World History: Journey Across Time
Industry and Nationalism
French people were divided into three estates. The Third Estate had no voice in government but paid all of the taxes. The Enlightenment caused the middle class to resent the privileges of the nobles and clergy, leading to the French Revolution. The Mountain group seized control of the Convention and ruled in a period known as the Reign of Terror. People grew tired of the Reign of Terror and looked to a leader—Napoleon—to bring about change in France. Napoleon gained. Nationalism and the forces of Britain and Russia ended Napoleon's reign.
While nationalism swept through Europe, an economic system called industrialism was formed in Britain. These economic changes led to the Industrial Revolution. From Britain, the Industrial Revolution spread to France, Belgium, Germany, and the United States. The growth of industry created a large working class and established a need for labor unions. Different political philosophies also surfaced in the 1800s, including liberalism, utilitarianism, and socialism. Two other movements—modernism and impressionism—enhanced art and literature. Science and medicine also made great strides during this time. New ideas in physical sciences changed the way people understood the world.
While Britain enjoyed peace, much of Europe struggled. People seeking self-rule rebelled against their governments. In the 1850s, the rise of nationalism strengthened the desire to create united countries. Latin American countries also moved toward independence. Nationalism shaped the United States. The country doubled in size with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and Westward expansion brought both problems and opportunities. A division between the North and the South created problems. Abolitionism created much disagreement and led to the Civil War. After the North defeated the South, industry and the nation's population grew rapidly.