V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See The Spread of Diseases)
 
V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914
A. Global and Comparative Dimensions
 
Global relationships changed significantly during the 19th century. Western European states and world-views came to dominate and frequently to control directly most of the rest of the world. In this way, the transformation of western European societies in the previous centuries extended to much of the rest of the world. The new patterns of global relationships can be seen in two very broad areas: (1) the West's power over the rest of the world in military, economic, and political spheres, and to some extent the cultural spheres as well, and (2) the intensification of international and interstate relationships in diplomatic and political terms by the beginning of the 20th century.  1
 
1. European Global Domination, 1800–1914
 
The changing relationships involved in the growing global dominance of Western societies can be seen in three important developments: (1) Western imperialist expansion, (2) the spread of industrialism, and (3) the development of modern state systems in all of the major regions of the globe.  2
 
a. Developments in Major Empires
 
During the 19th century, major European empires expanded (especially the British, French, and Russian empires, along with the new United States) while older empires, both European and non-European, experienced significant losses.  3
 
1800–70
 
BRITISH EMPIRE. Following the conflicts of the Napoleonic era, the British Empire emerged as the strongest global imperial force, with different manifestations. SETTLEMENT COLONIES were consolidated in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and they received increasing rights of self-rule within the British imperial system. These rights were defined for Canada following a major rebellion in 1837 by the Union Act (1840) and the British North America Act (1867), for Australia by the Australia Colonies Government Act (1850), and for New Zealand by the Constitution of 1852. As they emerged as virtually independent commonwealths in the 20th century, they, along with the United States, were basically parts of the extended European world. INDIRECT CONTROL through commercial and naval domination was the basis for British imperial authority in many parts of the world. The Ottoman Empire was protected by British policies from Russian, Austrian, and French expansion as well as from internal challengers like Muhammad Ali in Egypt (See 1831–41) (who had revolted and invaded Syria in 1831), and British commercial interests expanded in the region. Britain similarly became the dominant force within Iran, ruled in the 19th century by the Qajar dynasty. British domination of foreign trade in China was confirmed by British victory in the First British War of 1841–42 (often called the Opium War) (See 1841–42) and the Treaty of Nanking (1842). British naval power similarly ensured British domination in coastal regions of the Indian Ocean and Africa. DIRECT IMPERIAL RULE emerged as an important style of domination in INDIA by the middle of the 19th century, when control by the East India Company was formally replaced by making India a Crown colony. Direct imperial rule was, however, only one of many different forms of British world power in the 19th century.  4
 
1800–70
 
FRENCH EMPIRE. France had lost much of its global empire in the world wars of the 18th century and the final defeats in the Napoleonic era. In the first half of the 19th century, France reemerged as a major global force, both through its growing economic power and its military forces. It was Britain's major rival for influence in the Mediterranean region and had expanding commercial and cultural influences in the Middle East. France also developed settlements, trade stations, and military posts in Senegal and elsewhere along the coasts of West Africa and Central Africa. In the Indian Ocean basin and Asia, France gradually expanded in control in Madagascar and other island areas and, by 1874, gained full control of Indochina. Direct French rule in North Africa began in 1830 with the French invasion of Algeria, where European settlement was encouraged.  5
 
1800–70
 
OTHER OVERSEAS EMPIRES. The other major European overseas empires remained relatively stable or declined. The DUTCH consolidated their control in the islands of Southeast Asia, where they developed a system of direct colonial rule by the end of the century. The Portuguese Empire in Africa expanded inland from coastal trading settlements, especially after the formal suppression of the slave trade in 1836 transformed the nature of commerce in Angola and Mozambique. The commercial ports of Goa in India and Macao in China remained under Portuguese control, but Brazil was lost in the Latin American wars of independence. These wars also brought an end to most of the SPANISH EMPIRE in the Americas, and Spain was only a minor global force by the middle of the century.  6
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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