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WESTERN IMPERIALISM

"The Second Industrial Revolution coincided with an age of imperialism as European states extended their hegemony over much of the globe. What accounted for the struggle of Europeans to claim and control the entire world? Some historians suggest that the new imperialism (to differentiate it from the colonialism of settlement and trade of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) was a direct result of industrialization. With intensified economic activity and competition, Europeans struggled for raw materials, markets for their commodities, and places to invest their capital. In the late nineteenth century, many politicians and industrialists believed that the only way their nations could ensure their economic necessities was the acquisition of overseas territories (Perry (B.S.). 408).
I. Motives for European imperialism:

1. Economic exploitation [raw materials--rubber, tin, and oil not found in western nations; cotton, sisal, palm oil, ivory, cocoa, coffee, hides (Greaves 778) and markets for the finished products]: But most colonies were not profitable for the nations. In fact, much colonial territory was mere wasteland and cost more to rule than it was worth economically. What drove countries to sustain such losses then was not profit but national prestige. Business typically invested wherever they could make money, not necessarily in their own countries colonial empire. 2. Aggressive nationalism (win glory for the nation): Germany and Italy--and France too after its defeat in the FrancoPrussian War--were convinced that Britain's status depended on colonies and naval power. Therefore a race to empire developed as European nations competed against each other for colonies, especially for areas that provided ports and coaling stations for their competitive navies. Not wanting to

appear weak and having no status, the race was on to acquire an empire. 3. Racism and other ideas of national superiority: Social Darwinists argued that all white men were better fit than non-whites to prevail in the inevitable struggle for dominance in which strong nations would survive and others would not. This justified the rule of Europeans over other peoples. 4. Humanitarian concern for others: Some believed that the extension of empire, law, order, and industrial civilization would raise "backward peoples" up the ladder of evolution and civilization. An example would be the concept of White Mans Burden; that is, it was the duty of European Christians to civilize the savages of the world. Yet, in their favor, it must be admitted that Missionaries were the first to meet and learn about many peoples and the first to develop writing for those without a written language. Christian missionaries were ardently opposed to slavery, and throughout the century they had gone to unexplored African regions to preach against slavery, which was still carried on by Arab and African traders. But to end slavery, many of them believed that Europeans must furnish law, order, and stability (Perry B.S. 409). So they are still convinced of the superiority of Western civilization, i.e., unable to separate culture and religion. 5. A desire for adventure (an interest is exotic places): Individuals and nations competed to find the highest mountains, the longest river, the highest waterfall, the land never before see by white men! Adventure!

II. Areas of European Domination

"Aided by superior technology and the machinery of the modern state, Europeans established varying degrees of political control over much of the rest of the world: [1] COLONY: Control could mean outright annexation and the governing of a territory as a colony. In this way Germany controlled Tanganyika (East Africa) after 1886, and Britain ruled much of India. [2] PROTECTORATE: Control could also mean status as a protectorate, in which the local ruler continued to rule but was directed, or "protected," by a Great Power. In this way the British controlled Egypt after 1882 and maintained authority over their dependent Indian princes, and France guarded Tunisia. [3] SPHERE OF INFLUENCE: There were also spheres of influence, in which, without military or political control, a European nation had special trading and legal privileges other Europeans did not have. At the turn of the century the Russians in the north and the British in the south, each recognizing the other's sphere of influence, divided Persia (Iran). In some non-Western lands, the governing authorities granted extraterritoriality, or the right of Europeans to trial by their own laws in foreign countries. Europeans often also lived a segregated and privileged life in quarters, clubs, and whole sections of foreign lands or cities in which no native was allowed to live (Perry B.S. 410-411).
1. AFRICA

The most rapid European expansion took place in Africa, even though there was little interest in Africa up to the 1870's. In fact, up to 1880 Europeans ruled merely 10% of the African continent. Yet within 30 years, by 1914, European nations will have claimed all of Africa except Liberia (a small territory of freed slaves from the United

States) and Abyssinia (Ethiopia), which had successfully held off Italian invaders at Adowa in 1896.
The Berlin Conference

The reason for this rapid expansion in Africa was the international Berlin Conference called by Bismarck and Jules Ferry, the premier of France in 1884 to lay some ground rules for the development of sub-Saharan Africa. Here it was determined that a European country had to occupy territory effectively in order to claim it. Thus began a race to the interior of Africa as Belgians (Congo), French (most of W. Africa), Italians (Libya, Somaliland), Germans (SW Africa-Namibia, E. Africa --Tanzania, Cameroons, Togo) and British (lots of Egypt as protectorate--interested in Suez Canal, E. Africa & S. Africa) scramble for territory. Unfortunately, they created unnatural straight boundary lines that ignored both natural and cultural frontiers, like tribal boundaries and rivers and mountains. This has resulted in many conflicts between the emerging independent African states since the end of World War II. .
South Africa

"Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), who had gone to South Africa for his health in 1870 and made a fortune in diamonds, and gold, dreamed of expanding the British Empire. The British, he declared, are the finest race in the world and the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Rhodes was responsible for acquiring Rhodesia [which he named for himself], a sizable and wealthy territory, for Britain. [By the 1880s, British policy in South Africa was largely determined by Cecil Rhodes (Spiel.4th Ed. 733).] He also plotted to involve Britain in a war with the Boers, Dutch farmers and cattlemen who had settled in South

Africa in the seventeenth century. "During the Napoleonic wars, the British had gained Cape Town, at the southern tip of Africa, a useful provisioning place for trading ships bound for India. Despising British rule and refusing to accept the British abolition of slavery in 1834, ;the Boers moved northward in a migration called the Great Trek (1835-1837), warring with the African tribes along the way. They established two republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, whose independence the British recognized in the 1850's. The republics' democratic practices did not extend to black Africans, who were denied political rights. In 1877, the British annexed Transvaal, but Boer resistance forced them in 1881 to recognize the Transvaal's independence again. "The discovery of rich deposits of gold and diamonds in the Boer lands reinforced Rhodes's dream to build a great British empire in Africa. In 1895, his close friend Leander Jameson led some 600 armed men into the Transvaal, hoping to create a pretext for a British invasion. Although the raid failed and both Jameson and Rhodes were disgraced, tensions between Britain and the Boer republics worsened, and in 1899 the Anglo-Boer War broke out. "The Boers were formidable opponents--farmers by day and commandos by night, armed with the latest French and German rifles. To deal with their stubborn foe, the British herded or "concentrated" thousands of Boers, including women and children, into compounds where some 25,000 perished. After three years, the nasty war ended in 1902. The British, hoping to live together in peace with the Boers, drew up a conciliatory treaty. In 1910 the former Boer republics were joined with the British territories into the Union of South Africa. Self-government within the British

Empire for the British settlers and the Boers did not help the majority black population, who had to cope with the Boers' deeply entrenched racist attitudes (Perry B.S., 420-1).