Industrialization and Imperialism summary




Industrialization and Imperialism summary


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Industrialization and Imperialism summary

Chapter 30  Industrialization and Imperialism: The Making of
the European Global Order

  1. Introduction

In the initial stages of imperialism, Europeans went to conquer new lands, to gain manufactured goods and raw materials not available in Europe, or to win new converts to Christianity. After industrialization, European imperialism changed. Post-industrial imperialists sought raw materials to feed the factories of the home country and new markets for manufactured goods. Religious conversion was not much of a factor.
Post-industrial imperialism also resulted in the creation of true empires in Asia and Africa. No civilization was sufficiently powerful to stave off European penetration. By 1850, the new imperialism produced a race to establish empires abroad.

  1. The Shift to Land Empires in Asia
    1. Introduction

In the early stages of imperial advance, the great trading companies sought to avoid involvement in political rivalries in those civilizations brought into the world trade system. Wars and the need to establish political administrations cut into company profits. Inevitably, the local representatives of the great merchant companies were drawn into regional conflicts to protect trading rights or fortified commercial centers, but company directors actively discouraged more direct political intervention. With the slow communications that existed prior to industrialization, however, local commanders did conquer large regions and entire kingdoms in the name of their companies. Thus land empires began even prior to industrialization.

    1. Prototype: The Dutch Advance on Java

The Dutch at Batavia were initially satisfied to be the vassals of the sultan of Mataram, the kingdom that controlled much of Java's interior. By intervention in succession wars within Mataram in the 1670s, the Dutch received greater control over the region immediately around Batavia. After 1670, repeated interventions in the succession to the throne of Mataram won the Dutch most of Java. The sultans were able to retain only a small kingdom on the south central portion of the island. Java became the core of the Dutch Asian empire.

    1. Pivot of World Empire: The Rise of the British Rule in India

As with the Dutch in Java, the British only gradually assumed a position of superiority over indigenous rulers in India. The establishment of British control in India had much to do with an imperial rivalry with the French that spanned the globe. It was a contest from which the British emerged as victors and masters of an Asian empire. The British representative of the East India Company was Robert Clive. After winning initial victories in southern India, Clive won a major battle over the ruler of Bengal at Plassey in 1757. Clive had, with the help of Hindu bankers, successfully bought off the chief general and most important allies of his Muslim enemy , Siraj-ud-daula. Clive's victory sealed the British supremacy over the French in India.

    1. The Consolidation of British Rule

After Plassey, the British representatives of the East India Company involved themselves in succession disputes and wars among the Indian rulers who bordered Bengal. Bit by bit, the British wrested control of the Indian kingdoms from the declining Mughal Empire. Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta became the administrative centers of the British Presidencies that incorporated most of the territory actually controlled by the East India Company. Other Indian states were left as dependent allies. Despite their awareness of the growing power of the British, Indian princes continued to squabble among themselves and to supply recruits for the British armies. Armies recruited from Indian peoples became a potent force in the creation of a world-wide British empire. By the nineteenth century, Indian armies served British masters throughout the colonial empire.

    1. Early Colonial Society in India and Java

At first the British and Dutch colonial representatives simply established themselves atop the indigenous social hierarchies in Asia. Europeans living in tropical climates had to accommodate themselves to an unaccustomed ecology. New types of housing, dress, and work habits were adopted. Because most of the colonial representatives were male, liaisons with indigenous women were common.

    1. Social Reform in the Colonies

By the 1770s, rampant corruption within the East India Company forced the British government to enact reforms. The most sweeping of these reforms were undertaken by Lord Charles Cornwallis in the 1790s. Cornwallis's reforms resulted in the cleansing of the East India Company administration, but also constricted the participation of Indians in their own government. Evangelical religious movements in Britain also induced reform. Slavery was abolished, and campaigns were launched against what were viewed as Indian social abuses. British utilitarians supported the cries for social reform and plans for betterment of the Indian population.
Both Evangelicals and Utilitarians pressed for the introduction of English-language instruction in India and an infusion of British technology. At the center of the social reform program was the abolition of the practice of sati. Despite some resistance, the British insisted on an end to the practice. The British intentionally transmitted to India what they regarded as the enterpieces of Western civilization education, technology, and administrative organization in an attempt to recast Indian civilization in the Western image.

  1. Industrial Rivalries and the Partition of the World, 1870 - 1914
    1. Introduction

Industrialization heightened competition among European nations and the United States. One of the fields of competition was the race to establish international empires. Colonies were regarded as economic insurance for industrialized nations. They supplied raw materials, markets, and places to which disgruntled workers could potentially be shipped. Improved transportation and communications permitted national leaders to play more direct roles in imperial conquest.
National presses gave governments the ability to build up public support and to publicize victories abroad. Conflicts over imperial possessions justified governments' devotion of increasing amounts of money to military buildups, which in turn raised the stakes of imperial confrontation.

    1. Unequal Combat: Colonial Wars and the Apex of European Imperialism

By the late nineteenth century, European nations could wage war with devastating effect. The peoples of Asia and Africa were no longer able to provide effective resistance to determined colonialists. Machine guns, steam power, and iron hulls gave the Europeans insurmountable technological advantages. Despite overwhelming odds, Asian and African leaders continued to resist the European advance. Although they were able to win some victories, indigenous peoples could not sustain conventional wars against European forces. In many cases, most effective resistance was offered by guerrillas. By the outbreak of World War I, little of the world remained independent of Western control.

  1. Patterns of Dominance: Continuity and Change
    1. Introduction

There were two primary types of colonies: tropical dependencies and settlement colonies. In the first type, small numbers of Europeans ruled large numbers of indigenous peoples. Within the settlement colonies there were two patterns. In the White Dominion, such as Canada and Australia, much of the population descended from European immigrants. In contested settler colonies, such as Algeria, Kenya, New Zealand, and Hawaii, large numbers of European immigrants vied with indigenous populations for control of the land and its natural resources.

    1. Colonial Regimes and African and Asian Peoples

During the nineteenth century, European colonizers followed models already established in India and Java. By exploiting religious or ethnic divisions, the Europeans gained control over vast regions of Asia and Africa. Administrators rigidified differences by division of indigenous peoples into artificial tribes. Small numbers of Europeans governed masses of indigenous peoples with the help of Western- educated African and Asian subordinates. The British also drew on a ready supply of educated Indians to supplement the administrative cadre of the empire. In Africa, unlike other colonized regions, education was left in the hands of missionaries rather than the state, a policy which stunted the growth of an African middle class. Such policies intentionally eliminated the development of nationalist leaders among the colonized peoples.

    1. Changing Social Relations Between Colonizer and Colonized

After 1850, Europeans in the colonies of Asia and Africa tended to isolate themselves from indigenous peoples. The inclusion of European women in the colonies ended the earlier practice of easy liaisons between European males and indigenous females. Laws were established forbidding mixed marriages. Measures were passed to prevent social interactions between European women and the indigenous peoples. Social exclusivity was fostered by growing acceptance of theories of white racial supremacy.
Administrators and colonists both attempted to create European enclaves in the midst of what they increasingly saw as savagery.

    1. Shifts in Methods of Economic Extraction

Economic administration continued to rely on the support of indigenous subordinates to manage colonial economies. Efforts were made to increase the production of exportable products, in many cases by coercive means. Head and hut taxes were imposed payable only in commodities. In the worst circumstances, such as in the Belgian Congo, labor quotas represented little more than slavery. To facilitate the movement of raw materials and agricultural crops, imperial nations built roads and railroads from colonial interiors to ports. Mining and agricultural productivity increased in the colonies, but profits went to European imperialists. African and Asian workers scarcely benefited from their labor. Colonial economies were rapidly reduced to dependence on industrialized Europe.

    1. Settler Colonies and White Dominions: South Africa

As in the White Dominions, contested settler colonies attracted large numbers of European immigrants. From their initial foothold at Cape Colony, Boer farmers penetrated the South African interior in search of farm land. Similar to the situation in Australia, the Boers found much of the interior sparsely settled and found little resistance to their advance. The Boers enslaved the first indigenous people they encountered, the Khoikhoi. Until the first decades of the nineteenth century, the experience of settlers in South Africa broadly paralleled those in Australia and Canada.
The arrival of the British and their annexation of Cape Colony in 1815 set South Africa on a separate course. By the 1830s, the Boers fled the Cape Colony seeking independence and the right to continue a pattern of life now long established. In the Great Trek, the Boer population crossed the Great Fish River into the South African plains, where they encountered for the first time the Bantu states of the Zulus and Xhosa. War between the Bantu states and the Boer settlers was common during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the British established a second colonial outpost on the eastern coast of South Africa at Natal. In the 1850s, the Boers established two independent republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.
When gold and diamonds were discovered in the Boer republics, the finds drew British investors, such as Cecil Rhodes, into the region. Relations between the British colonies and the Boer republics deteriorated until war was declared in 1899. The Boer War paved the way for decolonization in South Africa and established the political dominance of the Boers over indigenous Africans.

    1. Pacific Tragedies

In the Pacific, European, American, and Japanese colonialism resulted in demographic disasters and social disruption. The cases of New Zealand and Hawaii serve as examples of the impact of imperialism in the Pacific.
New Zealand. First contact between Europeans and the indigenous Maoris occurred at the end of the eighteenth century. Although European settlement was not extensive, exposure to European diseases and dissemination of firearms among the militant Maori tribes resulted in massive population loss. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the surviving Maoris had begun to establish sedentary agricultural communities based on European technology and domesticated animals. British settlement began in earnest in the 1850s. As the European immigrants seized the most fertile lands, the Maoris were driven to the interior of the islands. The Maoris survived by acculturating to British law and government. New Zealand was able to construct a multiracial society in which elements of the Maori culture flourished.
Hawaii. Captain James Cook opened Hawaii to Western development in 1777. With the use of Western weapons, King Kamehameha united the various clans of Hawaii between 1794 and 1810. Kamehameha encouraged economic exchange with Western merchants. Beginning in 1819, missionaries from the eastern United States began a vigorous campaign to convert the Hawaiians to Christianity. The missionaries brought in their wake cultural change and Western education. As in New Zealand, exposure to Western diseases decimated the population of the Hawaiian islands.
Westerners soon began to experiment with plantation crops. The Hawaiian monarchy facilitated the development of Western land rights in the Great Mahele of 1848, which ended communal property ownership. Privatized land was rapidly transferred to Western speculators. With the development of a plantation economy, settlers from the United States increasingly immigrated to Hawaii. Because of the decline in the Hawaiian population, the labor supply was supplemented by importation of Asian workers from China and Japan. As the Hawaiian monarchy declined, planter groups called for more active U.S. intervention. The United States formally annexed Hawaii as a colony in 1898.

  1. Conclusion: The Pattern of the Age of Imperialism

Imperialism took a harsher tone in the nineteenth century. Racism increasingly dictated relations between colonizers and indigenous peoples. Colonial administrators actively pulled peasants into a market economy tilted heavily in favor of the imperial powers. By pressing to inculcate European culture among the colonized peoples, Europeans produced resistance to colonial rule. Successful mobilization of nationalist sentiment in colonized nations often came from the ranks of men educated in Western schools. European dependence on indigenous subordinates to manage colonial economies made the imperialists vulnerable to challenges from within.


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