Essay on Key Events of the Imperial Expansion in 1860- 1914

Essay on Key Events of the Imperial Expansion in 1860- 1914

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Imperial expansion in 1860-1914 is often referred to as new imperialism, considering the first flush of territorial acquisitions that occurred in 15th &16th century. This expansion is deepening of the process of colonisation by Europeans in Africa and Asia, Japan in East Asia, and the United States in Central America and Asia. It was an aggressive extension of overseas territories, a ' White Man's Burden', establishing half a century of political and economic domination. This essay attempts to outline the sources and responses of this process.


Industrialisation driven markets acted as a catalyst:

This period is also characterised with further strengthening of heavy industries, factories and more global presence of industries in France, Japan, USA thereby, giving them a reason for territorial expansion. The rapid industrialisation resulted in increased production and hitherto, known luxuries became products of mass consumption however, it required a robust supply chain. So, there was a need to identify places which could provide raw material and those which will procure them for consumption, which could be easily satisfied by the colonies. The colonial powers competed for share in the market driven by the need of cheaper raw materials, labor and higher profits . The industrialisation had also, enabled development of a war military industry which gave them and advantage over their opponents such as in a battle between British and Sudanese in 1898, where British lost 368 men to 11,000 of Sudan or Japan’s defeat of China (1894) and Russia (1905).

Notion of Racial Superiority:

The new age colonisers lacked some of the egalitarian world view of the enlightenment age, they were marred by the notion that by virtue of being...

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... withi the colonisers themselves about the legitimacy of their actions

The subjugation also lead to colonies to introspect their systems and approaches therby, ushering in the reforms in there governance systems. After losing Taiwan and its tributary Korea to Japan in 1894-95, Qings of China undertook the Hundred Days’ Reform in 1898.

Since imperial expansion was driving on commercial intersts, the territorial powers invested heavily in roads, bridges, utilities, ports, railroads, and dams. They also brought technological advancements such as electricity, telegraph, telephones to the colonies thus making it mor interconnected world markets.However, this also spreaded virulent diseases, destroyed environment and ecology, traditions and cultures.
The subjugation and subsequent oppression fuelled the colonies and mobilise in Pan
Pan-Arabism, Pan- Africanism.

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