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New Imperialism of late 1800s

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1 New Imperialism of late 1800s

2 As late as 1879, more than 90 percent of Africa was ruled by Africans
As late as 1879, more than 90 percent of Africa was ruled by Africans. Why then did European nations embark on the sudden “scramble” for Africa? Within ten years, most of Africa was invaded and divided among European colonial powers. Egypt, the wealthiest and most heavily populated African nation, fell into heavy debt as a result of attempts to win independence from the Ottoman Empire. That debt allowed Great Britain to assert control over the Egyptian government, and especially over the Suez Canal. In West Africa, the French extended the railroad system inland to open trading opportunities for French merchants. King Leopold of Belgium invested heavily in the establishment of trading posts in the Congo. Consequently, German chancellor Bismarck convened the Berlin Conference of 1884 and 1885, and Europeans decided that the former loose trading empires in Africa would be replaced by “effective occupation.” Effective occupation meant that national military forces would be required to establish an acknowledged colonial presence. There were various economic gains sought by different European powers throughout Africa resulting in the choppy divisions of the Berlin Conference.

3 Briefly describe the nature and manner of late-nineteenth-century European colonial administration. How was the cooperation of indigenous peoples important to colonial administration? Fiscal restraints had an enormous impact on the administration of European colonies, which were expected to support themselves and earn a profit for their home governments if possible. Where it existed, local trade was taxed toward those ends. In most places, local economies underwent drastic restructuring to pay expenses and earn profits. The amount of control exerted by European home governments varied widely. For instance, regions with large numbers of Europeans, such as Australia and Canada, had more autonomy. Protectorates retained their traditional governments, but Europeans oversaw and advised them. Administrative methods referred to as direct and indirect were employed throughout the empires and best demonstrated by the British and French models. Many local government schemes involved the cooperation of local elites. In colonies administered by Europeans directly, local people trained or educated in Europe were also used to assist the government.

4 How was imperialism in Latin America from 1869 to 1914 more economic imperialism?
As Europe and America industrialized, the Latin American economy became increasingly focused on exporting raw materials, especially agricultural goods. Latin American countries were not colonized during this period—in part because of the Monroe Doctrine—but the nature of their economies left them prey to a form of economic imperialism often referred to as “free-trade imperialism.” Europe and the United States invested heavily in South American railroads, which used U.S. and European equipment and expertise. Imported equipment ensured that Latin American steel and machinery industries had no chance to develop. Nations regularly fell into debt as a result of those internal improvement schemes and often failed to repay their loans. European and U.S. banks frequently requested their governments’ assistance to coerce repayment. The United States sent troops to Latin America to ensure repayment of loans. It also began a revolution in Colombia in order to build the Panama Canal, and intervened militarily in Cuba, particularly after the Spanish-American War. In addition, the United States also acquired Puerto Rico from the Spanish government after that war. This type of imperialism eventually leads to economic dependency.

5 One purpose of the New Imperialism was to extend the European and U. S
One purpose of the New Imperialism was to extend the European and U.S. economic spheres into tropical environments, which supplied products not available in temperate climates. What was the nature of this demand and its role in the world economy? The New Imperialism was not simply intended to add vast territories to national boundaries. Euro-Americans used economics and technology to create a new global economy, with peoples in newly conquered lands supplying raw materials as well as new markets for manufactured goods. Copper for electrical wiring, cotton for textile mills, rubber for transportation, and especially gold and diamonds all brought great new wealth to the United States and Europe. Because of the large amounts of capital needed and the increased risks of overseas investment, businessmen sought the backing of their governments and the military. Political motives were as varied as the different nations involved. Examples include the attempt by France to avenge the humiliation of the Franco-Prussian War, the desire of the British to protect its Indian colony, and the eagerness of the new German state to become a global power. Cultural motives included the Christian revival in late-nineteenth-century Europe and America. Missionaries and missionary societies wanted not only to spread the influence of their respective religions around the globe, but also to abolish slavery and bring monogamy, modern medicine, hygiene, and education to the “heathen.”

6 How did the New Imperialism affect Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawaii? What impact did the Suez Canal have on imperialism in that region? Before 1869, much of East Asia had already been claimed by colonial powers. Britain controlled most of India and Burma, Spain occupied the Philippines, the Netherlands colonized the East Indies, and France had settled parts of Indochina. The Suez Canal did not encourage Asian colonization; rather, it was because of those colonies that the canal was built. After 1869, the British assumed control over the remainder of Burma and Malaya, and the Dutch consolidated control of the East Indies. The only independent state in the region was Siam. The region was important to Europeans because it had fertile soil and a history of intensive agriculture. For Europeans, it was an ideal area to grow products that could thrive only in tropical areas—products such as tobacco, chinchona, rubber, sugar, tea, and coffee. Population in those colonies grew, and intensive agriculture displaced peoples from hunting and gathering and subsistence agriculture. Christian missionaries and Western education also had important effects on indigenous peoples. Large numbers of Chinese and Indians were brought into those colonies to fill shortages of labor. During a war with Spain, the United States annexed Hawaii; in the aftermath of that war, it purchased the Philippines. Sugar plantations in both territories brought profits to U.S. business. However, the United States fought a longer and far bloodier war against the Filipino people than it had against the Spanish.

7 Euro-American domination of the oceans was perhaps most important.
What were some of the technological advances that allowed European nations and the United States to conquer vast new territories? Euro-American domination of the oceans was perhaps most important. The Suez Canal was central to the extension of rapid transport. Steel ships grew in size, and improvements in engines allowed ships to travel farther with less coal. Submarine telegraph cables speeded up communication. Gunboats extended possibilities for river travel not available to sailing ships. The discovery and use of quinine reduced malaria-related deaths to levels that stimulated European expansion. Weapons technology included breechloading repeating rifles, smokeless powder, and machine guns—innovations that indigenous peoples could not reproduce. The Sudanese defeat at Omdurman ended the century with a clear illustration of the domination of modern Western firearms technology.

8 Others still continued to live as they had before European invasion.
How did the New Imperialism disrupt indigenous life in Asia and Africa? How did indigenous populations respond to these invasions? European colonial administration affected different places in different ways and that indigenous peoples responded to the European invasion in a variety of ways. Some people fought while others cooperated and even welcomed European “protection” from their local enemies. Others still continued to live as they had before European invasion. There were disruptions associated with colonial rule such as changes in land holding, commercial transactions, handling of legal disputes. Also traditional rulers lost all authority. The economy was transformed as Europeans demanded the planting of cash crops and the gathering of resources. These demands forced may indigenous people off their land or to become sharecroppers. Many were recruited to work for the Europeans at extremely low wages. Also people were relocated for the purpose of work throughout the empire, for example, Chinese workers in Malaya and Indian workers in Africa changed the ethnic composition of the colony. Many of the disruption were not immediately apparent such as the devastation heaped on the Congo by King Leopold creating elements of society that could not take care of themselves as a generation of handless people were created by Leopold’s agents during the growth of his rubber industry . (King Leopold’s Ghosts)

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