Elliot Fernandez

Historian and Front-end developer

Late Modern History of Europe (19th and 20th Centuries)

Late Modern History of Europe includes a period of maximum social, political and economic tensions. The break with the Old Regime and the expansion of capitalism and imperialism marked the nineteenth century. The tragedies caused by the two world wars are the protagonists of the history of the 20th century.
Elliot Fernández

Elliot Fernández

He has a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2009) and a Master's in World History from Pompeu Fabra University (2011).

Post on 24/05/2019 | Updated on 05/12/2022

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The Late Modern History in Europe and the colonial world includes a period of maximum social, political and economic tension in the 19th and 20th centuries. The event that marks the beginning of this period is the outbreak of the French Revolution, in 1789. The revolution marked the history of Europe throughout the 19th century, when the Ancien Régime ends and liberal states are implemented.

From the end of the 18th century, the English industrial revolution and the French Revolution changed the economic, social and political structures of Europe. Absolute monarchies were replaced by liberal-constitutional regimes in which national sovereignty resided in a part of the people (often the wealthiest), with parliaments elected with still very limited suffrage.

In the economic field, the expansion of industrial capitalism and imperialist politics marked the entire 19th century. Europe conquered territories in Africa and the Asian continent and subjected their populations to conditions of slavery.

In the 20th century, the tragedies caused by the two world wars are the protagonists of the history of this period. The imperialist desires of the 19th century led to the disasters of the 20th century, with the outbreak of the First World War. The victory of the allied powers embodied in the Treaty of Versailles opened wounds among the losers, which, as in the case of Germany, were the seed for the birth of totalitarian ideologies. Nazism manifested its darkest side in the planning and killing of millions of people, mainly Jews and other ethnic minorities, in extermination camps. Adolf Hitler’s aspirations led the continent to a new world war, which was devastating. From the defeat of Nazism, the foundations were born for the construction of a united and peaceful Europe.

Europe and the colonial world at the end of the 18th century

The crisis of the Old Regime led to the transformation of political, economic and social structures. The liberal revolutions extended in the main countries of the continent.

The Napoleonic era (1799-1815)

The Napoleonic era comprises a period of 15 years, in which Napoleon Bonaparte extended his Empire throughout Europe.

The Congress of Vienna and the Restoration of the European order

The Congress of Vienna was the conference that brought together the greatest powers in Europe at the time.

Social and economic changes in the 19th century

In the nineteenth century there were profound social, economic and political changes that marked the beginning of modernity in Europe and in its colonial possessions.

Liberalism and nationalism in the 19th century

Liberalism and nationalism has been the two ideologies that marked the social, political, economic and cultural transformations throughout the nineteenth century.

Liberal Revolutions of 1820, 1830 and 1848

Europe lived several revolutionary cycles during the first half of the nineteenth century, among the most important in 1820, 1830 and 1848.

The expansion of the great industrial capitalism

Industrial capitalism is a new phase of the capitalist economic system, which develops throughout the nineteenth century.

Bismarck’s Europe and the liberal nation-state

The new system of balance of power between the different European powers was devised by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Imperialism and colonial expansion in the 19th century

Imperialism was a mainly European phenomenon led by Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and Italy, but the United States of America and Japan also played a prominent role.

World War I (1914-1918)

The First World War was the first global war, which took place mainly in Europe and the Middle East between 1914 and 1918.

Consequences of the First World War

Among the most important consequences of the First World War, the most tragic was the death of 12 million people, in addition to being the first war in which the civilian population was bombed.

The new territorial map of interwar Europe

The new world configuration after World War I was decided by the Allied Powers. Once the war was over, there were several events of great relevance to interwar Europe.

The Revolution of Russia (1917)

The First World War opened a new historical period in Europe: that of communist and social democratic revolutions. The revolutionary response to the war had as its main focus Russia in 1917 and Germany in 1918.

The Revolution of Germany (1918)

The November Revolution of 1918 in Germany took place in the final moments of the First World War, between the months of November 1918 and March 1919.

Interwar Europe in the United Kingdom, France and Germany

The twenty years separating the two world wars (1918-1939) marked one of the most politically and economically unstable times for the European continent.

Fascism’s rise to power in Italy

Fascism was a nationalist and dictatorial ideology, born in Italy after the World War I. It took power with the march on Rome in 1922.

Imperial system: the Near East, India, Japan and China Stalinism

Power structures after World War I change to the European imperial system with possessions in the Near East, India, and Japan’s possessions in China.

Stalinism in the USSR in the interwar period

Lenin’s death in 1924 brought to power Joseph Stalin and the imposition of its Marxism-Leninism version as the official ideology in the USSR.

Nazism: The Rise to Power in Germany

The rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany in 1933 opened a new era dominated in Europe by totalitarian political regimes.

The revision of the Treaty of Versailles and the reopening of the conflict in Europe

Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and the end of the economic boom of the 1920s opened the door to questioning the peace of Versailles.

World War II (1939-1945)

The escalation of pre-1939 tensions and the failure of France and Britain’s policy of appeasement to Hitler’s hostilities led to the greatest war in history.


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