Imperialism: Historical Beginnings and Basic Structures Outline | Student Handouts
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Imperialism: Historical Beginnings and Basic Structures Outline

Imperialism: Historical Beginnings and Basic Structures Outline - Free to print (PDF file) for high school World History students.        I.            Colonialism speeds up

a.      Age of Exploration ↘

                                                              i.      Europeans raced for overseas colonies ↘

1.      Growth of European commerce and trade worldwide ↘

a.      Commercial Revolution

      II.            “Old” imperialism

a.      1500s-1700s

b.      England, France, Holland, Portugal, and Spain

c.       Wars over colonies

    III.            Interlude – late 1700s-late 1800s

a.      Europeans were preoccupied with happenings on the European continent and in the existing European colonies

b.      Such as: American Revolution, French Revolution, Napoleonic wars, Latin American wars for independence, growth of nationalism, Industrial Revolution

   IV.            “New” imperialism

a.      Beginning circa 1875

b.      Renewed race for colonies

c.       Spurred by needs created by the Industrial Revolution

                                                              i.      New markets for finished goods

                                                            ii.      New sources of raw materials

d.      Nationalism

                                                              i.      Colonies = economic and political power

                                                            ii.      Social Darwinism = racist justification

     V.            What is “new” imperialism?

a.      No longer about setting up colonies or exercising direct control over areas

b.      Became largely economic

                                                              i.      Possession of an area for economic gain

                                                            ii.      Spheres of influence and extraterritoriality rather than colonial settlement

   VI.            Economic motives

a.      Markets for finished goods

                                                              i.      Products of British Industrial Revolution sold in China and India

b.      Sources of raw materials

                                                              i.      Egypt – cotton

                                                            ii.      Malaya – rubber and tin

                                                          iii.      Middle East – oil

c.       Capital investments

                                                              i.      Profits from Industrial Revolution invested in mines, railroads, etc., in unindustrialized areas

 VII.            Political motives

a.      Nationalism – national pride

                                                              i.      “The sun never sets on the British empire.”

b.      Large empires increased national pride

c.       French acquisitions in Africa and Asia followed France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War

VIII.            Military motives

a.      Bases

                                                              i.      British naval bases

1.      Aden, Alexandria, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Singapore

b.      Manpower

                                                              i.      British – Indian sepoys

                                                            ii.      French – north African troops

    IX.            Social motives

a.      Surplus population

                                                              i.      Japanese in Korea

                                                            ii.      Italians in Africa

b.      “White Man’s Burden”

                                                              i.      Rudyard Kipling’s poetry and prose

                                                            ii.      Whites morally obligated to bring the “blessings of civilization” to “backward” peoples

                                                          iii.      Cecil Rhodes – imperialism is “philanthropy—plus five percent”

      X.            Religious motives

a.      Conversion to Christianity

b.      End-of-the-century crusading spirit

c.       Missionaries in Africa, Asia, Hawaii, etc.

    XI.            Justifications

a.      Social Darwinism

                                                              i.      Interpreted Darwin’s evolutionary theory in terms of powerful nations

1.      “Only the strong survive”

                                                            ii.      Powerful nations able to develop areas and resources being “wasted” by native peoples

b.      Racism

                                                              i.      Increased feelings of white/European superiority

1.      Also increased feelings of Japanese superiority in Asia

                                                            ii.      Eugenics developed as a branch of science

  XII.            Concession imperialism

a.      Economic privileges and rights given for a specific purpose

b.      U.S. and British oil concessions throughout the Middle East

c.       Ottoman Turks granted Germany permission to build Berlin-to-Baghdad Railroad

XIII.            Sphere of influence imperialism

a.      Exclusive control over an area

b.      Examples

                                                              i.      British trading rights in Chin’s Yangtze valley

                                                            ii.      French trading rights in southeastern China

                                                          iii.      Japanese trading rights in Korea

XIV.            Leasehold imperialism

a.      Lease over an area

b.      Suez Canal Corporation

                                                              i.      Suez Canal built by French in 1860s

                                                            ii.      Controlled by British shortly thereafter until 1968

c.       Panama Canal

                                                              i.      United States

d.      Germans in Kiachow

e.      French in Kwangchow

f.        British in Weihaiwei

 XV.            Protectorate imperialism

a.      Foreign control exercised through native “puppet” rulers

b.      French – Morocco (1906-1956)

c.       British – Egypt (1914-1968)

                                                              i.      Britain held a sphere of influence in Egypt from 1882-1914

                                                            ii.      Britain gained control of Egypt as Egypt’s protectorate when the Ottoman empire fell apart during World War I

XVI.            Annexation imperialism

a.      Territory annexed and turned into a colony under the complete control of a foreign power

b.      German colonies in east and southwest Africa – until 1918 & the end of World War I

c.       French Indochina (Vietnam) – until 1955

d.      British Burma – until 1948

XVII.            Mandate imperialism

a.      Victors of World War I gained control over German possessions under mandates granted by the League of Nations

b.      German East Africa → Great Britain

c.       Pacific islands north of the equator → Japan

d.      Syria → France

XVIII.            Trusteeship imperialism

a.      Victors of World War II gained control over Japanese and German colonies under trusteeships granted by the United Nations

b.      United States → Okinawa and Caroline Islands

c.       Italy → Somalia

XIX.            Review questions

a.      Describe three motives for imperialism.

b.      Describe three types of imperialism.

c.       Which nations became imperial powers?

d.      Which nations were controlled by imperial powers?

e.      How did imperial powers justify their control over foreign nations?

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