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New Imperialism. Definition of Imperialism. A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries politically, economically and socially

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definition of imperialism
Definition of Imperialism

A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries politically, economically and socially

Take up the White Man's burden-Send for the best ye breed-Go bind your sons to exileTo serve your captives' need;To wait in heavy harness,On fluttered folk and wild-Your new-caught, sullen peoples,Half-devil and half-child.-Rudyard Kipling

early cause slave trade
Early Cause: Slave Trade
  • Slave Trade
    • 7th century onward, slave trade is principal export
    • (Trans-Saharan, between Islamic and indigenous Africa and between E. Africa and Asia)
  • Trans Atlantic
    • 15th Century, Portugal then Spain
    • Slave trade picks up with conquest of New World, plantation system
    • Late 16th century: English, Dutch, French, Danish
    • 1700-1870: 80% of all slave trade
results of the slave trade
Results of the Slave Trade
  • Decreased population
  • Disrupted agriculture, manufacturing, trade
  • Cities, villages abandoned
  • Development suffered: Locally produced goods replaced by European made goods
  • Fostered stereotypes of racial superiority
  • Slave Trade ends by 1870 (1807, England)
europeans and africa 1800 1900
Europeans and Africa:1800-1900
  • 1800: Africa away from the coast is virtually unknown
  • 1900: Europeans explored nearly every part of the continent
  • 1783: GB discovered source of Blue Nile
  • 1800s: Discoveries
    • White Nile, Lake Victoria, Victoria Falls (1855)
    • Funded by scientific and geographical societies
europeans and africa 1800 19001
Europeans and Africa:1800-1900
  • Livingstone: missionary, “civilizing mission”
    • Slave trade must end, schools, commerce, spread the gospel
    • Europeans develop the idea that colonialism is a charitable undertaking
    • Europeans are morally and technologically superior
immediate causes of imperialism
Immediate Causes of Imperialism
  • Industrial Revolution strengthens the West
  • New industrial nations seek new markets and raw materials
  • European nations compete for power and prestige
  • Europeans feel duty to spread Western culture
  • Missionary spirit
more causes for the imperialist impulse
More Causes for the Imperialist Impulse
  • Need for military and naval bases to protect interests against other European powers
  • Tension between the “haves” (British Empire) and the “have-nots" (Germany & Italy) who came in late to the imperialistic competition.
social darwinism
Social Darwinism
  • White Man's Burden: “Superior” Westerners had an obligation to bring their culture to “uncivilized” peoples in other parts of the world. Other races are naturally “inferior.”
  • Used in Germany and Russia
  • Imperialism diverted popular attention from the class struggle at home, created false sense of national unity.
cultural impact
Cultural Impact
  • Europeans convinced they have a mission to “civilize” the world
  • “The more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race . . . If there be a God, I think what he would like me too do is to pain as much of the map of Africa British red as possible.” – Cecil Rhodes
  • Modernization = Westernization
  • Belief in Western superiority
    • Language, clothing, traditions
  • Western medicine replaces indigenous healing methods
  • Western schooling is seen as superior, the only way to get ahead
  • Languages: European languages are language of business, education, and politics
  • Religion: Christianity enforced, in some places there is a blend between Christianity and indigenous religions
impact on western culture
Impact on Western Culture
  • Exotic goods no longer so “exotic”
    • Coffee from Brazil
    • Tea from Sri Lanka
    • Banana from Honduras
    • Pineapples from Hawaii
  • More knowledge gained about ancient civilizations
  • Eastern art and other designs becomes popular in the West
new political tensions
New Political Tensions
  • Rival peoples united under colonial government
  • Western-educated elites in colonies begin to question western dominance
  • Competition amongst European nations
    • Example: Sudan 1898
      • British expanding south fro Egypt and French pushing east met at Fashoda.
      • Crisis nearly leads to war between England and France. Diplomatic solution.
        • Common Enemy
forces enabling african and indian imperialism
Forces Enabling African and Indian Imperialism
  • European technological superiority
    • Steamboats
    • Automatic machine gun
    • Locomotive
    • Telegraph
  • Europeans had the means to control their empires
    • Easy travel
    • Wide spread communication
  • African and Indian disunity
    • Huge variety of cultures
    • Fighting among cultures
the scramble
The Scramble
  • 1880: 90% of Africa ruled by Africans
  • 1900: only Ethiopia and Liberia are independent
  • How did it begin?
    • Portuguese maintain original trading regions
    • French angered by GB’s annexation of Egypt, claim western Africa
    • British extended control inland from Cape of Good Hope
    • Congo: King Leopold (Belgium) annexed the entire region as his personal estate in Africa
the conference 1884 85
The Conference: 1884-85
  • Rules for carving up the continent
    • No annexation without occupation
  • Sponsored by Bismarck and Jules Ferry
results of the berlin conference
Results of the Berlin Conference
  • French move inward to the east and south
  • British secure areas on western coast, move northward from the southern coast (“Cape to Cairo”)
  • Germans want control over East Africa (Tanganyika, Kenya)
  • Italy: Eritrea, Somaliland, but not Ethiopia
  • Boundaries were ill conceived
    • Division of ethnic groups/traditional political units
fashoda 1898
Fashoda: 1898
  • Sudan is the meeting ground between France and England
  • Egyptian Question: France had chosen to vacate Egypt in 1882. they want a strong military presence on the Nile to thwart British influences.
  • Results
    • French withdraw
    • Potential bigger threat with Germany
    • British position in Africa strengthened
    • 1904: Anglo-French entente
battle of omdurman 1898
Battle of Omdurman (1898)
  • British defeated Sudanese tribesman and killed 11,000 (use of machine gun) while only 28 Britons died
imperialism post wwi
Imperialism: Post WWI
  • Germany forced to relinquish colonies
  • Other European powers get trusteeship over German territory
  • No other significant changes until 1960s
the colonial state
The Colonial State
  • Extension of the European state
  • Policy developed in Europe, reflects Euro ideology, not needs of Africa
  • Colonial officials: interpret, implement policy to each particular situation
  • Goal: maintain law and order, promote development that benefits Europe
  • Not a goal: fostering development of a self-reliant nations
    • Africans are seen as incapable of self-government
the colonial state1
The Colonial State
  • Different styles of government
    • Kenya, Rhodesia: settlers have more power, used to enhance their privileges
      • Example: some crops can only be raised by settlers
    • British Colonies: Indirect Rule
      • Local authorities given unpleasant tasks (tax collection, recruitment of labor for state projects)
      • Indigenous rulers really had no power, handpicked puppet governments
  • End result: no development of local interests, no local power
european development
European Development
  • Evidence of the “Civilizing Mission”
    • Railroads and roads
    • Plantations and Mines: cocoa, rubber, coffee, palm oil, tropical woods, copper, diamonds, gold
    • New cities: admin and commerce centers
    • Western style education, health care
economic policy
Economic Policy
  • Direct Investment
    • Development of Mining regions (“copper belt” of Rhodesia and the Congo)
    • Commercial plantations in East Africa (“white highlands”)
  • Success has 3 elements:
    • Control of desirable land
    • Supply of cheap African labor
    • Access to markets
economic policy1
Economic Policy
  • Displaced People:
    • Land: moved to reserve lands, located in over-crowded, less fertile areas
    • Because they can no longer rely on farming, they must hire themselves out as laborers
  • Taxes and restrictions on what can be grown increase likelihood of becoming a low-wage laborer
  • Nigeria, Ghana: cash crops for export (cotton)
    • Positive: cash economy, money to pay taxes, can purchase consumer goods, food
    • Negative: Must rely on cash, no incentive to be self-sufficient
human cost of colonial development
Human Cost of Colonial Development
  • Railway from Congo to West Africa: 1921-1934
  • 12 hour days in sweltering heat (Nov. to May) and torrential rains (May-Oct)
  • Construction accidents due to rough terrain
  • Epidemics: malaria, sleeping sickness
  • Death toll: 60,000
  • recruitment quotas
  • Unwilling recruits were forced to walk from home village to construction site
  • 1 franc per month in 1921; 1930, 100 franc per month (still extremely low)
evaluating the colonial legacy
Evaluating the Colonial Legacy
  • The idea that Africa was a “blank map” is wrong
  • The introduction of modern medicine in Africa is significant; however, minor compared to the overall destruction
  • Nationalism: Africans began to create stronger regional identities in reaction to European influence
    • 1960: independent countries increased from 5 to 22
    • South Africa, 1994: majority rule

British Colonies

Britain had managed to get some of the most valuable land in Africa.

The most important gain was Egypt because of the Suez Canal.

This provided a much quicker and safer route to India – the “Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire.








french colonies
French Colonies

Goal: Uninterrupted access from Niger River to the Nile to control all Saharan trade.

Creates tension between Britain and France.







french reasons for being in africa
French Reasons for being in Africa
  • British motivation was to safeguard passage to India and to profit from economic opportunities.
  • French motivation was different
    • France annexed huge areas of unprofitable desert and jungle
    • wanted to block British expansion in West Africa
  • Some economic reasons
    • Enhance the French economy to help pay the Prussian indemnity
    • Recover from the Great Depression of the 1870s
france in africa
France in Africa
  • Idealism: Promote Enlightenment and Revolutionary ideals
  • Convert Africans into citizens
    • Policy of Assimilation: mimic French culture, “become French”
  • Benefit: not likely to revolt, less need for military garrisons

** Assimilated Africans served in the lower levels of administration, saving the cost of bringing Europeans to Africa to fill their positions.

german colonies
German Colonies

Germany did not enter the race for colonies until very late and, as a result, much of the land gained was not very valuable.

Despite this, Kaiser William II was determined that Germany should have a major empire.





Italian Colonies

Failed in Abyssinia (Ethiopia)







Belgian Colonies

Even Belgium had an African colony – the Belgian Congo.

This was one of the reasons that Kaiser William II of Germany decided that his country must also have colonies.


"There are no small nations .... only small minds”
  • Congo is 80 times the size of Belgium
  • Leopold’s personal empire (paid for by him)
  • Taxes could be paid in rubber
  • Congolese natives mutilated, whipped, and executed for not producing enough wild rubber for their (taxes)
  • Eventually Belgian parliament demands a takeover of the Congo
new imperialism in asia1
New Imperialism in Asia
  • France: Indochina
  • Britain: Burma, Malay Peninsula, North Borneo
  • Germany: Pacific islands
  • Russia: Persia, outlying provinces of China
  • United States: Spanish-American War, 1898
    • US defeated Spain, took Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and Cuba
england and india
England and India
  • Sepoy Mutiny, 1857-58
    • India administered by a small, all-white civil service in India.
  • British reforms in India
    • Progressive secondary education (to train Indian civil servants)
    • Economic (irrigation, railroads, tea and jute/cotton plantations)
    • Creation of unified and powerful state
    • Use of English as primary language
indian national congress formed in 1885
Indian National Congress(formed in 1885)
  • Educated Indians, predominantly Hindu, demanded increasing equality and self-government
  • India became independent in 1946
  • Carved into spheres of influence in late 19th century
  • End of the Ching Dynasty
opium wars
Opium Wars
  • New Triangular Trade
    • Indian opium and cotton to China; next, Chinese tea to Britain; and, then, British textiles and machinery back to India
  • Early 1800s,  British treasury was being depleted due to its dependence upon imported tea from China.
  • China did not want to trade for British goods. Britain unable to make up trade deficit.
  • Britain imported opium into China.
  • Chinese officials attempted to ban opium, but ultimately failed.
  • Limits on British trade.
  • The British declared war on China in a series of conflicts called the Opium Wars (British win).
unfair treaties
Unfair Treaties
  • 1842 Treaty of Nanjing
    • Reimburse Britain for costs incurred fighting the Chinese
    • Open several ports to British trade
    • Provide Britain with complete control of Hong Kong
  • Beginning of “Spheres of Influence”
    • Other European nations demand access to China
chinese reaction to western influence
Chinese Reaction to Western Influence
  • Emperor cannot rid China of opium or foreign influence
  • Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1864.
    • Chinese officials turned to foreigners for help in putting down the rebellion, killing millions of Chinese in the process
    • 1900: Chinese nationalists staged Boxer Rebellion
    • Anti dynasty, anti-foreigner
  • Leads to overthrow of last dynasty in 1911 and the era of Chinese nationalism
sino japanese war
Sino-Japanese War
  • 1894-95: War revealed China’s helplessness
  • Unlike China, Japan quickly modernized and became an imperial power by late 19th century
  • Meiji Restoration, 1867: resulted in series of reforms to compete with the West
    • 1850s
    • Restored Imperial Power, consolidated government, military, and economics
      • "Enrich the country, strengthen the military"
      • Allowed industrialization to occur
      • End of the Samurai era – all classes more equally distributed
russo japanese war 1904
Russo-Japanese War (1904)
  • Russia and Japan both had designs on Manchuria and Korea
    • Europeans had nurtured Japan as a buffer to Russian expansion
  • Japanese concerned about Russian Trans-Siberian Railway across Manchuria.
  • Japan destroyed Russian fleet off coast of Korea and won major battles on land although Russians turned the tide on land subsequently.
  • England allied with Japan.
  • Westerners horrified that Japan had defeated a major Western power