The Age of New Imperialism

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Transcript The Age of New Imperialism

The Age of New Imperialism
The Devilfish in Egyptian Waters
• A policy where stronger nations dominate the
political, economic, or cultural life of weaker
• A new wave began in the 1800s. Original
wave started back in the 1400s.
• Born out of the new industrial society of the
1800s. Countries were richer and more
Map of Colonial Empires in 1914
Economic Interests ($$$)
Political/Military Interests (Nationalism)
Humanitarian/Religious Goals
Social Darwinism
Economic Interests
• The Industrial Revolution
– Industrialized countries needed natural resources
• Ex: rubber, petroleum, manganese for steel, palm oil for
– Also wanted new markets to sell factory goods to
– Colonies were valuable outlets for overpopulation
in home countries
Political/Military Interests
• IN’s needed naval bases around the world
– Seized islands and harbors
• Competition/maintaining balance of power
– Empire = prestige and greatness
– Ex: when France got colonies in West Africa, GB
and Germany did too to prevent France from
becoming too powerful
Humanitarian/Religious Goals
• Many Westerners believed they had a moral
duty to spread their “superior” way of life
– Western technology, law, medicine, education
• Also felt they needed to “Christianize” the
“barbarians” in other parts of the world.
• It was very ethnocentric…but…many wellmeaning missionaries and doctors
accompanied the imperialists
• Two arguments: western advances did benefit
natives; natives were denied their culture
Social Darwinism
• Imperialism was based on feelings of racial
superiority; this theory justified colonies.
– Racism: the belief that one race is superior to
• Social Darwinists applied Charles Darwin’s
ideas about natural selection and survival of
the fittest to human societies.
• Imperialism was nature’s way of improving the
human race.
What made imperialism possible?
• Weakness of conquered areas
– Africa weak because of slave trade
– Lack of weapons/technology
• Western strengths and advantages
– Strong economies and governments
– Powerful armies and navies
– Superior technology
• Steam-powered ships, Maxim machine gun (1889),
repeating rifles, the telegraph, quinine
Meeting in Berlin
• Berlin Conference,
– A gathering of
European powers held
in Berlin.
– This was a means of
avoiding war between
the powers.
– It established ground
rules for staking claims
in Africa.
Forms of Imperialism
• Colony – direct control, most intrusive
• Protectorate – local rulers left in place, but still
under control of European advisors
• Sphere of influence – exclusive investment or
trading privileges
• Economic Imperialism – most politically
independent, but ldc’s indirectly controlled by
large businesses
• Positive: medical advances, hospitals, schools
– Life expectancy and literacy rates increased
• Negative: Africans lost control of land and
their independence
– Forced to mine or plant cotton and other cash
crops instead of their own food crops
– Famine
– Loss of traditional culture