Unit 6 Overview: Consequences of Industrialization

4 min readmay 16, 2022

Eric Beckman

Eric Beckman

AP World History: Modern 🌍

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Unit 6 Overview: Consequences of Industrialization

If you remember nothing else:
Industrialized countries in Europe, plus the US and Japan, controlled more territory overseas than ever before. This was good for investors in imperialist countries and bad for workers in the areas that they conquered.

Contextualizing the Unit

  • Britain, France, the British and Dutch East India Companies, Portugal, and Spain all began this period with colonial possessions in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
  • Industrial developments, such as mass-produced goods, steamships, railroads, and more effective firearms, allowed states with them to expand their power
  • British abolition of the slave trade in 1807 contributed to the resurgence in indentured servitude.
  • Charles Darwin’s publication of the Origin of Species in 1859 contributed to justifications for imperialism later in the 1800s.

Main Events

💡 STUDY TIP: You will never be asked specifically to identify a date. However, knowing the order of events will help immensely with cause and effect. For this reason, we have identified the most important dates to know 👇.
1780-1782 – Tupac Amaru II rebellion
1839-1842 – First Opium War
1857  – Great Rebellion in India aka Indian Mutiny aka Sepoy Mutiny
1859 – Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species
1868 – Kimberley Diamond Strike, South Africa
1869 – Suez Canal opens
1884 – Berlin Conference divides most of Africa between European states
1894-1895 – First Sino-Japanese War
1898 – Spanish-American War
1901 – White Australia Policy begins

Major Trends

  • European, American, and Japanese states expanded overseas
  • Racist justifications for this imperialism encouraged more expansion
  • Indigenous people fought back
    • New states formed
    • Armed resistance
    • Religion united some resistors
  • State power contributed to more globalized capitalist systems that benefited businesses from imperialist centers and impoverished labors in colonized areas
    • Before 1800, European countries were not more powerful than advanced societies in Asia and did not control any territory in Africa outside of armed trading posts on the coast.
    • China and India deindustrialized, as factory-made goods from Europe and the US replaced their manufactured goods
    • European imperialists forced colonized people in Africa to produce and sell industrial products at disadvantageous prices
      • Rubber
      • Palm oil
      • Diamonds and gold
  • Economic imperialism: Imperialist governments interfered in the economies of other countries to allow businesses to profit💸 
      • British investments in the Suez Canal and the Port of Buenos Aires
      • American investments in Hawaiian sugar cane
  • Settler colonialism: Imperialist settlers took land from indigenous people.
    • Euro Americans in the United States
    • British in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa
    • French in Algeria
  • Migration: New transportation technology and larger empires led to massive movements of people 🚶‍♀️

Key Concepts

AP World History: Modern Units 5 and 6 both cover the years c. 1750 CE - c. 1900 CE. This time period contains four Key Concepts. Imperialism and Migration are the most important in Unit 6. Industrialization is a key element of context.
  1. Industrialization changed the production and consumption of goods, and this had profound effects on the global economy, social organization, and culture.
  2. Imperialism: Industrial states expanded or created overseas empires, established new colonies and transoceanic relationships.
  3. Revolutions: An intense period of revolutions and rebellions against existing authorities began in the middle of the 1700s. Some of these revolutions produced new nation-states around the world.
  4. Migration: Global migration patterns change dramatically as many more people migrated across larger distances than previously occurred.

Key Questions

💡 STUDY TIP: Use the following essential questions to guide your review of this entire unit. Keep in mind, these are not meant to be practice essay questions. Each question was written to help you summarize the key concept.
  1. How did racist ideas result from and contribute to imperialism?
  2. How did the global balance of power shift in the 1800s?
  3. How did indigenous people respond to and influence Imperialism?
  4. How did environmental factors affect the global economy in the 1800s?
  5. How did global capitalism provide advantages to some and disadvantages to others in the 1800s?
  6. Why did millions of people migrate in the years from 1750 to 1900?
  7. How did economic factors contribute to patterns of migration in the years from 1750 to 1900?


💡 STUDY TIP: These are the concepts and vocabulary from period 6 that would be most useful on the exam. Create a quizlet deck to make sure you are familiar with these terms!
BalkansBerlin ConferenceBoxer RebellionBritish Raj
Cecil RhodesChinese Exclusion ActColonialismCommodity
Congo Free StateConvict laborCottonDutch East Indies
Economic imperialismEthnic enclaveFrench IndochinaGhost Dance
Indentured ServitudeIndustrial cropsKimberley Diamond StrikeKing Leopold II
Mahdist RevoltMeiji RestorationNationalismOpium
Opium WarsPalm OilRailroadsRubber
Samory TouréSettler ColonialismSino-Japanese WarSocial Darwinism
Sokoto CaliphateSpanish-American WarSuez CanalTreaty of Nanjing
Tupac Amaru IIUrbanizationWhite Australia PolicyXhosa Cattle-Killing Movement
Yaa Asantewaa WarZulu Nation
🎥Watch: WHAP - Global Migration
👉 Try using a study timer like the one in Fiveable rooms to maximize your efficiency when preparing for the exam!
Browse Study Guides By Unit
🐎Unit 1 – The Global Tapestry, 1200-1450
🐫Unit 2 – Networks of Exchange, 1200-1450
🕌Unit 3 – Land-Based Empires, 1450-1750
🍕Unit 4 – Transoceanic Interactions, 1450-1750
✊🏽Unit 5 – Revolutions, 1750-1900
🚂Unit 6 – Consequences of Industrialization, 1750-1900
💣Unit 7 – Global Conflict, 1900-Present
🥶Unit 8 – Cold War & Decolonization, 1900-Present
✈️Unit 9 – Globalization, 1900-Present
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