European Imperialism and its effects around the world
Europeans established colonies and conquered territories around the world in the 19th century. They were led by commercial interests and introduced their culture, rule and religion over the populations of others. This age of imperialism allowed European countries to dictate the global economy and shaped their relations. The consequences of imperialism are felt around the world today, including social and economic inequalities, tensions and conflicts that arise from ideologies, cultures, and practices.
Table of Contents
- Algerian Conquest and Settlements by the French
- British Expansion in India and the Pacific
- European Expansion in Africa, New Zealand, and Australasia
- The Opium Wars and Chinese Expansion
- Russian Expansion and Alaska Sale
- The Age of Imperialism and European Rivalries
Question: What drove European colonials to expand and conquer other territories?
Answer: The primary motivation for European colonials to expand and conquer other territories was commercial interests. Trading bases were established which eventually led to annexations and customs duties. Additionally, European settlers, traders, and missionaries who pushed for further expansion, particularly in south Africa and Australasia where growing European populations led to conflicts and disorder with indigenous peoples.
Question: What were the consequences of this age of imperialism?
Answer: The consequences of imperialism are felt around the world today, including social and economic inequalities, tensions and conflicts that arise from ideologies, cultures, and practices. The unequal distribution of resources and power has led to economic modernization at the expense of many developing countries, sometimes leading to unrest and political instability. In addition, cultural domination has also led to the loss of indigenous languages and traditions worldwide.
Question: What was the impact of European expansion in India and China?
Answer: European expansion in India added parts of India and lower Burma to the British Empire through annexations and military expeditions led by the East India Company. The introduction of a new rifle with pre-greased paper cartridges that offended Hindus and Muslims led to a rebellion in 1857 that drove the British back into their forts and triggered a wave of revenge when they regained the initiative. In China, the East India Company smuggled opium, which the Chinese attempted to stop, leading to the First Opium War. The Chinese government was eventually forced to allow British traders access to ten new ports, along with the acquisition of Hong Kong.
Question: What were the motivations behind the Berlin Conference and what came out of it?
Answer: The Berlin Conference, held in 1884 was called by Bismarck, recognized the claim of Leopold II of the Belgians to the Congo and ratified the French claim to the northern bank of the Congo river. The conference effectively declared the beginning of the “Scramble for Africa” as European powers started to annex African territories. Its motivations was for European powers to establish their interests in potential colonies as a useful bargaining point in European power politics.
Imperialism had a profound impact on the world, particularly for the territories colonized. The consequences of the unequal distribution of power and resources are present globally, with dissent and instability in many countries as a consequence. European expansion led to the decline and loss of indigenous languages and traditions worldwide. Moving forward, acknowledging this history and working actively towards equality and eradicating inequalities, is necessary for a prosperous and peaceful world.