21 Days. 504 Hours. 30,240 Minutes.
So, yeah. The Great War happened. It’s a lot to take in. Plus, don’t sleep on this war. The 20th Century goes the way it does because of WWI. The West was on the rise after the Industrial Revolution; and this was a self-inflicted wound. Everything that comes after WWI is because of WWI. Yeah, it’s that big of a deal.
Let’s break ourselves away from the Great War and turn to what happened to some of those empires we were obsessed with last era.
6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences
There’s a bigger topic we’ll hit tomorrow (DECOLONIZATION). But, there are some subsets of that idea.
OLD LAND BASED EMPIRES DECLINE:
OTTOMAN: The ‘Old Man of Europe’ declined over the years and had a similar downfall to the Qing (rebellions and failure to fully modernize). The straw that broke the Turkey’s back was WWI. They were on the wrong side and after their loss, the Ottomans were divided up into Mandates (by the League of Nations) and later gained their independence. Anatolia became the secular state of Turkey (led by one of history’s greatest names: MUSTAFA ATATURK… that’s just a great name…)
RUSSIA: The Russian Empire lost out in WWI, but quickly regrew during WWII and the COLD WAR. After 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and lost a ton of empire. Russia has a real Continuity and Change century.
QING: It’s been a long year. Many dynasties came and went. But, the Qing are the last ones. It’s unfair to call the fall of the Qing a 20th Century thing. Remember, Taiping, Opium, and Boxers? Well, that came to a head in 1911 with Sun Yatsen which led to the creation of the Chinese nation-state, which then became the People’s Republic of China (Communist).
SOME COLONIES NEGOTIATED FOR INDEPENDENCE:
INDIA: Funny, how the AP calls it “negotiation”. I’m sure when Gandhi was in prison for year after year, he didn’t see it as a negotiation. Anyway, we’ll see him again later this week.
GHANA: Kwame Nkrumah was the African Gandhi. He led non-violent protests until Ghana was granted independence from the British.
SOME COLONIES ACHIEVED INDEPENDENCE VIA VIOLENCE:
Not everyone takes the “Gandhi” route. Algeria, Vietnam, and Angola all led long violent wars to eventually gain their independence later in the 20th century.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at Decolonization and how that affected the globe in this era.