Module 6: Revolutions & Industrialization


Between 1750-1850 people negotiated new relationships with their governments all over the world. This module focuses on these political “reorderings,” as Tignor et. al. term them, highlighting the rise of the concept of nation-state and citizenship. In the context of the French Revolution, historians see renegotiated agreements between individuals and the state, as well as challenges to Enlightenment ideals that often neglected women and minorities as part of these political conversations. As Chapter 15 reveals, the effects of ideas and industrialization traveled across national and imperial borders; changing global power relationships- such as those between China and Britain in the Opium Wars- and encouraging alternative visions of the ideal relationship between subjects, citizens, and the state that will be the topics of the next module.

Objectives: After completing Module 6, you will be able to

1. Identify and examine the effects of Enlightenment ideas on revolutions in the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
2. Define nation-state and how the rise of this concept challenged relationships between people and their governments.
3. Analyze the effects of the industrious revolution and industrialization on various world regions.
4. Understand the changes in power dynamics between industrialized empires and agricultural, or pre-industrial, empires.


Section 1: Political Reordering & Revolutions

  1. Read Worlds Together, Worlds Apart Chapter 15.
  2. Read Lynn Hunt and Jack Censer’s essay “Women and the Revolution
  3. Listen to at least ONE of the following 3 15-Minute History podcasts: “The Haitian Revolution,” “Simon Bolivar,” or “The American Revolution in Global Context Part I
  4. Answer the Critical Reading Questions on Blackboard.

Section 2: Empire, Conflict, & Industrialization- The Opium Wars

  1. Read Peter Purdue’s essay “The First Opium War” on MIT Visualizing Cultures website. (See “The American Revolution in Global Context Part II” for optional listening on the American Revolution seen as a conflict between subjects and the British Empire)
  2. Go to the “War Stories” tab in Purdue’s essay. Choose a primary source from the list and evaluate it using the Historical Thinking Worksheet on Blackboard
  3. Go to the course discussion board: Think critically about this group of sources. Do you notice similarities and differences between the documents? What might have caused them? Please explain your answer in a 2-3 sentences.

Congratulations! You completed Module 6.

Go to Module 7