A History of World Societies,
Nation Building in the Western Hemisphere and in Australia
During the nineteenth century, former European colonies in the Americas and
Australia struggled to create independent and viable nation states. The ideology
of the French and American revolutions of the eighteenth century - popular
sovereignty and equality before the law - strongly influenced each society.
(You might want to review these concepts at Chapter 22, "The Revolution
in Western Politics, 1775-1815.") The attempts of these countries to
create societies based on these goals proved futile. Each country inherited
a social structure divided by class, race, ethnicity, and gender. The long
reach of the industrial revolution further compounded tension during the nineteenth
century. The consequences of this friction are still apparent in these societies
- You may want to begin by printing this page. As you explore different
sites, use the printout to refer back to the instructions and questions
detailed in each activity.
- On many web sites you can increase the size of the images by clicking
on them. Whenever possible, use the larger images to examine fine details
- When the nineteenth century began, African slavery was present in every
society in the Americas. By the end of the century, it had been abolished
everywhere. Even so, the question remained as to how to incorporate former
slaves into the broader society. No country struggled with this issue more
than the United States. Abolition required a bloody civil war, and emancipation
further divided white society over the issue of what rights freedmen would
- The United States Library of Congress chronicles this account at African
American Odyssey. Read the text and study the images in the first six
chapters ("Slavery: The Peculiar Institution" through "The
Booker T. Washington Era"). This site chronicles the variety of experiences
African Americans endured in the United States, from the beginning of slavery
in the Americas through World War I.
- How did African Americans respond to the challenges of slavery and later
segregation and disenfranchisment? To answer this question, complete the
following task. Make a chronological chart that accounts for key events
and developments in African American history. Pay attention to changes in
laws affecting slavery, the evolution of antislavery sentiment, the development
of African American institutions, economic changes that influenced slavery,
and the lives of influential African Americans. After completing your chart,
explain how the lives of African Americans had changed between the 1700s
and 1920. Had all African Americans achieved broad equality in the United
States by 1920? Why or why not? What had African Americans themselves done
to effect this change?
- Conflict between African Americans and European Americans was not the
only division in American societies during the nineteenth century. The advancements
in transportation technology and the continued need for cheap labor after
the end of the Atlantic slave trade and later slavery itself meant that
millions of immigrants arrived in North and South America, particularly
in the last half of the century. Go to The Peopling
of North America: Population Movements & Migration. Click on "Section
5: Asian and African Labour: Indenture and Beyond" and read the text
and study the images at this site. (Click Section 5.1 on the left-hand side
of your screen after reading the introduction. Then follow the arrows at
the end of each section until you complete the tutorial.) Also study the
map at Library
of Congress, Map of Migration Patterns, 1858.
- Your task is to write an essay that explains how industrialization in
the nineteenth century changed the ethnic composition of American societies
and how these societies coped with these changes. Some questions to consider
are as follows. What was indentured servitude? When and where did this form
of labor develop? What changes in the global economy, besides the end of
the Atlantic slave trade, made the growth of this institution possible?
Where did indentured servants originate? What areas in the Americas used
this form of labor? What efforts did these societies make to include or
exclude these new social groups? How did these new social groups respond
to these opportunities and challenges? How did the development of indentured
servitude shape the history of the Americas in the twentieth century?
- Indentured servants were not the only immigrants to the Americas. Millions
of European free laborers also traversed the Atlantic in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth century. A large number of Asian free laborers also
made their way to the Americas. Review Library
of Congress, Map of Migration Patterns, 1858. There are many statistics
and primary materials on the web regarding this phenomenon in the United
States and Canada. For example, study the bar chart at Bar
Chart: U.S. Immigration, 1820-1970 and the second graph at Region
and Country or Area of Birth of the Foreign-Born Population, With Geographic
Detail Shown in Decennial Census Publications of 1930 or Earlier: 1850 to
1930 and 1960 to 1990. Now read the articles at The
Immigrant Journey and The
Atlantic Monthly: Races in the United States by William Z. Ripley. (This
article appeared in an influential American journal in 1908.) Analyze why
and how the immigration patterns of free laborers to the United States shifted
around the turn of the century and what conflicts arose in America as a
result. Begin by tracking both the increase in immigration at the turn of
the century and the sources of this immigration. Use the bar chart and graph
as aids. The articles provide clues as to why this increase and shift in
immigration occurred. The last article, although long, provides a reaction
of a native-born Anglo Saxon American to this sudden shift. His views were
typical of millions of Americans.
- To compare the Canadian experience, go The Peopling
of Canada (1891-1921) and complete the tutorial. Analyze why and how
the immigration patterns of free laborers to Canada shifted around the turn
of the century and what conflicts arose in Canada as a result. Make a list
of similarities and differences between the Canadian and American experiences.
Some topics might be sources of immigration, native-born reactions, and
settlement patterns. Was the Canadian experience with immigration around
the turn of the century very similar, slightly similar with some key differences,
or not at all similar to the American experience? Defend your answer in
a paragraph or two.
- Another source of friction in the Americas during the nineteenth century
was the ongoing struggle between indigenous peoples and European Americans.
To begin exploring this conflict in the United States, go to New
Perspectives on the West and click "Events" in the navigation
bar near the top of the page. When the menu of dates appears click on 1800-1820
and explore the timeline. Click any hyperlink in which you want to see further
information and continue this process through the years 1900-1917, paying
specific attention to the relationships between Native Americans and European
settlers. Define the nature of the conflict between each group, considering
how they viewed the territory, how they organized themselves socially and
economically, and what technology they possessed. Identify key turning points
in relations between Native Americans and European settlers, such as wars,
treaties, and so on.
- For Canada, go to Calgary
& Southern Alberta - The Bison Economy of the Southern Alberta Plains.
Continue examining this site by clicking "The First Contact with Europeans"
at the bottom of the page. View all the hyperlinks at this site, including
the last "disastrous conflicts." Complete the same task you did
for the United States. For Australia read the essay A
Short History of Australia giving special attention to the paragraphs
on relations between European settlers and the aboriginal people.
- After completing this comparative study, write an essay that describes
in general terms the conflict that existed between European Americans and
Native Americans in the Western Hemisphere during the nineteenth century.
Also analyze how European Americans were able to impose their will on Native
Americans. What impact did global industrialization have on relations between
each group? For example, why did Europeans want the land occupied by indigenous
peoples? Where did most of this conflict take place? What technological
advantages aided European Americans in their conquest of indigenous people's