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Introduction of the Chapter

THE term `imperialism means the practice of extending the power, control
or rule by a country over the political and economic life of areas outside its
own borders. This may be done through military or other means, and
particularly through colonialism or the practice of acuiring colonies by
conuest or other means and ma!ing them dependent "t may be
remembered that occupation of or direct rule over a country or people by
another country is not always an essential feature of imperialism The
essential feature of the relations between an imperialist country and the
country over which it has established its control or the colony which it has
acuired, is exploitation, with or without direct political control. This means
that the imperialist country, or metropolis #literal meaning mother country$,
as it is sometimes called, subordinates the colony or the country which the
metropolis indirectly controls to serve its own economic and political
interests.
%ost countries of &sia, including "ndia, and &frica, and many other parts of
the world were until recent years under the control of one imperialist
country or another. These included countries which were not directly'ruled
by the imperialist countries but were exploited by them more or less in the
same way as countries over which direct imperialist rule had been es
tablished "n the present(day )orld, when almost all countries of the world
are politically independent, imperialist control over other countries has not
come to an end The practice of exploitation, particularly economic
exploitation and domination of independent but economically less
developed countries, is often called neocolonialism .
The first phase of the imperialist control and coloni*ation of &sia, &frica and
the &mericas began in the sixteenth century. +uring the period from the
sixteenth to the eighteenth century, as you have read in ,hapter - #.ol. /$,
the voyages of discovery were followed by the founding of vast colonial
empires by 0ortugal, 1pain, Holland, England and 2rance "n the &mericas,
1pain occupied most of 1outh &merica #excluding 3ra*il which was
occupied by 0ortugal$, ,entral &merica, %exico, )est "ndies and parts of
what is now the 4nited 1tates of &merica. England and 2rance occupied
parts of 5orth &merica %any people from these countries of Europe went to
settle in these colonies permanently +uring this period, the European
control in &frica extended only to about one fifth of the continent, mainly in
the coastal areas. This was the period of slave trade The European slave
traders enslaved and transported about 6777 &fricans to the &mericas
every month during the seventeenth century "n &sia, the Europeans came
mainly with the purpose of trade The traders from 0ortugal, Holland,
England, 2rance and other countries, with the bac!ing of their respective
governments, set up their trading posts and tried to establish their
monopoly of trade with the countries of &sia, and each tried to exclude the
others through war and by extending their political influence and control.
The 0ortuguese who controlled the trade with &sia were ousted from that
position by the +utch and the English who extended their control over
"ndonesia and "ndia, respectively. 8enerally spea!ing, the first phase of
imperialism and coloni*ation came to an end by the close of the eighteenth
century. The 3ritish conuest of "ndia which had started in the middle of the
eighteenth century was completed by about the middle of the nineteenth
century. "n the meantime, the imperialist penetration of ,hina had begun.
The period between the sixteenth to the eighteenth century was a period of
na!ed plunder by European colonial powers "n ,hapter 9 #.ol./$, you have
already read about the role which this plunder played in the growth of the
capitalist system and in the "ndustrial :evolution
+uring the initial period of the "ndustrial :evolution, the pursuit for colonies
had slowed down The pursuit for colonies and colonial rivalries reemerged
in the last uarter of the nineteenth century This new phase of imperialism,
which began in about /;96 and continued till /</4, is often described as
5ew "mperialism "t was the result of the economic system that had
developed as a result of the "ndustrial :evolution +uring this phase, a few
industriali*ed capitalist countries established their political and economic
control and domination over almost the rest of the world The forms of
control and domination including direct colonial rule, spheres of influence
and various types of economic and commercial agreements The power of
some of the imperialist countries such as 1pain and 0ortugal declined
during this period, and new countries emerged which played an
increasingly important role during this phase of imperialist expansion and
rivalries. 3esides the old imperialist countries =3ritain and 2rance =which
continued to be powerful and expand, the new imperialist countries which
emerged during this period were 8ermany, "taly, 3elgium, 4 1 & and, later,
>apan.
CONDITIONS THAT HELPED THE GROWTH OF
IMPERIALISM
"f you study the conditions that existed in the world in the nineteenth
century, you will find that these conditions favoured the growth of
imperialism The imperialist countries too! full advantage of these
conditions and easily ?ustified any and every conuest that served their
interests. "n fact, the more powerful nations made imperialism seem
necessary and natural
Deand! Created "# the Indu!tria$ Re%o$ution
&s you have read, the "ndustrial :evolution resulted in a very great
increase in the production of goods "t also created the capitalist system of
production. 4nder capitalism, maximum profit for the capitalist was the
primary purpose of production ,apitalists followed two courses to ma!e big
profits =more and more production and minimum wages to wor!ers The
production of goods was far in excess of the demand at home. @ow wages
meant low purchasing power of the ma?ority of the population and this also
restricted their demand at home. 1o capitalist countries had to find new
mar!ets and buyers for the goods their industries were producing.
The possibilities of one industriali*ed country selling its manufactures to
another industriali*ed country were also limited. )ith the spread of the
"ndustrial :evolution to all the countries of Europe, each country tried to
protect and stimulate its new industries To do this, as you learned in
,hapter 9, all the European nations began to follow a protectionist policy.
That is, each country put a heavy tariff or tax on goods imported from other
countries.
European countries could find mar!ets for their surplus goods in &sia and
&frica where the "ndustrial :evolution had not ta!en place. 1elling was
made easier through political domination of these areas. Then each country
could protect its mar!et from other European rivals and also eliminate any
competition from goods produced locally.
"n addition to mar!ets, European countries needed new sources of raw
materials. &s industries grew, more and more raw materials were needed to
fee those industries. &nd all that was needed could not be had internally, at
any rate not enough of it. "ndia and Egypt were good sources of cotton,
,ongo and the East "ndies, of rubber Ather products needed were food
grains, tea, coffee, indigo, tobacco and sugar. To obtain these, it was
necessary to change the pattern of production in the countries where they
could be grown. 1ometimes, goods produced in one country were sold in
another country to pay for the goods from that country 2or example, the
English promoted the cultivation of opium in "ndia, they smuggled the
opium from "ndia into ,hina and in this way paid for the goods that they
bought in ,hina. "n some countries, the imperialists forced the cultivation of
only one or two crops which they needed as raw materials for their
industries ,oal, iron, tin, gold, copper and, later, oil were other resources of
&sia and &frica that European countries wanted to control.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, imperialist countries began
loo!ing upon &sia, &frica and 1outh &frica as good places to invest their
capital The abundance of raw materials in &sia and &frica, and the number
of people who could be made to wor! for lower wages made the two
continents very attractive to investors. ,apital invested in Europe would
fetch only B or C per cent profit, in &sia or &frica, it was as high as D7 per
cent 2rom about the end of the nineteenth century, export of capital for
investment in other countries began to become more important than the
export of goods. This happened as a result of the growing influence and
power of the financial institutions such as ban!s. They exercised control
over industries by giving them credit The investment of capital in the
colonies was not made with a view to industriali*ing the colonies, it was to
promote industries which would produce goods mainly for export, such as
in mining, or which would further strengthen the imperialist countrys control
over the colonys economy, such as the railways 3ut, as in the case of
mar!ets and raw materials, political domination was often necessary
"nvestments might not be safe without political domination, Europeans
reasoned. &n uprising that a wea! government could not control, or a
change in government, could mean a loss of profits or even of the whole
investment, they argued This was how %orocco in 5orth &frica, for
example, became 2rench %orocco, after 2rench investors appealed to
their government to annex it.
Ipro%eent in Tran!portation and Counication
,hanges in transport and communication that came with the "ndustrial
:evolution made the spread of imperialism easier. 1teamships could carry
goods between home countries in Europe and the acuired territories in
&sia and &frica much faster than old sailing vessels )ith cheap labour,
imperialist countries built railroads and inland waterways in conuered
area. An these they could get raw materials out of the interior of the
continents and send their manufactured products into new mar!ets. Thus
every area of the world was brought within easy reach of the industriali*ed
countries
E&tree Nationa$i! ' Pride and Po(er
The later part of the nineteenth century was a period of intense nationalism.
8ermany and "taly had ?ust succeeded in becoming unified nations.
5ationalism in the late nineteenth century came to be associated with
chauvinism %any nations developed myths of their superiority over other
peoples Each one felt that it, too, must have colonies to add to its prestige
and power. "mperialism became the fashion of the age. )riters and
spea!ers in England, 2rance and 8ermany opened institutions to promote
the idea of imperialism, and too! great pride in calling their territories
empires. "mperialist countries too! over some places in &sia and &frica
because of their military or strategic importance. 2or example, England
needed 0ort 1aid, &den, Hong Eong, 1ingapore and ,yprus =not to
protect England but to protect her conuered lands and trade route to "ndia
from rival nations. &t these places she established naval bases and coaling
stations to strengthen her overseas power :ival nations got similar bases
elsewhere, as you will see. &cuiring a colony also had a chain reaction "f a
county acuired a colony, it needed another to protect it and so on
Averseas possessions were also useful because they added to an
imperialist countrys manpower 1ome of the people of the coloni*ed
countries were ta!en into the army, often by force, for use in wars of
conuest, others were contracted to wor! on plantations and mines in
some other colonial possession for a specified number of years. The
manpower of the colonies was alsoused in the administration of the
colonies at lower levels.
The )Ci%i$i*in+ Mi!!ion,' Men and Idea!
"n the minds of many Europeans, imperialist expansion was very noble.
They considered it a way of bringing civili*ation to the bac!ward peoples
of the world The famous English writer, :udyard Eipling, as!ed his
countrymen to shoulder what he called the white mans burden >ules
2erry, in 2rance, said, 1uperior races have the duty of civili*ing the inferior
races .
,hristian missionaries, dedicated to spreading ,hristianity, also played
their part in promoting the idea of imperialism. 4sually they went alone into
un!nown areas in a spirit of duty. .ery often they were followed by
profiteering traders and soldiers. )ars often too! place to protect the
missionaries. &ll this seemed uite natural to most )estern people who
considered it their nations destiny to civili*e and ,hristiani*e the peoples of
&sia and &frica 0resident %cEinley of the 4nited 1tates summed up the
reasons for annexing the 0hilippines in these words There was nothing left
to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos and uplift and civilize
and Christianize them as our fellow men for whom Christ also died.
E&p$orer! and ad%enturer!
They also helped in spreading imperialism. They went into un!nown or little
!nown territories and brought bac! reports that often indicated
opportunities for trade and development. An the basis of such reports, a
trading post would first be set upF next, gradually the explorers home
government would arrange to ta!e over protection of the entire area
around the trading post Then this government would proceed to claim the
entire territory The wor! of explorers and adventurers was particularly
important in Europes ta!ing over of &frica.
Condition! that Fa%oured Iperia$i! in A!ia and Africa
The most important condition favouring the imperialist conuest of &sia and
&frica was that the "ndustrial :evolution had not come to this part of the
world. The craftsmen produced goods of fine uality that )esterners
admired and desired. 3ut they relied entirely on hand tools which meant
production on a small scale "n comparison with the production of )estern
countries in the nineteenth century, &sian and &frican methods were
bac!ward. &lso, because of the lac! of !nowledge that the "ndustrial
:evolution had brought to the )est, the two continents were militarily
unable to stand up to the armed might and power of Europe.
The governments of the countries of &sia and &frica were very wea! in the
nineteenth century, though in ancient and medieval times powerful empires
had existed there. "n the nineteenth century, the old ways of governing
were still followed, even though they had outlived their usefulness. 1trong
nationstates in the modern sense had not developed. The peoples loyalties
were still to local princes as in feudal times, or to tribal chieftains. These
rulers cared little for the welfare of the people. These conditions help to
explain how small bands of )esterners succeeded in gaining power and,
finally, with the bac!ing of their governments, in conuering entire
countries.
THE CON-.EST OF ASIA' The /riti!h in India
The decline of the %ughal empire in "ndia gave the 3ritish and the 2rench,
who had come to trade, an opportunity to conuer "ndia. The English East
"ndia ,ompany, formed in /-77, was victorious in its conflict with 2rance,
which ended in /9-B. 3eginning with 3engal, almost the entire country
came under the rule of the English East "ndia ,ompany. &fter the :evolt of
/;69, the 3ritish government too! over direct control of "ndia. %any
princely states survived but they were free more in name than in fact.
3ritains conuest of "ndia was complete.
The conflict between the English East "ndia ,ompany and the 2rench was
over establishing a monopoly of trade. &fter the English company gained
control, the countrys vast resources fell into its hands. There was no longer
any need to bring money from England to buy "ndian goods. These were
purchased with the money made from 3ritish conuests in "ndia and sold in
England and Europe 2ortunes were made by the officers of the ,ompany
"ndia was !nown as the brightest ?ewel of the 3ritish empire. )ith the
coming of the "ndustrial :evolution in England, 3ritish goods poured into
this country. This ruined "ndian handicraft industries. %illions of pounds
were drained out of "ndia to England in the form of profits and as payment
to the 3ritish government as direct tribute and Home ,harges. "ndias
interests were subordinated more and more to 3ritish interests. "n /;99, the
3ritish ueen too! the title Empress of "ndia, li!e the one used earlier by
the %ughals.
The 3ritish conuest led to many changes in the "ndian social and
economic life. To extend "ndian mar!ets for 3ritish goods and to ma!e use
of "ndias natural resources railway construction was started on a large
scale 3ritish rulers gave special privileges to their own planters, and within
a short time a number of tea, coffee and indigo plantations grew up "n
/;;B, all import and export duties were waived "ndian resources, both
human and material, were used to promote the interests of 3ritish
imperialism in ,hina, ,entral &sia and &frica. To prevent opposition from
the "ndian people, the 3ritish imposed laws to stifle the expression of public
opinion They excluded "ndians from responsible positions in government,
and discriminated against them in other institutions and in social life.
Iperia$i! in China
"mperialist domination of ,hina began with what are !nown as the Apium
)ars 3efore these wars, only two ports were open to foreign traders 3ritish
merchants bought ,hinese tea, sil! and other goods, but there was no
mar!et for 3ritish goods in ,hina. Then 3ritish merchants started
smuggling opium into ,hina on a large scale. The illegal opium trade was
profitable to the 3ritish traders but did immense physical and moral
damage to the ,hinese. "n /;B<, when a ,hinese government official
sei*ed an opium cargo and destroyed it, 3ritain declared war and easily
defeated the ,hinese. The ,hinese were then forced to pay heavy
damages to the 3ritish and to open five port cities to 3ritish traders The
,hinese government also agreed that in future, 3ritish sub?ects in these
ports would be tried for any crimes in English rather than in ,hinese courts
This provision, which other )estern countries copied, came to be !nown as
extraterritorial rights. The ,hinese government was no longer free to
impose tariff on foreign goods The island of Hong Eong was turned over to
3ritain. 1oon 2rance entered into similar uneual treaties with ,hina. An
the pretext that a 2rench missionary had been murdered, England and
2rance fought another war with ,hina. ,hina was defeated and was forced
to grant more privileges to her conuerors. The next important stage in the
growth of imperialist control over ,hina came after the wai with >apan This
came about when >apan tried to increase her influence over Eorea which
was under ,hinese overlordship. ,hina resented this rind the two countries
went to war, which ended in victory for >apan ,hina gave Eorea her
independence and ceded 2ormosa and other islands to >apan. 1he was
also forced to pay >apan heavy war damages amounting to about /67
million dollars.
2rance, :ussia, 3ritain and 8ermany gave loans to ,hina to help her to
meet this payment. 3ut not for nothing / These western countries then
divided ,hina into spheres of influence, which meant that each country had
certain regions of ,hina reserved exclusively for its purposes 2oi example,
in its sphere of influence, a country might have the right to build railways or
wor! mines. 8ermany got Eiaochow 3ay and exclusive rights in 1hantung
and in the HwangHo valley. :ussia too! @iao tung 0eninsula, along with the
right to build railroads in %anchuria, 2rance received Ewangchow 3ay and
extensive rights in three southern provinces of ,hina 3ritain got )eihi)ei
in addition to her sphere of influence in the Gangt*e valley
Open Door Po$ic#
The 4nited 1tates feared that ,hina would be completely parcelled out in
exclusive spheres of influence and that its trade with ,hina would be shut
off. The 4nited 1tates, therefore, suggested the policy !nown as the Apen
+oor. This policy is also described as %e too policy &ccording to this
policy, all countries would have eual rights to trade anywhere in ,hina
3ritain supported the 4nited 1tates thin!ing that this policy would
discourage the annexation of ,hina by >apan and :ussia, the two
countries that could mast easily send their armies to the mainland
The scramble for privileges stopped in ,hina after an uprising against the
foreign powers !nown as the 3oxer :ebellion. 3ut the foreign powers were
victorious and levied heavy damages on ,hina as punishment "mperialism
continued, with the cooperation of ,hinese warlords. These military
commanders were supported by the loans which they got from foreign
powers in exchange for more privileges. Though ,hina was not conuered
and occupied by any imperialist country, the effects of these developments
on ,hina were the same as in areas which had been coloni*ed "n a period
of a few decades, ,hina had been educed to the status of an international
colony. The division of ,hina into spheres of influence has often been
described as the cuttin+ of the Chine!e e$on,
Iperia$i! in South and SouthEa!t A!ia
1outh and 1outh East &sia includes 5epal, 3urma, 1ri @an!a, %alaya,
"ndonesia, "ndo,hina, Thailand and the 0hilippines Even before the rise of
the new imperialism, many of these countries were already dominated by
the Europeans 1ri @an!a was occupied by the 0ortuguese, then by the
+utch, and later by the 3ritish England introduced tea and rubber
plantations, which came to form 9';
th
of 1ri @an!as exports. The +utch lost
%alaya to the 3ritish, including 1ingapore, lying at the tip of the %alaya
peninsula. The conuest of %alaya and 1ingapore meant control of all the
trade of the 2ar East that passed through the 1traits of %alacca. "ndonesia
and the surrounding islands were under +utch control &fter /;96, Holland
extended her control over a group of islands !nown as the %oluccas.
IndoChina
The area in 1outhEast &sia once called "ndo(,hina consists of @aos,
,ambodia and .ietnam. )hen England was fighting ,hina over the opium
trade, 2rance was trying to extend her commerce in "ndo,hina. "n a series
of planned steps which included threats of war, 2rance became the master
of "ndo,hina and the separate states were grouped together under a
2rench governor general. 2reuent revolts against 2rench rule followed,
but they were suppressed or, as the 2rench said, pacified.
/ura
"n /;;7, the !ing of 3urma gave 2rance the right to build a railway from
Ton!in to %andalay The 2rench were trying to dominate all of 1outhEast
&sia. The 3ritish government, fearing 2rench expansion, started a war with
3urma. The 3urmese !ing was captured and sent to "ndia 3urma was
annexed and became a part of 3ritains empire in "ndia in /;;-.
Thailand, or 1iam, remained an independent state, though sandwiched
between the 2rench conuests in "ndo,hina and of the 3ritish in 3urma 3ut
2rance and England exercised much power and authority over its affairs
Phi$ippine!
The 4nited 1tates ?oined in the race of imperialist expansion in 1outhEast
&sia in the late nineteenth century & revolt of the ,ubans in the ,aribbean
against 1panish rule led the 4nited 1tates to a war with 1pain. There was a
revolt of the 2ilipinos against 1panish rule and the 4nited 1tates occupied
,uba and the 0hilippines The 2ilipinos revolted against the &merican
occupation but were suppressed and the 0hilippines became an &merican
possession The 4nited 1tates paid D7 million dollars to 1pain for the
0hilippines.
Iperia$i! in Centra$ and We!tern A!ia
England and :ussia were rivals in the struggle to control ,entral &sia, "ran
#0ersia$, &fghanistan and Tibet The :ussian empire succeeded in annexing
almost all of ,entral &sia in the second half of the nineteenth century The
conflict between England and :ussia came to a head over "ran and
&fghanistan 3esides some minor economic interests in these countries,
3ritain was mainly concerned about defending her conuests in "ndia
against the expansion of :ussia in ,entral &sia. :ussia and England set up
ban!s in "ran to obtain economic control "n /<79, England and :ussia
reached an agreement according to which southern "ran became 3ritains
sphere of influence and northern "ran the :ussian sphere of influence. The
central part of "ran was neutral and open to both %eanwhile, the struggle
was on between 3ritain and :ussia for mastery over &fghanistan and Tibet
2inally in /<79, 3ritain and :ussia reached an agreement over these two
countries and "ran 3oth powers agreed not to interfere in Tibet :ussia
agreed to recogni*e &fghanistan as being outside her influence and 3ritain
agreed not to annex &fghanistan as long as her ruler remained loyal to her
The division of "ran into three *ones has already been mentioned This
meant the establishment of ?oint &nglo(:ussian supremacy over "ran. &fter
the :ussian :evolution bro!e out in /</9, the new 1oviet government
denounced the old &nglo :ussian agreement and gave up her rights in "ran
However, "ran was occupied by 3ritish troops %eanwhile, oil had been
found in "ran and 3ritish and &merican oil interests became powerful "ran
remained nominally independent but was increasingly under the domination
of foreign oil companies = the 1tandard Ail ,ompany of the 4nited 1tates
and the &nglo0ersian Ail ,ompany of England. &fter the overthrow of the
monarchy in ,hina in /<//, Tibet increasingly passed under 3ritish
influence.
8ermany, during these years, was extending her influence over Tur!ey and
the &sian possessions of the Tur!ish empire. & 8erman company obtained
a concession to build a railway from ,onstantinople to 3aghdad and the
persian 8ulf. Through this railway, 8ermany hoped to promote her
economic interests in this region, and on to "ran and "ndia 2rance, England
and :ussia opposed this, but an agreement to divide the region was
reached between 8ermany, 2rance and England. The 2irst )orld )ar,
however, changed the situation. 8ermany and Tur!ey, allies in the war,
were defeated 1yria, 0alestine, %esopotamia #"ra$ and &rabia were ta!en
away from Tur!ey and they passed under the control of England and
2rance Thus, 8ermany as an imperialist nation was completely eliminated
from &sia and other parts of the world. 1oon, oil and the concessions to
control oil resources became the ma?or ob?ectives of the imperialist
countries in )estern &sia &merican oil companies, in partnership with
England and 2rance, got oil concessions in &rabia
0apan a! an Iperia$i!t Po(er
>apan started on her program of imperialist expansion in the last decade of
the nineteenth century )estern countries had tried to establish their
foothold there "n /;6B &merican warships under ,ommodore 0erry had,
after a show of force, compelled the >apanese to open their country to
&merican shipping and trade This was followed by similar agreements by
>apan with 3ritain, Holland, 2rance and :ussia. However, >apan escaped
the experience and fate of other &sian countries. "n /;-9, after a change in
government, !nown as %ei?i :estoration, >apan began to moderni*e her
economy )ithin a few decades, she became one of the most industriali*ed
countries of the world 3ut the forces that made many of the )estern
countries imperialist were also active in the case of >apan. >apan had few
raw materials to support her industries. 1o she loo!ed for lands that had
them and for mar!ets to sell her manufactured goods
,hina provided ample opportunities for >apans imperialist designs. Gou
have already read of the war between ,hina and >apan over Eorea, in
/;<C &fter this, >apans influence in ,hina increased The &nglo >apanese
Treaty of /<7D recogni*ed her as a power of eual standing with the great
European powers. "n /<7C6 she defeated :ussia. &s a result of this war,
the southern half of 1a!halin was ceded to >apan. >apan also gained
control of the southern part of the @iaotung 0eninsula with 0ort &rthur
which was leased to her "n /</7, Eorea became a colony of >apan. )hen
the 2irst )orld )ar began in /</C, >apan could loo! bac! with some pride
at her record of the last fifty years. 1he had become a great power and
could expand further at the cost of ,hina if the )estern powers would only
allow her to do so
However, her own record was, if anything, worse than that of )estern
imperialists. "n fact, >apans rise as an imperialist power helped to show
that imperialism was not limited to any one people or region :ather, it was
the result of greed for economic and political power which could distort the
policy of any country regardless of its race or cultural claims.
To sum up, almost all of &sia had been swallowed up by the imperialist
countries by the early years of the twentieth century.
IMPERIALISM IN AFRICA
Gou have already read in ,hapter C #.ol./$ about the emergence of
civili*ation and the formation of states, !ingdoms and empires in different
parts of &frica Gou have also read about the contacts which &frican cultures
and civili*ations had with the rest of the world since ancient times 2rom the
time of European explorations in the later part of the fifteenth century, a
new phase began in the history of some parts of &frica
3esides the establishment of commercial relations with some parts of
&frica, this phase was characteri*ed by slave trade &s mentioned earlier, till
about the last uarter of the nineteenth century, European control over
&frica extended over about one(fifth of the territory of the continent.
However, within a few years almost the entire continent was partitioned
among various European imperialist countries though it too! them much
longer to establish their actual effective occupation
S$a%e Trade
The European penetration of &frica from the late fifteenth century onwards
was confined for a long time mainly to certain coastal areas However, even
these limited contacts led to the most tragic and disastrous conseuences
for the people of &frica, Ane of the first results of these contacts was the
purchase and sale of people =the slave trade. The 1panish rule in the
&mericas had resulted in the large(scale extermination of the original
inhabitants of the &mericas The 0ortuguese had established a slave
mar!et in @isbon and the 1paniards bought slaves from there and too!
them to their colonies in the &mericas to wor! there. &frican villages were
raided by slave traders and people were captured and handed over to the
European traders Earlier, the &rabs had dominated the slave trade,
1ubseuently, some &frican chiefs also too! part in the slave trade by
trading slaves in exchange for firearms which the European traders sold to
them .The Europeans themselves also raided the villages and enslaved the
people, who were then transported. )hen the demand for slaves in
&merica increased, they were sent directly from &frica by the traders.
The trade in &frican slaves was started by the 0ortuguese. 1oon the
English too! over. "n /6-D, 1ir >ohn Haw!ins, a rich English merchant, who
was !nown to be very religious, went on his first voyage to &frica to bring
slaves in a ship called >esus The reigning English monarch, Eli*abeth ",
received a share of the profits that Haw!ins made in selling the slaves that
he had brought "n the seventeenth century, a regular company received a
charter from the Eing of England for purposes of trade in slaves @ater,
1pain gave the monopoly of slave trade with her possessions in &merica to
England The share of the !ing in the profits from slave trade was fixed at
D6 per cent
4p to about the middle of the nineteenth century this trade continued.
%illions of &fricans were uprooted from their homes %any were !illed while
resisting the raids on their villages by the traders. They were ta!en in ships
as inanimate ob?ects and in such unhygienic conditions that the sailors on
the ships often revolted @a!hs of them died during the long ?ourney. "t is
estimated that not even half of the slaves captured reached &merica alive.
The inhuman conditions under which they were forced to wor! on the
plantations cannot even be imagined today Extreme brutalities were
inflicted on those who tried to escape. The person who !illed a runaway
slave was given a reward by the government. 1lavery had become an
integral part of the colonial system established by European countries
during this period.
3y early nineteenth century, trade in slaves lost its importance in the
system of colonial exploitation 1lavery was also a hindrance if the interior
of &frica was to be opened to colonial exploitation "n fact, some colonial
powers used the pretext of abolishing slave trade to go to war against
&frican chiefs and !ings to expand their territorial possessions. "n the
meantime, exploration of the interior of &frica had begun and preparations
made by the European powers to impose another !ind of slavery on the
continent of &frica =for the direct conuest of almost entire &frica.
Scra"$e for Africa
The interior of &frica was almost un!nown to the Europeans up to about the
middle of the nineteenth century, The coastal regions were largely in the
hands of the old trading nations =the 0ortuguese, the +utch, the English
and the 2rench They had set up their forts there There were only two
places where the European rule extended deep into the interior. "n the
north the 2rench had conuered &lgeria. "n the south the English had
occupied ,ape ,olony to safeguard their commerce with "ndia. "t
had earlier been a +utch colony where a number of Europeans, mainly the
+utch, had settled. These settlers, !nown as 3oers, had ta!en to farming.
This was the only part of &frica where a large number of Europeans were
settled )ithin a few years, however, a scramble for colonies begat and
almost the entire continent had been cut up and divided among European
powers
E&p$ore!1 trader! and i!!ionarie!
They played their respective roles in the conuest of &frica, The explorers
aroused the Europeans interest in &frica. The missionaries saw the
continent as a place for spreading the message of ,hristianity. The
interests created by explorers and missionaries were soon used by the
traders. )estern governments supported all these interests by sending
troops, and the stage was set for conuest. Even though the European
powers met with stiff resistance from the &fricans and it too! them a long
time to establish effective occupation of their colonies, the speed with
which the European powers conuered &frica is without a parallel. "t is
necessary to understand the reasons for this. The external factors have
been broadly mentioned in an earlier section of this chapter. The economic
might of the imperialist powers was much greater than the economic
resources of the &frican states The latter did not have the resources to fight
a long war "n terms of military strength, the imperialist countries were far
more powerful than the &frican states The &fricans had outdated firearms
which had been sold to them by the Europeans They were no match for the
new rifles and guns which the Europeans used The couplet of an English
poet is often uoted to bring out this superiority.
Whatever happens we have got,
The maimgun and the! have not.
The %aximgun was a fast firing new gun which was used against the
&fricans who often fought with axes and !nives 0olitically, li!e "ndian states
in the eighteenth century, the &frican states were not united There were
conflicts between states and within states and the rulers and chiefs often
sought the support of the Europeans against their rivals. &s a result of
these conflicts, the boundaries of the &frican states were often changing.
&s against this, the imperialist countries participating in the scramble for
&frica were united The scramble had created serious rivalries among them.
"n fact, the scramble to grab the maximum of &frican territory in the shortest
possible time was the result of these rivalries. %any a time during the
scramble wars between these countries were imminent. 3ut in every case,
war was avoided and agreements reached between them as to who will get
which part of &frica. 2or example, the &nglo(8erman rivalries in East &frica
were resolved in /;<7 when 8ermany agreed to concede 4ganda to 3ritain
in exchange for 3ritain giving away Heligoland to 8ermany "n /;;C(;6,
there was a ,ongress in 3erlin where a group of European states met and
discussed how to share out &frica among themselves 5o &frican state was
represented at this ,ongress. Treaties were signed between European
powers to settle disputes over claims to &frican territories between
themselves. Treaties were also signed between &frican rulers and chiefs,
and the representatives of European governments or European companies
and individuals which were later sanctioned by their respective
governments. These treaties were often fraudulent and bogus "n the cases
where these were genuine, they were misrepresented in negotiations with
other European countries and the wrong interpretations put on them were
recogni*ed by other European powers. 2or example, if an &frican ruler
signed a treaty with a European country to see! the latters support against
a rival, that European country in see!ing approval of other European
countries interpreted it to mean that the &frican ruler had agreed to ma!e
his state a protectorate of that European country. This interpretation was
then accepted by other European powers and the process of occupation
began without any hindrance from them "n this way, the partition of &frica
was nearly completed by the end of the nineteenth century. This position is
generally referred to as )paper partition, as, the actual partition too! much
longer and was accomplished by the use of the superior military might of
the European powers to suppress the resistance by the &fricans & loo! at
the map of &frica after partition will show how the continent of &frica was
partitioned on paper in conference rooms in Europe &bout thirty per cent of
all boundaries in &frica are in straight lines. "t will be easier to understand
the conuest of &frica by European powers if we study it region by region.
)e must remember, however, that occupation did not ta!e place in the
order described here
We!t and Centra$ Africa
"n /;9;, with the financial assistance of Eing @eopold "" of 3elgium, H %.
1tanley founded the "nternational ,ongo &ssociation which made over C77
treaties with &frican chiefs They did not understand that by placing their
mar!s on bits of paper they were transferring their land to the ,ongo
&ssociation in exchange for cloth or other articles of no great value 1tanley
acuired large tracts of land by these methods. "n /;;6 some D.B million
suare !ilometres, nch in rubber and ivory, became the ,ongo 2ree 1tate
with @eopold as its !ing.
1tanley called the occupation of ,ongo #the present Haire$ a uniue
humanitarian and political enterprise, but it began with brutal exploitation of
the ,ongo people They were forced to collect rubber and ivory @eopold
alone is said to have made a profit of over D7 million dollars The treatment
of the ,ongolese people was so bad that even other colonial powers were
shoc!ed To give an example of the brutality, soldiers of the ,ongo 2ree
1tate chopped off the hands of the defiant villagers and brought them as
souvenirs. "n /<7;, @eopold was compelled to hand over the ,ongo 2ree
1tate to the 3elgian government, and it became !nown as 3elgian ,ongo
8radually, ,ongos gold, diamond, uranium, timber and copper became
more important than her rubber and ivory. %any of the countries, including
England and the 4nited 1tates, ?oined 3elgium in exploiting these
resources The company which controlled the copper resources of Eatanga
province #present 1haba$ was one of the biggest copper companies in the
world. This company, ?ointly owned by English and 3elgian interests, played
a very big role in ,ongos political affairs.
@ocate the 5iger river, the second great river of western &frica, on the map
The control over the 5iger meant the control over the land with rich
resources The 3ritish had occupied a part of this legion called 5igeria, to
get slaves for export to their plantations in &merica The 3ritish company
too! the initiative in the conuest of 5igeria. 2or a time there was a sharp
rivalry with a 2rench company, but in the end the 3ritish company was able
to buy out the 2rench and became the ruler of 5igeria &fter a few years the
3ritish government declared 5igeria a protectorate of 3ritain "n )est &frica,
3ritain also occupied 8ambia, &shanti, 8old ,oast and 1ierra @eone.
French Con+o
)hen 1tanley was carving out the empire for Eing @eopold in ,ongo, a
2renchman, de 3ra**a, was active north of the ,ongo river 2ollowing the
methods of 1tanley, de 3ra**a won the area for 2rance, this area became
what was until recently called the 2rench ,ongo with its capital town
named 3ra**aville, after de 3ra**a. An &fricas west coast, 1enegal and
been occupied by 2rance earlier 5ow 2rance set out to extend her empire
in )est &frica. 1oon she obtained +ahomey #pi esent 3enin$, the "vory
,oast and 2rench 8uinea 3y the year /<77, the 2rench empii e extended
further into the interior. %ore territories were added to the )est &frican
conuests after /<77 and 2rench )est &frica came to include present
1enegal, 2rench 8uinea, the "vory ,oast, +ahomey, %auritania, 2rench
1udan, 4pper .olta and 5iger Territory. The 2rench conuest resulted in
brutal exploitation of the people everywhere in &frica. 2or example, in a
period of only D7 years, the population of the 2rench ,ongo was reduced to
one(third of its former si*e.
&fter /;;7, 8ermany also got very interested in possessions in &frica 2irst
she occupied an area called Togoland on the west coastF soon after, the
,ameroons, a little farther south. 1till farther south, the 8ermans
established themselves in 1outh(west &frica where, to suppress local
rebels, more than half of the population was exterminated. 3ut these
conuests did not satisfy 8ermanyF she wanted the 0ortuguese colonies of
&ngola and %o*ambiue and ,ongo for herself 3efore the 2irst )orld )ar
started, England and 8ermany agreed to partition &ngola and %o*ambiue
between themselves, but the war shattered 8ermanys dreams. &fter the
war, when the 8erman colonies were given to the victorious powers,
Togoland and the ,ameroons were divided between England and 2rance,
and 8erman 1outh(west &frica was given to 1outh &frica.
1pain had only two colonies on the western coast of &frica =:io de Aro
#1panish 1ahara$ and 1panish 8uinea. 0ortugal possessed valuable
regions of &ngola and 0ortuguese 8uinea. Thus, with the exception of
@iberia, the whole of )est &frica was divided up among the Europeans
@iberia was settled by slaves who had been freed in &merica. Though she
remained independent, she came increasingly under the influence of the
4nited 1tates, particularly the &merican investors in rubber plantations.
South Africa
"n 1outh &frica, the +utch had established the ,ape ,olony, which the
3ritish too! over in the early nineteenth century. The +utch settlers, !nown
as 3oers, then went north and set up two states, the Arange 2ree 1tate
and the Transvaal. 3y /;67 both these states were ruled by the 3oers.
Rhode!ia
The English adventurer, ,ecil :hodes, came to south &frica in /;97, made
a fortune in mining diamond and gold of this region and gave his name to
an &frican colony :hodesia. #5orthern :hodesia is now independent and is
called Hambia. 1outhern :hodesia which became an independent nation in
&pril /<;7 is Himbabwe.$ :hodes became famous as a great philanthropist
who founded the :hodes scholarships, but lie was first of all a profiteer
and empirebuilder. 0ure philanthropy, he said," is ver! well in its wa!, but
philanthrop! plus five per cent is a good deal better. :hodes dream was to
extend the 3ritish rule throughout the world, and he certainly succeeded in
extending the 3ritish empire in &frica. The 3ritish occupied 3echuanaland,
:hodesia, 1wa*iland and 3asutoland. They plotted the overthrow of the
3oer government of Transvaal which was rich in gold This led to the 3oer
)ar #/;<<(/<7D$ in which the 3oers were defeated though they continued
to remain there.
1oon after this, the 4nion of 1outh &frica was formed consisting of the
,ape, 5atal, Transvaal and Arange :iver ,olony. This 4nion was ruled by
the white minority =3oers, Englishmen, and a few settlers from other
European countries The 1outh &frican government later declared itself a
republic.
Ea!t Africa
Except for the 0ortuguese possession of a part of %o*ambiue, East &frica
had not been occupied by any European power before /;;C. "n that year a
8erman adventurer, named Earl 0eters, came to the coastal region. 4sing
bribery and threats, he persuaded some rulers to sign agreements placing
themselves under 8erman protection 1ince 2rance and 3ritain also had
plans in this area, an agreement was signed by which 2rance got
%adagascar, and East &frica was divided between 8ermany and England.
The ruler of Han*ibar who claimed East &frica as his property got a strip of
coast land, /-77 !ilometres long and /- !ilometres deep The 5orthern half
of this strip was reorgani*ed as a 3ritish sphere of influence, and the
southern part. Tanganyi!a, a 8erman sphere of influence. These were later
occupied by England and 8ermany 3ut the &fricans rose in revolt again
and again because the 8ermans had ta!en land from them without ma!ing
any payment. +uring a rebellion in /<76, /D7,777 &fricans were !illed in
this 8erman colony "n /;<7, there was an agreement between 8ermany
and England according to which 4ganda was reserved for England. "n
exchange 8ermany was given Heligoland "n /;<-, 4ganda was declared a
3ritish protectorate 8ermany also gave up her claims to Han*ibar and
0emba island, )itu and 5yasaland #present %alawi$, but made more
conuests in the interior. The 0ortuguese colony of %o*ambiue was fo be
shared out between 8ermany and England, but the 2irst )orld )ar
stopped the plan and 8ermany lost all her colonies. 8erman East &frica
was given to England after the war and was renamed Tanganyi!a.
#Tanganyi!a and Han*ibar now form the republic of Tan*ania$ 3ritish East
&frica was renamed Eenya. The 8erman possession of :uanda(4rundi
was given to 3elgium.
Ita$#2Ethiopia
@i!e 8ermany, "taly entered the colonial race late. The "talians occupied
two desert areas in what is called the horn of &frica 1omaliland and
Eritrea. The country of &byssinia, now !nown as Ethiopia, was an
independent state. "taly wanted to declare &byssinia its protectorate and
invaded her. The !ing of &byssinia re?ected "talys claim and in /;<-
defeated the "talian invading army 4nli!e other &frican states, &byssinia
had been able to get arms from 2rance. This historic battle in which an
&frican state had defeated a European states army is !nown as the 3attle
of &dowa. 1o the "talians had to withdraw "taly made another attempt to
conuer &byssinia in /<B6, before the 1econd )orld )ar Except for a brief
period during those years, Ethiopia, except Eritrea, was able to maintain
her independence.
North Africa
&lgeria, on the north coast of &frica, was conuered by 2rance in /;B7, but
it too! her about C7 years to suppress the &lgerian resistance. "t was the
most profitable of 2rances colonial possessions, providing her a vast
mar!et for 2rench goods To the east of &lgeria is Tunisia which was
coveted by 2rance, England and "taly &ccording to an agreement in /;9;,
England gave 2rance a free hand in Tunisia in return for 3ritish occupation
of the island of ,yprus, and a few years later Tunisia became a 2rench
possession.
Morocco
%orocco is situated on the north coast of &frica, ?ust south of 8ibraltar.
Thus it is very important to the western entrance of the %editerranean 3oth
2rance and "taly wanted to claim it as their territory The two countries
agreed, in /<77, to the 2rench occupation of %orocco and to the "talian
occupation of Tripoli and ,yrenaica, to the east of Tunisia "n /<7C, 2rance
and England signed an agreement which gave %orocco to 2rance, and
Egypt to England. &fter these agreements had been signed, 2rance
proceeded with her plans of conuest of %orocco. 8ermany had been
ignored when England, 2rance and "taly were signing agreements to
partition 5orth &frica 1he threatened to oppose the 2rench occupation
1pain had been promised Tangier in return for 2rench occupation of
%orocco. 1o it became necessary to appease 8erman ambition in 5orth
&frica There were many international crises and it appeared as if war would
brea! out. The 8erman 2oreign %inister said, I#ou have bought !our
libert! in $orocco from %pain, &ngland, and even from 'tal!, and !ou have
left us out.J 3ut who should occupy %orocco was decided, as in other
cases, in Europe. The people of %orocco were never consulted. 4ltimately,
2rance agreed to give 8ermany D67,777 suare !ilometres of 2rench
,ongo. 1pain was further appeased by giving her a small part of %orocco
"n /</D 2rance established her protectorate over %orocco However, it too!
the 2rench many years after the 2irst )orld )ar to suppress the rebellions
there.
&s you have seen earlier, "taly had assured herself the support of European
nations in her claims over Tripoli and ,yrenaica, which were the
possessions of the Tur!ish empire. "taly then declared war against Tur!ey
and occupied the two provinces, which were given the old :oman name
ofLi"#a.
E+#pt
as ruled by a representative of the Tur!ish 1ultan, called 0asha 1ince the
time of 5apoleon, 2rance had been interested in Egypt & 2rench company
had gained a concession from "smail 0asha, the 8overnor of Egypt, to dig
a canal across the isthmus of 1ue*. The canal was completed in /;-< and
aroused 3ritish interest in the area +israeli, the 3ritish 0rime %inister,
bought a large number of shares of the canal from the 0asha to ma!e sure
of !eeping the route to "ndia safe The canal was described by +israeli
asEgypt was a province of the Tur!ish empire when the scramble for
colonies began in the nineteenth century. "t v " a highwa! to our 'ndian
empire.(
The financial troubles of the 0asha led to increased ?oint &nglo(2rench
control over Egypt )hen the 0asha tried to resist, he was forced to
abdicate and anew governor was appointed "n /;;D, there was a revolt
against the &nglo(2rench control and, in suppressing the revolt, the 3ritish
armies conuered Egypt :estoration of law and order and protection of the
1ue* ,anal were the reasons given for the military intervention in Egypt.
England announced that she would withdraw her troops as soon as order
was restored &fter the revolt was suppressed, Egypt came under 3ritish
control. "n /</C, when the 2irst )orld )ar started, England announced that
Egypt was no longer a Tur!ish province but a 3ritish protectorate. The
Egyptians never reconciled themselves to the 3ritish conuest. &fter the
war was over, leaders of Egypt started for the 0aris 0eace ,onference to
plead the case of Egypt, but they were arrested. "n /<DD, though she still
retained her rights over the 1ue* and many other concessions, 3ritain was
forced to recogni*e Egypt as an independent sovereign state
1udan, or what was earlier !nown as Egyptian 1udan, was ?ointly exploited
by Egypt and 3ritain. & 1udanese leader who had proclaimed himself
the$andi had succeeded in overthrowing Egyptian and 3ritish control over
1udan. His army had defeated Egyptian and 3ritish troops "n /;<;, 3ritish
and Egyptian troops succeeded in recapturing 1udan after a long and
bloody war in which D7,777 1udanese troops, including the successor of
the %andi, were !illed. 1udan came under 3ritish rule. The 2rench at this
time tried to occupy southernparts of 1udan but were forced to withdraw by
the 3ritish 2rance, however, was given a free hand to extend her control
over wha t was !nown as western 1udan and the 1ahara 2rance occupied
these areas after a long war of conuest. )ith these gains, 2rance was
able to connect her euatorial conuests with her west and north &frican
conuests.
THE AMERICAS AND THE PACIFIC
Gou have already read about the coloni*ation of the &mericas by 1pain,
0ortugal, 3ritain, 2rance and other European countries, and the emergence
of the 4nited 1tates of &merica as an independent nation. The freedom
movements in some of the countries of 1outh &merica and the ,aribbean
have also been briefly mentioned. 3y /;D7s, almost all countries of the
&mericas had gained their independence from 1pain and 0ortugal. Anly a
few colonies ruled by European countries were left in this part of the world.
&mong these were ,uba and 0uerto :ico which were still under 1panish
rule and a few others under 3ritish, 2rench, +utch and +anish rule.
The 4nited states in the nineteenth century emerged as the biggest power
in the &mericas. 1he had extended her territories through war with %exico
and purchase of @ouisiana 2lorida and &las!a from 2rance, 1pain and
:ussia, respectively. )ithin a short period after the ,ivil )ar #/;-/(-6$
which ended in the abolition of slavery, the 4nited 1tates emerged as a
ma?or industrial and military power in the world. 3y /<77, her naval strength
was third in the world The forces that had led to the emergence of
imperialism in Europe and later in >apan also led to the emergence of the
4nited 1tates as a ma?or imperialist power by the later half of the
nineteenth century. Gou have already read about the treaty which the
4nited 1tates signed with ,hina in /;CC on the lines which some European
countries had forced on ,hina after the Apium )ar. ,ommodore 0errys
show of force in >apan in /;6B has also been mentioned. &fter the 4 1. =
1panish )ar, the 0hilippines had become a 4.1. colony. 41& had also
ta!en 0uerto :ico and 8uam #in the 0acific$ from 1pain, and ,uba, though
independent in name, had in fact become an appendage of 41&.
)hen the scramble for colonies began, the leaders of 41& declared that
she must not fall out of the line of march. They also claimed, li!e the
European imperialist countries, the right to civili*e the bac!ward countries
of the world and, of course, to interfere in the affairs of other countries to
protect their mar!ets and investments.
Monroe Doctrine
+uring the period from the /;<7s to the early years of the twentieth century,
the 4nited 1tates spread its control, direct and indirect, over 1outh &merica
and the 0acific "n /;DB, the 0resident of the 4nited 1tates had proclaimed
the %onroe +octrine which warned the European powers against any
attempt to extend their power in the )estern' Hemisphere "n /;<6, the
%onroe +octrine was given a new meaning. There was a territorial dispute
between 3ritish 8uiana #now 8uyana$ and 5icaragua, and the 3ritish
threatened to send troops against 5icaragua. The 41 government forced
3ritain not to send her troops and declared that IToda! the )nited %tates is
practicall! sovereign on this ContinentI. & new corollary was added to the
%onroe +octrine in /<7C by the then 4.1. 0resident, Theodore :oosevelt
3ritain and 8ermany had imposed a naval bloc!ade of .ene*uela as she
had failed to repay the loan which she had ta!en from them. Theodore
:oosevelt forced 3ritain and 8ermany to lift the bloc!ade and declared that
the 4nited 1tates alone had the right to intervene in the affairs of her
neighbouring countries if they were unable to maintain order on their own.
The 4nited 1tates too! control of the finances of the +ominican :epublic
which she retained for three decades and occupied that country in /</- for
eight years. "n /<7-, &merican troops were sent to ,uba and remained
there for three years to protect ,uba from disorder. "n /<7<, &merican
troops were sent to 5icaragua in support of a revolt which had been
inspired by an &merican mining company. The 4nited 1tates secured from
the government which had been installed there the ugh t to intervene in that
country to protect &merican interests "n /</6, &merican troops )ere sent
to Haiti and remained there till /<BC.
Me&ico
"n %exico, where the 4nited 1tates had huge investments, Fransisco
$adero, a popular leader was deposed with the support of the 4nited
1tates The intervention by the 4nited 1tates in %exico continued for many
years.
/i+ Stic3 Po$ic#4Do$$ar dip$oac#
The policy of the 4nited 1tates was described as the 3ig 1tic! policy and
one of an international policeman . The extension of the 4 1 influence
through economic investments in the region is !nown as the +ollar
diplomacy. The economic and political domination of 1outh &merica was
facilitated by the absence of strong governments in the countries of 1outh
&merica. %any of these countries were ruled by caudillos, or crude and
corrupt military leaders with armed gangs. They floated loans for ready
cash and sold concessions to foreign companies to exploit the natural
resources of their countries. They served as mar!ets for manufactures, and
sources of raw materials for industriali*ed countries, particularly the 4nited
1tates, as well as avenues for investment of capital from these countries.
%ost of the countries of 1outh &merica, though political independent, came
under the economic and political control of the 4nited 1tates.
Panaa Cana$
Ane of the ma?or acuisitions by the 4nited 1tates in this period was the
0anama ,anal. & 2rench company had started the construction of the
canal in the "sthmus of 0anama in ,olombia #,entral &merica$. The canal
which would lin! the &tlantic and the 0acific Aceans was of great economic
interest "n /<7/, the 4nited 1tates decided to underta!e the canal pro?ect
alone.
1he paid KC7 million to the 2rench company and entered into an
agreement with the government of ,olombia. &ccording to the agreement,
,olombia was to give the 4nited 1tates perpetual rights to a six mile wide
canal *one across her territory in exchange for ten million dollars plus K
D67,777 as annual rent. The agreement was completely against the
interests of ,olombia and ,olombias 0arliament refused to ratify it. "n
/<7B, the 4nited 1tates financed and organi*ed a revolt in 0anama and
landed her troops there. 1oon after, the 4nited 1tates recogni*ed 0anama
as an independent state The government of 0anama signed a new
agreement with the 4nited 1tates according to which the amount of
compensation remained the same but instead of the six mile wide canal
*one, ten mile canal *one was granted to the 4nited 1tates. The canal was
opened in /</C and the canal *one has remained under the occupation of
the 4nited 1tates since then.
Ha(aii
The 4nited 1tates also extended her control in the 0acific during this period
The islands of Hawaii had been important for &merican shipping and for
trade with ,hina The 4nited 1tates economic and commercial influence
gradually increased in these islands and with the settling of &mericans
there, particularly as sugar planters, these islands became closely tied to
the economy of the 4nited 1tates The 4nited 1tates had secured the
exclusive use of 0earl Harbor as a naval station. "n /;<B, the &merican
residents in the Hawaii islands revolted against the ueen of Hawaii and,
as!ed for the annexation of the islands by the 4nited 1tates. 3y /;<;,
Hawaii had been annexed by the 4nited 1tates. @ater, it became one of the
states of the 4nited 1tates.
The 4nited 1tates also extended control over other islands in 0acific. There
was rivalry among the 41 3ritain and 8ermany over these lands. "n /;<<,
8ermany and 1tates divided these islands bets selves and as
compensation given islands elsewhere in the 0acific.
EFEECTS OF IMPERIALISM
3y /</C, almost all parts of the non(industriali*ed world had come under or
indirect control of a few industriali*ed countries. %ost countries of &frica
had @ost their political freedom and were ruled by one or other country. The
economies of all countries as well as of those which were politically
independent were control imperialist countries to serve rests. &ll parts of
the world were brought together under a world economic control which was
based on the exploit colonies. 1ince /<C-, most &sia can colonies have
become free and independent. Gou will read about it later. 3ut the effects of
imperialism in the life of the people in these country are still evident.
Econoic /ac3(ardne!!
The most important and lasting conseuence of imperialism and
coloni*ation was the economic bac!wardness of the colonies as well as of
those countries indirectly controlled by the countries "mperialism led to
destruction of local industries. 2or example, "ndia for centuries an exporter
of textiles. +uring imperialist rule, "ndias indigenous textile industry was
destroyed and she became an importer of 3ritish cloth. The natural
resources of the colonies came under the control of the imperialist
countries and were exploited for their own benefit. The industriali*ation of
these countries was prevented. )here industries were started, these were
subordinated to the interests of the industries of the imperialist countries or
for ma!ing profits for the companies of the imperialist countries. The
modern industries in the colonies had little impact on the life of the people
there. The patterns of agriculture in the colonies were also changed to
meet the reuirements of the industries of the imperialist countries. "n some
countries, the entire agriculture was reduced to the growing of one or two
crops 2or example, ,uba was reduced to the position of a sugar producing
country and little else. There was also na!ed plunder of natural resources,
and exploitation through high demands of revenues and taxes. 1ome of the
best lands in the colonies were ta!en over by the European planters
"mperialism further aggravated the economic bac!wardness of the non(
industriali*ed countries of the world. The subordination of the economics of
these areas to those of the imperialist countries was so complete that even
after political independence, most of these countries found it difficult to
develop their economics to suit their own interests. The impoverishment of
the people of the colonies and of other non(industriali*ed countries is a
continuing conseuence of imperialism.
Raci!
"mperialism also bred racial arrogance and discrimination. The idea of the
superiority of the white race whom 8od had created to govern the world,
was populari*ed in the imperialist countries. "n their colonies, the white
rulers and settlers discriminated against the local inhabitants who were
considered inferior to them. "n most European colonies, there was no
intermixing with the local population and the Europeans lived in areas
exclusively reserved for them. The worst example of racism was 1outh
&frica where intermixing of whites and blac!s was made a criminal offence.
"t is interesting to !now that when >apan emerged as an imperialist power,
the >apanese were excluded from being branded as belonging to an
inferior race. "n fact, 1outh &frica gave the >apanese the status of what
they called honorary whites
Stru++$e A+ain!t Iperia$i!
&t every step, the imperialist powers met with the resistance of peoples
they were trying to enslave. Even when the conuest by arms was
decisive, foreign rule that ensued was never peaceful for the rulers. The
conuered peoples organi*ed movements not merely to overthrow foreign
rule but also to develop their countries into modern nations. "n a sense,
these movements against imperialism were international in character
0eople striving for freedom in one country supported the cause of peoples
in other countries.
8enerally spea!ing, the imperialist countries retained their colonial
possessions up to the 1econd )orld )ar 3ut within two decades after the
end of the )ar, most of the countries succeeded in regaining their
independence.
%ost of the nineteenth century and the first uarter of the twentieth century
were the years in which the nations of the western world held &sia and
&frica as their colonial possessions. "n the later years of this period of
imperialism, about two thirds of the worlds population was living under the
rule of one foreign government or the other. The empires acuired by the
European nations were the largest in world history.
"mperialism is a story of deception, brutality, and armed might. The
imperialist powers, however, >ustified their enslavement of other nations
and peoples in the name of spreading civili*ation.
8etting possession of new mar!ets and raw materials and establishing
industries to be wor!ed by cheap labour created many small wars and two
world conflicts. +espite the gentlemens agreements, there was a
continuous effort among the western powers to redivide the world as
between themselves but never with any consideration for the welfare of the
people to whom the territory really belonged.
E5ERCISES
/. Explain why the "ndustrial :evolution led to the emergence of
imperialism
D. +escribe the steps, giving examples, by which the imperialist
countries too! over most of &frica.
B. )hy were &sian and &frican countries so easily dominated by the
)estern powersL
C. How did nationalism help to ma!e imperialism popular in EuropeL
6. +escribe the emergence of the 4nited 1tates of &merica as an
imperialist power 8ive examples
-. +escribe the imperialist expansion of ?apan up to /</C
9. Explain the meaning of the following terms, with examplesM 1phere of
influence, exploitation, extraterritorial rights, protectorate, %onroe
+octrine, +ollar diplomacy.
;. 0repare maps of &sia and &frica showing the colonies and spheres of
influence of the various imperialist powers before the 2irst )orld )ar
<. 1tudy the developments that have ta!en place in &frica after the
revolution in 0ortugal in &pril /<9C
/7. )rite an essay on 1lavery and 1lave Trade and the 1truggle
for their &bolition
//.How did the empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries differ
from the empires of ancient times =for example, those of the
%auryas, the :omans and of &lexanderL
/D. +iscuss the differences between the imperialist expansion
during the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries and /;97 to " </C
/B. 5ame and discuss some of the big problems faced by newly
independent countries )hy are their problems also the problems of
all countriesL
/C. +iscuss the long(term impact of imperialist control on the
countries of &sia, &frica and 1outh &merica