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All agency action can be classified in three categories: quasi-adjudication: order making, judicial quasi-legislation: rulemaking executive
Posted On: Nov. 1, 2017
Author: Shipra

History Title of paper Western imperialism Student’s name Course name and number Instructor’s name Date submitted Imperialism Imperialism can be defined as a situation when a strong nation takes over another nation that is weak. In this process, the strong nation virtually dominates all aspects of the weaker nation viz. its economy, culture and politics as well. Subsequent to the industrial revolution, the imperialism became quite common among the European nations. These developed countries were continuously on the lookout for new sources of raw materials for manufacturing and at the same time, desperately looked for markets to offer these products. The aim was to expand their economies by obtaining raw materials which could be used to manufacture goods. These goods were in turn, transported back to the nations from where raw materials were obtained (Hobson 2011). For this purpose, the rage for acquiring new colonies was prevalent among the European nations. It is quite common for a stronger nation to dominate a weaker nation politically, economically, and socially. During the period 1500 to 1800, Europeans established colonies in Americas, India, Southeast Asia, Africa, & China. However European power was limited during this period. From 1870 to 1914, Japan, U. S. & industrialized nations of Europe became more aggressive in expanding into other lands. The focus was mostly in Asia and Africa. Declining empires and wars in these countries left them vulnerable. Causes of imperialism The causes of imperialism are broadly attributed to economic, political and social factors. The economic factors arose due to a strong need to obtain natural resources and look for new markets to sell the manufactured their products. This was the result of industrial revolution (Lenin 2010). There was also a need for a place for growing populations to settle down and place to invest the profits earned. Political factors gave rise to a need to set up bases for trade and military ships. It also gave power and security of global empire to the stronger nations. It generated a spirit of nationalism. The social factors led to spread of Christianity by the missionaries. They attempted to share the fruits of western civilization. Their belief was that western way of doing things are the best and their race is superior to others. This feeling of racism can be attributed to the Darwin’s theory which stated that it is the survival of the fittest that matters. The same theory can be applied to competition between nations. It was but natural for stronger nations to dominate weaker ones. The famous poem by Rudyard Kipling “white man’s burden” was the ideology put up by the stronger nations. It offered justification for imperialism. They felt that it was the moral duty of the White imperialist to educate less developed people. It spread western ideas, customs & religions to people in Africa & Asia. Western nations had advantages in terms of strong economies and governments. They had powerful military force in armies and navies. The superior technology could provide powerful guns, steam driven warships / railroads. The same was true in medical field where advances made by the western countries gave them advantage. All these had a form of imperial control. These controls were broadly exercised in three terms, viz. colony that was governed internally by a foreign power, Protectorate , that had own internal government but under the control of an outside power and Sphere of Influence, that had outside power that put claims on exclusive investment or trading rights. These coupled with internal factors enabled European imperialism. The internal factors refer to the variety of cultures and languages prevailing in the weaker nations that had low level of technology and ethnic strife were some of the causes of their downfall when they succumbed to the pressures of western countries. The ethnic tribes were scattered over different parts of the weaker nations. These were heavily populated and were rich in natural resources. The resource rich countries were geographically spread out in parts of east and West Africa, Egypt and most of the southern Africa and Asia. Colonial rule had both positive and negative impacts. The positive impact of the colonial rule were reduced local warfare, improved sanitation, hospitals & education, popularity of local products in European Market, improved infrastructure in Railroads, dams, telephones & telegraph lines(Lambert et al 2006). The negative impacts of the imperial rule were lost land & independence, death caused by new disease & resistance to change to cash crops which resulted in famine. There was also a breakdown of traditional culture. Finally European establishment of boundaries have given rise to the today’s problems. Influence of imperialism India and its reaction to imperialism The Indian sub continent is located in southern Asia. It is encapsulated by Himalayan Mountains in the north with mighty rivers such as Brahmaputra, Ganges, & Indus flowing through its plains. The country also has number of religions such as Hinduism (where Caste System prevails), Islam, Buddhism, Christian, and Sikh. The early civilization consisted of Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, Mauryas, and Mughals. The erratic monsoons decided the economy of the countries. The nations of the sub continent are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, & Sri Lanka. In India, British East India Company established its trading monopoly in 1600. In less than two decades, it obtained permission from the Mughal Empire to trade. It had its own army (Sepoys). With the decline of Mughals, the company controlled around 3/5th of India. It exercised its power that is usually associated with a form government. The Sepoy mutiny caused an alarm in the British circles. Indian soldiers felt that British military rulers were using ammunition that contained material against their religious beliefs. The mutiny of 1857 united Hindus and Muslims against the British. However, British used their military power to crush the revolt. Subsequently British Parliament ended the company’s rule of India and took control of the country. India was considered the Jewel in the Crown of English colonies. Its huge population of over 300 million people was a huge potential market. Indian businesses were crushed by prohibiting them for operating. India was a major supplier of cotton and opium. Raw materials were sent by British from India to England, who turned them into finished goods. These were sent to Indian markets for sale. British rule (popularly called The Raj) continued in India from 1757 to 1947. A cabinet minister in England directed the policy. British Governor General (Viceroy) was deputed to carry out government orders in India. A positive feature of British rule was establishment of a single law for everybody. All castes were equal. It also established English as an official language of communication. Some of the other positives of imperialism were improved infrastructure, building of schools, improved sanitation & public health, ending of local warfare and allowing Indians to study abroad (Lambert et al 2006). The negatives of imperialism were seen by the people as oppression. The British held all political & economic power. Indians were treated as second class citizens and conversion to cash crops caused famine. Indian cultural values, beliefs & practices were threatened. The oppression of British was intolerable to the people of India. Some reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy carried out awareness among its citizens and moved them away from traditional and obsolete practices such as child marriage, belief in caste system etc. They were social reformers. Formation of Indian National Congress in 1885, followed by formation of Muslim League in 1906 paved the way to partition and independence of India. China and its reaction to imperialism China was geographically isolated by huge rivers Huang He and Yangtze as well as Kunlun and Himalayan Mountains. It followed the principle of Ethnocentrism and viewed others as barbarians and inferior race. They had dynastic cycles and considered it as a mandate of Heaven (Chang 2007). The Europeans were interested in its products such as Tea, Silk and Porcelain. They also hoped to tap its huge market and source of cheap labor. The earlier rulers Manchu’s looked down upon foreigners with disdain. Interest for foreign goods was non- existent. However, it was the ethnocentrism of Chinese, which led to its fall (Brown 2000). They could not repeal the advances of Europeans who had strong military power. In late 1700’s British trade of opium in China led to people getting addicted to it. Chinese rulers realized its negative effects and tried to halt the opium trade. This led to what is popularly known as Opium War in 1839. British could easily defeat the Chinese. They forced the Chinese to sign the Treaty of Nanjing that had extremely harsh conditions for the Chinese. This a first in its series of uneven treaties signed with foreigners. The result was China had to open more ports for trade and also pay towards the cost of war. The first casualty was Hong Kong, which was given to British for rule. It also granted foreigners extraordinary rights, such as the right to be tried in their own courts and not the local courts of China. By the year 1898, China was divided into Spheres Of Influence by foreign powers. United States also pitched in with the plea that the “doors” of China be opened to all nations for trading. It protected the trade rights of all nations and made sure no single country colonized China. Reaction of China to imperialism also grew gradually. It began with Taiping Rebellion during the period 1850 to 1864, when Chinese peasants were inspired by Hong Xiuaquan and tried to overthrow Manchu Dynasty. It almost 14 years to crush and cost a huge amount of money and loss of lives as well. Later on the Boxer Rebellion took place in the year 1900. It was a secret society of Boxers, who rose to fight against foreign powers. A combined force of European, American and Japanese forces managed to crush their revolt. The net result was Chinese had to concede more to foreign powers. Japan and its reaction to imperialism Japan is located in the East Asia. Its natural geographical conditions favored isolation. Its culture was heavily influenced by China and Korea. It is an industrialized nation but lacks natural resources (Cunningham et al 2009). It was ruled by a feudal system Tokugawa Shogunate (1603 -1868) led by warrior class (Samurai). It brought stability to Japan but banned all contacts with the outside world. It led to its isolation. It also outlawed European products and Christian Missionaries. The opening of Japan to western influence took place in 1858, when U.S. Commodore Mathew Perry sailed into Tokyo Harbor. A request for opening of ports was made to the Japanese by them. Tokugawa Shoguns were faced with enormous military might and had to unwillingly agree to their terms. A Treaty of Kanagawa was signed in 1854, which put an end to Japanese isolation. The Meji Restoration of 1868 overthrew Tokugawa Shogunate and restored power of the Emperor. There was a strong centralized government and well defined constitution. Japan became an industrialized nation and simultaneously builds its military power. It also focused on building its infrastructure and economy (Auslin et al 2009). Modernization of Japan took place speedily that made it competitive with the west. Japan also tried to develop as an imperialistic power. It lacked natural resources but revamped its military which steered it towards imperialism. Japan could easily defeat China during Sino- Japanese war of 1894. It captured Taiwan and gained influence in Korea. The Russo- Japanese war of 1904 led to defeat of Russia in a conflict over Korea. The treaty of Portsmouth ended the war and Japan gained control over Manchuria. It annexed Korea in 1910. Domination of Korea by Japan is the prime example of imperialism at its worst. It took strong steps of closing newspapers and controlled schools. It replaced the study of Korean language and history with that of Japan. Korean business was replaced by Japanese business. Conclusion It was primarily the availability of cheap labor, vast markets and shortage of raw materials that forced the European nations to explore newer areas where they could find all of these in abundance. There was a mad rush among Dutch, British, US and French to race and gain control of these areas and establish colonies. However the European global empires collapsed suddenly in the later part of the 20th century. It is difficult to explain and put fingers on a single factor that led to their downfall. The general pattern after the First World War was that the victorious powers gorged up the overseas colonies of the loser. But in the outcome of the Second World War, it was the victors who lost hold of their colonial empires. This global process was followed all over the world where Europeans had established their colonies. It affected almost all the European empires, which had colonized the nations. The repressive measures taken by the Europeans to control, coupled with the feeling of nationalism, misfired (Memmi 2006). The educated elite realized their rights and started agitating for self- governing status and later on for independence. The divisive policies followed by the British in India and elsewhere sealed its fate and led to its own downfall. The shortages of food supplies in Britain due to war caused the locals to go against their own government. Some historians claim that the British economy was bankrupted by fighting the Second World War and hence Britain was devoid of resources to sustain its colonial empire. References Hobson J.A. (2011) Imperialism Cambridge University Press Lenin V. (2010) Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism Penguin Lambert D., Alan Lester (2006) Colonial Lives Across the British Empire: Imperial Careering in the Long Nineteenth Century Cambridge University Press Auslin M.R. (2009) Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy Harvard University Press Cunningham M.E., Lawrence J. Zwier (2009) The End of the Shoguns and the Birth of Modern Japan Twenty-First Century Books Brown M.E. (2000) The Rise of China MIT Press Chang C. (2007) The Rise of the Chinese Empire: Nation, state, & imperialism in early China, ca. 1600 B.C.-A.D. 8 University of Michigan Press Memmi A. (2006) Decolonization and the Decolonized University of Minnesota Press,