Modern World - History of Last 250 years

Second Industrial Revolution
  • Driven by chemistry
  • Machines to make other machines is the biggest change.
  • Mass produced machines start having impact on common men and women.
  • Electricity!
  • Large corporations start becoming common as pace of industrialization quickens.
  • Large population migration to cities, start of rapid urbanization in US, Europe and other parts of the world.
  • Mass produced consumer products, like coca-cola, which are sold everywhere in the country and world.
  • Pharmaceuticals, surgical machines, x-rays, and may other advances in healthcare products.
  • Manufacturing needs raw materials, which leads to mining frenzy.
  • Universities, private and government funded, leading the pace of research and development.
  • The speed of - Problem->Solution->Problem quickens.
Modern Capitalism
  • Gold standard
    • Starting with Britain, increasing number of countries adopted gold standard and standardized money.
    • Money exchange rates stabilized, giving acceleration to international trade.
    • Gold rush in South Africa, Alaska and other parts of the world.
    • Banking institutions such as insurance, trade exchanges, bonds market became common.
  • Large corporations
    • Assembly lines made it possible to make products, extremely cheaply with out requiring craftsmanship.
    • Factory towns in all over United States which produced machine made products.
    • Limited Liability companies.
  • Industrial society
    • Universities
    • Police
    • Doctors
    • Professional services - advertising, typing, marketing.
  • As a response to increasing power of large corporations, workers started unions.
  • Food Manufacturing and processing became big industry to support increasingly urban population.
  • Safe seas made world trade much more reliable.

World trade grew 400% from 1890 to 1910.

Modern political systems
  • Modern cities are faced new kinds of problem, living conditions, wages, working conditions.
  • Size of modern cities, spread of newspapers enable rise of modern political parties which have millions of members.
  • Politics breaks away from only elite class and is becomes an important aspect of lives of common citizens.
  • Various violent protests across Europe and US by anarchists.
  • Many political ideologies gain widespread support.
  • National Traditional - religious, want to maintain established order, racial and ethnic. Rural containing farmers, landowners.
  • National conservatives - secular, pro big business, strong national governments, protectionist, modern military. Supported by new professional class.
  • Liberals - limited/weak national government, individual liberty, secular or Christian, pacifist, anti empire, free trade and free markets, equal rights to women. Supported by small farmers, small businesses.
  • Democratic socialism - strong national government, against big business, secular, workers rights, unionists, pacifist,
  • Revolutionary socialists - against existing order, against military and police, secular, direct (violent) action, strikes, marxists, internationalist.
Political wars
  • All over the world status quo is being challenged.
  • China - empire falls, giving way to a republic led by conservatives.
  • Russia - After being defeated by Japan, peasants rebel. Empire survives, but is now considering reforms and adopting a constitution.
  • Spain, Mexico, Ottoman empire all under go political upheavals resulting in change in political systems.
  • Governments are forced to adopt more libertarian values as a result.

1890 to 1990 (end of cold war), the hundred year wars, is defined by struggle about how to organize modern nation states.