1. Begin to read the recent outlines with care and mindfulness--recognizing trends, appreciating the significance of key persons, places, events and terms--getting the big picture--the growth of the responsive nation-state, attempts to deal with the problems caused by rapid social and economic changes wrought by the dual revolutions of the nineteenth century, the social divisions within the middle class . . . the Eastern Question--the causes, conduct and consequences of the Crimean War (on the Concert of Europe, on Russia), the growing tensions in the Balkans due to nationalism and outside interests; the "Great Migration," the "new imperialism," its impact on non-Western peoples and cultures in Africa and Asia and the Pacific.
Absorb and make connections with the world as you know it today from the media and from former classes. Most of today's economic and political and diplomatic challenges have their roots in the events of the nineteenth century--the challenge of aging populations in European welfare states, the problems in the Middle East, in Africa, even in Afghanistan.
2. Take time to watch the attached powerpoints, especially the one on the English and French Belle Epoque.
Make connections between powerpoints and the outlines: 1. The Industrial Revolution 1780--1850 2. 19th Century Society 1800--1914 3. handouts on Industrial Revolution and Marxism (socialism, communism) 4. handout on revolutions of 1830's and 1848 5. Age of Realpolitik 1848--1871 6. Age of Mass Politics 7. The New Imperialism 1880--1914
Modern Currents stronger in the 19th century: science and technology; accelerating industrialization and urbanization; the conquest of distance and time and the consequences; the growth of the size and influence of the middle class on culture and politics; the plight of the working class and new ideological differences; new social stresses and the response of the national states; the growth of suffrage and consequence; the challenge of new, powerful and upsetting ideas (Darwin, Marx, Freud . . .); competition, rather than cooperation--in society, in politics, in international affairs, for global influence, in military build-ups . .); the impact of extreme nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism; new artistic and literary responses to these rapid social, economic and cultural changes; the growth of new media and public opinion; the new imperialism and its consequences on European relations and on non-Western cultures and peoples; growing militarism.