European Timeline 1776 1914

24thSeptember 2020

European Timeline, 1776-1914

Absolute world dominance by Europe, specially UK.

Factors of European Worldwide Dominance

The decisive factor was theIndustrial Revolution. Reasons why it occurred in Europe and not somewhere else:

  • Environment: moderate climate and cheap raw materials
  • Knowledge: taking advantage of the limited knowledge of the population in other places in the world
  • Technology: engineering mentality, pragmatic ethics and technological evolution
  • Competition: disunity among Europe states fostered development and seek for supremacy
  • Mentality: also thanks to religion, population growth

Critics of Eurocentrism

In the end, there were more similarities than differences among the world powers

What made Europe way more powerful than the others arecolonies:

  • free labor (slavery), which took advantage of local inhabitants of colonies
  • raw materials, abundantly present in colonies like Africa
  • An industrialization model, used to maximize production in agriculture and manufacturing
  • colonial markets: huge trading and export raw and rich materials. Protectionist measures, economic policies which allowed India only to export prime materials which could be manufactured in UK.


After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, theCongress of Viennahad the purpose of re-distributing territories in Europe. The Ottoman Empire was excluded by the congress. Its decisions lasted until the German and Italian unification and peace reigned until the Crimean War in the 1850s, which for the first time divided forces involved in the congress. (The Belgian revolution took place before, but not so relevant in the general European scenery, since no significant conflict took place with the signatory powers of the Congress of Vienna)

In 1820 the first liberal resistance to the new order emerged. In Cadiz soldiers who were to be sent to South America to fight against local rebellions revolted, forcing the government to put in force again the former liberal constitution of Cadiz. Rebellions followed in Spain and Southern Italy (leaded by Guglielmo Pepe).

The next wave in 1830, starting in France and reaching Poland.

These first two waves had a local echo, and often died soon. A growing alphabetization, political union sense and more developed “political families” led to higher levels and more structured events. A new way of communicating and reaching the masses, which weren’t involved nor interested in politics since then. These movements used new means of communications and were managed and leaded by press typographers and railroad operators, who were lower-class workers but still educated and with a strong sense of organization. Thus, it emerged a need for a mass communication system about politics.

In the years 46-47 the last economic crisis due to agriculture took place in Europe.

The third major +++ happened in Belgium, which was included in the Duch reign after the Congress. The Belgium population didn’t feel represented by the Dutch state. Smaller riots followed in other places in Italy, failing.

The greatest revolt took place in 1848 all over Europe, except Spain, Portugal and France; in the latter just Paris were involved. The main purpose of these revolutions was getting aconstitution, which meant:

  • unfulfilled hope implanted by the French Revolution
  • political participation
  • national unification / independence

Many monarchs had to allow liberal improvements and constitutions.

There were clashes also among revolutionaries, a new aspect which was a sign that the social, political and economic landscape since the French Revolution changed a lot.Moderate LiberalsvsDemocrats(with republicans). Liberals were for the most part not claiming democracy, but constitutional monarchies.

The other main fault line was the alternative between the two main goals:nationalismvspolitical participation. After the Congress, liberal forces around Europe were sympathetic to each other, but in ’48strong nationalismemerged, creating alliances only in the same nation, even with different or opposite movements.

The first movement for national independence took place in Greece, which took place from 1821 to 1831. It was followed by the Poland and Italy.

The national state was conceived as a sort of fulfillment of history and a natural intermediate achievement on the march of human history. Geopolitically, the most relevant unifications were the German and the Italian ones, since they substituted several little states re-established after the Congress. Another relevant geopolitical factor was the forced retreat of the Ottoman Empire. Later on, the Austro-Hungaric Empire followed the Ottoman fate.

Systematic creation of traditions to add a new shade of political control and influence.

25thSeptember 2020

Crimean War

It changed radically the equilibrium in Europe, since it strongly divided national powers.

The concept of ownership and slavery +++ min 75~

Can the economic progression in Europe be considered as an overall regression in the world since it took advantage of weaker economies and societies?



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