The New Imperialism: Colonization of Africa and Asia Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in The New Imperialism: Colonization of Africa and Asia Deck (24)

What was New Imperialism?

It was the expansion into Africa and Asia with unprecedented speed and scale. It is used to differentiate between the earlier Spanish conquest of Central and Southern America, but also denoted the fundamental ways in which life was transformed in those regions that were now under the sway of Europeans.


What were advances in technology that allowed for European domination to occur?

The development of weapons like breech-loading rifles and Gatling guns helped Europeans dominate Africans. Steamships allowed for rapid transport across oceans without depending on wind power, and smaller steam boats penetrated into the heart of Africa on rivers. The development of the telegraph allowed for the exchange of messages quickly. The discovery of quinine was an effective treatment for treating malaria, saving lives.


What were motivating factors that drove Europeans to conquer lands in Africa and Asia?

Europeans were generally motivated by wealth. However, social imperialists viewed imperialism as a means of relieving certain domestic social problems such as overpopulation. Nationalism played a factor as European states believed that the only way to matter on a global scale was by establishing colonies. Religion was also a motivating factor as people tried to convert Africans. Finally, Europeans sought to maintain the balance of power.


How did economics motivate Europeans to create colonies in Africa and Asia? How did this conception fail?

Europeans began to search for profits throughout the world. With the establishment of higher tariff barriers in Europe in the last quarter of the century, nations saw colonies as free trade zones and areas with significant natural resources. Many colonies lacked economic value or required extensive investment to be viable, the only exception being India.


How did social obligations motivate Europeans to create colonies in Africa and Asia? How did this conception fail?

Social imperialists viewed imperialism as a means of relieving domestic social problems like overpopulation. This understanding was undercut by countries like Italy, where more Italians went to the United States than Italian colonies in East Africa.


How did nationalism play a role in New Imperialism?

European states believed that the only way they could matter on a global scale was through the establishment of colonies. For example, France's creation of an overseas empire was a way of showing it mattered even after its horrific defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.


How did religion play a role in New Imperialism? How was this understanding doubted?

Christian missionaries saw it as their duty to convert heathen Africans to Christianity. However, some questioned the motivation behind the missionaries, saying that their only purpose was to facilitate the creation of colonies and introduction of businesses and industry.


How did balance-of-power politics play a role in New Imperialism? How significant was this?

Nations wanted colonies so other nations would not be able to obtain them. Great Britain in particular, led by Cecil Rhodes, attempted to gain colonial advantage throughout Africa. Balance-of-power politics was probably the most important factor behind the proliferation of imperialism.


How did Social Darwinism influence New Imperialism?

Europeans genuinely believed that white people were destined to have sovereignty over the inferior peoples of Asia and Africa. Some art implied that Africans were children that would benefit from the guidance of European "parents." It was also called noblesse oblige.


What author and his associated literature shows the extent to which Social Darwinism pervaded his conception of Africa?

Elements of Social Darwinism was found in Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "The White Man's Burden." He emphasizes that Europeans have a moral obligation to make Africans their captives and "attend to their needs."


How did Social Darwinism manifest itself politically?

The moral imperative behind imperialism was also discussed at the Berlin Conference, where it was stated that one of the goals for imperialist nations was to improve the conditions of African moral and material wellbeing and suppress slavery and the slave trade.


What was the "scramble for Africa"?

The "scramble for Africa" was the rush to obtain colonies in Africa. Europeans drew new borders that demonstrated their lack of concern for tribal and cultural differences with imperial territories.


What was the significance of the Berlin conference?

It set up rules for the establishment of colonies. Nations had to prove that they had sufficient authority in a territory to protect existing rights like freedom of trade and transit, sparking a mad scramble for control of territories.


What were the only two African areas not dominated by Europeans?

Ethiopia repelled an Italian invasion in 1896, and Liberia remained independent because of its unique historical link to the United States.


How did British dominance over India develop?

The British began to dominate India after the French withdrew from India as a result of the Seven Years War. As the 19th century continued, formerly independent Indian territories fell under British control. After the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857, British control of India became more centralized and the British government replaced the British East India Company. Disraeli made Queen Victoria the Empress of India.


What was an informal empire? When was it first used?

Also called a proxy state or protectorate, an informal empire is where a state has significant influence over another nation's economy without actual territorial or political control. It was first used by Great Britain in China.


How did the Europeans control colonies in Asia?

China was forced to grant European states sovereign control over a series of "treaty ports" along the coast. Although Thailand maintained its independence, the French seized control of Indochina.


What other countries became involved in colonialism?

The Dutch controlled Indonesia and the United States seized the Philippines. Japan initiated a powerful economic transformation into an industrial power and seized control over Korea after the Russo-Japanese War.


What were benefits for nations conquered by colonialism?

Colonized nations benefited from investment in infrastructure, like the creation of irrigation systems, railways, and cities in India. Nationalism and political liberty were also instilled in the population.


How was violence integrated into colonial order? What was the most horrific example?

Violence was often a part of the colonial empire in an attempt to maintain order. The most horrific example of colonial exploitation was in the Belgian Congo.


What occurred in the Belgian Congo?

King Leopold II of Belgium personally established this massive colony many times the size of Belgium and expected to reap the rewards. Millions were enslaved, maimed, or killed in the pursuit of profits. There eventually was a public outcry that forced most of the atrocities to stop.


How did average people respond to the development of imperialism?

Newspaper editors often saw imperialism as a topic of great interest. There was also the proliferation of pro-imperial organizations, like Britain's Primrose League. However, the Boer war dimmed public support in Great Britain for empire.


How did tensions within Europe increase as a result of imperialism?

Rivalries among the European powers led to further imperial expansion, such as when the British established a protectorate over Egypt and the Suez canal to ensure dominance of India. Britain competed with Russia in the "great game" where the British sought to halt Russia's expansion into Central Asia, which had implications for India's security. France and Britain almost went to war over Fashoda in Sudan, and France and Germany almost went to war twice over Morocco.


How did imperialism become a cause of World War I?

German political and military figures felt that Germany did not have a colonial empire commensurate with its position in Europe. One of the reasons why Bismarck was removed by Kaiser Wilhelm II was his lack of interest in colonies, ultimately ending the period of German stability.