Unformatted text preview: Nineteenth-Century
Imperialism Wallerstein: “World System Theory”
External Britain and France (core) benefited the most from
their colonial empires (periphery) in the Americas,
Asia, the Middle east and Africa, extracting huge
profits from international trade and exchange of
manufactured goods for raw resources.
manufactured European Expansion and the Rise of Empires
European European colonialism gave way to imperialism in the 19th century.
– Colonialism led to the establishment of settler colonies in the
Colonialism Americas, direct rule by Europeans, slave labor from Africa, and
widespread destruction of local indigenous peoples and cultures.
– Imperialism, iin contrast, meant more indirect forms of economic and
political rule. Europeans still derived economic profit from their
colonies, but now they also aimed at reforming colonial peoples in their
own image—called the “civilizing process”—as long as such reform did
not interfere with their economic interests.
not By the 1830s and 1840s, Britain and France continued to
extend their empires across the globe. But by the end of the
century, Italy, Germany, the United States, and Japan will also
extend their imperial forces.
extend British Empire
British At the height of their power, the British controlled 1/4 of the world’s
population, 1/5 of the land mass of the planet, and were the masters of the
seas. “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” British Imperialism in Advertising
British French Empire
French At the height of its power, between 1919 and 1939, the
French controlled about 8% of the world’s land French colonial empires are divided into stages, the first
empire (light blue) which lasted from the 16th century up until
the French Revolution, and the second empire (dark blue)
which developed in the 19th century and lasted until the
1960s. Other Empires
Other Italian Empire 1870-1945
Italian German Empire 1870-1945
German Japanese Empire 1867-1945
Japanese American Empire 1803-?
American Empires by
Pacific New Zealander, 1773
New Scientific Voyages of Captain James Cook
Scientific In Oceania and the South Pacific,
the British showed how intimate
science and imperialism could be.
science Captain James Cook made three
voyages across the Pacific Ocean
in the late 18th century. He visited
Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia to
observe the natural world in these
places, but also to claim territory for
Britain. His voyages, and his accounts of
them in published maps and
diaries, became highly popular in
Britain, led to the popular
impression of distant, exotic, far
away This also prepared the way for
more intensive colonization.
more Scientific Voyages of Captain James Cook
Scientific His three voyages between 1768 and 1779 produced over 3,000
drawings of plants, birds, landscapes and peoples never seen
before by Europeans.
before Cook’s scientific voyages inspired Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt
in The British originally intended to convert the Australian colony
into a European-like place. On his 3rd voyage, Cook brought
animals and plants from Europe to help populate the island
continent. In 1788, Australia became a prison colony, replacing the former
prison colony in Georgia, now part of the US.
prison By 1860 there were 1.2 million Europeans living in Australia.
By Like the native Americans, native aboriginals died off from
European disease and increasingly forced westward into the more
inhospitable parts of the island continent.
inhospitable Scientific Classification of Race
Scientific Cook’s descriptions of the peoples
of the South Seas underscored the
place that race occupied in the minds
of 18th century Europeans: biological
concepts of “race” came to delineate
the differences of peoples across the
globe. The Swedish naturalist Carolus
Linnaeus went from classifying plants
and animals to classifying human
beings: homo sapiens were divided
into 5 groups or “races” according to a
combination of characteristics such as
skin color, physical features, and
social organization. Africans were
placed on the lowest order and
Europeans at the highest.
Europeans The physical model for this
classification system was classical
Greek sculpture, revealing the cultural
idealization of Europeans.
idealization North Africa
Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, 1798
Egypt Napoleon dreamed of reinventing the Roman Empire on French
foundations. He took the ideals of the French Revolution—liberty, equality,
fraternity—and claimed that his armies brought these ideas to oppressed
peoples, and that they would embrace them openly. In other words, he
considered himself a liberator. But, in his experience in Egypt, Napoleon would find otherwise.
But, The Directory of the French Republic in 1798 set aside plans for invading
England, and instead chose to occupy Egypt in order to disrupt British trade
from India. He used Egyptian animosity towards the Ottoman Empire, misleading them
into thinking that he was fighting for Islam.
into After defeating the Ottoman army at the Battle of the Pyramids in 1798,
Napoleon was met with stiff determined resistance from the local Egyptian
populations. Before being driven out by the British navy, Napoleon stayed in Egypt long
enough to disseminate Enlightenment ideas to the local population.
enough Napoleon and Orientalism
Napoleon Napoleon’s Egypt was the product of his own imagination, acquired
through reading classical texts on ancient Egypt. He wanted to
restore Egypt to its ancient glory, and for this, he considered that only
a European power—specifically, himself—could accomplish this task.
European He brought with him to Egypt a number of French scholars who
specialized in “Orientalism,” a body of knowledge about the “Orient,”
the Islamic cultures of North Africa and the Middle East (and not about
Asia). The “Orient” is a product of European (or “Occidental”) imagination,
the result of scholarly study of classical texts and their descriptions of
places many Europeans had never been. It is made up of
stereotypes, it “feminizes” the Muslim peoples of these parts of the
world, and was used as a justification for European domination.
world, Ultimately, the success of Orientalist projects is the internalization of
this idea by Europeans, but more importantly by the dominated
themselves. (see Edward Said, Orientalism, 1978)
Orientalism Orientalism in 19thOrientalism
Century Painting Orientalism in
Painting Although the peasant revolution
succeeded in Mexico, elsewhere in
Latin America the ruling establishment
remained in power.
remained In Cuba, local peasants wanted land
reform from Spanish rulers. They
initially succeeded in claiming sugar
estates, some of which belonged to
US American owners.
US In the late 1890s, the US declared
war on Spain, invaded the Philippines,
Puerto Rico, and Cuba.
Puerto Claiming to help Cuban nationalists,
the US gave the estates back to the
Cuban nationalists and disarmed the
peasants. Cubans, Filipinos, and Puerto
Ricans soon found themselves subject
to US authority. Filipino rebels
launched a war on the Americans.
Over 200,00 filipinos died in the
fighting. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
Africa Scramble for Africa After the British invasion of Egypt
in 1882, Europeans began to take
direct control of the interior of subdirect
Saharan Africa for the first time. The slave trade had diminished by
then with the abolition of the trade
led by Britain in 1807.
led Now, Europeans wanted resources
such as palm oil, cotton, diamonds,
cocoa, and rubber.
cocoa, Britain also wanted to keep the
southern and eastern coasts of
Africa under its control as stopover
ports for its ships from India and
China. The British, French, Portuguese,
Belgians, Italians and Germans
waged a struggle for territory,
resources and people that would
culminate in extensive empires and
eventually a world war.
eventually Scramble for Africa German Chancellor Bismarck claimed
control of Cameroon, Togo, and South
West Africa in 1884; East Africa in 1885.
West The British wanted to dominate the
continent “from Cairo to Capetown.”
continent The British were led by fantasies of
great treasure in the interior of East Africa.
great Exlorers: David Livingstone (1813-1873)
and Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904). The French controlled much of West
Africa. Technology, guns, medicine, railroads
and steamships were the key to European
domination of Africa.
domination Before the invention of quinine in the
1840s, Europeans were highly susceptible
to malaria if venturing into the interior of
Africa. As European death rates dropped
from quinine, African death rates
increased. Cecil Rhodes and European Domination British businessman and politician
Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) went to
South Africa just as diamonds were
discovered in 1870.
discovered He cornered the diamond market
and claimed large territories for Britain.
and He pushed south into what would
soon become Rhodesia, named after
him. Reflecting Social Darwinism: “We
are the finest race in the world,” he
claimed of the British, “and the more of
the world we inhabit, the better it is.”
the Unlike the Chinese and Indians, the
British saw Africans as far inferior to
themselves. Standards of living for
Africans dropped under European
imperial Diamond Mines Berlin Conference of 1884-1885
Berlin At the Berlin Conference of 1885, European powers carved up Africa ignoring
existing ethnic and cultural boundaries. The purpose of the conference was to reduce bloodshed and to control European
ambitions in Africa.
ambitions But European leaders were determined to expand their power.
But Europeans back home wanted more imperialist ventures which only fueled the
already increasing nationalism of newly united empires such as Italy and Germany.
Empire was a sign of national strength and pride.
Empire German missionary in
East The Boer War, 1899-1902
The The British ended up in conflict with the
French in West Africa and then with the
Boers. The Dutch originally settled in southern
Africa, but the British gained control by 1815.
Descendents of the Dutch were called Boers
(Dutch for farmers) or Afrikaners.
Afrikaners Rhodes, who by 1896 was the prime
minister of the Cape Colony, sent a raid into
Transvaal in the northeast. He wanted to stir
up trouble between the Boers and the British
so that the British might takeover Transvaal
and the Orange Free State which the Boers
controlled. The Boers drove out Rhodes’s raiders
which infuriated the British and they engaged
in a three year war with Transvaal and the
OFS, finally annexing both in 1902 with the
defeat of the Boers. The Union of South
Africa would be formed in 1910.
Africa Belgian Massacres in the Congo Belgian King Leopold II (r.1865-1909) was driven by greed
and conquered and claimed the Congo for Belgium in
opposition to the French.
opposition He thought that a Belgian empire would make him a major
force in the world. The Belgians expressed little interest in
empires. The Belgian Congo was unique in that it belonged to a single
man. Leopold was ruthless tyrant. His authority was violently cruel
and brutal on the local populations.
and When news of the slaughter of innocent Congolese made its
way to Belgium, the parliament immediately took the Congo
away from Leopold.
away The ruthlessness of the Belgians on the Congolese inspired
Joseph Conrad to write his classic novel, Heart of Darkness.
Heart Asia British in India India was the largest and most important of Europe’s colonial possessions
between 1750 and 1850.
between Increasingly, the British East India Company (est. 1600) intervened in
Indian affairs, controlling imports and exports, and undermining British claims
for a world economic system and free trade.
for After 1757, when the British took over the state of Bengal and put a puppet
regime in place, the BEIC began to reap the economic benefits. By 1760
many British officials were earning a minimum of £500,000 a year through
illicit or predatory ventures.
illicit By the early 1800s, the
company had annexed
other territories bringing
much of the 200,000
people on the
British British in India To carry out its administrative responsibilities, the BEIC hired Hindu kings
and Muslim princes to carry out its plans. They were able to retain the royal
titles, but lost their autonomy and authority.
titles, The BEIC also maintained a standing army of 155,000 soldiers, or sepoys.
sepoys The Sepoy Mutiny, 1857
By 1857, dissatisfaction with the practices
BEIC erupted in violence as the sepoys
rebelled against their British occupiers. The
sepoys sacked Delhi and declared an
independent Indian nation.
independent The British brutally crushed the mutiny and
a revolt in the neighboring city of Jhansi.
revolt Although Queen Victoria was named
empress of India in 1876, Indian nationalism
would become an insurmountable problem for
the Educated by the British, but also suffering
discrimination from them, the Indian elite
formed the Indian National Congress in 1885
to promote Indian nationalism and challenge
British rule on the subcontinent. The INC
would develop into a mass movement in the
twentieth British in the Malay Peninsula
and Burma To the East of India, the British
took control of the Malay peninsula in
1874 and the interior of Burma in
1885. The British were dependent on tin,
oil, rice, teak, and rubber from this
region, but also access to interior
trade routes from China to India.
trade The British also wanted to counter
Russian and French expansion in the
region. French in Indochina In 1887 France created the Union of
Indochina from the ancient states of
Cambodia, Tonkin, Annam, Cochin China.
Laos was added in 1893.
Laos Like the British, the French spread
western culture to these societies.
western The French promoted agricultural
reforms, sanitation projects, and health
programs. These programs improved
population growth but also strained existing
resources. The French siphoned profits from these
imperial projects and tried to transform
Saigon into a center of French civilization,
emulating Like elsewhere, contact with the west
promoted nationalist movements in
opposition to European rule.
opposition Russian Expansion into Asia Since 1865, the Russians had been absorbing Muslim states of central Asia
including Turkestan and parts of Afghanistan. Russia also reached into
Persia, India, and China in opposition to the British.
Persia, The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad allowed Russia to integrate
Siberia into the vast state, and to reach Vladivostok, a warm-water port on the
Pacific. British in China and the
Opium Wars The BEIC also tried to establish trade
with China in opium. The Chinese government tried to keep its
population from using the addictive drug for
recreational uses. They restricted
Europeans to the port city of Canton, and
banned the export of precious metals that
could be traded for opium.
could But these measures failed as the British
smuggled opium into china and bribed
officials. In 1839 the Chinese expelled the British
from southern China and the British
responded by bombing port cities.
responded In 1842 the Chinese were forced to agree
to the Treaty of Nanking, allowing the
British to enter China through 4 more ports
British British in China and the
Opium Wars The British also made the island of
Hong Kong theirs, received a sizeable
indemnity, and were ensured of opium
trade. The British also stipulated that any
privileges granted to other European
powers be granted to them also. This
allowed for further exploitation of
Chinese markets by Europeans and
North Yet, China did not become a colony
like India. Most European continued to
trade in the ports, and the majority of
Chinese people went about their
business as they had always done.
business Europeans in China
Europeans Chinese conservatives rallied around the Empress Dowager Cixi.
Chinese China’s defeat by Japan in 1895, along with increasing presence of
British, French, German, Russian each demanded that the Chinese
government grant them each areas of influence within China.
government The United States, prompted by ideology and self-interest, argued
instead for an open-door policy, allowing access to all foreign traders.
instead The US also wanted the Qing government to accept Western
economic norms, and the superiority of Christian civilization.
economic American Imperialism
American American Imperialism
American Military might, diplomacy, and vast numbers of settlers allowed for
the US to expand towards the Pacific in the 19th century.
the The territorial expansion was even more impressive given the
conflicts over slavery an the Civil War which nearly brought about the
dissolution of the union.
dissolution In 1845, a New York newspaper editor, John L. O’Sullivan, coined
the phrase “manifest destiny” indicating that the unquestionable
superiority of Anglo-Saxon civilization spreads naturally, taking over
the territory of “lesser peoples.” (part of Social Darwinist thinking)
the Initially, native Americans welcomed the Europeans to North
America in the 16th and 17th centuries. But, as the French and
British, and later the Americans spread their civilization westward,
native peoples did not welcome their intruders from the east.
native The Indians of the Ohio Valley, for instance, threatened by US
imperialism, dreamed of a world free of imperialist oppression.
imperialism, Tenskwatawa (1768-1834)
Tenskwatawa In 1805, many native Americans flocked
to hear the prophecies of Tenskwatawa,
the “Shawnee Prophet.”
the Like Hong Xiuquan (in China), he
argued that Europeans would disappear if
Indians returned to their traditional
practices. Thousands renounced
colonialist ways, and prepared to combat
US American officials initially regarded
Tenskwatawa as deluded, but harmless.
Tenskwatawa The governor of the territory, William
Henry Harrison challenged Tenskwatawa
to make the sun stand still. He one-upped
Harrison because he knew of a solar
eclipse. Almost on cue the sky went dark. Tenskwatawa (1768-1834)
Tenskwatawa Americans tried to bribe him with cash to keep him quiet. But that
failed. Tenskwatawa’s brother, Tecumseh, spread his message throughout
the Great Lakes region. He also encourage the many tribes of the
region to form a confederation.
region Harrison saw Tecumseh as more dangerous than his brother and
warned of an “Indian menace” that was forming that would rival the
empires of the Aztecs and Incas.
empires Harrison attacked Tenskwatawa’s village in 1811. He fled to
Canada. Tecumseh was hired by the British to fight the Americans in
the war of 1812. At the battle of the Thames in 1813 Tecumseh was
killed. This finally dashed the hopes for Indian unity.
killed. The Americans continued to move west into Indian territories and
exerted brutal violence against native peoples in the name of “manifest
destiny.” Settlers with the help of the US army displaced many native
peoples who eventually were confined to reservations.
peoples White Man’s Burden
White By the end of the 19th century,
imperial triumphs were celebrated,
imperial images appeared in
advertising and postcards. Imperialism seemed to be the destiny
for Europe, The US and the rest of the
world. As wars in the colonies mounted and
tensions between imperial powers rose,
a new push for larger armies was
presented to the European public along
with growing nationalism.
with Women were also seen as essential
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