bonewright Mr. Bone
Section 1 - Empire Building

The first class to demand a pair of political decisions was the wealthy middle class.  Protests in the 1830's wanted Parliament to extend the right to vote.  The Revolution of 1830 led to Parliament passing the Reform Bill of 1832.  This bill eased the property requirements so that the wealthier men in the middle class could vote.  It also changed the way they elected the members of Parliament.  This bill eliminated "rotten boroughs" (empty districts), gave them new industries and more representation.  After the bill only allowed five men to vote, the other groups made a petition called The Peoples Charter thus receiving the name the Chartist Movement.  It allowed for more men to have the right to vote.  They demanded a secret ballot so that people would not feel pressure to vote a certain way.  The working class men were able to vote in 1867 (at this time women didn't have the right to vote) and the rural workers won the right to vote in 1884.  1890, several countries had male suffrage (where all men could vote).  During the 1800's women, in both Great Britain and the United States started demanding the same rights but they were met with resistance.  Many people, both men and women thought that women were not capable enough to participate in politics.  Women did not win the right to vote in national elections in Great Britain and the United States until after World War I.

While Great Britain was on the road to democracy, France was going through a series of crises.  In 1871, a radical government called the Paris Commune took control of Paris.  Several months later National Assembly troops marched into the city, fought the Communards.  About 20,000 Parisians were killed and the city burned.  Four years later in 1875, the National Assembly agreed on a new government.  The members voted to se up a republic.  The Third Republic lasted over 60 years.  Many groups wanted to return France to a monarchy or military rule.  France remained divided and a dozen parties competed for political power.  In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was falsely accused of selling military secrets to the Germans.  Dreyfus was one of the few Jewish soldiers in the French army and was met with discrimination and anti-Semitism.

The first European country to colonize Canada was France.  Great Britain took control in 1763 after the French and Indian war.  Conflicts arose between the Roman Catholic French and Protestant English-speaking colonists.  Both groups pressed Britain for a greater voice in governing their own affairs.  Parliament tried to solve this by creating two new provinces, Upper Canada and Lower Canada.  Upper Canada had the English-speaking majority and Lower Canada had the French-speaking majority.  This was short lived.  Both sides demanded political and economical reforms, these were also caused by French resentment towards British rule.  In the late 1830's rebellions broke out in both provinces.  Lord Durham was sent to investigate possible reforms.  He urged in 1830 that two reforms be issued.  One that said the two provinces should be reunited and the other said that the colonists should have the power over domestic problems while Parliament dealt with foreign policy.  In 1867, Canada was self-governing on domestic affairs but still a part of the British Empire.  In 1885, the railroad that connected distant parts of the dominion was finished.

The British sea captain, James Cook, claimed New Zealand in 1769 and Australia in 1770.  In New Zealand, Cook was greeted by Maoris, a Polynesian people who had settled on New Zealand's two main islands in the 800's AD.  Their culture was based on farming, hunting, and fishing.  When Cook arrived in Australia he found that Aborigines inhabited it.  They were gatherers, hunters and fishermen.  British began colonizing Australia in 1788.  They sent all of their convicted criminals to live out their lives there.  After their release they could buy land and settle as free men and women. Gradually free settlers began to move to Australia.  Population grew steadily during the early 1800's but in 1851 it skyrocketed with the gold rush.  The population grew slowly due to the fact that Britain did not claim ownership like they did Australia but they did recognize the land rights of the Maoris.  Both Australia and New Zealand were self-governing and started their own Parliamentary forms of government.  The English began expanding to Ireland after the Pope granted control of Ireland to the British king.  The resentment grew when Henry VIII tried to tighten control of Ireland.  Many Irish hated English rule.  From 1846-1848 the Great Potato Famine caused over one million people to die from starvation and disease.  A plant fungus killed nearly all their crop.  In 1914, Parliament enacted a home rule bill for Southern Ireland.  One month before it was to go into effect WWI broke out.  The home rule bill was put on hold.

Section 3 - Expansion and Crisis in the United States

In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain and got all territories from Texas to California.  In 1836, Texas revolted against Mexican rule.  In 1845, the United States annexed Texas.  Mexico took this as an act of aggression.  The Mexican-American war forced Mexico to surrender control of the Mexican session.  Most Americans eagerly supported the westward expansion.  They believed in manifest destiny.  This is where the US would get the right to rule North America.  

The North had a very diverse economy with farming and factories.  They depended on free workers.  The south relied on few cash crops, mainly cotton.  Southern planters relied on slave labor.  In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president.  Southerners opposed him because he promised to abolish slavery.  Southern states began to secede from the Union.  They came together as the Confederate States of America.  On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began.  In 1865, the South surrendered.  In 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves be freed.  In 1870's, immigrants arrived at a rate of nearly 2,000 a day.  By 1914, more that 20 million people had moved to the United States from Europe and Asia.  In 1862, congress authorized money to build a trans-continental railroad.  By 1900, about 200,000 miles of track spider webbed the nation.

Section 4 - 19th Century Progress

In 1879, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.  This greatly increased the productivity of factories because they were able to run at all hours.  Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi had revolutionized communication.  They invented the telephone and the Morse code thingy.  Whoda thunk it????  (just checking to see if you were still reading this)  Ford created the automotive industry by inventing the assembly line. And in 1903, the Wright brothers (Orville and Wilber) invented the first airplane.  In the mid 1800's Luis Pasteur developed the germ theory of disease.  He discovered that cells called bacteria aide in the fermentation of alcohol.  He also learned that heat killed bacteria.  This led to the development of the Pasteurization process.  In 1859, Charles Darwin published his book on the theory of evolution and the origin of life by natural selection.
Last updated  2008/09/28 08:39:22 PDTHits  283