Powers of the 19 the century realized the great political importance of colonizationand the need to protect their overseas assets. Countries like Great Britain,France, Portugal, and Belgium embraced the ideas of imperialism and colonizedareas not only to gain resources, but also to show political and military strengtharound the world. They would also settle areas around their vital colonies in order to protect their important colonies. Soon these countries realized that it waseasier to conquer the local populations instead of trying to make peace withthem, changing the way the settled areas.
Colonial officials seized land just sothat rivals could not use the land, gaining more land for their home country yetforcing the indigenous population away, and telling their government afterward. B. Cultural Motivations -Not only was there a new renewal of the Christian mission effort, but also a needto spread “civilization” to “barbaric” areas of the world. They felt the need to teachthe indigenous peoples of the places they settled proper social standards of hygiene, education, marriage, etc.
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Many of the people who served as missionaries were women who served asnurses and teachers; they joined these mission societies hoping to gain moreauthority and autonomy than they could get at home. These women helped tosoften the harsh colonial rule by calling attention to important issues likematernity C. Economic Motives -Because of the Industrial revolution, demand for raw materials was at an all timehigh. Copper was needed for wire, coal for fuel, tin for cans, steel for structures,and or course gold and silver.
Demands for certain crops were high too; businessowners needed rubber, tobacco, cotton, sugar, coffee, and tea to sell and use inthe new industrial markets. D. The Tools of the Imperialists -The industrial revolution gave Europeans for the first time, all of the necessarytools needed to build their Imperialistic empires. The industrial revolution allowedfor war supplies to be made faster and more efficiently than non-developedcountries and helped to spur the economy to great heights. -New innovations like the steam-powered boat allowed the Europeans to remainin control of the oceans, as they had been since the 1500s.
The regular steamships with efficient engines, along with the Suez Canal gave Europeincredible mobility throughout the Indian ocean and made sending supplies andtroops much more efficient than anything that the Asians or Africans could match. Submarine cables also gave Europe an advantage when it came tocommunication. E. Colonial Agents and Administration -The colonial officials who took over the new territories conquered by their nation’s armies used a system of colonialism to rule the county. Colonialism isadministrating and exploiting colonies for the benefit of the home country.
Thegovernments of the home country expected colonial officials to do this, coveringall costs and hopefully benefiting the home country. By applying the newindustrial and scientific ideas being used in their home countries to thesecolonies, they were able to transform these colonies into a workplace that wouldreturn profit to the home country. -In the early stages of Imperialism, the colonial government consisted of agovernor, his staff, and some troops to help keep the peace. The colonies couldnot operate without the cooperation of the local elites because there were notenough officials to rule over the entire colonial area.
II. The Scramble for AfricaA. Egypt -Ironically it was Egypt’s quest to become more powerful and free itself form theOttoman Turk’s rule that made it susceptible to the European Imperialization. During the 1800s the Egyptians undertook large public works projects, militarytraining, and a large transportation network. These made Egypt incur largeamounts of debt because of all the money borrowed from European banks. Because of increasing pressure from the banks to pay back the loans, theEgyptians sold their shares of the Suez Canal and appointed four Britishcommissioners of debt.
When the Ottomans started to threaten the Suez Canal,a vital route for the Europeans, the British immediately sent troops down todiffuse the situation. Originally they were only going to stay for 2 years, but theyended up staying for over 70. B. Western and Equatorial Africa -In the 1800s while Britain was taking over Egypt, the French were expandinginto West Africa. They had already taken Senegal and they were planning to builda railroad up the river to allow merchants to penetrate further inland. Because of a disagreement over who had territorial rights over equatorial Africa, the BerlinConference was held.
This conference effectively split up Africa into separatepieces and helped to calm any fighting between the major powers, because tradewas a vital part of Africa. This effective cooperation took years to establish. -Because of the flourishing West African trade, foreign merchants were able touse the existing trade networks to make a profit. They used private companiesthat forced Africans to grow cash crops and carry them to rivers for shipment. C. Southern Africa -Southern Africa had been a long coveted area because of its lush pastures,farmland, and rich mineral deposits.
When diamonds at Kimberly were found in1868, thousands of European prospectors swarmed the area. This and theannexing of Kimberly angered local tribes like the Zulu and created militarytension between them and the Europeans. Despite their strong nationalism andpride, the Europeans defeated them in 1879. Relations between the Africans andthe British were soon stressed to the max when gold was discovered and theresulting gold rush caused the Europeans to outnumber the Africans. D. Political and Social Consequences
When Europe began to colonize Africa, it contained many different kinds of society. Some countries lived with a well-developed economy dominated bycommercial towns and the merchant class aristocracies, while others lived insmall agricultural villages with no outside rule or government. There were evenremote areas of hunters-gathers and pastoral nomads. -Some of these societies welcomed the Europeans as allies against localenemies. They would seek government jobs and send their kids to missionaryschools once colonial rule was established in return for protection, clinics, and
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