Global Imperialism

  1. Industrial age sees Europe build larger land empires

    1. Prior to 1800s, European imperialism outside of Europe was largely maritime and coastal

    2. New technologies open up new possibilities

      1. Quinine (1850s) enabled Europeans to combat malaria

      2. Ocean-going steamships (1819) made regular and rapid travel possible, called for coaling stations

      3. Telegraph (1830s) and railroad (1811) would also help to open up interior regions

      4. Gatlin (machine) gun (1860s) gave Europeans an important military advantage 

    3. Rationale

      1. Legal Justifications

        1. Belief that it was legal to take unoccupied, sparsely occupied lands

        2. Ignores farmers, cattle raising nomads, and areas of dense population

      2. Civilization vs. Barbarism

        1. Depends on a racial view of superiority vs. inferiority

        2. Based on pseudo-science of Social Darwinism

        3. Widely stated (though unclear in practice) belief in a civilizing mission

      3. Religious Justifications - as part of the "civilizing mission," many Westerners felt a strong need to evangelize

      4. Economic Justifications

        1. Colonies a source of profit, of raw materials and of markets

        2. Lenin saw imperialism as stage of capitalism

      5. Competition and Rivalry

        1.  Fueled, again, by industrial needs for markets, raw materials

        2. Also fueled by age-old rivalries and belief in Social Darwinism

        3. England sought to protect trade routes to India

    4. Process of imperialism

      1. The Scramble for Africa (1880-1905)

        1. Prior to this period, little of Africa was ruled by Europeans

        2. European presence primarily in trading posts, small enclaves

        3. Coast and interior of Africa already tied to international capitalism by trade

        4. Berlin Conference 1884-85

          1. Meant to minimize conflicts between colonial powers

          2. Laid out rules

            1. Establishment of trading rights, treaties with local rulers would give precedence

            2. In essence, first come, first served

            3. Europeans would recognize each others rights to territory

            4. Maps drawn up to show spheres of influence

            5. These maps had little to do with local ethnic and linguistic realities

            6. Under these rules, by 1905 all but Ethiopia and Liberia under European control

      2. Expansion of older empires

        1. move into Africa often extended from established coastal colonies

        2. island colonization, notably in Pacific and Caribbean, expands with growing importance of coaling stations

        3. settler empires in Canada, Australia, South Africa extend their reach

        4. Russia, United States, Argentina, elsewhere, see extensive campaigns against plains and steppes nomads to open lands for colonization

      3. Non-Western Imperialism

        1. Japan initiates imperial ventures in the west Pacific in response to rising population and expanding Western power

        2. Ethiopia under Menelik II (r. 1889-1913) expands its territory, fights off Italians

  2. Methods of Imperialism

    1. Indirect Rule

      1. Many imperial projects, particularly under the British, used indirect forms of rule

      2. These methods were appealing because they involved less cost and less personnel

      3. Generally, indirect rule meant reliance on local rulers to handle day-to-day local governance

      4. Local rulers cooperated with imperial powers because:

        1. they proved useful in providing technologies, specialized expertise

        2. they enabled local rulers to defeat rivals, expand their power base, and keep population under control

    2. Direct rule

      1. British in particular transported groups from on part of empire to another to control locals

        1. importing soldiers and bureaucrats from elsewhere cut down on possibility of alliance against the imperial power

        2. also gave the imported group an elevated level of prestige, strengthening ties to the empire

      2. Peasant production colonies

        1. Imperial power would tax local exports and traditional economic activities

        2. Meanwhile, imperial power controlled trade network and imports, while traditional merchants pushed out

      3. Settler colonies

        1. In this case, the imperialists take direct control of land and any manufacturing

        2. Local farmers pushed off land; made to work for wages, pay taxes

        3. Mechanized farming introduced

        4. Only settles  in many cases allowed to grow certain crops, primarily those used for export

        5. Any manufacturing would be shut down if it competed with production in the imperial power's home country

      4. Alternatives

        1. French turn Burkina Faso into a labor reserve for Sierra Leone's plantations

        2. In South Africa, lacks become a labor pool for mines and industry

    3. Economic imperialism

      1. Generally a form of "indirect rule," in that it rarely involved direct conquest

      2. Imperial power would come to dominate local economy without taking control of government

      3. This form of imperialism was seen most frequently in Latin America

      4. Imperial powers could gain control of a local economy in a number of ways

        1.  industrial production could enable them to flood a market with cheap goods, destroying local production

        2. local governments, desperate for loans, would make heavy concessions to lending countries

          1. foreign investors might be exempted from taxation or any form of regulation

          2. railway companies were given free land in exchange for building railroads

          3. mining concessions given free of charge to those who would pay to build mines

        3. failure to pay debts would give imperial power excuse to seize control of ports or custom houses

      5. Often economic imperialism resulted in enclave economies

        1. Foreign investors built infrastructure that befitted them, not national economies
          1. Railroads would be built from foreign-built mine to the port (itself often foreign built)
          2. They would not be built in a way that linked existing communities or economic activities
        2. generally paid very low wages, or paid in scrip that could only be used in company stores
        3. also tended to pay little or no taxes
        4. thus they frequently contributed little to local national economies