WTWA 17 - WTWA 17 Nations and Empires 1850-1914...

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WTWA 17: Nations and Empires 1850-1914 Consolidating Nations & Constructing Empires o Enlightenment thinkers had emphasized the importance of nations, defined as peoples who shared a common past, territory, culture, & traditions. Building Nationalism o Local elites created nations They did so by compelling diverse groups of people & regions to accept a unified network of laws, a central admin, time zones, national markets, & a single regional dialect as the “national” language o To overcome strong regional identities, state admin broadened public education in the national language & imposed universal military service to build a national army E.g. Italy & Germany – newly created in this period, forged thru strategic military contests Expanding the Empires o Imperialism: processes of nation building also required the acquisition of new territories, often overseas National strength not only by people’s unity, but also by their economic power & the conquest of new territories Reasons why Germany, France, U.S., Russia, and Japan challenged Britain’s leadership via overseas trade, seizing territories, developing their industries o Tension b/w empire & nation Colonies were seen as subordinate to the other country w/ little or no representation in home gov’ts Expansion & Nation Building in the Americas o Americas; instead of treating outlying areas as colonials posts, they turned them into new provinces w/ the help of rifles, railroads, schools, land surveys, frontiers = all became staging areas for the expanding population of North & South American societies indigenous people loss of traditional lands The United States o Military might, diplomacy, + power of #’s enabled the US to claim territory that spanned North American continent But, Native Americans resistance + Spanish & British rivalry hemmed in the Americans o Manifest Destiny = it was God’s will for the US to overspread North America o Civil War & States’ Rights Westward expansion = undoing of American nation Questions of newly acquired lands to be open or closed to slavery
1860 election Lincoln vowed to halt expansion of slavery Civil War 1861-1865 division of N/S Result: abolition of slavery, struggle to extend voting & citizenship rights to male freed slaves qualified Civil War as 2 nd American Revolution Biracial democracy 1867-1877 = short lived Counterrevolutionary pressure led to denial of voting rights to African Americans & the restoration of white/patriarchal planter rule in South Importance: defeat of the South established the preeminence of the national gov’t After civil war, americans learned to speak of their nation in singular form vs. plural “the US is…” vs. “the US are…” o Economic & Industrial Development After civil war, US made impressive economic gains (75%) Limited-liability join-stock company Capital accumulation from firms like the Standard Oil & U.S. Steel from investors via a stock market Railroads – atlantic to pacific

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