They thus often invited the europeans in to help

This preview shows page 6 - 8 out of 15 pages.

They thus often invited the Europeans in to help them—and realized only too late that the Europeans had no intention of leaving. Having reviewed the means and the motives, we will now take a look at the specific cases of imperialism by reviewing British, French, Italian, and German imperialism in the 19th century. IV. Britain and India: A Case Study Britain was a tiny country that during the last few decades of the 19th century and the first half of the twentieth century controlled over 1/4 of the Earth’s surface (the British empire included, among other possessions, Canada, Australia, about 1/2 of Africa, Burma, Malaysia, Belize, Singapore, Hong Kong, and large parts of the Middle East). The saying, "the sun never set on the British Empire," was indeed true. Britain already had a massive colonial empire at the conclusion of the wars of Napoleon (it controlled most of India following commercial penetration in the 18th c, and had colonies in Canada, and Australia). Shortly after Napoleon's defeat in 1814/15, the demands of industrialization would spur the British to expand their empire. For example, Stamford Raffle established the trade center and colony of Singapore in 1819 to facilitate new trade opportunities in the Far East enhanced by the invention of the steamship (which could travel westward through the Straits of Malacca (which Singapore dominated) in a way that sailing vessels could not (sailing ships had to go through the more southerly Sunda Straits in Dutch Indonesia because the prevailing winds did not permit sailing vessels to travel to the west through the Straits of Malacca). Most important to Britain even after 1815, however, was India—the so-called Jewel in the Crown. Indeed (ironically), the desire to maintain control of India (and control of the sea lanes to India) proved to be the principal factor motivating the British to acquire new territory during the last 3/4 of the 19th century. A. Motive: Economic Exploitation and Defense Economic penetration of the Indian subcontinent inevitably led to Britain taking formal
6/29/20, 10 : 56 AM Page 7 of 15 control (as the first nation to industrialize, Britain was the first to see the need for colonies to ensure markets and sources of raw materials). Britain its domination in India by first by ruling through the decrepit Mughal Empire. Over the course of the 18th century, Britain took a more and more direct role in the administration of India. By the early/mid part of the 19th century, Britain would dispense with the Mughal Dynasty and instead take direct control. Over time, Britain thus came to rule the entire Indian subcontinent. In fact, Britain would reshape the regional economy to produce raw materials (especially the cotton that Britain's textile factories would use in such abundance) and to serve as a market for British finished goods (often clothing made out of Indian cotton).

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture