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Imperialism and Nation-State Formation. The Age of Imperialism was a time period beginning around 1870 when modern, relatively developed nations were taking over less developed areas, colonizing them, or influencing them in order to expand their own power. Imperialism.

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imperialism and nation state formation

Imperialism and Nation-State Formation

The Age of Imperialism was a time period beginning around 1870 when modern, relatively developed nations were taking over less developed areas, colonizing them, or influencing them in order to expand their own power.

  • The creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire based on domination and subordination
  • Motivated European nations to compete for colonial possessions
  • European economic, military, and political power forced colonized countries to trade on European terms
  • Industrially produced goods flooded colonial markets and displaced traditional industries
  • Colonized peoples resisted European domination and responded in diverse ways to Western influence
forms of imperialism
Forms of Imperialism
  • Colonies
  • Protectorates
  • Spheres of influence
forces enabling imperialism
Forces Enabling Imperialism
  • How was a relatively small portion of the earth’s surface (that today has 14% of Africa/Asia’s population) able to conquer Earth’s largest continents?


Source for








For Colonization

Markets forFinishedGoods

Military& NavalBases



Places toDumpUnwanted/Excess Popul.


Soc. & Eco.Opportunities



Berlin Conference of 1884-1885

Another point of view? 


Europeans: Carving up a Continent

Who is missing from this picture???


-British Official

“We have been engaged in drawing lines upon maps where no white man’s foot has ever trod.

We have been giving away mountains and rivers and lakes to each other, only hindered by the small impediment that we never knew exactly where the mountains and rivers were.”


Remember “The White Man’s Burden”???

Which one do you think is more accurate?


Where Is Dr. Livingstone?

DoctorLivingstone,I Presume?

Sir Henry Morton Stanley

Dr. David Livingstone

david livingstone
David Livingstone
  • Went to Africa as a missionary but was a combination of missionary, doctor, explorer, scientist and anti-slavery activist.
  • Reached and named Victoria Falls in 1855.
  • In 1871 journalist Henry Stanley found him at Lake Tanganyika, greeting him with the famous words "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"



What is the Source of the Nile?

Sir Richard Burton

John Speke


The Belgian Congo:

"King Leopold's


The Colonization Of The Congo Pt. 1

africa the congo
Africa: the Congo
  • In the 1870s King Leopold II of Belgium employed Henry Stanley to help develop commercial ventures and establish a colony called Congo Free State in the basin of the Congo River
  • Leopold said the Congo Free State would be a free-trade zone open to all European merchants in order to forestall competition from his more powerful European neighbors

Leopold II

africa the congo1
Africa: the Congo
  • In reality, Leopold ran the Congo Free State as a personal colony and filled it with lucrative rubber plantations run under brutal conditions
    • Humanitarians protested Leopold’s colonial regime
  • In 1908 the Belgium government took control of the colony and it became known as Belgian Congo

Clearing tropical forests ate away at Leopold’s profit margins so Congolese farming villages such as this one were leveled to make way for rubber tree plantations


5-8 Million Victims! (50% of Popul.)

It is blood-curdling to see them (the soldiers) returning with the hands of the slain, and to find the hands of young children amongst the bigger ones evidencing their bravery...The rubber from this district has cost hundreds of lives, and the scenes I have witnessed, while unable to help the oppressed, have been almost enough to make me wish I were dead... This rubber traffic is steeped in blood, and if the natives were to rise and sweep every white person on the Upper Congo into eternity, there would still be left a fearful balance to their credit. -- Belgian Official


Diamond Mines

Raw Diamonds


Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) De Beer

“The Colossus of Rhodes”

cecil rhodes
Cecil Rhodes
  • Went to south Africa in 1871 and by 1889 he controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production
  • Also gained a healthy stake in the gold market
  • Served as prime minister of the British Cape Colony from 1890-1896 and saw the Cape Colony as a base of operations for the extension of British control to all of Africa
south africa and the boer war 1899 1902
South Africaand theBoer War (1899-1902)

Principal sponsor of the Cape-to-Cairo dream where Britain would dominate the continent.

Diamonds and gold were discovered in the Transvaal and Rhodes wanted to extend his influence there but region controlled by Boers (descendents of Dutch settlers)


Boer-British Tensions Increase

  • 1877 – Britain annexed the Transvaal.
  • 1883 – Boers fought British in the Transvaal and regained its independence. - Paul Kruger becomes President.
  • 1880s – Gold discovered in the Transvaal

Paul Kruger (1825-1904)

Kruger Telegram (1902): Kaiser Wilhelm II, dispatched telegram to Boers congratulating them on defeating British invaders without need of German assistance

Anger swept through Britain aimed at Germany.


The Boer War: 1899 - 1900

The British

The Boers

south africa and the boer war 1899 19021
South Africaand theBoer War (1899-1902)

Massive British force eventually defeated Boers and in 1910 the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, & Natal combined to form the Union of South Africa.


A Future British Prime Minister

British Boer War Correspondent, Winston Churchill


Many Africans fought back:

“I have listened to your words but can find no reason why I should obey you – I would rather die first… If you desire friendship, then I am ready for it, today and always. But I cannot be your subject. If you desire war, then I am ready.” -Chief Machemba (1890)

What do you think happened?


As states industrialized during this period, they also expanded their existing overseas colonies and established new types of colonies and transoceanic empires.

  • Regional warfare and diplomacy both resulted in and were affected by this process of modern empire building.

The process was led mostly by Europe, although not all states were affected equally, which led to an increase of European influence around the world.

  • The United States and Japan also participated in this process.

The growth of new empires challenged the power of existing land-based empires of Eurasia.

  • New ideas about nationalism, race, gender, class, and culture also developed that facilitated the spread of transoceanic empires, as well as justified anti-imperial resistance and the formation of new national identities.
transoceanic empires
Transoceanic Empires
  • States with existing colonies strengthened their control over those colonies
    • British in India
    • Dutch in Indonesia
  • British, Dutch, French, German, Russian, as well as the Americans and the Japanese, established empires throughout Asia and the Pacific
  • Spanish and Portuguese influence declined.
methods of colonization
Methods of Colonization
  • Many European states used both warfare and diplomacy to establish empires in Africa
    • Berlin Conference
    • Britain in West Africa
    • Belgians in the Congo
    • Open Door Policy in China
settler colonies
Settler Colonies
  • In some parts of their empires Europeans established settler colonies
    • The British in Southern Africa, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    • The French in Algeria
economic imperialism
Economic Imperialism
  • In other parts of the world, industrialized states practiced economic imperialism
    • British and French expanding their influence in China through the Opium War
    • The British and the United States investing heavily in Latin America
imperialism in africa and asia
Imperialism in Africa and Asia
  • European domination
  • European conflicts carried to the colonies
  • Christian missionary efforts
  • Spheres of influence in China
  • Suez Canal
  • East India Company’s domination of Indian states
  • American opening of Japan to trade

The United States and Russia emulated European transoceanic imperialism by expanding their land borders and conquering neighboring territories


The expansion of U.S. and European influence over Tokugawa Japan led to the emergence of Meiji Japan

Arrival of Matthew Perry and his kurofune or "Black Ships" in Japan in 1854

rise of nationalism
Rise of Nationalism
  • First Indian nationalist party founded in the mid-1800s - Indian National Congress
anti imperial resistance
Anti-imperial Resistance
  • Led to the contraction of the Ottoman Empire
  • Establishment of Independent states in the Balkans
  • Semi-independence in Egypt, French and Italian Colonies in North Africa
    • Later British Influence in Egypt
europeans in egypt
  • 1870s – with the Egyptian government bankrupt, the British and French took over financial control of the country
    • Egyptian monarchs (technically Ottoman viceroys) ruled as puppet leaders
  • 1882 – Egyptian nationalist rebellion
    • France withdrew its troops
    • Great Britain left in control of Egypt
      • Lord Cromer introduced reforms
    • De facto British protectorate
      • Made official in 1914
      • Independence came in 1922

Egypt Seeks to Modernize

  • Muhammad Ali – Governor of Egypt (1805)
    • Known as the “Father of Modern Egypt”
    • Improved tax collection, reorganized the landholding system, and backed large irrigation projects
    • Also brought in western military experts to modernize Egypt’s army
    • Dies in 1849
  • Successors build the Suez Canal


  • Britain took control of Egypt in 1883
    • Pushed southward and took control of Sudan
  • Battle of Omdurman (1898): General Horatio H. Kitchener defeated Sudanese tribesman and killed 11,000 (use of machine gun) while only 28 Britons died
british in northern africa
  • Sudan
    • Area south of Egypt
    • Under Anglo-Egyptian control
    • Cotton needed for British textile mills
    • Entente Cordiale (1904)
      • Great Britain controlled Sudan
      • France controlled Morocco
  • Cape-to-Cairo Railroad
    • Idea of Cecil Rhodes
    • Would secure Great Britain’s dominance in Africa
    • Never completed – sections missing through modern Sudan and Uganda

Fashoda Incident (1898): France & Britain nearly went to war over Sudan; France backed down in the face of the Dreyfus Affair

africans in africa
  • By the time of the First World War (1914)
    • Only 2 independent African countries
      • Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
        • Ruled by dynasty stretching back to at least the 13th century
        • Last emperor was Haile Selassie, deposed in 1974
        • Home to Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church (strongly tied to Egyptian Coptic Church)
      • Liberia
        • Formed by freed slaves under auspices of the United States government


“Whatever happens, we have gotthe Maxim gun, and they have not.”

When Africans rebelled, Europeans killed thousands of Yao, Zulu, Asante, Shona, Herero, and Maji-Maji people.

Ethiopia was the only exception…


Many Africans gave up traditional agriculture to work for European companies. Some worked on rubber plantations or in copper mines. Others built railroads to bring these natural resources to ports, where they could be shipped to Europe and used in factories.

new states developed on the edges of existing empires
New States developed on the edges of existing empires
  • Cherokee Nation
  • Siam
  • Hawaii
  • Zulu Kingdom
spread of nationalism
Spread of Nationalism
  • An ideology fostered new communal identities
    • German Nation
    • Filipino nationalism
    • Liberian nationalism
africans in africa1
  • By the time of the First World War (1914)
    • Only 2 independent African countries
      • Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
        • Ruled by dynasty stretching back to at least the 13th century
        • Last emperor was Haile Selassie, deposed in 1974
        • Home to Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church (strongly tied to Egyptian Coptic Church)
      • Liberia
        • Formed by freed slaves under auspices of the United States government

Emperor Haile Selassie I

“Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia and Elect of God”



When Italy invaded again in 1935, Haile Selassie I made a famous speech to the League of Nations.

Bob Marley used his speech as lyrics to a song, “War”


“That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned:

  • That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation;
  • That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes;
  • That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;
  • That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained…”

“And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed…

  • Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.
  • We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”
impact of imperialism in africa

Local warfare reduced

Improved sanitation

Hospitals led to increased lifespan

Schools led to increased literacy

Economic growth


Loss of land and independence

Men forced to work in European owned mines and on European owned farms

Contempt for traditional culture and admiration of European culture = identity problems

Dividing up of Africa = artificial boundaries divided kinship groups and united rivals

Impact of Imperialism in Africa

New racial ideologies, especially Social Darwinism, facilitated and justified imperialism


Identify major developments of African history in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

        • Africa’s interaction with imperialism
        • Agricultural changes and new patterns of employment
        • The origins of African nationalism

Use your notes, and the lyrics to Bob Marley’s “War”to explain how European imperialism affected Africans and their desire for Nationalism.