Imperialism: extension of a nation’s power over other people, lands, resources, and commercial activities in order to maintain an empire

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The Height of European Imperialism 1800-1920 A.D.

  1. “New” Imperialism in Asia, Africa, India, Middle East

A. Imperialism: extension of a nation’s power over other people, lands, resources, and commercial activities in order to maintain an empire

1. Causes/Motives

a. Economics- resources, labor, markets, routes

b. Rivalry- European competition for national wealth

c. Social Darwinism- perceptions of racial and cultural superiority justifying dominance of “lesser” peoples of the world in order to advance civilization

****** “White Man’s Burden”

d. Missionary efforts by Protestants and Catholics

2. Leading Nations Participating in the “Scramble”

a. Great Britain- India, China, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya

b. France- Vietnam, Algeria, Lebanon, Cambodia

c. Belgium- Congo, Rwanda

d. Spain- Morocco, Philippines, Cuba

e. Germany- Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania

f. Portugal- Angola, Mozambique

g. Italy- Libya, Somalia

h. Netherlands (Dutch)- South Africa, Indonesia

B. Types of Imperial Control

1. Direct rule- introduction of foreign government implanted in the colonial structure

2. Indirect rule- use of native rulers and institutions

B. Economics of “New” Imperialism

1. Complete dominance of supply, demand, prices, wages, and taxation led to accumulation of wealth for parent countries and improved standards of living

2. Civilizing the world outside of Europe involved construction of infrastructure and education led by European administrators

a. Railroads, electricity, schools, hospitals, mail services, export-import direction, plantation agriculture, mining of precious metals/diamonds

b. Mother countries emphasized exports of raw material to be processed in Europe and sold back to colonies and worldwide

C. Resistance to Colonial Rule- Early Nationalist Movements

1. Ruling classes, educated elites, and peasants had different means of forming armed and peaceful resistance to Western imperialism

2. Western schooling in some regions had a dual effect on the potential for resistance

a. Some natives appreciated and welcomed Western cultural changes and benefitted economically

b. Some natives benefitted educationally and became more articulate in their ability to lead their people in their struggles for independence

II. European Empires in Africa

A. Early Colonialism pre-1800

1. Indirect control over small areas was common and European populations in African territory slowly increased

2. 1870-1900 direct rule through annexation of larger portions of African territory increased

(partially due to a weakened Ottoman Empire)

3. Britain, France, Belgium, and German rivalry provoked European nations into holding the Berlin Conference 1885 to divide the rest of the continent

B. Nationalism Against Imperialism

1. Egypt broke away from the Ottomans in 1805 and began to modernize and make efforts to resist foreign domination

2. Competition between Britain and France over the Suez Canal led to war and indirect control of Egypt by Britain in 1875

3. Britain expanded south into Sudan which promptly led to aggressive resistance by the Mahdi Islamic Army which declared JIHAD and fought until 1898

C. Central African Imperialism

1. Control of uncharted territories followed the explorations and records of David Livingstone and Henry Stanley

D. South Africa and the Boer War 1899

1. Dutch Afrikaners had populated colonies throughout the early 1800s but lacked the strength and cooperation with native African tribes to resist the British taking over

a. The Zulu Tribe, Dutch colonists, and British imperialists remained locked in conflict throughout the late 1800s

2. British imperialist Cecil Rhodes headed the British expansion over South Africa and saw to the securing of British interests at all costs

E. Major Effects of Imperialism in Africa, SE Asia, India

1. Economic and political decisions made by foreigners

2. Pre-existing tribal/religious tensions often were made more severe by European presence

3. Cultural diffusion of Europeans to subject peoples with mixed results

4. Nationalism and resistance movements developed to oppose foreign control

5. Modernization of transportation, education, infrastructure, further globalization of economics

III. The British Raj in India

A. Colonial Rule of British East India Company 1757-1857

1. Merchant-Military operations had led to major territorial expansion over the weakened Mughal Dynasty

2. EIC employed thousands of Indian subjects on payroll as soldiers but British policies eventually brought about conflict

a. Sepoy Mutiny 1857

1. Causes: Muslims and Hindus were angered by British use of animal fats to grease rifle cartridges (lack of respect for native customs)

2. Effects: Punishment of Indian soldiers turned into a wider rebellion that lasted nearly a year with atrocities committed by both sides

a. Indian Nationalism/Organization for Independence further developed

b. British Parliament took direct control of all Indian affairs under Queen Victoria and through viceroys

B. Benefits and Costs of Colonial Rule

1. Hindu-Muslim tensions minimized by British

2. British establish efficient and impartial government

3. Railroads, telegraph services, educational system

4. Tax/rent collection hurt rural farm families

5. Shift from food production to cotton affected Indian nutrition in rural areas

6. Cultural diffusion with mixed results

IV. Nation Building in Latin America

A. Nationalist Revolts Against Spanish Empire

1. Enlightenment Philosophy and American and French Revolutions would influence anti-imperial groups across the world in the 1800s

2. Colonial Latin America had ideal circumstances that bred revolution against Spanish authority

a. Rigid social stratification and elite political power of Spanish born leaders (peninsulares)

b. Massive underclasses of Amer-indians and people of mixed race (mestizo and mulatto)

c. Educated middle class (creole) with minimal political power often marginalized due to their Latin American birthplace

d. Inspirational rebellion of Haiti’s slaves under Francois-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture in 1804

B. Spain’s Empire Begins To Break Apart

1. 1st Mexican Revolution 1810-1823

a. Fr. Miguel Hidalgo and Augustin de Iturbide

2. South American Revolts 1810-1838

a. Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar led multiple movements for independence and worked for constitutional governments

C. Incomplete Revolutions- threats of foreign intervention (Concert of Europe) and rise of Caudillos (dictators) interfered with nation building after succeeding in gaining national independence

1. New nations often turned to dictatorship to prevent instability and further revolution/force unity

Ex. Mexican leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna 1833-1855 (11 year term for presidency?)

D. New Imperialism in Latin America

1. Loans and foreign investments by British and American gov’t and private businesses were regarded as foreign controls on aspects of Latin American society


2. Latin American economies remained heavily agricultural and export-based giving the industrialized Britain and United States an economic edge

3. Some Latin American citizens saw the U.S. and Britain as role models for their nations while others viewed them as violators of their national independence by the 1900s

Ex. Mexican-American War 1840s

Spanish-American War 1890s

Mexican Revolution 1917

Cuban Revolution 1959

4. Early 20th Century political and often military “interventionism” left many Latin American countries and their citizens disgruntled with the United States

(THROUGH COLD WAR ERA 1945-1990s!!!)

V. Decline of China

A. Euro-Imperialism During the Qing Dynasty

1. External Pressures- Western trade imbalance, currency exchange, and unfair treaties helped Chinese decline

a. Opium War and Treaty of Nanjing 1842 enabled Britain to gain a significant edge in Chinese commerce

b. 1850-1900 Chinese ports, provinces, and businesses had been divided up into economic spheres of influence by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Austria, U.S., Japan

c. Open Door Policy proposed by U.S. in 1899 furthered elements of Western competition and economic control in China

d. Sino-Japanese War 1894 resulted in losing territory to Japan

2. Internal Pressures- government corruption and incompetence, peasant unrest, and culture divided over tradition and modernization

a. Tai Ping Rebellion 1850-1864 was a movement that favored swift reforms in land policy, removal of Qing government, and ended up massacring over 25,000 people

b. Qing reformers vs. Qing traditionalists

ex. Emperor Guangxu vs. Empress CiXi

1. “self-strengthening” reforms and promotion of modernization and elements of democratization were struck down by Chinese conservatives

c. Boxer Rebellion 1900 was a movement that was anti-Qing and Anti-Western that was eventually put down by a European coalition

3. Growing anarchy in China led Europeans to increase their role in maintaining order over their respective spheres of influence and further weakened Qing authority

VI. Revolution in China

A. Reform and Fall of the Qing Dynasty

1. Empress Cixi allowed for formation of provincial assemblies, but without any real legitimate authority

2. Educated elites in China began calling for more serious reforms

a. Sun Yat-Sen and the Guomindang pushed for three-step revolution to rid China of poor government and foreign imperialism

1. Military coup d’état

2. Transitional government (dictatorship???)

3. Constitutional Republic under principles of nationalism, democracy, and pursuit of livelihood

3. Revolution of 1911 began as “leaderless revolt” and succeeded in bringing the collapse of the Qing government

a. Revolutionary alliance turned to General Yuan Shigai to serve as dictator due to experience and loyalty of the military

b. Yuan Shigai’s dictatorship proved to be disastrous as his government fell apart after 1916 and China descended into long civil war and regional governments under “warlords”

B. Cultural Changes in China

1. Imperialism, Government neglect, and Civil War all contributed to poverty and underdevelopment throughout urban and rural China

2. Modernization of transportation, communications, exportation, and joining global economy were all aspects of foreign control

3. In addition to political divisions, China faced cultural turmoil over modernism vs. traditionalism which would continue to plague the process of reform or revolution

a. Growing urban middle class was drastically different from rural peasant classes

VII. Japan’s Meiji Restoration

A. Decline of Tokugawa Shogunate 1850-1870

1. Japanese isolationism and ethnocentrism had serious consequences as Japan was industrially and militarily behind Western nations

2. United States and Treaty of Kanagawa 1853-54

a. Commodore Matthew Perry’s Naval Fleet opened up trade negotiations through both intimidation, diplomacy, and Japanese realization of Western superiority

3. Resistance to Western influence grew strong and resulted in Satsuma-Choshu Rebellion of 1863-1868 led by samurai clans looking to protect Japanese traditions and dignity

4. Rebellion succeeded in coup d’état against the Tokugawa government and began to implement Western reforms anyway

a. Emperor Mutsuhito- MEIJI= “enlightened”=seeking proactive changes

b. Meiji Policies stripped traditional daimyo and samurai of their land and titles in order to modernize the political system

(Negative Reaction??? Saigo Takamori rebelled again against the new Westernization policy)

c. German Imperial-style constitution was drafted by 1889 which led to extremely authoritarian Executive authority

d. American style mandatory education system 1871

e. Mandatory military service in Imperial Army 1871

f. Meiji government gave tax subsidies to rising industries such as armaments, naval supply, and railways

g. Western style of dress, hair, entertainment began to be encouraged as well while retaining respect for Japan’s culture at the same time

B. Imperialist Japan

1. Japan wished to expand, colonize, and gain wealth as Britain had throughout the world

2. Being a small island nation required conquests to gain natural resources to feed Japan’s growing industries

3. Japanese militarism led to expansion in East Asia

a. Sino-Japanese War 1874

b. Sino-Japanese War 1894

c. Russo-Japanese War 1904

4. Western foreign policy began to collide with Japanese nationalism and resistance to falling to Western Powers (Path to WWII??)

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