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Imperialism Theme: How imperialistic nations were able to expand their power and control at the expense of weaker nations. Lesson 13. Imperialism.

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ImperialismTheme: How imperialistic nations were able to expand their power and control at the expense of weaker nations

Lesson 13

  • Imperialism is a term associated with the expansion of the European powers, and later the US and Japan, and their conquest and colonization of African and Asian societies, mainly from the 16th through the 19th Centuries
  • Was effected not just through the force of arms, but also through trade, investment, and business activities that enabled the imperial powers to profit from subject societies and influence their affairs without going to the trouble of exercising direct political control
  • Many Europeans came to believe that imperial expansion and colonial domination were crucial for the survival of their states and societies
  • Motivations can be grouped as economic, political, and cultural
economic motives
Economic Motives
  • Overseas colonies could serve as reliable sources of raw materials not available in Europe that came in demand because of industrialization
    • Rubber in the Congo River basin and Malaya
    • Tin in southeast Asia
    • Copper in central Africa
    • Oil in southwest Asia

Rubber trees in Malaya

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
political motives
Political Motives
  • Some overseas colonies occupied strategic sites on the world’s sea lanes
  • Others offered harbors or supply stations for commercial and naval ships
  • Foreign imperialist ventures were useful in defusing social tensions and inspiring patriotism at home, often between industrialists and socialists
russians in tashkent
Russians in Tashkent
  • The weakening of the Ottoman and Qing empires turned central Asia into a political vacuum and invited Russian expansion
  • In 1865 Russian forces captured Tashkent which served as an important location for trade between Central Asia and Russia, especially after the construction of the Trans-Caspian Railroad in 1898
  • As Russia encroached upon the ill-defined northern frontier of British India, Russians and British played out the “Great Game” of exploration, espionage and imperialistic diplomacy throughout Central Asia
cultural justifications
Cultural Justifications
  • Christian missionaries saw Africa and Asia as fertile ground for converts and often served as intermediaries between imperialists and subject peoples
  • Other Europeans sought to bring “civilization” to subject peoples in the form of political order and social stability
  • Cecil Rhodes believed, “We (the British) are the finest race in the world and the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race.”
the white man s burden
The White Man’s Burden

Take up the White Man’s Burden—

Send forth the best ye breed—

Go bind your sons to exile

To 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

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?”
technologies that made imperialism possible
Technologies that made Imperialism Possible
  • Transportation
  • Military
  • Communications

Cartoon showing China being divided by the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan

transportation technologies
Transportation Technologies
  • Steamships allowed imperial powers to travel upriver much further than sailboats so imperialists could project power deep into the interior regions of foreign lands

The USS Monocacy was used to protect US interests along the Yangtze River in China

transportation technologies1
Transportation Technologies
  • The construction of new canals enhanced the effectiveness of steamships and the building of empires by enabling naval vessels to travel rapidly between the world’s seas and oceans
  • They lowered the costs of trade between imperial powers and subject lands
suez canal
Suez Canal
  • Between 1859 and 1869, the British constructed the Suez Canal which links Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea and Suez on the Red Sea
  • Allows two-way north-south water transport from Europe to Asia without circumnavigating Africa
  • In 1882 the British army occupied Egypt to ensure the safety of the canal which was crucial to British communications with India

1869 opening of the Suez Canal at Port Said

panama canal
Panama Canal
  • Between 1904 and 1914, the US built the Panama Canal which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans without having to transit Cape Horn

Gatun locks under construction in 1910

military technologies
Military Technologies
  • Breech-loading firearms with rifled bores provided European armies with an arsenal vastly stronger than any other in the world
  • European armies could impose colonial rule almost at will

British soldiers show a Maxim gun to an elderly Zulu chief in 1901

communications technologies
Communications Technologies
  • Oceangoing steamships reduced the time required for imperial capitals to deliver messages to colonial lands
  • In the 1850s engineers began developing submarine telegraph cables to carry messages through oceans
  • By 1902, cables linked all parts of the British Empire throughout the world

Insignia of the British Indian Submarine Telegraph Company

british empire in india
British Empire in India
  • In the 18th and first half of the 19th Century, the East India Company established a strong presence in India
    • (Remember the East India Company was one of the joint-stock companies we learned about in Lesson 3)
  • In 1858, the British government intervened, preempting the East India Company and establishing direct imperial rule in India

In 1857 Hindu sepoys mutinied against the East India Company

british empire in india1
British Empire in India
  • A viceroy represented British royal authority in India and administered the colony through an elite Indian civil service staffed almost exclusively by the British
    • The British formulated all domestic and foreign policy for India
  • Indians served in low-level bureaucratic positions

Lord John Morley served as Secretary of State for India from 1905 to 1910

british empire in india2
British Empire in India
  • The British transformed India by clearing forests, restructuring landholdings, building railroad and telegraph networks, encouraging the cultivation of valuable crops, and constructing canals, harbors, and irrigation systems
  • Established English-style schools for Indian children and suppressed Indian customs that conflicted with British values

The British forced the Indians to ban sati, the practice of burning widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres

british in burma
British in Burma
  • In the early 1820s, British colonial officials in India had conflicts with the kings of Burma (modern Myanmar) while seeking to expand their influence to the Irrawaddy River delta
  • By the 1880s, the British had established colonial authority in Burma
  • Burma provided teak, ivory, rubies, and jade

1905 watercolor painting of a temple scene in Burma

british in singapore
British in Singapore
  • In 1824, Thomas Stamford Raffles founded the port of Singapore, which soon became the busiest center of trade in the Strait of Melaka

Singapore Harbor

british in singapore1
British in Singapore
  • Singapore was administered by the colonial regime in India
  • It served as the base for the British conquest of Malaya (modern Malaysia) in the 1870s and 1880s
british in malaya
British in Malaya
  • Malaya provided outstanding ports that enabled the British navy to control sea lanes linking the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea ands also provided abundant supplies of tin and rubber

Planter supervising workers on a Malayan rubber plantation

french in indochina
French in Indochina
  • The French were unsuccessful in establishing themselves in India, but between 1859 and 1893, they did establish a large southeast Asian colony consisting of the modern states of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
  • Indochina would become an important supplier of rubber
french in indochina1
French in Indochina
  • Unlike the British in their colonies, the French encouraged conversion to Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church became prominent throughout Indochina, especially in Vietnam
  • We’ll talk more about this in Lesson 25
  • Until 1875, Europeans maintained a limited presence in Africa
  • Around then, the adventures and reports of explorers such as David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, Richard Burton, and John Speke began to excite merchants about business possibilities in Africa

Richard Burton explored east Africa with John Speke, seeking the source of the Nile

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

africa south africa
Africa: South Africa
  • The Dutch East India Company had established a supply station at Cape Town in 1652 and settlers began expanding outward to take up ranching and farming
  • These settlers were called “Boers” (the Dutch word for farmer) or “Afrikaners” (the Dutch word for African)
  • During the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), the British took over the Cape and established British rule in 1806
africa south africa1
Africa: South Africa
  • British rule disrupted Boer society because it brought in English law and language
  • When Britain abolished slavery in 1833, Boer financial viability and lifestyles were further threatened
  • Chafing under British rules the Boer began migrating eastward where they established several independent colonies such as the Orange Free State (1854) and the South African Republic or Transvaal territories (1860)
africa south africa2
Africa: South Africa
  • The lenient British attitude toward this changed when diamonds were discovered on Boer-populated territories in 1867 and gold in 1886
  • Two “Boer Wars” were fought from 1880-1881 and 1899-1902 with the British winning and putting an end to the Boer independent republics
  • By 1910, Britain had consolidated the provinces into the Union of South Africa

Boer guerrillas during the Second Boer War

africa berlin conference
Africa: Berlin Conference
  • Tensions among the European powers seeking African colonies led to the Berlin West Africa Conference (1884-1885), during which delegates from 14 European states and the US (no Africans were present) devised the rules for the colonization of Africa
  • The conference produced an agreement that any European state could establish African colonies after notifying the others of its intentions and occupying previously unclaimed territory
africa berlin conference1
Africa: Berlin Conference
  • The Berlin Conference gave European diplomats the justification they needed to draw lines on maps and carve Africa into colonies
  • By the turn of the century, all of Africa was divided into European colonies except for Ethiopia, where native forces had fought off Italian efforts at colonization, and Liberia, a small republic populated by freed slaves that was effectively a dependency of the US
colonial rule
Colonial Rule
  • Three types
    • Concessionary companies
    • Direct rule
    • Indirect rule
concessionary companies
Concessionary Companies
  • This was the earliest approach to colonial rule
  • European governments granted private companies large concessions of territory and empowered them to undertake economic activities such as mining, plantation agriculture, or railroad construction

Stamps issued by the Mozambique Company which received a 50-year administrative charter from Portugal in 1891

concessionary companies1
Concessionary Companies
  • This system allowed European governments to colonize and exploit immense territories with only a modest investment, but the brutal practices of the private companies produced a public outcry and the imperial countries decided to establish their own rule

The Imperial British East Africa Company began work on the Uganda Railway in 1896. 2,500 workers died during the construction.

direct rule
Direct Rule
  • The concessionary companies gave way to direct or indirect imperial rule
  • Under direct rule, administrative districts headed by European personnel collected taxes, recruited labor and soldiers, and maintained law and order
  • Direct rule was typical of the French colonies

French colonial administrator Louis Léon César Faidherbe served as governor of Senegal from 1854 to 1861 and from 1863 to 1865. He transformed the colony into the dominant political and military power in West Africa.

direct rule1
Direct Rule
  • Administrative boundaries intentionally cut across existing African political and ethnic boundaries in order to divide and weaken potentially powerful indigenous groups
  • Direct rule aimed at removing strong kings and other leaders and replacing them with more malleable people
  • The underlying principle was to keep African populations in check and permit European administrators to engage in a “civilizing mission”
indirect rule
Indirect Rule
  • Indirect rule exercised control over subject populations through indigenous institutions such as existing “tribal” authorities and “customary laws”
  • Indirect rule work in places where Africans had already established strong and highly organized states, but elsewhere erroneous assumptions about the “tribal” nature of African societies caused problems
later problems
Later Problems
  • The invention of rigid tribal categories and the establishment of artificial tribal boundaries became one of the greatest obstacles to nation building and regional stability in much of Africa during the second half of the 20th Century
  • The arbitrary boundaries of the Berlin Conference did not take into consideration the natural divisions of the African people (religion, culture, language, ethnicity, etc)
later impacts
Later Impacts
  • When decolonization began in the 1950s, loyalties to these natural groups were often stronger than those to the arbitrarily-created state, leading to civil unrest in many countries
  • After independence, the dominant nationalist movements and their leaders tended to install themselves in virtually permanent power and tried to establish single-party states
us in latin america
US in Latin America
  • In 1823 President James Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine that warned European states against imperialist designs in the western hemisphere
    • Any European attempt to reassert control over former colonies or to establish new ones would be considered as a threat against the US and an act of provocation
  • The Monroe Doctrine served as a justification for US intervention in hemispheric affairs
roosevelt corollary to the monroe doctrine
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
  • In 1904 the government of the Dominican Republic went bankrupt
  • President Theodore Roosevelt feared that Germany and other nations might intervene forcibly to collect their debts 
  • Roosevelt asserted that “in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power....”

Cartoon portraying Roosevelt as an international policeman wielding his “big stick”

early 20 th century us interventions in latin america
Early 20th Century US Interventions in Latin America
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Nicaragua
  • Honduras
  • Haiti
us alaska and hawaii
US: Alaska and Hawaii
  • In 1867 the US purchased Alaska from Russia
  • In 1875 the US claimed a protectorate over Hawaii, where US entrepreneurs had established highly productive sugarcane plantations
  • In 1893 a group of businessmen and planters overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and invited the US to annex Hawaii
  • Hawaii became a US possession in 1898

Queen Liliuokalani

us spanish american war 1898 1899
US: Spanish-American War (1898-1899)
  • The US had large business interests in Puerto Rico and Cuba, the last remnant’s of Spain’s American empire
  • In 1898 the US battleship Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor
  • US leaders suspected sabotage and declared war on Spain
us spanish american war
US: Spanish-American War
  • The US easily defeated Spain and took possession of Puerto Rico and Cuba
  • In the Pacific, the US took possession of the Philippines and Guam
  • After the Spanish-American War the US emerged as a major imperial and colonial power

Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in a single day at the Battle of Manila.

puerto rico and cuba today
Puerto Rico and Cuba Today
  • Today Puerto Rico is a commonwealth associated with the US
  • In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship
  • In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998, voters chose to retain commonwealth status
puerto rico and cuba today1
Puerto Rico and Cuba Today
  • The Spanish-American War’s Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence, which was granted in 1902 after a three-year transition period
  • In 1959, Fidel Castro established a communist government in Cuba
  • However based on a series of agreements beginning in1903, the US has been able to lease Guantanamo Bay for $4,085 a year
philippines and guam today
Philippines and Guam Today
  • The Philippines were ceded to the US in 1898
  • In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth with independence to be gained after a 10-year transition.
  • In 1942, the Japanese occupied the Philippines
    • We’ll talk about this in Lesson 21
  • In 1946 the Philippines became independent
  • In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands

Clark Air Force Base was once the largest overseas U.S. military base in the world

philippines and guam today1
Philippines and Guam Today
  • Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898 and remains an organized, unincorporated territory of the US
  • It was captured by the Japanese in 1941 and retaken by the US three years later
    • We’ll talk about this in Lesson 21
  • Guam continues to host important US naval and air force bases
us panama
US: Panama
  • In 1903 the US supported a rebellion against Colombia and helped rebels establish a breakaway state of Panama
  • In exchange for the support the US won the right to build a canal across Panama and control the adjacent territory known as the Panama Canal Zone
  • The Canal opened in 1914
us panama1
US: Panama
  • The Torrijos-Carter Treaties in 1977 caused the Canal Zone to cease to exist in 1979 and the US to relinquish control of the Canal on Dec 31, 1999
  • The US conducted Operation Just Cause in 1989-1990 to capture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega

Canal Zone Governor’s House

imperial japan
Imperial Japan
  • Review from Lesson 11
    • In 1894 the Sino-Japanese War broke out over control of Korea
    • The Japanese navy quickly gained control of the Yellow Sea and then the Japanese army pushed Chinese forces off the Korean Peninsula
    • In the peace treaty, China recognized Korean independence which made Korea a virtual dependency of Japan
imperial japan1
Imperial Japan
  • Review from Lesson 11
    • The Japanese victory alarmed European powers, especially Russia, who shared interests with Japan in Korea and Manchuria
    • The Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904 with Japan emerging victorious and gaining recognition as a major imperial power
imperial japan2
Imperial Japan
  • Britain and the US began to see Japan as a threat to their naval dominance
  • In 1922 The Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty establish a ratio of capital ships as
    • Britain 5
    • United States 5
    • Japan 3
    • France 1.67
    • Italy 1.67
  • In the 1930s, an increasingly militant Japan demanded parity with the U.S. and Britain.
  • When the request was denied, Japan gave notice in 1934 that it would withdraw from the treaty in two years and did so
imperial japan3
Imperial Japan
  • Japan continued to see the US and others as a threat to its influence in Asia and in 1940 the Japanese began developing plans to destroy the US Navy in Hawaii
  • On Dec 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
    • We’ll discuss this in Lesson 18

In May 1940, the main part of the US fleet was transferred to Pearl Harbor from the west coast

  • Debate: “Defense of Imperialism”