Study Guide Imperialism Chapter 27

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Imperialism Chapter 27

Section 1



Social Darwinism

Berlin Conference

Boer War




Imperialism – the seizure of a country or territory by a stronger country

Racism – the belief that one race is superior to others

Social Darwinism – a social theory that applied Darwin’s survival of the fittest to human society – those fittest for survival enjoyed wealth and success and were considered superior

Berlin Conference – a meeting of 14 countries who decided how Africa should be divided without involving any of the African rulers

Boer War – Boers bought British over control of the diamond and gold mines

Boers – early Dutch settlers in South Africa

Shaka – the leader of the Zulus

  • Explain four motivations for European imperialism. (Four R’s)

  • The industrial revolution and the competition for raw materials

  • National pride and the idea that a the size of an empire determined the greatness of the empire, rivalries

  • Racism and Social Darwinism – Europeans believed that they were better than other people and non-Europeans were considered lower culturally and physically because they had not made the technological and scientific progress as the Europeans. They believed that they had the right and duty to bring the results of their progress to other countries

  • Religion – missionaries wanted to spread Christianity and “civilize” westernize people of foreign land

  • Discuss three factors that contributed to the European conquest of Africa.

  • Technological superiority –automatic machine guns vs outdated weapons

  • Means to control their empire – invention of the steam engine allowed them to establish bases of control deep in Africa; railroads, cables, and steamships allowed close communication between colony and controlling nation

  • Drug to protect fro malaria

  • Conditions within Africa – huge variety of languages and wars between ethnic groups over land, water and trade rights and cultures discouraged unity

  • What was the Berlin Conference, who was or was not included, and what was the result in Africa?

  • It was a meeting of 14 European countries in 1884 to lay down rules for the division of Africa. They agreed that any European country could claim land in Africa by notifying other nations and showing it could control the area. The African rulers were left out of the meeting. Result was that by 1914 only Liberia and Ethiopia remained independent.

Section 2



sphere of influence

direct control

indirect control



Menelik II


Colony - a country or territory governed internally by a foreign power

Protectorate – a country or territory with its own internal government but under the control of an outside power

Sphere of influence – an area in which an outside power claims exclusive investment or trading privileges

Direct control – foreign officials were brought in to rule the colony

Indirect control – relies on existing political rulers to managed the daily functioning of the colony

Paternalism – govern people in a parental way by providing for their needs but not giving them any rights

Assimilation – idea that local population would adopt French culture and become like the French

Menelik II – Ethiopian leader who played European countries against one another

  • Compare and contrast direct and indirect management of a colony. Include an example of each type.

  • Direct control relies on foreign officials being brought into the colony to rule as they saw the Africans as being unable to run the country. There was no self-rule. The goal was for assimilation. The form of government was based only on European styles.

  • Examples include: French colonies such as Somaliland, Vietnam

  • German colonies such as German East Africa

  • Portuguese colonies such as Angola

  • Indirect control relies on existing political rulers handling the daily management of the colony.

  • There was limited self-rule as the imperial country had the ultimate authority. The goal was to train local leaders in European country’s method of government. May have some local rules.

  • Identify and explain at least four negative effects of colonialism in Africa.

  • Africans lost control of their land and independence

  • New diseases such as small pox were brought by the Europeans

  • Thousands died from resisting the Europeans

  • Famine resulting by being made to grow cash crops

  • Breakdown of traditional cultures

    • Property taken

    • Authority figures replace

    • Men left villages to work

    • Undermined stable societies and caused identity problems

  • Most harmful – division of African continent

    • Long-term rivals were often united or kinship groups split in to different colonies due to the lines now being arbitrarily imposed

    • Artificial boundaries combined or divided groups, creating problems that still create problems for countries that evolved from former colonies such as genocide or civil war

Section 3


Crimean War

Suez Canal

Ottoman Empire


Geopolitics – an interest in or taking of land for its strategic location or products

Crimean War – It was a war between France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire against Russia. They wanted to prevent Russia from gaining additional Ottoman land. The Russians were defeated

Suez Canal – a man-made waterway that connected the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea

Ottoman Empire – a large empire located in southwest Asia, on the northern coast of Africa, and in southeastern Europe

  • Explain the significance of the Suez Canal. Include where it is located, the bodies of water it connects, and what control of it meant to the British.

  • It was located in North Egypt and connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It was important because it’s a much quicker way to get from Europe to Asia and Africa. British occupied Egypt and gained control of the canal. It was the “lifeline of the Empire” because it allowed Britain quick access to their colonies in Asia and Africa

Section 4


Sepoy Mutiny

“jewel in the crown”


cash crops


Sepoys – Indian soldiers who worked for the company and served under British command

Sepoy Mutiny – a rebellion Hindu and Muslim soldiers against the British in India

“Jewel in the crown” – refers to India and how it was the most valuable of all the colonies

Raj – British rule after India comes under Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria

Cash crops – crops grown to be sold by the ruling country rather than crops which the people of the country could eat

  • Identify and explain two positive and two negative effects of British colonialism in India.

  • Positive:

    • Railroads which helped India develop a modern economy and unified regions

    • Improved infrastructure such as modern road network, telegraph and telephone lines, dams, bridges, and irrigation canals

    • Improved sanitation and public health

    • Schools and colleges which increased literacy

    • Ended local warfare

  • Negative:

  • British held most economic and political power

  • Restricted Indian owned industry

  • Focus on cash crops resulting in a loss of self-sufficiency for many villages and reduced food output causing famines

  • Traditional Indian life threatened by racist attitude of British and presence of missionaries

  • Briefly summarize the Sepoy Mutiny. What caused it, what happened, how did it end, and why was it significant.

  • Rumors that cartridges which soldiers had to bit the end off of were greased with pork and beef fat. Hindu and Muslims were outraged and refused the cartridge since the Hindu considered the cow sacred and Muslims do not eat pork. As a result they were sent to jail. This caused the sepoys to rebel and the rebellion spread through the north. The British government sent troops to help the East India company put down the rebellion

Section 5

Pacific Rim

King Mongkut


Emilio Aguinaldo


Pacific Rim – countries bordering the Pacific Ocean

King Mongkut – ruler of Siam, which is present-day Thailand

Annexation – adding of territory

Emilio Aguinaldo – leader of nationalists in the Philippines, declared independence and established the Philippine Republic

  • Choose any two colonies in Southeast Asia and/or the Pacific Islands. For each, discuss what country colonized it and two or three details of the colonization (reason for colonizing, type of control, results or effects of colonization, etc.)

******* Answers may vary – all necessary information can be found in the notes on my website*******

On a map of Africa during Imperialism, locate the following:



Red Sea

Indian Ocean


South Africa



Suez Canal


Belgian Congo

On a map of Asia during Imperialism, locate the following:



Pacific Ocean

South China Sea

Dutch East Indies





French Indochina

Indian Ocean


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