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Empires and Imperialism Indian Colonialism The ``Scramble for Africa`` Imperial mindsets 1850-1914.

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Presentation on theme: "Empires and Imperialism Indian Colonialism The ``Scramble for Africa`` Imperial mindsets 1850-1914."— Presentation transcript:

1 Empires and Imperialism Indian Colonialism The ``Scramble for Africa`` Imperial mindsets 1850-1914

2 Traditional imperialism Imperialism in the pre-industrial period was driven by a desire for control of raw materials (from fish to gold) and a desire to convert people to Christianity A few elites control the colonial policy of European states The main players were Britain, France, and the Netherlands – with Britain certainly taking the lead in imperial control and naval supremacy until the middle of the 19 th century

3 The ‘New Imperialism’ The onset of industrialization either accelerated or completely transformed the practices of imperialism The competing nation states of Europe sought to carve up the world into spheres of influence to fuel national economies in the world of mass politics By 1870, there was little territory left that Europeans did not claim as their own dominion – and try to rule directly

4 The British in India – The Raj The British Raj becomes the model for the “new imperialism” – which means direct European control of the population by the mother country While India’s exports of raw materials and agricultural goods increased – those profits went to the British as “home charges” which paid for the British presence there

5 The Dutch in Southeast Asia Dutch colonial holdings were administered by the Dutch East India Trading Company (VOC – Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) for three centuries after 1604 The Dutch controlled trade in spices and sugar and all of the colonies were overseen by a Governor General Cultural differentiation between colonial overlords and their subjects

6 VOC settlements c. 1660

7 Scramble for Africa Before 1850 there had been little European involvement in Africa – limited to coastal areas By the 1870s, The Germans, French, Belgians, and Portuguese, along with the British, sought to bring all of Africa under their control There were many adventurers and explorers who opened the way for imperialism

8 Henry Morton Stanley A journalist-turned explorer who wrote articles and books telling Europeans and Americans about the riches they could find in Africa Advocated for the brutal subjugation of native Africans, arguing that primitive cultures only understood force Brings the colonial experience to a mass literate society by finding Dr. Livingstone

9 My heart beats fast, but I must not let my face betray my emotions, lest it shall detract from the dignity of a white man appearing under such extraordinary circumstances. So I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back the crowds, and, passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue of people, until I came in front of the semicircle of Arabs, in the front of which stood the white man with the grey beard.... I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob—would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing—walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” “Yes,” said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.

10 Leopold II of Belgium Leopold was able to secure vast parts of central Africa (the Congo) for his empire He was an example of a ruthless imperialist – used forced labour, resulting in the deaths of millions of Africans His main interest was to extract rubber and ivory


12 Cecil Rhodes son of an Anglican minister; made his fortune in diamonds in South Africa discovered in 1870; buying up claims of miners whose capital was exhausted founded the British South Africa company-- received Royal Charter in 1889 Rhodes acquired vast tracts of land territory from indigenous African rulers--highly dubious treaties became Prime Minister of Cape Colony in 1890 Cape to Cairo railway; Rhodes's idea supported by Joseph Chamberlain, Britain's Colonial Secretary in 1890s

13 Britain's part of the 'scramble'--mainly southern and eastern Africa—was linked to the aspirations of individuals, like Cecil Rhodes They had to convince voters and members of Parliament to back up their cause In other words, they argued that having an empire was not only good for themselves, but also good for the entire nation

14 Colonial Administration Administrations were established to –Extract taxes to pay for themselves –Keep the peace –Facilitate relations for European businessmen, settlers, and missionaries How was a relatively small contingent of European administrators able to control such large populations and vast territories?

15 Military superiority In some cases the main method of control was military force The Europeans had the upper hand in this department with more murderous weapons and military techniques than the cultures they overthrew The more “advanced” weapons of the West were devastating to armies that did not have mass-produced guns and ammunition

16 Maxim machine gun c. 1885 German Steam Gunboat Eber, c. 1887

17 Cultural imperialism or hegemony The experience of colonialism for the colonized consisted of subtle forms of control that postcolonial theorists call “hegemony” The basic idea of hegemony is that the dominant classes persuade the subordinate class to accept and adopt their norms and values Thus imperialism isn’t just military control – it is control over education, products and social practices

18 The end of seclusion in Japan There had been a number of attempts to open Japan to foreign trading In 1853 an American fleet of four ships led by Commodore Matthew Perry steamed into Edo Bay and gave a demonstration of their powerful guns Within a year they had negotiated rights to trade and use Japanese ports – very soon other European powers would negotiate the same rights

19 Commodore Perry’s Fleet in Edo Bay (1853), an example of American “Gunboat Diplomacy”, and a major shock to the political system in Japan

20 Political reform and industrialization The Meiji Restoration created a strong centralized state and made industrialization its top priority It also introduced Western-style representative institutions – though only a small fraction of the population could vote They also initiated a vast bureaucracy to manage industrial efforts and modernize Japan’s army

21 Political fallout Many in the samurai class were displeased with the Tokugawa Shogun’s handling of Western diplomacy and began a revolt against him In 1868 the Shogun stepped aside in favour of the Meiji government – made up of the emperor and powerful members of the samurai class

22 Japanese culture and society Society is transformed as entrepreneurs begin to hold a prestigious place in society A fast-increasing peasant population is moved to cities to work in factories – sometimes in appalling conditions Western fashions begin to challenge traditional ones – but some traditions remain strong, like Shintoism

23 A growing military power In 1894-5 Japan wins a war with China, increasing its control in the Asian world Likewise, victory over Russia in 1904-05 proves the Japanese military can threaten even European power politics In 1910 Japan outright annexes Korea, following the lead of other industrialized nations to get an empire

24 Alexander II and reform By the 1860s the Tsar was under increasing pressure to free serfs from the land to supply an industrial workforce In 1861 (around the time slavery was abolished in America) Alexander II emancipated the serfs – giving some a chance to buy land and for others to move to cities Railroad network is developed and by the 1880 western-style factories begin operating in large cities

25 Political rights The one thing that the tsar did not want to copy from Europe was the model of liberal democracy – thus even after emancipation and some minor reforms all political power remained in his hands However, both liberal democratic and socialist ideas fuelled the Russian intellegensia and workers to demonstrate for change to the autocratic political system

26 Russian society Right up until the outbreak of war Russia remains a predominantly agrarian society and the bulk of the population remains illiterate However, there is a growing class of revolutionaries who are committed to transforming that society into an industrial utopia

27 Though short-lived, the Revolution of 1905 showed that industrialization and mass politics went hand-in-hand The real victors of this revolution were the liberals, who received the representative institution they sought – the Duma

28 Conclusion European powers mixed a powerful ideology of a ‘civilizing mission’ in their quest to control the world’s peoples and resources Though some expressed outrage to the atrocities committed in Africa and Asia, they justified their actions in the name of long-terms progress

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