Modern World - History of Last 250 years

Rise of national industrial empires

Advances in military technology after 1870
  • Machine guns.
  • Iron steam powered navies.
  • Better range and accuracy for guns.
  • All of this together gives decisive fire power to Europeans against rest of the world.
Battle for Africa.
  • Ottoman empire is weakened, lost war with Russia, loses parts of it in Baltic to independent states like Serbia.
  • Egypt is run by local military leaders and goes through economic boom and bust due to American civil war.
  • To recover its debts, British forces occupy Egypt.
  • Egypt is in war with Sudan where Britain intervenes.
  • France and other Europeans compete with Britain to expand there presence in Africa.
  • Berlin conference of Europeans decide to protect newly discovered central Africa and gives that responsibility to Belgium.
  • Belgium king slaughters Congo natives and plunders natural resources.
  • With in couple of decades, Europeans have divided Africa amongst themselves.
Types of imperialism
  • Racial imperialism
    • New empires are being built with racial superiority narrative, specially in Africa.
    • Germans, Belgians plunder and commit genocides in Africa.
  • Settler colonialism
    • Sparsely populated lands are being settled, similar to North America, Australia.
    • Russia epands to Pacific and to Alaska.
    • British expand in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
  • Free trade imperialism
    • Europeans want to control lands with valuable resources to secure conditions of Free Trade.
    • Most of south east Asia is colonized.
  • Liberal imperialism
    • Places like Hawaii, Philippines, Cuba, puerto rico are oppressed by Spanish empire.
    • United states goes to war with Spain and wins Hawaii, Philippines, Puerto Rico.
    • Cubans win independence.
  • Americans are anti-imperialist as they don’t want to take responsibility for non white people.
  • White majority areas of British empire, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada win independence keeping allegiance to the British government and monarch.
  • The great famine of 1877-78 in India kills millions of people and renews debate about future of India as part of British empire.
China Survives
  • China and Japan fight a war, China loses.
  • Large coal deposits are discovered in Manchuria.
  • All Europeans and Japan want a share of the coal mines.
  • China is weakened by loss of a reformist emperor.
  • Some Europeans want to carve China, like Africa. - French, Germans, Dutch.
  • United States want to maintain China empire but secure free trading conditions.
  • Japan, Russia wants to acquire Manchuria.
  • Chinese peasants rebel against foreigners - Boxer rebellion.
    • They are against missionary proselytizing.
    • Against presence of foreigners in Peking.
    • War between boxers and foreigners break out around Peking.
    • Empire sides with the boxers.
    • With reinforcements, boxer rebellion is defeated.
  • Aftermath of boxer crisis
    • Europeans want financial reparations.
    • Russians are aggressively moving for a military action to acquire Manchuria.
    • Britain is fighting The Boer War which takes their resources.
    • Japan and Britain ally against Russia.
    • US does not want any part of the imperial cause in China.
    • Russia Vs Britain+Japan is a stale mate.
    • Chinese Empire gathers its strength and start reforming.
  • China survives.
Start of end of imperialism
  • Independence movement starting to gather pace in India which aims to run the unified India.
  • Liberals in west are not critical of imperialism and dissuade US from any further imperial causes.
  • Stories of genocides in Africa, British caused famines in India turn public opinion against such oppression.
  • Japan expands empire to Taiwan and Korea, but believes that a Pan-Asiatic coalition is more important against imperialism of Europe.
  • China loses Manchuria to Japan and Russia.
  • Russia, led by Lenin, now sees an opportunity for a pan-slav coalition.
  • Pan-islamic forces are uniting against the pan slav forces.