- Introduction of the Chapter
- CONDITIONS THAT HELPED THE GROWTH OF IMPERIALISM
- THE CONQUEST OF ASIA: The British in India
- IMPERIALISM IN AFRICA
- THE AMERICAS AND THE PACIFIC
- EFEECTS OF IMPERIALISM
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THE term `imperialism’ means the practice of extending the power, control or rule by a country over the political and economic life of areas outside its own borders. This may be done through military or other means, and particularly through ‘colonialism’ or the practice of acquiring colonies by conquest or other means and making them dependent It may be remembered that occupation of or direct rule over a country or people by another country is not always an essential feature of imperialism The essential feature of the relations between an imperialist country and the country over which it has established its control or the colony which it has acquired, is exploitation, with or without direct political control. This means that the imperialist country, or metropolis (literal meaning ‘mother country’), as it is sometimes called, subordinates the colony or the country which the metropolis indirectly controls to serve its own economic and political interests.
Most countries of Asia, including India, and Africa, and many other parts of the world were until recent years under the control of one imperialist country or another. These included countries which were not directly/ruled by the imperialist countries but were exploited by them more or less in the same way as countries over which direct imperialist rule had been es tablished In the present-day World, when almost all countries of the world are politically independent, imperialist control over other countries has not come to an end The practice of exploitation, particularly economic exploitation and domination of independent but economically less developed countries, is often called ‘neocolonialism’ .
The first phase of the imperialist control and colonization of Asia, Africa and the Americas began in the sixteenth century. During the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, as you have read in Chapter 6 (Vol. 1), the voyages of discovery were followed by the founding of vast colonial empires by Portugal, Spain, Holland, England and France In the Americas, Spain occupied most of South America (excluding Brazil which was occupied by Portugal), Central America, Mexico, West Indies and parts of what is now the United States of America. England and France occupied parts of North America Many people from these countries of Europe went to settle in these colonies permanently During this period, the European control in Africa extended only to about one fifth of the continent, mainly in the coastal areas. This was the period of slave trade The European slave traders enslaved and transported about 5000 Africans to the Americas every month during the seventeenth century In Asia, the Europeans came mainly with the purpose of trade The traders from Portugal, Holland, England, France and other countries, with the backing of their respective governments, set up their trading posts and tried to establish their monopoly of trade with the countries of Asia, and each tried to exclude the others through war and by extending their political influence and control. The Portuguese who controlled the trade with Asia were ousted from that position by the Dutch and the English who extended their control over Indonesia and India, respectively. Generally speaking, the first phase of imperialism and colonization came to an end by the close of the eighteenth century. The British conquest of India which had started in the middle of the eighteenth century, was completed by about the middle of the nineteenth century. In the meantime, the imperialist penetration of China had begun.
The period between the sixteenth to the eighteenth century was a period of naked plunder by European colonial powers In Chapter 7 (Vol.1), you have already read about the role which this plunder played in the growth of the capitalist system and in the Industrial Revolution
During the initial period of the Industrial Revolution, the pursuit for colonies had slowed down The pursuit for colonies and colonial rivalries reemerged in the last quarter of the nineteenth century This new phase of imperialism, which began in about 1875 and continued till 1914, is often described as New Imperialism It was the result of the economic system that had developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution During this phase, a few industrialized capitalist countries established their political and economic control and domination over almost the rest of the world The forms of control and domination including direct colonial rule, spheres of influence and various types of economic and commercial agreements The power of some of the imperialist countries such as Spain and Portugal declined during this period, and new countries emerged which played an increasingly important role during this phase of imperialist expansion and rivalries. Besides the old imperialist countries —Britain and France —which continued to be powerful and expand, the new imperialist countries which emerged during this period were Germany, Italy, 13e1 glum, U S A and, later, Japan.
If you study the conditions that existed in the world in the nineteenth century, you will find that these conditions favoured the growth of imperialism The imperialist countries took full advantage of these conditions and easily justified any and every conquest that served their interests. In fact, the more pow erful nations made imperialism seem necessary and natural
As you have read, the Industrial Revolution resulted in a very great increase in the production of goods It also created the capitalist system of production. Under capitalism, maximum profit for the capitalist was the primary purpose of production Capitalists followed two courses to make big profits —more and more production and minimum wages to workers The production of goods was far in excess of the demand at home. Low wages meant low purchasing power of the majority of the population and this also restricted their demand at home. So capitalist countries had to find new markets and buyers for the goods their industries were producing.
The possibilities of one industrialized country selling its manufactures to another industrialized country were also limited. With the spread of the Industrial Revolution to all the countries of Europe, each country tried to protect and stimulate its new industries To do this, as you learned in Chapter 7, all the European nations began to follow a ‘protectionist policy’. That is, each country put a heavy tariff or tax on goods imported from other countries.
European countries could find markets for their surplus goods in Asia and Africa where the Industrial Revolution had not taken place. Selling was made easier through political domination of these areas. Then each country could protect its market from other European rivals and also eliminate any competition from goods produced locally.
In addition to markets, European countries needed new sources of raw materials. As industries grew, more and more raw materials were needed to fee those industries. And all that was needed could not be had internally, at any rate not enough of it. India and Egypt were good sources of cotton, Congo and the East Indies, of rubber Other products needed were food grains, tea, coffee, indigo, tobacco and sugar. To obtain these, it was necessary to change the pattern of production in the countries where they could be grown. Sometimes, goods produced in one country were sold in another country to pay for the goods from that country For example, the English promoted the cultivation of opium in India, they smuggled the opium from India into China and in this way paid for the goods that they bought in China. In some countries, the imperialists forced the cultivation of only one or two crops which they needed as raw materials for their industries Coal, iron, tin, gold, copper and, later, oil were other resources of Asia and Africa that European countries wanted to control.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, imperialist countries began looking upon Asia, Africa and South Africa as good places to invest their capital The abundance of raw materials in Asia and Africa, and the number of people who could be made to work for lower wages made the two continents very attractive to investors. Capital invested in Europe would fetch only 3 or 4 per cent profit, in Asia or Africa, it was as high as 20 per cent From about the end of the nineteenth century, export of capital for investment in other countries began to become more important than the export of goods. This happened as a result of the growing influence and power of the financial institutions such as banks. They exercised control over industries by giving them credit The investment of capital in the colonies was not made with a view to industrializing the colonies, it was to promote industries which would produce goods mainly for export, such as in mining, or which would further strengthen the imperialist country’s control over the colony’s economy, such as the railways But, as in the case of markets and raw materials, political domination was often necessary Investments might not be ‘safe’ without political domination, Europeans ‘reasoned’. An uprising that a weak government could not control, or a change in government, could mean a loss of profits or even of the whole investment, they argued This was how Morocco in North Africa, for example, became ‘French Morocco’, after French investors appealed to their government to annex it.
Changes in transport and communication that came with the Industrial Revolution made the spread of imperialism easier. Steamships could carry goods between home countries in Europe and the acquired territories in Asia and Africa much faster than old sailing vessels With cheap labour, imperialist countries built railroads and inland waterways in conquered area. On these they could get raw materials out of the interior of the continents and send their manufactured products into new markets. Thus every area of the world was brought within easy reach of the industrialized countries
The later part of the nineteenth century was a period of intense nationalism. Germany and Italy had just succeeded in becoming unified nations. Nationalism in the late nineteenth century came to be associated with chauvinism Many nations developed myths of their superiority over other peoples Each one felt that it, too, must have colonies to add to its prestige and power. Imperialism became the fashion of the age. Writers and speakers in England, France and Germany opened institutions to promote the idea of imperialism, and took great pride in calling their territories empires. Imperialist countries took over some places in Asia and Africa because of their military or strategic importance. For example, England needed Port Said, Aden, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cyprus —not to protect England but to protect her conquered lands and trade route to India from rival nations. At these places she established naval bases and coaling stations to strengthen her overseas power Rival nations got similar bases elsewhere, as you will see. Acquiring a colony also had a chain reaction If a county acquired a colony, it needed another to protect it and so on
Overseas possessions were also useful because they added to an imperialist country’s manpower Some of the people of the colonized countries were taken into the army, often by force, for use in wars of conquest, others were contracted to work on plantations and mines in some other colonial possession for a specified number of years. The manpower of the colonies was alsoused in the administration of the colonies at lower levels.
In the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was very noble. They considered it a way of bringing civilization to the ‘backward’ peoples of the world The famous English writer, Rudyard Kipling, asked his countrymen to shoulder what he called ‘the white man’s burden’ Jules Ferry, in France, said, ‘Superior races have the duty of civilizing the inferior races’ .
Christian missionaries, dedicated to spreading Christianity, also played their part in promoting the idea of imperialism. Usually they went alone into unknown areas in a spirit of duty. Very often they were followed by profiteering traders and soldiers. Wars often took place to protect the missionaries. All this seemed quite natural to most Western people who considered it their nation’s destiny to civilize and Christianize the peoples of Asia and Africa President McKinley of the United States summed up the reasons for annexing the Philippines in these words “There was nothing left to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos and uplift and civilize and Christianize them as our fellow men for whom Christ also died”.
They also helped in spreading imperialism. They went into unknown or little known territories and brought back reports that often indicated opportunities for trade and development. On the basis of such reports, a trading post would first be set up; next, gradually the explorer’s home government would arrange to take over ‘protection’ of the entire area around the trading post Then this government would proceed to claim the entire territory The work of explorers and adventurers was particularly important in Europe’s taking over of Africa.
The most important condition favouring the imperialist conquest of Asia and Africa was that the Industrial Revolution had not come to this part of the world. The craftsmen produced goods of fine quality that Westerners admired and desired. But they relied entirely on hand tools which meant production on a small scale In comparison with the production of Western countries in the nineteenth century, Asian and African methods were backward. Also, because of the lack of knowledge that the Industrial Revolution had brought to the West, the two continents were militarily unable to stand up to the armed might and power of Europe.
The governments of the countries of Asia and Africa were very weak in the nineteenth century, though in ancient and medieval times powerful empires had existed there. In the nineteenth century, the old ways of governing were still followed, even though they had outlived their usefulness. Strong nationstates in the modern sense had not developed. The people’s loyalties were still to local princes as in feudal times, or to tribal chieftains. These rulers cared little for the welfare of the people. These conditions help to explain how small bands of Westerners succeeded in gaining power and, finally, with the backing of their governments, in conquering entire countries.
The decline of the Mughal empire in India gave the British and the French, who had come to trade, an opportunity to conquer India. The English East India Company, formed in 1600, was victorious in its conflict with France, which ended in 1763. Beginning with Bengal, almost the entire country came under the rule of the English East India Company. After the Revolt of 1857, the British government took over direct control of India. Many princely states survived but they were free more in name than in fact. Britain’s conquest of India was complete.
The conflict between the English East India Company and the French was over establishing a monopoly of trade. After the English company gained control, the country’s vast resources fell into its hands. There was no longer any need to bring money from England to buy Indian goods. These were purchased with the money made from British conquests in India and sold in England and Europe Fortunes were made by the officers of the Company India was known as the brightest jewel of the British empire. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution in England, British goods poured into this country. This ruined Indian handicraft industries. Millions of pounds were drained out of India to England in the form of profits and as payment to the British government as direct tribute and Home Charges. India’s interests were subordinated more and more to British interests. In 1877, the British queen took the title ‘Empress of India’, like the one used earlier by the Mughals.
The British conquest led to many changes in the Indian social and economic life. To extend Indian markets for British goods and to make use of India’s natural resources railway construction was started on a large scale British rulers gave special privileges to their own planters, and within a short time a number of tea, coffee and indigo plantations grew up In 1883, all import and export duties were waived Indian resources, both human and material, were used to promote the interests of British imperialism in China, Central Asia and Africa. To prevent opposition from the Indian people, the British imposed laws to stifle the expression of public opinion They excluded Indians from responsible positions in government, and discriminated against them in other institutions and in social life.
Imperialist domination of China began with what are known as the Opium Wars Before these wars, only two ports were open to foreign traders British merchants bought Chinese tea, silk and other goods, but there was no market for British goods in China. Then British merchants started smuggling opium into China on a large scale. The illegal opium trade was profitable to the British traders but did immense physical and moral damage to the Chinese. In 1839, when a Chinese government official seized an opium cargo and destroyed it, Britain declared war and easily defeated the Chinese. The Chinese were then forced to pay heavy damages to the British and to open five port cities to British traders The Chinese government also agreed that in future, British subjects in these ports would be tried for any crimes in English rather than in Chinese courts This provision, which other Western countries copied, came to be known as extraterritorial rights. The Chinese government was no longer free to impose tariff on foreign goods The island of Hong Kong was turned over to Britain. Soon France entered into similar unequal treaties with China. On the pretext that a French missionary had been murdered, England and France fought another war with China. China was defeated and was forced to grant more privileges to her conquerors. The next important stage in the growth of imperialist control over China came after the wai with Japan This came about when Japan tried to increase her influence over Korea which was under Chinese overlordship. China resented this rind the two countries went to war, which ended in victory for Japan China gave Korea her independence and ceded Formosa and other islands to Japan. She was also forced to pay Japan heavy war damages amounting to about 150 million dollars.
France, Russia, Britain and Germany gave loans to China to help her to meet this payment. But not for nothing 1 These western countries then divided China into spheres of influence, which meant that each country had certain regions of China reserved exclusively for its purposes Foi example, in its sphere of influence, a country might have the right to build railways or work mines. Germany got Kiaochow Bay and exclusive rights in Shantung and in the HwangHo valley. Russia took Liao tung Peninsula, along with the right to build railroads in Manchuria, France received Kwangchow Bay and extensive rights in three southern provinces of China Britain got WeihiWei in addition to her sphere of influence in the Yangtze valley
The United States feared that China would be completely parcelled out in exclusive spheres of influence and that its trade with China would be shut off. The United States, therefore, suggested the policy known as the ‘Open Door’. This policy is also described as ‘Me too’ policy According to this policy, all countries would have equal rights to trade anywhere in China Britain supported the United States thinking that this policy would discourage the annexation of China by Japan and Russia, the two countries that could mast easily send their armies to the mainland
The scramble for privileges stopped in China after an uprising against the foreign powers known as the Boxer Rebellion. But the foreign powers were victorious and levied heavy damages on China as punishment Imperialism continued, with the cooperation of Chinese warlords. These military commanders were supported by the loans which they got from foreign powers in exchange for more privileges. Though China was not conquered and occupied by any imperialist country, the effects of these developments on China were the same as in areas which had been colonized In a period of a few decades, China had been ‘educed to the status of an international colony. The division of China into spheres of influence has often been described as the terazosin and viagra interaction with other drugs cutting of the Chinese melon’
South and South East Asia includes Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Indonesia, IndoChina, Thailand and the Philippines Even before the rise of the new imperialism, many of these countries were already dominated by the Europeans Sri Lanka was occupied by the Portuguese, then by the Dutch, and later by the British England introduced tea and rubber plantations, which came to form 7/8th of Sri Lanka’s exports. The Dutch lost Malaya to the British, including Singapore, lying at the tip of the Malaya peninsula. The conquest of Malaya and Singapore meant control of all the trade of the Far East that passed through the Straits of Malacca. Indonesia and the surrounding islands were under Dutch control After 1875, Holland extended her control over a group of islands known as the Moluccas.
The area in SouthEast Asia once called Indo-China consists of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. When England was fighting China over the opium trade, France was trying to extend her commerce in IndoChina. In a series of planned steps which included threats of war, France became the master of IndoChina and the separate states were grouped together under a
French governor general. Frequent revolts against French rule followed, but they were suppressed or, as the French said, ‘pacified’.
In 1880, the king of Burma gave France the right to build a railway from Tonkin to Mandalay The French were trying to dominate all of SouthEast Asia. The British government, fearing French expansion, started a war with Burma. The Burmese king was captured and sent to India Burma was annexed and became a part of Britain’s empire in India in 1886.
Thailand, or Siam, remained an independent state, though sandwiched between the French conquests in IndoChina and of the British in Burma But France and England exercised much power and authority over its affairs
The United States joined in the race of imperialist expansion in SouthEast Asia in the late nineteenth century A revolt of the Cubans in the Caribbean against Spanish rule led the United States to a war with Spain. There was a revolt of the Filipinos against Spanish rule and the United States occupied Cuba and the Philippines The Filipinos revolted against the American occupation but were suppressed and the Philippines became an American possession The United States paid 20 million dollars to Spain for the Philippines.
England and Russia were rivals in the struggle to control Central Asia, Iran (Persia), Afghanistan and Tibet The Russian empire succeeded in annexing almost all of Central Asia in the second half of the nineteenth century The conflict between England and Russia came to a head over Iran and Afghanistan Besides some minor economic interests in these countries, Britain was mainly concerned about defending her conquests in India against the expansion of Russia in Central Asia. Russia and England set up banks in Iran to obtain economic control In 1907, England and Russia reached an agreement according to which southern Iran became Britain’s sphere of influence and northern Iran the Russian sphere of influence. The central part of Iran was neutral and open to both Meanwhile, the struggle was on between Britain and Russia for mastery over Afghanistan and Tibet Finally in 1907, Britain and Russia reached an agreement over these two countries and Iran Both powers agreed not to interfere in Tibet Russia agreed to recognize Afghanistan as being outside her influence and Britain agreed not to annex Afghanistan as long as her ruler remained loyal to her The division of Iran into three zones has already been mentioned This meant the establishment of joint Anglo-Russian supremacy over Iran. After the Russian Revolution broke out in 1917, the new Soviet government denounced the old Anglo Russian agreement and gave up her rights in Iran However, Iran was occupied by British troops Meanwhile, oil had been found in Iran and British and American oil interests became powerful Iran remained nominally independent but was increasingly under the domination of foreign oil companies — the Standard Oil Company of the United States and the AngloPersian Oil Company of England. After the overthrow of the monarchy in China in 1911, Tibet increasingly passed under British influence.
Germany, during these years, was extending her influence over Turkey and the Asian possessions of the Turkish empire. A German company obtained a concession to build a railway from Constantinople to Baghdad and the persian Gulf. Through this railway, Germany hoped to promote her economic interests in this region, and on to Iran and India France, England and Russia opposed this, but an agreement to divide the region was reached between Germany, France and England. The First World War, however, changed the situation. Germany and Turkey, allies in the war, were defeated Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Arabia were taken away from Turkey and they passed under the control of England and France Thus, Germany as an imperialist nation was completely eliminated from Asia and other parts of the world. Soon, oil and the concessions to control oil resources became the major objectives of the imperialist countries in Western Asia American oil companies, in partnership with England and France, got oil concessions in Arabia
Japan started on her program of imperialist expansion in the last decade of the nineteenth century Western countries had tried to establish their foothold there In 1853 American warships under Commodore Perry had, after a show of force, compelled the Japanese to open their country to American shipping and trade This was followed by similar agreements by Japan with Britain, Holland, France and Russia. However, Japan escaped the experience and fate of other Asian countries. In 1867, after a change in government, known as Meiji Restoration, Japan began to modernize her economy Within a few decades, she became one of the most industrialized countries of the world But the forces that made many of the Western countries imperialist were also active in the case of Japan. Japan had few raw materials to support her industries. So she looked for lands that had them and for markets to sell her manufactured goods
China provided ample opportunities for Japan’s imperialist designs. You have already read of the war between China and Japan over Korea, in 1894 After this, Japan’s influence in China increased The Anglo Japanese Treaty of 1902 recognized her as a power of equal standing with the great European powers. In 19045 she defeated Russia. As a result of this war, the southern half of Sakhalin was ceded to Japan. Japan also gained control of the southern part of the Liaotung Peninsula with Port Arthur which was leased to her In 1910, Korea became a colony of Japan. When the First World War began in 1914, Japan could look back with some pride at her record of the last fifty years. She had become a great power and could expand further at the cost of China if the Western powers would only allow her to do so
However, her own record was, if anything, worse than that of Western imperialists. In fact, Japan’s rise as an imperialist power helped to show that imperialism was not limited to any one people or region Rather, it was the result of greed for economic and political power which could distort the policy of any country regardless of its race or cultural claims.
To sum up, almost all of Asia had been swallowed up by the imperialist countries by the early years of the twentieth century.
You have already read in Chapter 4 (Vol.1) about the emergence of civilization and the formation of states, kingdoms and empires in different parts of Africa You have also read about the contacts which African cultures and civilizations had with the rest of the world since ancient times From the time of European explorations in the later part of the fifteenth century, a new phase began in the history of some parts of Africa
Besides the establishment of commercial relations with some parts of Africa, this phase was characterized by slave trade As mentioned earlier, till about the last quarter of the nineteenth century, European control over Africa extended over about one-fifth of the territory of the continent. However, within a few years almost the entire continent was partitioned among various European imperialist countries though it took them much longer to establish their actual effective occupation
The European penetration of Africa from the late fifteenth century onwards was confined for a long time mainly to certain coastal areas However, even these limited contacts led to the most tragic and disastrous consequences for the people of Africa, One of the first results of these contacts was the purchase and sale of people —the slave trade. The Spanish rule in the Americas had resulted in the large-scale extermination of the original inhabitants of the Americas The Portuguese had established a slave market in Lisbon and the Spaniards bought slaves from there and took them to their colonies in the Americas to work there. African villages were raided by slave traders and people were captured and handed over to the European traders Earlier, the Arabs had dominated the slave trade, Subsequently, some African chiefs also took part in the slave trade by trading slaves in exchange for firearms which the European traders sold to them .The Europeans themselves also raided the villages and enslaved the people, who were then transported. When the demand for slaves in America increased, they were sent directly from Africa by the traders.
The trade in African slaves was started by the Portuguese. Soon the English took over. In 1562, Sir John Hawkins, a rich English merchant, who was known to be very religious, went on his first voyage to Africa to bring slaves in a ship called Jesus The reigning English monarch, Elizabeth I, received a share of the profits that Hawkins made in selling the slaves that he had brought In the seventeenth century, a regular company received a charter from the King of England for purposes of trade in slaves Later, Spain gave the monopoly of slave trade with her possessions in America to England The share of the king in the profits from slave trade was fixed at 25 per cent
Up to about the middle of the nineteenth century this trade continued. Millions of Africans were uprooted from their homes Many were killed while resisting the raids on their villages by the traders. They were taken in ships as inanimate objects and in such unhygienic conditions that the sailors on the ships often revolted Lakhs of them died during the long journey. It is estimated that not even half of the slaves captured reached America alive. The inhuman conditions under which they were forced to work on the plantations cannot even be imagined today Extreme brutalities were inflicted on those who tried to escape. The person who killed a runaway slave was given a reward by the government. Slavery had become an integral part of the colonial system established by European countries during this period.
By early nineteenth century, trade in slaves lost its importance in the system of colonial exploitation Slavery was also a hindrance if the interior of Africa was to be opened to colonial exploitation In fact, some colonial powers used the pretext of abolishing slave trade to go to war against African chiefs and kings to expand their territorial possessions. In the meantime, exploration of the interior of Africa had begun and preparations made by the European powers to impose another kind of slavery on the continent of Africa —for the direct conquest of almost entire Africa.
The interior of Africa was almost unknown to the Europeans up to about the middle of the nineteenth century, The coastal regions were largely in the hands of the old trading nations —the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English and the French They had set up their forts there There were only two places where the European rule extended deep into the interior. In the north the French had conquered Algeria. In the south the English had occupied Cape Colony to safeguard their commerce with India. It had earlier been a Dutch colony where a number of Europeans, mainly the Dutch, had settled. These settlers, known as Boers, had taken to farming. This was the only part of Africa where a large number of Europeans were settled Within a few years, however, a scramble for colonies begat and almost the entire continent had been cut up and divided among European powers
They played their respective roles in the conquest of Africa, The explorers aroused the Europeans’ interest in Africa. The missionaries saw the continent as a place for spreading the message of Christianity. The interests created by explorers and missionaries were soon used by the traders. Western governments supported all these interests by sending troops, and the stage was set for conquest. Even though the European powers met with stiff resistance from the Africans and it took them a long time to establish effective occupation of their colonies, the speed with which the European powers conquered Africa is without a parallel. It is necessary to understand the reasons for this. The external factors have been broadly mentioned in an earlier section of this chapter. The economic might of the imperialist powers was much greater than the economic resources of the African states The latter did not have the resources to fight a long war In terms of military strength, the imperialist countries were far more powerful than the African states The Africans had outdated firearms which had been sold to them by the Europeans They were no match for the new rifles and guns which the Europeans used The couplet of an English poet is often quoted to bring out this superiority.
Whatever happens we have got,
The maximgun and they have not.
The Maximgun was a fast firing new gun which was used against the Africans who often fought with axes and knives Politically, like Indian states in the eighteenth century, the African states were not united There were conflicts between states and within states and the rulers and chiefs often sought the support of the Europeans against their rivals. As a result of these conflicts, the boundaries of the African states were often changing. As against this, the imperialist countries participating in the scramble for Africa were united The scramble had created serious rivalries among them. In fact, the scramble to grab the maximum of African territory in the shortest possible time was the result of these rivalries. Many a time during the scramble wars between these countries were imminent. But in every case, war was avoided and agreements reached between them as to who will get which part of Africa. For example, the Anglo-German rivalries in East Africa were resolved in 1890 when Germany agreed to concede Uganda to Britain in exchange for Britain giving away Heligoland to Germany In 1884-85, there was a Congress in Berlin where a group of European states met and discussed how to share out Africa among themselves No African state was represented at this Congress. Treaties were signed between European powers to settle disputes over claims to African territories between themselves. Treaties were also signed between African rulers and chiefs, and the representatives of European governments or European companies and individuals which were later sanctioned by their respective governments. These treaties were often fraudulent and bogus In the cases where these were genuine, they were misrepresented in negotiations with other European countries and the wrong interpretations put on them were recognized by other European powers. For example, if an African ruler signed a treaty with a European country to seek the latter’s support against a rival, that European country in seeking approval of other European countries interpreted it to mean that the African ruler had agreed to make his state a ‘protectorate’ of that European country. This interpretation was then accepted by other European powers and the process of occupation began without any hindrance from them In this way, the partition of Africa was nearly completed by the end of the nineteenth century. This position is generally referred to as http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=comprare-viagra-generico-25-mg-a-Bologna ‘paper partition’ as, the actual partition took much longer and was accomplished by the use of the superior military might of the European powers to suppress the resistance by the Africans A look at the map of Africa after partition will show how the continent of Africa was partitioned on paper in conference rooms in Europe About thirty per cent of all boundaries in Africa are in straight lines. It will be easier to understand the conquest of Africa by European powers if we study it region by region. We must remember, however, that occupation did not take place in the order described here
In 1878, with the financial assistance of King Leopold II of Belgium, H M. Stanley founded the International Congo Association which made over 400 treaties with African chiefs They did not understand that by placing their ‘marks’ on bits of paper they were transferring their land to the Congo Association in exchange for cloth or other articles of no great value Stanley acquired large tracts of land by these methods. In 1885 some 2.3 million square kilometres, nch in rubber and ivory, became the ‘Congo Free State’ with Leopold as its king.
Stanley called the occupation of Congo (the present Zaire) ‘ a unique humanitarian and political enterprise’, but it began with brutal exploitation of the Congo people They were forced to collect rubber and ivory Leopold alone is said to have made a profit of over 20 million dollars The treatment of the Congolese people was so bad that even other colonial powers were shocked To give an example of the brutality, soldiers of the Congo Free State chopped off the hands of the defiant villagers and brought them as souvenirs. In 1908, Leopold was compelled to hand over the Congo Free State to the Belgian government, and it became known as Belgian Congo Gradually, Congo’s gold, diamond, uranium, timber and copper became more important than her rubber and ivory. Many of the countries, including England and the United States, joined Belgium in exploiting these resources The company which controlled the copper resources of Katanga province (present Shaba) was one of the biggest copper companies in the world. This company, jointly owned by English and Belgian interests, played a very big role in Congo’s political affairs.
Locate the Niger river, the second great river of western Africa, on the map The control over the Niger meant the control over the land with rich resources The British had occupied a part of this legion called Nigeria, to get slaves for export to their plantations in America The British company took the initiative in the conquest of Nigeria. For a time there was a sharp rivalry with a French company, but in the end the British company was able to buy out the French and became the ruler of Nigeria After a few years the British government declared Nigeria a protectorate of Britain In West Africa, Britain also occupied Gambia, Ashanti, Gold Coast and Sierra Leone.
When Stanley was carving out the empire for King Leopold in Congo, a Frenchman, de Brazza, was active north of the Congo river Following the methods of Stanley, de Brazza won the area for France, this area became what was until recently called the French Congo with its capital town named Brazzaville, after de Brazza. On Africa’s west coast, Senegal and been occupied by France earlier Now France set out to extend her empire in West Africa. Soon she obtained Dahomey (pi esent Benin), the Ivory Coast and French Guinea By the year 1900, the French empii e extended further into the interior. More territories were added to the West African conquests after 1900 and French West Africa came to include present Senegal, French Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Mauritania, French Sudan, Upper Volta and Niger Territory. The French conquest resulted in brutal exploitation of the people everywhere in Africa. For example, in a period of only 20 years, the population of the French Congo was reduced to one-third of its former size.
After 1880, Germany also got very interested in possessions in Africa First she occupied an area called Togoland on the west coast; soon after, the Cameroons, a little farther south. Still farther south, the Germans established themselves in South-west Africa where, to suppress local rebels, more than half of the population was exterminated. But these conquests did not satisfy Germany; she wanted the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique and Congo for herself Before the First World War started, England and Germany agreed to partition Angola and Mozambique between themselves, but the war shattered Germany’s dreams. After the war, when the German colonies were given to the victorious powers, Togoland and the Cameroons were divided between England and France, and German South-west Africa was given to South Africa.
Spain had only two colonies on the western coast of Africa —Rio de Oro (Spanish Sahara) and Spanish Guinea. Portugal possessed valuable regions of Angola and Portuguese Guinea. Thus, with the exception of Liberia, the whole of West Africa was divided up among the Europeans Liberia was settled by slaves who had been freed in America. Though she remained independent, she came increasingly under the influence of the United States, particularly the American investors in rubber plantations.
In South Africa, the Dutch had established the Cape Colony, which the British took over in the early nineteenth century. The Dutch settlers, known as Boers, then went north and set up two states, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. By 1850 both these states were ruled by the Boers.
The English adventurer, Cecil Rhodes, came to south Africa in 1870, made a fortune in mining diamond and gold of this region and gave his name to an African colony Rhodesia. (Northern Rhodesia is now independent and is called Zambia. Southern Rhodesia which became an independent nation in April 1980 is Zimbabwe.) Rhodes became famous as a great philanthropist who founded the ‘Rhodes scholarships’, but lie was first of all a profiteer and empirebuilder. ‘Pure philanthropy’, he said,‘ is very well in its way, but philanthropy plus five per cent is a good deal better‘. Rhodes’ dream was to extend the British rule throughout the world, and he certainly succeeded in extending the British empire in Africa. The British occupied Bechuanaland, Rhodesia, Swaziland and Basutoland. They plotted the overthrow of the Boer government of Transvaal which was rich in gold This led to the Boer War (1899-1902) in which the Boers were defeated though they continued to remain there.
Soon after this, the Union of South Africa was formed consisting of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange River Colony. This Union was ruled by the white minority —Boers, Englishmen, and a few settlers from other European countries The South African government later declared itself a republic.
Except for the Portuguese possession of a part of Mozambique, East Africa had not been occupied by any European power before 1884. In that year a German adventurer, named Karl Peters, came to the coastal region. Using bribery and threats, he persuaded some rulers to sign agreements placing themselves under German protection Since France and Britain also had plans in this area, an agreement was signed by which France got Madagascar, and East Africa was divided between Germany and England. The ruler of Zanzibar who claimed East Africa as his property got a strip of coast land, 1600 kilometres long and 16 kilometres deep The Northern half of this strip was reorganized as a British sphere of influence, and the southern part. Tanganyika, a German sphere of influence. These were later occupied by England and Germany But the Africans rose in revolt again and again because the Germans had taken land from them without making any payment. During a rebellion in 1905, 120,000 Africans were killed in this German colony In 1890, there was an agreement between Germany and England according to which Uganda was’ reserved’ for England. In exchange Germany was given Heligoland In 1896, Uganda was declared a British protectorate Germany also gave up her claims to Zanzibar and Pemba island, Witu and Nyasaland (present Malawi), but made more conquests in the interior. The Portuguese colony of Mozambique was fo be shared out between Germany and England, but the First World War stopped the plan and Germany lost all her colonies. German East Africa was given to England after the war and was renamed Tanganyika. (Tanganyika and Zanzibar now ‘form the republic of Tanzania) British East Africa was renamed Kenya. The German possession of Ruanda-Urundi was given to Belgium.
Like Germany, Italy entered the colonial race late. The Italians occupied two desert areas in what is called the ‘horn of Africa’ Somaliland and Eritrea. The country of Abyssinia, now known as Ethiopia, was an independent state. Italy wanted to declare Abyssinia its protectorate and invaded her. The king of Abyssinia rejected Italy’s claim and in 1896 defeated the Italian invading army Unlike other African states, Abyssinia had been able to get arms from France. This historic battle in which an African state had defeated a European state’s army is known as the Battle of Adowa. So the Italians had to withdraw Italy made another attempt to conquer Abyssinia in 1935, before the Second World War Except for a brief period during those years, Ethiopia, except Eritrea, was able to maintain her independence.
Algeria, on the north coast of Africa, was conquered by France in 1830, but it took her about 40 years to suppress the Algerian resistance. It ‘was the most profitable of France’s colonial possessions, providing her a vast market for French goods To the east of Algeria is Tunisia which was coveted by France, England and Italy According to an agreement in 1878, England gave France a free hand in Tunisia in return for British occupation of the island of Cyprus, and a few years later Tunisia became a French possession.
Morocco is situated on the north coast of Africa, just south of Gibraltar. Thus it is very important to the western entrance of the Mediterranean Both France and Italy wanted to claim it as their territory The two countries agreed, in 1900, to the French occupation of Morocco and to the Italian occupation of Tripoli and Cyrenaica, to the east of Tunisia In 1904, France and England signed an agreement which gave Morocco to France, and Egypt to England. After these agreements had been signed, France proceeded with her plans of conquest of Morocco. Germany had been ignored when England, France and Italy were signing agreements to partition North Africa She threatened to oppose the French occupation Spain had been promised Tangier in return for French occupation of Morocco. So it became necessary to appease German ambition in North Africa There were many international crises and it appeared as if war would break out. The German Foreign Minister said, “You have bought your liberty in Morocco from Spain, England, and even from Italy, and you have left us out.” But who should occupy Morocco was decided, as in other cases, in Europe. The people of Morocco were never consulted. Ultimately, France agreed to give Germany 250,000 square kilometres of French Congo. Spain was further appeased by giving her a small part of Morocco In 1912 France established her protectorate over Morocco However, it took the French many years after the First World War to suppress the rebellions there.
As you have seen earlier, Italy had assured herself the support of European nations in her claims over Tripoli and Cyrenaica, which were the possessions of the Turkish empire. Italy then declared war against Turkey and occupied the two provinces, which were given the old Roman name of informazioni viagra generico a Napoli Libya.
Egypt was a province of the Turkish empire when the scramble for colonies began in the nineteenth century. It v as ruled by a representative of the Turkish Sultan, called Pasha Since the time of Napoleon, France had been interested in Egypt A French company had gained a concession from Ismail Pasha, the Governor of Egypt, to dig a canal across the isthmus of Suez. The canal was completed in 1869 and aroused British interest in the area Disraeli, the British Prime Minister, bought a large number of shares of the canal from the Pasha to make sure of keeping the route to India safe The canal was described by Disraeli as ‘ a highway to our Indian empire.’
The financial troubles of the Pasha led to increased joint Anglo-French control over Egypt When the Pasha tried to resist, he was forced to abdicate and anew governor was appointed In 1882, there was a revolt against the Anglo-French control and, in suppressing the revolt, the British armies conquered Egypt Restoration of law and order and protection of the Suez Canal were the reasons given for the military intervention in Egypt. England announced that she would withdraw her troops as soon as order was restored After the revolt was suppressed, Egypt came under British control. In 1914, when the First World War started, England announced that Egypt was no longer a Turkish province but a British protectorate. The Egyptians never reconciled themselves to the British conquest. After the war was over, leaders of Egypt started for the Paris Peace Conference to plead the case of Egypt, but they were arrested. In 1922, though she still retained her rights over the Suez and many other concessions, Britain was forced to recognize Egypt as an independent sovereign state
Sudan, or what was earlier known as Egyptian Sudan, was jointly exploited by Egypt and Britain. A Sudanese leader who had proclaimed himself the Mandi had succeeded in overthrowing Egyptian and British control over Sudan. His army had defeated Egyptian and British troops In 1898, British and Egyptian troops succeeded in recapturing Sudan after a long and bloody war in which 20,000 Sudanese troops, including the successor of the Mandi, were killed. Sudan came under British rule. The French at this time tried to occupy southernparts of Sudan but were forced to withdraw by the British France, however, was given a free hand to extend her control over wha t was known as western Sudan and the Sahara France occupied these areas after a long war of conquest. With these gains, France was able to connect her equatorial conquests with her west and north African conquests.
You have already read about the colonization of the Americas by Spain, Portugal, Britain, France and other European countries, and the emergence of the United States of America as an independent nation. The freedom movements in some of the countries of South America and the Caribbean have also been briefly mentioned. By 1820s, almost all countries of the Americas had gained their independence from Spain and Portugal. Only a few colonies ruled by European countries were left in this part of the world. Among these were Cuba and Puerto Rico which were still under Spanish rule and a few others under British, French, Dutch and Danish rule.
The United states in the nineteenth century emerged as the biggest power in the Americas. She had extended her territories through war with Mexico and purchase of Louisiana Florida and Alaska from France, Spain and Russia, respectively. Within a short period after the Civil War (1861-65) which ended in the abolition of slavery, the United States emerged as a major industrial and military power in the world. By 1900, her naval strength was third in the world The forces that had led to the emergence of imperialism in Europe and later in Japan also led to the emergence of the United States as a major imperialist power by the later half of the nineteenth century. You have already read about the treaty which the United States signed with China in 1844 on the lines which some European countries had forced on China after the Opium War. Commodore Perry’s show of force in Japan in 1853 has also been mentioned. After the U S. — Spanish War, the Philippines had become a U.S. colony. USA had also taken Puerto Rico and Guam (in the Pacific) from Spain, and Cuba, though independent in name, had in fact become an appendage of USA.
When the scramble for colonies began, the leaders of USA declared that she must not fall out of the line of march. They also claimed, like the European imperialist countries, the right to ‘civilize’ the backward countries of the world and, of course, to interfere in the affairs of other countries to protect their markets and investments.
During the period from the 1890s to the early years of the twentieth century, the United States spread its control, direct and indirect, over South America and the Pacific In 1823, the President of the United States had proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine which warned the European powers against any attempt to extend their power in the Western/ Hemisphere In 1895, the Monroe Doctrine was given a new meaning. There was a territorial dispute between British Guiana (now Guyana) and Nicaragua, and the British threatened to send troops against Nicaragua. The US government forced Britain not to send her troops and declared that “Today the United States is practically sovereign on this Continent“. A new corollary was added to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 by the then U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt Britain and Germany had imposed a naval blockade of Venezuela as she had failed to repay the loan which she had taken from them. Theodore Roosevelt forced Britain and Germany to lift the blockade and declared that the United States alone had the right to intervene in the affairs of her neighbouring countries if they were unable to maintain order on their own. The United States took control of the finances of the Dominican Republic which she retained for three decades and occupied that country in 1916 for eight years. In 1906, American troops were sent to Cuba and remained there for three years to ‘protect’ Cuba from disorder. In 1909, American troops were sent to Nicaragua in support of a revolt which had been inspired by an American mining company. The United States secured from the government which had been installed there the ugh t to intervene in that country to protect American interests In 1915, American troops Were sent to Haiti and remained there till 1934.
In Mexico, where the United States had huge investments, Fransisco Madero, a popular leader was deposed with the support of the United States The intervention by the United States in Mexico continued for many years.
The policy of the United States was described as the ‘Big Stick’ policy and one of an ‘international policeman’ . The extension of the U S influence through economic investments in the region is known as the ‘Dollar diplomacy’. The economic and political domination of South America was facilitated by the absence of strong governments in the countries of South America. Many of these countries were ruled by caudillos, or crude and corrupt military leaders with armed gangs. They floated loans for ready cash and sold concessions to foreign companies to exploit the natural resources of their countries. They served as markets for manufactures, and sources of raw materials for industrialized countries, particularly the United States, as well as avenues for investment of capital from these countries. Most of the countries of South America, though political independent, came under the economic and political control of the United States.
One of the major acquisitions by the United States in this period was the Panama Canal. A French company had started the construction of the canal in the Isthmus of Panama in Colombia (Central America). The canal which would link the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans was of great economic interest In 1901, the United States decided to undertake the canal project alone.
She paid $40 million to the French company and entered into an agreement with the government of Colombia. According to the agreement, Colombia was to give the United States perpetual rights to a six mile wide ‘canal zone’ across her territory in exchange for ten million dollars plus $ 250,000 as annual rent. The agreement was completely against the interests of Colombia and Colombia’s Parliament refused to ratify it. In 1903, the United States financed and organized a revolt in Panama and landed her troops there. Soon after, the United States recognized Panama as an independent state The government of Panama signed a new agreement with the United States according to which the amount of compensation remained the same but instead of the six mile wide canal zone, ten mile canal zone was granted to the United States. The canal was opened in 1914 and the canal zone has remained under the occupation of the United States since then.
The United States also extended her control in the Pacific during this period The islands of Hawaii had been important for American shipping and for trade with China The United States’ economic and commercial influence gradually increased in these islands and with the settling of Americans there, particularly as sugar planters, these islands became closely tied to the economy of the United States The United States had secured the exclusive use of Pearl Harbor as a naval station. In 1893, the American residents in the Hawaii islands revolted against the queen of Hawaii and, asked for the annexation of the islands by the United States. By 1898, Hawaii had been annexed by the United States. Later, it became one of the states of the United States.
The United States also extended control over other islands in Pacific. There was rivalry among the US Britain and Germany over these lands. In 1899, Germany and States divided these islands bets selves and as ‘compensation given islands elsewhere in the Pacific.
By 1914, almost all parts of the non-industrialized world had come under or indirect control of a few industrialized countries. Most countries of Africa had Lost their political freedom and were ruled by one or other country. The economies of all countries as well as of those which were politically independent were control imperialist countries to serve rests. All parts of the world were brought together under a world economic control which was based on the exploit colonies. Since 1946, most Asia can colonies have become free and independent. You will read about it later. But the effects of imperialism in the life of the people in these country are still evident.
The most important and lasting consequence of imperialism and colonization was the economic backwardness of the colonies as well as of those countries indirectly controlled by the countries Imperialism led to destruction of local industries. For example, India for centuries an exporter of textiles. During imperialist rule, India’s indigenous textile industry was destroyed and she became an importer of British cloth. The natural resources of the colonies came under the control of the imperialist countries and were exploited for their own benefit. The industrialization of these countries was prevented. Where industries were started, these were subordinated to the interests of the industries of the imperialist countries or for making profits for the companies of the imperialist countries. The modern industries in the colonies had little impact on the life of the people there. The patterns of agriculture in the colonies were also changed to meet the requirements of the industries of the imperialist countries. In some countries, the entire agriculture was reduced to the growing of one or two crops For example, Cuba was reduced to the position of a sugar producing country and little else. There was also naked plunder of natural resources, and exploitation through high demands of revenues and taxes. Some of the best lands in the colonies were taken over by the European planters Imperialism further aggravated the economic backwardness of the non-industrialized countries of the world. The subordination of the economics of these areas to those of the imperialist countries was so complete that even after political independence, most of these countries found it difficult to develop their economics to suit their own interests. The impoverishment of the people of the colonies and of other non-industrialized countries is a continuing consequence of imperialism.
Imperialism also bred racial arrogance and discrimination. The idea of the superiority of the white race whom God had created to govern the world, was popularized in the imperialist countries. In their colonies, the white rulers and settlers discriminated against the local inhabitants who were considered inferior to them. In most European colonies, there was no intermixing with the local population and the Europeans lived in areas exclusively reserved for them. The worst example of racism was South Africa where intermixing of whites and blacks was made a criminal offence. It is interesting to know that when Japan emerged as an imperialist power, the Japanese were excluded from being branded as belonging to an inferior race. In fact, South Africa gave the Japanese the status of what they called http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=cialis-original-x-generico ‘honorary whites’
At every step, the imperialist powers met with the resistance of peoples they were trying to enslave. Even when the conquest by arms was decisive, foreign rule that ensued was never peaceful for the rulers. The conquered peoples organized movements not merely to overthrow foreign rule but also to develop their countries into modern nations. In a sense, these movements against imperialism were international in character People striving for freedom in one country supported the cause of peoples in other countries.
Generally speaking, the imperialist countries retained their colonial possessions up to the Second World War But within two decades after the end of the War, most of the countries succeeded in regaining their independence.
Most of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth century were the years in which the nations of the western world held Asia and Africa as their colonial possessions. In the later years of this period of imperialism, about two thirds of the world’s population was living under the rule of one foreign government or the other. The empires acquired by the European nations were the largest in world history.
Imperialism is a story of deception, brutality, and armed might. The imperialist powers, however, Justified their enslavement of other nations and peoples in the name of ‘ spreading civilization’.
Getting possession of new markets and raw materials and establishing industries to be worked by cheap labour created many ‘small’ wars and two world conflicts. Despite the ‘gentlemen’s agreements’, there was a continuous effort among the western powers to redivide the world as between themselves but never with any consideration for the welfare of the people to whom the territory really belonged.
- Explain why the Industrial Revolution led to the emergence of imperialism
- Describe the steps, giving examples, by which the imperialist countries ‘took over most of Africa.
- Why were Asian and African countries so easily dominated by the Western powers?
- How did nationalism help to make imperialism ‘popular’ in Europe?
- Describe the emergence of the United States of America as an imperialist power Give examples
- Describe the imperialist expansion of japan up to 1914
- Explain the meaning of the following terms, with examples: Sphere of influence, exploitation, extraterritorial rights, protectorate, Monroe Doctrine, Dollar diplomacy.
- Prepare maps of Asia and Africa showing the colonies and spheres of influence of the various imperialist powers before the First World War
- Study the developments that have taken place in Africa after the revolution in Portugal in April 1974
- Write an essay on ‘Slavery and Slave Trade and the Struggle for their Abolition
- How did the empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries differ from the empires of ancient times —for example, those of the Mauryas, the Romans and of Alexander?
- Discuss the differences between the imperialist expansion during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and 1870 to I 914
- Name and discuss some of the big problems faced by newly independent countries Why are their problems also the problems of all countries?
- Discuss the long-term impact of imperialist control on the countries of Asia, Africa and South America