Question #2: What accounts for the different goals in the four Atlantic revolutions despite the common commitment to Enlightenment Ideals?
The Enlightenment Ideals advanced by John Locke’s philosophy posit that the “human affairs and institutions can be improved, rationalized, and perfected.” Locke’s argument is based on the notion that humans should enter into a ‘social contract’ with their governments to hold them accountable and responsible for advancing the common interests of society (Strayer & Nelson, 2019). The Enlightenment Ideals driving the Atlantic Revolutions are based on the fight for the natural rights of all humans. That is, the natural law states that all humans are equal. The fight for liberty and equality rights are fundamental to the freedom of all humans.
The different key goals in the Atlantic Revolutions despite being closely connected through ideals and rationale are based on the distinctive features in different parts where the revolutions took place. For example, the Latin American Independence Revolutions were limited by the lack of traditions of self-governance. This ushered in an era of political competition and extensive class divisions proving it difficult to unite against the Spanish. As well, the new systems of governance were under threat of succumbing to a lack of capacity to implement new administrative measures (Strayer & Nelson, 2019).
The French Revolution, considered to be the most radical and violent of them all threatened the future of the rest of the world. The magnitude of spread and potential spillover effects were enormous in Europe and the Americas. The French Revolution had far-reaching implications as it is attributed as the cause of the Haitian Revolution. The French Revolution sparked by the pronouncement of social conflicts induced a profound philosophical change with the capacity to influence other places. Thus, it proved to be a threat to the rest of the world, societies, and systems of governance.
Also, the revolutions attacked the status quo that advocated for the long-established way of thinking and way of living. The new ideas brought about by the revolutions such as equality, liberty, human rights, free trade, human rationality, religious tolerance, among others, were key distinctive features. Thomas Jefferson advising the French revolutionaries and reformers in the need for social justice and human rights promoted the values of equality (Strayer & Nelson, 2019). The sentiments were questionable as the Abolition of slavery fought to defeat the largely eroded ideals of human rights, equality, and liberty. Despite the success in the Abolition movements – racism that enhanced discrimination, prejudices, and injustices remained intact and influential to the Americans until the 20th century and, to a large extent, to date affects the society’s functioning.
The incompatibility of beliefs towards slavery and their importance in the economy created profound differences between the Americans and the British. The Americans found slavery to be essential and vital to economic progress, while the British find to be retrogressive and oppression to the human race. The need for abolition movements creates a scenario whereby the differing ideals the underlying factors that impede progress. Hence, champion for the elimination of such practices creating a distinguishing feature to the revolutions.
Question #4: What was common to industrialization everywhere, and in what ways did it vary from place to place?
Across the world, the industrial revolution profoundly impacted the growth and expansion of societies. Industrialization led to increased exploration in search of new raw materials and markets for manufactured goods. From the Chinese gun powder leading to industrialization, the Western industrialization, Columbus’s voyages, and the scramble and partition of Africa in the last quarter of the 19th century are characterized by the profound growth and expansion of industrialization. As a common trend everywhere, it led to increased globalization with different parts of the world, seeking to increase trade and interaction with the other. The globalization aspect of industrialization cut across all parts of the world as it was important for economic growth.
The industrialization across the world ushered in a new era of technological advancements that led to discoveries of new energy sources and increased production (Strayer & Nelson, 2019). In turn, the capacity to build better buildings to sustain the growing urbanization demand was paramount. The industrialization saw an expansion of the manufacturing that required people to work and run the production in the industries. In turn, the concentration of people in urban centers to sustain the functionalities of industries was a common trend in all parts of the world.
As well, the class structures were greatly affected by traditional forms of aristocracy, artisans, and peasants class system declined. An era of feudal systems was ushered in with new classes sprouting as a result of wealth distribution among the factory working class. Further developments ushered in a class struggle between the owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie), producers of labor (the working class), and the masses at the grassroots (the proletariats). This is a characterization of the growing influence of Marxism, which was common across many parts of the world. ‘
In terms of labor production, every corner of the world witnessed a withdrawal of the middle-class women from paid labor. Women joining the working class were paid lower wages as compared to male counterparts the difficulties of joining the workforce and low wages prompted the sprouting of trade unions that were critical tools for better working conditions. Also, social movements were common everywhere as a result of industrialization (Strayer & Nelson, 2019).
The key differences noted in the industrialization era comprise aspects such as the role of the state, the political and social expressions that led to conflicts in different parts of the world, and the magnitude of the industrial revolution in different countries. For example, the European nation’s industrialization sprouts profoundly, prompting them to explore other parts of the world. This lead to the exploitation of Latin America, Africa, and Asia by the Europeans was industrialized. Hence, superior than the rest of the world.
Furthermore, industrialization in the United States advanced by democracy and principles that enabled people to operate freely in a free market society prompted profound growth and developments. The Russian-monarchy serfdom under the threat of the Mongol control negatively impacted to Russian development. Thus, industrialization in Russia lagged behind despite the numerous efforts applied to expand the growth potential to catch up with the Western world. Hence, the distinct industrialization growth and development in different parts of the world.
Question #6: In what ways did colonial rule transform the societies that it encompassed?
The colonial rule has extensive impacts on the societies that it encompassed. The transformations that were induced the colonial to the societies around the world comprise of increased education, industrialization developments, people joining the workforce, adoption of new cultures and social practices, and establishment of new systems of governance.
The colonial rule affects the societies in which they settled in with new education systems. In parts like Africa, Asia, and Latin America, formal education was not prevalent in their societies. Education was the first tool used by the colonial empowers in their belief of spreading civilization and enlightenment to a dark world. Education was key to both the collaborators and resisters, where the colonial rule was established (Strayer & Nelson, 2019). Through policies such as direct rule used by the British colonial empire in Africa and Asia – education was key to the transformation of the societies. The assimilation policy used by the French in West Africa saw a large number of Africans who migrate to Europe as they were consider assimilated to the French way of life.
The adoption of new cultures and social practices is epitomized in the societies where the colonial rule was established by aspects such as Westernization and religion. Westernization comprises of transforming to the way of living of the Europeans – clothing, food, music, among other cultural aspects. The religious aspect led to the spread of Christianity around the world. The conversion of the members of the community into Christianity induced extensive repercussions, including mistrust, hatred, and animosity to societies that co-existed together as one prior to the colonial rule.
Moreover, the adoption of colonial systems of administration and governance is evident to date in the transformations of societies caused by colonial rule. For instance, the American and Canadian systems of government are widely equivalent to the British system of governance, with democratic principles being crucial as a shared phenomenon. Despite the extensive changes and developments made in respective countries, they share the common language of English as do other commonwealth countries around the world (Strayer & Nelson, 2019). The French colonized societies adopted French as the official language in their countries, so do Spanish in Latin America. Governance systems are based on former colonial masters, a transformation with lasting effects on contemporary societies. The new countries that transformed the identity and belonging of societies in Africa are based on the colonial rule effects of the scramble and partition of the continent.
The colonial rule marked the establishment of industries as immigration from Europe spread to the rest of the world. In the America’s industrial development was ushered in by the immigrants that established the colonial rule. Across the world – the colonial rule paved way for the establishment of new industries in areas that they accessed raw materials and ready markets. With some Europeans desiring to settle permanently in the new regions they set up their activities – displacement of the aboriginal or native societies was imminent. The native societies were displaced to pave way for the new industries and agricultural purposes. Thus, removed from the fertile soils to allow the settlement of the colonial masters.
Therefore, search for labor was paramount to sustain the livelihood of displaced societies and continuity of life. First, the local societies joined the workforce in the farms to provide cheap labor for colonial masters. Later, they local societies begun working in the factories impacting positively to their living standards. This created an opportunity for better understanding the realms of the world and politics paving way for the struggle for independence.