The following video is a great and entertaining tool for learning the history of the Soviet Union (and the reason I remembered that bit of history back in high school). As we are discussing the rise of the USSR I thought it useful to offer some means of remembering the events without rote memorization. Additionally, the aspect of its tune following the theme of Tetris is another one of its interesting parts; Tetris was a traditionally Soviet video game to improve one’s problem solving.

While I am not a part of this chapter’s official contributors, I considered this video worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

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Source: Pig with a Face of a Boy. “Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris.” Online video clip. Youtube. YouTube, 12 July 2010. Web. 22 April 2015.

Chronological Chart Showing the Development of the Balkan States, 1800-1930 FINALl

A timeline created by Wesley M. Gewehr, a history professor at American University in the mid 1920s. It follows Greece, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey combined with Albania. The timeline helps to understand some of the historical context as it relates to the Balkan states’ development of nationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Gewehr, M. Wesley, The Rise of Nationalism in the Balkans, 1800-1930 (Henry Hold and Company, 1931).

Lin Zexu’s “Moral Advice to Queen Victoria” sheds light on the smuggling of opium into China by western merchants under the British Empire, and it affected the history of China. The smuggling of such contraband had created political and economical sickness within China. With the opium addiction spreading, Emperor Daoguang (1782-1850) of the Qing dynasty sent commissioner Lin Zexu to Guangzhou to stop the illicit trading and smuggling of opium into China.

In 1760, the canton system was established, forbidding foreign merchants to have direct access to trade. During the time, Guangzhou (also called Canton) was the only place of trade, thus foreigners were subjected to the selling of their goods to the Cohong (Gonghang) merchants, who were the Chinese middlemen. This was problematic to the West due to the fact that international trade and commerce had gained great importance. Thus Guangzhou was the place the Europeans could trade, which drew back the full potential of profits that could be earned. Specifically the Dutch, Portuguese, English, and some other Europeans wanted to establish trade depots and factories in Asia to profit off of China’s high demand of tea and porcelain, as well as India’s spices and indigo. In 1783, Emperor Quainlon (1711-1799) declined all attempts to establish the expansion of trade; Emperor Qianlong declined the British ambassador, Lord George Marcartney. The emperor did not want to form any diplomatic relations because China had always been a self-sufficient country, and did not need any of the goods the foreigners provided. It didn’t stop the British from coming and asking again in 1806; even the Russians asked to set up ports, but all was futile under the Canton system.

The Europeans continued to send their emissaries to China, because they wanted to gain from China’s high demand and use the profit to deal with the growing trading deficit they had with the Chinese. The Europeans had created a debt to the Chinese from purchasing their goods, specifically including their tea. During the 1800’s and onward, the tea imports rose drastically to 15 million pounds, and was valued at 70 million ₤. The British could not profit off the value of tea because china had control over India where the main supply of tea resided. This meant that all tea import had to come from China.

Furthermore, the British turned away from a diplomatic solution and found an alternative currency that matched the value of silver, which was opium. British merchants began the illicit selling opium to the Chinese to attack their trade deficit. Opium sales were a major success, and from 1801 to 1810, the trade deficit had cut over half from 26.6 million to solely 10 million. These illicit actions cost a mass spread of opium addiction throughout China, and with the sales of opium rising, China took an economical hit. The trend had ceased the debt with China and eventually China’s silver flowed to the West. As a result, between 1821-1830, China had to payout 2.3 million tael (tahil), which was China’s currency. It was measured by China’s weight system and was made of silver. Nevertheless, China suffered a financial crisis, and the payout led to shortages of silver, and tael started to devalue.

The Qing Dynasty took action, and Emperor Daoguang (1811-1899) ordered commissioner Lin Zexu to address the issue. Lin Zenx was a top scholar earning his degree or “jinshi” in Chinese classics. Before his career as commissioner, Lin Zexu governed under Jiangsu Province. He watched and concluded that Chinese merchants progressively sold fewer goods, and met only half the demand of the previous decade. In 1813, opium was banned completely. If smokers or sellers were caught, then they were subjected to 100 bamboo blows to body, in addition to wearing an ugly heavy wooden collar in public for a month. Even with the strict law scaring some of the merchants away, opium still spread rapidly through China. Consequently, Lin Zenx seized a large amount of opium. Following the seizure, he made a public announcement by destroying the opium and sending a letter to the British Queen Victoria to try to put an end to the trading of opium. (Primary source stapled on back)

The letter began as a song that represented China, and how they believed that China was the center of the world or “Zhongguo,” which means Central Kingdom. Lin Zenx was trying to be honorable and polite, bringing light to their honorable traditions by mentioning the Celestial Empire. Summing up the first two paragraphs of the letter, Lin Zenx, exercised his politeness to show that he had no intentions on going to war. In paragraph 12 of the letter, he reiterated his politeness by making it as clear and diplomatic as possible. In addition, he speaks up on how the emperor was upset about the British merchant deliberately condoning the selling of opium. Lin Zexu announced that the strict law would fall upon both the Chinese and British, and consequences for illicit selling of opium would be exercised equally. This was not a threat, but it was Lin’s way of asking for help from the British with enforcement. This is the main reason he wrote the letter and made his actions public. Around the time of his announcement, he apprehended large amounts of opium from the British superintendent, Charles Elliot. By demonstrating punishment on the Britain, he would make his voice clear. Again this aggressive approach was not meant to result in war, but to guide the Queen to enforce it. In Lin’s words “Must be able to instruct the various barbarians to observe the law with care.” (Pg 937) that British represents the barbarians and that they need to be controlled. In paragraph 6-8, it talks about the right and wrong about morals, and how it should be followed as a country. Lin followed the teachings of Confucius, assuming that Britain had similar moral codes as Confucius. Lin Zexu goes in to “do as unto others as you do unto yourself,” adding another reason why British should help enforce their merchants to obey the Chinese’s law. Even though Commissioner Lin believed that opium was immoral, it didn’t mean that the British were on the same page. Meanwhile the British supported the selling and buying of opium. Furthermore Lin reiterated the consequences that would be bestowed on any countrymen that condones in the selling and smoking of opium. He ended the letter by kindly expressing the emperor’s intention to solve the opium problem diplomatically.

Lin Zexu’s letter was his best attempt to gain aid from the Queen to enforce the laws of China. The attempt was futile, because the Queen never received the letter. Thus this failure resulted in him banning the Westerns from Guangzhou. All the British that lived in Guangzhou left to Hong Kong where they feared for their lives. Soon they turned to the to the British Parliament, which resulted in the Opium War. After losing seven cities to the British, China sought for peace and agreed to lift all China’s restriction of trade.

The industrial Revolution was a big part of the British overpowering the Chinese in the Opium War. With advanced technology, the British had superior naval ships that were made of steel, while China had boats composed only of wood. The steel ships used coal as their fuel, making them much faster. China had suffered and as a result, China had to reimburse the British for the cost of the war. All trade port had to be open to the British, with limitations to certain nations, and the British had complete control of Hong Kong.

To an extent, I find the result of the Opium War beneficial to the rise of the Industrial Revolution. China’s defeat brought value to the world economically, and all trade ports being opened brought a network of goods to flow throughout all nations. All nations eventually reaped the benefits of trade. The British gained a lot from the trade and from the Opium War. The profits and the growing network helped provide growth of the Industrial Revolution.

“Lin Zexu: “Moral Advice to Queen Victoria”.” Milestone Documents RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.


The Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century was one of the most, if not the most powerful empire of its time. The empires rule stretched from central Europe and went as far down as Egypt, but the early twentieth century brought the Ottomans power to a steady decline.  The strong and lengthy aristocratic rule had led to corruption within the high levels of government, and the Sultan Hamid II refusal to embrace new political and social reforms led to an even more fractured state. The Ottoman Empire’s corrupt government and weak financial status drove the empire to look to private investors and western governments for money in order to finance their activities. Eventually, the Ottomans fell into massive debts with the financiers, to the extent that, by the twentieth century, foreign investors held a considerable part of the state. By the early twentieth century, the once-great empire was crumbling under the strong Nationalist thoughts that were taking over their European and African territories. In 1914, the great Ottomans became known as the “sick man of Europe,” a sad but telling sign of the empires social and political unrest and their great decline in power. Go to the link below for a quick and easy overview of the role nationalism had in the decline of the power of the Ottoman Empire.


Emerging Middle East

Sick Man of EuropeMap: Ottoman Empire 1914





Frankforter, A. Danial, and William M. Spellman. “The Consolidation of Nation-States.” The West: A Narrative History. Vol. 2. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013. 606-08. Print.

“The Ottoman Empire 1914 – The Sick Man of Europe.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <>.

The late nineteenth century saw only one-fifth of the world’s land mass not under a European flag up until the onset of World War I. Western European nations believed through Imperialism and expansion of their empires, they would wear the crown of kings over everyone else. Obviously, those living in the motherlands supported their nations outreach from the Sahara to Bengal to Indonesia. However, for those subjects living and working under empirical rule, their opinions differed. Nowhere could the views of the people be seen than through political cartoons from this era.


English Imperialism represented as an Octopus. Digital image. The New Imperialism. Blogger, 25 Feb. 2012. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <>.

This political cartoon represents Britain as an octopus, with its arms on many different countries and regions, such as India, Canada, Egypt, and Boersland. The artist makes the face on John Bull represent Britain as greedy and selfish.

Rhodes Collossus

Sambourne, Edward L. The Rhodes Colossus. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia, n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <>.

This famous cartoon depicts English-born Cecil Rhodes striding over the African continent. The views of Rhodes, and many other imperialists, were summed up in his declaration, “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.”


The White Man’s Burden. Digital image. Imperialism & European Colonization of Africa and Asia. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <>.

This final cartoon depicts what is known as “The White Man’s Burden”. This cartoon fully develops and brings together the idea that as white people are “the finest race in the world” they must bring civilization (in this case education) to everyone around the world.

In conclusion, these political cartoons represent both positive and negative views of European Imperialism in the late nineteenth century, and they give us great insight into the mindset of those who both supported and rejected the theory of Imperialism and Colonialism.

Nationalism rose in Europe — and across the world — during the 19th century. This rise occurred primarily as a defensive mechanism against outside forces, such as invasion, colonization, imperialism, and so on. Nationalism helped unify countries and strengthen groups of people in order to avoid domination. Unfortunately, as the web series Crash Course World History demonstrates, this form of nationalism thrives on conflict, hence why ruling under such pressure promotes constant conflict and justification for the actions of nationalistic rulers. Social Darwinism — the prospect that winning in political, economic, or otherwise man-made conflicts makes a group the naturally dominant force — contributed to nationalistic advances within nations, ultimately becoming a motive for conflict from the World Wars to issues evident in today’s world.

While the video looks toward Japan as its main example of nationalism’s growth and dominance in a country, what is discussed can easily apply to studies of Western cultures, as the host readily admits that Germany would be the typical example for the rise of nationalism in general. Using Japan instead only enforces the fact that nationalism was felt as a unifying force across the world as opposed to just within Western society.

Here’s the video discussing nationalism:

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Source: Crash Course. “Samurai, Daimyo, Matthew Perry, and Nationalism: Crash Course World History #34.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 13 Sept. 2012. Web. 6 April 2015.

During the growth of the Industrial Revolution society had made major changes within the culture, economically, and socially. There were many reasons that played in addition to the advancement of our society industrial time period. Technology had played a significant part in the Industrial revolution, with the progression of machines, waterpower and steam power. One that stands out the most is ball bearing, created by the inventor Leonardo De Vinci, because it was undoubtedly way ahead of its time. The ball bearing was created in (1498-1500) to lower the friction between two plates that would be in contact in his other famous design for the Helicopter. The ball bearing man fiction smoother and substantially faster, ragging an object by making the friction act over a shorter distance as the wheel turned. This provide assistance with machines like the wheel & axel, and material production like, wool, cotton, sapphire, jewels, pottery, glass, and etc. It could be argued that the ball bearing could be the actual historical turning point in the Industrial Revolution. The bearing was adapted to suit its environment and it contributed to technological advances. The advances also increased the production, which speeds up the economy and help grows our civilization.

The ball barring was extremely beneficial even in our time, with it being incorporated into our

“Redirect Notice.” Redirect Notice. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
“The Ball Bearing.” Leonardo Da Vincis Inventions. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

industrialization 1850  The industrial revolution started in Britain, but other parts of Europe experienced it in their own ways. The French experienced less of a revolution and more of a slow evolution. The people of France were much more concentrated in the countrysides for far longer and only started to congregate more heavily in cities after railway lines were built. The railway lines, first built privately for the transport of coal and later built by the government for both economic and standard transport, were what lead to the more rapid industrailisation of France.

Paris quickly grew and as a result, started heaving at the restraints of its old, medieval style city planning. In desperate need of solutions, a man named Georges-Eugene (commonly known as Baron Haussmann) was employed to help solve the issue and would play an important role in creating the ‘modern’ city. He ordered the demolition and rebuilding of many buildings to allow for better traffic flow, and built other pieces of important infrastructure such as sewage systems. In the map below is a picture of Paris, of which all the red lines are streets built under Baron Haussman’s renovations












“Baron Haussmann – French Civil Servant.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. 

“19th-Century French Economy and Society, Industrialization in France.” Countriesquest. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. 

“Map of Haussmann Paris.” Wikimedia. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

“The Era of Industrialization.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

“1850 Railways” Web. 25 Mar. 2015.

Agriculture before the industrial revolution focused mainly on agricultural production, and the people would work in industries in-between planting and harvesting, and there was a huge reliance on agriculture for food and money.  After the industrial revolution new foods like the potato and new technology and methods came about.  Some of the new technology was the horse-drawn hoe, seed drill, triangular plough, and threshing machines.  These new technologies made farming easer and required less people to harvest and plow.  Some new crops were new species of hay or grass to feed the animals during winter, sainfoin, ryegrass, clover, and turnips.  These new crops were to help lengthen the fertility of a field.  Some new techniques that were used during the industrial revolution were constant tillage, new crop rotations, closer association of crops and stock ( more animals meant greater crop yields), field-grass husbandry, new drainage and fertilization methods.  Other changes during the industrial revolution was a decrees of subsistence farming, an increase use of “water-meadows” or flooded meadows or fields, and more woodland turned into farm land.  There was also less land owned by small farmers due to enclosure and less money needed to transport goods because of steam.


Stearns, Peter N. The Industrial Revolution in World History.  George Mason University: Westview Press, 2013

Deane, Phyllis. The First Industrial Revolution. Cambridge: The University Press, 1965

More, Charles. Understanding the Industrial Revolution. London: Routledge, 2000

Jones E. L. Agriculture and the Industrial Revolution. New York: Halsted Press, 1974

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If anyone is struggling to remember the regions we discussed in class, I highly recommend this mapping game. It only uses modern countries, but I find it helps a lot when identifying general regions as well. The screenshots seen here are from the Europe map, but the site has other regions and continents, as well.

Here is the game’s landing page.


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