-Abundance of coal

-Important population growth. It helped to develop a domestic market 

-Importance of cities (urban growth). Massive rural exodus

-The bourgeoisie had a very important role in society 

-A vast colonial empire 

-Advanced political system (monarchy power was limited)

-Flat country, it facilitated an extensive transport network (canals and roads)

-Important development of financial sector (banks) and capitalism

-Liberalism (in politics and in the economy) 

-Increase in agricultural production


-Lack of high quality coal and its extraction was expensive 

-Moderate population growth. Weak domestic market

-Late industrialisation meant that bourgeoisie was not as prevalent and has less political power

-Spain lost the majority of its American empire at the beginning of the 19th political power.

-Absolutism until 1833, very limited liberal governments afterwards

-Limited expansion of financial sector, capitalism limited by internal customs and currencies

-Absolutism until 1833, after that very limited advances, weak liberal state and limited development form an economic point of view

-The agricultural expansion was achieved through the clearing of new land



Economic interests 

Industrialised European countries were in search of new markets where they could sell their surplus surplus products. They also wanted to obtain raw materials (coal, iron, cotton, rubber, etc) and colonial products (sugar, chocolate, tea, etc) at the best possible price.

A growing population 

-The economic changes of the 19th century led to a huge rise in Europe’s population

-This demographic growth caused overpopulation, wich encouraged people to emigrate to colonies. Migration provided a solution for the metropole (the occupying state), since it could avoid social problems like unemployment, strikes, etc

Rivalry between the powers 

-Industrial powers wanted to expand their areas of influence to increase their political power and hinder their competitors’ expansion

-European countries could only increase their political power by occupying other continents

The might of the master race 

-The root causes of imperialism are impossible to understand without examining them in the context of racist and nationalistic

-Philosophers, scientists, writers and politicians subscribed to this idea and convides much of the population of its legitimacy

-People started to believe that Europeans gad a duty to spread their culture and civilisation among peoples who considered inferior 


The second industrial revolution 

-In the final third of the 19th century, new energy sources emerged and were developed 

-Electricity had many applications in industry, communication systems, entertainment and lightning

-Oil extraction began in the United States and the intervention of the combustion engine led to its use as fuel for cars 

-New industrial sectors emerged: the chemical industry, the aluminium industry and the automotive and aviation industry

-The great technological leap that ocurried in the late 19th century was due to the union between scientific research and industry 

A new way of organizing production 

-Federica Taylor revolutionised production methods when he invented scientific management, or Taylorism

-These new work methods were based on assembly lines, in which each worker performed a specific task

-Mass production began in the United States and the Ford Motor company was one of the first companies to use an assembly line in its car plant (Fordism). This led to standardized mass production and lower production costs, which allowed consumption to be extended to broader sectors of the population. ECONOMIES OF SCALE 

Trade domination and international finance

Europe, and later the United States, dominated the world financially. Their enormous wealth allowed them to invest capital across the world: they lent money to states, and invested in land, industries and transport. These investments provided bans and individuals with huge profits.


The age of imperialism, during which the world’s culture, politics and economy were structured around the domination of some countries over others. CAPITAL IDEA 

Exploration and conquest 

-In the mid-19th century, much of Africa, Asia and the oceans were unknown to Europeans 

-After the exploration phase, conquest was relatively quick and easy. The Europeans took advantage of the internal rivalries between tribes and etchnic groups to pit them against each other and recruit troops

Clashes between the colonial powers

-The imperialism of the 19th century was characterized by constant wars

-However, disputes between imperialist interests were inevitable (Fashoda incident)

-The Boer Wars were fought between Great Britain and the duchar settlers (Boers) who had inhabited southern Africa since the 17th century

-All the colonial powers wanted to be part of China’: market, which was important due to its large population. The Opium War (1839-1842 and 1856-1860) forced China to open up western trade 


During the first decade of the 20th century, increased tensions between the major European powers led to a period of “armed peace” that eventually resulted in the First World War

Colonial conflicts 

The Berlin Conference (1885) had tried to establish rules for colonisation of the African continent by the European empires. The German Empire, one of the last to join in the colonial race, reopened conflicts between European countries

Rivalry between powers and nationalism

-European powers also became increasingly nationalistic. The promotion of national identity and values caused a general climate of mistrust

-Sine European people’s gad nationalist aspira fiona and wanted to become independent states, while others defended their status as great traditional empires

-There was also strong rivalry between the British and German Empires over economic control of Europe and its trade routes

The Balkan wars 

-As the Ottoman Empire was in a state of collapse, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was planning to gain power over the Balkans. However, Serbia and Russia also wanted to increase their influence there

-As Serbia was clearly becoming stronger, Austria-Hungary, fearing a general slav uprising while under its control, looked to the Germans for support

Military alliances and the arms race

-France, fearing the Germans’ military strength and expansion m, allied with Russia and improved its relations with Britain. They signed a mutual aid pact, the Triple Entente

-The mistrust caused an arms race. The countries spent vast amounts of money on manufacturing new weapons, buildings warships, and strengthening their armies. They all prepared themselves for war, which could be started by any future conflict

-The assassination if the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 triggered the First World War, but the true causes of war had been developing for decades


The outbreak of War 

-On 28 June 1914, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated in Sarajevo

-Austria-Hungary accused Serbia of the assassination and declared war on 28 July. Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary to protect Serbia, and Germany declared war on Russia and France. Great Britain declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary after the German army invaded Belgium. Only Italy remained neutral. 

The war movement 

-The War began on the Western Front when the German army suddenly attacked France through Belgium and Luxembourg 

-By the beginning of September 1914, the Germans were 40km from Paris. However, the French and British armies stopped the advance at the Battle of the Marne.

Trench warfare 

-After the Battle of the Marne, the Western Front became immobile. Trenches were built from Switzerland to the North Sea

-The Ottoman Empire entered the war in late 1914, followed by Italy and Bulgaria in 1915 and Romania in 1916. The Germans launched a new offensive on the Western Front in 1916 but were stopped by the French at the Battle of Verdun. The French and British then attacked the German lines at the Battle of the Somme

1817:The last phases of war 

-Russia signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty with Germany (1918) after the Bolshevik Revolution and with drew from the war

-The United States joined the war in 1917

-In 1918, the Allies defeated Austria-Hungary on the Eastern Front, and the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empures surrendered and called for an armistice. The Germans were defeated on the Western Front at the Second Battle of the Marne. There were revolts in the German army and navy as well as workers’ demonstration agains y the government. As result the Kaiser abdicated and Germany surrendered. An armistice was signed on 11 November 1967, bringing the war to an end. 


The war affected all the countries involved, but had profound consequences for the Russian Empire. It led to an unprecedented revolution in 1927, which completely transformed the economic, political and social system

An autocratic empire 

In the early 20th century, the tostarse ruled a vast empire where the system of absolute monarchy continued. A loyal bureaucracy anda powerful army controlled the empire, while the Orthodox Church was one of the great ideological pillars of the regime

Feudal agriculture and dependent industry 

-The economy and social structures of the Russian Empire were the most backward in Europe. Agriculture was the main economic activity, and land was controlled by and powerful and wealthy aristocracy 

-Feudalism continued in the Russian Empire 

In some areas (Moscow, St.Petersburg, the Urals, etc), industrialization has began. A large industrial proletariat had emerged who worked in companies with more than 500 workers, for very low wages

Opposition to statism 

Opposition to the regime first developed among the peasants. Marxist ideas spread among industrial workers. In 1898, the Russian Social Democratic labour Party was founded, led by Vladimir Ilyich Vlyanou (Lenin)

The crisis of the first world war 

-Russia entered the First World War in 1914, but it was inefficient and its arms industry could not cope with demand

-As economic resources were devoted to war, famine appeared in cities


The February revolution of 1937. The fall of tsarism 

-On 23 February 1817, there was a large demonstration in Petrograd (present-day St.Petersburg), followed by a general strives and rids in the barracks. It was headed by a provisional government, which promised to call constituent elections to make Russia a parliamentary democracy.

-Popular discontent grew, and the Soviets, who wanted to withdraw from the war, began to demand the dismissal of the government

The October revolution brings the Bolsheviks to power 

Most of the Soviets supported the Bolsheviks. Their leader, Lenin, wanted to establish a government of worker and peasant Soviets and to sign a peace treaty with Germany. He advocated distributing the land among the peasants, giving workers control of the factories, nationalising the banks and recognizing the nationalities of the Russian Empire

The Civil War and the formation of the USSR

The Civil War lasted 3 years and brought great misery to the people, who suffered food shortages and a high number of causalities. In 2921, the Red Army won the war. The conflict had contributed significantly to the hardening of the Soviet regime


An economic and demographic disaster 

– The war caused the deaths of around ten millions soldiers and was responsible for a large number of civilian casualties due to malnutrition and disease

-From an economic point of view meant the permanent loss of European hegemony. All European countries were in debt. They had to issue government bonds and take out loans with other countries particularly the United States 

The organisation of peace 

-In January 191, a conference was held in Paris .The Treaty of Versailles and other treated broke up Europe’s empire and drew new borders

-US president Woodrow presented a manifesto (Wilson’s 14 points) based in his vision for peace and a desire to not seek revenge guarantee peace and cooperation between states. However, the project failed

New problems, new conflicts 

-The Germans considered the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles a humiliation, which increased their sense of nationalism and the desire for future revenge. Italy’s frustation at not receiving the land they had requested also to increased nationalism

-The Bolshevik revolution encouraged revolutionary forces elsewhere in Europe