Key Concept 6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences

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In the late eighteenth century many people changed their mind about what made authority legitimate. Rather than basing political authority on divine right, some advocated new ideas about how the right to rule was bestowed. Many Enlightenment thinkers wanted broader participation in government and leaders who were more responsive to their people. This led to rebellions and independence movements against existing governments and the formation of new nations around the world. No longer content to be subjects of a king, new forms of group identity were formed around concepts such as culture, religion, shared history and race. Colonized people developed identities separate from the European societies from which they emerged.

I. Europe dominated the global political order at the beginning of the twentieth century, but both land-based and transoceanic empires gave way to new forms of tranregional political organization by the century's end.

A. By the end of the Great War, the Russian, Ottoman, and Qing empires no longer existed. Although the war was directly involved with the fall of the Russian and Ottoman empires, all three had experienced problems in the 19th century which led to their demise.