.  Remember that this power source not only fueled factories, ships, and trains but also changed human history.
       
      Reading this text and viewing the illustrations should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.2.3 The Factory System  
  • 5.3 Effects of the Industrial Revolution  
  • 5.3.1 The Rise of Industrial Countries  
    • Reading: San Diego State University: World History for Us All Project’s “Big Era Seven”

      Link: San Diego State University: World History for Us All Project’s “Big Era Seven” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this text.  This reading offers a cogent analysis of the historical causes, developments, and consequences of the Industrial Revolution by integrating social, political, institutional, and cultural factors.  Moreover, this reading helps to explain the political, economic, and social trends that dominated the century as well as their impact on the subsequent development of the world’s economy to the present day.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.3.2 The Consequence for Workers  

    Note: The reading assigned below subunit 5.2.3 covers this topic.

  • 5.4 Theories and Problems of the Industrial Economy  
  • 5.4.1 Adam Smith and Laissez Faire  
  • 5.4.2 Karl Marx and Socialism  
    • Reading: Frederick Engels’ “Karl Marx”

      Link: Frederick Engels’ “Karl Marx” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this article on Karl Marx.  This is a short biography of Karl Marx based on Friedrich Engels’ version (1868).  Remember that together Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifest, the most influential manuscript in the history of Communist ideology.
       
      Reading this text should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.5 1848  
  • 5.5.1 Revolutions in France  
  • 5.5.2 Discontent in Cities  
  • 5.5.3 Nationalism and Counter-Revolution  
    • Reading: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Hungary under the Habsburgs” (HTML) and “Dual Monarchy”

      Link: US Library of Congress’s Country Studies: “Hungary under the Habsburgs” (HTML) and “Dual Monarchy” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read all of the sections below “Hungary under the Habsburgs” from “Reign of Leopold II” through “Aftermath of the Revolution.”  Also, read all of the sections below “Dual Monarchy” from “Constitutional and Legal Framework” through “Counter-Revolution.”  These studies analyze the events that took place in Hungary from the 18th century to World War I.  Remember that Hungary was made up of a number of different ethnic groups, all speaking different languages, which often created tensions.
       
      Reading these texts should take approximately 2 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 5 Assessment  
  • Unit 6: The Effects of Revolution  

    The Atlantic world of 1776 looked very different from the Atlantic world that emerged in 1848.  France was no longer an absolutist monarchy.  America was no longer a collection of British colonies, but an independent nation whose economy was becoming one of the largest in the world.  Saint-Domingue had been transformed from a French colony in the Caribbean into the free republic of Haiti.  New Spain had been dismantled, and new republics and federations in Central and South America had risen in its place.  The Industrial Revolution had transformed Western Europe 1848 had seen an explosion of revolutionary discontent throughout Europe.  But revolutions did not guarantee the implementation of democratic principles and the end of oppressive regimes.  In fact, in many regions, tyranny either returned or persisted; freedom of the people was never assured.
           
    In this unit, you will consider the Atlantic world in the wake of the revolutionary age and compare and contrast the revolutions in Europe and the Americas.  You will also consider how revolutionaries ended their respective revolutions as well as how they remembered them.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 The World Economic System after Industrialization  
  • 6.2 Comparing Revolutions  
  • 6.2.1 The Americas in 1848  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “The United States and the 1848 Revolutions”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “The United States and the 1848 Revolutions” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read “The United States and the 1848 Revolutions.” Remember that the 1848 Revolutions had a deep impact on both sides of the Atlantic. Numerous reforms that took place in America, such as the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, were a direct result of the 1848 European upheavals.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: Was the Civil War America’s answer to the 1848 Revolutions? Explain your reasoning.

      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • 6.2.2 Europe in 1848  
  • 6.2.3 Revolution and the Modern World  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Revolutions and the Modern World”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Revolutions and the Modern World” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text.  In this document, you will learn about the most important theories regarding the causes and nature of revolutions.  While reading this text, remember that scholars did not only formulate these theories to better explain past phenomena but to understand events in their own times and to predict future and possibly catastrophic upheavals.

      As you read, consider the following study question: Are the basics of these theories still valid and relevant today?  Explain your reasoning.
       
      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

  • Final Exam  

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