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TitleCracking the AP World History Exam, 2012 Edition
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Rob Franek, VP Test Prep Books, Publisher

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Random House Publishing Group
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2012 Edition


Page 151

Because the bulk of the western hemisphere freed itself from European control by the early nineteenth century (a lot more on this later),
the industrial imperialists turned their eyes toward Africa and Asia, where exploitation was easy and markets were huge.

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain, helping to propel the country to its undisputed ranking as the most powerful in the nineteenth
century. But Britain wasn’t the only country that industrialized. The revolution spread through much of Europe, especially Belgium, France,
and Germany, as well as to Japan and ultimately to the country that would eclipse Britain as the most industrialized—the United States. Still,
since most of the developments occurred in Britain rst, and since the social consequences that occurred in Britain are representative of those
that occurred elsewhere, this section will focus heavily on the revolution in Britain. References to other countries will be made where
Agricultural Revolution Part II
Hopefully you remember that early civilizations came about, in part, because of an Agricultural Revolution that resulted in food surpluses.
This freed some of the population from farming, and those people then went about the business of building the civilization. In the eighteenth
century, agricultural output increased dramatically once again. This time, it allowed not just some people, but as much as half of the
population to leave the farms and head toward the cities, where jobs in the new industrial economy were becoming available.

Keep in mind that agricultural techniques had been slowly improving throughout history. Since so many developments happened so
quickly in the eighteenth century this period was considered a revolution. Agricultural output increased for a whole host of reasons. Potatoes,
corn, and other high-yield crops were introduced to Europe from the colonies in the New World. Farmers started rotating their crops, rather
than leaving one-third of their land fallow (as they had done in the Middle Ages under the three- eld system), which allowed them to farm
all of their land each season without stripping the land of its nutrients. Through a process known simply as enclosure, public lands that were
shared during the Middle Ages were enclosed by fences, which allowed for private farming and private gain.

But what really cranked up the e ciency and productivity of the farms was the introduction of new technologies. New machines for
plowing, seeding, and reaping, along with the development of chemical fertilizers, allowed farmers to greatly increase the amount of land
they could farm, while decreasing the number of people needed to do it. Urbanization was a natural outgrowth of the increased e ciencies
in farming and agriculture. In short, cities grew. In 1800, there were only 20 cities in Europe with a population of more than 100,000. By
1900, 150 cities had similar populations, and the largest, London, had a population of more than 6 million.

Cities developed in areas where resources such as coal, iron, water, and railroads were available for manufacturing. The more factories that
developed in favorable locations, the larger cities would grow. In 1800, along with London, the Chinese cities of Beijing (Peking) and Canton
ranked in the top three, but just 100 years later, nine of the ten largest cities in the world were in Europe or the United States.

Technological Innovations: The Little Engine That Could
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most Europeans worked on farms, at home, or in small shops. Even after Britain started importing huge
amounts of cotton from its American colonies, most of the cotton was woven into cloth in homes or small shops as part of an ine cient,
highly labor-intensive arrangement known as the domestic system. Middlemen would drop o wool or cotton at homes where women would
make cloth, which would then be picked up again by the middlemen, who would sell the cloth to buyers. All of this was done one person at
a time.

However, a series of technological advancements in the eighteenth century changed all this. In 1733, John Kay invented the ying shuttle,
which sped up the weaving process. In 1764, John Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, which was capable of spinning vast amounts of
thread. When waterpower was added to these processes, notably by Richard Arkwright and Edward Cartright in the late eighteenth century,
fabric-weaving was taken out of the homes and was centralized at sites where waterpower was abundant. In 1793, when Eli Whitney
invented the cotton gin, thereby allowing massive amounts of cotton to be quickly processed in the Americas and exported to Europe, the
textile industry was taken out of the homes and into the mills entirely.

Although industrialization hit the textile industry rst, it spread well beyond into other industries. One of the most signi cant
developments was the invention of the steam engine, which actually took the work of several people to perfect. In the early 1700s, Thomas
Newcomer developed an ine cient engine, but in 1769, James Watt dramatically improved it. The steam engine was revolutionary because
steam could not only be used to generate power for industry but also for transportation. In 1807, Robert Fulton built the rst steamship, and

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