The West and the World Chapter 26



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The West and the World Chapter 26


After reading and studying this chapter, you should be able to define imperialism and explain its impact on European and non-Western societies. Also be able to compare and analyze nineteenth-century imperialism with imperialism in other historical periods. Be able to discuss the causes, the justifications, and the European criticisms of the new imperialism. You should be able to outline the sequence of events that led to British colonization of Egypt, and summarize Japanese response to Western imperialism. Also, you should understand the dimensions of the nineteenth century emigration from Europe and be able to enumerate the emigrants’ destinations (especially those outside North America). Finally, know about the development of “whites only” immigration policies in North America and Australia, with the resulting restriction of emigration from Asia to these areas.

0Chapter Outline0


I0. Industrialization and the World Economy0

A0. The Rise of Global Inequality0

10. In 1750 the European standard of living approximated that of the rest of the world.

20. Industrialization opened the gap between Europe and the rest of the world, with Britain leading.

30. Third World income per person stagnated before 1945.

40. Two schools of interpretation of resulting income differences:0

a0) The West used science, technology, and capitalism to create wealth.

b0) The West used superior power to steal much of its riches from the rest of the world.

B0. The World Market0

10. Britain led the world in manufacturing and, after 1846, as a market for goods from other countries.

20. Railroads, steam vessels, and the Panama and Suez Canals helped expand trade.

30. From the mid-1800s France, Germany, and Britain invested massively abroad.

40. Most of this capital actually went to Europe itself or to the Americas.

C0. The Opening of China and Japan0

10. The British and French forced the reluctant Qing Dynasty to open China to their trade (18391860).

20. The United States Navy forced Japan to open its ports to foreign trade (18531858).

D0. Western Penetration of Egypt0

10. Muhammad Ali modernized the Egyptian army and government, hired Europeans, and made Egypt autonomous within the Ottoman Empire (first half of 1800s).

20. Ali’s encouragement of commercial agriculture turned peasants into tenant farmers.

30. Ali’s grandson, Ismail (r. 18631879) continued modernization.0

a0) Arabic replaces Turkish as official language.

b0) French company built Suez Canal (1869).

c0) Cairo got modern boulevards.

d0) Large-scale export of cotton.

40. Inability of Egyptian government to pay off massive debts due to modernization.

50. The British occupied Egypt to force payment (1882).

II0. The Great Migration0

A0. The Pressure of Population0

10. Emigration peaked in the decade before World War I.

20. About one-third of all European emigrants came from the British Isles.

30. German emigration peaked later than British (1880s), and Italian even later (increasing through 1914).

40. Less than one-half of European emigrants went to the U.S. Others went to Asiatic Russia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

B0. European Migrants0

10. Most European migrants were young, unmarried peasant farmers or village craftsmen.

20. Some ethnic groups, such as Italians, had a high rate of return to their homelands.

30. For some emigrants, such as Jews from the Russian Empire, emigration was escape from oppression.

C0. Asian Migrants0

10. About three million Asians (as opposed to 60 million Europeans) moved abroad before 1920.

20. In the 1840s Spain recruited Chinese laborers for Cuban plantations. Peruvian landlords also brought workers from China.

30. European settlers objected to Asian migration for racist reasons and because they feared competition from cheap labor. From the 1880s Americans and Australians were developing “whites only” immigration policies.

III0. Western Imperialism00

A0. The Scramble for Africa0

10. Before 1880 European penetration of Africa was limited to French control of Algiers, British and Dutch settlers in South Africa, and Portuguese coastal enclaves in western Africa.

20. By 1900 European powers ruled all of Africa except Ethiopia and Liberia.

30. The South African War (18981902) led to British creation and control of the Union of South Africa.

40. The Congress of Berlin (18841885) established that European claims on African territory had to be secured by “effective occupation.” This led to a rush into the interior.

B0. Imperialism in Asia0

10. After 1815 the Dutch expanded their control of the Indonesian archipelago.

20. The French took Indochina.

30. The Russians expanded in Central Asia and along the north Chinese frontier.

40. U.S. took the Philippines in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

C0. Causes of the New Imperialism0

10. Tariff barriers limiting imports to much of Europe and to the U.S. led major industrial powers to seek new markets.

20. In reality, most new colonies were not profitable.

30. Colonies were seen however, as important for military bases and naval coaling stations.

40. Colonies were also important for national prestige.

50. Social Darwinist theory predicted death for societies that did not compete in the colonial race.

60. Technological superiority (machine guns, quinine, telegraph, steamships) made conquest of new colonies feasible.

70. Conservative political leaders fostered pride in empire as a means of damping down social tension.

80. Shipping companies, military men, and missionaries all advocated colonial expansion.

90. Europeans often discussed colonial expansions in terms of a “civilizing mission,” an imperative to bring Europe’s supposedly superior civilization, Christianity, and so on, to “backward” peoples.

D0. Critics of Imperialism

10. Some Europeans criticized imperialism.0

20. Hobson and others argued that colonies only benefited the wealthiest elites in Europe and actually cost ordinary taxpayers money.

30. Other critics, such as Joseph Conrad, saw European imperialism as racist, exploitative, and contrary to the West’s own liberal values.

IV0. Responses to Western Imperialism0

A0. Stages of Response0

10. The initial response, as in China, Japan, and Sudan, was to try to drive foreigners away with force.

20. When this failed, many Asians and Africans retreated to a defense of traditional culture.

30. Others, such as Ismail, the khedive of Egypt, sought to modernize and match the West.

40. “The masses” in Asia and Africa were not used to political participation and initially accepted European rule without too much protest.

50. Later, European liberalism provided resisters with an ideology of political self-determination and nationalism.

B0. Empire in India0

10. The last attempt to drive the British from India by force was the Sepoy Rebellion (18571858).

20. After 1858 Britain ruled India directly through a small body of white civil servants.0

a0) The British offered some Indians, especially upper-caste Hindus, opportunities to serve in government.

b0) Nonetheless, British rule rested ultimately on racism and dictatorship.

c0) This provoked the development of Indian nationalism and the foundation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

C0. The Example of Japan0

10. The initial appearance of Europeans and Americans in Japan provoked violence from radical samurai who wished to expel them by force.

20. In 1868 a group of patriotic samurai overthrew the shogun, restored the Emperor to political power, and undertook an intensive modernization program.0

a0) They abolished the feudal state and created a strong central government.

b0) They created a free economy.

c0) They built a modern navy and army.

d0) The Japanese studied the West, and Japan hired many Western specialists.

e0) Japan itself became an imperial power in Formosa, Manchuria, and Korea.

D0. Toward Revolution in China0

10. In 18941895 defeat by Japan in the Sino-Japanese War short-circuited Qing reform efforts in China.

20. From 1895 to 1898 European powers rushed to carve out zones of influence in China.

30. Radical reformers such as Sun Yatsen aimed to overthrow the Qing and establish a republic.



40. Traditionalists turned toward ancient practices and sought to expel the foreigners. One aspect of this response was the Boxer Rebellion (18991900).

50. In 1912 the Qing Dynasty collapsed.


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