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Ch. 14 The Height of Imperialism 1800-1914
Section 1 Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia
5th to enjoy
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following questions based on the map: Imperialism in Asia.
In-class assignment, with a partner, perform an Analysis.
Analysis: Short Questions
1. Discuss the reasons why European countries wanted overseas empires. What was the primary force motivating imperialism?
2. Compare the colonial experiences of Africa and India. How important was it that Indian had one primary colonial power, Britain, while Africa had many?
3. Explore the relationship between nationalism and imperialism. Does imperialism always cause the increase in nationalist aspirations among subject peoples?
Interpretation: Long Question
What were the overall effects of imperialism for world history? Explain how developments in late 19th century altered both European societies and those in subject countries.
The New Imperialism
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following.
What were four primary motivations for the "new imperialism?"
Colonial Takeover in Southeast Asia
UK, Great Britain, England
British Empire: rise and fall, 1492-Present, 1:00
The United States
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following.
What spurred Britain to control Singapore and Burma?
Colonial Regimes in Southeast Asia
Indirect and Direct Rule
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following.
Why did colonial powers prefer that colonists not develop their own industries?
Resistance to Colonial Rule
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following.
Explain three forms of resistance to Western domination.
Section 2 Empire Building in Africa
European control over Africa began with British annexations in West Africa. After 1880, great power rivalries prompted France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, and Italy to begin seeking territory in Africa. In Egypt, an Ottoman army officer named Muhammad Ali set up an independent state and began modernizing the country. Great Britain's interest in the Suez Canal led to Egypt's establishment as a British protectorate. Belgium and France staked claims to lands around the Congo River in central Africa, while Germany, despite the reluctance of Bismarck, claimed territories in West and East Africa. British involvement in southern Africa led to the Boer War against the descendants of seventeenth-century Dutch settlers, and then to the establishment of the Union of South Africa. Resentment of the colonial powers led to the emergence of nationalist movements, especially as a new class of educated middle-class Africans began to point to the hypocrisy and discriminatory nature of colonial rule.
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the following questions.
Before 1880, did Europeans control much of Africa?
In 1800, who controlled Africa?
Between 1880-1914, what happened?
What countries virtually controlled all of Africa?
Which countries controlled the most territory?
Which two territories remained independent?
Imperialism in Africa
Why did the slave trade decline in the 1800s?
Great Britain was determined to have complete control of the Suez Canal. Why?
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the Reading Check question about King Leopold II of Belgium.
What effect did King Leopold II of Belgium have on European colonization of the Congo River basin?
Then, we will contrast the current colonial climate in the Congo.
Newsnight: China $9B Congo deal part 1, 7:02
In-class assignment, with a partner, explain the current presence of China in the Congo. Is China the new colonizer, something in between, or a benefactor in the Congo? Who benefits?
What was significant about the Berlin Conference?
In-class assignment, with a partner, answer the question about the Boers.
What happened to the Boers at the end of the Boer War?
In-class assignment, and with your partner, now that you have a basic understanding of the Boers, what really happened during the Boer War according to the video?
BOER WAR, 3:15
Colonial Rule in Africa
How did the French system of colonial rule differ from that of Great Britain?
Rise of African Nationalism
Why were many African intellectuals frustrated by colonial policy?
Section 3 British Rule in India
The British controlled India at first through the British East India Company, which had its own forts and soldiers. A revolt led by Indian soldiers prompted the British government to appoint a British viceroy to rule the country. The British developed India economically—building railroads and creating an education system for the upper class. Yet Indians paid a high price for British rule. British manufactured goods destroyed local industries. The abuses of tax collectors and the superior British attitude and lifestyle caused many Indians to resent the British. The Indian National Congress, made up mostly by Hindus, led calls for reform. A Muslim League was later formed to represent Muslim concerns. The most prominent Indian leader was Mohandas Gandhi, a Western-educated lawyer who advocated nonviolent resistance as a way to gain independence. Tense relations with the British led to an Indian cultural revival.
British Possessions in India
The Sepoy (from sipahi, soldier in Persian, the official language of the conquering Islamic Mogul Empire, War Made New, Boot, p. 89) Mutiny
The success of the British in India is largely a result of the first Industrial Revolution. "After the Indian [Sepoy] mutiny, one British colonial minister exclaimed, `The telegraph saved India'" (War Made New, Boot, p. 157). Along with impressive advances in transportation, as a result of the laying down of railroad tracks, the British improved their communications which resulted in the quick deployment of troops and the means to understand where they were needed most critically.
In the early 1600s, the British East India Company won trading rights on the fringe of the Mughal (also spelled Mogul) empire. The conquering Mughal/Mogul Empire was a Muslim dynasty founded by Baber that ruled India until 1857. As Mughal power declined, the company’s influence grew.
The transference of India from a Muslim dominated region to a British colony is clear with the onset of the gunpowder revolution (War Made New, Boot, Ch. 3, Flintlocks and Forbearance, pp. 77-102). With the battle of Assaye, "the Maratha Confederacy was the last major power that could challenge the British for mastery of India" (War Made New, Boot, p. 78). Nonetheless, if all the assembled forces, both in manpower and in artillery--Maratha vs. British were taken into account--the British were outnumbered 10-1.
Assaye on 24th September 1803.
Warning: this video contains simulated violence; do not view if you object.
The Maratha and British armies meet between the river Juah and the river Kaitna. British casualties mount as the Maratha artillery turns its attention to the infantry. The future Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley decides the only way to get his men off the killing fields is to march into the mouth of the artillery barrage. Wellesley orders his cannons abandoned and bayonets fixed.
Wellesley outflanked his Maratha opponents (War Made New, Boot, p. 96) while his orderly had his head blown off in the maneuver. Wellesley formed his infantry into two mile long parallel front lines while holding his cavalry in a third reserve line. The British charged straight at the Marathas and fighting was brutal but largely over by nightfall at 6 p.m. The British were victorious but too exhausted and with heavy losses could not pursue the fleeing Marathas. The overall British loss was estimated at 35% (War Made New, Boot, p. 99).
The battle had been won by Wellesley with a heavy cost and he needed to pursue the Marathas for an additional three months to finish the job. For his efforts at quadrupling the British holdings in India Wellesley was awarded knighthood War Made New, Boot, pp. 98-99).
By the mid-1800s, the British East India Company controlled three fifths of India.
Exploiting Indian Diversity
The British were able to conquer India by exploiting its diversity. Even when Mughal power was at its height, India was home to many people and cultures. As Mughal power crumbled, India became fragmented. Indians with different traditions and dozens of different languages were not able to unite against the newcomers. The British took advantage of Indian divisions by encouraging competition and disunity among rival princes. Where diplomacy or intrigue did not work, the British used their superior tactics, discipline, and weapons to overpower local rulers.
Why the Marathas Could Not Win
The British had mastered the gunpowder revolution while the Marathas had attempted it and found wanting (War Made New, Boot, p. 99). The Marathas had not updated updated their hit-and-run tactics with disciplined and sustained headlong infantry charges as the British had. The separate Indian chiefs issued contradictory orders while Wellesley commanded the entire British effort. The intellectual freedom and scientific pursuit of truth in battle was unknown to the tribal Marathas. Political liberalism was unknown and viewed as a threat to traditional, tribal structures in India; this proved to be their undoing (War Made New, Boot, pp. 101-102).
Implementing British Policies
The East India Company’s main goal in India was to make money, and leading officials often grew rich. At the same time, the company did work to improve roads, preserve peace, and reduce banditry.
The Sepoy Rebellion
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By the early 1800s, British officials introduced Western education and legal procedures. Missionaries tried to convert Indians to Christianity, which they felt was superior to Indian religions. The British also pressed for social change. They worked to end slavery and the caste system and to improve the position of women within the family. One law banned sati (suh tee), a Hindu custom practiced mainly by the upper classes. It called for a widow to join her husband in death by throwing herself on his funeral fire.
In the 1850s, the East India Company made several unpopular moves. First, it required sepoys (see poyz), or Indian soldiers in its service, to serve anywhere, either in India or overseas. For high-caste Hindus, however, overseas travel was an offense against their religion (Cf. The Lion and the Tiger, Judd, p. 73). Second, the East India Company passed a law that allowed Hindu widows to remarry. Hindus viewed both moves as a Christian conspiracy to undermine their beliefs (Cf. The Lion and the Tiger, Judd, p. 75).
Then, in 1857, the Bengal Army rebelled for a variety of reasons but one particularly troublesome point was the introduction of a new gun using animal fat that offended both Muslims and Hindus. Indian officers sentenced the rebels to ten years of hard labor (Cf. The Lion and the Tiger, Judd, p. 71).
The British East India Company had decided to equip the sepoys "with the new Enfield rifle in place of the smooth-bored `Brown Bess' musket" (Cf. The Lion and the Tiger, Judd, pp. 71-72).
1853 Enfield Rifle-Musket
The musketry books also recommended that “Whenever the grease around the bullet appears to be melted away, or otherwise removed from the cartridge, the sides of the bullet should be wetted in the mouth before putting it into the barrel; the saliva will serve the purpose of grease for the time being" (Cf. Instruction of Musketry, 1856).
This image is a work of the Smithsonian Institution, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Rebellion and Aftermath
Angry sepoys rose up against their British officers. The Sepoy Rebellion swept across northern and central India. Several sepoy regiments marched off to Delhi, the old Mughal capital. There, they hailed the last Mughal ruler as their leader.
In some places, the sepoys brutally massacred British men, women, and children. But the British soon rallied and crushed the revolt. They then took terrible revenge for their earlier losses, torching villages and slaughtering thousands of unarmed Indians.
The Sepoy Rebellion left a bitter legacy of fear, hatred, and mistrust on both sides. It also brought major changes in British policy. In 1858, Parliament ended the rule of the East India Company and put India directly under the British crown. It sent more troops to India, taxing Indians to pay the cost of these occupying forces. While it slowed the “reforms” that had angered Hindus and Muslims, it continued to develop India for Britain’s own economic benefit.
What were the causes of the Sepoy Rebellion in northern and central India?
What were two effects of the Great Rebellion?
Benefits of British Rule
Costs of British Rule
After 1858, Parliament set up a system of colonial rule in India called the British Raj. A British viceroy in India governed in the name of the queen, and British officials held the top positions in the civil service and army. Indians filled most other jobs. With their cooperation, the British made India the “brightest jewel” in the crown of their empire.
British policies were designed to incorporate India into the overall British economy. At the same time, British officials felt they were helping India to modernize. In their terms, modernizing meant adopting not only Western technology but also Western culture.
overall—(oh vur awl) adj. total
An Unequal Partnership
Britain saw India both as a market and as a source of raw materials. To this end, the British built roads and an impressive railroad network. Improved transportation let the British sell their factory-made goods across the subcontinent and carry Indian cotton, jute, and coal to coastal ports for transport to factories in England. New methods of communication, such as the telegraph, also gave Britain better control of India. After the Suez Canal opened in 1869, British trade with India soared. But it remained an unequal partnership, favoring the British. The British flooded India with inexpensive, machine-made textiles, ruining India’s once-prosperous hand-weaving industry.
Britain also transformed Indian agriculture. It encouraged nomadic herders to settle into farming and pushed farmers to grow cash crops, such as cotton and jute, that could be sold on the world market. Clearing new farmlands led to massive deforestation, or cutting of trees.
Population Growth and Famine
The British introduced medical improvements and new farming methods. Better health care and increased food production led to rapid population growth. The rising numbers, however, put a strain on the food supply, especially as farmland was turned over to growing cash crops instead of food. In the late 1800s, terrible famines swept India.
On the positive side, British rule brought some degree of peace and order to the countryside. The British revised the legal system to promote justice for Indians regardless of class or caste. Railroads helped Indians move around the country, while the telegraph and postal system improved communication. Greater contact helped bridge regional differences and develop a sense of national unity.
The upper classes, especially, benefited from some British policies. They sent their sons to British schools, where they were trained for posts in the civil service and military. Indian landowners and princes, who still ruled their own territories, grew rich from exporting cash crops.
How did British colonial rule affect Indian agriculture?
How was British rule degrading to Indians?
An Indian Nationalist Movement
During the years of British rule, a class of Western-educated Indians emerged. In the view of Macaulay and others, this elite class would bolster British power. As it turned out, exposure to European ideas had the opposite effect. By the late 1800s, Western-educated Indians were spearheading a nationalist movement. Schooled in Western ideals such as democracy and equality, they dreamed of ending imperial rule.
Indian National Congress
In 1885, nationalist leaders organized the Indian National Congress, which became known as the Congress party. Its members believed in peaceful protest to gain their ends. They called for greater democracy, which they felt would bring more power to Indians like themselves. The Indian National Congress looked forward to eventual self-rule, but supported Western-style modernization.
At first, Muslims and Hindus worked together for self-rule. In time, however, Muslims grew to resent Hindu domination of the Congress party. They also worried that a Hindu-run government would oppress Muslims. In 1906, Muslims formed the Muslim League to pursue their own goals. Soon, they were talking of a separate Muslim state.
How are the origins of Indian nationalism linked to British rule?
What were the two goals of Mohandas Gandhi?
Colonial Indian Culture
How did the nationalist movement parallel cultural developments in India?
Section 4 Nation Building in Latin America
After the Napoleonic Wars, Spanish and Portuguese authority in Latin America became weak. A slave revolt in Hispaniola was the first of many successful bids for independence. Many Europeans favored the restoration of Spanish control, but the American Monroe Doctrine and British naval power discouraged European intervention. Caudillos, or strong leaders backed by military force, took power throughout Latin America. American settlers in the Mexican state of Texas gained independence and, later, American statehood. Great Britain, and later the United States, became the dominant foreign power. In the Spanish-American War, the United States gained control of Cuba and Puerto Rico. American investment and military intervention in Latin America grew. Revolution in Mexico produced a new reformist constitution. However, the new professional sector in Latin American society was generally conservative and allied itself with landholding elites.
European Colonies in Latin America
Prelude to Revolution
How did Napoleon's wars affect Latin America?
Revolt in Mexico
Revolts in South America
How did the French Revolution affect Mexico?
Difficulties of Nation Building
Rule of the Caudillos
A New Imperialism
What were some of the difficulties faced by the new Latin American republics?
The United States in Latin America
Revolution in Mexico
What was the United States' role as a colonial power?
Economic Change in Latin America
What caused the growth of a middle class in Latin America?
Rockwell, Somebody's Watching Me, 3:37
History of the British Empire, 5:08
Ian Hunter, Letter to Brittania from the Union Jack, 3:11
Long John Baldry - Everything Stops for Tea (edited for L), 3:09
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1. Reading Check, Explaining, How did Marie Curie's discovery change people's ideas about the atom?