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The Age of Imperialism (1850 – 1914)

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1 The Age of Imperialism (1850 – 1914)
Late Nineteenth Century European Imperialism

2 Objective To understand the causes of European imperialism of the late 19th century To understand the extent of European imperial expansion To understand the consequences of European imperialism for Europe and the developing world

3 Definitions Imperialism Colonialism Nationalism
“extending a nation’s influence directly or indirectly over weaker areas” Colonialism Taking direct control of an area and turning it into a colony under a nation’s authority Nationalism Belief that an ethnic group should rule itself Belief that one nation is better than all the others

4 European Motives For Colonisation European Nationalism
Source for Raw Materials Missionary Activity Industrial Revolution European Motives For Colonisation Markets for Finished Goods Military & Naval Bases Social Darwinism European Racism Places to Dump Unwanted/ Excess Popul. Humanitarian Reasons Soc. & Eco. Opportunities “White Man’s Burden”

5 Motivations for Imperialism
Money / Resources Raw materials Cotton, Oil, Rubber, Tea, Iron, gold, diamonds, silk, copper etc People (cheap workers) Markets Colonies with people who will buy your stuff Dumping Ground Send your excess population / criminals there Canada, Australia Strategic Control strategic seas and land areas to gain power Keep OTHER countries from gaining them

6 Causes of Late 19th Century European Imperialism
Culture / Religion Belief in European / Christian superiority Desire to “spread civilization and Christianity to the heathens” Social Darwinism Prestige Whoever has the most must be the best “He who dies with the most toys wins!” The Industrial Revolution Industrialized nations took control of less developed nations To gain raw materials for industry Cotton, coal, metals, etc. To gain markets for goods Manufactured goods could be sold in the colonies

7 Political and Social Origins of Imperialism
Nationalism Competition between industrial nations led to a race for overseas empires The “White Man’s Burden” Many believed it was their duty to “civilize” people of other nations by introducing Christianity and Western culture Social Darwinism Many claimed it was natural for “the weak to be taken over by the strong”

8 Social Darwinism and Imperialism
Some thought the theory of evolution justified the exploitation of “lesser breeds” by “superior races.” Europeans (and Americans) would suggest that they had evolved more than Indians, Africans and Asians After all, our countries are more developed and richer – doesn’t that prove it? Thus, nature gave them the right to rule others.

9 Social Darwinism Social Darwinists – sounds rather racist.
They applied evolution to the social order. Europeans felt they must “save the savages” and “civilize” them Missionaries sought to convert “heathen” unbelievers in faraway lands. “The white man’s burden” – introducing civilization to the “colored” races of the world. In their view, war was nature’s way of eliminating the unfit. Using terms such as “survival of the fittest”, Social Darwinists insisted that nations and races were engaged in a struggle for survival in which only the fittest survive and deserve to win.

10 Social Darwinism: Lasting Implications
It promoted the military build-up that led to World War I. It would become the core doctrine of the Nazi party before World War II. Holocaust and Eugenics Provided a “scientific” and “ethical” justification for genocides in the 20th century.

11 Common advertisement during Imperialism
What is being advertised? Where is this taking place? How can you tell? What is going on? What does it tell us about imperialism / colonialism? Who was the queen at the time?

12 Major Imperial Powers Great Britain France Germany Russia
The United States Japan

13 Imperialized Areas Powerful industrial nations established empires in:
Africa Asia Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding islands)


15 Imperialism in 1914

16 Britain (United Kingdom) Includes England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland
Largest colonial empire “Sun never sets on the British Empire” Colonies established to protect trading interests in Africa and Asia Two kinds of colonies “White” Colonies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) Populated mainly by people that moved there from Britain Given self-rule “Non-white” Colonies (India, Africa) Under indirect rule Populated mainly by people who are native to the area Few people from Britain actually live there – but control the government

17 All the territories the British ever owned
Note: They also had a “sphere of influence” in China as well

18 France Northwest Africa and Southeast Asia
Took colonies to make up for loss of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870 Tended to use “Direct Rule” Control all aspects of the colony from Paris.

19 French Colonial Empire - 1905
Ignore these parts

20 Germany Bismarck originally opposed colonial expansion
Unnecessary for Germany Did not want to threaten France or Britain Germany eventually took colonies in 1880s for status symbols In Africa and Asia

21 United States Did not get involved in European affairs
Became colonial power after 1898 Spanish-American War U.S. gains control of Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines Monroe Doctrine allows US to extend influence into Latin America

22 The United States’ Empire (1900)

23 The Spanish-American War (1898)
Causes U.S. wanted to help Cuba win independence from Spain U.S. had economic interests in Cuba U.S. saw Spain’s control of Cuba as a test of the Monroe Doctrine Monroe Doctrine: stated that the Americas were off limits to further European colonisation U.S. wanted to build an empire U.S. needed raw materials and markets for its goods Strong nationalism Americans wanted their nation to be powerful, wealthy, and competitive with the European powers U.S. newspapers blamed Spain for explosion of USS Maine Effects U.S. quickly defeated Spain and became a world power U.S. acquired Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, and Guam U.S. temporarily occupied Cuba and set up a military government Cuba and the Philippines eventually gained independence

24 Intervention in Latin America
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine Declared the U.S. as the police power of the Western Hemisphere Established U.S. “economic imperialism” throughout Latin America Panama U.S. supported Panama’s independence from Colombia in exchange for the right to build and control the Panama Canal

25 Panama Canal

26 Japanese Imperialism Since the 1600’s, Japan had practiced a policy of isolationism, in which it cut itself off from the outside world In the 1850’s, the United States Navy forced Japan to open its ports to trade Modernized economy and military Japan built factories and needed raw materials to make manufactured goods Japan quickly built a modern navy

27 War with China Russo-Japanese War
Japan and China competed for trading rights in Korea Japan defeated China and took control of Korea and Manchuria Russo-Japanese War Russia tried to step in and take control of Korea and Manchuria Japan defeated Russia and became a world power

28 Japanese Empire (1905)

29 Europeans Colonize Africa
Case Study Europeans Colonize Africa



32 Scramble for Africa Europe had been interested in Africa for centuries
Through the slave trade Much of Africa still unexplored until 1880s European influence restricted to coastline Initially difficult to get to interior due to geography Diseases made exploration difficult. (malaria, yellow fever etc)

33 The Scramble for Africa
During the late 1800s Europeans began exploring the interior parts of Africa By the 1880s, European nations were racing to colonize African lands


35 Scramble for Africa By 1914, 90% of Africa is under European control
France Northwest Africa Britain from Egypt to South Africa Belgium in the Congo (central Africa) Italy in Libya and Eastern Africa Portugal in southern Africa Germany in scattered areas Berlin Conference in 1885 sets ground rules for European colonisation of Africa

36 The Berlin Conference The scramble threatened European stability.
Bismarck called an international conference in Berlin in 1884 to lay some ground rules for the development of Africa. European nations met to settle arguments over African lands European powers divided all of Africa (except Ethiopia and Liberia) and drew up new borders They made the Congo a free trade zone Outlawed slavery and the slave trade that the Arabs and Africans were still practicing Did not consider ethnic or language differences of African tribes Africans had no say in the decisions

37 Scramble for Africa Consequences Traditional way of life disrupted
Economic exploitation of Africans European racism imported into Africa Spread of European culture Spread of Western technology

38 Africa 1914

39 Technology Encourages Europeans to explore African interior
Steamboats Advances in medicine Quinine – stops malaria Suez Canal

40 Geographical Impact of the Suez Canal, 1869
AFRICA EUROPE Suez Canal EAST ASIA Indian Ocean 16,000 KM 10,000 KM See why the Suez canal is a “strategic” location?

41 Conquest of Africa The consequences of European partitioning (dividing up) of the continent were devastating to Africa newly drawn borders don’t match up with ethnicity, language, culture of people living there. In the decades before World War I, opposition to European colonial rule in Africa gathered strength.

42 How do you control your empire??

43 South Africa

44 British in South Africa
Dutch had first settled the Cape Colony in South Africa Dutch settlers called Boers (Dutch word for “farmer”) Early 1800s -British take over South Africa from Dutch Boers move north into the Transvaal Area to get away from British Transvaal “The Great Trek”

45 British in South Africa
Native Zulus and Dutch fighting British push into Zulu’s lands Dutch Boers ally with Brits Zulu land

46 The Zulu War The British and the Zulus (a native tribe of Southern Africa) fought a war over land The Zulus put up fierce resistance and won a major battle even though they were fighting with spears against guns Eventually the British overwhelmed and defeated the Zulus and took control of their lands

47 The Zulu Wars Rorke’s Drift British pick a fight with Zulus
You lose some, you win some Isandlwana Rorke’s Drift

48 Discovery of Gold! 1880s Boers find gold and diamonds on their new lands in the “Transvaal” area Brits want that gold and diamonds The “Boer War”

49 New methods of warfare Boers use guerrilla tactics
Hit and run Operate in small units called “commando’s” British counter this by rounding up Boer in “concentration camps” to keep an eye on them Remember this one – it will come back again

50 End of the Boer War British win and consolidate their lands in South Africa Eventually South Africa is given autonomy Most of the white settlers in South Africa are Dutch, but the land is owned by Britain. Most of the population is black Minority, white dominated, government establishes system of “Apartheid” Complete separation of the races Non-whites made into second class citizens in their own land Stays in place until 1996 when international pressure forces South Africa to eliminate Apartheid

51 Resistance to Imperialism

52 Resistance to Imperialism
Natives of Africa, Asia, and Oceania Liked improvements made by imperialist rulers roads, railroads, schools, peace, etc. Disliked the way they were treated by rulers Wanted to rule themselves Disliked racism of imperialist nations Felt foreign culture was being forced on them Sometimes fought against imperialism Most natives were easily defeated Industrialized nations were more united and had better weapons and technology Some natives put up fierce resistance

53 Map of Imperialism in Asia

54 European Imperialism in India
Britain trading in India since 1600s British East India Co. gradually took over parts of India British government gradually took over India in the 1800s Sepoy Mutiny Indian soldiers revolt against British East India Co Rebellion put down by British army British government takes over control from British East India Co. Consequences of British Imperialism in India British educational system established Spread of English language Railroads tie India together Rise of Indian middle class

55 Growth of British Power in India

56 India “The Jewel of the Crown” for the British Empire

57 British India The British East India Company was given permission by the British government to run the colony of India Indian soldiers called Sepoys were hired by the East India Company to protect their business Most Sepoys were Muslim or Hindu Indians did not have same rights as British Many British looked down on Indians because of their race

58 Growth of British Power in India

59 The Sepoy Rebellion Sepoys were ordered to use rifle cartridge that was rumored to be greased with cow and pig fat They refused to follow orders and were being thrown in jail Hindus believe cows are sacred animals Muslims believe pigs are unclean Sepoys rioted and captured part of India It took over 1 year for the British to regain control

60 Sepoy Rebellion Results: Rebellion was unsuccessful
British government took full control of India Indian nationalism and desire for independence grew British mistreatment Indians grew

61 European Imperialism in Asia
China Potentially huge market Closed to European trade until 1800s Opium War (1840) Britain forces China to open trade to opium Millions of addicts Unequal Treaties (Treaty of Nanking) – China forced open By 1900, China divided into European “spheres of influence” Parts of China under European control Chinese monarchy seriously weakened

62 China

63 China In the early 1900’s China’s government was very weak and could not keep other countries from taking control of its ports Open Door Policy: the policy of allowing all nations access to trade in China Foreign countries controlled trade and had a great deal of influence in China Missionaries spread Christianity to Chinese

64 The Boxer Rebellion Righteous and Harmonious Fists: a group of Chinese warriors (called “Boxers” by Europeans) who wanted to end foreign influence and the spread of Christianity in China Boxers attacked Chinese Christians and foreigners Several nations sent soldiers to protect their interests The foreigners defeated the Boxers Results Foreign powers gained even more control of China Growth in Chinese nationalism

65 Reaction to Imperialism -1
Rise of Nationalist Movements India Indian National Congress (1885) Group of middle class Indians begin to demand independence (Mohandas Gandhi) China Boxer Rebellion (1900) Nationalist Party

66 Reaction to Imperialism -2
Japan Long isolated from Western trade U.S. opens Japan to trade in 1854 Meiji Restoration (1868) Faction overthrows Shogun and restores Emperor to power Japan imports Western ideas and technology Defeats China in 1895 Takes over Taiwan Defeats Russia in 1905 Gains control of Korea Japanese imperialism worries Europeans “Yellow Peril”

67 Conclusion Different reasons for European imperialism during late 19th century European imperialism causes reactions in Africa and Asia European imperialism disrupts traditional way of life and continues to affect the world today

68 Nations gaining independence post-WWII

69 A troublesome experience
Decolonisation A troublesome experience 1. The economic problems they inherited 2. The need to find political systems that work for the individual nations.

70 Popular perceptions of Colonialism (arguments for and against)
Impact of Imperialism Imperialism did: Created infrastructure in colonies – e.g. British railway systems Increase levels of formal education (albeit not universally) Gave people access to Western medicines and hospitals (but sometimes only after introducing Western viruses) Bring with it ideas of freedom and liberty in the sense that the European colonial countries were almost all liberal democracies. Plunder natural resources Create of dual economies Create the loss of independent political power Eventually bring about ‘imperial over-reach’

71 Criticisms of imperialism
Colonialism as a Theory of oppression: Colonialism is a distinctly western evil The West became rich and the colonies became impoverished. The descendants of colonialism are worse off than they would’ve been if colonialism had never occurred. Walter Rodney : “White hoards have sallied forth from their western homelands to assault, loot, occupy, rule and exploit the world. Even now the fury of their expansionist assault on the rest of us has not abated” Activists such as Jesse Jackson have called on the West to pay repatriations for slavery and colonialism to minorities of the third world. The West is in possession of the ‘stolen goods’ of other cultures and has a moral and legal obligation to make some form of repayment. The above notions suggest that the West became dominant because it was oppressive.

72 Arguments In Defence of Colonialism
There is nothing uniquely Western about imperialism E.g. India was preceded by at least six colonial powers. Those who identify imperialism with the West have no sense of history. The West did not become rich and powerful through colonial oppression.

73 In Defence of Colonialism
Science It is a basic shared human trait. But science, requiring experiments, labs, the scientific method, induction, verification – THE INVENTION OF INVENTION – is a western institution. Democracy Tribal participation is universal but democracy involving free elections, peaceful transitions of power, and separation of powers is a western idea Capitalism Again the impulse to trade is universal, and there is nothing western about the use of money, but capitalism – which requires property rights, contracts, courts to enforce them, corporations, stock exchanges, patents, insurance -, this practice was developed in the west. Colonialism and imperialism are not the cause of the west’s success; they are the results of that success.


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