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The Height of Imperialism 1800 - 1914. Chapter 21. Timeline. 1819 – British colony of Singapore 1848 – Mexico loses almost half of its territory to the United States 1855 – David Livingstone is first European to see Victoria Falls 1879 – Zulu king meets with British ambassadors

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The height of imperialism 1800 1914

The Height of Imperialism1800 - 1914

Chapter 21


  • 1819 – British colony of Singapore

  • 1848 – Mexico loses almost half of its territory to the United States

  • 1855 – David Livingstone is first European to see Victoria Falls

  • 1879 – Zulu king meets with British ambassadors

  • 1880 – “New Imperialism” begins

Timeline cont
Timeline, cont

  • 1884 – France make the Vietnam Empire a protectorate

  • 1896 – Britain and France agree to maintain Thailand as a buffer state

  • 1898 – The United States defeats Spain for control over the Philippines

  • 1900 – Virtually all of SE Asia is under European rule

  • 1910 – Emiliano Zapata leads peasant movement in Mexico

Colonial rule in southeast asia
Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia

  • Vocabulary

    • Imperialism – extension of a nation’s power over other lands

    • Protectorate – political unit that depends on another government for its protection

    • Indirect rule – local rulers are allowed to maintain their positions of authority and status in a new colonial setting

    • Direct rule – local elites are removed from power and replaced with a new set of officials brought from the mother country

The new imperialism
The New Imperialism

  • Nineteenth century - Western expansion into Asia and Africa begins

    • These nations were a source of industrial raw materials

    • Market for manufactured goods

      • Oil, tin, rubber needed to fuel European economies

Imperialism cont
Imperialism, cont.

  • 1880s – Europe begins to scramble for overseas territory.

  • Instead of “trading posts” in countries, Europe looked for direct control of countries.

  • Europeans wanted more of a direct control over raw materials that were being imported

Reasons for expansion
Reasons for Expansion

  • Strong economic motive

    • Looking for economic markets for products

    • Raw materials – rubber, oil, tin needed

    • Looking for more direct control of areas with raw materials

Reason for expansion cont
Reason for Expansion, cont.

  • Heated rivalries with European states

    • Colonies source of national prestige for countries

    • European states sought to acquire colonies abroad in order to gain an advantage over their rivals

  • Imperialism tied to Social Darwinism and Racism

    • Best survive and certain races are superior to others

Reasons for expansion cont
Reasons for Expansion, cont.

  • Europeans also saw Expansion as a religious obligation to spread Christianity

  • Humanitarian approach – Europeans had a moral responsibility to civilize “primitive” people

    • “white man’s burden”

Colonial takeover in se asia
Colonial Takeover in SE Asia

  • Great Britain

    • “The sun never sets on the British empire.”

    • Singapore – major stepping point for traffic going to or from China.

    • Burma – wanted control to protect its possessions in India.


  • Missionaries in Vietnam

    • Local authorities saw missionaries as threat to Confucian doctrine

  • Makes Vietnamese Empire a French protectorate (dependent on France for protection)

Free states
Free States

  • Siam (Thailand) - only country in SE Asia free

  • King Mongkut (The King and I)

  • Son, King Chulalongkorn

    • Both promoted Western learning and maintained friendly relations with the major European powers

  • In 1896, Britain and France agreed to maintain Siam as an independent buffer state in SE Asia

The united states
The United States

  • 1898: Spanish-American War

    • Under the leadership of Commodore George Dewey, the U.S. defeats Spain in Manila Bay in the Philippines.

    • President McKinley makes the Philippines a colony.

      • Emilio Aguinaldo revolts against

      • the U.S. but U.S. keeps control

    • Takes control of Puerto Rico and Guam

Direct vs indirect rule
Direct vs. Indirect Rule

  • Dutch East Indies example of Indirect Rule. Local landed aristocrats controlled their own government. Indirect rule was less costly and more convenient

  • Burma had direct rule as the monarchy opposed colonial rule.

  • Indochina had both

Colonial economies
Colonial Economies

  • Raw materials

    • Burma – teak wood

    • Malaya – rubber and tin

    • East Indies – spices, tea, coffee and palm oil

    • Philippines – sugar

  • Plantation agriculture in

    some countries

    • Peasants worked as wage laborers owned by foreign investors

Benefits of colonial rule
Benefits of Colonial Rule

  • Beginning of modern economic system

  • Colonial governments built railroads, highways, and other structures

  • Export market raised up entrepreneurial class

  • Most countries were against colonial rule though