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Imperialism and Colonialism

1. What major innovations and developments spurred the Second Industrial Revolution? The Second Industrial Revolution was driven by very diverse technologies. The key innovations were however in steel, electricity and chemicals. Though steel had many advantages over iron as a construction material, it was impossible to produce steel cheaply and in large quantities till the middle of the nineteenth century. But from the 1850s to the 1870s three different processes for refining and mass producing alloy steel were invested. This revolutionized the metallurgical industry.

The introduction of steel transformed Britain’s ship-building industry and enabled Britain to keep its lead in the industry. Germany too build a massive national and industrial structure based on steel. Technological developments made it possible for electricity to be made available for industrial, commercial and domestic use. The chemical battery was invented by the Italian Alessandro Volta in 1800. Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831 leading to the development of the electromagnetic generator in 1866.

This was followed by the development of alternators and transformers, Alternating currents could be transmitted over long distances without any major transmission loss as opposed to direct current. Large power stations and production of hydroelectricity opened up mass production of electricity. Thomas Alva Edison built the incandescent-filament lamp in 1879 enabling whole areas to be electrified and lighted up. The developments in electricity changed the way people lived and worked. Electricity powered new modes of transportation. It introduced new techniques in metallurgical and chemical industries.

Electrical engineering facilitated the Second Industrial Revolution to a great extent. Chemicals was transformed into a major industry by advances in the manufacture of alkali and organic compounds. Alkali and organic compounds revolutionized the production of paper, soap, textiles and fertilizers. Each of these products was vital for different spheres of activities. While major British manufacturers concentrated on the production of household items from these chemicals, Germany concentrated on the production of chemicals for industrial use.

Developments in these three sectors in turn initiated the invention of liquid-fuel internal combustion engines. With the discovery of abundant oil in Russia, Borneo, Persia and Texas, mechanized production was made possible at any location. The world was thus poised for the Second Industrial Revolution. 2. In what ways did women, from about 1850 to the eve of World War I, challenge the roles that society had traditionally assigned to them? The Industrial Revolution and the expanding civil society challenged Victorian views of the place of women in society.

A large number of women were engaged in industries, others were social workers or clerks in government or corporate bureaucracies. More and more women were coming out of their restrictive role of the ‘angel of the house’. This ushered in an era of education and legal reforms for women. In the 1860s Swiss universities and schools began to admit women. British women established their own colleges in Cambridge and Oxford. With education came the demand for women rights. Women won the right to control their own property.

Laws were enacted at the fag end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the Twentieth century granting women divorce rights in France, Germany and England. As the reform movements of the early nineteenth century depended on women to a large extent, their public presence increased considerably. Women initially became involved in religious associations and then in secular works such as charities, poor relief, emancipation of slaves, etc. Association life gave women to participate in activities outside the house and express themselves freely.

Political rights for women remained very controversial throughout the nineteenth century. Even though Germany, France and Britain had promulgated broad enfranchisement laws for men between 1866 and 1884 and suffrage became based solely on sex, voting rights for women met with opposition from various quarters. In Britain, women were not accorded the suffrage because both the conservatives and the liberals feared that the other would gain because of it. However, reforming the franchise became the next logical goal in the emancipation of women. Women however had to go through a long fight in order to get voting rights.

A host of women’s organization fought for the cause. Some, such as the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) took the path of militancy to achieve their end. The struggle for women’s rights led to the emergence of a new social type dubbed the ‘new woman’. The new woman demanded education, a job and her unrestricted liberty. Short Answers 1. Friedrich Angels: Friedrich Angels was one of Europe’s most renowned socialists. In 1842, Angels had traveled from his home in Rhineland to Manchester in England to experience first hand the life in the textile capital of the world.

He would go back and take charge of the textile mills that his father owned. The abject misery of the workers that he witnessed in Manchester made him opt for a life of political engagement for the betterment of the condition of industrial workers. In 1845, he published The Condition of the Working Class in England. 2. Sherman Anti-Trust Act: The emergence of modern corporations also saw companies in the same industry grouping together to form cartels to control competition. Coal, oil and steel companies were ideally suited for the formation of cartels.

Cartels made it almost impossible for small producers to operate. Cartels were stronger in Germany and America. During the early Twentieth Century, President Roosevelt enforced the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to ban cartels wherever they threatened fair competition. 3. The Communist Manifesto: The Communist Manifesto summarized the new political outlook of historical materialism propounded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Angels. It was published in 1848 for a secret political society, the Communist League.

The Manifesto presented class struggle as the catalyst for historical change and predicted that the working classes would ultimately seize the state and organize it into a communist society. 4. Fabians: The Fabians were the most intellectual members of the Labor Party that was formed in England in 1901. There was no socialist party in England, and the Labor Party was the closest to socialism. The Fabians were named after the ancient Roman dictator Fabius who blocked Hannibal’s conquest of Rome through delaying tactics and small-scale skirmishes.

5. Eduard Bernstein: Eduard Bernstein led a group of so-called revisionist in Germany and argued that party tactics ought to acknowledge the ability of capitalism to tide over economic crises and the rising standard of living of German workers. Bernstein called for moderate reform within the existing political system nut failed to garner any support at either domestic or international congresses. 6. Anarchism: Anarchism was form of early nineteenth century terrorism. Anarchism sought solutions to economic problems through violence.

Anarchist believed that terrorism, or propaganda by deed as the Italian anarchists termed violence, had an educational value. It would expose the vulnerability of even powerful institutions and political leaders, create chaos and embolden the people. Two most popular propagandists of anarchism were Peter Kropotkin and Mikhail Bakunin. 7. Women’s Suffrage: Women’s suffrage was a very contentious issue in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. The industrial revolution and the expansion of civil society had changed the Victorian conception of women.

Yet, when it came to granting suffrage women faced resistance from many quarters. Some organizations such as the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) took recourse to violent demonstrations to gain the right to vote. In Britain both the Conservatives and the Liberals feared that granting suffrage to women would be to the advantage of the other and therefore refused to enfranchise women. 8. Alfred Dreyfus: Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain on the French General Staff was accused of selling military secrets to Germany by a clique of monarchist officers.

Dreyfus was convicted, stripped of rank and deported for life to the Devil’s islands. However, it later came to light that trial documents were forged. When the War Department refused to give Dreyfus a retrial the French public rallied around his cause. The Dreyfus affair polarized France into royalist and republican camps. 9. Kulturkamph: Kulturkamph or the Cultural Struggle refers to the period from 1871 – 1878 when Otto von Bismarck unleashed an anti-Catholic political campaign in Prussia.

Between 1866 and 1876, Bismarck had governed principally with liberal factions interested in promoting free trade and economic growth. Kulturkamph was apolitical move to appease these liberal coalitions. 10. Bloody Sunday: Bloody Sunday refers to January 22, 1905 when the guard troops of Tsar Nicholas II shot down 130 demonstrators and wounded several hundred others at the Tsars winter palace at St Petersburg. The group of more than two thousand workers and their families were being led by a priest, Father Capone. The Bloody Sunday was a major factor that brought about the First Russian Revolution.

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