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"Old Imperialism"

occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries; European powers did not usually acquire territory in Africa and Asia but rather built a series of trading stations; the New World was the exception--many countries established colonies in the Americas; many Europeans also emigrated from their homelands

"New Imperialism"

Began in 1880s in Africa, earlier in Asia; in 1800 Europeans controlled about 7% of the world's territory--by 1914 they controlled 84%; Britain's control of Egypt in the 1880s became the model for the "New Imperialism;" Major causes include: search for new markets and raw materials, missionary work, and new military and naval bases to protect one's interests against other European powers

Dr. David Livingston

first white man to do humanitarian and religious work in south and central Africa

H. M. Stanley

found Livingston (whom westerners thought to be dead) and his newspaper reports created European interest in Africa; Stanley sought aid of king of Belgium to dominate the Congo region

Social Darwinism, "survival of the fittest"

ideology of Herbert Spencer, rationalized the conquest of weak countries by stronger, more civilized ones, justified military superiority and conquest by the Europeans

"White Man's Burden"

racist and patronizing view that preached that the "superior" Westerners had an obligation to bring their culture to "uncivilized" peoples in other parts of the world

Rudyard Kipling

writer and poet who coined the phrase "White Man's Burden" in his poem of the same name

"Scramble for Africa"

in 1880, Europeans controlled 10% of Africa; by 1914, controlled all except Liberia & Ethiopia; the Berlin Conference established the rules among European powers for carving up Africa

Belgian Congo

colony of Belgium; trading stations established in 1879, and Leopold II was given control of the Congo; the Belgian rulers savagely treated the indigenous peoples in their quest for rubber and ivory; Leopold's incursion into Congo basin raised the question of the political fate of black Africa (south of the Sahara); as did Britain's conquest of Egypt

Leopold II

Monarch of Belgium who acquired the Congo in Africa

Egypt, protectorate

in 1883, Britain declared Egypt a protectorate, setting the stage for similar practices by other European powers; it was designed to protect British interests in the Suez Canal

Berlin Conference, 1884-85

1884-85: established the "rules" for conquest of Africa; provisions: no imperial power could claim a territory in Africa unless it effectively controlled that territory; slavery and the slave trade in Africa was terminated; sought to prevent international conflicts between European nations over the issue of imperialism; as a result, the "scramble for Africa" was on


After taking control of Egypt Britain pushed southward to the Sudan; major events in taking control of Sudan include the Battle of Omdurman and the Fashoda incident

Battle of Omdurman

1898: General Horatio H. Kitchener defeated Sudanese tribesman and killed 11,000 (with machine guns) while only 28 Britons died

General Horatio H. Kitchener

he defeated Sudanese tribesman and killed 11,000 (with machine guns) while only 28 Britons died during the Battle of Omdurman

Fashoda Incident

1898: France & Britain nearly went to war over Sudan; France backed down (partly because it was in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair)

Cecil Rhodes

Prime Minister of Cape Colony in South Africa

Cape Colony

colony of South Africa under Boer control

Boer War

Cecil Rhodes had become Prime Minister of Cape Colony in South Africa; diamonds and gold were discovered in the Transvaal region and Rhodes wanted to extend his influence there but Boers controlled the region (the descendents of white Dutch settlers); Boers initially successful in repelling British troops; Kruger Telegram:1902, Kaiser Wilhelm II dispatched a telegram to the Boers congratulating them on defeating British invaders without need of German assistance; Anger at Germany swept through Britain; Massive British force eventually defeated Boers and in 1910 the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, & Natal combined to form the Union of South Africa

Kruger Telegram

1902, Kaiser Wilhelm II dispatched a telegram to the Boers congratulating them on defeating British invaders without need of German assistance; Anger at Germany swept through Britain; Massive British force eventually defeated Boers and in 1910 the Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, & Natal combined to form the Union of South Africa


since 1830, the French had controlled Algeria in North Africa; the attack on French shipping by Barbary pirates was used as a pretext for conquest; Algeria remained under French control until the early 1960s


Italian forces were defeated trying to take this country in 1896; they were the first European country to suffer a defeat by Africans (6,000 Italian troops killed; thousands taken prisoner); Mussolini sought to rectify this humiliating defeat by conquering Ethiopia in 1935

Opium Wars

with Britain, First Opium War (1839-1841) Britain occupied several coastal cities and forced China to surrender; Second Opium War (1856-1860) China forced to open six more ports to British and French trade indefinitely, China forced to accept trade and investment on unfavorable terms for the foreseeable future

Treaty of Nanking

1842: gave Hong Kong to Britain (until 1997), four "treaty ports" were opened to British trade including Canton and Shanghai, British residents in China (and European visitors) were granted extraterritoriality and were thus immune from Chinese law

"spheres of influence"

by the late-nineteenth century, much of eastern China had become subject to domination by Britain, France, Russia, Japan, and Germany

Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)

Japan gained Taiwan as a result; this conflict revealed China's weaknesses and resulted in further control by imperialist powers

British East India Company

After the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) they were given control of India and were directly accountable to Parliament; they took the last native state in India in 1848

Robert Clive

captured military posts in Madras and England ousted France from India in the name of the British East India Company

Sepoy Mutiny, 1857-58

Insurrection of Hindu and Muslim soldiers in British Army spread in northern and central India before it was crushed, primarily by loyal native troops from southern India; Sepoys had resented British taking direct control of Indian states; short term cause was British use of animal fat to grease rifle cartridges which was sacrilege to both Muslim and Hindu faiths; result: after 1858, India was ruled by British Parliament in London and administered by a tiny, all-white civil service in India

Indian National Congress

formed in 1885; purpose: Britain trained Indians to run India along British lines; educated Indians, predominantly Hindu, increasingly demanded more equality & self-gov't; India became independent in 1946 (just after WWII)


(modern-day) Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos), became a protectorate in 1880s and 1890s

Boxer Rebellion

1900: Patriotic uprising by Chinese nationalists against Western domination; defeated by a multi-national force of imperial powers in 1900; Manchu dynasty would soon fall

Russo-Japanese War

Russia and Japan both had designs on Manchuria and Korea; Japanese concerned about Russian Trans-Siberian Railway across Manchuria; Japan destroyed Russian fleet off coast of Korea and won major battles on land although Russians turned the tide on land subsequently; Westerners horrified that Japan had defeated a major Western power; ended by Teddy Roosevelt and the Treaty of Portsmouth

Karl Marx, Das Kapital

opponent of imperialism; 1867; claimed that the bourgeoisie needed constantly expanding markets to increase profits; this would lead to conquest

J. A. Hobson

most prominent of the anti-imperialism theorists; stated that imperialist powers needed colonies in order to provide new markets for domestic European goods; claimed that businessmen and bankers unduly influenced government's imperialist policies (imperialism only benefited the wealthy); believed that if European governments forced businesses to raise wages for workers, this would result in increased consumption of goods and less of a need for new markets abroad

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