State Development: c. 1750 - c. 1900

AP Concept: 5.2 Imperialism and Nation-State Formation
Key Concepts
  • Imperialism influenced state development
  • Russia's imperialistic drive forced the country to industrialize and modernize along western lines
    • The Russian Empire expanded east to Manchuria, south to the Caucasus and Central Asia, and southwest to the Mediterranean, but it was finally defeated in the Crimean War
    • This signaled that its military power was not equal to that of Europe
    • As a result, Russia modernized the government and industry
    • Czar Alexander II emancipated the serfs and created district assemblies with elected representatives
    • The government sponsored rapid industrialization, as with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad
    • Nevertheless, such fast-paced modernization was not sufficient for the anti-czarist intelligentsia, who grew increasingly violent and revolutionary in their tactics (and assassinated Czar Alexander II in 1881)
  • Now modernized, Russia attempted further expansion with the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, which ended in defeat and galvanized opposition to the government
  • Revolutionaries grew more discontent with such imperialism and began planning to overthrow the czar
  • British imperialism in China led to increasing discontent with foreigners and the ineffective Qing government
  • A series of unequal treaties with British merchants contributed to the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, which attempted to expel all foreigners from China
  • The Qing government attempted and failed to reform its policies to more modern ones
  • A revolutionary movement let by Sun Yat Sen formed out of these rebellions and attempts at reform
  • Finally the Qing abdicated in 1911 democratic Republic of China was declared, but was short-lived
  • The arrival of enterprising, armed American merchants in Japan in 1853 encouraged the country to overthrow the old Tokugawa regime and modernize the government
  • Reform-minded samurai argued that Japan could no longer resist foreigners and instead should modernize with the superior outside technology
  • The rebels brought the Meiji emperor to the throne in the Meiji Restoration, which undertook the modernization of industry and the government
Ottoman Empire
  • Economic imperialism among other countries contributed to the weakening of the Ottoman Empire after the 1700s
  • Trade shifted to the Atlantic Ocean, which left out the Ottomans
  • Europe began to trade directly with India and China, again leaving the Ottomans out of the trading network
  • As a result, the Ottomans came to depend heavily on foreign loans
  • While the empire attempted to reform itself along European lines (including following a French legal system), many groups opposed these reforms, and a group of Young Turks overthrew the sultan in 1908

Related Links:
AP World History Quizzes
AP World History
AP World History Notes
Imperialism: c. 1750 - c. 1900