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Traditions and Encounters Book Cover
Traditions and Encounters, 2/e
Jerry H. Bentley, University of Hawai'i
Herbert F. Ziegler, University of Hawai'i

THE BUILDING OF GLOBAL EMPIRES

Table of Contents

  1. Foundations of empire
    1. Motives of imperialism
      1. Modern imperialism
        1. Refers to domination of industrialized countries over subject lands
        2. Domination achieved through trade, investment, and business activities
      2. Two types of modern colonialism
        1. Colonies ruled and populated by migrants
        2. Colonies controlled by imperial powers without significant settlement
      3. Economic motives of imperialism
        1. European merchants and entrepreneurs made personal fortunes
        2. Overseas expansion for raw materials: rubber, tin, copper, petroleum
        3. Colonies were potential markets for industrial products
      4. Political motives
        1. Strategic purpose: harbors and supply stations for industrial nations
        2. Overseas expansion used to defuse internal tensions
      5. Cultural justifications of imperialism
        1. Christian missionaries sought converts in Africa and Asia
        2. "Civilizing mission" or "white man's burden" was a justification for expansion
    2. Tools of empire
      1. Transportation technologies supported imperialism
        1. Steam-powered gunboats reached inland waters of Africa and Asia
        2. Railroads organized local economies to serve imperial power
      2. Western military technologies increasingly powerful
        1. Firearms: from muskets to rifles to machines guns
        2. In Battle of Omdurman 1898, British troops killed eleven thousand Sudanese in five hours
      3. Communication technologies linked imperial lands with colonies
        1. Oceangoing steamships cut travel time from Britain to India from years to weeks
        2. Telegraph invented in 1830s, global reach by 1900
  2. European imperialism
    1. The British empire in India
      1. Company rule under the English East India Company
        1. EIC took advantage of Mughal decline in India, began conquest of India in 1750s
        2. Built trading cities and forts at Calcutta, Madras, Bombay
        3. Ruled domains with small British force and Indian troops called sepoys
        4. Sepoy mutiny, 1857: attacks on British civilians led to swift British reprisals
      2. British imperial rule replaced the EIC, 1858
        1. British viceroy and high-level British civil service ruled India
        2. British officials appointed a viceroy and formulated all domestic and foreign policy
        3. Indians held low-level bureaucratic positions
      3. Economic restructuring of India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
        1. Introduction of commercial crops: tea in Ceylon, also coffee and opium
        2. Built railroads and telegraph lines, new canals, harbors, and irrigation methods
      4. British rule did not interfere with Indian culture or Hindu religion
        1. Established English-style schools for Indian elites
        2. Outlawed Indian customs considered offensive, such as the sati
    2. Imperialism in central Asia and southeast Asia
      1. "The Great Game" refers to competition between Britain and Russia in central Asia
        1. By 1860s Russian expansion reached northern frontiers of British India
        2. Russian and British explorers mapped, scouted, but never colonized Afghanistan
        3. Russian dominance of central Asia lasted until 1991
      2. Dutch East India Company held tight control of Indonesia (Dutch East India)
      3. British colonies in southeast Asia
        1. Established colonial authority in Burma, 1880s
        2. Port of Singapore founded 1824; was base for conquest of Malaya, 1870s
      4. French Indochina created, 1859-1893
        1. Consisted of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos--former tribute states of Qing dynasty
        2. French encouraged conversion to Christianity, established western-style schools
      5. Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) left in place as buffer between Burma and Indochina
    3. The scramble for Africa
      1. Between 1875 and 1900, European powers seized almost the entire continent
        1. Early explorers charted the waters, gathered information on resources
        2. Missionaries like David Livingstone set up mission posts
        3. Henry Stanley sent by Leopold II of Belgium to create colony in Congo, 1870s
        4. To protect their investments and Suez Canal, Britain occupied Egypt, 1882
      2. South Africa settled first by Dutch farmers (Afrikaners) in seventeenth century
        1. By 1800 was a European settler colony with enslaved black African population
        2. British seized Cape Colony in early nineteenth century, abolished slavery in 1833
        3. British-Dutch tensions led to Great Trek of Afrikaners inland to claim new lands
        4. Mid-nineteenth century, they established Orange Free State in 1854, Transvaal in 1860
        5. Discovery of gold and diamonds in Afrikaner lands; influx of British settlers
        6. Boer War, 1899-1902: British defeated Afrikaners, Union of South Africa
      3. The Berlin Conference, 1884-1885
        1. European powers set rules for carving Africa into colonies
        2. Occupation, supported by European armies, established colonial rule in Africa
        3. By 1900 all of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was controlled by European powers
      4. Colonial rule challenging and expensive
        1. "Concessionary companies": granted considerable authority to private companies
          1. empowered to build plantations, mines, railroads
          2. made use of forced labor and taxation, as in Belgian Congo
          3. unprofitable, often replaced by more direct rule
        2. Direct rule: replacing local rulers with Europeans--French model
          1. justified by "civilizing mission"
          2. hard to find enough European personnel
        3. Indirect rule: control over subjects through local institutions--British model
          1. worked best in African societies that were highly organized
          2. assumed firm tribal boundaries where often none existed
    4. European imperialism in the Pacific
      1. Settler colonies in the Pacific
        1. 1770, Captain James Cook reached Australia, reported it suitable for settlement
        2. 1788, one thousand settlers established colony of New South Wales
        3. 1851, gold discovered; surge of European migration to Australia
        4. Fertile soil and timber of New Zealand attracted European settlers
        5. Europeans diseases dramatically reduced aboriginal populations
        6. Large settler societies forced indigenous peoples onto marginal lands
      2. Imperialists in paradise: delayed colonization of Pacific Islands until late nineteenth century
        1. Early visitors to the Pacific were mostly whalers, merchants, some missionaries
        2. Late nineteenth century, European states sought coaling stations and naval ports
        3. By 1900, all islands but Tonga claimed by France, Britain, Germany and United States.
        4. Island plantations produced sugarcane, copra, guano
  3. The emergence of new imperial powers
    1. U.S. imperialism in Latin America and the Pacific
      1. The Monroe Doctrine, 1823: proclamation by U.S. president James Monroe
        1. Opposed European imperialism in the Americas; justified U.S. intervention
        2. United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867
        3. Hawaii became a protectorate in 1875, formally annexed in 1898
      2. The Spanish-American War (1898-99)
        1. United States defeated Spain and took over Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Philippines
        2. United States backed Filipino revolt against Spain, purchased and took over the colony
        3. 1902-1904, bitter civil war killed two hundred thousand Filipinos, ended in U.S. victory
      3. The Panama Canal, 1903-1914
        1. Colombian government refused U.S. request to build canal at Panama isthmus
        2. United States helped rebels establish the state of Panama for the right to build a canal
        3. Completed in 1914; gave United States access to Atlantic and Pacific
    2. Imperial Japan
      1. Japanese resented unequal treaties of 1860s, resolved to become imperial power
      2. Early Japanese expansion in nearby islands
        1. 1870s, to the north: Hokkaido, Kurile islands
        2. By 1879, to the south: Okinawa and Ryukyu Islands
      3. Meiji government bought British warships, built up navy, established military academies
        1. 1876, imposed unequal treaties on Korea at gunpoint
        2. Made plans to invade China
      4. The Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)
        1. Rebellion in Korea: Chinese army sent to restore order, reassert authority
        2. Meiji leaders declared war against China, demolished Chinese fleet
        3. China forced to cede Korea, Taiwan, Pescadores Islands, Liaodong peninsula
      5. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-05)
        1. Russia also had territorial ambitions in Liaodong peninsula, Korea, Manchuria
        2. Japanese navy destroyed local Russian forces; Baltic fleet sent as reinforcements
        3. Japan now a major imperial power
  4. Legacies of imperialism
    1. Empire and economy: two patterns of changes
      1. Colonial rule transformed traditional production of crops and commodities
        1. Indian cotton grown to serve British textile industry
        2. Inexpensive imported textiles undermined Indian production
      2. New crops transformed landscape and society
        1. Rain forests of Ceylon converted to tea plantations
        2. Ceylonese women recruited to harvest tea
        3. Rubber plantations transformed Malaya and Sumatra
    2. Labor migrations
      1. European migration
        1. Fifty million Europeans migrated 1800-1914, over half to the United States
        2. Other settler colonies in Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
        3. Most European migrants became cultivators, herders, or skilled laborers
      2. Indentured labor migration more typical from Asia, Africa, and Pacific islands
        1. About 2.5 million indentured laborers globally during 1820-1914
        2. Indentured migrants tended to work on tropical and subtropical plantations
        3. Example: Indian laborers to Pacific island and Caribbean plantations
        4. Japanese laborers to Hawaiian sugar plantations
      3. Large-scale migrations reflected global influence of imperialism
    3. Empire and society
      1. Colonial conflict not uncommon in nineteenth century
        1. In India, numerous insurrections, such as the sepoy rebellion of 1857
        2. 1905, Maji Maji rebellion in east Africa thought traditional magic would defeat the Germans
        3. Resistance included boycotts, political parties, anticolonial publications
        4. Conflict among different groups united under colonial rule, for example, Hawaii
      2. "Scientific racism" popular in nineteenth century
        1. Race became the measure of human potential; Europeans considered superior
        2. Gobineau divided humanity into four main racial groups, each with peculiar traits
        3. Social Darwinism: "survival of fittest" used to justify European domination
      3. Colonial experience only reinforced popular racism
        1. Assumed moral superiority of Europeans
        2. Racist views in U.S. treatment of Filipinos, Japanese treatment of Koreans
    4. Nationalism and anticolonial movements
      1. Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), "father of modern India"
        1. Sought an Indian society based on European science and traditional Hinduism
        2. Used press to mobilize educated Hindus and advance reform
      2. The Indian National Congress, founded 1885
        1. Educated Indians met, with British approval, to discuss public affairs
        2. Congress aired grievances about colonial rule, sought Indian self-rule
        3. 1906, All-India Muslim League formed to advance interests of Indian Muslims
      3. Limited reform, 1909; wealthy Indians could elect representatives to local councils
        1. Indian nationalism a powerful movement, achieved independence in 1947
        2. India served as a model for anticolonial campaigns in other lands