Slavery and abolition – Slavery was greatly reduced around the world in the 19th century. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti, Britain forced the Barbary pirates to halt their practice of kidnapping and enslaving Europeans, banned slavery throughout its domain, and charged its navy with ending the global slave trade. Slavery was then abolished in Russia, America, and Brazil.
British Victorian era – This was a long period of prosperity for the British people, as profits gained from the overseas British Empire, as well as from industrial improvements at home, allowed a large, educated middle class to develop. Unchallenged at sea, Britain adopted the role of global policeman, a state of affairs later known as the Pax Britannica, and a foreign policy of “splendid isolation”.
Meiji Japan – Around the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, the Meiji era was marked by the reign of the Meiji Emperor. During this time, Japan started its modernization and rose to world power status.
Eastern warlords – The last days of the Qing Dynasty were marked by civil unrest and foreign invasions. In 1912, the Republic of China was established and Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated in Nanjing as the first Provisional President. But power in Beijing already had passed to Yuan Shikai, who had effective control of the Beiyang Army, the most powerful military force in China at the time.
American Civil War and Gilded Age – The American Civil War came when seven Southern slave states declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America. Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the U.S. federal government under President Abraham Lincoln, which was supported by all the free states and the five border slave states in the north. The Gilded Age was an era of rapid economic growth, especially in the North and West. However, the Gilded Age was also an era of abject poverty and inequality as millions of immigrants poured into the United States, and the high concentration of wealth became more visible and contentious. Many of the problems faced by society, especially the poor, during the Gilded Age gave rise to attempted reforms in the subsequent Progressive Era.
Second Industrial Revolution – The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid industrialization in the final third of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Like the first industrial revolution, the second supported population growth and saw most governments protect their national economies with tariffs. Britain retained its belief in free trade throughout this period. The wide-ranging social impact of both revolutions included the remaking of the working class as new technologies appeared. The changes resulted in the creation of a larger, increasingly professional, middle class, the decline of child labor and the dramatic growth of a consumer-based, material culture. By 1900, the leaders in industrial production was Britain with 24% of the world total, followed by the US (19%), Germany (13%), Russia (9%) and France (7%). Europe together accounted for 62%. The great inventions and innovations of the Second Industrial Revolution are part of our modern life. They continued to be drivers of the economy until after WWII. Only a few major innovations occurred in the post-war era, some of which are: computers, semiconductors, the fiber optic network and the Internet, cellular telephones, combustion turbines and the Green Revolution.