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Unit 3
What is Imperialism?
Empire Building in the late 1800s. Eng, Fr, Ger,
(Russia is building empire too- but differently)
New Imperialism
Old Imperialism
• Late 1800s
• In 1800 Europe directly
controlled 7% of the
earth, in 1914 84%(!)
British empire along
represented 25% of
world population, 20%
world territory.
• Looking for materials,
markets, and strategic
• Social Darwinism
Europeans explored, and
claimed territory in new
world- but not so much
other places. Increase
contact with other
civilizations, but not
dominance (except
Why do it?
• Europe is small, with limited opportunities for
expansion. (esp. in west). Growing
population needs room. 1815-1932 60 million
people leave Europe (Largest #s to US,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
• Nationalism (which supported growth of
power), and industrialization (which created
need for materials/markets, and made
communication/transportation more
efficient) made empire building possible
and profitable
• Build your wealth- protect your power
Types of Imperialism: Multiple Types
• Colonial: Most complete form of domination.
Europeans take control- enforcing European rules
and leadership (Viceroy) Control gov’t, econ, social
• Political: Influence (but not necessarily control)
gov’t. May use military domination, or replace ruler
with “puppet”. Protectorate
• Economic: Control trade and commerce, but not
gov’t. (though do influence to ensure control)
mainly looking for trade advantage. Sphere of
• Socio-Cultural: often done with religious, or
philanthropic means. Less coercion, just won’t help
if natives don’t comply.
• Strong religious revivalism @end of 19th century, esp
among the middle classes
• Went out to save the souls of the “heathens”practical romanticism.
• Successful in some areas (Africa) less so in areas
with firmly established indigenous religions (Like
Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists)
Forms of Imperialism
Settler Colonies
• Larger # of Europeans
(might or might not
outnumber natives- but
better) Canada,
Australia, New Zealand,
Algeria, Kenya
• Climate more like
Europe- bring the
family. Will lead to
development of new
cultural elements
Tropical dependency
• Small # of Europeans
outnumbered by a
large # of natives.
Norm in Africa, Asia,
and S. Pacific (which
created issues with
controlling nativesmade them more
military based)
• Climate considered
“unsuitable” for women
and children so families
stayed at home.
Social Darwinism
• Survival of fittestEuropeans rule b/c
they are stronger- they
are supposed to
“civilize” weaker races.
• Success fed
nationalism, and
success in colonies
kept attention from
issues at home.
White Man’s Burden
• Part of the European’s
superiority complex
was that they spent a
fair amount of time
moaning about how
difficult it was for them
to have the “Burden”
of domination.
• Poem: Rudyard Kipling
Industrialization and Imperialism
• Exploration had sought treasure and land. Now they
need raw materials (cotton, hemp, copper, rubber,
ivory, diamonds, cocoa, tea, coffee) for industry
and protected markets for their stuff. The good
news (for them) is that improved transportationtrains made it easier to penetrate inland.
Panama/Suez canals cut travel time
Examples of Imperialism
The British Empire: India
• Mughal dynasty
controlled India (but
loosely, India always
fragments, empire was
falling apart)
Europeans began
trading in 1600s with
Nawabs- Muslim
princes. English &
French main traders,
Dutch trade in Ceylon
British East India
• Robert Clive: Defeated
French at Battle of
Madras- kicked them
out of India
• Joint-stock, given a
monopoly by the British
government. Based in
Calcutta. Competed
with French, then drove
them out during 7 years
war. “Company Men”
created trade
outposts- made
agreements with local
rulers. Had Euro military,
and native Sepoys to
protect trade
Black Hole of Calcutta
• 1765
• Prince of Calcutta angry,
threw English troops in tiny
cell (several died) Upset
the British, got permission
from the Mughal Emperor
to overthrow
“uncooperative” princes
and rule some territory
directly. Controlled
Calcutta, Bengal, and
Rule by East India Co
• The British Raj (rule)little by little they
expanded the land
they controlled, either
by taking over, or
setting up “puppet”
rulers. Ever expanding
military (European and
Sepoy) Missionary
attempts. Econ and
political imperialism
Anglo Indian Relations
• Indians maintained rule of much territory (as long as
they didn’t upset the British). British didn’t always
want to rule directly- India is a hassle
• Delicate balance- princes maintain power, but
British have control.
• Modernized, and created new jobs- but hurt India’s
once flourishing trade economy
Sepoy Rebellion
• 1857
• East India Co issued native troops new rifles- with
bullet casings that offended both Hindu and Muslim
troops (cow hide, pork fat) Touched off simmering
anger (India is an ancient civilization, didn’t like the
way the British treated them as inferior)
• 1000s of British killed- gov’t stepped in to squash
rebellion, and ended by taking full control. Colonial,
Tropical Dependency. Tiny British pop directly
controlling millions of Indians
British Imperial Rule
• An English Viceroy now ruled India directlypowerful, efficient bureaucracy “Indian Civil
Service” (Open to all- but exams given only
in England- so all Euro). Mughal Empire
disbanded, but various Hindu and Muslim
princes allowed to rule as “loyal subjects”
• Native promised equal protection under the
law, and the right to practice their own
religious and social customs (though some,
like Suttee, we outlawed)
• Elaborate ceremonies,
and celebrations help
to legitimize British rule
(A big show was an
important part of
eastern culture)
• Victoria declared
“Empress of India” and
Prince of Wales
(Edward VII) had
elaborate coronation
tour 1902-3
Economic Impact
• Massive investment in infrastructure esp railroads
(25,000 mi of track)
• Cotton, tea, silk, sugar sent in raw state to Eng to be
processed. (India’s econ has been trade based for
centuries- actually becomes MORE agricultural)
• Growth of cities, growth of disease- Cholera worst,
contaminated drinking water.
Indian Nationalism
• English created European style schools for children
of native elite- train them to be 2nd tier
rulers/bureaucrats of their own nation. But that
created an unintended consequence- the English
gave birth to Indian Nationalism
o 1. Brought various groups together
o 2. Gave them a common grievance
o 3 Alienated them from their native
cultures, strove to build something
new they could all be a part of
• Rammohun Roy- most important early
Indian National Congress
• 1885 A group of educated and ambitious Indians
gathered- with the intent of creating a larger role
for Indians in the civil service.
• Eventually, the focus will turn to home rule, and then
the creation of the modern Indian state (after wwi)
Southeast Asia
• Competition for
colonies began during
exploration, after allAsia was where
everyone had been
headed in the first
• Now pushing into new
British colonies
Dutch colonies
• Need to control trade
from China – India
• Burma: teak, rubber,
jade, ivory
• Singapore (Malaysia):
A key port and naval
base, as well as source
for tin and rubber.
• “Dutch East Indies”
made up of what is
today Indonesia.
• Important source of
rubber, sugar, coffee,
tobacco and tin
Russo- Japanese war
• 1904 Both Russia and
Japan want Manchuria
(north of China) and
Korea. Japan’s new
ultra modern military
wins- announces them
as a world power
• Had been isolationist
since 1500sCommodore Matthew
Perry (US) opened
trade in 1853.
• Meiji restorationJapanese determined
to beat Euro at its own
game. Industrialized at
record pace- soon
needed their own
colonies for raw
French Colonies
• Rather behind in
colonial game- a sign
of their struggles at
• Most important in Asia
was French Indochina:
Vietnam, Laos,
• Had also been in contact with Europe since 1500s- and
tried to keep contact at a minimum. Ming dynasty had
made deliberate choice NOT to modernize- and stuck to
it. By 1800 that has created a problem (closed to
technology etc…)
• Canton System: Chinese only allow foreign ships in
Canton, and will only trade for gold/silver, not goods.
• 1792 Eng. sent George McCartney (McCartney Mission)
to negotiate more open trade policy. Chinese
demanded he kowtow before emperor’s envoys- he
said he would, if they would bow to a picture of the king.
England frustrated with China, don’t like being treated
as 2nd class
Opium Wars
• So now England needs to find a product the Chinese will
trade for- and they find it in India, drugs. (Opium has
been used there for centuries for painkilling etc..)
• Began to give it away after failure of McCartney mission,
and by 1820 England has a positive balance of trade.
• Emperor tried to outlaw Opium- ineffective. Blocked
British from landing, and burned warehouses of opiumBritish said that was a violation of trade- and declared
• 1839, and 1856 Eng spanked China
and began to force trade
Unequal Treaties
• Treaty of Nanking 1842: Canton system dismantled.
Chinese lost control of their foreign trade.
• 5 ports opened- Hong Kong ceded to the British.
Extraterritoriality and most favored nation status
given to British.
• Other Euros see this and force their way in (US,
Japan, France)
Taiping Rebellion
• 1850 Chinese civil war
brought about by
losses in war and
humiliation of treaties.
20 mil Chinese diedtook gov’t 14 years to
put down rebellion
Spheres of Influence
• British hold monopoly
on trade on the Yangzi
• Russia had Manchuria
(until Russo-Jap war)
• Japan took Taiwan in
Sino-Japanese War
• By 1900 many of
China’s ports had been
“carved up” as special
zones for various
Imperial powers
• US demanded “Open
Door Policy” Imperialists
promised not to fight,
but to respect each
other’s claims- and
allow free trade in
other areas
• Last area to be imperialized. “Deepest, Darkest
Africa” had always been troubling for Europeans.
Poor climate (for them) few navigable rivers. Euro
had stayed on coast.
• But Africa had TONS of raw materials- and as tech
improved and needs grew- Europe moved in
North Africa
Egypt: British
• From 1883- 1956 Egypt
is ruled by British,
became a model for
“new imperialism”
• 1st step into Africa. Ruled by
Ottoman Empire (through a
native Khedive) 1769-1849
led by Muhammad Ali, who
wanted to modernize
(capitalize on cotton)
Borrowed $$ from Englandthen starts having econ
problems (post civil war)
1875 England steps in to
protect investment- and
Suez canal
• South of Egypt- and
source of the Nile.
Therefore British need
the water- and “had”
to conquer in 1898 to
protect their “interests”
Algeria: French
• Mediterranean has
been home to Barbary
Pirates for 100 years.
French invade N. Africa
in 1830 to put down
piracy by 1870 control
territory. Still theirs
• 1881 France expanded
on a pretext of tribal
raids from neighboring
• Gradually extended all
the way along west
South Africa
• Became primarily a
settler colony- as did
Kenya, Tanzania, and
• Dutch est colony on
the Cape of Good
Hope in 1652 as a
stopping point on the
way to Asia.
• After Napoleonic warsparts of Southern Africa
claimed by the British
as well Dutch began to
move further inland
(the great trek)
Shaka Zulu
• Native leader-1816
began attacking Euros
to defend his landsuccessfully.
(innovative techniques)
Led British to expand
their presence in southwhich brought them
into conflict with other
• Descendants of the
Dutch. Had moved
away from coast to
Transvaal and Orange
Free State- All well and
good- until diamonds
discovered there in
Cecil Rhodes
• Pushed British claims north
into what he called
“Rhodesia” (Zimbabwe and
Zambia) by 1910 Cape,
Transvaal and Orange all
“South Africa
• Prime Minister of British
Cape Colony- moved
in to claim diamonds
(stated goal “Cape to
Cairo” dominance of
Africa) Aggressive
imperialist- said British
should “annex the
stars”. Founded
DeBeers mining Co.
Boer War
• 1899-1902
• British and Boers fight for
control of territory. Both
sides fought savagely. British
created world’s first
“concentration camps” for
civilians to keep them from
being able to fight.
• Massive British force sent in
to overwhelm. British not
really concerned that Dutch
don’t like them, but Dutch
are supported by Germanswho are making British
increasingly nervous
Explorers and
• Romanticized- seemed “exotic” (in an age where
things were practical at home)
• David Livingstone- 1841, came to convert and
explore along Zambezi river. Named “Victoria Falls”.
Did a speaking tour – wildly popular. Set off on
expedition to find the source of the Niledisappeared for months. Henry Stanley went in
search of him (met at lake Tanganyika) and then on
to claim land for king Leopold of Belgium in Congo.
• Popularity help precipitate the “Scramble for
Scramble for Africa
• 1880 Europe controlled
10% of Africa, by 1914
they had everything
except Liberia and
• 1875-1901. Mad dash
by Euros to claim every
bit of land. Inspired by
explorers and practical
gains to be had- and
by social Darwinism
• Got a late start to
imperialism b/c of
unification issues.
Bismarck wasn’t
interested at first, then
realized it was one of
the markers of a great
• Claimed Togoland and
Cameroon in W. Africa,
German East Africa
(Tanzania) and
Namibia in SW Africa
Berlin Conference
• 1884-1885 Bismarck
called a meeting of 14
major states to discuss
imperialist planswanted to avoid war
over disputed claims.
Sat down with a map
and carved it up.
Show’s Germany’s
increased role
• Last on in. Same
problems with
unification, and they
weren’t really
industrialize either (so
they didn’t need the
stuff so much) just trying
to participate. Claimed
Eritrea, part of Somalia,
tried to take Libya
• Settler colonies and
small tropical
Australia and New
• 1770 Capt. James Cook claimed Australian
for the British. Began as a Penal Colony
(New South Wales) Sheep herding the major
industry until gold discovered in the 1851
• Arrival of Europeans devastating for the
natives. Aborigines continued
hunter/gatherer lifestyle, but Maori of New
Zealand signed treaties with British which
were disavowed, and after a series of wars
they ended up on “reservations”
• Not popular with imperialist until nearly the
end- but then liked as points for naval
bases/trade control. Also divided at Berlin
• France: Tahiti, Marquesas, New Caledonia
• England: Fiji
• Germany: Marshall Islands
• US: Hawaii and Philippines (Sp. Amer War)
Global Changes from Imperialism
• Widened gap between rich and poor, created a
new measure of success beyond Ind/not Ind.
(Beginning of idea of 1st world and 3rd world)
• Spread industrialism worldwide- though did not offer
control to non-euros.
• West needed to dominate the world to maintain
their pace of growth
Issues: Economic
• Imperialists controlled resources of their
subject countries. Global trade of new
resources; diamonds, rubber (most
important) petroleum- as well as those long
established; timber, cotton, tea, coffee,
• Europeans filled colonies with farms for cash
crops (either native, or introduced) often at
expense of staple crops for native
• Encouraged people to emigrate from Europe for
cheap land and econ opportunity.
• Moved natives if they needed them for labor
source. Ex: Indians to South Africa to build RR.
(worked well to move people from dense cultures,
like China/India)
• 1815-1932 approx 60 million left Europeprimarily from Eng, Ireland, Italy and
Germany. Most went to European
dominated areas like US, Australia, New
Zealand, and Canada.
• Immigrants generally from poor/rural areas
(though not poorest- they couldn’t afford
ticket) About ½ returned to Europe at some
point. Jewish immigrants least likely to return
• Conflicts between Euro/natives fairly distantEuros tended to stay separate. Highly insular
and insulated, only “natives” they knew
were servants. Upper class natives seldom
included in Euro world- which bred
resentment (esp in India/China)
• Increased opportunities for native women,
and for European women- greater
Scientific Racism
• Imperialism designed to benefit imperialists- not
• Social Darwinism (Herbert Spencer) said there were
4 main races on the planet, each with distinct
o Black (African) naturally lazy and unintelligent
o Brown (Indian/Hispanic) arrogant and dull
o Yellow (Asian) smart, but sneaky
o White (Euro) morally superior and intelligent
• Survival of the fittest- Europeans win because nature
has selected them to rule
International rivalries
• Between 1814-1914 there were no serious wars in
Europe (the Crimean and Franco-Prussian were
largest) Diplomacy and Balance of Power
(Congress of Vienna and Realpolitik) had kept lid on
• Fighting and beating natives made Euros more
aggressive- and used to winning easily.
• Bismarck main person responsible for bal of power
in late 1800s- w/o him relationships between great
powers will quickly become tense.