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Nationalism, Imperialism, and World War I. “Informal” Imperialism--China. Informal Imperialism. Even in areas where they did not establish direct rule, European powers often dominated an area’s economy. Historians refer to this as Informal Imperialism. The European Powers and China.

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Nationalism imperialism and world war i

Nationalism, Imperialism, and World War I

“Informal” Imperialism--China


Informal imperialism
Informal Imperialism

  • Even in areas where they did not establish direct rule, European powers often dominated an area’s economy.

  • Historians refer to this as Informal Imperialism.


The european powers and china
The European Powers and China

  • China had remained isolated from the rest of the world.

  • By the 1830s, China lacked the military technology it needed to oppose Western imperialism.

  • Western nations showed an interest in China because its huge population offered a potential market for European manufactured goods.


The european powers and china1
The European Powers and China

  • China also possessed valuable raw materials and produced local goods sought by Europeans.

  • China’s local rulers remained in power, but they became subject to foreign pressure.


The opium wars 1839 1842
The Opium Wars (1839-1842)

  • In the 1800s, Great Britain began selling opium in China to obtain money to buy tea.

  • The government tried to stop this by sentencing Chinese opium dealers to death.

  • The British declared war and used their superior gunboats to fire on the Chinese coastal towns.


The opium wars
The Opium Wars

  • China was defeated and forced to continue the sale of opium.

  • This damaged the Chinese economy and created chaos and political instability in China.

  • China was also forced to open several “treaty ports,” giving the British new trading privileges.


The opium wars1
The Opium Wars

  • The British established several “spheres of influence”—areas of China under their exclusive economic control.

  • Cheap British textiles hurt the Chinese industry.

  • Other European countries demanded their own sphere of influence.


The opium wars2
The Opium Wars

  • European influence was extremely unpopular in China and weakened the prestige of the Qing (or Manchu) Dynasty.

  • Manchu rulers faced a series of revolts.

  • Millions of Chinese were killed when China’s rulers put down the Taiping Rebellion with European help.


America s open door policy
America’s Open Door Policy

  • Fearing it would be shut out of China’s profitable trade, the US proposed equal trading rights for all nations in China in 1899.


Boxer rebellion 1899 1900
Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900)

  • A Chinese group calling themselves the “Boxers” rebelled against the spread of foreign influence in China.

  • Hundreds of foreigners living in Chinese cities were killed during riots led by the Boxers and their supporters.

  • An international force crushed the Boxer Rebellion.


Boxer rebellion
Boxer Rebellion

  • The US played a key role in suppressing the rebellion because of the large number of US ships and troops in the nearby Philippines.

  • The US sought to preserve China as an independent country.

  • American policy prevented European powers from further dividing up China and kept it “open” to trade with all nations.


Notebook assignment
Notebook Assignment

  • If you were living in China during this period, would you have joined the Boxer movement? Explain your reasoning.


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