New Imperialism: 20th Century Textbook, Duiker, pgs. 25-61, Chapter 2-3
Victorian Age: 1850-1914
Queen Victoria ruled for 64 years. She died in 1904. The Age ended with WWI.
Duty to country, to family, religious values (Christian), competitive capitalism (dog-eat-dog world)
The emphasis was on the differences between people: class, race, gender, wealth
Governments enforced legal discrimination (racial and gender) lived in separate spheres (white/black,
male/female) Queen Victoria was opposed to women’s suffrage (voting)
European Women: Not allowed college degrees, only allowed to be teachers, nurses, factory work, textiles,
clothing, domestic servant; women belonged the their fathers then to their husbands; few rights (if any)
European Men: Men could get a professional education (doctor, lawyer, professional) or factory work,
construction, iron, steel, heavy machinery, railroads; or military.
So many new inventions since the Industrial Revolution: plumbing, central heating, gas, electric, vacuum
cleaners, washing machine, cars, steamships, railroads, radio, airplanes, new dyes, chemicals, science,
technology, industry, agriculture, transportation, communication, military weapons; Ex: Copper needed for
new electric wiring. Rubber needed for waterproofing tires.
Germany became the leader in chemicals, dyes, synthetic fertilizers, ammonia, nitrates, explosives
Steel was now cheap and abundant to make bridges, railroads, ships (instead of wood), tin cans-- but steel
required massive amounts of coal, iron ore, limestone, and other raw materials
Engineers making new inventions: fuel-efficient engines to gigantic architecture (Eiffel Tower, skyscrapers,
dept. stores). These inventions required MORE raw materials/goods
Importing goods was now cheaper than making goods at home. Railroads and steamships dropped the cost
of freight by 50-95%
Europe imported wheat from USA, salt from India, tea and silk from China, spices from Indonesia, wool from
Australia, beef from Argentina, sugar from Cuba, tin from Bolivia, teakwood from Burma, rubber and tin from
Malaya, coffee and palm oil from East Indies, coconut oil from Philippines, cocoa, potatoes from South
America, gold, minerals, diamonds from Africa.
Europe exported coal, railroad parts, textiles, machinery
New Imperialism is: the policy of colonial expansion (1870-1914). Aggressive competition for overseas territorial
acquisitions; “empire for empire’s sake”; establishing economic and political hegemony (domination) over other
nations; involves racial superiority where the indigenous people (locals) are not considered fit to govern
1st wave of Imperialism was 1500s, new wave 1860-1914
The 20th century is often referred to as a reaction to the age of Imperialism. Anger from this greed and
control is what led to the rise of nationalism, guerilla war, pirates and modern day terrorism.
Need for more raw materials led to the need for more colonies overseas, new markets, cheap labor
Wealthy capitalists (Robber Barons) owned the capital, transportation, and means of production
Guns, military weapons gave Europe the advantage. A few could impose their will (by force) on the many.
The west (Europe & USA) could have their way with the world. Might makes right.
The west considered their civilization superior. Europe (& USA) was self-confident, arrogant, and
expansionist (Manifest Destiny). The ease of these conquests only proved (affirmed) their superiority.
History is written by the winners.
By 1900 Europe had no where else to go, all colonies were claimed. Europe now had to wrestle forcibly
or diplomatically for colonies (trade or take from each other).
o Economic rivalry became military rivalry with tensions between European powers. Trade routes with
colonies were protected by powerful navies (and watch out for pirates). Ex: By 1913, German exports
equaled British. German navy was gaining on British.
Types of Colonies:
Settlement Colony: a territory ruled by a foreign government with large number of colonists, seeking fertile
land to farm (haciendas). Usually this resulted in an ethnically mixed population (mestizos of Latin America,
French Quebecois), or a racially divided (segregated) population (French Algeria, Southern Rhodesia).
Exploitation Colony: fewer colonists, typically interested in extracting resources to export back home. There
may be trading posts; colonists run the administration and own much of the land and businesses by rely on
indigenous people for labor. A plantation colony may use slaves from other countries to grow a cash crop for
export. Today we call this Corporate Imperialism.
Protectorate or Dependent Colonies: few officers rule over other people, follow advice of Imperial advisors.
Locals run daily affairs, but big decisions are controlled by the imperial nation.
Sphere of Influence: interest of 1 country (USA dominated L. America, Yankee Imperialism; French Indochina)
one Imperial nation has exclusive economic rights over a territory or region.
2 Types of Rule:
Direct Rule: belief that natives cannot handle the job of running a country (ex: French colonies) Paternalism,
governing in a fatherly way by providing for needs but not giving rights.
Indirect Rule: locals have power over daily matters (collect taxes), must govern in the Imperial country’s way
(ex: British colonies) Assimilation: absorbing colonized people into culture of Imperialist nation.
Motives for Imperialism:
1. Economic: Make money, expand and control foreign trade, create new markets for products, acquire raw
materials and cheap labor, compete for investment and resources, export industrial technology and
transportation. Powerful industrial and financial capitalists compete for the greatest share of the market
(greed). Investing in “less developed” countries allows free raw materials, cheap labor, and profit
Mercantilism: Economic policy. Your wealth was measured in terms of gold and silver. Also you want
a favorable balance of trade. Buy less from others and produce more from your colonies. Colonies
offer cheap sources for raw materials, cheap labor, and new markets to buy your products.
2. Humanitarian: Advanced European nations had a “duty” to bring higher culture, superior civilization, and
religion to “backwards” nations (heathens, barbarians, savages, pagans). Religious missionaries often
forced locals to convert to Christianity (Yahweh or the highway), took children from their homes, forced
education, removed local customs, traditions and languages (seen a barbaric). The Imperial country
often must take on the burden and expense to provide medical and education needs in a parent-child
relationship—known as the “White Man’s Burden” (USA in Iraq? Welfare system? Native Americans?)
3. Overcrowded: Surplus population in Europe where it was overcrowded, pollution, and no opportunities
for sons, running out of natural resources. Imperialism offered travel, adventure, and opportunity where
you would receive land and corporate or government jobs. Exploratory motives were based on a desire
to explore unknown or unchartered territory, conduct scientific research (like Darwin), and medical
searches for cause and treatment of new diseases.
4. Balance of Power: Political motives to gain power, compete with other nations, expand territory,
exercise military force, gain prestige by winning new colonies, boost national pride and security.
Competition with others and mercantilism required a delicate balance of power. Ex: If France and
England had a colony in the region then Germany also wanted to have one for economic balance. Large
military navies also needed bases around the world. (Ex: America maintains bases in Afghanistan,
Bahrain, Bulgaria, Columbia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guam, Italy, Iraq, Israel, Japan,
South Korea, Spain, Kuwait, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, The Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, UK)
5. Social Darwinism: Ideological motive based on western cultural values which believed that white people
were superior and other cultures were primitive. Europeans should civilize people in other parts of the
world. Great nations should have great Empires and only the strongest nations will survive. Europeans
considered their civilization superior to all other races; conquest was nature’s way of improving the
human species. The ease of each conquest only proved (affirmed) their superiority. Civilization meant
white, European, Christian (male) values. “Colored” meant anyone not white (Indian, Asian, African, Latin
American, Mixed). Segregation.
Advantages of Developed Nations in the West (Europe, USA):
Well organized government
Powerful armies & navies with new technology (guns, navy, planes) easily overpower others
Superior technology and medical knowledge
Strong economy (banks to loan money)
Mercantilism centered in England and France but all of Europe embraced it (Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany,
Netherlands). Countries set up companies to do their dirty work: Dutch East Indies, Hudson Bay Co, etc.
Stages of New Imperialism:
1. Invest capital in “less industrialized” country. Develop mines, agriculture, ports, railroads, bridges,
harbors, telegraph (all the things you need to conduct your business better). Use every inch of the
territory for agriculture, mining, or manufacturing. (rape and plunder).
2. Employ the natives (locals) and teach them your ways to conduct administrative duties and basic
business (like collecting taxes). Encourage a large working population to do your bidding (slaves).
3. Transform the local culture (food, homes, music) and economy to match yours. Bring missionaries to
teach religion, possibly remove children from their homes to “train” them in your ways.
4. To safeguard your investment, make favorable agreements with the local government (through loans
and intimidation). These are usually phony agreements with only your interests protected.
5. If the local government does not play by your rules, then take direct political control. Bring in the
military if necessary.
Impact of Imperialism:
Positive: Humanitarian aid, infrastructure (roads, bridges, utilities, ports, railroads, dams), medical advances, new
institutions (schools, hospitals), technological advancements (indoor plumbing, electricity, telegraph, telephone, the
Internet, the sham-wow), reduced local (civil) conflict, brought the nation deeper into world trade and world markets
Negative: spread of virulent diseases (STDs), unequal social relations, rape, exploitation, enslavement, genocide,
environment destroyed, lost control of land, forced out of homes, traditions destroyed, local traditional economy
destroyed, natural resources gone, left area politically unstable, heavy taxes, separated men, women, children, loss
of culture and gender roles, economic oppression of the working population, poor or unsafe working conditions
(slavery). European boundaries had no relation to local religion, historic or ethnic boundaries. European education
only taught the white European male perspective with no regard for local education, folklores, or history. Europeans
stole seeds (tropical ecology) for commercial crops (tea, cinchona seeds for quinine, Amazon rubber tree) Europeans
cut down existing forests and radically changed the landscape with thousands of acres of commercially profitable
tress and bushes (like the rain forest today)
The goal was to maximize production, with no concern for human health, or the environment. Extra money, free time,
or education for the lower classes (i.e. non European) would result in sin (vice) and laziness. This set up blackmail,
corruption, quotas, black market, oppression of race, gender, class, and poverty.
Corporate Imperialism: Imperialism established the modern capitalist system of today which many will argue still
exists in the form of corporate monopolies without regard for humanitarian concerns: blood diamonds, Wal*Mart,
McDs, Nike, Halliburton. The WTO (World Trade Org.) is very out-spoken about this issue. Corporate imperialists seek
the cheapest country to make their goods (India, China, Taiwan) and seek opportunities for selling their surplus goods
at maximum profit; Profit over People. (Made in China? Today’s illegal labor force?)
Social Darwinism: Charles Darwin, English naturalist, 5 yr voyage on the HMS Beagle, evolution, natural selection,
survival of the fittest, 1859 pub. On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Herbert Spencer actually termed
the phrase (1864) “survival of the fittest”. Darwin was actually opposed to rigid racial differences (1871) and argued
that all humans were one species, sharing common decent though he did see a distinction between European
civilization and the “lowly savage”.
Darwin’s theory was used to shape a societal fantasy of European (British) male superiority (Academic
Pseudo-scientific theory that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others.
Certain racial groups may be denied rights, benefits, culture, history, and ancestry or get preferential
treatment which leads to prejudice, violence, discrimination, biased intelligence tests, racial segregation,
hate speech, violence (pogroms, genocide, ethnic cleaning).
The “pureness” of your lineage is a central theme. Those not pure were degenerates, heathens, sub-human.
A published hierarchy of humans 1st appeared in Europe 1877. Popular theory also in the USA.
America and Europe set up eugenics and forced sterilization programs based on this theory (until 1970 in NC)
Anyone of “color” was below the white man (Indian, African, Asian, Middle Eastern) and subjected to
segregation laws (Jim Crow Laws).
This theory sets up a Master-Slave, Parent-Child, Right-Wrong, Racially/Ethnically divided world view.
It is a zero-sum game in which any gain by one party required a loss by another, “survival of the fittest.”
One country may be raped and pillaged for the greater wealth of another. Ex: American colonies gained
tobacco and cotton at the expense of stolen African slaves.
Race went beyond skin-color to represent the character/personality of a nation (ex: Hitler and the 1/16th Jew).
Human zoos (people shows) attracted public curiosity to see the “human savage”. PT Barnum 1836 displayed
African slaves; Bronx Zoo (1906) displayed a Congolese pygmy as the “missing link” between humans and
orangutans, tying racism to Darwinism. People were still on display in 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition (Kanaks
from New Caledonia) and the Brussels World Fair (1958) had a Congolese village.
Nationalism: an emotional attachment to a group a people who bond together based on ethnic, culture, religion,
national feelings of belonging to 1 nation. This leads to a desire for political independence (Pan-Arabism, Pan-
o A nation is a group of people who share a common history, territory, language, culture
o Imperialism and Nationalism are 2 sides of the same issue. When 1 nation tries to dominate another,
it leads to an emotional reaction to become your own country, territory, group.
o The European lie was that these colonial areas had no culture, no history, these territories were a
“blank slate” that Europe could ride on. In reality many of these areas now treated as “barbarians”
had a well developed system of writing, language, pyramids, astrology, kingdoms, civilizations,
empires, running water, irrigation, medicine, education, spirituality, calendars (Mayan), art, sports
(Baghdad battery, Pyramids at Giza)
o Occidentalism: the view of the west from its enemies POV. Often caused by Imperialism.
Meet The Imperialists:
Great Britain: by 1900 GB had extensive colonies, 1/5th of the world under British rule, 1/10th of the population
Kingdom of Great Britain: merger between England and Scotland, 1707
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the UK 1801-1927
It was said “the sun never sets on the British Empire.”
GB lost the American colonies but retained Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, parts of Africa, the Middle
East (Egypt), Jamaica, Bermuda, parts of Asia (Burma), and Narnia.
GB was the most powerful nation; ruled the sea lanes with the Royal Navy, needed to protect her interests in
her colonies, had the commercial (trade) advantage (but watch out because Germany was catching up fast)
Colonies provided raw materials for British factories (tea, sugar, coffee, spices, rubber, cotton, salt) and
soldiers for the army, which only helped maker her even stronger. GB forced colonies to sell only British
goods in their markets. It was a win-win.
GB ruled with salutary neglect, economic policies were evaded until the Seven Years War (French and Indian
War) then the rules were strictly enforced (i.e. the American colonies)
France: Parts of Africa: (Algeria, Morocco) and Asia: Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)
Germany: Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted Germany represented on the world stage; he demanded Germany has her “place
in the sun”; He developed a brash, provocative, dangerous Weltpolitik (foreign policy) adopted to assert
German influence around the globe.
Japan: will move towards Imperialism WWI and WWII, especially in Asia (China)
Russia: (Peter the Great) tried mercantilism but was unsuccessful. Still stuck in the Feudal system, Russia lacked a
merchant class or industrial factories.
Japan and Russia do not trust each other.
Japan and China do not trust each other.
France, GB, and Germany do not trust each other.
GB and Germany want to keep France small and in balance (since Napoleon’s takeover of Europe)
France and Russia tend to be friends.
Germany and France tend to be enemies.
The Vikings originally knew all about the Native tribes in the Americas. (Video: Pathfinder)
1519, Spanish conquistador Cortes arrived in Mexico. The Aztec thought he was their feathered serpent god
(Quetzalcoatl) returning (the shiny helmets glinted in the sun, horses, mast of ship a cross, guns)
Spanish quickly took most of Meso-America (Maya, Aztec, Olmec, Toltec) and spread STDS, disease, raped,
pillaged the land for gold and natural resources (Fountain of Youth, cocoa beans, coffee, jade, turquoise, gold,
silver, corn, tomatoes, limes, avocadoes). Meso-Americans had a very advanced culture of cities with
pyramids, education, calendar cycles, astronomy, irrigation, running water, advanced math
America was re-discovered by the Europeans looking for an alternative water route to the Far East. This is
why Columbus originally called the Natives he met “Indians.” He thought he was in India. He promised
Europe that the natives would be excellent slaves. He was wrong. Columbus went on to become a pirate.
Britain, France, Spain, Portugal fighting for land in the New World.
Within 1 century (after Columbus) 95% of the Indian population was gone (disease, small pox, typhus,
measles, influenza, plague, tuberculosis, diphtheria, mumps, malaria, yellow fever). Western schools taught
the area only had 1 million natives (an empty continent) but archeologists now believe as many as 20 million
American colonies were property of Great Britain, Revolution with GB; colonies gain indep. July 1776
severed relations with GB; 1783 Treaty of Paris
USA: Yankee Imperialism in Latin America
1823, America expands westward to the Pacific; take native lands (Manifest Destiny)
1800s Latin American countries had serious problems: people were poor, uneducated, illiterate; worked on
farms (haciendas) for foreign land-owners and corporations (American); political and economic unrest; only
wealthy property owners could vote
Blacks were allowed greater mobility in L. America than elsewhere; they served as soldiers in wars of indep.
Blacks could improve their social status, even attaining high political offices (Mexico, Vincente Guerrero;
Venezuela, Antonio Guzman; Peru, Ramon Castilla). L. America had a 3-tiered social-racial structure: white,
colored, or black. Marriages between whites and light-skinned colored people were acceptable. Legal
discrimination was unenforceable. Lighter skin allowed for gradual assimilation into upper social ranks.
The economy depended on exports (mostly of natural resources); L. America did not develop its own
manufacturing industries; had to import manufactured goods (imports costing more than exports)
Had to borrow from foreign banks (high interest); when they could not repay the loans the lenders took
control of the businesses
Caudillo: (dictator, strong man) local military leaders in power; wealthy landowners allowed them to remain
in power (to control the poor with fear)
Monroe Doctrine (1823) gave fair warning to western European expansionists to stay out of American affairs.
(That’s our playground to exploit!) No European military intervention in the Americas (South America,
Central America, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba)
1846 Mexican-American War, America takes Texas (1819 gained Florida from Spain)
1890 Cubans fought for indep. From Spain. Spain treated Cubans as slaves, scorched earth, burned bridges,
plantations, sugar cane; Cuban women and children in concentration camps; rebels captured put into
unsanitary and dangerous prison camps.
American businesses had economic interests ($50 million invested in Cuba; $100 million in trade) Americans
hoped by freeing Cuba they would profit; Protestants also wanted to convert Cuban Catholics
USA fought Spain in Spanish-American War. Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hurst, “yellow journalism” to
raise public outcry; drawings by Frederic Remington, the explosion of the US Maine (it was an accident but
we blamed Spain)
US won the war. US put a military government in place in Cuba (Cubans were not happy with this)
1898 Treaty of Paris, America acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and bought the Philippines for $20 million.
Teller Agreement gave Cuba freedom; 1901 Platt Amendment, limited freedom and gave US control of Cuba.
America forbade Cuba from joining any alliance that threatened freedom or put Cuba into debt.
Theodore Roosevelt, viewed it as America’s responsibility to ensure Central American, Caribbean, and South
American economic stability that would allow those nations to repay their debts to their colonizers.
1900s Roosevelt offered $10 million to Columbia to build the Panama Canal (a man-made waterway
connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific). Columbia asked for more money.
1903, US supported Panama in a revolt against Columbia in order to gain control of the Panama Canal (1914)
1904, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine was added to the original document in order to justify
colonial expansionist policies and actions by the U.S. under Roosevelt. The USA declared that they were the
international police power in the Western Hemisphere
1898-1914 “big stick” and “dollar diplomacy”, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson (watchful waiting); the US
used many forms of intervention: threats, non-recognition, economic sanctions, military intervention (9
Caribbean countries: Dominican Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, Panama; invasions of Honduras, Mexico,
Guatemala, Costa Rica). Reasons for US intervention: preserve and increase economic investments, foster
political stability, for strategic reasons (Panama Canal)
1907-1909 The Great White Fleet, nickname for US Navy battle fleet (Pres Roosevelt), used to demonstrate
growing American military power
World Colonization: Middle East
Bedouins of the desert were traders, hunter gatherers, some domesticated farming/animals
1900-WWI oil discovered, gas cars invented (used to run on electric, gasoline was a by-product of asphalt)
Petroleum and natural gas, was buried in inhospitable territory, companies were est. to recover these
resources (British Petroleum, BP)
o Changing value to the world market, raw materials for industry and energy. Petroleum is the raw
material used for: transportation (trains, planes, cars, railroads), energy, heating, fertilizers,
pesticides, plastics, food additive, baby wipes, asphalt for roads, tar, wax, resins, fibers, lubricants,
gels, dry cleaning solvent, degreaser, (PVC), rubbing alcohol, engine coolant, aircraft de-icer fluid,
epoxy resin formation, feedstock, nylon, detergent, benzene, polyester, adhesives, sealants,
agrochemicals, construction materials, corrosion control chemicals, cosmetics, electronics, flavorings,
fragrances, industrial chemicals, gases, inks, dyes, printing supplies, packaging, bottles, containers,
paint, coatings, resins, polymer additives, cleaning agents
Britain (France) offered government loans (with interest) to build infrastructure, transport, communication,
cities, ports, shipping docks, bridges, better roads for trade. By 1913, ¾ of British overseas investment was in
government railroads, stocks, ports, shipping. This allowed businessmen to effectively exploit the area.
Britain took power over Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Sudan, and eventually occupied Iran (with Russian help) Iran
condemned the west and was outraged.
Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Robber Barons of America were deeply invested and involved in the Middle East.
Movie, Book: The Wind and the Lion
Egypt: (Located in Africa but usually considered the Middle East)
• Part of the Ottoman Empire since 1517. 1798 Napoleon of France invaded. In 1801, the Ottomans and British
threw the French out.
• 1854, the leader (Sa’id Pasha) was an ambitious developer who spent beyond his means.
• The French and the British convinced him to build the Suez Canal in 1869 which opened a trade route (for
Europeans) to India and Asia by connecting the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. This project took 10 years of
forced labor and over 30,000 workers. Thousands of slaves died.
• When the French offered the Statue of Liberty to Egypt (for the opening of the Suez Canal), they refused it,
so it was sent to America instead.
• Building this Canal and trying to appease the west led to debt and enormous taxes on the Egyptian people.
Egypt went bankrupt In 1875 Egypt was forced to sell it’s share of the Suez Canal back to Britain. Eventually,
the Canal and most of Egypt was controlled by Britain (and France).
• In 1882 Egyptians demanded democratic reforms including parliamentary control. The European powers
feared they were losing control. Britain intervened militarily. Gladstone sent the British fleet to bombard
Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir. Then, they installed a puppet
government under British control.
• Lord Cromer was appointed to rule until Egyptian debts to Europe had been paid. The French resented the
British takeover of Egypt (and so France looked elsewhere in Africa for compensation)
• The Convention of Constantinople in 1888 declared the Suez Canal a neutral zone under the protection of
Britain. British troops moved in to protect the canal.
• The Egyptians felt they had been better off with the Ottomans.
The Scramble for Africa: “The Dark Continent”
Europeans considered Africa a coastline--not a continent.
Egypt was the Middle East; Egyptian greatness, civilization, Kings, were not considered African history.
The European myth was “terra incognita;” a continent without history, bereft of culture (or morals)
Europe would bring the 3 C’s to Africa: Christ, Commerce, Civilization
“Men are still plunged into barbarianism, we must bring them to the light.” ~ Belgian King Leopold II, Congo
Scottish philosopher David Hume, “I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites.
There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action
or in speculation. No ingenious manufacture among them, no arts, no sciences.”
German philosopher Kant: “The yellow Indians do have a meager talent. The Negroes are far below them, and
at the lowest point are a part of the American people.”
German philosopher Hegel “Africa is no historical part of the world.”
1873, Sir Francis Galton, The Times: “My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of
Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their
position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race…I should expect
that the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages, might in a few years be
tenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese.”
Rudyard Kipling, The White Man’s Burden, 1899
But…there WAS civilization in Africa before the white European arrived.
1st homo sapiens (modern human) in Ethiopia 200,000 yrs ago
1st agriculture (13,000 BCE) domesticating wheat, barley, then raising sheep, cattle, donkeys; by 4000 BCE
fishing, farming gourds, watermelons, castor beans, cotton, making pottery
1st metal smelted lead, copper, gold, silver, iron, alloys (Egypt, Nigeria, Nubia)
Some believe the beginning of Christianity: Garden of Eden, even Jesus; Coptic Christians (the oldest church),
Ethiopia claims to be one of the lost tribes of Israel
Great Civilized Kingdoms (Egypt, Nubia, Niger, Libya, Carthage, Berber, Aksum, Burundi, Ethiopia)
bureaucracy, viziers, aristocracy, princes, governors, tax collectors, artists, technicians, major public works
(irrigation, canals), temples, pyramids, massive stone buildings, megalithic monuments, universities,
technology, medicine, textiles, architecture and art, trade caravans. Some areas minted their own coins.
Exports such as gold, metal, beads, ivory, skins (hippo hide), cotton, minerals, ground nuts, palm oil, coffee,
sisal, diamonds, rubber, slaves, frankincense, myrrh, spices (salt, pepper), and live animals (elephants) were
traded long distances with Asia, Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, and Babylonians. Aksum manufactured glass
crystal, brass, and copper for export. Ghana: world’s leading exporter of cocoa (1911)
Africa never went through the Dark Ages, never had knowledge suppressed by the church. So while Christian
Europe lost knowledge and had to rediscover it in the Renaissance, Muslim areas of Africa did not.
Some African tribes were already in the slave trade before Europeans arrived (slavery was in ancient Egypt
3000 BCE), conquest, aggressive expansionist policy, some Kings used more diplomacy, some used pure force
African states were small, political units based on clans, often at war with their neighbors, trade rivalries over
the slave trade or religious differences. Frequent civil wars caused by succession disputes. Very few states
allied against the European invaders, and their alliances came too late to be effective. European
technological and military advances were superior (ex. the Maxim gun). African armies lacked training,
ammunition, and experience of effective tactics. Europeans used African soldiers (under European
leadership) who knew how to survive in tropical conditions. The use of steamships, railways, telegraph, and
quinine to treat malaria helped Europeans conquer the region.
The Slave Trade
Forced labor; people treated as the property of others. Held against their will from time of capture (kidnap),
purchased, or birth; deprived of the right to leave; not allowed to seek other work or compensation.
Slavery existed as a legal institution and economic system on nearly every continent. (Joseph in the Old Test)
Arab Slave Trade booming between the 7th-20th c.; 18 million slaves sold from Africa via trans-Saharan and
Indian Ocean routes.
Atlantic Slave Trade (15th-19th c) took up to 12 million slaves to the New World (The Middle Passage). Slavery
was legal in 15 states from 1654-1865. 1 in 4 US families in those 15 slave states had slaves (8% of all
America had 2 socio-racial choices: white or colored. Anyone not deemed “pure white” was classified as
black (including natives, Asians, Indians, many early immigrants, etc), America had a large population of poor
whites many who used police force or fear
Brazil Slave Trade: colony of Portugal; Brazilwood (red dye), sugarcane, mining; 17th c. Bandeirantes (private
expl.) enslaved tribes; Atlantic Slave Trade: 35% slaves in Brazil, 3+ million; Portuguese capoeira “chicken
coop” cock fight, Afro-Brazilian dance/martial arts created by slaves from Africa (Angola, 16th c)
Slavery in Haiti: French colony of Saint Dominque 1st to fight for indep. 1791 over 100,000 rose in revolt;
Toussaint L’Ouverture, former slave, led the revolt; 1802 Napoleon sent troops to end the rebellion; they
failed; 1804 Haiti declared its indep. as Haiti.
Some slave rebellions were successful: Amistad, other were unsuccessful: Jamaica, Ned Turner’s Revolt
Slavery was the engine that drove the mercantile empires of Europe.
Killed thousands of animals for skins, tusks, trophies; Abused thousands of men, women, children (slavery)
Southern African pygmies put on display in human zoos.
European slave traders waited at the docks for enslaved people to be brought out from the interior. African
tribes willingly sold other tribes into slavery for $$, gold, guns, rum; Africans went inland and brought slaves
out. Booming business since Arab Slave Trade. Sell your neighbor or your family may be captured next.
1. Point of Capture 2. March to the Coast (branded-1 in 5 died) 3. Middle Passage (20% died) 4. Arrive in
Americas 5. Sold at Slave Market, Led to auction block as livestock (naked, skeletons, sick)
African Diaspora (spreading of people from their native land) These tribes would have fought, but now
lumped together by skin color—didn’t speak the same language. The African Holocaust
During the Middle Passage, they were chained together on crude platforms between decks, 20% died on the
ship. Moldy food, dirty water, contaminated with dysentery, measles, small pox. Children, women, boys
raped, tortured, beaten, starved (by good “Christian” men*). Some mutinied for freedom. Some took over
the ship, cannibalism, ate the eyes of their captors. Some chose death, jumped overboard (still chained); and
o *See speeches by Malcolm X, and why he chose Islam and not Christianity, 1950s
(Movies: Amistad, Middle Passage, Roots, Ill-Gotten Gains, Unchained Memories)
Native and Meso Americans (Indians) were bad slaves (Columbus lied!) They took to trees, would rather die.
Settlers needed a source of cheap labor; African men and women already knew how to plant, farm,
plantations; already exposed to European disease (Portuguese 1400s, then Spanish 1500s); less likely to run
away on new soil, unfamiliar; skin color easier to detect, cannot hide; Native men/women could blend in
The Omani and Swahili successfully prevented their people from trading slaves (or being traded)
Resistance attempts: some African armies did inflict heavy defeats on European armies (Zulu victory at the
battle of Isandhlwana and Ethiopian victory at Adowa; Samori Toure of West Africa; Nandi of East Africa)
Where there are plenty of animal or human slaves, there is no motivation to create better technology (ex:
The Greeks had the steam engine, but as a child’s toy. Slaves did all of their heavy work; why use machines?)
1807 the slave trade was declared piracy in GB (punishable by death). Between 1808-1860 the British West
Africa Squadron seized 1600 slave ships; freed 150,000 Africans aboard. Anti-slavery treaties were signed
with 50 African rulers; those leaders who refused to British terms were punished.
West Africa: 1820, as slavery declined, there was a dramatic economic and political shift, unable to adapt,
the area collapsed into civil wars.
By 1833 slavery was abolished in all British territories, 1865 USA, 1888 Brazil
o Today: Article 4, Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude;
slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. (2009 Sex Industry, Human Slavery)
o Today Human Trafficking: $5 to $9 billion-a-year industry, Illegal! Kidnapping, Torture, Drugs, Child
Slavery, Women forced into Prostitution, Africa: Blood Diamonds, Sweat Shops: Asia (cargo trucks of
dead bodies, overheat, no bathroom facilities, no clean water), Sexual exploitation, child
pornography, forced Labor, removal of organs, early marriage (child brides), child soldiers, religious
cults, child camel jockeys (Middle East), Russia, Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Columbia, USA,
Africa (Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda) see Corporate Imperialism.
Movies About Slavery: Amistad, Middle Passage, Roots, Ill-Gotten Gains, Unchained Memories
The Scramble For Africa Continues:
By 1870 explorers like Henry Stanley began to explore the interior of Africa and described the riches found
o He was looking for David Livingstone, 30 years in Africa, died there 1873, “Dr Livingstone I presume?”
o Leopold II of Belgium wanted a colony to increase country’s imperialism (massive trading profits and
establish a political empire in the Congo). He hosted an international conference in Brussels, 1876.
He sponsored this exploration of the Congo; an International crusade to bring “Christianity” to the
Congo. In 1879 he sent Henry Morgan Stanley and began setting up a trading settlement. The Congo
Free State was est. in 1884 (by Belgium)
Africa was fertile land for plantations, ivory, copper, diamonds, rubber, minerals, and slaves
Race to colonize, 30 new colonies, affected 110 million African people
Intense economic and political competition, major exploitation! Fierce, frantic, volatile situation among the
Europeans; took the best lands, brought new agricultural technology; changed traditional methods
Colonies were rationalized on religious and cultural grounds, “Bringing civilization to savage natives” (3 C’s)
The Conference of Berlin: 1884-1885 (The Congo Conference)
Bismarck of Germany hosted a conference (Berlin, Germany) for European countries (GB, France, Belgium,
Germany, Italy, Portugal) to discuss the rules for claiming and exploiting Africa.
No representatives from Africa were allowed to the meeting.
Only colonies with armed occupation would be recognized.
All powers rushed to colonize Africa. Within 20 yrs the entire continent was colonized.
New boundaries cut through 190 culture groups. Europeans drew straight lines on the map with no
accounting for traditional boundaries, monarchies, chiefdoms, or existing societies. 10,000 African groups
amalgamated into 40 European colonies; rules were enforced by treaty and conquest; those who resisted
died in battle or were executed. Ex: Nigeria had 250 ethno-linguistic groups now in 1 territory.
Belgium: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Rep of the Congo)
Dutch: S. Africa (Boers), “Afrikaans”
France: Algeria (resisted Imperialism, fought France for 50 years), Morocco, Fr. West Africa, Mauritania,
Senegal, Cameroon, French Sudan (Mali), Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Dahomey
(Benin), Gabon, Middle Congo, Oubangi-Chari (Central African Republic), Chad, Somaliland (Djibouti),
Madagascar, Comoros, Tunisia
o First Moroccan Crisis (Tangier Crisis) 1905-1906
o 1905 German Kaiser Wilhelm wanted to drive a wedge between GB and France (Anglo-French
relations). He visited French-controlled Morocco and challenged French ownership.
o Algeciras Conf. (1906) upheld French claims. Wilhelm’s plan backfired. It brought the English and
French closer; made Europe wary of Germany motives and methods.
o Second Moroccan Crisis (The Agadir Crisis) July, 1911
o 1911 Germany sent the gunboat Panther to Morocco to pressure France again. GB came to her
defense. Germany was becoming dangerously isolated and victimized.
Germany: Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Namibia, Togo; Germans in East Africa brought machine guns. The
locals used “magic” to fight (they lost).
Italy: Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, (always trying to take Ethiopia)
Portugal: Angola, Cabinda (Congo), Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde Islands
Spain: Western Sahara, Morocco (parts)
Britain: Interest in Egypt (Nile, Suez); South Africa, Cape-Cairo railway; Sudan, British E. Africa, Kenya, Uganda,
Zanzibar, Somalia, Rhodesia (named after Cecil Rhodes, now called Zimbabwe, Zambia), Botswana, South
Africa, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi
o Cecil Rhodes: Englishman in S. Africa, Founded De Beers Diamonds Mining Co., Cape-Cairo Railway
project, owned the British South Africa Co., took Rhodesia, named it after himself (now Zambia,
o Cecil Rhodes: “The more of the world the British inhabit, the better it is for the human race.”
o Rhodes: #1 “My ruling purpose is the extension of the British Empire.” #2 was extracting wealth from
the colonies (diamonds). He declared: “all of these stars ... these vast worlds that remain out of reach.
If I could, I would annex other planets.”
o The Boer Wars: Boer means: Dutch (Afrikaans); Wars for Diamond Rights (1880–1881) (1899–1902)
Cape Colony (South Africa), In 1902, 450K British defeated 60K Boer (Dutch); Boers were fierce
fighters; left legacy of bitterness, hatred among Afrikaners for generations. Guerilla warfare, Britain
used scorched-earth tactics, destroyed thousands of farmsteads, villages, slaughtered livestock, sent
women and children to concentration camps (1st camps) 26,000 died from disease and malnutrition,
horrible conditions. After 1902 to placate the Boers, only whites could vote (segregation) S. Africa
had only 2500 white farmers (in 1931) yet 100% segregation and control.
o Rhodes died in 1902, De Beers controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production.
o Today, exploitation of diamond mining (movie: Blood Diamonds) : Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
Independent African States:
Liberia: founded by US American Colonization Society 1821 (freed slaves) Slaves sent there instead of back
home (no choice). Natives living there forced to relocate. 1847 formed Republic of Liberia, cap. Monrovia (Pres
James Monroe) 1980 military coup, instability, civil war, 100,000 dead, devastated the economy. Recent News:
Women’s sex strike stopped Civil War. Leymah Gbowee (Women Waging Peace Network)
Ethiopia (Abyssinia) ancient Christian kingdom (Prestor John) Claim to be the lost tribe of Israel and have the
Arc of Covenant. Free African state, 1885-1899 but in 1896 Italians (10,000 troops) invaded but were stopped by King
Menelik (40 years later Benito Mussolini will try again. ½ million Italian troops, aerial bombing, poison gas, 7 months
took Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie fled into exile)
Africa Under Imperialism
By 1910 European missionaries had 16,000 schools, but there was no hurry to fix the countries. Imperialist
countries expected to have hundreds of years to rape and pillage these areas.
Everything in Africa was segregated-- clubs, schools, churches, especially as more European wives arrived
374,000 Africans forced to serve in the British army for WWI; 80,000 from French Africa
After WWI, German colonies in Africa were doled out to winning European allies
After WWI, Europe paid more attention to social services in African colonies: education, medicine, sanitation,
communication, Europe now had a moral and social responsibility; “a sacred trust” until Africa became
“capable of self-government”
Europeans ended forced marriages, body mutilation (clitoridectomy, female circumcision), polygamy;
missionaries offered education for women, helped them organize
Under Imperialism (colonialism) women lost their status in traditional matrilineal systems (female centered).
Everything was now patrilineal (male dominated); Europeans only dealt with men. Victorian attitudes;
females were subordinate, restricted female freedoms, govt jobs now closed to them (men only) Only men
were allowed to work with lucrative cash crops (men could use bicycles and trucks to transport, could use
chemical fertilizers). Women had to carry goods on their heads (still today), must use manure in gardening.
Even domestic jobs like nursing and housecleaning were now reserved for men only.
Movies: Shaku Zulu, Blood Diamonds
British Imperialism in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand)
Captain James Cook “discovered” Australia in 1770. Britain began colonizing in 1788.
They brought a pandemic of diseases including small pox which killed 90% of the local tribes.
Aborigines are the original indigenous people of Australia for over 50,000 years.
The British turned Australia into a penal colony (prison).They sent over 160,000 prisoners—murderers and
thieves. These murderers killed off the Aborigines and took over their land and livestock. Began sheep, cattle
farming in the outback, also mining for iron ore.
In 1770 there were 300,000 Aborigines; by 1900 only 60,000 Aborigines were left
In 1851 gold was discovered in Australia and even more Europeans arrived. Soon they took over all land and
water resources which was an issue throughout the 19th and 20th century.
The British also took the Aboriginal children away and forced them into English schools where they would
forget Aboriginal language, religion and customs. They forced the holy men to be trackers for the white man.
Video: Rabbit Proof Fence (Australia, Aborigines)
1901 Australia became an indep. Commonwealth but still tied to GB; send troops for Britain to WWI, WWII
1901 first nation to allow women the right to vote
Today: 1/3 world’s uranium (nuclear)
• British missionaries arrived in the 1700s. Since 1769 New Zealand became a part of the British Empire
• In 1840 William Hobson arrived under royal proclamation of the Queen. Hobson forced the local Maori tribes
to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. Even though only 500 of the 1500 sub-tribes signed, the Treaty made the
Māori British subjects. They had no translator, and never even knew what we were signing.
British Imperialism in India: 1805-1940s
British East India Co. took over trade in 1856 with tea, cloth, opium and salt from India.
Queen Victoria was named the “Emperess of India” in 1877, even though she never went there.
GB exported from India: opium (to China), cotton, tea, silk, sugar, salt, jute
India had to import goods made in GB, which undercut local businesses (weaving, textiles)
Women were given very low pay, some forced into prostitution, husbands became more abusive as poverty
and overcrowding became the norm
Raj: local Indian princes, zamindar system: local landlords collected taxes for British govt
As more colonists arrived, British wives (memsahibs, mem-sa-heebs) created jealousy between British and
Indian men and women over their forbidden relationships. British women used Indian
women to nurse their babies (wet nurse) and as nannies (ayah, nicer than British nannies)
India has raining seasons (3 months of flooding), famine, swarms of insects
Mandatory British education system for all children, made English the official language (not Bengali)
British Civil Service exam introduced (to work in the British administration)
Indians were considered “colored,” Eurasian (mixed) better than natives; GB had a racist contempt for all
those they ruled. The British were like a “thin film of oil on top of a glass of water; resting
there but hardly mixing with those below.”
British did not bother to learn the local native language (Begali), still 900 words we use are from India
(bandanna, bangle, bungalow, calico, chutney, cot, cummerbund, dinghy, dungaree, khaki,
loot, musk, pajamas, pariah, punch, pundit, sandal, shawl, swastika, thug, veranda)
India has a caste system of brahmins, warriors, farmers and merchants, then the untouchables. The British
required a number of house servants from various caste systems: ex: the butler could shop
for food but could not carry it home, the cook did not clean up, Hindus could not prepare
foreigners food so Muslims had to be hired, lower castes could handle the family dogs, and
dead animals, or shoes made of leather; there were cooks, servers, doorkeepers, watchmen,
footmen, messengers, sweepers, water carriers, gardeners, grooms, grass cutters, nannies,
tailors, delivery servants, laundry cleaners. Staff could be over 63 people per household.
Servants turned handles to move fans which cooled the air in the house.
Building projects were used to display magnificence; country estates; palaces with a private theater, indoor
riding ring, and zoo
Brought the modern railroad, telegraph, postal service, penal code (prisons), health, sanitation,
manufacturing (textiles, rope, mills)
Foreign rule was difficult on the psyche of the people, British arrogance, contempt of native traditions
The British outlawed any custom they thought was “inhumane”:
The British outlawed suttee (soot-ee) which is the ritual burning of Indian Widows. According to Hindu law, if
the husband dies, the widow is honored to die with him in a funeral fire (pyre).
The British also outlawed child brides and all infanticide (infant-i-side).
A sepoy is an Indian soldier forced to fight in the British army. Sepoys were forced to travel overseas. Hindu
troops could not cook for themselves; had to get food from lower castes or Muslims. When
sepoys returned home, they were shunned as unclean.
Preached Christianity, tried to convert troops when they were away from home. Indians said they
had to “put our religion into our knapsacks wherever our colors are unfurled.”
1857, forced to use animal fat when loading their rifles. They would have to bite off the ends of the
cartridges, which puts the animal fat into their mouth. This was fat from cows and
pigs. Hindus may not eat cow and Muslims may not eat pig. Products from dead
animals was forbidden.
1857, the Sepoy Rebellion (India’s First War of Independence). Indian sepoys massacred British
soldiers. The British sent more troops, brought India under tight control of British
Crown--more troops to India, and taxing the people to pay for the extra troops.
o Videos, Books: A Passage to India (EM Forster), Ricki Ticki Tavi, City of Joy (1992 movie), What Life
was Like in India 1600-1905, The Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
Imperialism in Asia:
Orientalism refers to the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers,
designers and artists.
By 1900 all of Asia was under colonial rule
Britain took Burma
France had Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) since 1857 (until the Vietnam War) Indochine française
o 1700 French Catholic missionaries arrived
o 1859 French seized Saigon
o 1860 French took Cambodia
US took E. Samoa, and eventually the Hawaiian Islands (1887 Pearl Harbor naval station), US marines brought
in to protect American interests (like sugar) 1889 annexed Hawaii after Spanish-American War
Thailand remained independent, King Mongkut (Movie: The King & I)
o Thailand remained a buffer zone between French and British colonies
The Opium Wars 鸦片战争 Anglo-Chinese Wars, 1839-1842, 1856-1860
Chinese thought the English were barbarians and would undercut Confucian civilization.
Opium is an addictive drug that was banned in China since 1729.
Britain wanted a trading advantage with China so GB brought opium from India (grown under British control)
and encouraged Chinese usage; creating “Opium Dens.”
Opium sales were so high it was said “all of the silver was flowing out of China.”
The Chinese Emperor (Qing Dynasty) tried to stop the flow of opium; seizing any deliveries, executing drug
dealers, demanding GB stop selling opium.
Britain responded by bombing the coastlines. This led to 2 Opium Wars in 1839 and 1858 as Britain tried to
suppress China’s desires and continue trading opium all over the country.
GB had superior firepower and military tactics; China was defeated in both wars; the government was forced
to tolerate the opium trade
Britain forced the Chinese government to sign the Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking) and Treaty of Tianjin (The
Unequal Treaties) which forced 4 additional ports to foreign trade, fixed tariffs; Hong Kong
went to Britain, extraterritorial rights (British citizens given full rights, any criminals were
sent back to England and not tried in China), and indemnity payments (China had to pay
Britain for the war costs).
The Chinese people were humiliated, defeated, and forced into addiction.
After 1860, opium use increased with widespread domestic production in China; 1/4 of the male population
was addicted by 1905.
Later Chinese rulers like the Empress Dowager Cixi (tsoo-shee) or “Old Buddha” were strongly conservative and
bitter against the west.
In 1899 the “Society of Harmonious Fists” led the Boxer Rebellion. For 8 weeks rebel fighters (anti-
foreign secret society) attacked all foreigners to “cleanse” China. An international army (including the
Japanese) crushed the rebellion and ended China’s last hope of regaining control
Once Empress Cixi died in 1908 it was the end of the Qing Dynasty—the last dynasty of China. The new
leaders were “Western” trained.
British reformed education, administration, legal system, civil service exam system
Japan also took a special interest in Chinese territory.
Movie, Book: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1900, Political interpretations
Movie, Book: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) Lewis Carroll, Political statement about British
Imperialism, and Opium Wars
The western traders expected Japan to fall as China had. Japan thought the west was barbarian.
Missionaries arrived first. Many sects of Catholicism were fighting on the beaches of Japan for “territory”
rights to save Christian souls. The Japanese found this ridiculous.
As Christianity spread among the peasants in Japan, the shogunate worried about disloyalty. How could the
peasants remain loyal to Japan when the Roman Church claimed to have their souls?
In 1637 the shogunate placed foreigners under tighter trade restrictions. All traders, missionaries, and
foreigners were expelled and the Japanese government tried to control foreign policy.
Japan remained isolated 1635-1853
July 8, 1853, American Commodore Matthew Perry, attacked the coast of Japan (Tokyo Bay) with 4 warships
(the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna); his ships became known to the Japanese as the
kurofune, or the Black Ships. This became known as “gunboat diplomacy.”
Many historians argue that: “Commodore Perry knocked on an open door.”
A few months later Japan was forced to sign the Treaty of Kangagawa (March 31, 1854); est. 2 ports for
foreign trade, US consulate in Japan, extraterritorial privileges for US residents in Japan
Japanese leaders made a determined effort to catch up with the European powers. Discipline in Japanese
society enabled the process of modernization to proceed rapidly.
By 1914 Japan was the leading exporter of silk and dominated cotton manufacturing
20th century Japan looked very westernized, and even copied the feelings of a superior race.
1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War (China vs. Japan) Japan began a war with China, and emerged victorious in
1895. Peace settlement: Japan took Taiwan, Korea became indep., began exploiting China. China and Japan
maintained a tense relationship throughout the 20th century.
1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance: GB agreed to support Japan if Russia attacked (in exchange of Korea)
1904 Russia did attack in the Russo-Japanese War. The Japanese defeated Russia, sank entire fleet, became a
great and Imperial power; Japan and Russia maintained a tense relationship through the 20th century.
Movie: The Last Samurai
Suggested Books on this Topic:
Bonilla-Silva (2003) Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality
Feagin (2006) Systemic Racism: A Theory of Oppression
Hobsbawm (1994) The Age of Extremes, The Age of Empires
Trepagnier (2006) Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide (2006)
Edward Said, Orientalism
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Portraits of White Racism, David Wellman
Ishmael, Dan Quinn
MOTHERLAND and the African Holocaust Society, Owen 'Alik Shahadah
Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro
Nigger, Randall Kennedy
Life as a Corp., Douglas Rushkoff
The Lost City of Z, David Grann (British Indiana Jones)
Stuff White People Life, Christian Lander (humorous; “the unbearable whiteness of being”)
Imperialism Takes Off, by Bonnie G. Smith, p. 192-208
British Contract with African King,
Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky
Sea of Poppies, Amiav Ghosh (Opium Wars)
Suggested Web Sites on the Topic:
History Channel, Smithsonian, National Geographic
Imperialism, The Computer Game
Essential Questions (EQ)
How did Imperialism impact the global economy (winners AND losers, WWI, WWII)?
Explain how nationalism and imperialism are 2 sides of the same issue.
What were (are) the dangers of Social Darwinism?
What is the concept of the “White Man’s Burden?”
What motivated the industrial nations to conquer new territories? What means did they use?
How did this impact the environment?
What is economic dependency? How is this dangerous?
How did the new empires impact WWI? WWII? The Russian Revolution?
Is Imperialism still at work today? How about Corporate Imperialism?
Is there EVER a moral justification for Imperialism?
How important was the search for raw materials and new markets as a reason for European Imperialism?
How did either Britain or France govern their colonies in the Americas for their own economic gain?
Why were blacks allowed greater economic and social mobility in Latin America than in the USA? (19th c)
What was the impact of the Christian Churches on the native populations in the Americas during the colonial
period? What were the effects of colonial rule on Native American societies? Why are indigenous people in
the colonial period treated different according to the origin of the colonists?
How did the railroads stimulate economic activity in the Americas at the end of the 19th century?
How was the US successful in implementing a “closed door” policy in Latin America between 1898-1914?
Examine the mercantilist policies of 2 colonial powers in the Americas during the 18th century (British North
America, Spanish Latin America)
What caused the rise of caudillos in Latin America?
How was the Monroe Doctrine applied in late 19th-20th century?
What were the economic and social conditions of free African Americans in one country? (19th c)
“Commodore Perry knocked on an open door.” To what extent do you agree with this assessment of Perry’s
arrival in Japan 1853?
Analyze the influence of Christian missions and missionaries in China 1860-1912.
To what extent was the Boxer Rebellion a turning point in China’s history?
To what extent were the slave insurrections successful: Haiti, Brazil, USA? Why were some revolts (Haiti,
Amistad) successful while others were unsuccessful (Jamaica, Ned Turner’s Revolt)?
Define economic dependence and its emergence in one country of Latin America (late 19th c)?
How did Canada treat its indigenous people?
Explain when and why the slave trade began to decline in Africa before 1880.
“Technology is a new type of imperialism,” discuss this statement with reference to the impact of technology
upon at least one country during the 20th century.
To what extent was European imperial aggression encouraged by military and political weaknesses in Africa
up to 1900?