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Chapter 20

A Changing World

Chapter Preview

In this chapter you will examine reasons why Europeans changed their thinking about government. You will explore the changes revolutions brought to European nations. You will also learn how Europeans expanded their influence in the world through imperialism and colonization.

Section 1

Nationalism and Expansion in Europe

Section 2

Imperialism in Africa and the Middle East

Section 3

Imperialism in Asia and Latin America

Target Reading Skill

Main Idea In this chapter, you will focus on identifying details that give further information about the main idea of a paragraph or section.

Parliament Building in Vienna, Austria


MAPMASTER Skills Activity

Regions After the defeat of Napoleon, European rulers negotiated new boundaries for many areas of the continent. These new boundaries were influenced by the power and ambition of the rulers involved. Identify Which names on the map do you recognize as those of countries that exist today? Notice the names of those that no longer exist. What do many of them have in common? Draw Conclusions Can you recognize anything about the meanings of the terms kingdom and empire from the map?


Section 1

Nationalism and Expansion in Europe


In this section you will

1. Learn how changes in Europe in the early 1800s led to a rise in nationalism.

2. Describe France after the fall of Napoleon.

3. Identify why revolutions swept across Europe in 1848.

4. Find out how European countries expanded their control to other parts of the world.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, add details that help explain the main idea of the section. Copy the chart below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Supporting Details Details are smaller pieces of information that support or help explain the main idea. As you read, look for details that help explain the main idea.

Key Terms

nationalism (NASH uh nul iz um) n. a feeling of strong loyalty or attachment to a culture, language, and/or territory

dictator (DIK tay tur) n. a ruler who has complete power

imperialism (im PIHR ee ul iz urn) n. the policy of forming and maintaining an empire, usually by taking over foreign colonies

The Congress of Vienna, 1814

When Napoleon was defeated in 1814, governments from all over Europe met in Vienna, Austria, to discuss how Napoleon's empire would be divided. For nine months there were meetings during the day and extravagant parties, dances, and other events at night. Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were the most powerful countries at the meetings. Each of these nations had secret plans for how the map of Europe was to be redrawn and how political order was to be reestablished. It was not long before these powerful nations grew to distrust one another.

In the end, kings and queens were put back into power in many of the countries and replaced the elected government of France. The Congress of Vienna helped prevent a large war in Europe for a hundred years. But many of the countries they created would not last. Too many people wanted an elected government.


The Rise of Nationalism

For centuries the empires of Europe were built through military victories and marriages between ruling families. Rulers fought wars to make their empires larger, or married their sons and daughters into other royal families to extend their control. Educated Europeans spoke and wrote in the same language— Latin and later French—and they shared the same religion, Christianity.

When common people in Europe thought about who they were, most would have identified themselves as the subject of a particular ruler, a native of a certain village, or a member of a particular religion. At the end of the 1700s, common people began to think of themselves as citizens of a nation united by shared interests, such as religion, language, and culture. Inspired by John Locke's Enlightenment ideas about the natural rights of individuals and the rise of the merchant middle class, Europeans of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries became more interested in the governments who ruled them. The American and French Revolutions also brought great attention to these new ideas.

The belief in a separate nation was particularly strong in France after the French Revolution and under Napoleon. In an effort to unite French people under his rule, Napoleon encouraged national songs, holidays, flags, and other symbols to promote patriotic feelings for a specifically French nation. Napoleon's conquests in Europe helped spread these ideas about national pride throughout Europe. Some of the conquered groups of people believed that they had natural rights as well. They acknowledged or recognized that people in their own area had similar beliefs and wanted to create and vote for their own governments.

The rulers at the 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna tried to overcome this thinking by putting kings and queens from the old ruling families back into power, and by supporting the old idea of divine rights. But the move toward nationalism, or a feeling of strong loyalty or attachment to a culture, language, or territory, was too strong. People across Europe revolted against the royal families during the next 35 years because they wanted to create and govern their own countries.

Reading Check Why was nationalism especially strong in France?

Patriotic Symbols

The day after Napoleon's coronation, he ordered the eagle—a symbol of military victory—be placed on top of every flag in his army. Identify Name a symbol of government and explain what it represents.


The July Revolution, 1830

French men and women took over the streets of Paris in the summer of 1830, and forced Charles X to give up his throne in a revolt called the July Revolution. Identify Causes What actions on the part of Charles X led to the July Revolution?

France After the Fall of Napoleon

After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress of Vienna put Louis XVIII back into power in France. He allowed voters to elect representatives to parliament. These officials were given limited powers, but the most important powers remained with the king.

The July Revolution After Louis's death in 1824, his younger brother, Charles X, took the throne. Charles disagreed with Enlightenment ideas, such as the right of the people to vote and to publish their opinions in newspapers. When he tried to reject the French constitution and make these changes in the summer of 1830, the people of France revolted. The revolutionaries put into power a new king, Louis-Philippe, and wrote a new constitution that limited the power of the king and gave French citizens many more rights.

The Citizen King The parliament that named Louis-Philippe king stressed the importance of ruling with the consent of the people. Louis-Philippe soon came to be called the "citizen king." However, as his rule continued, there were many conflicts over the role of the king in government. Some wanted to strengthen the role of the king, but others thought his power should be reduced even more. Louis-Philippe survived many assassination attempts. In 1836 and again in 1840, Napoleon III, the nephew of the former emperor, tried to seize control of the French government.

Reading Check Why was Louis-Philippe known as the citizen king?


Revolutions Across Europe

News of the changes in France inspired nationalists in other countries to fight against the kings restored to power by the Congress of Vienna. However, not all of the revolutions were successful for the nationalists. Revolts in Austria and Prussia were defeated with military force, but local revolts by nationalists in Italy and Switzerland had some success in changing their governments. Civil wars broke out in Spain and Portugal and involved troops from Britain and France. In Spain, these wars lasted until 1840.

The Polish Revolt The lands of present-day Poland had been divided up and ruled by other countries for many years. The Congress of Vienna put most of Poland under Russian control. Nationalists wanted to make Poland a single nation ruled by the Polish people. In 1830, they began a small revolt against the Russians, and for a short time, controlled the country. But the Russian army crushed the revolt the following year, and many of the rights the Polish people previously had were taken away.

Belgium's Quest for Independence A revolt in Belgium was the only one that succeeded in creating an independent country that year. The Vienna Congress had joined Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A Dutch king was given control of the joined nations in order to limit the power of the defeated France. People in these areas spoke different languages and had different religions and economic interests. They did not want to unify to form one new nation. When the revolt began, the Dutch king asked other European rulers for help. Some were too busy with revolts of their own, but Britain and France thought that it was in their best interest for Belgium to remain as an independent country. Belgium declared its independence on October 4, 1830.

Art and Revolution Although most of the revolts of 1830 were not immediately successful, nationalism continued to spread throughout Europe. A literary and arts movement in Europe called Romanticism celebrated the French revolutions and spread the idea that people had a natural right to rule themselves. In the following years, these ideas helped spark more revolts against the ruling empires.

Reading Check What was the effect of the uprising in Poland?

The Triumphal Arches were built as a monument to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Belgium's independence.


From President to Emperor

The nephew of Napoleon, Napoleon Ill was elected in 1848 to a single term as president. Knowing he could not run for a second term, he led a military coup, dissolved the Legislative Assembly, and declared a new constitution. He was crowned emperor in 1852. Sequence When did Napoleon III's rule end?

Revolutions of 1848

Nationalist feelings, economic changes brought by the Industrial Revolution, and new theories about government continued to change the attitudes of people throughout Europe. Escalating frustrations with the old empires and rulers erupted throughout Europe in 1848, a year of revolutions.

France The French were happy at first with their elected king, Louis-Philippe. This changed when Louis-Philippe began to act more like a royal king from the past. He returned to the practice of arranged marriages and arranged a marriage for his daughter to the king of Belgium. The Industrial Revolution also brought changes that worked against Louis-Philippe. The Industrial Revolution created unhealthy cities filled with poorly paid workers. Philippe's government did little to clean up the cities and solve labor problems. Angered, the French protested and overthrew the king in 1848.

For the first time, the French held an election in which all citizens were allowed to vote. The voters elected Napoleon III for a four-year term as president. In 1852, he abolished the republic and declared himself emperor of France. He ruled as a dictator, a ruler who has complete power, until he was overthrown in 1870 following France's defeat in a war with Prussia.

The Austrian Empire The Congress of Vienna joined the present-day countries of Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and much of Italy to form the Austrian empire. However, many of the citizens of this newly formed empire were unhappy about the merge. The 1848 revolution in France inspired students and workers in Vienna, Austria's capital, to revolt against the Austrian empire. They demanded that Prince Metternich resign and a constitutional government be created. In Hungary, nationalists demanded a constitution that protected basic rights and freedom for the serfs. The Czechs also revolted and issued the same demands. Although Metternich was forced to resign, Austrian troops were quick to put down the nationalist movements.

The Austrian empire was overwhelmed by this opposition at first and agreed to make most of the changes that the rebels wanted. But soon, they used their army to regain control in Austria and the Czech Republic. The Russian army helped them smash the revolution in Hungary. The royal empire was once again in control.


The revolts in Italy followed some of the same patterns. Nationalists and workers took control of many of the small states that made up Italy at the time, and established new elected governments. But the Austrian army again took control in northern Italy, and a French army took over in the south.

Germany The Congress of Vienna left the Prussian and Austrian empires as rivals for power over the land that is today Germany. A loose union of 39 independent states called the German Confederation was also established. The German population experienced rapid population growth in the early 1800s, but many of its people remained poor. At the same time, the more prosperous middle class wanted a greater say in government. German nationalists worked to establish a strong German state.

Motivated by events in France and Austria in 1848, Germans in Berlin rebelled against Prussia and demanded a new constitution. Germans in other cities organized similar uprisings. Germans met in Frankfurt to write a new constitution to unify the German states. When they failed to agree, Prussian forces again took control.

Although the revolutions of 1848 did not cause great change, their ideas remained popular, and the nationalist movement continued. Instead of armed revolts, nationalists later used elections to gain power. Italy became an independent country in 1861, as did Germany in 1871. In the last part of the 1800s, Europeans were interested in expanding their control to other parts of the world.

Reading Check Why did the Austrian empire face many different nationalist revolts?

Identify Supporting Details

What details in the paragraph explain how the revolts in Italy were similar to other revolts in 1848?

The Austrian army is shown below, with an enlarged view of the crest found on the flags of the Austrian infantry.


European Expansion and Imperialism

The opposition to the ruling empires did not succeed in making independent nations across Europe in 1848, and armed revolutions there were rare in the following years. In many cases, elected groups helped govern alongside a king or queen. But even as the empires of Europe fought to maintain their control at home, they began expanding their power in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Imperialism The French and the British were the leaders in the move to expand their empires in the early 1800s. These two countries had fought for control of colonies in North America in the 1700s. Great Britain had driven the French out of most of North America in 1763, only to lose the American colonies during the American Revolution. In the 1800s, they would focus their energy on gaining new colonies in Africa and Asia. As the century continued, other powerful European countries also pushed to take control of new lands. They looked to expand their control through a new era of imperialism, forming and maintaining an empire by taking over foreign colonies.

Expanding European Empires European countries had established trading posts and ports around the world for centuries. Sometimes they took control of key harbors and islands so that they could support their ships. This led to a growing interest in the establishment of colonies.

An officer addressing an African village


Europeans saw many benefits to owning colonies. Owning colonies would give Europeans a stable supply of raw materials. Owning colonies would also provide new markets for goods produced in their home countries. In countries where overcrowding was a problem, the colonies promised new lands for settlement. European nations also believed that establishing colonies would prevent their rivals from becoming too powerful.

The empires in Africa, Asia, and Latin America had not become industrialized at the same time as Europe. In Africa, the centuries-old slave trade had weakened once powerful empires. Many Europeans wanted to improve the lives of the Asian and African people. They thought that sharing European knowledge, culture, and religion with other cultures would help them become more "civilized." Some others thought that the darker- skinned peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America were not equal to the white peoples of Europe. They thought it was natural that the stronger people should destroy or conquer the weaker people and rule the world.

Reading Check In which areas of the world did the Europeans look to expand their control?

A figure of a Swedish or Swiss missionary

Section 1 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the Key Terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

State the details that support the main idea under the heading "Revolutions of 1848" on page 566.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) List List three ways that Napoleon helped promote the idea of a strong French nation.

(b) Make Generalizations How did Locke's ideas about natural rights affect the French people and other European nationalists?


(a) Identify Identify the "citizen king," and explain why he was called that.

(b) Analyze Cause and Effect How did the overthrow of Charles X change the rights of French citizens?


(a) Summarize Summarize the reasons for the 1848 revolts against the Austrian empire.

(b) Describe the effects of the 1848 revolutions.


(a) Identify the Main Idea Why did European countries seek to establish colonies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America?

(b) Analyze Cause and Effect How did European attitudes about people in other parts of the world influence the spread of imperialist ideas?

Writing Activity

You are a French nationalist during the summer of 1830. Write a poem to describe your feelings at the time of the July Revolution.


Section 2

Imperialism in Africa and the Middle East

Prepare to Read


In this section you will

1. Identify the reasons for European colonization in Africa.

2. Examine how European powers made claims on the right to rule Africa.

3. Learn how Africans resisted European colonization.

4. Understand the causes of the Boer War.

5. Understand how Britain gained control of lands in the Middle East.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, consider how European trade with Africa changed with colonization. Identify similarities and differences between these two eras. Copy the chart below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Main Ideas The main idea is the most important idea of a paragraph. Sometimes paragraphs have sentences that summarize or state the main idea. In other reading selections, the main idea may not be directly stated. When the main idea is implied, you must determine the main idea from key facts or ideas contained in the selection. As you read, consider what the sentences in the paragraph describe. Then connect these details to find the main idea.

Key Terms

monopoly (muh NAHP uh lee) n. the areas in which only one government or company has the right to trade

partition (pahr TISH un) n. a division

missionary (MISH un her ee) n. the people who traveled to other places to convert others to their religions

campaigns (kam PAYNZ) n. a series of military operations in a war

During the winter of 1884-1885, representatives from Europe's leading countries gathered in Berlin to settle disputes over the right to govern and trade in Africa. Belgium's King Leopold II sent Henry Morton Stanley to the Berlin Conference. An explorer, Stanley had previously gone to Africa in search of the missing British missionary and explorer David Livingstone. As one of the few at the conference who had actually traveled to Africa, Stanley used his reputation to successfully defend Leopold's claim to the Congo at the gathering.

This competition for African lands became known as the Scramble for Africa. It was just one step in a process by which European countries expanded their power through colonization.


Robert Fulton's Clermont was the first steamboat to demonstrate its efficiency in transporting passengers and freight.

European Interest in Africa Grows

At the beginning of the 1800s, European nations traded extensively with African kingdoms, particularly the kingdoms of Tripoli (TRIP uh lee), Tunis (TOO nis), Algiers (al JEERZ), and Morocco (muh RAH koh) on the northern coast. Farther south along the West African coast, European ships sailed the coastlines motivated by the fortunes to be made from the slave trade there.

Rarely did Europeans travel inland for trade. The major river along the western coast, the Congo, had a series of waterfalls and other barriers that made it impossible for their ships to sail upstream. Those who tried crossing by land fell victim to diseases from which they had no natural immunity. As the 1800s began, Africans and Arabs who traded from northern Africa and across the Red Sea controlled trade routes in the interior.

In the mid to late 1800s, European governments, companies, and churches began sending people to explore the continent's interior. These individuals established trade routes and started taking control of African lands. By the 1870s, Great Britain and France were in strong competition for trade routes along the Niger River (NY jur REV ur) in western Africa. In the 1880s, King Leopold II of Belgium and Otto von Bismarck of Germany began making competing claims on other African territories.

Reading Check Describe trade between Europeans and Africans before the 1800s.

Links to Science

Steamship The development of the steamship in the early 1800s gave Europeans an important new tool for navigating upstream on Africa's rivers. Robert Fulton's 1807 steamboat trip from New York City to Albany demonstrated the invention's practical use. In 1819, the American steamship Savannah crossed the Atlantic Ocean. By the end of the 1800s, steamboats had become a common means of transportation on African rivers such as the Congo.


The Scramble for Africa

To avoid European wars over African lands, European leaders gathered in Berlin in 1884 to make rules about how they could claim land in Africa and establish trading monopolies. Monopolies are areas in which only one government or company has the right to trade. No African leaders were represented at the conference. New treaties among the Europeans stated that a country had to have authority over an area before it could claim that region. They also stated that a country had to notify the other countries of any new land claims.

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