What is imperialism?
Imperialism is a foreign policy aimed at the permanent subjugation of territories, markets, and raw materials.
The Eastern Question was a geopolitical challenge facing the European nations. Beginning in the 1700s and continuing through 1922, the Ottoman Empire suffered through a series of internal and external crises and threatened to fall apart at any moment.
While weak, the Ottoman Empire was also predictable and ruled over potentially volatile areas such as the Middle East and North Africa, and the Empire’s continued existence kept these areas in check. Further, if any nation were to seize large swaths of Ottoman territory, it could upset the delicate European balance of power. The Eastern Question was thus primarily concerned with how to manage the Ottoman Empire’s decline.
What group primarily opposed reforms of the Ottoman state throughout the 1700s and into the 1800s?
In the 1700s and early 1800s, the janissaries proved resistant to adopting any change or modernization in the Ottoman state, and proved an effective counter-balance to the Ottoman sultans who sought to reform the Ottoman bureaucracy or modernize the Turkish Army.
Only in the wake of the successful Greek War of Independence did the janissaries lose much of their power.
What reforms were instituted by Sultan Mahmud II beginning in the late 1820s?
Sultan Mahmud II adopted a professional conscript army and navy that successfully put down janissaries and established a separate power base.
In turn, this enabled Mahmud II to institute legal reforms (such as taking away the power of Turkish governors to sentence people to instant death) and cultural reforms (including adopting European-style clothing). Mahmud II’s reforms laid the groundwork for the later Tanzimat Reforms.
Between 1839 and 1876, the Ottoman Empire introduced the _____ _____, aimed at modernizing the Ottoman state.
The Tanzimat Reforms were a series of measures that sought to simplify the Ottoman legal system, import Western educational reforms, establish postal and telegraph systems, and increase religious tolerance for non-Muslims.
The Tanzimat Reforms even went so far as to provide limited public education for women, some of whom began to enter the Ottoman public life. The changes were limited, however, and the Ottoman Empire continued to suffer serious problems.
Who were the Young Turks?
The Young Turks were a group of military officers dedicated to modernizing the Ottoman state. Rising to prominence in the early 1900s, the Young Turks sought to reform the Ottoman military and government along Western lines.
The process was interrupted with the outbreak of the First World War, but Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk, instituted many of the Young Turks’ reforms in the 1920s.
Which region broke away from Ottoman control in the 1870s?
In the 1870s, several states in the Balkans declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire, establishing the nations of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro. On behalf of the new nations, Russia declared war on the Ottomans, defeating them soundly.
At the Congress of Berlin in 1878, called to resolve the war, the independence of these breakaway states was internationally guaranteed, and Russia was prevailed upon to grant the Turks a lenient peace treaty.
Further contributing to Ottoman destabilization, the Italians attacked which Ottoman territory in 1911?
In 1911, the Italians attacked the Ottoman territory of Libya. The Italians wanted a North African territory of their own and Libya, being both far from Turkey and lightly garrisoned, seemed a ripe target.
Nevertheless, the Ottoman Army strongly resisted Italian efforts, and only the outbreak of another Balkan War convinced the Turks to cede the territory to Italy.
Which two countries divided Persia into “spheres of influence” in the 1800s?
Russia and Britain divided Persia into spheres of influence. Although the country remained under the nominal control of the Qajar Dynasty, the northern part of the country was essentially under Russian control while the British dominated the south.
Spheres of influence refers to the informal control of one country’s nominally independent territory by another.
What did Britons term “The Great Game”?
The Great Game was the diplomatic and espionage campaign between Russia and Great Britain that took place in Central Asia during the 1800s. Russia longed for a warm water port on the Indian Ocean, which was blocked by British influence over the Middle East and India.
The low-level conflict never erupted into war between Russia and Britain, but led to a rivalry between the two powers that didn’t dissipate until shortly before the First World War.
Which commercial enterprise represented British interests in India prior to the 1850s?
Prior to the 1850s, the British ruled India indirectly through the semi-private British East India Company.
Starting in the mid-1700s, under the directorship of Sir Robert Clive, the Company engaged in a war against the Mughal Empire, defeating it in 1764 and wresting extensive concessions.
The Raj was the British colonial authority that ruled India in the 1700s and 1800s.
Even after the defeat of the Mughal forces in 1757, the British East India Company only controlled a small portion of the country. In the ensuing decades, however, it expanded outward, ruling large swaths of the country either directly or through co-operative local rulers.
What were the effects of British rule in India during the 1800s?
British rule in India was mixed. The British exploited the country’s cotton production for their own gain and consequently drove local manufacturers out of business. British-appointed tax collectors, known as zamindars, overtaxed the peasantry and even provoked a famine that saw one-third of Indian peasants living under British control perish.
Nevertheless, in an effort to increase their economic interests, the British developed modern roads and canals, established an education system (in part to create natives loyal to Britain), and barred the sati (the ritual practice of burning a widow alive at her husband’s funeral) and the thuggee (the assassination of travelers in honor of the goddess Kali).
What led to the Indian Mutiny in 1857?
In 1857, sepoys (Indian troops serving the British East India Company) were issued new rifles with greased cartridges. A false rumor attributed the grease to pig and cow fat, which would be unclean to Hindus and Muslims. Internal revolts arising out of the cartridges rapidly turned into a nationwide revolt, and thousands of British soldiers, civilians, and natives were massacred.
In 1858, British soldiers and sepoys loyal to the Raj retook control, but the mutiny was a sharp shock to British confidence in Indian loyalty.
Following the 1857 Indian Mutiny, what change took place in the government of the Raj?
In 1858, the British government took over direct rule of India from the British East India Company. For nearly a century, India would be the jewel of the British Empire.
What colonial powers dominated Southeast Asia during the 19th century?
In Southeast Asia, the Dutch had controlled Indonesia for centuries while the French conquered much of Indochina (modern-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). Since 1521, the Philippines had been under the control of the Spanish, until they were taken by the United States in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
The British controlled the Malay Peninsula and the port of Singapore as well as parts of Borneo. Germany’s Southeast Asian possessions were confined to some small islands in the Pacific.
Whom do historians consider the last strong leader of China’s Manchu (or Qing) Dynasty?
Historians consider Qianlong, who ruled China until his death in 1799, to be the last strong Manchu Emperor. Qianlong was able to maintain China’s balance of trade by taking advantage of the Europeans’ desire for tea while restricting European imports.
How did Britain break into Chinese markets beginning in the early 1800s?
In the early 1800s, Chinese markets were closed to European trade until the British began flooding China with Indian-grown opium. Large portions of the Chinese populace became highly addicted to opium, and the British made huge profits.
How did the Chinese attempt to stop the British importation of opium into China?
Beginning in the early 1830s,opium constituted a huge threat to China, affecting both its balance of trade and incapacitating huge numbers of workers in opium-induced lethargy. To stop the trade, the Chinese attacked the port of Canton, one of the few cities where foreigners were allowed to trade, sparking the Opium War.
British military technology proved superior to that of the Chinese, and the Chinese were defeated and forced to open up more of the country to trade.
During the 1800s, virtually every major European power (and some of the minor ones) took control of cities on the Chinese coasts, which they were able to rule under their own authority, rather than Chinese law. What were these territories called?
These territories were known as concessions and served as ports through which the European nations could import goods into China. Examples of concessions include Hong Kong, which was under British control; Tsingtao, under the control of the Germans; and Macau, under the control of the Portuguese.
That Europeans were allowed to control large portions of the Chinese coast was primarily due to internal Chinese weakness.
In 1850, the _____ _____ broke out in China, begun by Hong Xiuquan, who’d become convinced that he was Jesus Christ’s younger brother.
In a 14-year civil war, Hong attracted a wide group of followers who were opposed to the Manchu Dynasty and eventually controlled a third of China.
After 1860, the Manchu Army was able to defeat Hong’s forces in part due to reorganization of the Manchu Army by European and American soldiers.
Some 25 million Chinese died in the Taiping Rebellion, and large portions of the country were laid waste.
In the 1860s, the Chinese government launched the Self-Strengthening Movement. What was the movement’s purpose?
The goal of the Self-Strengthening Movement was to reform China’s bureaucracy, economy, and military. The movement proved temporary, and China sank back into its ennui.
Who led China beginning in the 1860s?
In 1878, the Empress Dowager Cixi seized control of China, which she ruled through her nephew. A staunch conservative, Cixi opposed any efforts at reform, but did little to protect China from foreign aggression.
During her de facto reign, much of Mongolia and northern China fell under Russian control, while the French, British, and other European nations expanded their holdings along the Chinese coast. The Manchu Dynasty would collapse shortly after Cixi’s death in 1908.
Which nation defeated China in a war in 1894-95, taking control of Korea and Formosa?
A newly emergent Japan seized Korea and Formosa during the Sino-Japanese War, marking another humiliating defeat for China and a further loss of Chinese territory.
What rebellion against foreigners broke out in China in 1900?
In 1900, Boxers (martial artists who exercised in Chinese gymnasiums) attacked foreigners throughout China, slaughtering missionaries and laying siege to European legation.
The rebellion was only put down when an eight-nation army invaded China and subdued the Boxers. The Chinese were forced to pay a heavy indemnity.
Who led China’s Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) following the collapse of the Qing (or Manchu) Dynasty in 1912?
Sun Yat-Sen led the Nationalist Party, which asserted power over the Chinese Republic that was founded in early 1912. Sun Yat-Sen was the first popularly elected national Chinese politician in the nation’s 5,000-year history.
China proved nearly impossible to govern (Sun Yat-Sen was forced to resign by the military), and a series of civil wars tore the country apart between the 1910s and 1940s.
Which nation dispatched Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan in 1852?
In 1852, the United States dispatched Commodore Matthew Perry to request that Japan agree to open up its economy to Western trade, a request made more convincing due to the presence of American naval vessels.
The Satcho Alliance was an alliance between the two southern Japanese provinces of Satsuma and Choshu beginning in the 1860s. Aware that China was being subjugated by the Western powers, the Satcho Alliance urged the Tokugawa Shogunate to stand up to the Western powers.
When that failed, the Satcho Alliance overthrew the Tokugawa Shogunate and gave the new emperor, Meiji, full imperial powers.
The term Meiji Restoration refers to the imperial powers exercised by the Japanese Emperor Meiji after the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, beginning in 1867.
Under Meiji, the Japanese adopted a strong internal policy adopting Western culture and technology as a means of preserving the country from Western dominance.
What reforms were adopted during the reign of Japanese Emperor Meiji?
Emperor Meiji established a constitutional monarchy, which included a parliament, the Diet. Meiji reduced the power of the samurai and dispatched men of the upper class to the United States and Europe to study industrial science, economics, and military science.
Zaibatsu were the large, state-sponsored corporations that came to dominate the Japanese economic landscape in the years following the Meiji Restoration. While the zaibatsu allowed the Japanese economy to industrialize quickly, it rose at the expense of individual workers, who labored in poor conditions.
Which country did Japan beat in battle in 1904-1905?
On both land and sea, Japan resoundingly defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, enabling Japan to claim Russia’s province of Manchuria.
In addition to tactical victory, Japanese success was a moral victory as well, establishing Japan’s position as one of the world’s great powers and marking the first time in the modern era that a European power was defeated by an Asian one.