19th Century European Imperialism Out with the Old and in with the New…
The Old Imperialism (to 1870) • During the first three quarters of the 19th century, European powers showed little interest in overseas expansion. • In fact, it appeared that imperialism was on the way out. • Economic and political liberalism was largely against imperial ventures of political oppression and mercantilist trade.
The British Empire • The British Empire was the largest overseas empire in the early 19th century, but there was little interest in further expansion. • The American War of Independence still loomed over British colonial policy. • In the Western Hemisphere, British control in Canada expanded westward, but discontent was growing. • The British North America Act of 1867 established the Dominion of Canada (extensive autonomy in domestic policy. • British continued to control much of the Caribbean.
The British Empire • Africa • The British had captured the Cape Colony during the Napoleonic Wars and trading stations along the coast. • In the 1820s, British settlers moved in, causing friction with the Boers (descendants of Dutch colonists who settled there in the 17th century.) • In the Great Trek of 1835-1837, Boers moved north and established the state of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
The British Empire • India • In India, most of the British administration was controlled by the East India Company. • In 1857, Indian troops rebelled against British rule in the Great Mutiny (aka the Sepoy Rebellion). • This occurred as a result of BEIC abuses, cultural frictions, and rumors of pig and cow fat used in powder charges (insult to Hindus and Muslims) • As a result, the British government took direct rule of India in 1858 (British Raj)
The British Empire • China • The British established a trade system of importing opium from India to China in return for tea during the 19th century. • When the Chinese government attempted to stop this, Britain went to war with China in 1842 (the Opium War). • China was quickly defeated, resuming the import of opium and Britain annexed Hong Kong in 1842. • As a result of further conflict, namely the Taiping Rebellion, China gave away more of its sovereignty.
The British Empire • The British also continued to control several key outposts. • Gibraltar and Malta in the Mediterranean • Aden in the Red Sea • Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the Indian Ocean. • Singapore in the Pacific Ocean. • Australia and New Zealand were growing colonies for British and Irish settlers. Gibraltar
The Latin American Colonies • The Independence movements between 1804 and 1824 in Latin America proved for the rest of Europe what the American Revolution proved for the British. • Nationalism and liberalism assured that Portugal would lose control of its vast territory in Brazil, France would lose Haiti, and Spain would lose the rest of Latin America, save Cuba and Puerto Rico (Spain also retained the Philippines in the Pacific).
The French Empire • Through the Seven Years War, and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, France had lost most of its overseas territories. • All of French North America was lost to the British, Spanish and Americans. • French influence in India was lost after the Seven Years War.
The French Empire • The French continued to have island colonies in the Caribbean on Guadeloupe and Martinique, as well as French Guiana in South America. • In Africa, the French operated several coastal trading stations and exerted some influence in Egypt and the Middle East. • In 1830, the French slowly began acquiring territorial rights in Algeria and in Indochina.
The Dutch Colonies • The Dutch, now a second rate power due to its small size and domination by surrounding powers protected what it had. • They continued to exploit what they could through trade and their island empire in the East Indies. • A revolt on Java between 1825 and 1830 was crushed, bring harsher rule by the Dutch.
Russian Expansion • Russia was the only European power to aggressively continue its expansionist policies throughout the 19th century. • In contrast, however, Russian expansion was over land and contiguous with its territory. • Russian expansion came at the cost of the crumbling Ottoman Empire along the Black Sea, a power vacuum in Central Asia, and Chinese weakness along the North Pacific Coast.
Austria, Prussia, and Italy • During the first half of the 19th century, overseas imperial expansion was not an option for Prussia, Austria, and the states of Italy. • Prussia and the Italian states were primarily concerned with domestic affairs (Rev. of 1848) and their unification movements. • Austria as well was concerned with internal affairs and any expansion came at the price of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans.
The New Imperialism • In the late 1860s and 1870s, European powers began to reverse their disdain for obtaining formal colonies. • In the period from 1870 to 1914, European nations (as well as the U.S. and Japan) would go on a colonization drive like never before. • In just a couple of decades, nearly all of Africa and large areas of Asia and the Middle East would come under European domination.
Motivations for New Imperialism • Nationalism and competition among states for additional territory was a major political and psychological factor. • The influence of Social Darwinism pushed the “strongest to survive” and to dominate the weak. • Humanitarian and religious considerations led to military interventions, missionary zeal, and the “civilizing” mission. • European industrial development caused the need for natural resources and new markets to sell in and invest.
Imperialism and European Society • Policies in colonial possessions were often used as test beds for social policy at home; hospitals, schools, law enforcement, and infrastructure was often tested in colonies. • Imperialistic ventures were used as nationalistic propaganda at home and was a way of forming national unity in the face of class tensions. • Liberals often opposed imperial ventures where conservatives favored them.
The British Empire • Asia • Consolidation of the British Raj continued as the British government expanded its formal rule over greater territories in northern and western India. • In 1877, Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India. • British control expanded eastward into Burma, and Malaya and northward to the border with Afghanistan (created as a buffer against the Russians)
The British Empire • Egypt • In 1875, the British bought a 44 percent share in the previously French controlled Suez Canal (1869). • The British took a greater role in Egyptian affairs until it was made a British Protectorate in 1882. • East and West Africa • In East and West Africa, Britain expanded its old trading posts into full colonies, leading to conflict with the natives (example: Anglo-Zulu War of 1879) • These included Gambia, Sierra Leone, The Gold Coast, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia. Battle of Rouke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War.
The British Empire • South Africa • Led by the efforts of imperialist and capitalist Cecil Rhodes. • Rhodes made fortune in diamonds, discovered in Cape Colony in 1869. • He pressed for British expansion in Southern Africa. • Tensions mounted in the 1880s with the discovery of gold in Transvaal, British prospectors moved in with the blessing of Rhodes, the PM of Cape Colony.
The Boer War (1899-1902) • President Paul Kruger of Transvaal was convinced the British were going to annex their state, Kruger then tried to ally with Germany. • Tensions led to war in 1899. The Boers led a determined guerilla war that lasted four years (first post-modern war?). The Boers were often placed in concentration camps. • With the end of the war in 1902 and the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Boers were integrated into the British Dominion and came to dominate it.
The French Empire • In the 1870s, the French extended their colonial control over North and Western Africa. • Algeria was made a full colony, with large numbers of French settlers moving in to farm. • Control was then extended to Tunisia and Morocco and large amounts of territory in French West Africa, Senegal, Guinea and the Ivory Coast, as well as Madagascar • In Asia, French Indochina was colonized.
Anglo-French Conflict in Sudan • An uprising in the Sudan under the leadership of the infamous Mahdi threatened British interests. • General Charles Gordon reached Khartoum in 1884 to evacuate the garrison but was besieged by the Madhi, the British troops were massacred. • In 1897, Lord Kitchener retook Khartoum. He then set off down the Nile with a flotilla of gunboats to confront French General Marchand at Fashoda. This precipitated the Fashoda Crisis when, ultimately unable to face a naval war with Britain, the French backed down.
Scramble for Africa – Leopold II • In the 1870s, King Leopold II of Belgium began the process of creating a personal colony in the Congo Basin, the Berlin Conference made his acquisitions legal. Leopold used forced labor in the production of rubber, ivory and minerals. • As international protests intensified, the Belgian government took control of the Belgian Congo in 1908.
Scramble for Africa – Berlin Conference • Intense rivalries among Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and Portugal for additional African territory, and ill-defined boundaries of their various holdings, instigate the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 (organized by Bismarck) • Powers defined their spheres of influence and laid down rules for future occupation on the coasts of Africa. • No African states were invited to the Berlin conference, and none signed these agreements.
Imperialism in China • By the end of the 19th century, every major European power had established spheres of influence in China. • The weakening of the Manchu dynasty made the situation worse. • The newly industrial and imperialistic Japanese defeated the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95, seceding further control of China’s territory.
Migration • At the same time Europeans were colonizing for nationalism, riches and religion, massed of people were migrating from Europe to other areas of the world. • Estimates say that over 25 million people migrated from Europe between 1875 to 1914. • Nearly half migrated to the Americas, others went to Australia, Africa, and Asia.
Effects of Imperialism • European imperialism had dramatic impact on Europe and the wider world. • European society was altered due to its predominate position, economic benefits and costs, external influences, and competition among states. • The colonized world was drastically changed, with European cultural, economic, and political ideas becoming the global norm. • The positives and negatives for both sides are still very much debated today and still affect today’s world.