Imperialism: British Empire and Imperialist Powers Spheres

Topics: Imperialism, Colonialism, British Empire Pages: 5 (1139 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Age of Imperialism


Main Idea: The industrialized nations conquered native lands in Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America and exploited these lands and the native people.

Imperialism: one countries domination of the political, economic and social life of another country.

A. Causes of the “New Imperialism”

*1. needs of Industrialism : raw materials, markets, places to invest, cheap

*2. rise of Nationalism: competition for new colonies, political rivalry, pride

*Industrialism and nationalism in the 19th c. intensified imperial expansion* This will lead to many native wars and increasing tensions between the imperialist powers.

3. outlet for surplus population

4. “civilizing” the native populations with western culture/ideals and

Christianity(assimilation, paternalism, White Man’s Burden)

5. economic gain – make colonies profitable: mining, cash crops,

build infrastructure, ports, industrialization

6. new technology – military(guns, naval, military bases), medical,

transportation, communication, etc.

7. *weak native governments could not resist the imperial powers!

B. 3 Types of Imperialism

1. colony: total control of a country or area by an imperialist power

a. direct rule – imperialist power controls the colony at

all levels(national & local) by appointing all its officials

b. indirect rule – system of governing colonies by allowing local

rulers to keep some power

2. protectorate: country keeps its own government, but is guided by an

imperialist power

sphere of influence: imperialist power claims exclusive economic control of an area

Imperialism in Africa

Africa was the first region conquered by the imperialist powers. At the Berlin Conference 1884-5 the European powers established the ground rules for dividing Africa among themselves. The imperialist powers(Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium) soon established full colonial rule in Africa. This was called the “Scramble for Africa”. By 1914 the imperialist powers ruled all of Africa except for Ethiopia and Liberia. *Africa has many problems today because of European interference during the Age of Imperialism: bad national borders, one product economies, weak national governments*. The Fashoda Crisis(1898), in Sudan, almost brought Britain and France to war. Germany and France almost came to war over Morocco(1905).

Imperialism in China

The imperialist powers always wanted to get into China for trade(tea, silk, porcelain, etc.) and markets to sell western products. Unfortunately for the Europeans the Chinese did not want western goods and the Manchu(Qing) Dynasty(1644-1911) strictly controlled trade with the foreigners. Then, Britain began to smuggle opium into China and made huge amounts of money. This led to the Opium War(1839-42) when China tried to stop the sale of the drug. Britain, using superior military technology, defeated China and forced the weakening Manchu(Qing) Dynasty to sign a series of unequal treaties with the imperialist powers(Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and U.S.). The unequal treaties gave the imperialist powers “Spheres of Influence” in China. It also gave the imperialists the right of extraterritoriality: foreigners cannot be tried in Chinese courts for crimes committed in China. In 1899, the U.S. announced an “Open Door Policy”: which called for equal trading rights for all nations in China. Foreign imperialism had several effects in China: violent uprisings against foreigners like the Boxer Rebellion 1900 and the eventual collapse of the Manchu(Qing) Dynasty due to the Taiping Rebellion 1850-64, and the Revolution...
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