Industrialization and imperialism
Thinking about how the Industrial Revolution(s) and capitalism helped catalyze far-flung imperialism during the 1800s.
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- During the Scramble for Africa, why was Liberia and Ethiopia left uncolonized?(6 votes)
- The story of Liberia is an interesting one. The idea of repatriating former slaves and their descendants back to the "motherland" was not new. Such an idea had support from some African Americans as well as some white Southerners who were pleased with the notion of blacks going back to Africa since they were no longer useful to them in the form of slavery and were threatening their way of life in the Reconstruction days (in the eyes of those white southerners). The colony that African Americans would establish and settle upon back in Africa was Liberia. So while Liberia was not colonized by the time of the Scramble of Africa, it was still colonized in a somewhat non-traditional manner later.
As for Ethiopia, they fought off the Italian incursion. Their military was as strong as any European nation at the time and their administration was centralized and cohesive. As such, they were able to resist colonialism and maintain self-rule.(8 votes)
- At4:25, Sal said japan is on imperialism. But I assume that Japan is more a militarism country. Because Japan uses more military force than economy. So I'm a bit confuse that is Japan a militarism country or a imperialism country？(3 votes)
- Imperialism is basically extending its power through military use so its the same thing basically.(5 votes)
- What are some other things that imperialism provided?(3 votes)
- Resources for imperialist powers, for instance- Belgium had a steady supply of rubber from the Congo, Britain got a supply of spices, wheat, and jewelry from India. Imperialism also strengthened many empires, most of whom were European powers like- Germany, Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium,...
Britain had the an empire who had colonies and holdings across the world, at its height it had the- 13 colonies in America, India, parts of South East Asia, large swaths of Africa. And later by the 20th century they had allies and protectorates in the middle east, mostly because they were interested in the oil.
Europe also became the hub of powers by the late 19th and early 20th century.(4 votes)
- Pertaining to the whole concept of imperialism, how could imperialism be influenced through the art forms of the previous period( e.g. postimpressionism, primitivism), and how can imperialism be compared and contrasted to colonialism? I know that colonialism and imperialism both created colonies to better expand their territories, but what was their ultimate goal that differed between the two periods?(2 votes)
- I think this is where you have to remember old imperialism and the new imperialism. Old imperialism was the old-fashioned way of taking over other places by just expanding their empires. New imperialism was the new way via their technology and when countries would administer foreign countries. (Think British rule in India)(4 votes)
- When did the Industrial Revolution start?(1 vote)
- It varies from country to country. Some say around 1760.(5 votes)
- How did industrialization both motivate and sustain imperialism?(2 votes)
- Industrial production needs both sources of raw materials and markets. Both of these can be found by imperial expansion. Both of these produce profits, which fund the further expansion of the empire.(4 votes)
- If the Europeans colonized most of Africa, then how was Ethiopia the only country that was not colonized by any European country?(1 vote)
- The word "most" is used because Ethiopia was not colonized (until the Italians did it just prior to the second world war). Anyone who says, "all" has to contend with the continuation of Ethiopian independence. So, the word "most" is used.(3 votes)
I noticed that most of the inventions made during the Industrial Revolution were militarized (The telegraph was used for communicating coded messages and the steamship was used for destroyers & battleships), and finally my question: Why wasn't the train used for battle?(1 vote)
- Trains were in fact used for transporting supplies, notably in the Civil War, but laying down tracks for them to travel on was hard and the other side could sabotage train tracks with ease. The world wars also found extensive use of trains for battle, but with a different purpose: Especially in Eastern Europe, heavily armed and armored trains were used, but quickly became obsolete because of the automobile war industry and the ability of the other side to sabotage tracks.(3 votes)
- How long did imperialism last?(1 vote)
- Imperialism, in its American and Chinese guises, goes on even today. Its political aspect, seen in the17th, 18th and 19th centuries' French, British, German, Portuguese and Dutch examples (and in 19th & 20th century Japanese), may have been blunted, but its economic aspect continues in multiple directions in the 21st alongside the political imperialism of the USA and China.(2 votes)
- How was the Middle East badly affected by Western Imperialism?(1 vote)
- Conquest isn't usually good for the conquerors.
Territory that is traversed on the way to imperial conquest often suffers from the armies that travel across it.
Imperialism often involves soldiers far from home, seeking female companionship from local residents who don't necessarily wish to be companioned.
Territories that barely support their native populations, when forced to feed conquering armies, can come to suffer famine.
How's that? Enough?(2 votes)
- [Sal] This is a map of European colonial possessions in the early to mid 1700s. And you immediately see a few things. Spain has a lot of territory in Central and South America. Even the small country of Portugal, because of its prowess during the Age of Exploration, a significant amount of territory in what would become Brazil, but they also have possessions and colonies along the coast of Africa and even things in India, like Goa. You have the British, having possessions in North America, things that would eventually evolve into the United States and Canada. At this point in time, France also has significant possessions, which will later be taken by Britain and then an independent U.S. as it grows across continental North America. But the thing to notice in this map is despite these significant possessions, much of the world is not controlled by the Europeans. Yes, England also is starting to have a bit of a colonial possession, although at this point it's a corporate possession in eastern India, in Bengal, but much of Africa and Asia is not under European control. But then as we enter into the second half of the 18th century, and especially the 19th century, something important happens in the scope of human history, and that's the Industrial Revolution or maybe you could say the Industrial Revolutions. Now, there's many technologies that are central to the Industrial Revolution, but probably most important is the steam engine, although you could contend maybe it's the steam engine, maybe it's electrification, maybe it is the telegraph. But the steam engine all of a sudden allows us to harness the power of really coal to create steam to turn engines. And then these engines could be used to power factories so that you could amplify what human labor could do before. This factory right over here, it looks like they're creating fabric from some kind of thread or they might be sewing of some kind. And a human equipped with a power loom or with a sewing machine could produce much, much more than they could've ever produced before by hand. The steam engine and things like electricity also create a revolution in transportation, the transportation of goods and people, but also the movement of information. This right over here is a picture of a steamship, which you could use for trade, but you could also use it to project military power. This here is a railroad. Similarly, transport goods and people but it also allows you to keep control over a larger swath of territory. And this is a telegraph. And then a telegraph, all of a sudden, for the first time in history, you can communicate across the globe in a mere instant. And what used to take months to figure out what was going on could now happen in seconds. So, once again, this is valuable for trade, but it's also valuable for coordinating military power. So in large part to these revolutions that we're seeing, and we will study more in other videos, the map of the world looks very different roughly 150 years later. This is what the world looks like around the year 1900 and you immediately notice some differences from that previous map. Most of those colonial possessions in North and South America are now independent but you notice something dramatic happening in Africa and in much of Asia. Africa has now been carved up by the colonial powers. In this salmon color, you see where the British have control in much of South Africa and then around Egypt and Sudan and parts of East Africa. You see the French have control of Algeria and much of Eastern Africa. What started off for the British as a corporate possession in Eastern India has now grown to become a possession of the Crown. You have India, part of the British Empire. Even Japan, which is one of the first Asian countries to industrialize, is in on imperialism. It has control in Korea and in Taiwan. So why this kind of imperialism? There's always the standard motivations for imperialism that we've seen throughout world history. If you have conquest, that leads to more land plus people under your rule. And if you have more land, which is for the most part used for agriculture, well, you're going to have more taxes and wealth. So, taxes. And if you have more people, they will have output so you can tax that, but they can also be used, they could be taxed, so to speak, for war. They could produce more soldiers and so the more revenue and soldiers you have, well, that could help you just accrue more and more power. And so this is the classic loop that you see why most empires tried to expand and sometimes when they stopped expanding, you see that they started to decline. But now in this video, from the early 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, we have new things at play. We have the technological innovation from the Industrial Revolution, things like electricity and steam power. You see the notion of capitalism come into its prime, this focus on where do you maximize your returns for a given amount of capital that you have? And land is a form of capital, but as we will see or as we saw in some of those pictures, as technology becomes more and more valuable, things other than land become very important forms of capital, like factories, like railroads, like ships. And related to these two ideas, you have industrialization, which is the use of technology to become more productive, to increase output. And they all feed off of each other. A capitalist says, how do I get better return on my capital? Well, I should industrialize. I should make my factories more efficient. Well, to make my factories more efficient, I have to also invest in technology to get that industrialization. The more I industrialize, the better my profits, and so the more I am going to be able to invest in this cycle. As I'm trying to industrialize, I have all sorts of problems that I'm trying to solve, so it's going to drive the need to improve my technology. And those who develop the technology, well, they're going to have more capital to invest. So, once again, it's creating this cycle which is going to feed the fuel of imperialism. Think about it. In the Industrial Revolution, the owners of capital started to have more and more power. If you think about a factory... So that's my factory right over there. It takes raw materials... Raw materials. If you think about it, it's a clothing factory. It might take raw cotton or turn it into thread or it might take that cotton thread and then turn it into some type of fabric and then you have finished goods, maybe this is clothing. So even before the Industrial Revolution, people would take raw materials, do something to it, and then you would have finished goods. But now, this center portion is being supercharged by technology, by industrialization. It is really becoming the central focus and it's becoming more productive. So as it becomes more productive, there's a hunger for more raw materials. Where do you get those raw materials from? Well, if you're a small country like the United Kingdom or Japan, your raw materials are limited. But, there's the rest of the world and especially the rest of the world that is not at the same level of technological sophistication yet, so you can, perhaps, use your military in order to force them to trade with you. Similarly, what do you do with all of those finished goods? You have limited markets on your island, but what if you could sell to the hundreds of millions of people who aren't directly in your country? This desire for more raw materials and more and cheaper raw materials and this desire to sell your goods, the outputs of industrialization, this, to a significant degree, drove this imperialism, this colonization, and in general, a motivation for freer trade in general. When the free trade didn't happen freely, sometimes it was forced on the country that was being traded with. And as alluded to already, the technology which helped fuel this Industrial Revolution also made it easier to control a far-flung empire. Before the Industrial Revolution, a country like the United Kingdom being able to control this far-flung empire, this would've been impossible for the Romans or the Persians to do using their technology. But now you have the steamship, you have railroads, you have the telegraph, which are parts of this Industrial Revolution but they also allow you to project power and project power much quicker and much more efficiently than ever possible. So once again, technology, industrialization, and capitalism, these were the fuel of the Industrial Revolution. They provided the motivation for colonization, for imperialism, and freer trade in general. But then, that was able to be enforced because of that same technology. You could project your power through those steamships, railroads, and the telegraph.