Chapter 17 Outline

Use this annotated chapter outline to review the major topics covered in this chapter. Return to skim any sections that seem unfamiliar. Then test your understanding of the chapter by selecting the quizzes and short-answer activities included in this Online Study Guide.

I.          Opening Vignette

            A.  In 1989, celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution coincided with the Chinese government’s crackdown on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

                        1.  The French Revolution was the centerpiece of a revolutionary process  all around the Atlantic world between 1775 and 1875

                        2.  Atlantic revolutions had an impact far beyond the Atlantic world

                                    a.  French invasions of Egypt, Poland, and Russia

                                    b.  inspired efforts to abolish slavery, give women greater rights,  and extend the franchise in many countries

            c.  nationalism was shaped by revolutions

            d.  principles of equality eventually gave birth to socialism and communism

II.         Comparing Atlantic Revolutions

            A.  The revolutions of North America, Europe, Haiti, and Latin America influenced each other.

                        1.  they also shared a set of common ideas

                        2.  grew out of the European Enlightenment

                                    a.  notion that it is possible to engineer, and improve, political and social life

                                    b.  traditional ways of thinking were no longer sacrosanct

                        3.  the core political idea was “popular sovereignty”—that the authority

                                    to govern comes from the people, not from God or tradition

                                    a.  John Locke (1632–1704) argued that the “social contract” between ruler and ruled should last only as long as it served the people well

                        4.  except in Haiti, the main beneficiaries of revolution were middle-class white males

                                    a.  but in the long term, the revolution gave ammunition to groups without political rights

                                    b.  goal was to extend political rights further than ever before, so can be called “democratic revolutions”

                        5.  considerable differences between the Atlantic revolutions

            B.  The North American Revolution, 1775–1787

                        1.  basic facts of the American Revolution are well known

                        2.  a bigger question is what it changed

                        3.  American Revolution was a conservative political movement

                                    a.  aimed to preserve colonial liberties, rather than gain new ones

                                    b.  for most of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the British North American colonies had much local autonomy

                                    c.  colonists regarded autonomy as their birthright

                                    d.  few thought of breaking away from Britain before 1750

                        4.  colonial society

                                    a.  was far more egalitarian than in Europe

                                    b.  in manners, they were republican well before the revolution

                        5.  Britain made a new drive to control the colonies and get more revenue from them in the 1760s

                                    a.  Britain needed money for its global war with France

                                    b.  imposed a number of new taxes and tariffs on the colonies

                                    c.  colonists were not represented in the British parliament

                                    d.  appeared to deny the colonists’ identity as true Englishmen

                                    e.  challenged colonial economic interests

                                    f.  attacked established traditions of local autonomy

                        6.  British North America was revolutionary for the society that had already emerged, not for the revolution itself

                                    a.  no significant social transformation came with independence from Britain

                                    b.  accelerated democratic tendencies that were already established

                                    c.  political power remained in the hands of existing elites

                                                i.  property requirements for voting were lowered

                                                ii.  property rights remained intact

                        7.  Many Americans thought they were creating a new world order

                                    a.  some acclaimed the United States as “the hope and model of the human  race”

                                    b.  declaration of the “right to revolution” inspired other colonies around the world

                                    c.  the U.S. Constitution was one of the first lasting efforts to put Enlightenment political ideas into practice

            C.  The French Revolution, 1789–1815

                        1.  thousands of French soldiers had fought for the American revolutionaries

                        2.  French government was facing bankruptcy

                                    a.  had long attempted to modernize the tax system and make it fairer, but was opposed by the privileged classes

                                    b.  King Louis XVI called the Estates General into session in a new effort to raise taxes

                                                i.  first two estates (clergy and nobility) were around 2 percent of the population

                                                ii.  Third Estate was everyone else

                        3.  when the Estates General convened in 1789, Third Estate representatives broke loose and declared themselves the National Assembly

                                    a.  drew up the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

                                    b.  launched the French Revolution

                        4.  unlike the American Revolution, the French rising was driven by  pronounced social conflicts

                                    a.  titled nobility resisted monarchic efforts to tax them

                                    b.  middle class resented aristocratic privileges

                                    c.  urban poor suffered from inflation and unemployment

                                    d.  the peasants were oppressed

                        5.  Enlightenment ideas gave people a language to articulate grievances

                        6.  French Revolution was violent, far-reaching, and radical

                                    a.  ended hereditary privilege

                                    b.  even abolished slavery (for a time)

                                    c.  the Church was subjected to government authority

                                    d.  king and queen were executed (1793)

                                    e.  the Terror (1793–1794) killed tens of thousands of people regarded as enemies of the revolution

                        7.  effort to create a wholly new society

                                    a.  1792 became Year I of a new calendar

                                    b.  briefly passed a law for universal male suffrage

                                    c.  France was divided into 83 territorial departments

                                    d.  created a massive army (some 800,000 men) to fight threatening neighbors

                                                i.  all adult males were required to serve

                                                ii.  officers came from middle and lower classes

                                    e.  spurt of nationalism, with revolutionary state at the center

                                    f.  radicals especially pushed the idea of new beginnings

                        8.  influence of French Revolution spread through conquest

                                    a.  Napoleon Bonaparte (r. 1799–1814) seized power in 1799

                                    b.  preserved many moderate elements of the revolution

                                    c.  kept social equality, but got rid of liberty

                                    d.  subdued most of Europe

                                    e.  imposed revolutionary practices on conquered regions

                                    f.  resentment of French domination stimulated national consciousness throughout Europe

                                                i.  national resistance brought down Napoleon’s empire by 1815

            D.  The Haitian Revolution, 1791–1804

                        1.  Saint Domingue (later called Haiti) was a French Caribbean colony

                                    a.  regarded as the richest colony in the world

                                    b.  vast majority of population were slaves

                                                i.  around 500,000 slaves, 40,000 whites, 30,000  “free people of color”

                        2.  example of the French Revolution sparked a spiral of violence

                                    a.  but revolution meant different things to different people

                                    b.  massive slave revolt began in 1791

                                    c.  became a war between a number of factions

                                    d.  power gradually shifted to the slaves, who were led by former slave Toussaint Louverture

                        3.  the result was a unique revolution—the only completely successful slave revolt in world history

                                    a.  renamed the country Haiti (“mountainous” in Taino)

                                    b.  identified themselves with the original native inhabitants

                                    c.  declared equality for all races

                                    d.  divided up plantations among small farmers

                        4.  Haiti’s success generated great hope and great fear

                                    a.  created new “insolence” among slaves elsewhere, inspired other  slave rebellions

                                    b.  caused horror among whites, led to social conservatism

                                    c.  increased slavery elsewhere, as plantations claimed Haiti’s market share

                                    d.  Napoleon’s defeat in Haiti convinced him to sell Louisiana Territory to the United States

            E.  Spanish American Revolutions, 1810–1825

                        1.  Latin American revolutions were inspired by earlier revolutionary movements

                        2.  native-born elites (creoles) in Spanish colonies of Latin America were offended at the Spanish monarchy’s efforts to control them in the eighteenth century

                                    a.  but there were only scattered and uncoordinated protests initially

                        3.  reasons why Latin American independence movements were limited at first

                                    a.  little tradition of local self-government

                                    b.  society was more authoritarian, with stricter class divisions

                                    c.  whites were vastly outnumbered

                        4.  creole elites had revolution thrust upon them by events in Europe

                                    a.  1808: Napoleon invaded Spain and Portugal, put royal authority in disarray

                                    b.  Latin Americans were forced to take action

                                    c.  most of Latin America was independent by 1826

                        5.  longer process than in North America

                                    a.  Latin American societies were torn by class, race, and regional divisions

                                                i.  e.g., in Mexico, move toward independence began with a peasant revolt (1810) led by priests Miguel Hidalgo and José Morelos

                                                ii.  creole elites and clergy raised an army, crushed revolt

                                                iii.  such class violence was common elsewhere

                                    b.  fear of social rebellion from below shaped the whole independence movement

                                                i.  Peruvian revolt (1780s) in the name of Tupac Amaru,the last Inca emperor

                                                ii.  most people in society were exploited and oppressed

                        6.  leaders of independence movements appealed to the lower classes in terms of nativism: all free people born in the Americas were Americanos

                                    a.  many whites and mestizos regarded themselves as Spanish

                                    b.  but many leaders were liberals, influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution

                                    c.  in reality, lower classes, Native Americans, and slaves got little  benefit from independence

                        7.  it proved impossible to unite the various Spanish colonies, unlike the United States

                                    a.  distances were greater

                                    b.  colonial experiences were different

                                    c.  stronger regional identities

                        8.  after Latin America gained independence, its traditional relationship

                                    with North America was gradually reversed

                                    a.  the United States grew wealthier and more democratic, became stable

                                    b.  Latin American countries became increasingly underdeveloped,impoverished, undemocratic, and unstable

III.       Echoes of Revolution

            A.  Smaller European revolutions occurred in 1830, 1848, and 1870.

                        1.  led to greater social equality and liberation from foreign rule

                        2.  enlarged voting rights: by 1914, major states of Western Europe, the United States, and Argentina had universal male suffrage

                        3.  even in Russia, there was a constitutional movement in 1825

                        4.  abolitionist, nationalist, and feminist movements arose to question other patterns of exclusion and oppression

            B.  The Abolition of Slavery

                        1.  slavery was largely ended around the world between 1780 and 1890

                        2.  Enlightenment thinkers were increasingly critical of slavery

                                    a.  American and French revolutions focused attention on slaves’  lack of liberty and equality

                                    b.  religious groups, especially Quakers and Protestant evangelicals, became increasingly vocal in opposition to slavery

                                    c.  growing belief that slavery wasn’t necessary for economic progress

                                                i.  notion that slavery was out of date

                        3.  three major slave rebellions in the British West Indies showed that slaves were discontent; brutality of suppression appalled people

                        4.  abolitionist movements were most powerful in Britain

                                    a.  1807: Britain forbade the sale of slaves within its empire

                                    b.  1834: Britain emancipated all slaves

                                    c.  other nations followed suit, under growing international pressure

                                    d.  most Latin American countries abolished slavery by 1850s

                                                i.  Brazil was the last (1888)

                                    e.  emancipation of the Russian serfs (1861)

                        5.  resistance to abolition was vehement among interested parties

                                    a.  in the United States, it took a major civil war to end slavery (1861–1865)

                        6.  abolition often didn’t lead to the expected results

                                    a.  usually there was little improvement in the economic lives of  former slaves

                                                i.  highly dependent forms of labor emerged

                                    b.  unwillingness of former slaves to work on plantations led to a new wave of global migration, especially from India and China

                                    c.  few of the newly freed gained anything like political equality

                                                i.  in southern United States, a period of political rights was followed by segregationist, racist reaction

                                    d.  most former Russian serfs remained impoverished

                                    e.  more slaves were used within Africa to produce export crops

                                                i.  Europeans used this to justify colonial rule in Africa  in the late nineteenth century

            C.  Nations and Nationalism

                        1.  revolutionary movements gave new prominence to more recent kind of human community—the nation

                                    a.  idea that humans are divided into separate nations, each with a distinct culture and territory and deserving an independent political life

                                    b.  before the nineteenth century, foreign rule in itself wasn’t regarded as heinous

                                    c.  most important loyalties were to clan, village, or region

                        2.  independence movements acted in the name of new nations

                                    a.  Napoleon’s conquests stimulated national resistance

                        3.  erosion of older identities and loyalties

                                    a.  science weakened the hold of religion

                                    b.  migration to cities or abroad weakened local allegiances

                                    c.  printing standardized languages

                        4.  nationalism was often presented as a reawakening of older cultural identities

                        5.  nationalism was enormously powerful in the nineteenth century

                                    a.  inspired political unification of Germany and Italy

                                    b.  inspired separatist movements by Greeks, Serbs, Czechs,Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, the Irish, and Jews

                                    c.  fueled preexisting rivalry among European states

                                                i.  drive for colonies in Asia and Africa

                                                ii.  can see its height in the suffering of World War I

                                    d.  efforts to instill national loyalty in citizens

                        6.  nationalism took on a variety of political ideologies

                                    a.  “civic nationalism” identified the “nation” with a particular territory, encouraged assimilation

                                    b.  some defined the nation in racial terms (e.g., Germany)

                        7.  nationalism was not limited to Europe

            D.  Feminist Beginnings

                        1.  a feminist movement developed in the nineteenth century, especially in Europe and North America

                                    a.  transformed the interaction of women and men in the twentieth century

                        2.  European Enlightenment thinkers sometimes challenged the idea that women were innately inferior

                                    a.  during the French Revolution, some women argued that liberty  and equality must include women

                                    b.  more educational opportunities and less household drudgery for middle-class women

                                    c.  women increasingly joined temperance movements, charities, abolitionist movements, missionary work, etc.

                                    d.  maternal feminism: argued women’s distinctive role as mothers

                        3.  first organized expression of feminism: women’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848

                        4.  feminist movement was transatlantic from the beginning

                                    a.  argued for a radical transformation of the position of women

                        5.  by the 1870s, movements focused above all on suffrage

                                    a.  became a middle-class, not just elite, movement

                                    b.  most worked through peaceful protest and persuasion

                                                i.  one British group had a campaign of violence

                                    c.  became a mass movement in the most industrialized countries  by turn of century

                        6.  by 1900:

                                    a.  some women had been admitted to universities

                                    b.  women’s literacy rates were rising

                                    c.  some U.S. states passed laws allowing women to control their property and wages

                                    d.  some areas liberalized divorce laws

                                    e.  some women made their way into new professions

                                                i.  teaching

                                                ii.  nursing (professionalized by Florence Nightingale)

                                                iii.  social work (Jane Addams)

                                    f.  1893: New Zealand was the first to grant universal female suffrage

i.  Finland followed in 1906

                        7.  the movement led to discussion of the role of women in modern society

                                    a.  taboo sexual topics were aired

                                    b.  deep debates over women’s proper roles

                        8.  bitter opposition

                                    a.  some argued that strains of education and life beyond the home  would cause reproductive damage

                                    b.  some saw suffragists, Jews, and socialists as “a foreign body”in national life

                        9.  feminism spread beyond Europe and the United States, but less widely than nationalism

IV.       Reflections: Revolutions Pro and Con

            A.  The legacies of the Atlantic revolutions are still controversial.

                        1.  to some people, they opened new worlds of human potential

                        2.  but the revolutions also had many victims, critics, and opponents

                                    a.  conservatives believed that societies were organisms that should evolve slowly; radical change invited disaster

                                    b.  argued that revolutions were largely unnecessary

            B.  Historians also struggle with the pros and cons of revolutionary movements.