Chapter 33 Notes

Chapter 33
The Building of Global Empires
Cecil Rhodes:
The idea of Imperialism
Motivation for Imperialism

  • Military
  • Political
  • Economic


European capitalism

  • Religious
  • Demographic
    • criminal populations
    • Dissident populations

Manifest Destiny

  • Discovery of natural resources
  • Exploitation of cheap labor
  • Expansion of markets
    • limited

The “White Man’s Burden”

  • Rudyard Kipling (1864-1936)‏
    • Raised in India, native Hindi speaker
    • Boarding school in England, then return to India (1882)
    • Pg. 913; read “White Man’s Burden”
    • French: mission civilisatrice “civilizing mission”
      • Justification for their expansion into Africa and Asia.


Geopolitical considerations

  • Strategic footholds
    • Waterways
    • Supply stations
    • Imperial rivalries
  • Domestic Political Considerations
  • Crises of industrialism
  • Pressure from nascent Socialism
  • Imperial policies distract proletariat from domestic politics


Cecil Rhodes: imperialism alternative to civil war

Technology and Imperialism

  • Transportation
    • Steamships
    • Railroads
    • Infrastructure
      • Suez Canal (1859-1869)
      • Essential for British control over India
    • Panama Canal (1904-1914)


  • Smoothbore, muzzle-loading muskets
  • •Mid-century: breech-loading rifles
    • Reduce reloading time
  • 1880s: Maxim gun, 11 rounds per second
  • The Military Advantage
  • Battle of Omdurman (near Khartom on Nile), 1898
    • Five hours of fighting
    • British: six gunboats, twenty machine guns, 368 Britons killed
    • Sudanese: 11,000 killed
    • Opened up British colonial rule in Sudan; now owned Nile waterway


  • Correspondence
    • 1830 Britain-India: 2 years
    • After Suez Canal, 2 weeks
    • Telegraph
    • 1870s, development of submarine cables
    • Britain-India: 5 hours


Section 2:  European Imperialism
The Jewel of the British Crown: India
•East India Company
•Monopoly on India trade
•Original permission from Mughal emperors
•Mughal empire declines after death of Aurangzeb, 1707
Home of a Wealthy Family in Calcutta
British Conquest
•Protection of economic interests through political conquest
•British and Indian troops (sepoys)
British Colonial Soldiers
Sepoy Revolt, 1857
•Enfield rifles
•Cartridges in wax paper greased with animal fat
–Problem for Hindus: beef
–Problem for Muslims: pork
•Sepoys capture garrison
–60 soldiers, 180 civilian males massacred (after surrender)‏
•Two weeks later, 375 women and children murdered
•British retake fort, hang rebels
Britain establishes direct rule
•Pre-empts East India Company
•Established civil service staffed by English
•Low-level Indian civil servants
British Rule in India
•Organization of agriculture
–Crops: tea, coffee, opium
•Stamp of British culture on Indian environment
•Veneer on poor Muslim-Hindu relations
Imperialism in Central Asia
•British, French, Russians complete for central Asia
–France drops out after Napoleon
–Russia active after 1860s in Tashkent, Bokhara, Samarkand, and approached India
•The “Great Game”: Russian vs. British intrigue in Afghanistan
–Preparation for imperialist war
–Russian Revolution of 1917 forestalled war
Imperialism in Southeast Asia
•Spanish: Philippines
•Dutch: Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)‏
•British establish presence from 1820s
–Conflict with kings of Burma (Myanmar) 1820s, established colonial authority by 1880s
–Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore for trade in Strait of Melaka
•Base of British colonization in Malaysia, 1870s-1880s
•French: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, 1859-1893
–Encouraged conversion to Christianity
The Scramble for Africa (1875-1900)
•French, Portuguese, Belgians, and English competing for “the dark continent”
•Britain establishes strong presence in Egypt, Rhodesia
–Suez Canal
–Rhodesian gold. diamonds
Rewriting African History
•Ancient Africa
•Implications for justification of imperialist rule
•European exploration of rivers (Nile, Niger, Congo, Zambesi)
–Information on interior of Africa
–King Leopold II of Belgium starts Congo Free State, commercial ventures
–Takes control of colony in 1908, renamed Belgian Congo
South African (Boer) War 1899-1902
•Dutch East India establishes Cape Town (1652)
–Farmers (Boers) follow to settle territory, later called Afrikaners
–Competition and conflict with indigenous Khoikhoi and Xhosa peoples
•British takeover in 1806, slavery a major issue of conflict
–Afrikaners migrate eastward: the Great Trek, overpower Ndebele and Zulu resistance with superior firepower
–Establish independent Republics
•British tolerate this until gold is discovered
•White-white conflict, black soldiers and laborers
•Afrikaners concede in 1902, 1910 integrated into Union of South Africa
Village around a Kraal
The Berlin West Africa Conference (1884-1885)
•Fourteen European states, United States
–No African states present
–Rules of colonization: any European state can take “unoccupied” territory after informing other European powers
•European firepower dominates Africa
–Exceptions: Ethiopia fights off Italy (1896); Liberia a dependency of the US
Systems of Colonial Rule
•Concessionary companies
–Private companies get large tracts of land to exploit natural resources
–Companies get freedom to tax (control of taxation), recruit labor for mining and agric.: horrible abuses
–Profit margin minimal
•Direct Rule: France
–“civilizing mission”
–Chronic shortage of European personnel; language and cultural barriers
–French West Africa: 3600 Europeans rule 9 million
Indirect Rule
•Frederick D. Lugard (Britain, 1858-1945)
–The Dual Magnate in British Tropical Africa (1922)
•Use of indigenous institutions
•Difficulty in establishing tribal categories, imposed arbitrary boundaries
European  Imperialism in Australia and New Zealand
•English use Australia as a penal colony from 1788
•Voluntary migrants follow; gold discovered 1851
–Outnumber convicts within 50 years
•Smallpox, measles devastate natives
•Territory called “terra nullus”: land of no one
•New Zealand: natives forced to sign Treaty of Waitangi (1840), placing New Zealand under British “protection”
Australian Aborigine
European and Native Population in Australia and New Zealand
European Imperialism in the Pacific Islands
•Commercial outposts
–Whalers seeking port
–Merchants seeking sandalwood, sea slugs for sale in China
–Missionaries seeking souls
•British, French, German, American powers carve up Pacific islands
–Tonga remains independent, but relies on Britain
Section 3:  The Emergence of New Imperial Powers
US Imperialism
•President James Monroe warns Europeans not to engage in imperialism in western hemisphere (1823)
–The Monroe Doctrine: all Americas a U.S. Protectorate; justified Amer. Intervention into west. hemisphere
•1867 purchased Alaska from Russia
•1875 established protectorate over Hawai’i
–Locals overthrow Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893, persuade US to acquire islands in 1898
Spanish-Cuban-American War (1898-1899)
•US declares war in Spain after battleship Maine sunk in Havana harbor, 1898
–Takes possession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines
–US intervenes in other Caribbean, Central American lands, occupies Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti
•Filipinos revolt against Spanish rule, later against US rule
–Emilio Aguinaldo led revolt against U.S. 1899-1902
The Panama Canal
•President Theodore Roosevelt (in office 1901-1909) supports insurrection against Colombia (1903)
•Rebels win, establish state of Panama
•U.S. gains territory to build canal, Panama Canal Zone
•Roosevelt Corollary of Monroe Doctrine
–U.S. right to intervene in domestic affairs of other nations if U.S. investments threatened
Early Japanese Expansion
•Resentment over Unequal Treaties of 1860s
•1870s colonized northern region: Hokkaido, Kurile islands, southern Okinawa and Ryukyu islands as well
•1876 Japanese purchase warships from Britain, dominate Korea
•Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) over Korea results in Japanese victory
•Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) also ends in Japanese victory; became major imperial power
Section 4:  Legacies of Imperialism
Economic Legacies of Imperialism
•Colonized states encouraged to exploit natural resources rather than build manufacturing centers
•Encouraged dependency on imperial power for manufactured goods made from native raw product
–Indian cotton
•Introduction of new crops
–Tea in Ceylon
Labor Migrations
•Europeans move to temperate lands
–Work as free cultivators, industrial laborers
–32 million to the US 1800-1914
•Africans, Asians, and Pacific islanders move to tropical/subtropical lands
–Indentured laborers, manual laborers
–Majority of indentured came from India
–2.5 million between 1820 and 1914
Colonial Conflict
•Thousands of insurrections against colonial rule
–Tanganyika Maji Maji Rebellion against Germans (1905-1906) Rebels sprinkle selves with magic water (maji maji) as protection against modern weapons; 75000 killed
•“Scientific” Racism developed
–Count Joseph Arthurd de Gobineau (1816-1882)
•Saw Europeans as intelligent and morally superior to all other people in the world
–Combines with theories of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) to form pernicious doctrine of Social Darwinism
•Soc. Darwinists: powerful nations meant to dominate weaker nations.
–Amer. and Japanese proved to be just as racist as Europeans when it came to imperialism
•Hawaii/Latin America (U.S.) and China/Korea (Japan)
Nationalism and Anti-colonial Movements
•Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1883), Bengali called “father of modern India”
•Reformers call for self-government, adoption of selected British practices (e.g. ban on sati)
–the former Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral
–Influence of Enlightenment thought, often obtained in European universities
•Indian National Congress formed 1885
–1906 joins with All-India Muslim League