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Age of Revolutions

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Age of Revolutions

The Age of Revolution is the period from approximately 1775 to 1848 in which a number of significant revolutionary movements occurred on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and the Americas.[1] The period is noted for the change in government from absolutist monarchies to constitutionalist states and republics. The Age of Revolution includes the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, the Greek Revolution, the revolt of the slaves in Latin America, and the independence movements of nations in Latin America. The period would generally weaken the imperialist European states, who would lose major assets throughout the New World. For the British, the loss of the Thirteen Colonies would bring a change in direction for the British Empire, with Asia and the Pacific becoming new targets for outward expansion.

Europe

This period in Europe was marked with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain in 1750. The growing use of machinery allowed for massive economic development in Europe as well as technological advances that would put it at the head of the world for the next few centuries. Additionally, political revolutions would rise at this time, questioning the authority of monarchies and demanding democracy and human rights. One such famous example is the French Revolution of 1789 that deposed the king and led to his decapitation. More revolts would occur in the Revolutions of 1848, creating further political turmoil in Europe.

United States

The thirteen colonies of British America famously become independent in the American Revolution of 1776. The movement was the first European colony to claim independence and saw the application of democracy, a constitution, and civil rights, none of which were unheard of but were unique in their combination. This was the birth of the United States of America which would go on to become a world power.

Latin America

Latin America experienced the independence revolutions at this time that separate the colonies from Spain and Portugal, creating new nations. These movements were generally led by the ethnically Spanish but locally born Criollo class; these were often wealthy citizens that held high positions of power but were still poorly respected by the European-born Spaniards. One such Criollo was Simón Bolívar, who led several revolutions throughout South America and helped establish Gran Colombia. Another important figure was José de San Martín who helped create the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata and became the first president of Peru. Some Latin American revolts, such as the Haitian Revolution, were led by slaves.

See also

References

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