In Chapter 12, we learned about the “New Imperialism” of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I learned how the Industrial Revolution, expanding economies, and nationalism all contributed to the European domination of Africa, the Middle East, India, and China. New Imperialism refers to the colonial explansion adopted by Europe’s powers and, later, Japan and the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions.
One of the best examples of Europe’s cruel imperialism over other nations was on Africa. In the early 1800’s, European explorers began pushing into the interior of Africa. Daring adventurers like Mungo Park and Richard Burton set out to map the course and sources of the great African rivers such as the Niger, the Nile, and the Congo. Catholic and Protestant missionaries followed the explorers. They built churches and medical clinics and built schools as well. Still, missionaries, like most westerners, took a paternalistic view of Africans. They saw them as children in need of guidance and urged Africans to reject their own traditions in favor of western civilization. King Leopold II of Belgium hired Stanly to explore the Congo River basin and arrange trade treaties with African leaders. Leopold’s ultimate goal was of conquest and profit. King Leopold’s activities in the Congo set off other European nations. Before long, Britain, France, and Germany were pressing rival claims to the region. France took a giant share of Africa. In the 1830s, it had invaded and conquered Algeria in North Africa. The victory cost tens of thousands of French lives and killed many times more Algerians. In the late 1800s, France extended its influence along the Mediterranean into Tunisia. It also won colonies in West and Central Africa. Britain’s share of Africa was smaller and more scattered than that of France. However it included more heavily populated regions with many rich resources. Britain took chunks of West and East Africa. It gained control of Egypt, and pushed south into the Sudan. Other European powers joined the scramble for colonies, in part to increase their national image, and to increase their economic growth and influence. Today Africa is still being stripped of its resources and is still heavily influenced by Europeans today.
Another great example of Europe’s takeover of other nations is the British take over of India. In the early 1600s, the British East India Company won trading rights on the frindge of the Munghal Empire. As the Munghal power lessened, the company’s power increased. By the mid-1800s, it controlled 3/5 of India. They were able to control a lot of India’s territory by exploiting India’s diversity. When the Munghal power declined, India fragmented. Indians with different traditions and dozens of different languages were not able to unite against Britain . The British took advantage of this and encouraged rivaling princes to compete with each other. Where this plan didn’t work, the British just used there weapons to defeat them. By the early 1800s, the British introduced western education and laws. Missionaries tried to convert Indians to Christianity and tried to end slavery and the caste system there. Britian saw India as a market and a source of raw materials. They built expensive roads and impressive railroads that increased trade while still favoring Britain. The British flooded India with inexpensive, machine-made textiles, ruining India’s once prosperous hand weaving industry. The British introduced medical improvements and new farming methods which increased the population rapidly, but in turn led to massive famines in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, protests , and resistance to British rule increased. Some Indian nationalists urged that Indian languages and cultures be restored. In the end though, their goal would be achieved only after a long struggle of bloody conflict with the British.
In conclusion, we learned about the “New Imperialism” of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I learned how the Industrial Revolution, expanding economies, and nationalism all contributed to the European domination of Africa, the Middle East, India, and China. New Imperialism refers to the colonial explansion adopted by Europe’s powers and, later, Japan and the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions.