Gary Ge 9F Revolution, Industry, and Empire and its Profound Changes By interacting with their social, political, and situational environment, societies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries created social and technological changes with positive and negative consequences. Change is the act or instance of making or becoming different, and during this period, most of these global changes were the consequences of industrialization, revolution, and imperialism. Let us take Britain and Germany to establish the links between causes, processes, and consequences and how they correspond to the major global changes back then. Industrialization is the process where a socioeconomic group is transformed from a agrarian society into an industrialized one. How or why this transformation occurs is debatable, however, one thing is for sure - the First Industrial Revolution (beginning from the 18th century) began with the revolutionary change in the human use of energy, from biomass and muscle to fossil fuels and steam power (Kreis, “The Origins of the Industrial Revolution in England.”). This gave way to the Second Industrial Revolution (the period around and after 1860) (Encyclopædia Britannica, “Industrial Revolution.”). It led to the discovery and introduction of the Bessemer Process of Mass-Producing Steel (1847-56). Albeit contributions were made from many other people before it could be used on a commercial basis, it was named after Sir Henry Bessemer. According to his book, Bessemer was interesting in spinning heavier artillery projectiles with the use of a smoothbore barrel. However, because artillery at the time was made of iron and could not stand the blast of such a heavy shell, he developed the Bessemer Process which allowed steel to be produced cheaply and quickly (Encyclopædia Britannica, "Bessemer process."). Germany, on the other hand, was late for the industrialization party. Without a strong agricultural establishment, industrialization was impossible. Because Germany had ample iron and coal resources, which are the basic industrialization materials, it lead to spectacular advancements made in nitrogen fertilizers, which set the worldwide standards at the time. Consequently, we can see that by utilizing and interacting with their situational environment, Britain was able to transform into an industrialized society, which lead to the invention of the Bessemer’s Process. This enabled technological advancements in artillery, which were beneficial to the British during military operations, as the added weight/explosives of the projectile would cause more damage. Germany also did the same and made significant advancements in nitrogen fertilizers, which helped their crops to prosper and ensured sustainability. However, fertilizers could also escape into nearby water sources either by runoffs or drainage, which promotes the growth of algae that is detrimental to the water’s ecosystem (Mokyr and Strotz, “The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914.”). On the other hand, a revolution is a violent, forced, and therefor sudden change in the government or other social structures for the sake of introducing a different one. Despite the fact that every neighboring country during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries experienced at least one revolution, Britain seemed impervious and retained its government (Evans, “A British Revolution in the 19th Century?”). Germany (or Prussia) was affected by the Revolutions of 1848. At the time, riots sparked began across Prussia because King Frederick William IV was unwilling to provide Prussia with a constitution. The riots were suppressed as a Prussian Assembly was created. It wanted a unified, liberal Germany, but all hope was lost when Frederick William IV declined the crown. However, Otto von Bismarck was socially competent, and understood that people want a realpolitik (practical politics). After wars with Denmark, Austria, and France, all for the sake of unifying Germany, Bismarck unified and declared the German Empire in 1871 (SparkNotes Editors, “SparkNote on Europe (1815-1848).”). As a result, we can deduce that Otto von Bismarck, someone who understood that the Prussian society shouldn’t be ruled by a Monarchy, but rather a chancellor, created the German Empire, which safeguarded the people, protected their human rights, and their national interests. This changed German structure of society (as there was no longer only one person and their family ruling) and subsequently it’s people (because at the time, the economy of German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, was so terrible that they had to save themselves by joining West Germany. This meant that the economical situation of the people of East Germany saw improvement) (SparkNotes Editors, “SparkNote on Europe (18151848).”). Imperialism is the practice of extending a country’s political influence beyond its borders, especially through military power or unequal political/economical pressure (Encyclopædia Britannica, "imperialism."). The Second Opium War (1856-60) (A.K.A the Arrow War) began when the British, using the excuse that Chinese Officials had lowered the British Flag on a ship called Arrow, wanted to extend their trading rights. The French also joined in. In 1857, the Allies forced the Chinese to sign the Treaties of Tianjin, which demanded more ports and numerous inland cities to be opened up for direct trade. China did not approve of the treaties, which lead to the destruction of Yuanming Garden in 1860 by the Allies (Encyclopædia Britannica, "Opium Wars."). Because of this, the Chinese signed the Beijing Convention, which ratified the Treaties of Tianjin and the payment of war indemnities (Ong, “China Condensed: 5000 years of history & culture.”). Subsequently in 1884, following the unification of Germany, Germany had formed two reasons of imperiling Africa. The first one was to follow the growing desire of imperialism throughout Europe. At the time, Germany wished to also have colonies so they could become as dominating as England and France. Secondly, war was expensive, but by establishing Cameroon, German South-West Africa and New Guinea and exploiting their natural resources/labour force, it would become a profitable endeavor (Silva, “Germany’s Fault...”). These are prime examples of how Britain and Germany utilized their political environment and created social changes in the places they colonized. Subsequent to the Opium Wars, Chinese already despised the British for exposing China’s weaknesses (which led to packs of Western nations to move in for the spoils), but more importantly, they dehumanized them with their opium. Addiction became common and permeated all levels of society, which included high officials and military officers. The Chinese viewed the British as a nation of “devils” (Ong, “China Condensed: 5000 years of history & culture.”). Germany wanted to maximize their economical potential in Africa and New Guinea. Because of this, they had to establish schools, which westernized the societies, but at the same time, impeded and destroyed traditions of local tribes. From the Industrial Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848, we can see that throughout human society, change, whether or not it was positive or negative, has always been inevitable. During this timeframe, we can conclude that most of these profound global changes in society and their environments were a result of the age of revolution, industry, and empire. Essay Word Count: 1053 Works Cited "1848, Revolutions of." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.ebonline.com/eb/article-9032134>. "Bessemer process." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.ebonline.com/eb/article-9078935>. 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Strotz. “The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914.” Northwestern University. Northwestern University, Aug. 1998. Web. 20 Sept. 2011. <http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~jmokyr/ castronovo.pdf>. Ong, Siew Chey. China Condensed: 5000 years of history & culture. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited, 2006. Print. "Opium Wars." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.ebonline.com/eb/article-9057210>. Silva, Brett N. “Germany’s Fault...” Silvapages. Brett N. Silva, 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.pvhs.chico.k12.ca.us/ ~bsilva/projects/imperialism/schuller.htm>. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Europe (1815-1848).” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 22 Aug. 2011.