The Tools of Empire

Topics: British Empire, Colonialism, East India Company Pages: 2 (720 words) Published: March 7, 2011
Looking back over the millennium now ending, one question in particular stands out: how did the inhabitants of Western Europe, a backwater in the year 1000AD, manage to gain economic and military dominance over much of the globe? Not so long ago, the answers to this question seemed obvious: Europeans were racially superior, and besides, God wanted them to win. As historians have shed race-driven and providential views of human history, new explanations have had to be formulated. Some of these new explanations are surprising; most of them conflict at some point with each other. Imperialism has been linked to multiple theories of the actual origins of the imperialistic Headrick uses the argument that technology made the creation of empire a worthwhile endeavor for the first time in the latter half of the 19th century. It permitted European nations to seize large amounts of property, subjugate the land and people and then milk it like a cow in the barn. This is a valid thesis, for men and nations tend to do all of which they are capable in terms of self-aggrandizement and glorification. Given the means, they will avail themselves. It was the second Industrial Revolution that permitted small European nations to conquer massive amounts of the world's real estate against what would seem to be astronomical odds, in terms of manpower alone."

Imperialism in Africa and Asia in the nineteenth century was affected by technology as well as other factors. In Daniel R. Hedrick�s book, The Tools of Empire, the idea of technology was introduced in spite of the ways historians have ignored or put down technology’s impact on imperialism. Historians have often focused more on the motives of imperialism than on the means. This was what Hedrick was trying to move away from. In this book he focused on both the means and the motives and how each affected watch other. To do this Hedrick looked at the first three phases of imperialism. The first was the phase of penetration and...
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