Ap world History Study Guide and Graphic Organizers – Unit 5: Revolutions and Imperialism, 1750 ce – 1900 ce

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AP World History Study Guide and Graphic Organizers – Unit 5: Revolutions and Imperialism, 1750 CE – 1900 CE

1. Factors of Production

A defining characteristic of this era is the Industrial Revolution. AP students are required to know the factors of production required to bring about industrialization.

Capital: funding, investments


Land and Natural Resources

Factors of Production


Why you should know this: You may be asked multiple choice questions about the factors of production and you would need to know these for an essay about industrialization. Discussion of these factors would give you analysis for why industrialization happened in some places (presence of these factors) and not others (lack of these factors).
Example: Compare industrialization in Western Europe with that of ONE of the following nations: Russia, Japan, Egypt
The factors of production would be a great starting point for direction

comparisons for this essay. You could discuss how Western Europe had all the factors of

production necessary, while industrialization was delayed in Russia, Japan, and Egypt for

initial lack of one or more of these factors

2. The Industrial Revolution

AP students are required to know how the Industrial Revolution began, how the revolution affected society, and how the revolution spread to other parts of the world.

  1. The Start of the Industrial Revolution

    1. Advances in agriculture: improved methods of farming, fertilizers

    2. Enclosure movement: large land owners fenced in their lands in an attempt to increase profits (without fences, peasants could use these lands); resulted in many peasants without lands; also resulted in increased profits for landowners = capital

    3. Migration of landless peasants to the cities = surplus of laborers

    4. Technological inventions: steam engine, transportation (trains), increase speed in communication

    5. Textile industry: first industry to “industrialize” = production moves out of the home into factories

  2. Changes in Society

    1. Family: members separated as work moved out of the home into factories

    2. New emphasis on time: starting and finishing hours for work; deliveries of goods

    3. Women: married women lost jobs because work was away from the home; young, unmarried women gained job opportunities

    4. Social Status: determined increasingly by wealth (as opposed to by ownership of land and aristocratic titles)

    5. City conditions: overcrowded, unsanitary, unruly

    6. After 1850:

      1. New labor laws that shortened work day, increased wages

      2. Leisure time: time away from work to engage in “fun”

        1. Sports, movies, amusement centers

      3. New jobs in middle management, secretarial staff (especially for unmarried women)

      4. Mass production made goods less expensive, therefore available to more people, therefore increasing the quality of life

      5. New careers in advertising

  3. Early Spread of Industry

    1. Western Europe (France, Germany) followed Great Britain

    2. United States

    3. Accompanied by construction of railroads

    4. End of 19th century: Russia, Japan, Egypt




  • 1861: emancipation of serfs = surplus of laborers

  • Construction of Railroads, funded by government to encourage industry

  • Factories in major cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg)

  • Improved banking system to help give loans and foster investment

  • High tariffs to protect industry

  • 20th century: 4th in world in steel production

  • 1854: US sends envoy to Japan to open it up to trade

  • 1868: Meiji Restoration brings new government favorable to Westernization/Modernization

  • Samurai travel the world to observe, bring back information

  • Rapid industrialization upon their return

  • Banks fostered investments

  • Taxes bring revenues to the government to spend on railroads, factories

  • Zaibatsu: business class (like the robber barons of the US)

  • Lack of resources: needed to trade; led to wars with China and Russia for resources in Manchuria

  • 1910: Japan annexes Korea

  • Social affects: public education for children, Western style clothing and habits; most aspects of life remained true to traditional Japanese culture

  • Patriarchy

  • Muhammad Ali: leader that fostered industrialization

  • Motivation: diminish dependency on Ottomans

  • Focus on modernization of the military

  • Capital raised by cotton, wheat growers

  • High tariffs to protect industry

  • Industrialization lagged because unable to compete with British goods

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about non-Western attempts to industrialize. You may also be asked to compare industrialization in different parts of the world. You need to have background on the start of the Industrial Revolution in addition to the social effects of industrialization and the spread of industry

              1. Efforts at industrialization in Russia and Japan were similar in that

                1. Both began in the early nineteenth century

                2. Both followed the termination of long-established institutions

                3. Both countries developed more centralized governments

                4. Both depended on the textile industry

                5. Both countries widely adopted Western practices

If you know the characteristics of industrialization as well as the process by which non-Western nations attempted to industrialize, you will identify the correct answer (B).
3. Demographic Changes

AP students will need to be aware of patterns of demographic changes. This unit in particular sees dramatic shifts in population for various reasons.

Population growth in the West

Population growth in non-West

  • end of epidemic diseases (plague)

  • improved agricultural techniques

  • new products to eat makes for healthier diets (potatoes)

  • healthier people make more babies

  • Pattern of migration: from country to city in search of factory jobs available from industrialization; middle classes and elite move away from swarmed cities

  • After 1850: decreasing birth rates as families don’t need as many children as before and more children survived into adulthood

  • 19th century Latin America: doubles in population

  • China experienced growth after introduction of sweet potato

  • 19th century Japan: huge growth in population; Russia

  • Increased in population stressed natural resources and forced countries to adopt new agricultural techniques and technologies

  1. Patterns of Migration

    1. Settler colonies: Europeans move to new areas (Americas, Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa)

      1. Demographic affects: diseases carried to these places

        1. New Zealand: Maoris

        2. Hawaii (death of natives caused labor shortage filled by Chinese and Japanese immigrant laborers)

    2. Migration to Latin America

      1. Laborers needed in Brazil and Argentina

      2. Many immigrants from Europe (Portugal, Italy)

      3. Jewish immigrants escaping pogroms in Russia

Why you should know this: You will be asked questions about migration patterns and population growth during this time period. Know these patterns will also be helpful to you in an essay on changes in areas affected by Industrialization or colonization/imperialism.

              1. Among common migration patterns in the nineteenth century was

                1. Migration from Latin America to Mediterranean Europe

                2. Middle-class migration from country-side to city

                3. The discontinuation of settler colonies

                4. Migration for religious reasons

                5. Migration of lower classes from cities to suburbs

Knowing the patterns of migration of this time period will help you eliminate incorrect answers to find the correct answer (D).
4. Changes in the Environment

As this unit marks the first where humans are polluting and changing the environment on a large scale, it is important for students to know some specifics and characteristics of changes in the world’s environment as a result of industrialization and migration.

  • Coal-burning factories: large clouds of smoke hung over factory cities, leading to health problems for workers and city inhabitants

  • City water systems: city water systems were polluted from human and industrial waste, leading to serious health problems and the spread of some illnesses

  • Industrial construction (mines, quarries, railroads): often a negative effect on the environment and local water supply

  • Deforestation begins: forests destroyed for plantations

Why you should know this: You may be asked to analyze consequences of industrialization. Knowing about the impact on the environment will give you great examples.
Example: Using the following documents, analyze the impact of the Industrial Revolution. What kinds of additional documents would help you identify the long-term effects?

If this set of documents includes sources in the environment impact, then it would

be imperative for you to know these effects. If it didn’t, then the environmental

consequences of industrialization would be a great topic for an additional document.

5. Cultural Changes/Intellectual developments

AP students are required to know about the cultural changes happening in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution

  • Romanticism: artistic expression (painting, literature); use of emotion

  • Natural Selection: scientific evidence that creatures/plants adapt to survive and those that don’t, don’t survive (survival of the fittest)

  • Quantum physics

  • Theory of relativity: Albert Einstein

  • Psychology: Freud

Why you should know this: You will be asked questions about the cultural developments from this era

  1. New scientific and artistic expressions in the West in the nineteenth century

    1. Supported traditional beliefs

    2. Relied on reason in literary expression

    3. Created new frontiers in physics

    4. Relied on observation rather than experiments to explain human behavior

    5. Found no interest among the general population

You would need to know the characteristics to find the correct choice, (C).

6. World Trade Patterns

Trade is an important feature of this era, and AP students are required to know the characteristics and impact of world trade in the time of Industrialization and Revolution.

  1. Industrialization sparks trade

    1. Need for raw materials and new markets to sell manufactured goods

    2. Plantation economies in colonies catered to industrialized countries’ need for raw materials

  2. Latin America

    1. Sugar plantations of Cuba, Brazil

    2. Cotton

    3. Monroe Doctrine: President Monroe of USA declares that Europe may not interfere with Latin America (may not try to re-colonize)

    4. Extensive trade with US, Great Britain, France

    5. Lack of industrialization led to dependence on the import of manufactured goods

    6. Panama Canal: fosters increase in global trade, easier to move from Atlantic to Pacific Oceans

  3. Islamic World

    1. Trade with Ottoman empire (Ottoman exports to other countries) declined during this time period

      1. Ottomans not interested in adopting industry, leading to the need for trade for (import) manufactured goods

      2. Competition with European goods (Ottomans losing) led to calls for reforms: Tanzimet reforms, Young Turks

        1. These reforms did not have lasting effects

    2. Egypt

      1. Competition with Europe hurt economy

      2. Focus on growing cotton only made economy sensitive to price changes

      3. Suez Canal: facilitated trade between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean and helped Egypt’s economy

  4. China

    1. Qing dynasty: Manchu nomads from the north invaded China and established Qing dynasty in 1644

      1. Qing dynasty fostered growth of trade with India and the West

      2. Enormous growth of trade in Chinese port cities, like Canton

      3. Chinese were lucky to be relatively self sufficient and did not need to trade in kind for items from China

        1. British paid a lot of silver for luxury goods

          1. British introduced opium, grown in India, into the nation as a way to trade in kind rather than in silver

          2. Opium Wars: Wars between China and British over British insistence on selling opium in China

          3. Treaty of Nanking: Chinese were forced to allow spheres of influence (areas where Europeans controlled trade)

  5. Russia

    1. Exported grains and agricultural products for manufactured goods

    2. Slow industrialization in urbanized areas, but most of the nation remained rural and based on agriculture

    3. 1860’s: emancipation of serfs allowed for an increase in industry, more favorable balance of trade

    4. Russia remained dependent on prices for agricultural products and importing manufactured goods from Europe

  6. Japan

    1. 1854: Perry (from the US) forces Japan to open up to trade with the West

    2. as it industrialized, it increased trade with foreign nations, especially for raw materials to support industry

  7. Slave Trade:

    1. 1867: Outlawed

    2. gradually countries pulled out of the slave trade, with Brazil being the last to emancipate slaves

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about who participated in the world trade network and to what extent. You may also be asked to identify specific items traded along the networks in this period.

              1. World trade in the period 1750 to 1914

                1. Brought greater prosperity to China than to the West

                2. Decreased the economic power of the West

                3. Strengthened Latin America’s trade position

                4. Concentrated on the Atlantic Ocean

                5. Benefited Western colonial powers

Knowing who participated in and who dominated the world trade patters would allow you to immediately identify (E) as the correct answer

7. Political Revolutions

AP students are required to be familiar with the circumstances surrounding the revolutions of this time period, as well as the significance/impact of these revolutions

Country/ Revolution



American Revolution

  • Influence from Enlightenment thinkers

  • Britain tries to have more control over colonies in 1700’s

  • Colonists used to their independence

  • Protests, boycotts, rebellions

  • Colonies united and fought the British

  • Colonies win independence with help of French

  • Use of Enlightenment ideas to reason for independence and in the creation of Constitution and Bill of Rights

  • Huge influence for all countries experiencing oppression

  • 1st democratic nation, role-model to others

French Revolution

French Revolution

  • nobles demand a meeting of the estates-general (parliament)

  • 1789: At meeting, upper classes shun lower classes, refuse for them to have a voice

  • Lower classes separate from upper classes and declare themselves national assembly

  • Creation of a constitution; constitutional monarchy

  • Neighboring countries declare war on France; King attempts to flee country and gets caught

  • King and Queen put on trial, executed

  • Reign of Terror: led by Robespierre, time when all people could be accused of not being loyal to the Revolution; mass execution of “traitors” (aristocrats, clergy members, peasants) by guillotine

  • France at war with England, Austria, Prussia, Spain

  • Napoleon Bonaparte: successful general who rose to fame and power

  • 1805: Napoleon crowns himself Emperor, continues to fight to conquer Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia (never achieves total control over Russia)

  • Waterloo: 1815, Napoleon finally defeated and sent into exile

  • Congress of Vienna: countries of Europe meet to decide fate of France; restoration of monarchs deposed by Napoleon; revival of conservativism

  • Additional rebellions in 1830’s, 1840’s, unsuccessful in totally bringing back liberal ideas from the Revolution of 1789

  • massive destruction of aristocracy; many fled, many were killed

  • warfare throughout Europe for decades because of turmoil

  • backlash of conservatives after the fall of Napoleon

  • implementation of Enlightenment ideals

  • revolutions in mid 1800’s led to unification of Italy and Germany, which later disrupted the balance of power in Italy


  • Toussaint L’Overture: slave that led rebellion

  • Colony of France, rebelled during political turmoil of late 18th, early 19th centuries

  • 1804: declared independence

  • first successful slave rebellion (achieved independence)

Latin American Independence

  • Enlightenment ideas, models of American and French, led to desire for independence

  • Political chaos during Napoleonic Wars allowed nations to gain independence from Spain and Portugal

  • 1821: Mexico gets independence

  • 1838: Central American states separate from Mexico

  • 1822: Colombia (Bolivar)

  • 1816: Argentina (San Martin)

  • 1822: Brazil: most peaceful of all Latin American independence movements

  • 1823: all of South America

  • independence leaders tried to unite large areas of South America, but most large areas separated

  • independence of most of Western Hemisphere

  • new economic freedoms, opportunities to industrialize

  • continued dependence on Europe for trade



  • 1876: Diaz comes to power after Juarez

  • pushes economic reform, but it only benefits the wealthy

  • Dictatorship with one party rule

  • 1910: middle class wanted more economic and political rights; 10 year revolution that removed Diaz from power

  • 1917: new constitution limiting power Catholic Church, foreign investments/ownership of Mexican businesses; ineffective at first

  • Pattern of one-party rule (PRI remained in power for many decades)

  • New rights guaranteed to middle and lower classes

  • Attempt at democratic reform



  • 1644: Qing dynasty (Manchu)

  • Social hierarchy with Manchu on top, Chinese on bottom

  • Adopted civil service examinations, other Chinese traditions

  • Patriarchy

  • Poverty gap

  • Protests over increasing foreign presence in China (especially after the Opium Wars)

  • Taiping Rebellion: for land reforms, womens’ rights, loosely based on religious beliefs; ended by Qing before it reached the capital

  • Self-Strengthening movement: attempt by Qinq to modernize and industrialize; movement resisted by Empress Cixi

  • Boxer Rebellion: attacks on foreign businesses and establishments in China; backed by Cixi; rebellion put down by foreign troops

  • Nationalist movements: Sun Yat-sen and Kuomintang (KMT)

  • 1911: Qing finally overthrown, China in civil war among war lords

  • end of Chinese dynasties

  • failure to establish a stable, democratic government led to development of communism

  • Failure to industrialize to keep up with the West caused a decline in Chinese superiority (no longer the most advanced kingdom/civilization on earth)

  • Foreign intervention caused a lot of animosity between the Chinese and foreigners at the time and a general distrust for foreigners

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about the revolutions of the 19th century and may be asked to compare them in an essay


  1. The French Revolution of 1789 and the Chinese revolt of 1911 were alike in that

    1. They were initiated by the lower classes

    2. They were not nationalist independence movements

    3. They ended immediately in dictatorship

    4. They failed to achieve their goals

    5. There were a response to foreign intervention

Knowing the major events, goals, and significance of these two revolutions would help you eliminate the incorrect

choices and arrive at answer (B).

8. Developments in Political Theory

AP students are required to know about how modern political theory developed. The roots of these theories are in this Unit and include Feminism, Marxism, and Socialism

  1. Feminism

    1. 18th century movement

    2. more rights for women

      1. political, economic, social gains

    3. access to education and jobs

    4. most impact after WWI

      1. female participation in the war effort

  1. Marxism

    1. Karl Marx

    2. History: result of class struggles (middle vs. working classes)

    3. Bourgeoisie = Middle class; proletariat = workers

    4. In time, workers will revolt and take over power of the government

    5. In time, there would be no social classes and all humans would work together for the greater good of society

    6. Communism: a classless society with no government (no need for government)

  2. Socialism

    1. Socialism = 19th century political ideology where the state owns the factors of production

    2. Emphasis on the government support of the population through welfare type programs

    3. Unions: often used socialist ideology to bargain for better working conditions/higher wages

    4. Not necessarily violent, but many socialist groups were violent

  3. Nationalism

    1. Pride in one’s country

    2. Helped nations unite to accomplish goals

    3. Was divisive in multi-ethnic empires like Austria-Hungary, Russia

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about these

developments in political and social thinking. You may also need to use information about these in an essay.


              1. Marxism

                1. Became the model for socialism in Western European nations

                2. Anticipated revolution in agrarian societies

                3. Advocated centralization of the state

                4. Became a factor in the French Revolution

                5. Explained history as a series of class struggles

If you know the specific characteristics of the political ideological developments

of the period, you would identify (E) as the correct answer choice, and you would be


9. Imperialism

The empire-building undertaken by Western Europe in this era is essential to understanding how events in the modern era played out. The long-term effects of imperialism are still seen in the world today. For this reason, it is essential that AP students understand what imperialism was, how nations built empires, how nations governed their empires, and the structures of these empires.

  1. Imperialism

    1. As nation-state competed for power, they sought new ways to show dominance

    2. Industrialization: need for raw materials and new markets

    3. Technology: improved even more as industrialization developed and expanded; new weapons, ships, transportation, communications

      1. Allowed Europeans to break the barriers preventing them from conquering the interiors of Africa and Asia

      2. Advances in health care prevented malaria and tropical diseases; steam ships allowed Europeans to sail up formerly unnavigable rivers

    4. Justified by social Darwinism (adapted from survival of the fittest and natural selection)

      1. Europeans deserved to conquer Africa and Asia because they were better

      2. Fear of nation becoming “extinct” because it failed to adapt to the world where other countries were acquiring colonies

    5. Nationalism: pride for nation

      1. Nations wanted their country to be the best, to have the most

      2. Helped gain popular support for imperialism because gaining territories helped their nation become the “best” and more powerful

Targeted Area

Events and Structures


  • initially, commercial interests in India; British arrived as power of Mughals was waning

  • British influence grew as Mughal rule over India failed; rule and authority remained in hands of British merchants

  • British increased land claims after Seven Years’ War

  • Merchants used armies made of sepoys (natives) to enforce authority

  • 1857: Rebellion of sepoys led to intervention of British government, which led to the British government taking direct control over India

  • Social Structure: British on top, did allow local rulers to retain some powers of authority, but they had to be loyal to British; general segregation between natives and British, especially after wives of British merchants, soldiers, and civil servants arrived

  • Economic Structure: plantation-style agriculture (tea, opium, cotton, sugar cane)

  • Universities and schools built to educate wealthy natives

  • 1885: Indian National Congress: natives allowed to have a greater role in the government


  • South Africa: Boers (Dutch) were first Europeans; enslaved Khoikhoi; Cape Colony taken by British, who outlawed slavery, leading to a conflict between Dutch and British; Great Trek = migration of Boers further to the interior of South Africa, where they met Zulu; established independent Boer states; Boer Wars = wars with British; British eventually took control of all of South Africa; very strict social structure

  • Berlin Conference: countries of Europe meet to partition Africa; England, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Italy; Ethiopia, Liberia not colonized; without regard to ethnic groups; disruption of traditional life and culture

  • Technology: Europeans built railroads and other public works to make life/trade easier for European settlers; hospitals and sanitation improved; not taught to natives, just there for European benefit

  • Economic Structure: mining and plantation-style agriculture; generally led to a decline in quality of life for Africans as they were required to work for the Europeans and had to neglect their own lands

  • Political Structure: European countries controlled government directly; natives had small, if any, political role

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia

  • Before imperialism: independent kingdoms

  • Indochina: conquered by French

  • Indonesia: Dutch (became Dutch East Indies)

  • Thailand remained free from European domination, but frequently had to ally with England and France

  • Europeans encouraged Indian and Chinese immigrants to migrate to other colonies in Southeast Asia to increase the labor supply

  • Economic Structure: plantation-style agriculture

  • Political Structure: Europeans controlled government directly; natives had small, if any, political role

Western Hemisphere

  • Economic imperialism: economic instead of political influence on an area or region

  • Hawaii: American agri-businesses with plantations had increasing influence on the islands; after many natives died from diseases brought by Americans, Chinese and Japanese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the plantations; annexed in 1898

  • Manifest Destiny: American expansion west toward the Pacific; it was the US’ ultimate destiny to control “from ocean to ocean”

  • US in Latin America: the US had significant investments in Latin American businesses, keeping the countries dependent on trade and support from the US (and Europe)

  • US supported Cuban independence movements (Spanish-American War) and won control of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Philippines

  • US continued to intervene in Latin American countries (political and economic reasons) in the early 20th century

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about imperialism and will also need knowledge of the structures of imperialism for an essay.
Example: Using the documents, analyze the main features, including causes and consequences, of the system of indentured servitude that developed as part of global economic changes in the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries. What additional kinds of documents would help assess the historical significance of indentured servitude in this period?
To answer this question, you would need sufficient knowledge of the economic

(labor) structures of European colonies worldwide. You would want to know about the

impact of these structures in order to discuss significance and give adequate analysis.

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