What is Imperialism?
• a policy in which a strong nation seeks to
dominate other countries politically,
economically and/or socially.
• “Age of Imperialism” generally refers to the
European colonization of other countries that
took place after the beginning of the Industrial
What’s the Difference?
• a policy of a nation seeking to acquire,
extend or retain is political, economic, and
cultural control over other peoples or
• Different types of colonies: settlement,
• Colonies have existed since ancient history.
Motives: The “Why?”
Military Strength/Strategic Position
Land for Settlement
Missionaries – Conversion to Christianity
Spreading European Civilization
Belief in European Cultural or Racial Superiority
Control over Raw Materials/Potential Markets
Profit for Private Business Owners/Forced Labor
• Military Strength/Strategic Position
– Key sea ports and waterways, keeping check on
other countries’ military forces
– Ex: Russia grabbing lands from former Ottoman
• Land for Settlement
– Population pressures in urban centers, people
looking for “free” or cheap land.
– Ex: South Africa and the Dutch (Boers – farmers)
• Missionaries – Conversion to Christianity
– Proselytizing to bring the Word of God to
– Ex: French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia)
• Spreading European Civilization
– “The White Man’s Burden” Rudyard Kipling, 1893
– Ex: India – Britain brought social practices, forms
of dress, athletic and social events, and governing
• Belief in European Cultural or Racial
– Social Darwinism – Europeans best fit to govern
– Ex: Africa – Europeans saw themselves as superior
• Control over Raw Materials/Potential Markets
for Industrial Products
– Copper, wood, gold, tin, diamonds, cash crops
– Ex: Demand for raw materials shaped African
• Profit for Private Business Owners/Forced
– Opportunities abroad to make money more easily
than at home, esp. with forced labor
– Exs: China and Opium Trade, Congo River Valley
• National Rivalry/Patriotism
– Keeping up with the competition/nationalism
– Ex: Scramble for Africa
Process/Tools – The “How?”
Warfare/Weapons of Industrialization
Divide and Rule
Economic Reorganization to meet needs of “Mother
Creation of Educated Elite to help govern colony
• Warfare/Weapons of Industrialization
– Guns superior to local weapons
– Machine gun developed in 1884
• Transportation/Communication Inventions
– Railroads and steamships were a means to get
further inside Africa and India, movement of
goods and people.
– Cables allowed “quick” communication between
Mother Country and colonies.
• Economic reorganization to meet needs of
– Exchanging subsistence farming for cash crops
– Ex: Africa
• Divide and Rule
– Use natural divisions: language, religion, and
cultures, difficult for people to unite against
– Exs: Africa, India
• Direct Rule:
– Foreign officials brought in to rule
– No self-rule
– Goal: assimulation of local people
– Government institutions based on European
styles, specifically of Mother Country
– Ex: French Indochina, Angola (Portuguese),
German colonies in East Africa
• Indirect Rule:
– Local government officials used
– Limited self-rule
– Goal: to develop future leaders
– Government institutions that are based on
Europeans styles but have local rules or customs.
– Ex: India and Burma (British), U.S. colonies on
Pacific Islands (Hawaii)
• Creation of Educated Elite to help govern colony
– Local rulers accepted foreign authority to rule and
would manage the colonies
– Ex: India
• Forced Labor
– Use “free” labor to carry out policies
– Ex: Africa
• Westernization/Assimilation/Civilizing Influences
– Use of religion, language and culture (food, music,
– Ex: Indochina (French), India (British), Angola
Forms of Imperialism
• Colony: governed internally by a foreign power
– Ex: Indochina (France)
• Protectorate: its own internal gov’t but under control
of outside power
– Ex: Niger River Delta in Africa (Britain)
• Sphere of Influence: outside power claims exclusive
investment or trading rights
– Ex: Liberia (United States)
• Economic Imperialism: independent but lessdeveloped country controlled by private business
interests rather than by gov’ts
– Ex: Pineapple trade in Hawaii controlled by Dole
• People in the Colonies lost their land to the
• Colonies became dependent on single cash
• Infrastructure built to support raw materials
• Manufacturing activities in Colonies collapse
• Improvements in Schools, Hospitals and
Effects/Legacy – cont.
• Cultural changes (language, customs,
• Increase in Racism
• People in Colonies began to believe the myth
of European superiority
• Rebellions and resistance (massive loss of life)
Effects/Legacy – cont.
• Increased Conflict = Instable Societies
• Rise of nationalism in colonies as well as
spread of other political/economic ideas
• National borders drawn without consideration
of geography or ethnic groups
• And the big question – what happens when
the colonizing force leaves?
Case Study: Africa
Europe in Africa
Africa - virtually ignored until late 19th
century (except Dutch Cape Town)
Africa a prime target – weakened by 250
years of slave trade and internal conflict
Europeans fought with guns and cannons –
Africans with spears and shields made of
bark and hide
Railroads and steamships helped give
greater access to interior Africa
All of Africa defeated by 1900 with
exception of Liberia (a colony of exslaves founded by the US) and Ethiopia
(won its independence from Italy)
African borders redrawn without regard
for ethnicity, language, or even
Most borders remained even after
independence (post WWII)
Case Study: Great Britain
• The Sun Never Sets: India, Burma, Australia,
New Zealand, Egypt, Canada, South Africa,
Rhodesia, Hong Kong
• Jewel of the Crown: INDIA
Case Study: SE Asia
Case Study: China
Case Study: India 1498 - 1740
• The first Europeans to establish roots in India
since the fall of the Roman Empire were the
• Vasco da Gama's landed at Calicut in 1498.
They established themselves along the
• The Portuguese maintained some holdings in
India as late as 1961.
Case Study: India
• In 1600, the British East India Company was given
the right to a monopoly to trade with India.
• Primary objective was to get spices from
Indonesia (East Indies), they needed goods to
trade for spices. The good they wanted was
cotton, and they got it from India.
• In 1612, the English won a battle against the
Portuguese. Because of this victory, they were
able to gain the right to trade and establish
factories in India from the Mughal Dynasty.
• In 1664, the French equivalent of the English East
India Trading Company was formed.
• The French obtained a few cities such as
Pondicherry but by 1740 this company's sales
were only half those of the English East India
Company. They withdrew in 1761.
• The Danish, the Austrians, the Swedes, and the
Prussians all tried unsuccessfully to get a piece of
the action in India.
The Rise of the East India Company 1761-1857
• In 1786, Lord Cornwallis became British Governor of India. He
strengthened the sepoy armies that the East India Company
• In 1813, the monopoly of the English East India Company was
broken and all British citizens were allowed to trade with
India. Over the next 30 years, the British continued to acquire
new lands and strengthen their grip on those already under
• The British also aggravated the Hindu population.
– English, instead of Persian, the official language.
– Prohibited suttee and infanticide.
– Allowed Hindu widows to remarry and sanctioned missionary
Sepoy Mutiny: 1857 - 1859
• The growing Indian discontent with the rule of the East India
Company erupted on May 10, 1857.
• The sepoys, who were Indians trained by the British as
soldiers, heard rumors that the cartridges for their new
Enfield rifles were greased with lard and beef fat.
• Initially the mutiny was spontaneous, it quickly became more
organized and the sepoys even took over the cities of Delhi
• This mutiny was harshly crushed by the British. The British
government had to send in troops to help the East India
• The Indians could not unite against the British because of
weak leadership and splits between the Hindus and Muslims.
The British Government Takes Control
• 1858, the British Parliament passed the Government of India
Act. This act transferred authority for India from the East India
Company to Queen Victoria.
• In 1876, Queen Victoria declared herself "Empress of India."
• In 1869, the Suez Canal was completed - British women
began to come to India, and the British developed their own
society in India separate from the native society.
• Increasing amounts of British goods were imported to India,
effectively destroying many Indian crafts.
• By end of 19th CE, about 90% of the Indian population were
farmers – an increase from beginning of 1800’s.
• Increasing number of factories, railroads, hospitals, schools,
and roads were built.
Rise of Indian Nationalism 1885 - 1919
• In 1885, the Indian National Congress (primarily Hindu) was
established with the aim to gain national self-determination.
– Mostly of upper middle class Indians: lawyers, journalists,
businessmen, and professors. The congress was widely ignored
by the British, but it quickly gained popular support among
• 1906, Muslim League founded.
• Many Indian scholars and journalists began to call for Indians to
take more pride in their own history and in their own products.
• In 1905, the British partitioned the state of Bengal into Muslim and
Hindu sections. This prompted huge protests and attracted many
millions more people to the nationalist movement. Several acts of
terrorism occurred. In 1911, British revoked the order.
• British reform efforts were put on hold during World War I. At end
of war, India fell into a deep economic depression.
End of the Empire: 1919 - 1947
• 1919 when Britain passed the Rowlatt Acts. Both
Hindu and Muslim leaders protested these acts.
• Amritsar Massacre, April 13, 1919 – ban on public
meetings, about 4000 killed.
• Mahatma Gandhi and other nationalist leaders to
cease all cooperation with the British.
– The strategy for gaining independence was to boycott
all British goods, schools, courts, and elections.
– Despite Gandhi's efforts, however, he was unable to
gain widespread Muslim support for his efforts.
– By the beginning of 1921, it became clear that the
Hindu and Muslim populations were taking separate
• After WWII ended, the British Secretary of State
for India established a committee with the goal to
resolve the conflict between the Congress and
the Muslim League and to turn over authority for
India to a single Indian administration.
• In 1947, the British Parliament passed an act
establishing the Hindu majority country of India
and the Muslim majority country of Pakistan. At
midnight of August 14, 1947, these two countries
became independant, ending British imperial rule
KEY IDEA: Demand for Asian products drove Western
imperialists to seek possession of Southeast Asian lands.
• European nations also grabbed land in Southeast E Asia and
the islands on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
• They wanted the area for its resources and because it was close
• The United States joined this quest for colonies.
• European powers found that these lands were
good for growing such cash crops as sugar, coffee, cocoa,
rubber, and fruit.
• As trade in these items grew, Europeans moved to take more
Dividing Up SE Asia
• The Dutch ran Indonesia, where their settlers remained
at the top of society.
• The British took the port of Singapore plus Malaysia
and Burma (modern Myanmar). Needing workers, the
British brought many Chinese to Malaysia.
• France grabbed Indochina (modern Laos, Cambodia,
and Vietnam). They made farmers grow rice for export.
Because most of the rice was shipped away, the farmers
had less to eat even though they were growing more
rice than before.
• Thailand stayed independent. King Mongkut and his
son modernized Siam without giving up power.
• Colonialism brought some features of modern life to
• However, economic changes benefited European-run
businesses, not local people.
• The native peoples did benefit from better schooling,
health, and cleanliness.
• Plantation farming brought millions of people from
other areas to Southeast Asia.
• The mix of cultures and religions did not always go
smoothly. Even today, some conflict between groups
results from this period.
United States in SE Asia
• In the late 18OOs, the United States also began to seek
• In 1898, as a result of the Spanish American War, the
United States won possession of Puerto Rico, Guam,
and the Philippine Islands.
• Filipino nationalists fought Americans for their
freedom, just as they had fought the Spaniards before.
• The United States defeated the rebels and promised to
give the Philippines self-rule later. Strong presence of
United States and Hawaii
• Some American businessmen grew wealthy
from sugar plantations in Hawaii
• In the 1890s, when Queen Lihuokalani tried to
regain control of her country, the businessmen
• They declared a republic and asked the United
States to annex of Hawaii.
• In 1898, it became a territory of the United