Brief Review in Global History and Geography

Effects of Industrialization and Imperialism

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–7). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: Read the documents in Part A and answer the questions after each document. Then, read the directions for Part B and write your essay.

Type in your answers in the text boxes following each question below. You can then e-mail them to your teacher.

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Historical Context: The modern world was born out of a combination of forces.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you discuss how the Industrial Revolution and the New Imperialism combined to create the modern world. Discuss some positive and negative aspects of these changes.


Document #1

man working at a machine
     "Of all the common prejudices that exist with respect to factory labor, none is more unfounded than the one that holds the work to be difficult. In an establishment for spinning or weaving cotton, all the hard work is performed by the steam engine. The worker has literally nothing to do in general, but occasionally join the thread that breaks or perform other easy tasks. It is far from being true that work in a factory goes on without interruption."
—Andrew Ure, nineteenth-century Scottish chemist

1. Using the illustration and the quote, what impression do you have of a nineteenth-century factory?

Document #2

SADLER: At what age did you first go to work in a factory?
SADLER: Will you state the hours of labor in ordinary times?
CRABTREE: From 6 in the morning to 8 at night.
SADLER: Were you always there on time?
SADLER: What was the consequence if you had been too late?
CRABTREE: I was most severely beaten.
SADLER: Will you state to the Committee whether piecening [joining of broken threads] is difficult work for children?
CRABTREE: It is very difficult work. Pieceners are continually running to and fro, and on their feet the whole day.
SADLER: So that the work is not only continual, but it is unceasing to the end.
CRABTREE: It is unceasing to the end.

—Testimony of Michael Crabtree

2. According to Michael Crabtree, how did industrialization affect working conditions?

Document #3

"I contend that we are the first race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. … I contend that every acre added to our territory provides for the birth of more of the English race, who otherwise would not be brought into existence. … I believe it to be my duty to god, my Queen and my country to paint the whole map of Africa red. … That is my creed, my dream and my mission."
—Cecil Rhodes, quoted in A Plague of Europeans: Westerners in Africa Since the Fifteenth Century by David Killingray

3. Explain how Cecil Rhodes used English nationalism to justify imperialism.

Document #4

Amount of African Land Controlled by Europeans
Amount of African Land Controlled by Europeans

4. How did European nationalism affect Africa?

Document #5

Spheres of Influence in China to 1914
Spheres of Influence in China to 1914

5. What conclusion can be drawn from the map?

Document #6

"Modern progressive nations lying in the temperate zone seek to control "garden spots" in the tropics [mainly in Africa, Latin America, and Asia]. Under [the] direction [of the progressive nations], these places can yield tropical produce. In return, the progressive nations bring to the people of those garden spots the foodstuffs and manufactures they need. [Progressive nations] develop the territory by building roads, canals railways, and telegraphs. They can establish schools and newspapers for the colonies … [and] give these people the benefit of other blessings of civilization which they have not the means of creating themselves."
— O. P. Austin, "Does Colonization Pay?" The Forum (1900)

6. According to O. P. Austin, what benefits did the colonies receive from the "modern progressive nations"?

Document #7

"There exists in colonial lands a rule which has a stranglehold on the country's economy. I regard the idea of imperialism as a crime against humanity, because it enables any part of the human race which is armed with modern scientific knowledge to rule over less fortunate sections of mankind, simply because the latter are unable to resist the force which supports such rule.
     We demand the right to take over responsibility for the government of our country. We demand the right to be free to make mistakes and learn from our experience."
— Nnamdi Azikiwe, first president of independent Nigeria (1963–1966)

7. What was Nnamdi Azikiwe's view of imperialism?


Directions: Using information from the documents provided and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: The modern world was born out of a combination of forces.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you:

Discuss the positive and negative effects of the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the New Imperialism in creating the modern world.

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.