Imperialism: British Empire and Late 1800s

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Imperialism is the policy of extending rule or authority of an nation over foreign countries. During the late 1800s and early 1900s Imperialism affected many societies throughout the world, such as China, India and Africa, who were imperialized by Britain. However, the point of view of the imperialist power was much different than the point of view of the colonized people.

The majority of people who’s land was being imperialized by Britain saw it as negative. When the British came to the Africa they believed that they were helping the less advanced society however the general population suffered after their arrival. The Indian textile industry collapsed because of, the free entry of goods into India affecting weavers and artisans. However when Indians tried to export goods they were excluded from Britain by legislation, as a monopoly was held over Indian exports. (Doc 5) Britain introduced Opium, an addictive, life long habit forming drug to China. (Doc 8) Many Chinese became addicted to Opium, becoming unruly and rebellious. Britain's plan had been to keep the Chinese sedated and controlled and it was working. In Africa the same thing happened. The British exploited the Africans who were not as well equipped and less knowledgeable. (Doc 7) In 1850 only a small portion of African land was under European control. However, by 1914 Ethiopia and Liberia were the only free nations in all of Africa. Overall the affect of European domination of the colonized people was negative.

However the Europeans, had a much different point of view. After Britain lost the 13 Colonies they looked for new economic ventures to the East. The Europeans benefited from their newly founded relationships with Africa, China and India. The Europeans also thought they were helping the less advanced civilizations, believing it was their duty to help, this was called the White Man’s Burden. In Africa they helped to improved the economy and the standard of living by sharing the secrets of...
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