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Western Civilization Ii Final Exam

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Western Civ. II Final Exam

1. What impact did the American Revolution have on Europe?

The American Revolution impacted Europe in certain ways. The most obvious would be Great Britain declaring war on the Americans due to their attempt at seceding and being their own nation. However, there were other countries involved in the American Revolutionary War as well, especially France.
France wanted to aid the Americans for the reason of getting back what was taken from them by the British in 1763. At first, they sent the Americans weaponry, and the first significant victory by the Americans (The Battle of Saratoga) was won primarily using French weapons. Seeing that the Americans were able to win a major battle, the French became formal allies with them and declared war on Great Britain. Eventually, Spain and Holland also sided against the British, which turned the tide of the war to America’s favor (Lewis 381).

With the surrender of Lord Cornwallis in 1781, and the Treaty of Paris signed two years later (which recognized the United States as a sovereign nation) , France was given back Quebec and America became their new trade partner and ally. However, despite the war’s successful outcome, France was under overwhelming debt, which forced the monarchy to place a permanent tax throughout the land for all subjects in 1786. This was the beginning of the end of the “Old Regime”, eventually leading to the French Revolution, which was (ironically) inspired by the American Revolution (381, 385).

1. Why did the Industrial Revolution begin in Great Britain?

The Industrial Revolution was “the single greatest nineteenth-century shift in civilization.” The revolution began in Great Britain in the eighteenth-century, and there were many reasons as to why it started in Britain rather than another country.

For one, Great Britain received significant changes in agriculture before and during the Industrial Revolution. Due to parliamentary acts of enclosure, certain parts of land were redistributed from tenants to landlords. Despite thousands of farm families no longer being able to make a living, these tracts of lands were being placed under more effective management, since some landlords were willing to experiment; some examples would be using new farming tools and fertilizers and scientific breeding of livestock. This caused a sizable increase in output, but this also caused many farm workers to find employment in desperation, and many of them went to work in factories.

The beginnings of mass production also made an impact on the Industrial Revolution. Since 1760, machines were invented to produce larger amounts of output than human labor alone. It would only make sense to operate several of these machines at one time, which is what would be known as a “factory”. The biggest boost to factory production occurred after the development of efficient steam engines, which were initially created by Thomas Newcomen around 1700. These engines were improved by James Watt later in the eighteenth century, broadening their use by increasing their power and not needing running water. These engines would ultimately become fueled with what we know now as “fossil fuels” (coal, petroleum, etc.).

Inventors after Watt made steam engines so small and powerful, that they made transportation via water and land possible. In 1825, the “age of railways” began when George Stephenson opened a line from Darlington (a mining town) to the harbor of Stockton, which stretched for 20 miles. Over time, he gradually linked more important cities like Liverpool (where raw cotton was imported) and Manchester (which led the industrialized cotton industry). Within 20 years, there was a railroad system that covered the main cities of Britain. From its steam transportation networks, to the mechanization of its industry, “Britain provided the pattern for future industrialization around the world” (421-424).

Work Cited
Lewis, Gavin. WCIV. Vol. 2. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012. Print.…...

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