Introduction - a Review of Period 5's Timeline (c. 1750 - 1914 CE)
This article is part of the AP World History Review series. You can also view articles on:
• APWH Period 1 Review
• APWH Period 2 Review
• APWH Period 3 Review
• APWH Period 4 Review
• APWH Period 5 Review (This article)
Period 5 takes place from 1750 to 1914, and could be known as the Age of Revolutions. The fruits of Enlightenment thought, first sown in the early 18th century, have now become key factors in rebellions and wars for independence all over the world. Technological and economical development from the Industrial Revolution and capitalist ideology moves millions from rural areas to increasingly crowded urban environments. Colonial nations become independent, European imperialism shifts its focus to Asia and Africa, and America sees a huge wave of immigration from the Old World to the New. Worldwide population surges due to increased food supply, and the middle class ascends out of the vacuum of feudalism and monarchism. The Mughal and Qing Empires begin to lose power as a Westernizing Japan grows in strength. The Ottomans are still a force to be reckoned with, as are the major European nations of Britain, France, and Prussia. The United States of America is born at the start of this era and blossoms into a world power by its end.
Let's start exploring this era of APWH with some stimulus based questions.
The following questions can be accessed as an online assignment through Omninox at http://hw.zone/2gfrrSH. If you are a teacher, you can edit or assign these questions for homework / practice to your students
Stimulus Based Question 1
Liberty Leading the People, by Eugene Delacroix. You’ve probably seen this painting before if you’ve ever read anything about the French Revolution. Or listened to Coldplay.
Q1. A result of the political revolutions of the late 18th and 19th centuries was that they
- spread Enlightenment ideas through Europe and the Americas.
- strengthened European control over South America.
- prevented the formation of the nation-state.
- instituted Marxist ideas through Europe.
Explanation: The political revolution in the Americas and Europe led to a spread of Enlightenment ideas throughout these areas. As a result, Spanish and Portuguese power in South America decreased. Many nation-states were inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment. Industrialization had a large impact on the spread of Marxist ideas and the political revolutions of the 19th century.
Why It's the Best Answer
New liberal thought developed during the Enlightenment was a major cause of the American and French revolutions. In the Thirteen Colonies, great thinkers included religious leaders Jonathan Edwards and William Smith and Founding Fathers such as Ben Franklin, John Adams, and James Madison. Their work led to the acceptance of individual and religious liberty as core tenets of the soon-to-be United States of America.
The French Revolution, which replaced a monarchy with a dictatorship, grew out of rampant poverty, economic dissatisfaction, and distrust of the political system. Enlightenment concepts of individualism and equality, coupled with the success of a similar movement in the former Thirteen Colonies were a major motivating factor for rebellion.
The Latin American wars of independence (including Brazil and Haiti) were a direct consequence of Enlightenment ideas perpetuated by the American and French revolutions. The American revolution in particular provided evidence that a country could govern itself independently without a European overlord. In a sense, the American Revolution was contagious.
It started an anti-imperialistic concept that was a major factor in South American independence movements. However, the origins of European revolutionary movements in the 19th century, especially the Revolutions of 1848, were more complex. Enlightenment ideals of liberalism (love of freedom), democracy (right to elect government representatives), and nationalism (love for country), as well as reactions to the rise of inequality in growing urban centers, turned Europe into a tinderbox of explosive rebellions.
European control was not strengthened by revolutions in the Americas. Instead, the successful wars of independence effectively crippled their power on the continent. The British would be the only empire to maintain control over a respectable swath of territory in the New World with the Dominion of Canada. Spain lost almost all of its possessions in the Latin American revolutionary movement and would continue to lose influence as a colonial power in the coming decades.
Nationalism was actually a new belief system established in the Enlightenment and an impetus for the nation-state movement. It was a shared communal concept of identification and sovereignty with territory of particular significance to a group, like a country, nation-state, etc.
Marxism (Choice D) did spread in the 19th century, but its origins were industrialization and urbanism, which fundamentally altered traditional economic and political thought based on a rural population structure. It would later be a major cause of socialist and communist movements such as the Russian Revolution.
Stimulus Based: Questions 2-3
Use the following stimulus for questions 2-3:
Q2. What does the cartoonist intend to suggest in the political cartoon?
- The US imposed many restrictions and impeded the immigration process during the early 1900s.
- During the early 1900s the US voting laws were unfavorable to families.
- The education system was failing people during the early 1900s.
- Literacy rates were at an all time high during the early 1900s
Explanation: The political cartoon represents the sentiment the US garnered towards immigrants during the early 1900s, specifically imposing literacy tests to hinder immigration into the US.
Why It's the Best Answer
Remember that nativism has been periodically popular social and political movement in the United States. Anti-immigrant sentiment was extremely prevalent in the early 20th century, which is the time period that this cartoon in from.
The bold font “Literacy Test” is applied as a bit of a trick in this question. Literacy tests have been frequently used as a dog whistle in this country for discrimination against already disadvantaged groups, including the poor, racial minorities, and immigrants. Option two wants you to think about the literacy tests used in southern states to disenfranchise African-Americans. While that was certainly a deplorable act that severely affected the rights of black Americans until its ban in the 1960’s, it is not relevant to this question.
We can immediately toss out option four because it is a misdirection over the word “literacy” and a falsehood on top of that: the US has a higher literacy rate today than at any other point in its history. Similarly, answer three doesn’t address the point of the question; it’s about immigration, not education. For the record, public education during this time period expanded due to the progressive education movement that pushed for greater availability and access to schooling.
The only possible answer is the first one, which correctly connects the wall and “Literacy Test” to the increasingly severe restrictions placed on immigrants during the early 1900s’ requiring individuals to demonstrate that they could read or write in their own language before admittance. The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and the Immigration Act of 1924 were landmark legislation that for the first time placed a numerical cap on immigrants to the United States. Luckily, our country has progressed since then and there is little nativist sentiment today, let alone a serious effort to “build a wall.” Right?
Q3. The passing of the Immigration Act of 1917 marked a turn towards which of the following in the United States?
Explanation: The Immigration Act of 1917 restricted immigration from entering into the US, which is the definition of nativism.
Why It's the Best Answer
This question is pretty straightforward if you got the last one: anti-immigrant sentiment can be classified as nativism. The Immigration Act of 1917 added many restrictions and regulations to newcomers to the United States in an effort to reduce the number of immigrants, including literacy tests, categories of inadmissible aliens including “alcoholics” and “idiots,” and a ban on immigration from the South Asia-Pacific region. Don’t forget that nearly 40 years prior Chinese people were prevented from immigrating to the United States through the Chinese exclusion act.
Stimulus Based: Questions 4-6
Use the following stimulus for questions 4-6:
Q4. Which of the following was NOT a reason for Bolshevik success during the Russian Revolution?
- The growth of national self-determination.
- Alsace-Lorraine remaining part of Germany.
- The forming of the League of Nations.
- Germany losing its overseas colonies.
Explanation: Alsace-Lorraine was being disputed by the French and Germany, which had no bearing on the Russian Revolution.
Why It's the Best Answer
National self-determination was a motivating factor for revolutions across the world from the 18th to 20th centuries. The Russian Revolution was no exception. Tzar Nicolas ran a strict, conservative, authoritarian regime that made little effort to incorporate the social changes demanded by other European nations during their own revolutionary periods. Democracy and individualism grew within liberal circles in Russia to counter socio-economic issues that plagued the country. Though serfdom was abolished in 1861, peasants still had to pay significant redemption amounts and were given unfair deals for land use. Industrialization, which had arrived in Russia far later than in other European nations, saw an increase in urban squalor and a decrease in quality of life in rapidly growing cities. Opposition to WW1 also gave rise to democratic movements, as Russians were angry that they had little say in the decision to go to war. Ironically, Tzar Nicolas thought that the war would boost national unity and loyalty to the monarch through common struggle. It did have an effect of unity -- against him. Nicolas and the rest of the Romanov family ended up getting shot in the Red Terror, a purge of opposition by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War.
The forming of the League of Nations and the loss of German overseas colonies helped to elevate Russia’s relative international position. The League provided the new Soviet Union a seat at the table of worldwide diplomacy. Decreasing German power and influence allowed the Soviets to become the pre-eminent power of Eastern Europe. Both of these developments resulted in greater authority and legitimacy for the Bolshevik regime. However, in 1939 the League expelled the Soviet Union over its invasion of Finland.
Squabbles over the territory of Alsace-Lorraine were of little concern to the Soviet Union, as they were more worried about establishing a stable Bolshevik regime and crushing opposition elements. Though this area would become a flashpoint in WW2, it had little effect on the success of the Russian Revolution.
Q5. In 1918, which publication became the "official organ" of the Russian Communist Party?
Explanation: The Pravda was the official newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution.
Why It's the Best Answer
This is a simple fact-based question. You just have to know that Pravda was the prime propaganda outlet of the Russian Communist Party after the October Revolution. Pravda began as a non-aligned cultural publication, but from 1909 to 1912 morphed into a major left wing newspaper. After the Bolsheviks outed Tsarist forces, the headquarters of the newspaper were moved to Moscow in tandem with the declaration that the city would become the new Soviet capital. Pravda actually continued operations through the entire existence of the Soviet Union, finally divorcing from government operations when Boris Yeltsin sold it to private interests in 1991.
Q6. The following poster best represents which of the themes after the Russian Revolution:
- The result of the Russian Revolution reaffirmed the class system, creating a new group of stay at home wives.
- The result of the Russian Revolution created a new woman’s only army.
- The result of the Russian Revolution destroyed social classes.
- The result of the Russian Revolution downplayed women’s rights.
Explanation: The Russian Revolution destroyed the class system and pushed for more women's rights. This is best seen through the gains of the Bolshevik Revolution, which sought to bring women into full participation in the workforce, politics, economics, and social life.
Why It's the Best Answer
The new government of the Soviet Union instituted liberalising reforms on women’s issues, including equal marriage and divorce legislation, permitting abortions, and allowing cohabitation. This progressive legal structure persisted until Joseph Stalin began to roll back on these laws, and by the end of the inter-war period Russia once again became a conservative state.
Bolshevik ideology challenged traditional assumptions about the place of women in society. In an effort to avoid dividing the working class, they made sure to include women in their movement as equals, a unique phenomenon in a world that primarily considered them inferior to men. It is well known that the revolution dismantled the bourgeois class in Russia, but similarly deconstructed was the domestic sphere that kept women as child bearers and child raisers rather than full members of society. The war effort itself made a good case for women’s equality: in the absence of millions of men, women had to take over traditionally male professions, including factory work and farming. Some even joined the military, but these women at most only made up 2% of Russian armed forces. This helped prove to the general public that women were as deserving and able as men, and paved the way for the first major social reforms in the USSR that altered class structure. Therefore, options one and four are clearly inaccurate, and answer three is correct.
Women were admitted into the military first secretly, and later overtly, but never in any significant amount that could be considered a “woman’s only army.” We can confirm that option two is incorrect.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is shot by Serbian Nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary. If it were Sarajevo, Serbia he wouldn't be in this mess!
The world changed in this period perhaps more than any other era in history. At its onset, most powerful countries were absolutist monarchies. By the turn of the 20th century, many either began to introduce democratic reforms or had them institutionalized for many years prior. In 1750, the New World (although not so new anymore) was dominated by colonial nations of European governments. When WW1 began, there remained only a few outposts of foreign rule on the American continent. While global trade originated during the Age of Discovery, significant developments in transportation and communication technology brought the world closer together than ever before. The Panama and Suez canals transformed global shipping, and the development of trains, automobiles, and airplanes redefined movement in the 20th century. The photograph, radio, and telephone were also invented in this time period.
Yet through all of this fantastic progression in science, technology, and social structure the specter of international competition in trade and power projection loomed large over the world. The combined tension of excessive militarization, imperialism, nationalism, and a complex system of alliances came to a violent release when the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand catalyzes in the world to war. “The Great War” resulted in the Russian Revolution, a rebalance of power in Europe and abroad, and the pretext for the second World War. The World Wars will be covered more in the next period.