During the 1800’s the world saw many new nations emerge, grow, and become powerful. It also saw the nations of Western Europe move into Africa and Asia and build colonies.
In the Americas, the people of the United States built a democracy and enlarged their nation. They fought a civil war that divided the nation, and then worked to reunite. Industry grew, and with it grew the nation’s strength and power.
Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas got rid of their colonial rulers in a series of revolutions. But colonial rule had been strict. The people had been given little opportunity to learn how to govern them. After independence, landowners and military leaders controlled political life. Most were interested only in personal gain. They did little for the people or the economy.
Toward the end of the century, the European powers and the United States practiced imperialism, or the policy of establishing colonies and building empires. In this way, the colonial powers spread their influence, enlarged their trade, and protected their interest in other part of the world.
Greenblatt, Miriam. 1985. Human Heritage a World History, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co. A Bell and Howel Company. Columbus. Ohio. 43216