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19th Century Imperialism

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19th Century Imperialism
• Imperialism means control by a powerful nation
over an underdeveloped or weaker area.
• The powerful nation is usually characterized by
an advanced economy, strong government, and
considerable military strength.
• The underdeveloped area is characterized by
untapped natural resources, a primitive
economy, weak government, and limited military
• Since World War II imperialism has also been
called colonialism.
Types of Imperialism
• Concession. An underdeveloped country grants
to foreign business interests specific economic
privileges, or concessions, such as to build
railroads, open mines, or drill for oil.
• Sphere of Influence. A powerful nation secured
exclusive economic privileges in an
underdeveloped region, thereby establishing a
sphere of influence. Usually such an economic
monopoly was respected by other imperialist
Types of Imperialism 2
• Protectorate. The native ruler remained in
power outwardly, but the imperialist nation
controlled affairs behind the scenes.
• Colony. A powerful nation formally took over
and governed an underdeveloped area, which
became its colony
• Mandate and Trusteeship: Under International
Supervision' Following World War I an attempt
was made to introduce reforms in the field of
imperialism. Victorious nations in a war are
granted control of colonies of the losing nation.
Reasons for 19th Century
• Industrial Revolution.
Industrialized nations desired colonies to
(a) a cheap and certain supply of raw
(b) markets reserved for the mother
country's manufactured goods, and
(c) large profits with minimum risk on
investment of surplus capital.
Reasons for 19th Century
Imperialism 2
• Nationalism. The advocates of imperialism
used nationalist arguments to gain public
support for empire building.
They claimed that the parent country would
(a) gain glory
(b) secure essential military bases and war materials,
(c) provide an outlet for surplus population,
(d) safeguard missionaries spreading Christianity and other
humanitarians promoting public health and education,
(e) bring to the underdeveloped areas the blessings of the
superior culture of the West—a duty labeled by the
British writer Rudyard Kipling as the "white man's
Imperialist Nations of the 19th
Great Britain
United States
• Work of Explorers. David Livingstone, Scottish
missionary and doctor, spent many years (1840–1873)
serving the peoples and exploring the lands of central
Africa. Henry M. Stanley, American newspaper reporter,
headed an expedition in 1871 that "found" the
presumably "lost" Livingstone. Later Stanley undertook
additional explorations. In well-publicized reports these
two men, as well as other explorers, described the
geography, resources, and peoples of Africa.
• Other Groups Interested in Africa. The glowing reports
of explorers reawakened Europe's interest in Africa.
Business leaders saw economic opportunities.
Missionaries wanted to convert the blacks to Christianity.
Nationalists dreamed of empire building unopposed by
the primitive Africans.
Imperialism in Africa
Great Britain
1. To Protect Trade Routes to the East.
• In 1815 Britain acquired from Holland the Cape Colony.
• It included Capetown, a port at southernmost Africa that served as a
supply base for British ships enroute to India.
• In 1875 Prime Minister Disraeli purchased from the bankrupt ruler of
Egypt sufficient stock to give Britain control of the Suez Canal.
• By sailing through the canal, British ships eliminated the long
voyage around Africa.
• In 1882 Britain established a protectorate over Egypt.
• Britain's trade route to India—via Gibraltar, the Mediterranean Sea,
the Suez Canal, and the Red Sea—became known as the lifeline of
the British Empire.
Imperialism in Africa 2
Great Britain
2. To Gain a Rich Empire.
• Cecil Rhodes, foremost empire builder in Africa, dreamed of an
unbroken north-south line of British territory to be linked by a Capeto-Cairo railroad. Rhodes' ambition became British policy.
• By 1914 the British dominated South Africa, Rhodesia (now
Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Kenya, Uganda, and
the Sudan, as well as Egypt.
• After World War I, Britain acquired the final link for the railroad, the
former German East Africa, or Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
• Also, by the beginning of the 20th century, British control was firmly
established in Sierra Leone, Gambia, the Gold Coast (now Ghana),
and Nigeria—all on the west coast of Africa.
Imperialism in Africa 3
• For economic gain and nationalist glory, the French gained a
considerable African domain.
• By 1847 the French had subdued the Moslem tribes and gained
control of Algeria.
• Between 1881 and 1912 France acquired Tunisia, Morocco, West
Africa (now Benin, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger,
Senegal, and Upper Volta), Equatorial Africa (now Chad, Central
Africa, Congo, and Gabon), and Madagascar (now Malagasy).
• A imperialist late starter Italy controlled Eritrea, Italian Somaliland,
and Libya by 1914.
• In 1936 Italy conquered and annexed Ethiopia.
Imperialism in Africa 4
• As a 16th-century maritime power, Portugal early established supply bases
and trading posts on the east and west coasts of Africa.
• In the mid-1970's Portugal granted independence to its African territories:
Portuguese Guinea [now Guinea-Bissau], Mozambique, and Angola.
• By the early 20th century, Spain controlled Spanish Morocco (opposite
Gibraltar) and Spanish Sahara on the Atlantic coast of Africa.
• In 1956 Spain ceded Spanish Morocco to newly independent Morocco.
• In 1976 Spain surrendered Spanish Sahara [now Western Sahara] to
Mauritania and Morocco.
• In 1876 King Leopold II and a group of Belgian capitalists founded a private
company to manage the Congo region.
• The company reaped huge profits from rubber and ivory but shockingly
mistreated the natives.
• In 1908 the Belgian government took control of the Congo.
• In 1960 Belgium granted independence to the Congo (now Zaire).
Conflicts in African Imperialism
Boer War
• Afrikaans (Dutch settlers in South Africa) called Boers,
objected to British rule.
• Many took up arms against Britain and were eventually
• Local native people (aboriginal) objected to British rule
of Sudan. They chased the British out of southern
Germany challenged France over Morocco (1905, 1911),
but France retained control .
Imperialism in China
пЃ® The imperialist nations seemed poised to
annex their respective spheres of influence,
thereby threatening to dismember China.
Imperialism in China 2
•By the Opium War (1839-1842),
•(a) compelled China to allow imports of opium, a habit-forming narcotic,
•(b) annexed Hong Kong,
•(c) acquired the privilege of extraterritoriality.
–This entitled a Briton accused of a crime in China to be tried in a British court.
•Annexed ( took over) Indo-China and gained a sphere of influence in southeastern China.
•Acquired a sphere of influence in northeastern China over the Shantung Peninsula.
•Annexed the Amur River district, the Pacific seaport of Vladivostok, and the central Asian territory
bordering Sinkiang Province; secured a lease to ice-free Port Arthur; and established a sphere of
influence over Manchuria.
•By the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) annexed Taiwan (also called Formosa) and secured a
sphere of influence over Korea.
•In 1910 Japan annexed Korea.
•By victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), Japan took over Russia's lease to Port Arthur
and Russia's sphere of influence in southern Manchuria.
Events in Imperialist China
• The United States was interested in China, not for territory, but for commerce.
• Our trade, however, was threatened by the spheres of influence and the prospect of
China's dismemberment.
• Thus they suggested the Open Door Policy which proposed equal trade rights in
China for all nations. Later it also came to mean the preservation of China's
independence and territory.
• The "open door" was accepted by the imperialist nations in principle but not in
• However, it earned us China's goodwill and for many years served as the cornerstone
of American policy toward the Far East.
• The Boxers, a Chinese society encouraged by Manchu government officials, staged
an uprising to drive out all foreigners and restore China to isolation. After an
international military force suppressed the rebellion, the foreign nations demanded
damages from China.
• The United States successfully urged that China pay, not by loss of territory, but by a
monetary indemnity. The other nations agreed but imposed excessive indemnities.
The United States disapproved and returned half of its indemnity money to advance
education in China and to enable Chinese students to attend American colleges.
Imperialism in
• By 1763 Britain had driven its chief
European rival, France, from India.
Thereafter, relatively few British military
and civilian personnel gradually expanded
British control throughout vast, heavily
populated India. The British conquest was
facilitated by India's backwardness and
Imperialism in India 2
1. Military Inferiority. The Indians could not cope with the superior British
military knowledge, training, and equipment.
2. Many Languages. The people of India were divided linguistically
among more than a dozen main languages and over 200 dialects.
Their many tongues reflected geographic and cultural separation.
3. Religious Divisions. Of India's total population, the Moslems
constituted about 20 percent and the Hindus the overwhelming
majority. Because of their divergent religious traditions and past
conflicts, the Moslems and Hindus were bitterly antagonistic to each
4. The British freed India of local wars, guarded its borders against
invasion, and generally provided efficient rule. In response to Indian
demands, Britain in 1919 permitted the Indian people limited selfgovernment.
Economic Control. Britain profited greatly from India, called the
"brightest jewel of the British Empire." British manufacturers and
workers depended upon India to purchase their textiles and
machines. British merchants sought India's exports of raw jute
and tea. British investors developed India's mineral resources,
built railways, and established factories. By the mid-20th century,
India was an important Asian producer of textiles, iron and steel,
and cement.
By industrializing India, the British provided employment for many
Indian workers. Also, the British government improved the country
by public works: schools, roads, hospitals, and irrigation and
sanitation projects. The Indian masses, however, continued to live
close to the starvation level. The population almost doubled
between 1850 and 1900, and job opportunities could not keep up
with the increase in population. Handicraft workers could not
compete with factories, and factory workers received extremely
low wages. Farmers, the overwhelming majority in the population,
were beset by uncertain rainfall, crude cultivation methods, high
rents, and heavy taxes.
India 3
Social Control. The British had little respect for the
native Indian culture, particularly the barbaric practices
of slavery, suttee (the Hindu custom of burning the
widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband),
and female infanticide (killing unwanted baby girls).
The British halted these practices. Also, they instituted
modern health methods, thus lowering the death rate,
began English-oriented educational programs, and
introduced the English language and English concepts
of law, justice, democracy, and nationalism. However,
the funds that the British made available for health and
education were hardly adequate for India's massive
OPENING OF JAPAN (1853—1854)
• In the mid-17th century, feudal Japan withdrew
into isolation and for 200 years remained
unaffected by Western civilization
• In 1853—1854 Commodore Matthew C. Perry,
heading an American naval squadron, convinced
Japan to open its ports to American trade.
• Soon afterward the leading European powers
demanded and received similar trade rights.
Westernization of Japan
1. Government. The nobles removed the shogun (the highest lord)
from power and transferred full governmental control to Emperor
Mutsuhito. He assumed the reign name Meiji, meaning enlightened
peace. Mutsuhito's reign (1867—1912) and the accompanying
transformation of Japan became known as the Meiji restoration.
Under the Meijii restoration Japan began to become like western
nations. They modeled their government like Bismarck’s Germany
The emperor's authority was further strengthened by Shintoism, the
state religion, which began to preach his divine origin.
2.Military. The government created a powerful British-type navy and
Prussian-type army.
3. Education. The state began a compulsory public education system,
and the Japanese became a highly literate people.
4. Agriculture. The nobles voluntarily surrendered their feudal
privileges. The peasant farmers were no longer bound to the soil,
and many became landowners.
5. Industry. The government encouraged a sweeping program of
industrialization. Japan soon produced textiles, steel, machinery,
and ships, and became a major trading and manufacturing nation.
Japanese Imperialism
(a) With Japan deficient in natural resources, Japanese
industrialists needed supplies of raw materials—
especially cotton, iron ore, and oil; they also wanted
secure markets for their manufactured goods.
(b) Japanese nationalists sought honor for the emperor and
glory for the military forces. They thought that colonies
would raise Japan to the rank of a "major power."
(c) Densely populated and lacking arable land, Japan
wanted colonial outlets for its surplus population.
(d) Japan's location placed the country within easy reach of
eastern Asia's underdeveloped nations.
Early Imperialist Events
a. Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). Japan overwhelmed
China and acquired Taiwan and a sphere of influence in
Korea. (In 1910 Japan annexed Korea.)
b. Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Japan, to the world's
surprise, defeated Russia. By the Treaty of Portsmouth
(New Hampshire), Japan acquired the southern half of
Sakhalin Island, Port Arthur, and Russia's sphere of
influence in southern Manchuria. (For promoting the peace
treaty, American President Theodore Roosevelt received the
1906 Nobel Peace Prize.)
c. World War I (1914-1918). Although contributing little to the
Allied victory, Japan acquired Germany's concessions on
China's Shantung Peninsula and mandates over the former
German islands in the Pacific.
Imperialism in the Pacific Ocean
Because of the long trip to China and India
over the Pacific Ocean, imperialist nations
needed stop-off points along the way to refuel.
The United States acquired Hawaii, the
Philippines, and Wake Island.
Great Britain used Australia as a prison and
later as a colony.
Germany, France, Holland and Portugal also
acquired islands in the South Pacific.
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