With each Regent is placed a Dutch Resident, or Assistant Resident, who is considered to be his "elder brother," and whose "orders" take the form of "recommendations," which are, however, implicitly obeyed. Along with each Assistant Resident is a Controller, a kind of inspector of all the lower native rulers, who periodically visits every village in the district, examines the proceedings of the native courts, hears complaints against the head-men or other native chiefs, and superintends the Government plantations.
France annexed all of Vietnam and Cambodia in the s; in the following decade, France completed its Indochinese empire with the annexation of Laos , leaving the kingdom of Siam now Thailand with an uneasy independence as a neutral buffer between British and French-ruled lands. China was defeated, and in agreed to the provisions of the Treaty of Nanking. Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain, and certain ports , including Shanghai and Guangzhou , were opened to British trade and residence. In , the Second Opium War broke out; the Chinese were again defeated and forced to the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin and the Convention of Peking.
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The treaty opened new ports to trade and allowed foreigners to travel in the interior. Missionaries gained the right to propagate Christianity, another means of Western penetration. The United States and Russia obtained the same prerogatives in separate treaties.
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Towards the end of the 19th century, China appeared on the way to territorial dismemberment and economic vassalage, the fate of India's rulers that had played out much earlier. Several provisions of these treaties caused long-standing bitterness and humiliation among the Chinese: extraterritoriality meaning that in a dispute with a Chinese person, a Westerner had the right to be tried in a court under the laws of his own country , customs regulation, and the right to station foreign warships in Chinese waters.
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The Dalai Lama fled into exile to China and Mongolia. The British were greatly concerned at the prospect of a Russian invasion of the Crown colony of India, though Russia — badly defeated by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War and weakened by internal rebellion — could not realistically afford a military conflict against Britain.
China under the Qing dynasty , however, was another matter. Natural disasters, famine and internal rebellions had enfeebled China in the late Qing. In the late 19th century, Japan and the Great Powers easily carved out trade and territorial concessions. These were humiliating submissions for the once-powerful China. Still, the central lesson of the war with Japan was not lost on the Russian General Staff: an Asian country using Western technology and industrial production methods could defeat a great European power.
Elliott criticized the allegation that China refused to modernize or was unable to defeat Western armies as simplistic, noting that China embarked on a massive military modernization in the late s after several defeats, buying weapons from Western countries and manufacturing their own at arsenals, such as the Hanyang Arsenal during the Boxer Rebellion. During the Ili crisis when Qing China threatened to go to war against Russia over the Russian occupation of Ili, the British officer Charles George Gordon was sent to China by Britain to advise China on military options against Russia should a potential war break out between China and Russia.
The Russians observed the Chinese building up their arsenal of modern weapons during the Ili crisis, the Chinese bought thousands of rifles from Germany. The Russian military observer D. Putiatia visited China in and found that in Northeastern China Manchuria along the Chinese-Russian border, the Chinese soldiers were potentially able to become adept at "European tactics" under certain circumstances, and the Chinese soldiers were armed with modern weapons like Krupp artillery, Winchester carbines, and Mauser rifles.
Compared to Russian controlled areas, more benefits were given to the Muslim Kirghiz on the Chinese controlled areas. Russian settlers fought against the Muslim nomadic Kirghiz, which led the Russians to believe that the Kirghiz would be a liability in any conflict against China. The Muslim Kirghiz were sure that in an upcoming war, that China would defeat Russia.
The Qing dynasty forced Russia to hand over disputed territory in Ili in the Treaty of Saint Petersburg , in what was widely seen by the west as a diplomatic victory for the Qing. Russian sinologists, the Russian media, threat of internal rebellion, the pariah status inflicted by the Congress of Berlin , the negative state of the Russian economy all led Russia to concede and negotiate with China in St Petersburg, and return most of Ili to China. Historians have judged the Qing dynasty's vulnerability and weakness to foreign imperialism in the 19th century to be based mainly on its maritime naval weakness while it achieved military success against westerners on land, the historian Edward L.
At the start of the Opium War, China had no unified navy and no sense of how vulnerable she was to attack from the sea; British forces sailed and steamed wherever they wanted to go. In the Arrow War —60 , the Chinese had no way to prevent the Anglo-French expedition of from sailing into the Gulf of Zhili and landing as near as possible to Beijing. Meanwhile, new but not exactly modern Chinese armies suppressed the midcentury rebellions, bluffed Russia into a peaceful settlement of disputed frontiers in Central Asia, and defeated the French forces on land in the Sino-French War — But the defeat of the fleet, and the resulting threat to steamship traffic to Taiwan, forced China to conclude peace on unfavorable terms.
The British and Russian consuls schemed and plotted against each other at Kashgar. In , Tsar Nicholas II sent a secret agent to China to collect intelligence on the reform and modernization of the Qing dynasty. Mannerheim was disguised as an ethnographic collector, using a Finnish passport. The correspondent Douglas Story observed Chinese troops in and praised their abilities and military skill. The rise of Japan as an imperial power after the Meiji Restoration led to further subjugation of China.
In a dispute over regional suzerainty, war broke out between China and Japan, resulting in another humiliating defeat for the Chinese. By the Treaty of Shimonoseki in , China was forced to recognize Korea 's exit from the Imperial Chinese tributary system , leading to the proclamation of the Korean Empire , and the island of Taiwan was ceded to Japan.
In , taking advantage of the murder of two missionaries , Germany demanded and was given a set of exclusive mining and railroad rights around Jiaozhou Bay in Shandong province. In , Russia obtained access to Dairen and Port Arthur and the right to build a railroad across Manchuria , thereby achieving complete domination over a large portion of northeast China.
The United Kingdom, France, and Japan also received a number of concessions later that year. At this time, much of China was divided up into "spheres of influence": Germany dominated the Shandong peninsula and the Yellow River valley; Russia dominated the Liaodong Peninsula and Manchuria; the United Kingdom dominated Weihaiwei and the Yangtze Valley; France dominated the Guangzhou Bay and several other southern provinces neighboring its colony in Vietnam. China continued to be divided up into these spheres until the United States, which had no sphere of influence, grew alarmed at the possibility of its businessmen being excluded from Chinese markets.
In , Secretary of State John Hay asked the major powers to agree to a policy of equal trading privileges. In , several powers agreed to the U. In any event, it was in the European powers' interest to have a weak but independent Chinese government. The privileges of the Europeans in China were guaranteed in the form of treaties with the Qing government. In the event that the Qing government collapsed, each power risked losing the privileges that it had negotiated. The erosion of Chinese sovereignty contributed to a spectacular anti-foreign outbreak in June , when the " Boxers " properly the society of the "righteous and harmonious fists" attacked foreign legations in Beijing.
This Boxer Rebellion provoked a rare display of unity among the colonial powers, who formed the Eight-Nation Alliance. Troops landed at Tianjin and marched on the capital, which they took on 14 August; the foreign soldiers then looted and occupied Beijing for several months. German forces were particularly severe in exacting revenge for the killing of their ambassador , while Russia tightened its hold on Manchuria in the northeast until its crushing defeat by Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of — Although extraterritorial jurisdiction was abandoned by the United Kingdom and the United States in , foreign political control of parts of China only finally ended with the incorporation of Hong Kong and the small Portuguese territory of Macau into the People's Republic of China in and respectively.
Mainland Chinese historians refer to this period as the century of humiliation. The classic Great Game period is generally regarded as running approximately from the Russo-Persian Treaty of to the Anglo-Russian Convention of , in which nations like Emirate of Bukhara fell.
A less intensive phase followed the Bolshevik Revolution of , causing some trouble with Persia and Afghanistan until the mid s. The only regions not under European control in were Liberia and Ethiopia. Britain's formal occupation of Egypt in , triggered by concern over the Suez Canal , contributed to a preoccupation over securing control of the Nile River , leading to the conquest of neighboring Sudan in , which in turn led to confrontation with a French military expedition at Fashoda in September In , Britain set out to complete its takeover of the future South Africa , which it had begun in with the annexation of the Cape Colony , by invading the gold-rich Afrikaner republics of Transvaal and the neighboring Orange Free State.
Britain's quest for southern Africa and its diamonds led to social complications and fallouts that lasted for years. To work for their prosperous company, British businessmen hired both white and black South Africans. But when it came to jobs, the white South Africans received the higher paid and less dangerous ones, leaving the black South Africans to risk their lives in the mines for limited pay. This process of separating the two groups of South Africans, whites and blacks, was the beginning of segregation between the two that lasted until Paradoxically, the United Kingdom, a staunch advocate of free trade, emerged in with not only the largest overseas empire, thanks to its long-standing presence in India, but also the greatest gains in the conquest of Africa, reflecting its advantageous position at its inception.
Until , Belgium had no colonial presence in Africa. Operating under the pretense of an international scientific and philanthropic association, it was actually a private holding company owned by Leopold. Neither the Belgian government nor the Belgian people had any interest in imperialism at the time, and the land came to be personally owned by King Leopold II.
The other European countries at the conference allowed this to happen on the conditions that he suppress the East African slave trade, promote humanitarian policies, guarantee free trade, and encourage missions to Christianize the people of the Congo. In order to make this profit, he passed several cruel decrees that can be considered to be genocide. He forced the natives to supply him with rubber and ivory without any sort of payment in return.
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Their wives and children were held hostage until the workers returned with enough rubber or ivory to fill their quota, and if they could not, their family would be killed. When villages refused, they were burned down; the children of the village were murdered and the men had their hands cut off.
These policies led to uprisings, but they were feeble compared to European military and technological might, and were consequently crushed. The forced labor was opposed in other ways: fleeing into the forests to seek refuge or setting the rubber forests on fire, preventing the Europeans from harvesting the rubber. No population figures exist from before or after the period, but it is estimated that as many as 10 million people died from violence, famine and disease.
For example, he had some Congolese pygmies sing and dance at the World Fair in Belgium, showing how he was supposedly civilizing and educating the natives of the Congo. Under significant international pressure, the Belgian government annexed the territory in and renamed it the Belgian Congo , removing it from the personal power of the king.
In Oceania, France got a leading position as imperial power after making Tahiti and New Caledonia protectorates in and respectively. This period ended as a result of the Chilean merchant fleet's destruction by Spanish forces in , during the Chincha Islands War. Chile's Polynesian aspirations would again be awakened in the aftermath of the country's decisive victory against Peru in the War of the Pacific , which left the Chilean fleet as the dominant maritime force in the Pacific coast of the Americas.
After Toro transferred the rights to the island's sheep ranching operations from Tahiti-based businesses to the Chilean-based Williamson-Balfour Company in , Easter Island's annexation process was culminated with the signing of the "Agreement of Wills" between Rapa Nui chieftains and Toro, in name of the Chilean government, in The extension of European control over Africa and Asia added a further dimension to the rivalry and mutual suspicion which characterized international diplomacy in the decades preceding World War I.
France's seizure of Tunisia in initiated fifteen years of tension with Italy, which had hoped to take the country, retaliating by allying with Germany and waging a decade-long tariff war with France. Britain's takeover of Egypt a year later caused a marked cooling of her relations with France. The most striking conflicts of the era were the Spanish—American War of and the Russo-Japanese War of —05, each signaling the advent of a new imperial great power ; the United States and Japan, respectively.
European goods, ideas, and diseases shaped the changing continent. As Europeans established their colonies, their societies also became segmented and divided along religious and racial lines. Most people in these societies were not free; they labored as servants or slaves, doing the work required to produce wealth for others. By , the American continent had become a place of stark contrasts between slavery and freedom, between the haves and the have-nots.
Everywhere in the American colonies, a crushing demand for labor existed to grow New World cash crops, especially sugar and tobacco. This need led Europeans to rely increasingly on Africans, and after , the movement of Africans across the Atlantic accelerated. The English crown chartered the Royal African Company in , giving the company a monopoly over the transport of African slaves to the English colonies. Over the next four decades, the company transported around , Africans from their homelands. By , the tiny English sugar island of Barbados had a population of fifty thousand slaves, and the English had encoded the institution of chattel slavery into colonial law.
This new system of African slavery came slowly to the English colonists, who did not have slavery at home and preferred to use servant labor. Nevertheless, by the end of the seventeenth century, the English everywhere in America—and particularly in the Chesapeake Bay colonies—had come to rely on African slaves. While Africans had long practiced slavery among their own people, it had not been based on race. Africans enslaved other Africans as war captives, for crimes, and to settle debts; they generally used their slaves for domestic and small-scale agricultural work, not for growing cash crops on large plantations.