World History AP with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets


Chapter 17 Atlantic Revolutions & their Echoes

Learning Targets:

•  Understand the number and diversity of Atlantic revolutions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and how forces at work through the Enlightenment impacted them

•  Explore the cross-pollination between revolutionary movements and compare their various causes and overall results

•  Compare the real impact of the Atlantic revolutions on their citizens and understand the global impact of the revolutionary movement of the era.

•  Consider the consequences of using violence to achieve liberty and equality. How much violence is necessary or justifiable?


1.   Make a chart comparing the North American, French, Haitian, and Spanish American revolutions. What categories of comparison would be most appropriate to include?

2.   Do revolutions originate in oppression and injustice, in the weakening of political authorities, in new ideas, or in the activities of small groups of determined activists?

3.   “The influence of revolutions endured long after they ended.” To what extent does this chapter support or undermine this idea?

4.   In what ways did the Atlantic revolutions and their echoes give a new and distinctive shape to the emerging societies of nineteenth-century Europe and the Americas?

Margin Review Questions:

1. In what ways did the ideas of the Enlightenment contribute to the Atlantic revolutions?

2. What was revolutionary about the American Revolution, and what was not?

3. How did the French Revolution differ from the American Revolution?

4. What was distinctive about the Haitian Revolution, both in world history generally and in the history of Atlantic revolutions?

5. How were the Spanish American revolutions shaped by the American, French, and Haitian revolutions that happened earlier?

6. What accounts for the end of Atlantic slavery during the nineteenth century?

7. How did the end of slavery affect the lives of the former slaves?

8. What accounts for the growth of nationalism as a powerful political and personal identity in the nineteenth century?

9. What were the achievements and limitations of nineteenth-century feminism?


abolitionist movement: An international movement that between approximately 1780 and 1890 succeeded in condemning slavery as morally repugnant and abolishing it in much of the world; the movement was especially prominent in Britain and the United States.

creoles: Native-born elites in the Spanish colonies. (pron. KREE-ohls)

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen: Document drawn up by the French National Assembly in 1789 that proclaimed the equal rights of all men; the declaration ideologically launched the French Revolution.

Declaration of the Rights of Woman: Short work written by the French feminist Olympe de Gouges in 1791 that was modeled on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and that made the argument that the equality proclaimed by the French revolutionaries must also include women.

Estates General: French representative assembly called into session by Louis XVI to address pressing problems and out of which the French Revolution emerged; the three estates were the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.

Freetown: West African settlement in what is now Sierra Leone at which British naval commanders freed Africans they rescued from illegal slave ships.

French Revolution: Massive dislocation of French society (1789–1815) that overthrew the monarchy, destroyed most of the French aristocracy, and launched radical reforms of society that were lost again, though only in part, under Napoleon’s imperial rule and after the restoration of the monarchy.

gens de couleur libres: Literally, “free people of color”; term used to describe freed slaves and people of mixed racial background in Saint Domingue on the eve of the Haitian Revolution. (pron. zhahn deh koo-LUHR LEE-bruh)

Haiti: Name that revolutionaries gave to the former French colony of Saint Domingue; the term means “mountainous” or “rugged” in the Taino language.

Haitian Revolution: The only fully successful slave rebellion in world history; the uprising in the French Caribbean colony of Saint Domingue (later renamed Haiti) was sparked by the French Revolution and led to the establishment of an independent state after a long and bloody war (1791–1804).

Hidalgo-Morelos rebellion: Socially radical peasant insurrection that began in Mexico in 1810 and that was led by the priests Miguel Hidalgo and José Morelos. (pron. ee-DAHL-goe moh-RAY-lohs)

Latin American revolutions: Series of risings in the Spanish colonies of Latin America (1810–1826) that established the independence of new states from Spanish rule but that for the most part retained the privileges of the elites despite efforts at more radical social rebellion by the lower classes.

Louverture, Toussaint: First leader of the Haitian Revolution, a former slave (1743–1803) who wrote the first constitution of Haiti and served as the first governor of the newly independent state. (pron. too-SAN loo-ver-TOUR)

maternal feminism: Movement that claimed that women have value in society not because of an abstract notion of equality but because women have a distinctive and vital role as mothers; its exponents argued that women have the right to intervene in civil and political life because of their duty to watch over the future of their children.

Napoleon Bonaparte: French head of state from 1799 until his abdication in 1814 (and again briefly in 1815); Napoleon preserved much of the French Revolution under an autocratic system and was responsible for the spread of revolutionary ideals through his conquest of much of Europe.

nation: A clearly defined territory whose people have a sense of common identity and destiny, thanks to ties of blood, culture, language, or common experience.

nationalism: The focusing of citizens’ loyalty on the notion that they are part of a “nation” with a unique culture, territory, and destiny; first became a prominent element of political culture in the nineteenth century.

North American Revolution: Successful rebellion conducted by the colonists of parts of North America (not Canada) against British rule (1775–1787); a conservative revolution whose success assured property rights but established republican government in place of monarchy.

petit blancs: The “little” (or poor) white population of Saint Domingue, which played a significant role in the Haitian Revolution. (pron. pay-TEE blawnk)

Seneca Falls Conference: The first organized women’s rights conference, which took place at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady: Leading figure of the early women’s rights movement in the United States (1815–1902).

Terror, the: Term used to describe the revolutionary violence in France in 1793–1794, when radicals under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre executed tens of thousands of people deemed enemies of the revolution.

Third Estate: In prerevolutionary France, the term used for the 98 percent of the population that was neither clerical nor noble, and for their representatives at the Estates General; in 1789, the Third Estate declared itself a National Assembly and launched the French Revolution.

Tupac Amaru: The last Inca emperor; in the 1780s, a Native American rebellion against Spanish control of Peru took place in his name. (pron. TOO-pahk ah-MAH-roo)