colonialism, Western

colonialism, Western


      a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world.

      The age of modern colonialism began about 1500, following the European discoveries of a sea route around Africa's southern coast (1488) and of America (1492). With these events sea power shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and to the emerging nation-states of Portugal, Spain, the Dutch Republic, France, and England. By discovery, conquest, and settlement, these nations expanded and colonized throughout the world, spreading European institutions and culture.

European expansion before 1763

Antecedents of European expansion
      Medieval Europe was largely self-contained until the First Crusade (Crusades) (1096–99), which opened new political and commercial communications with the Muslim Near East. Although Christian crusading states founded in Palestine and Syria proved ephemeral, commercial relations continued, and the European end of this trade fell largely into the hands of Italian cities.

Early European trade with Asia
      The Oriental land and sea routes terminated at ports in the Crimea, until 1461 at Trebizond (now Trabzon, Turkey), Constantinople (now Istanbul), Asiatic Tripoli (in modern Lebanon), Antioch (in modern Turkey), Beirut (in modern Lebanon), and Alexandria (Egypt), where Italian galleys exchanged European for Eastern products.

      Competition between Mediterranean nations for control of Asiatic commerce gradually narrowed to a contest between Venice and Genoa, with the former winning when it severely defeated its rival city in 1380; thereafter, in partnership with Egypt, Venice principally dominated the Oriental trade coming via the Indian Ocean and Red Sea to Alexandria.

      Overland routes were not wholly closed, but the conquests of the central Asian warrior Timur (Tamerlane)—whose empire broke into warring fragments after his death in 1405—and the advantages of a nearly continuous sea voyage from the Middle and Far East to the Mediterranean gave Venice a virtual monopoly of some Oriental products, principally spices (spice trade). The word spices then had a loose application and extended to many Oriental luxuries, but the most valuable European imports were pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

      The Venetians distributed these expensive condiments throughout the Mediterranean region and northern Europe; they were shipped to the latter first by pack trains up the Rhône Valley and, after 1314, by Flanders' galleys to the Low Countries, western Germany, France, and England. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 did not seriously affect Venetian control. Although other Europeans resented this dominance of the trade, even the Portuguese discovery and exploitation of the Cape of Good Hope route could not altogether break it.

      Early Renaissance Europe was short of cash money, though it had substantial banks in northern Italy and southern Germany. Florence possessed aggregations of capital, and its Bardi bank in the 14th century and the Medici successor in the 15th financed much of the eastern Mediterranean trade.

      Later, during the great discoveries, the Augsburg houses of Fugger and Welser furnished capital for voyages and New World enterprises.

      Gold came from Central Africa by Saharan caravan from Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) near the Niger, and interested persons in Portugal knew something of this. When Prince Henry the Navigator undertook sponsorship of Portuguese discovery voyages down the west coast of Africa, a principal motive was to find the mouth of a river to be ascended to these mines.

Technological improvements
      Europe had made some progress in discovery before the main age of exploration. The discoveries of the Madeira Islands and the Azores in the 14th century by Genoese seamen could not be followed up immediately, however, because they had been made in galleys built for the Mediterranean and ill suited to ocean travel; the numerous rowers that they required and their lack of substantial holds left only limited room for provisions and cargo. In the early 15th century all-sails vessels, the caravels (caravel), largely superseded galleys for Atlantic travel; these were light ships, having usually two but sometimes three masts, ordinarily equipped with lateen sails but occasionally square-rigged. When longer voyages began, the nao, or carrack, proved better than the caravel; it had three masts and square rigging and was a rounder, heavier ship, more fitted to cope with ocean winds.

      Navigational instruments (navigation) were improved. The compass, probably imported in primitive form from the Orient, was gradually developed until, by the 15th century, European pilots were using an iron pin that pivoted in a round box. They realized that it did not point to the true north, and no one at that time knew of the magnetic pole, but they learned approximately how to correct the readings. The astrolabe, used for determining latitude by the altitude of stars, had been known since Roman times, but its employment by seafarers was rare, even as late as 1300; it became more common during the next 50 years, though most pilots probably did not possess it and often did not need it because most voyages took place in the narrow waters of the Mediterranean or Baltic or along western European coasts. For longitude, then and many years thereafter, dead reckoning had to be employed, but this could be reasonably accurate when done by experts.

      The typical medieval map had been the planisphere, or mappemonde, which arranged the three known continents in circular form on a disk surface and illustrated a concept more theological than geographical. The earliest surviving specimens of the portolanic (portolan chart), or harbour-finding, charts date from shortly before 1300 and are of Pisan and Genoese origin. Portolanic maps aided voyagers by showing Mediterranean coastlines with remarkable accuracy, but they gave no attention to hinterlands. As Atlantic sailings increased, the coasts of western Europe and Africa south of the Strait of Gibraltar were shown somewhat correctly, though less so than for the Mediterranean.

The first European empires (16th century)
Portugal's seaborne empire
      Following Christopher Columbus' first voyage, the rulers of Portugal and Spain, by the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), partitioned the non-Christian world between them by an imaginary line in the Atlantic, 370 leagues (about 1,300 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands. Portugal could claim and occupy everything to the east of the line and Spain everything to the west (though no one then knew where the demarcation would bisect the other side of the globe). Portuguese rule in India, the East Indies, and Brazil rested on this treaty, as well as on Portuguese discoveries and on papal sanction (Pope Leo X, by a bull of 1514, forbade others to interfere with Portugal's possessions). Except for such minor incursions as those of Ferdinand Magellan's surviving ship in 1522 and the Englishman Sir Francis Drake's voyage around the world in 1577–80, the Portuguese operated in the East for nearly a century without European competition. They faced occasional Oriental enemies but weathered these dangers with their superior ships, gunnery, and seamanship.

      Territorially, theirs was scarcely an empire; it was a commercial operation based on possession of fortifications and posts strategically situated for trade. This policy was carried out principally by two viceroys, Francisco de Almeida in 1505–09 and Afonso de Albuquerque in 1509–15. Almeida seized several eastern African and Indian points and defeated a Muslim naval coalition off Diu (now in Goa, Daman, and Diu union territory, India). Albuquerque endeavoured to gain a monopoly of European spice trade for his country by sealing off all entrances and exits of the Indian Ocean competing with the Portuguese route around the Cape of Good Hope. In 1510 he took Goa, in western India, which became the capital and stronghold of the Portuguese East, and in 1511 he captured Malacca at the farther end of the ocean. Later he subdued Hormuz (now in Iran), commanding the Persian Gulf. They brought soldiers from the home country in limited numbers; but the Portuguese also relied on alliances with native states and enlisted sepoy troops, a policy later followed by the French and English.

      Portugal never fully dominated the Indian Ocean because it lacked warships necessary to control the vast water expanse. Albuquerque's failure to capture Aden at the Red Sea entrance allowed the old traffic through Egypt to Venice to resume following an initial dislocation, and this continued after the Ottoman Turks conquered Egypt in 1517. Much of the Indian Ocean trade was local and, until the Portuguese incursion, had been conducted by Arabs or at least by Muslims. The Portuguese, who at first had intended to oust the Arabs entirely, found it impossible to manage without them. The Hindus, whom they hoped to use for local trade purposes, proved unenterprising and had caste restrictions regarding sea voyages. Muslims were soon trafficking again vigorously, with Portuguese sanction.

      Portuguese subjects also pressed beyond the Strait of Malacca to the East Indies, Siam (now Thailand), and Canton in Ming-dynasty China. Trade with the celestial empire, difficult at first because of China's exclusionist policies, at length grew, especially after Portugal in 1557 leased Macau, through which for the next 300 years passed much of the Occidental trade with China. Individual Portuguese reached Japan in 1542, followed by traders and Francis Xavier (later made a saint), a renowned Jesuit missionary who laboured with small success to make converts. In the 17th century, the Japanese adopted a rigorous exclusionist policy, although they allowed Portugal's successors, the Dutch, to conduct a limited trade from the small island of Deshima, near Nagasaki.

      Partial domination of the Indian Ocean and much of its valuable trade did not bring Portugal's crown as much profit as had been anticipated. The intention had been to make Oriental trade a royal monopoly; but Portuguese, from viceroys to humble soldiers and seamen, became private merchants and lined their own pockets to the deprivation of the royal treasury. The Eastern footholds were expensive to maintain, and frequent mishaps to vessels of the Indian fleets, from shipwreck or enemies, reduced gains. The lack of a true monopoly prevented the Portuguese from charging the prices that they wished in European markets. Moreover, Lisbon, while an ideal starting point for voyages around the Cape, proved poorly situated as a distribution centre for spice to northern and central Europe. Antwerp, on the Scheldt, was far superior, and for a time Portugal maintained a trading house there; but Portuguese agents found spice sales taken out of their hands by more experienced Italian, German, and Flemish merchants, and the Antwerp establishment was closed in 1549.

      It has been asserted that the Portuguese had no racial prejudice, but their record proves the opposite. In the 16th and 17th centuries, they could not be expected to be tolerant of Oriental religions, although they soon recognized that wholesale conversion to Catholicism was impossible. Some Africans and Asiatics became Christians and even entered the clergy; but seldom if ever did they rise above the status of parish priests. In other affairs the Portuguese generally treated the dark-skinned peoples as inferiors.

      The east coast of Brazil belonged to Portugal by the Tordesillas pact. The government of Manuel I and his successor, John III (ruled 1521–57), paid it small attention for 30 years. It proved nearly useless as a way station to the Cape; its Indian population was savage, and its products, consisting chiefly of pau-brasil (Brazilian dyewood), yielded much less revenue than those of India. Threats of French and Spanish intrusion caused John III, in 1530, to send Martim Afonso de Sousa to make a careful survey of the Brazilian coast and to suggest sites for colonization. Next, the littoral was partitioned into strips called capitanias, each colonized and governed under feudal terms by a proprietor, or donatário. Some limited settlement followed, and in 1549 the capitanias were united under a governor general who established residence at Bahia (now Salvador, Brazil).

      In 1580 Philip II of Spain seized the Portuguese throne, which had fallen vacant and to which he had some blood claim. Portugal remained theoretically independent, bound only by a personal union to its neighbour; but succeeding Spanish monarchs steadily encroached on its liberties until the small kingdom became, in effect, a conquered province. Spain's European enemies meanwhile descended on the Portuguese Empire and ended its Eastern supremacy before the restoration of Portugal's independence in 1640.

Spain's American (Americas) empire

The conquests
      Only gradually did the Spaniards realize the possibilities of America. They had completed the occupation of the larger West Indian islands by 1512, though they largely ignored the smaller ones, to their ultimate regret. Thus far they had found lands nearly empty of treasure, populated by naked primitives who died off rapidly on contact with Europeans. In 1508 an expedition did leave Hispaniola to colonize the mainland, and, after hardship and decimation, the remnant settled at Darién on the Isthmus of Panama, from which in 1513 Vasco Núñez de Balboa made his famous march to the Pacific. On the Isthmus the Spaniards heard garbled reports of the wealth and splendour of Inca Peru. Balboa was succeeded (and judicially murdered) by Pedrarias Dávila, who turned his attention to Central America and founded Nicaragua.

      Expeditions sent by Diego Velázquez, governor of Cuba, made contact with the decayed Mayan (Maya) civilization of Yucatán and brought news of the cities and precious metals of Aztec Mexico. Hernán Cortés (Cortés, Hernán, marqués del Valle de Oaxaca) entered Mexico from Cuba in 1519 and spent two years overthrowing the Aztec confederation, which dominated Mexico's civilized heartland. The Spaniards used firearms effectively but did most of their fighting with pikes and blades, aided by numerous Indian allies who hated the dominant Aztecs. The conquest of Aztec Mexico led directly to that of Guatemala and about half of Yucatán, whose geography and warlike inhabitants slowed Spanish progress.

      Mexico yielded much gold and silver, and the conquerors imagined still greater wealth and wonders to the north. None of this existed, but it seemed real when a northern wanderer, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, in 1536 brought to Mexico an exciting but fanciful report of the fabulous lands. Expeditions explored northern Mexico and the southern part of what is now the United States—notably the expedition of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo by sea along what are now the California and Oregon coasts and the expeditions of Hernando de Soto and Francisco Vázquez Coronado through the southeastern and southwestern U.S. regions. These brought geographical knowledge but nothing of value to the Spaniards, who for years thereafter ignored the northern regions.

      Meanwhile, the Pizarro (Pizarro, Gonzalo) brothers—Francisco Pizarro and his half-brothers Gonzalo and Hernando—entered the Inca Empire from Panama in 1531 and proceeded with its conquest. Finding the huge realm divided by a recent civil war over the throne, they captured and executed the incumbent usurper, Atahualpa. But the conquest took years to complete; the Pizarros had to crush a formidable native rising and to defeat their erstwhile associate, Diego de Almagro, who felt cheated of his fair share of the spoils. The Pizarros and their followers took and divided a great amount of gold and silver, with prospects of more from the mines of Peru and Bolivia. By-products of the Inca conquest were the seizure of northern Chile by Pedro de Valdivia and the descent of the entire Amazon by Francisco de Orellana. Other conquistadors entered the regions of what became Ecuador, Colombia, and Argentina. (See Latin America, history of.)

      A colonial period of nearly three centuries followed the major Spanish conquests. The empire was created in a time of rising European absolutism, which flourished in both Spain and Spanish America and reached its height in the 18th century. The overseas colonies became and remained the king's private estate.

Spanish colonial policies
      Shortly before the death of Queen Isabella I in 1504, the Spanish sovereigns created the House of Trade (Casa de Contratación (Contratación, Casa de)) to regulate commerce between Spain and the New World. Their purpose was to make the trade monopolistic and thus pour the maximum amount of bullion into the royal treasury. This policy, seemingly successful at first, fell short later because Spain failed to provide necessary manufactured goods for its colonies, foreign competitors appeared, and smuggling grew.

      In 1524 Charles V created the Council of the Indies (Indies, Council of the) (Consejo de Indias) as a lawmaking body for the colonies. During the three centuries of its existence, this council enacted a massive amount of legislation, though much grew obsolete and became a dead letter. The industrious Philip II died in 1598, and his indolent or incompetent successors left American affairs to the Casa and Consejo; both proved generally conscientious and hard-working bodies, though, for a time in the 17th century, appointments to the legislating council could be purchased.

      The viceregal system dated from 1535, when Antonio de Mendoza was sent to govern New Spain, or Mexico, bypassing the still-vigorous Cortés. A second viceroy was named for Peru in 1542, and the viceroyalties of New Granada and Río de la Plata were formed in 1739 and 1776, respectively. By the 18th century, viceroys served average terms of five years, and under them functioned a hierarchy of bureaucrats, nearly all sent from Spain to occupy frequently lucrative posts. American-born Spaniards resented this favouritism shown the peninsular Spaniards, and their jealousy accounted in part for their later separation from Spain. Lower socially and economically than either white class were the mestizo offspring of white and Indian matings, and still lower were the Indians and black slaves.

      Though a belief to the contrary exists, Spain sent many colonists to America. One indication of this is the number of new cities founded, distinct from the old Indian culture centres. A partial list of such cities, besides the early island ones, includes Vera Cruz, New Spain; Panama, Cartagena, and Guayaquil, in New Granada (in modern Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador, respectively); Lima, Peru; and all those of what are now Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.

      A problem early faced and never truly solved by Spain was that of the Indians. The home government was generally benevolent in legislating for their welfare but could not altogether enforce its humane policies in distant America. The foremost controversy in early decades involved the encomienda, by which Indian groups were entrusted to Spanish proprietors, who in theory cared for them physically and spiritually in return for rights to tribute and labour but who in practice often abused and enslaved them.

      Spanish Dominican friars were the first to condemn the encomienda and work for its abolition; the outstanding reformer was a missionary, Bartolomé de Las Casas (Las Casas, Bartolomé de), who devoted most of his long life to the Indian cause. He secured passage of laws in 1542 ordering the early abolition of the encomienda, but efforts to enforce these brought noncompliance in New Spain and armed rebellion in Peru. A belief held by some Spanish theologians—that Indians were inferior beings who were destined to be natural slaves, to be subdued and forcibly converted to Christianity—generally prevailed over the opposition of Las Casas and fellow Dominicans. The encomienda or its equivalent endured, although this feudal institution declined as royal absolutism grew.

      The Indians became real or nominal Christians, but their numbers shrank, less from slaughter and exploitation than from Old World diseases, frequently smallpox, for which they had no inherited immunity. The aboriginal West Indian population virtually disappeared in a few generations, to be replaced by black slaves. Indian numbers shrank in all mainland areas: at the beginning of Spanish settlement there were perhaps 50,000,000 aborigines; the figure had decreased to an estimated 4,000,000 in the 17th century, after which it slowly rose again. Meanwhile the hybrid mestizo element grew and—to a limited extent—replaced the Indians.

      The Leyenda Negra ( Black Legend) propagated by critics of Spanish policy still contributes to the general belief that Spain exceeded other nations in cruelty to subject populations; on the other hand, a review of Spain's record suggests that it was no worse than other nations and, in fact, produced a greater number of humanitarian reformers. When Dominican zeal declined, the new and powerful Jesuit order became the major Indian protector and led in missionary activity until its expulsion from the Spanish Empire in 1767; the Jesuits took charge of large converted native communities, notably in the area of the viceroyalty of Río de la Plata that is now Paraguay, in their paternalism often imposing stern discipline.

Effects of the discoveries and empires
      Before the discovery of America and the sea route to Asia, the Mediterranean had been the trading and naval centre of Europe and the Near East. Italian seamen were rightly considered to be the best, and they commanded the first royally sponsored transatlantic expeditions—Columbus for Spain, John Cabot for England, and Giovanni da Verrazano for France.

Europe's shift to the Atlantic
      Until then the Western countries had lain on the fringe of civilization, with nothing apparently beyond them but Iceland and small islands. With the discovery of the Cape route and America, nations formerly peripheral found themselves central, with geographical forces impelling them to leadership.

      The Mediterranean did not become a backwater, and the Venetian republic remained a major commercial power in the 16th century. Venice's decline came in the 17th, though the Venetians were still formidable against the Turks. As the more powerful Dutch, French, and English replaced the Eastern pioneers of Portugal, however, the burden of competition became more than the venerable republic could bear. The last decisive naval battle fought wholly by Mediterranean seamen was Lepanto (Náupaktos, Greece), where Don John of Austria, in 1571, commanding Spanish and Italian galleys, defeated an Ottoman fleet. Although Atlantic powers thereafter often fought in the Mediterranean, they mainly fought each other, while the Italian cities became pawns in international politics. The nation-state was superseding the small principality and city-state, a trend that had begun before the discoveries. The new nations lay on the Atlantic; and, though Spain and France had Mediterranean frontages, the advantage went to those seaports belonging to substantial countries with ready access to the outer world.

Changes in Europe
      The opening of old lands in Asia and new ones in America changed Europe forever, and the Iberian countries understandably felt the changes first. The Portuguese government, for a time, made large profits from its Eastern trade, and individuals prospered; but Oriental luxuries were costly compared with the European goods that Portugal offered, and the balance had to be made up in specie. This eastward drain of gold and silver had gone on long before Portuguese imperial times, but it was now intensified. Much of the bullion reaching the Orient did not circulate but was hoarded or made into ornaments; consequently, there was no inflation in Asia, and prices there did not rise enough to create a demand for Western goods, which would have reversed the flow of bullion from the West. The Portuguese obtained most of the precious metal for this trade from spice sales through Antwerp and from Africa. The drain proved critical, and, by the reign of John III, the government found itself hard pressed economically and forced to abandon overseas posts that were a financial burden. Later, beginning in the 17th century, Portugal drew its own supply of jewels and gold from Brazil.

      Spain's case was the reverse; although the first American lands discovered yielded little mineral wealth, the mines of Mexico by the 1520s and those of Potosí (in modern Bolivia) by the 1540s were shipping to Spain large quantities of bullion, much of it crown revenue. This did not furnish Charles V and Philip II their largest income; Spanish taxation still exceeded wealth from the New World, yet American silver and gold proved sufficient to cause a price revolution in Spain, where costs, depending on the region, were multiplied by three and five during the 16th century. The Spanish government wished to keep bullion from leaving the kingdom, but high prices in Spain made it a good market for outside products. Spanish industry declined in the 16th century, in part because of the sales taxes imposed by the crown, which necessitated more buying of foreign merchandise. Great quantities of bullion had to be poured out to finance the expensive Spanish European empire and the costly wars and diplomacy of Charles V and Philip II, both of whom were constantly in debt.

      Price rises followed in other countries, largely from the influx of Spanish bullion. In England, where some statistics are available, costs by 1650 had risen by 250 percent over those of 1500.

      The European commercial revolution, which brought increased industry, more trade, and larger banks, had begun before the discoveries, but it received stimulus from them. Bullion from America helped create a money economy, replacing the older and largely barter exchange—a trend accentuated by greater European mineral production in the early 16th century. The trade emporiums of Italy and the Baltic Hanseatic League declined and were largely replaced by those of the Dutch Republic, England, and France. Joint-stock companies made an impressive appearance, notably the East India Companies of the Dutch Republic, England, and France in the 17th century. The mercantile theory that precious metals constitute the true wealth, though it had attracted advocates for a long time, now came into full vogue and continued to dominate economic thinking.

      Discovery introduced Europe to new foods and beverages. Coffee, from Ethiopia, had been consumed in Arabia and Egypt before its wide European use began in the 17th century. Tobacco, an American plant smoked by Indians, won an Old World market despite many individual objectors; the same proved true of chocolate from Mexico and tea from Asia. The South American potato became a staple food in such places as Ireland and central Europe. Cotton, from the Old World, took firm root in the New, from which Europe received an enormously increased supply. Sugar, introduced to the American tropics, along with its molasses and rum derivatives, in time became the principal exports of those regions. Spice was certainly more plentiful than before the discoveries, though the Dutch, when they controlled the East Indies, were able to limit production and thus to keep the price of cloves and nutmegs high.

      The influence of the discoveries permeated literature. Sir Thomas More's Utopia, printed in 1516 and dealing with an imaginary island, was suggested by South America. The Portuguese poet Luís de Camões recounted the voyage of Vasco da Gama, though fancifully, in epic verse. Michel de Montaigne discoursed upon American savages, some of whom he had seen in France. Christopher Marlowe's drama Tamburlaine (1587), though based on the life of the Asiatic conqueror, was an exhortation to his fellow Englishmen to penetrate the New World.

      Historiography acquired a broader base by taking the newly discovered lands into account. Astronomy was revolutionized by European penetration of the Southern Hemisphere and discovery of constellations unknown before. Map makers, typified by the Fleming Gerardus Mercator and the Dutchman Abraham Ortelius, portrayed the world in terms that are still recognizable.

Colonies from northern Europe and mercantilism (17th century)
      The northern Atlantic powers, for understandable reasons, acquired no permanent overseas possessions before 1600. The United Provinces of the Netherlands spent the final decades of the 16th century winning independence from Spain; France had constant European involvements and wars of religion; England, matrimonially allied with Spain as late as 1558, was undergoing its Protestant Reformation and long was unwilling to challenge predominant Spain openly in any manner.

The Dutch
      Although England's defeat of Philip II's Armada in 1588 helped to lessen Spanish sea power, it was the Dutch who early in the next century really broke that power and became the world's foremost naval and commercial nation, with science and skills commensurate with their prowess. Only late in the 17th century did they decline, because of Holland's limited size and the inferiority of its geographical position to England's. The Dutch, meanwhile, penetrated all the known oceans, including the Arctic, and waged unrelenting war against the Iberian kingdoms.

      The Dutch coveted the Portuguese commercial empire more than the Spanish continental one. They took much of the Portuguese East and invaded Brazil (1624–54), the richer half of which they controlled for a time. They also penetrated Portuguese Angola, which they desired because the slaves it exported were beginning to work the Brazilian plantations. They ultimately failed in the South Atlantic, though they gained Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), Curaçao, and what later became British Guiana (Guyana). Meanwhile, Willem Schouten, one of their free-lance voyagers, had made the discovery of Cape Horn in 1616.

Eastern pursuits
      The Dutch States-General, in 1602, chartered the United East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, popularly called the Dutch East India Company), a joint-stock enterprise with investment open to all. In control was a board of 17 directors, the so-called Heeren XVII, who received a monopoly of navigational rights eastward around the Cape of Good Hope and westward through the Strait of Magellan. They could make treaties with native princes on behalf of the States-General (from which they were scarcely separable), establish garrisoned forts, and appoint governors and justices. The company had no interest in extending Protestantism, and there was no mention of religious conversion, though Calvinist ministers later gained converts in the East, mostly in communities previously made Catholic by Portuguese Jesuits.

      The company established headquarters first at Bantam in Java in 1607, later moving them to Jacatra, renamed Batavia (now Jakarta), in the same island. Its two main objectives were the ouster of European competitors—Portuguese, English, and Spanish—and dominance of local trade, previously in native hands. Portuguese vigour had somewhat declined, and the Dutch were victorious in most armed encounters. They also squeezed out the English, whose own East India Company thereafter concentrated efforts in the Indian peninsula.

      The principal builder of the Dutch Oriental empire was Jan Pieterszoon Coen, company governor general from 1618 to 1623 and again from 1627 until his death in 1629. Financially, local trade monopoly was even more important than the expulsion of white competitors. The extension of Dutch control to islands beyond Java had started before the governorship of Coen, who accentuated the process. He and other company officials behaved ruthlessly; for example, when the inhabitants of the nutmeg-growing island of Great Banda (modern Pulau Banda Besar in Indonesia) resisted the Dutch in 1621, Coen had 2,500 of the inhabitants massacred and 800 more transported to Batavia. Company policy was to restrict clove production to Amboina and a few neighbouring islands firmly under Dutch control. To insure this, about 65,000 clove trees were destroyed in the Moluccas, and Dutch subjection of Macassar made the monopoly virtually complete. In 1656 the famous Moluccas were described as a wilderness. Besides being a conqueror, Coen was an able businessman and an economist. When he died he was engaged in gaining a monopoly of the pepper of interior Sumatra, which was later sealed off securely by the fall of Portuguese Malacca in 1641.

      Batavia became the focal point of the Dutch East, and through it passed the commerce of China, Japan, India, Ceylon, and Persia, bound for Europe or other Oriental ports. The Dutch never monopolized the China trade because the Portuguese held Macau, the Spaniards held Manila, and the Japanese, for a time, engaged in this commerce. The Dutch gained a foothold in Formosa in 1624 but lost it to a Chinese pirate in 1662. After Japan became exclusionist in 1641, a trickle of Dutch trade continued to enter it through the small island of Deshima (now part of Nagasaki, Japan), even after the dissolution of the United East India Company in 1799.

      The economy of Java changed somewhat after the importation of the coffee plant in 1696. Coffee, often simply called java, rapidly became a major island crop and was exported from there to Dutch America. The company had earlier brought coffee to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), but that experiment had failed when a blight attacked its leaves. The company ousted the Portuguese from Ceylon and dominated the island until it was itself dispossessed by the British in 1796. Under its jurisdiction, as earlier, the major Ceylonese export was cinnamon, though the Dutch also dealt in jewels and pepper and carried on a trade in elephants.

      In their constant search for commercial outlets, the company's officials sponsored new exploration. Coen's ablest successor, Antonio van Diemen, governor general in 1636–45, sent Abel Tasman to investigate the great land (Australia) previously sighted by Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch seamen. Tasman sailed around the continent and discovered Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), Staatenland (New Zealand), and the Tonga and Fiji Islands, but their commercial possibilities seemed insufficient to warrant further attention.

      Dutch penetration of the East was not colonization; small farmers and artisans neither could nor would compete with the abundant, cheap native labour. Those Dutchmen going eastward were company officials, seamen and soldiers, overseers of plantations and commerce, and a few scientists and Calvinist clergymen; there was no place for others.

      The Dutch moved into uninhabited Mauritius, which they later abandoned and saw pass first to France and finally to Great Britain. The Heeren XVII felt the need of a station on the arduous voyage between the home country and the East. They obtained it at Cape Town (founded in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck), which company ships thereafter regularly visited for fresh meat and vegetables to reduce scurvy. The town did not altogether live up to first expectations because the harbour was exposed, but the hinterland possessed a good climate and no dangerous natives. Beginning in the 1680s the company encouraged a moderate influx by Dutch families and French Huguenot exiles. Although the British conquered the colony in 1806, the descendants of these early settlers remained the largest white element and spoke a variant of Dutch, which became Afrikaans.

Western pursuits
      Dutch activity in the South Atlantic, Guyana, the West Indies, and New Netherland (New York) was the work of the West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie), founded in 1621. This never proved as successful as the Heeren XVII's generally profitable enterprise, but it did produce results. Except for the Cape, the only real Dutch colonization undertaking was New Netherland in North America, started in 1624 by the West India Company. Ft. Amsterdam, or New Amsterdam, was founded, and two years later the company agent Peter Minuit made a 60-guilder ($24) transaction with the local Indians for the purchase of Manhattan island. Dutch settlement along the Hudson from New Amsterdam to Ft. Orange (Albany) remained sparse; the company's insistence on monopolizing the Indian fur trade discouraged Dutchmen from migrating there. Further, the policy of creating large patroon land grants, five in all, along the river under feudal proprietors, limited settlement. New Amsterdam itself became fairly thriving because it possessed the best harbour in North America. Many besides Dutchmen settled there; some came from nearby New England, and there was a sprinkling of French, Scandinavian, Irish, German, and Jewish inhabitants. The city was weakly defended and fell rather easily to an English fleet in 1664; it was renamed New York. Although the Dutch retook it briefly in 1673–74, the colony became permanently English by the Treaty of Westminster in 1674. The West India Company was then dissolved, to be reconstituted for exploitation of the Caribbean holdings but to attempt no further territorial expansion.

The French
      France probably could have become the leading European colonial power in the 17th and 18th centuries. It had the largest population and wealth, the best army while Louis XIV ruled, and, for a time in his reign, the strongest navy. But France pursued a spasmodic overseas policy because of an intense preoccupation with European affairs; England, France's ultimately successful rival, was freer of such entanglements.

Early settlements in the New World
      Verrazano reconnoitered the North American coast for France in 1524, and in the next decade Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River; his plans to establish a colony, however, came to nothing. During most of the rest of the 16th century, French colonization efforts were confined to short-lived settlements at Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro) and Florida; both met sad ends. France meanwhile was troubled by internal religious strife and, for a time, was influenced by Philip II of Spain. But at the beginning of the 17th century, with Spanish power declining and domestic religious peace restored by King Henry IV's Edict of Nantes (1598), granting religious liberty to the Huguenots, the King chartered a Compagnie d'Occident (Western Company). This led to further exploration and to a small Acadian (Nova Scotian) settlement, and in 1603 Samuel de Champlain went to Canada, called New France. Champlain became Canada's outstanding leader, founding Quebec in 1608, defeating the Iroquois of New York, stimulating fur trade, and exploring westward to Lake Huron in 1615. He introduced Recollet (Franciscan) friars for conversion of the American Indians, but the Jesuit order (the Society of Jesus) soon became the principal missionary body in Canada.

      Under the ministership of Cardinal Richelieu (served 1624–42), a Council of Marine was created, with responsibility for colonial affairs. French West Indian settlement, following the activities of pirates and filibusters, began in 1625 with the admission of French settlers to St. Christopher (already settled by the British in 1623 and partitioned between the two countries until its cession to the British in 1713), and by 1664 France held 14 Antillean islands containing 7,000 whites, the principal possessions being Guadeloupe and Martinique. Saint-Domingue (Haiti), not yet annexed, contained numbers of Frenchmen, mostly buccaneers from Tortuga. Sugar became the main crop of the islands; the date when importation of black slaves began is uncertain, though some were sold at Guadeloupe as early as 1642.

      French West Indian society was caste bound, with officials and large planters (gros blancs) at the top, followed, in descending order, by merchants, buccaneers, and small farmers (petits blancs). Lowest of all were contract labourers from France (engagés) and black slaves.

      French Guiana was built around the Cayenne settlement, founded about 1637. There were other Frenchmen along the neighbouring coast at first, but, threatened by Dutchmen and natives, they finally took refuge at Cayenne. The Cayenne settlers, lacking any basis of prosperity, existed partly by raiding the Amazon Indians. The 18th century brought some improvement, but as late as 1743 French Guiana had only 600 whites, living by coffee and cacao culture and without means to import any but the crudest necessities.

Activities in India
      Jean-Baptiste Colbert held a succession of high offices in France, including the ministry of marine, during the early reign of Louis XIV. Colbert was an archmercantilist and believed that an abundance of precious metals would enrich France. This required a favourable balance of trade and protective tariffs. Most of his policy applied to France itself, but he meant to supplement it with colonial markets protected by a strong navy. Colbert felt concern over the quantities of cash that Frenchmen paid the Dutch for Eastern products and intended for his countrymen to have a share of those profits. In 1664 he placed hopes in a new French Company of the East Indies (Compagnie Française des Indes Orientales), to which he personally subscribed and which bought out small predecessors. The company tried unsuccessfully to make Madagascar a great centre of trade, and the huge island became a stronghold of piracy, though the French acquired nearby Mauritius.

      In the Indian peninsula, where the English East India Company had holdings, French progress was slow in Colbert's time and after, partly because the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, reigned and dominated India. The company did acquire Pondichéry and several other posts, however, and an affiliate opened a limited trade with China. When Aurangzeb died in 1707, his empire declined rapidly. Thereafter, the question of future control of India lay chiefly between the French company (reorganized and renamed the Compagnie Française des Indes in 1720) and the English company; both companies backed or opposed warring native rulers and exacted payment from them for financial support and for arming and drilling the native sepoy troops in the European manner. By the 1740s the French had gained the upper hand, and in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48; called King George's War in North America), the French governor general of India, Joseph-François Dupleix, captured Madras, the centre of British power. But in the ensuing Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle the British, who had made gains in North America, recovered Madras. Never again did the French come so near success, and their fortunes soon declined. Their company had not made large profits because expensive wars and the costs of subsidizing native princes had consumed revenue. The home government seldom cooperated, and French investors on the whole declined to speculate in overseas ventures.

Colonization of New France
      New France became a royal province in 1663, with both good and bad results. The arrival of troops in 1665 lessened the danger from the hostile Iroquois. Jean Talon, the powerful intendant sent by Colbert in the same year, strove to make Canada a self-sustaining economic structure, but his plan was finally thwarted by his home government's failure to supply financial means chiefly because of the King's extravagance and costly European wars.

      Colbert gave some stimulus to colonization of New France. Grants of land, called seigneuries, with frontages on the St. Lawrence, were apportioned to proprietors, who then allotted holdings to small farmers, or habitants. More land came under cultivation, and the white population grew, though immigration from France declined sharply after 1681 because the home authorities were reluctant to spare manpower for empty Canada. After 1700 most French Canadians were North American born, a factor that weakened loyalty to the mother country.

      North American exploration proceeded rapidly in Colbert's time. Fur traders had earlier reached Lake Superior; Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette now travelled the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the Mississippi in 1673 and descended it to the Arkansas. Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, followed the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico in 1682 and claimed the entire Mississippi River Basin, or Louisiana, for France; a later consequence was the founding of New Orleans (Nouvelle-Orléans) in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, sieur de Bienville, the governor of Louisiana. French traders ultimately reached Santa Fe in Spanish New Mexico, and the sons of explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la Vérendrye—Louis-Joseph and François—visited the Black Hills of South Dakota and may have seen the Rocky Mountains.

      The Roman Catholic Church became firmly rooted in Canada, without the intellectual opposition and anticlericalism that developed in 18th-century France. Jesuit mission work among the Indians, extending to the Middle West, saw more devotion and bravery by the priests than substantial results. Christianity made small appeal to most Indians, who could accept a supreme being but rejected the Christian ethic. Several zealous Jesuits became martyrs to the faith; genuine conversions were few and backslidings frequent.

      In the 18th century, with the pioneering period over, life in New France became easygoing and even pleasant, despite governmental absolutism. But the fur trade in the west drew vigorous young men from the seigneurial estates to become coureurs de bois (fur traders), and their loss crippled agriculture. Civil and religious authorities tried to hold settlers to farming because furs paid neither tithes nor seigneurial dues. This drainage of manpower partly explains the slow growth of New France, which, by a census of 1754, had only 55,000 whites.

The English
      There is evidence that Bristol seamen reached Newfoundland before 1497, but John Cabot's Atlantic crossing in that year is the first recorded English exploration. After the death of Henry VII in 1509, England lost interest in discovery and did not resume it until 1553 and the formation of the Muscovy Company, which tried to find a Northeast Passage to Asia, discovered the island of Novaya Zemlya, and opened a small trade with Russia. The English also searched for a Northwest Passage, and Martin Frobisher sailed to Greenland, Baffin Island, and the adjacent mainland.

English ascendancy in India
      Francis Drake and others raided the Spanish Main, and Drake and Thomas Cavendish sailed around the world. The defeat of Philip II's Armada in 1588, though less disastrous to Spain's seapower than commonly assumed, contributed to opening the way for English colonization of America. Interest in the Orient at first proved greater, however, and, in 1600, London merchants formed an East India Company. It could not compete with the rival Dutch company in the region of largest profits—the East Indies—so it transferred its emphasis to the Indian subcontinent. The English acquired Masulipatam in 1611 and Madras in 1639, having meanwhile destroyed Portuguese Hormuz in 1622. Charles II obtained Bombay in 1661, as part of his Portuguese queen's marriage dowry, and awarded it to the company.

      Collapse of the Mughal Empire after 1707 led ultimately to armed conflict between the British (British Empire) and French companies for increased trade and influence. Dupleix had won the upper hand for France by 1748; but in the ensuing Seven Years' War (1756–63), fought between the major European powers in various parts of the world, the British company gained ascendancy in India, thanks largely to the ability of Robert Clive, and held it thereafter. Pondichéry surrendered; and, though France recovered this post by the ensuing Treaty of Paris (1763), French power in India had shrunk almost to nothing, while the British company's was now rivalled only by that of the native Marāthā confederacy.

      Company profits from India came first from the familiar spices, but after 1660, Indian textiles outstripped these in importance. Cheap cloths, mainly cottons, found a mass market among the English poorer classes, though dainty fabrics for the wealthy also paid well. Imports of calicoes (inexpensive cotton fabrics from Calicut) to England grew so large that in 1721 Parliament passed the Calico Act to protect English manufacturers, forbidding the use of calico in England for apparel or for domestic purposes (repeal of the act in 1774 coincided with inventions of mechanical devices that made possible English cloth production in successful competition with Eastern fabrics).

England's American colonies
      The English West Indies for many years exceeded North America in economic importance. The Lesser Antilles, earlier passed over by Spain in favour of the larger islands, lay open to any colonizer, though their ferocious Carib inhabitants sometimes gave trouble. The Leeward Islands of Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Barbados, as well as the Bermudas, were settled by Englishmen between 1609 and 1632. Barbados, at first the most important, owed its prosperity to the introduction of sugar culture about 1637. The size of landholdings increased in all the islands, and the white populations accordingly diminished as slavery came to furnish most of the raw labour. When an expedition sent by Oliver Cromwell took Spanish Jamaica in 1655, that island became the English West Indian centre. Settlement of Belize (later British Honduras) by buccaneers and log cutters began in 1636, although more than a century elapsed before Spain acknowledged that the English indeed had the right to be there.

      The English islanders, to the envy of their Dutch and French neighbours, enjoyed such constitutional privileges as the right to elect semipopular assemblies. Barbados once hoped to have two representatives in Parliament, and some Barbadians, during the English (Glorious) Revolution (1688–89), thought of making their island an independent state, but nothing came of this.

      The original English mainland colonies—Virginia (founded 1607), Plymouth (1620), and Massachusetts Bay (1630)—were founded by joint-stock companies. The later New England settlements—New Hampshire, New Haven, Connecticut, and Rhode Island—began as offshoots of Massachusetts, which acquired jurisdiction over the Maine territory. The New England colonies were first peopled partly by religious dissenters, but except for the separatist Plymouth Pilgrims they did not formally secede from the Church of England for the time being.

      Proprietary colonies, under individual entrepreneurs, began with Maryland, founded in 1634 under the Catholic direction of Cecilius and Leonard Calvert. Also proprietary was Pennsylvania, which originally included Delaware, founded by the Quaker William Penn in 1682. Maryland and Pennsylvania, except for a brief royal interlude in Maryland, continued under Calvert and Penn heirs until the American Revolution; all other colonies except Connecticut and Rhode Island ultimately had royal governments. The Carolinas, after abortive attempts at colonization, were effectively founded in 1670 and became first proprietary and, later, royal colonies. Georgia, last of the 13, began in 1732, partly as a philanthropic enterprise headed by James Oglethorpe to furnish a rehabilitation home for debtors and other underprivileged Englishmen. All the mainland colonies eventually had representative assemblies, chosen by the propertied classes, to aid and often handicap their English governors.

      The original settlers, predominantly English, were later supplemented by French Huguenots, Germans, and Scots-Irish, especially in western New York, Pennsylvania, and the southern colonies. New York, acquired from the United Provinces of the Netherlands and including New Jersey, continued to have some Dutch flavour long after the Dutch had become a small minority. By the French and Indian War (1754–63, the American portion of the Seven Years' War), the total population of the mainland colonies was estimated as 1,296,000 whites and 300,000 blacks, enormously in excess of the 55,000 whites inhabiting French Canada.

      The only bond of union among the British colonies was their allegiance to the king, and in the wars with France (c. 1689–1763) it proved hard to unite them against the common enemy. All the colonies were agricultural, with New England being a region of small farms, the Middle Atlantic colonies having a larger scaled and more diversified farming, and the southern ones tending to plantations on which tobacco, rice, and indigo were raised by slaves (although slavery was legal throughout all the colonies). There was much colonial shipping, especially from New England, whose merchants and seamen traded with England, Africa, and the West Indies; Massachusetts shipbuilders had built more than 700 ships by 1675. By 1763 several towns had grown into cities, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston, South Carolina.

      By the time the term mercantile system was coined in 1776 by the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, European states had been trying for two centuries to put mercantile theory into practice. The basis of mercantilism was the notion that national wealth is measured by the amount of gold and silver a nation possesses. This seemed proven by the fact that Spain's most powerful years had occurred when it was first reaping a bullion harvest from its overseas possessions.

      The mercantile theory held that colonies exist for the economic benefit of the mother country and are useless unless they help to achieve profit. The mother nation should draw raw materials from its possessions and sell them finished goods, with the balance favouring the European country. This trade should be monopolistic, with foreign intruders barred.

The Spanish fleet system (Spanish treasure fleet)
      Spain acted upon the as-yet-undefined mercantile theory when, in 1565, it perfected the fleet (flota) system, by which all legal trade with its American colonies was restricted to two annual fleets between Seville and designated ports on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. The outgoing ships bore manufactured articles; returning, their cargoes consisted partly of gold and silver bars. Though the system continued for nearly two centuries, Spain was a poor country by 1700.

French mercantilist activities
      Ignoring this lesson, other European states adopted the mercantilist policy; the France of Louis XIV and Colbert is the outstanding example. Colbert, who dominated French policy for 20 years, strictly regulated the economy. He instituted protective tariffs and sponsored a monopolistic merchant marine. He regarded what few overseas possessions France then had as ultimate sources of liquid wealth, which they were poorly situated to furnish because they lacked such supplies of bullion as Spain controlled in Mexico and Peru.

The English Navigation Acts
      England adhered to mercantilism for two centuries and, possessing a more lucrative empire than France, strove to implement the policy by a series of navigation acts. The first, passed by Oliver Cromwell's government in 1651, attempted chiefly to exclude the Dutch from England's carrying trade: goods imported from Africa, Asia, or America could be brought only in English ships, which included colonial vessels, thus giving the English North American merchant marine a substantial stimulus. After the royal Restoration in 1660, Parliament renewed and strengthened the Cromwellian measures. By then colonial American maritime competition with England had grown so severe that laws of 1663 required colonial ships carrying European goods to America to route them through English ports, where a duty had to be paid, but from lack of enforcement these soon became inoperative. In the early 18th century the English lost some of their enthusiasm for bullion alone and placed chief emphasis on commerce and industry. The Molasses Act of 1733 was in the interest of the British West Indian sugar growers, who complained of the amount of French island molasses imported by the mainland colonies; the French planters had been buying fish, livestock, and lumber brought by North American ships and gladly exchanging their sugar products for them at low prices. Prohibition of colonial purchases of French molasses, though decreed, went largely unenforced, and New England, home of most of the carrying trade, continued prosperous.

The old colonial system and the competition for empire (18th century)
      Faith in mercantilism waned during the 18th century, first because of the influence of French Physiocrats (physiocrat), who advocated the rule of nature, whereby trade and industry would be left to follow a natural course. François Quesnay (Quesnay, François), a physician at the court of Louis XV of France, led this school of thought, fundamentally advocating an agricultural economy and holding that productive land was the only genuine wealth, with trade and industry existing for the transfer of agricultural products.

      Adam Smith (Smith, Adam) adopted some physiocratic ideas, but he considered labour very important and did not altogether accept land as the sole wealth. Smith's Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), appearing just as Britain was about to lose much of its older empire, established the basis of new economic thought—classical economics. This denigrated mercantilism and advocated free, or at least freer, trade and state noninterference with private enterprise. Laisser-faire et laisser-aller (“to let it alone and let it flow”) became the slogan of this British economic school. Smith thought that regulation only reduced wealth, a view in part adopted by the British government 56 years after his death.

      Slavery, though abundantly practiced in Africa itself and widespread in the ancient Mediterranean world, had nearly died out in medieval Europe. It was revived by the Portuguese in Prince Henry's time, beginning with the enslavement of Berbers in 1442. Portugal populated Cape Verde, Fernando Po (now Bioko), and São Tomé largely with black slaves and took many to the home country, especially to the regions south of the Tagus River.

      New World black slavery began in 1502, when Gov. Nicolás de Ovando of Hispaniola imported a few evidently Spanish-born blacks from Spain. Rapid decimation of the Indian population of the Spanish West Indies created a labour shortage, ultimately remedied from Africa. The great reformer, Las Casas, advocated importation of blacks to replace the vanishing Indians, and he lived to regret having done so. The population of the Greater Antilles became largely black and mulatto; on the mainland, at least in the more populated parts, the Indians, supplemented by a growing mestizo caste that clung more tenaciously to life and seemed more suited to labour, kept African slavery somewhat confined to limited areas.

      The Portuguese at first practiced Indian slavery in Brazil and continued to employ it partially until 1755. It was gradually replaced by the African variety, beginning prominently in the 17th century and coinciding with the rapid rise of Brazilian sugar culture.

      As the English, French, Dutch, and, to a lesser extent, the Danes colonized the smaller West Indian islands, these became plantation settlements, largely cultivated by blacks. Before the latter arrived in great numbers, the bulk of manual labour, especially in the English islands, was performed by poor whites. Some were indentured, or contract, servants; some were redemptioners who agreed to pay ship captains their passage fees within a stated time or be sold to bidders; others were convicts. Some were kidnapped, with the tacit approval of the English authorities, in keeping with the mercantilist policy that advocated getting rid of the unemployed and vagrants. Black slavery eventually surpassed white servitude in the West Indies.

      John Hawkins commanded the first English slave-trading expedition in 1562 and sold his cargo in the Spanish Indies. English slaving, nevertheless, remained minor until the establishment of the English island colonies in the reign of James I (ruled 1603–25). A Dutch captain sailed the first cargo of black slaves to Virginia in 1619, the year in which the colony exported 20,000 pounds (9,000 kilograms) of tobacco. The restored Stuart king, Charles II, gave English slave trade to a monopolistic company, the Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa, in 1663, but the Adventurers accomplished little because of the early outbreak of war with Holland (1665). Its successor, the Royal African Company, was founded in 1672 and held the English monopoly until 1698, when all Englishmen received the right to trade in slaves. The Royal African Company continued slaving until 1731, when it abandoned slaving in favour of traffic in ivory and gold dust. A new slaving company, the Merchants Trading to Africa (founded 1750), had directors in London, Liverpool, and Bristol, with Bristol furnishing the largest quota of ships, estimated at 237 in 1755. Jamaica offered the greatest single market for slaves and is believed to have received 610,000 between 1700 and 1786. The slave trade still flourished in 1763, when about 150 ships sailed yearly from British ports to Africa with capacity for nearly 40,000 slaves.

      There was no well-organized opposition to the slave trade before 1800, although some individuals and ephemeral societies condemned it. The Spanish church saw the importation of blacks as an opportunity for converting them. The English religionist George Fox, founder of Quakerism (founded in the 1650s), accepted the fact that his followers had bought slaves in Barbados, but he urged kind treatment. The English novelist and political pamphleteer Daniel Defoe later denounced the traffic but seemingly regarded slavery itself as inevitable. The English and Pennsylvania Quakers passed resolutions forbidding their members to engage in the trade, but their wording suggests that some were doing so; in fact, 84 of them were members of the Merchants Trading to Africa.

      Those opposing the slave trade often objected on other than humanitarian grounds. Some colonials feared any further growth of the black percentage of the population. Others, who justified English slave sales to the Spanish colonies because payment was in cash, condemned the same traffic with French islanders, who paid in molasses and thus competed with nearby English sugar planters.

Colonial wars of the first half of the 18th century
      From 1689 to 1763 the British and French fought four wars that were mainly European in origin but which determined the colonial situation, in some cases for two centuries. Spain entered all four, first in alliance with England and later in partnership with France, though it played a secondary role.

King William's War (War of the League of Augsburg)
      The war known in Europe as that of the Palatinate, League of Augsburg, or Grand Alliance, and in America as King William's War, ended indecisively, after eight years, with the Treaty of Rijswijk in 1697. No territorial changes occurred in America, and because the great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb reigned in India, very little of the conflict penetrated there.

Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession)
      Queen Anne's War, the American phase of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), began in 1702. Childless king Charles II of Spain, dying in 1700, willed his entire possessions to Philip, grandson of Louis XIV of France. England, the United Provinces, and Austria intervened, fearing a virtual union between powerful Louis and Spain detrimental to the balance of power, and Queen Anne's War lasted until terminated by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. England (Great Britain after 1707) gained Gibraltar and Minorca and, in North America, acquired Newfoundland and French Acadia (renamed Nova Scotia). It also received clear title to the northern area being exploited by the Hudson's Bay Company. Bourbon prince Philip was recognized as king of Spain, but the British secured the important asiento, or right to supply Spanish America with slaves, for 30 years.

King George's War (War of the Austrian Succession)
      There followed a peace almost unbroken until 1739, when, with the asiento about to expire and Spain unwilling to renew it, Great Britain and Spain went to war. The recent amputation of an English seaman's ear by a Spanish Caribbean coast guard caused the conflict to be named the War of Jenkins' Ear. This merged in 1740 with the War of the Austrian Succession (called King George's War in America), between Frederick II the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa of Austria over Silesia. France joined Spain and Prussia against Great Britain and Austria, and the war, which was terminated in 1748 by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, proved indecisive. New England colonials captured Louisbourg, the fortified French island commanding the St. Lawrence entrance, but France's progress in India counterbalanced this conquest. With the Mughal Empire now virtually extinct, the British and French East India Companies fought each other, the advantage going to the French under Dupleix, who captured Madras and nearly expelled the British. The peace treaty restored all conquests; France recovered Louisbourg, and the British regained Madras and with it another chance to become paramount in India.

The French and Indian War (the Seven Years' War)
      Until 1754, when the two powers resumed their conflict in the French and Indian War in America, the overseas possessions maintained a show of peace. During this prewar period the French attempted to increase their hold on the Ohio Valley and in 1754 built Fort-Duquesne at the future site of Pittsburgh. Lt. Col. George Washington with colonial forces, in 1754, and Gen. Edward Braddock with British regulars, in 1755, were defeated in attempts to dislodge them. Dupleix and his successor, Charles-Joseph Patissier, marquis de Bussy-Castelnau, increased their influence in India; but the recall of Dupleix in 1754 damaged French prospects there.

      The Seven Years' War, fought in Europe by Frederick the Great of Prussia against Austria, France, and Russia, ended with his survival against overwhelming odds. His one ally, Great Britain, helped financially but could render small military assistance. Overseas, the British triumphed completely over France, aided by Spain in the last years of the war. The French at first had the upper hand in both India and America, but the turning point came after William Pitt the Elder, later earl of Chatham, assumed direction of the British war effort. In 1757 Clive won victory at Plassey over the Nawab of Bengal, an enemy of the British company; Sir Eyre Coote's victory at Wandewash in 1760, over the French governor Thomas Lally, was followed by the capture of Pondichéry.

      In America, thanks largely to the vigorous policy of Pitt, the British won repeated victories. The French forts Frontenac, Duquesne, and Carillon fell in 1758 and 1759. British generals Sir Jeffrey Amherst and James Wolfe took Louisbourg in 1758, Quebec in 1759, and Montreal in 1760, and the surrender of Montreal included that of the entire French colony. Meanwhile, Adm. Edward Hawke destroyed or immobilized the principal French line fleet at Quiberon Bay in 1759. Spanish intervention in the war in 1761 merely enabled the British to seize Havana and Manila.

      The Treaty of Paris (Paris, Treaty of) in 1763 gave Britain all North America east of the Mississippi, including Spanish Florida. France ceded the western Mississippi Valley to Spain as compensation for the loss of Florida. Besides having a clear path to domination of India in the Old World, Great Britain also gained African Senegal. In the West Indies, it returned Martinique and Guadeloupe to France for the sake of peace but remained easily second to Spain there in importance.

      The first great era of colonial conflict had ended, and the British Empire, a century and a half old, had become the world's foremost overseas domain. Though exceeded in size by that of Spain, it was the wealthiest, backed by the overwhelming naval power of Great Britain. British prestige had reached a new height, greater perhaps than it would ever attain again.

Charles E. Nowell Ed.

European expansion since 1763
      The global expansion of western Europe between the 1760s and the 1870s differed in several important ways from the expansionism and colonialism of previous centuries. Along with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, which economic historians generally trace to the 1760s, and the continuing spread of industrialization in the empire-building countries came a shift in the strategy of trade with the colonial world. Instead of being primarily buyers of colonial products (and frequently under strain to offer sufficient salable goods to balance the exchange), as in the past, the industrializing nations increasingly became sellers in search of markets for the growing volume of their machine-produced goods. Furthermore, over the years there occurred a decided shift in the composition of demand for goods produced in the colonial areas. Spices, sugar, and slaves became relatively less important with the advance of industrialization, concomitant with a rising demand for raw materials for industry (e.g., cotton, wool, vegetable oils, jute, dyestuffs) and food for the swelling industrial areas (wheat, tea, coffee, cocoa, meat, butter).

      This shift in trading patterns entailed in the long run changes in colonial policy and practice as well as in the nature of colonial acquisitions. The urgency to create markets and the incessant pressure for new materials and food were eventually reflected in colonial practices, which sought to adapt the colonial areas to the new priorities of the industrializing nations. Such adaptation involved major disruptions of existing social systems over wide areas of the globe. Before the impact of the Industrial Revolution, European activities in the rest of the world were largely confined to: (1) occupying areas that supplied precious metals, slaves, and tropical products then in large demand; (2) establishing white-settler colonies along the coast of North America; and (3) setting up trading posts and forts and applying superior military strength to achieve the transfer to European merchants of as much existing world trade as was feasible. However disruptive these changes may have been to the societies of Africa, South America, and the isolated plantation and white-settler colonies, the social systems over most of the Earth outside Europe nevertheless remained much the same as they had been for centuries (in some places for millennia). These societies, with their largely self-sufficient small communities based on subsistence agriculture and home industry, provided poor markets for the mass-produced goods flowing from the factories of the technologically advancing countries; nor were the existing social systems flexible enough to introduce and rapidly expand the commercial agriculture (and, later, mineral extraction) required to supply the food and raw material needs of the empire builders.

      The adaptation of the nonindustrialized parts of the world to become more profitable adjuncts of the industrializing nations embraced, among other things: (1) overhaul of existing land and property arrangements, including the introduction of private property in land where it did not previously exist, as well as the expropriation of land for use by white settlers or for plantation agriculture; (2) creation of a labour supply for commercial agriculture and mining by means of direct forced labour and indirect measures aimed at generating a body of wage-seeking labourers; (3) spread of the use of money and exchange of commodities by imposing money payments for taxes and land rent and by inducing a decline of home industry; and (4) where the precolonial society already had a developed industry, curtailment of production and exports by native producers.

      The classic illustration of this last policy is found in India. For centuries India had been an exporter of cotton goods, to such an extent that Great Britain for a long period imposed stiff tariff duties to protect its domestic manufacturers from Indian competition. Yet, by the middle of the 19th century, India was receiving one-fourth of all British exports of cotton piece goods and had lost its own export markets.

      Clearly, such significant transformations could not get very far in the absence of appropriate political changes, such as the development of a sufficiently cooperative local elite, effective administrative techniques, and peace-keeping instruments that would assure social stability and environments conducive to the radical social changes imposed by a foreign power. Consistent with these purposes was the installation of new, or amendments of old, legal systems that would facilitate the operation of a money, business, and private land economy. Tying it all together was the imposition of the culture and language of the dominant power.

      The changing nature of the relations between centres of empire and their colonies, under the impact of the unfolding Industrial Revolution, was also reflected in new trends in colonial acquisitions. While in preceding centuries colonies, trading posts, and settlements were in the main, except for South America, located along the coastline or on smaller islands, the expansions of the late 18th century and especially of the 19th century were distinguished by the spread of the colonizing powers, or of their emigrants, into the interior of continents. Such continental extensions, in general, took one of two forms, or some combination of the two: (1) the removal of the indigenous peoples by killing them off or forcing them into specially reserved areas, thus providing room for settlers from western Europe who then developed the agriculture and industry of these lands under the social system imported from the mother countries, or (2) the conquest of the indigenous peoples and the transformation of their existing societies to suit the changing needs of the more powerful militarily and technically advanced nations.

      At the heart of Western expansionism was the growing disparity in technologies (technology, history of) between those of the leading European nations and those of the rest of the world. Differences between the level of technology in Europe and some of the regions on other continents were not especially great in the early part of the 18th century. In fact, some of the crucial technical knowledge used in Europe at that time came originally from Asia. During the 18th century, however, and at an accelerating pace in the 19th and 20th centuries, the gap between the technologically advanced countries and technologically backward regions kept on increasing despite the diffusion of modern technology by the colonial powers. The most important aspect of this disparity was the technical superiority of Western armaments, for this superiority enabled the West to impose its will on the much larger colonial populations. Advances in communication and transportation, notably railroads, also became important tools for consolidating foreign rule over extensive territories. And along with the enormous technical superiority and the colonizing experience itself came important psychological instruments of minority rule by foreigners: racism and arrogance on the part of the colonizers and a resulting spirit of inferiority among the colonized.

      Naturally, the above description and summary telescope events that transpired over many decades and the incidence of the changes varied from territory to territory and from time to time, influenced by the special conditions in each area, by what took place in the process of conquest, by the circumstances at the time when economic exploitation of the possessions became desirable and feasible, and by the varying political considerations of the several occupying powers. Moreover, it should be emphasized that expansion policies and practices, while far from haphazard, were rarely the result of long-range and integrated planning. The drive for expansion was persistent, as were the pressures to get the greatest advantage possible out of the resulting opportunities. But the expansions arose in the midst of intense rivalry among major powers that were concerned with the distribution of power on the continent of Europe itself as well as with ownership of overseas territories. Thus, the issues of national power, national wealth, and military strength shifted more and more to the world stage as commerce and territorial acquisitions spread over larger segments of the globe. In fact, colonies were themselves often levers of military power—sources of military supplies and of military manpower and bases for navies and merchant marines. What appears, then, in tracing the concrete course of empire is an intertwining of the struggle for hegemony between competing national powers, the manoeuvring for preponderance of military strength, and the search for greatest advantage practically obtainable from the world's resources.

European colonial activity (1763–c. 1875)
      Stages of history rarely, if ever, come in neat packages: the roots of new historical periods begin to form in earlier eras, while many aspects of an older phase linger on and help shape the new. Nonetheless, there was a convergence of developments in the early 1760s, which, despite many qualifications, delineates a new stage in European expansionism and especially in that of the most successful empire builder, Great Britain. It is not only the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain that can be traced to this period but also the consequences of England's decisive victory over France in the Seven Years' War and the beginnings of what turned out to be the second British Empire. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, France lost nearly all of its colonial empire, while Britain became, except for Spain, the largest colonial power in the world.

The second British Empire
      The removal of threat from the strongest competing foreign power set the stage for Britain's conquest of India and for operations against the North American Indians to extend British settlement in Canada and westerly areas of the North American continent. In addition, the new commanding position on the seas provided an opportunity for Great Britain to probe for additional markets in Asia and Africa and to try to break the Spanish trade monopoly in South America. During this period, the scope of British world interests broadened dramatically to cover the South Pacific, the Far East, the South Atlantic, and the coast of Africa.

      The initial aim of this outburst of maritime activity was not so much the acquisition of extensive fresh territory as the attainment of a far-flung network of trading posts and maritime bases. The latter, it was hoped, would serve the interdependent aims of widening foreign commerce and controlling ocean shipping routes. But in the long run many of these initial bases turned out to be steppingstones to future territorial conquests. Because the indigenous populations did not always take kindly to foreign incursions into their homelands, even when the foreigners limited themselves to small enclaves, penetration of interiors was often necessary to secure base areas against attack.

Loss of the American colonies
      The path of conquest and territorial growth was far from orderly. It was frequently diverted by the renewal or intensification of rivalry between, notably, England, France, Spain, and the Low Countries in colonial areas and on the European continent. The most severe blow to Great Britain's 18th-century dreams of empire, however, came from the revolt of the 13 American colonies. These contiguous colonies were at the heart of the old, or what is often referred to as the first, British Empire, which consisted primarily of Ireland, the North American colonies, and the plantation colonies of the West Indies. Ironically, the elimination of this core of the first British Empire was to a large extent influenced by the upsurge of empire building after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain harvested from its victory in that war a new expanse of territory about equal to its prewar possessions on the North American continent: French Canada, the Floridas, and the territory between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River. The assimilation of the French Canadians, control of the Indians and settlement of the trans-Allegheny region, and the opening of new trade channels created a host of problems for the British government. Not the least of these were the burdensome costs to carry out this program on top of a huge national debt accumulated during the war. To cope with these problems, new imperial policies were adopted by the mother country: raising (for the first time) revenue from the colonies; tightening mercantile restrictions, imposing firm measures against smuggling (an important source of income for colonial merchants), and putting obstacles in the way of New England's substantial trade with the West Indies. The strains generated by these policies created or intensified the hardships of large sections of the colonial population and, in addition, disrupted the relative harmony of interests that had been built up between the mother country and important elite groups in the colonies. Two additional factors, not unrelated to the enlargement of the British Empire, fed the onset and success of the American War of Independence (1775–83): first, a lessening need for military support from the mother country once the menacing French were removed from the continent and, second, support for the American Revolutionary forces from the French and Spanish, who had much to fear from the enhanced sea power and expansionism of the British.

      The shock of defeat in North America was not the only problem confronting British society. Ireland—in effect, a colonial dependency—also experienced a revolutionary upsurge, giving added significance to attacks by leading British free traders against existing colonial policies and even at times against colonialism itself. But such criticism had little effect except as it may have hastened colonial administrative reforms to counteract real and potential independence movements in dependencies such as Canada and Ireland.

Conquest of India
      Apart from reforms of this nature, the aftermath of American independence was a diversion of British imperial interests to other areas—the beginning of the settlement of Australia being a case in point. In terms of amount of effort and significance of results, however, the pursuit of conquest in India took first place. Starting with the assumption of control over the province of Bengal (after the Battle of Plassey, 1757) and especially after the virtual removal of French influence from the Indian Ocean, the British waged more or less continuous warfare against the Indian people and took over more and more of the interior. The Marāthās, the main source of resistance to foreign intrusion, were decisively defeated in 1803, but military resistance of one sort or another continued until the middle of the 19th century. The financing and even the military manpower for this prolonged undertaking came mainly from India itself. As British sovereignty spread, new land-revenue devices were soon instituted, which resulted in raising the revenue to finance the consolidation of power in India and the conquest of other regions, breaking up the old system of self-sufficient and self-perpetuating villages and supporting an elite whose self-interests would harmonize with British rule.

Global expansion
      Except for the acquisition of additional territory in India and colonies in Sierra Leone and New South Wales, the important additions to British overseas possessions between the Seven Years' War and the end of the Napoleonic era came as prizes of victory in wars with rival European colonial powers. In 1763 the first British Empire primarily centred on North America. By 1815, despite the loss of the 13 colonies, Britain had a second empire, one that straddled the globe from Canada and the Caribbean in the Western Hemisphere around the Cape of Good Hope to India and Australia. This empire was sustained by and in turn was supported by maritime power that far exceeded that of any of Britain's European rivals.

Policy changes
      The half century of global expansion is only one aspect of the transition to the second British Empire. The operations of the new empire in the longer run also reflected decisive changes in British society. The replacement of mercantile by industrial enterprise as the main source of national wealth entailed changes to make national and colonial policy more consistent with the new hierarchy of interests. The restrictive trade practices and monopolistic privileges that sustained the commercial explosion of the 16th and most of the 17th centuries—built around the slave trade, colonial plantations, and monopolistic trading companies—did not provide the most effective environment for a nation on its way to becoming the workshop of the world.

      The desired restructuring of policies occurred over decades of intense political conflict: the issues were not always clearly delineated, interest groups frequently overlapped, and the balance of power between competing vested interests shifted from time to time. The issues were clearly drawn in some cases, as for example over the continuation of the British East India Company's trade monopoly. The company's export of Indian silk, muslins, and other cotton goods was seen by all who were involved in any way in the production of British textiles to be an obstacle to the development of markets for competing British manufactures. Political opposition to this monopoly was strong at the end of the 18th century, but the giant step on the road to free trade was not taken until the early decades of the 19th century (termination of the Indian trade monopoly, 1813; of the Chinese trade monopoly, 1833).

      In contrast, the issues surrounding the strategic slave trade were much more complicated. The West Indies plantations relied on a steady flow of slaves from Africa. British merchants and ships profited not only from supplying these slaves but also from the slave trade with other colonies in the Western Hemisphere. The British were the leading slave traders, controlling at least half of the transatlantic slave trade by the end of the 18th century. But the influential planter and slave-trade interests had come under vigorous and unrelenting attack by religious and humanitarian leaders and organizations, who propelled the issue of abolition to the forefront of British politics around the turn of the 19th century. Historians are still unravelling the threads of conflicting arguments about the priority of causes in the final abolition of the slave trade and, later, of slavery itself, because economic as well as political issues were at play: glutted sugar markets (to which low-cost producers in competing colonies contributed) stimulated thoughts about controlling future output by limiting the supply of fresh slaves; the compensation paid to plantation owners by the British government at the time of the abolition of slavery rescued many planters from bankruptcy during a sugar crisis, with a substantial part of the compensation money being used to pay off planters' debts to London bankers. Moreover, the battle between proslavery and antislavery forces was fought in an environment in which free-trade interests were challenging established mercantilist practices and the West Indies sugar economy was in a secular decline.

      The British were not the first to abolish the slave trade. Denmark had ended it earlier, and the U.S. Constitution, written in 1787, had already provided for its termination in 1808. But the British Act of 1807 formally forbidding the slave trade was followed up by diplomatic and naval pressure to suppress the trade. By the 1820s Holland, Sweden, and France had also passed anti-slave-trade laws. Such laws and attempts to enforce them by no means stopped the trade, so long as there was buoyant demand for this commodity and good profit from dealing in it. Some decline in the demand for slaves did follow the final emancipation in 1833 of slaves in British possessions. On the other hand, the demand for slaves elsewhere in the Americas took on new life—e.g., to work the virgin soils of Cuba and Brazil and to pick the rapidly expanding U.S. cotton crops to feed the voracious appetite of the British textile industry. Accordingly, the number of slaves shipped across the Atlantic accelerated at the same time Britain and other maritime powers outlawed this form of commerce.

Involvement in Africa
      Although Britain's energetic activity to suppress the slave trade was far from effective, its diplomatic and military operations for this end led it to much greater involvement in African affairs. Additional colonies were acquired (Sierra Leone, 1808; Gambia, 1816; Gold Coast, 1821) to serve as bases for suppressing the slave trade and for stimulating substitute commerce. British naval squadrons touring the coast of Africa, stopping and inspecting suspected slavers of other nations, and forcing African tribal chiefs to sign antislavery treaties did not halt the expansion of the slave trade, but they did help Britain attain a commanding position along the west coast of Africa, which in turn contributed to the expansion of both its commercial and colonial empire.

The growth of informal empire
      The transformation of the old colonial and mercantilist commercial system was completed when, in addition to the abolition of slavery and the slave trade, the Corn Laws and the Navigation Acts were repealed in the late 1840s. The repeal of the Navigation Acts acknowledged the new reality: the primacy of Britain's navy and merchant shipping. The repeal of the Corn Laws (which had protected agricultural interests) signalled the maturation of the Industrial Revolution. In the light of Britain's manufacturing supremacy, exclusivity and monopolistic trade restraints were less important than, and often detrimental to, the need for ever-expanding world markets and sources of inexpensive raw materials and food.

      With the new trade strategy, under the impetus of freer trade and technical progress, came a broadening of the concept of empire. It was found that the commercial and financial advantages of formal empire could often be derived by informal means. The development of a worldwide trade network, the growth of overseas banking, the export of capital to less advanced regions, the leading position of London's money markets—all under the shield of a powerful and mobile navy—led to Great Britain's economic preeminence and influence in many parts of the world, even in the absence of political control.

Anticolonial sentiment
      The growing importance of informal empire went hand in hand with increased expressions of dissatisfaction with the formal colonial empire. The critical approach to empire came from leading statesmen, government officials in charge of colonial policy, the free traders, and the philosophic Radicals (the latter, a broad spectrum of opinion makers often labelled the Little Englanders, whose voices of dissent were most prominent in the years between 1840 and 1870). Taking the long view, however, some historians question just how much of this current of political thought was really concerned with the transformation of the British Empire into a Little England. Those who seriously considered colonial separation were for the most part thinking of the more recent white-settler colonies, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and definitely not of independence for India nor, for that matter, for Ireland. Differences of opinion among the various political factions naturally existed over the best use of limited government finance, colonial administrative tactics, how much foreign territory could in practice be controlled, and such issues as the costs of friction with the United States over Canada. Yet, while there were important differences of opinion on the choice between formal and informal empire, no important conflict arose over the desirability of continued expansion of Britain's world influence and foreign commercial activity. Indeed, during the most active period of what has been presumed to be anticolonialism, both the formal and informal empires grew substantially: new colonies were added, the territory of existing colonies was enlarged, and military campaigns were conducted to widen Britain's trading and investment area, as in the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century.

Decline of colonial rivalry
      An outstanding development in colonial and empire affairs during the period between the Napoleonic Wars and the 1870s was an evident lessening in conflict between European powers. Not that conflict disappeared entirely, but the period as a whole was one of relative calm compared with either the almost continuous wars for colonial possessions in the 18th century or the revival of intense rivalries during the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Instead of wars among colonial powers during this period, there were wars against colonized peoples and their societies, incident either to initial conquest or to the extension of territorial possessions farther into the interior. Examples are Great Britain in India, Burma, South Africa (Kaffir Wars), New Zealand (Maori Wars); France in Algeria and Indochina; the Low Countries in Indonesia; Russia in Central Asia; and the United States against the North American Indians.

      Contributing to the abatement of intercolonial rivalries was the undisputable supremacy of the British Navy during these years. The increased use of steamships in the 19th century helped reinforce this supremacy: Great Britain's ample domestic coal supply and its numerous bases around the globe (already owned or newly obtained for this purpose) combined to make available needed coaling stations. Over several decades of the 19th century and until new developments toward the end of the century opened up a new age of naval rivalry, no country was in a position to challenge Britain's dominance of the seas. This may have temporarily weakened Britain's acquisitive drive: the motive of preclusive occupation of foreign territory still occurred, but it was not as pressing as at other times.

      On the whole, despite the relative tranquillity and the rise of anticolonial sentiment in Britain, the era was marked by a notable wave of European expansionism. Thus, in 1800 Europe and its possessions, including former colonies, claimed title to about 55 percent of the Earth's land surface: Europe, North and South America, most of India, the Russian part of Asia, parts of the East Indies, and small sections along the coast of Africa. But much of this was merely claimed; effective control existed over a little less than 35 percent, most of which consisted of Europe itself. By 1878—that is, before the next major wave of European acquisitions began—an additional 6,500,000 square miles (16,800,000 square kilometres) were claimed; during this period, control was consolidated over the new claims and over all the territory claimed in 1800. Hence, from 1800 to 1878, actual European rule (including former colonies in North and South America) increased from 35 to 67 percent of the Earth's land surface.

Decline of the Spanish and Portuguese empires
      During the early 19th century, however, there was a conspicuous exception to the trend of colonial growth, and that was the decline of the Portuguese and Spanish empires in the Western Hemisphere. The occasion for the decolonization was provided by the Napoleonic Wars. The French occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in 1807, combined with the ensuing years of intense warfare until 1814 on that peninsula between the British and French and their respective allies, effectively isolated the colonies from their mother countries. During this isolation the long-smouldering discontents in the colonies erupted in influential nationalist movements, revolutions of independence, and civil wars. The stricken mother countries could hardly interfere with events on the South American continent, nor did they have the resources, even after the Peninsular War was over, to bring enough soldiers and armaments across the Atlantic to suppress the independence forces.

      Great Britain could have intervened on behalf of Spain and Portugal, but it declined. British commerce with South America had blossomed during the Napoleonic Wars. New vistas of potentially profitable opportunities opened up in those years, in contrast with preceding decades when British penetration of Spanish colonial markets consisted largely of smuggling to get past Spain's mercantile restrictions. The British therefore now favoured independence for these colonies and had little interest in helping to reimpose colonial rule, with its accompanying limitations on British trade and investment. Support for colonial independence by the British came in several ways: merchants and financiers provided loans and supplies needed by insurrectionary governments; the Royal Navy protected the shipment of those supplies and the returning specie; and the British government made it clear to other nations that it considered South American countries independent. The British forthright position on independence, as well as the availability of the Royal Navy to support this policy, gave substance to the U.S. Monroe Doctrine (1823), which the United States had insufficient strength at that time to really enforce.

      After some 15 years of uprisings and wars, Spain by 1825 no longer had any colonies in South America itself, retaining only the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico. During the same period Brazil achieved its independence from Portugal. The advantages to the British economy made possible by the consequent opening up of the Latin-American ports were eagerly pursued, facilitated by commercial treaties signed with these young nations. The reluctance of France to recognize their new status delayed French penetration of their markets and gave an advantage to the British. In one liberated area after another, brokers and commercial agents arrived from England to ferret out business opportunities. Soon the continent was flooded with British goods, often competing with much weaker native industries. Actually, Latin America provided the largest single export market for British cotton textiles in the first half of the 19th century.

      Despite the absence of formal empire, the British were able to attain economic preeminence in South America. Spanish and Portuguese colonialism had left a heritage of disunity and conflict within regions of new nations and between nations, along with conditions that led to unstable alliances of ruling elite groups. While this combination of weaknesses militated against successful self-development, it was fertile ground for energetic foreign entrepreneurs, especially those who had technically advanced manufacturing capacities, capital resources, international money markets, insurance and shipping facilities, plus supportive foreign policies. The early orgy of speculative loans and investments soon ended. But before long, British economic penetration entered into more lasting and self-perpetuating activities, such as promoting Latin-American exports, providing railroad equipment, constructing public works, and supplying banking networks. Thus, while the collapse of the Spanish and Portuguese empires led to the decline of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere, it also paved the way for a significant expansion of Britain's informal empire of trade, investment, and finance during the 19th century.

The emigration of European peoples
      European influence around the globe increased with each new wave of emigration from Europe. Tides of settlers brought with them the Old World culture and, often, useful agricultural and industrial skills. An estimated 55,000,000 Europeans left their native lands in the 100 years after 1820, the product chiefly of two forces: (1) the push to emigrate as a result of difficulties arising from economic dislocations at home and (2) the pull of land, jobs, and recruitment activities of passenger shipping lines and agents of labour-hungry entrepreneurs in the New World. Other factors were also clearly at work, such as the search for religious freedom, escape from tyrannical governments, avoidance of military conscription, and the desire for greater upward social and economic mobility. Such motives had existed throughout the centuries, however, and they are insufficient to explain the massive population movements that characterized the 19th century. Unemployment induced by rapid technological changes in agriculture and industry was an important incentive for English emigration in the mid-1800s. The surge of German emigration at roughly the same time is largely attributable to an agricultural revolution in Germany, which nearly ruined many farmers on small holdings in southwestern Germany. Under English rule, the Irish were prevented from industrial development and were directed to an economy based on export of cereals grown on small holdings. A potato blight, followed by famine and eviction of farm tenants by landlords, gave large numbers of Irish no alternative other than emigration or starvation. These three nationalities—English, German, and Irish—composed the largest group of migrants in the 1850s. In later years Italians and Slavs contributed substantially to the population spillover. The emigrants spread throughout the world, but the bulk of the population transfer went to the Americas, Siberia, and Australasia. The population outflow, greatly facilitated by European supremacy outside Europe, helped ease the social pressures and probably abated the dangers of social upheaval in Europe itself.

Advance of the U.S. frontier
      The outward movement of European peoples in any substantial numbers naturally was tied in with conquest and, to a greater or lesser degree, with the displacement of indigenous populations. In the United States, where by far the largest number of European emigrants went, acquisition of space for development by white immigrants entailed activity on two fronts: competition with rival European nations and disposition of the Indians. During a large part of the 19th century, the United States remained alert to the danger of encirclement by Europeans, but in addition the search for more fertile land, pursuit of the fur trade, and desire for ports to serve commerce in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans nourished the drive to penetrate the American continent. The most pressing points of tension with European nations were eliminated during the first half of the century: purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 gave the United States control over the heartland of the continent; settlement of the War of 1812 ended British claims south of the 49th parallel up to the Rocky Mountains; Spain's cession of the Floridas in 1819 rounded out the Atlantic coastal frontier; and Russia's (1824) and Great Britain's (1846) relinquishment of claims to the Oregon territory gave the United States its window on the Pacific. The expansion of the United States, however, was not confined to liquidating rival claims of overseas empires; it also involved taking territory from neighbouring Mexico. Settlers from the United States wrested Texas from Mexico (1836), and war against Mexico (1846–48) led to the U.S. annexation of the southwestern region between New Mexico and Utah to the Pacific Ocean.

      Diplomatic and military victories over the European nations and Mexico were but one precondition for the transcontinental expansion of the United States. In addition, the Indian tribes sooner or later had to be rooted out to clear the new territory. At times, treaties were arranged with Indian tribes, by which vast areas were opened up for white settlement. But even where peaceful agreements had been reached, the persistent pressure of the search for land and commerce created recurrent wars with Indian tribes that were seeking to retain their homes and their land. Room for the new settlers was obtained by forced removal of natives to as yet non-white-settled land—a process that was repeated as white settlers occupied ever more territory. Massacres during wars, susceptibility to infectious European diseases, and hardships endured during forced migrations all contributed to the decline in the Indian population and the weakening of its resistance. Nevertheless, Indian wars occupied the U.S. Army's attention during most of the 19th century, ending with the eventual isolation of the surviving Indians on reservations set aside by the U.S. government.

The new imperialism (c. 1875–1914)
Reemergence of colonial rivalries
      Although there are sharp differences of opinion over the reasons for, and the significance of, the “new imperialism,” there is little dispute that at least two developments in the late 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century signify a new departure: (1) notable speedup in colonial acquisitions; (2) an increase in the number of colonial powers.

New acquisitions
      The annexations during this new phase of imperial growth differed significantly from the expansionism earlier in the 19th century. While the latter was substantial in magnitude, it was primarily devoted to the consolidation of claimed territory (by penetration of continental interiors and more effective rule over indigenous populations) and only secondarily to new acquisitions. On the other hand, the new imperialism was characterized by a burst of activity in carving up as yet independent areas: taking over almost all Africa, a good part of Asia, and many Pacific islands. This new vigour in the pursuit of colonies is reflected in the fact that the rate of new territorial acquisitions of the new imperialism was almost three times that of the earlier period. Thus, the increase in new territories claimed in the first 75 years of the 19th century averaged about 83,000 square miles (215,000 square kilometres) a year. As against this, the colonial powers added an average of about 240,000 square miles (620,000 square kilometres) a year between the late 1870s and World War I (1914–18). By the beginning of that war, the new territory claimed was for the most part fully conquered, and the main military resistance of the indigenous populations had been suppressed. Hence, in 1914, as a consequence of this new expansion and conquest on top of that of preceding centuries, the colonial powers, their colonies, and their former colonies extended over approximately 85 percent of the Earth's surface. Economic and political control by leading powers reached almost the entire globe, for, in addition to colonial rule, other means of domination were exercised in the form of spheres of influence, special commercial treaties, and the subordination that lenders often impose on debtor nations.

New colonial powers
      This intensification of the drive for colonies reflected much more than a new wave of overseas activities by traditional colonial powers, including Russia. The new imperialism was distinguished particularly by the emergence of additional nations seeking slices of the colonial pie: Germany, the United States, Belgium, Italy, and, for the first time, an Asian power, Japan. Indeed, this very multiplication of colonial powers, occurring in a relatively short period, accelerated the tempo of colonial growth. Unoccupied space that could potentially be colonized was limited. Therefore, the more nations there were seeking additional colonies at about the same time, the greater was the premium on speed. Thus, the rivalry among the colonizing nations reached new heights, which in turn strengthened the motivation for preclusive occupation of territory and for attempts to control territory useful for the military defense of existing empires against rivals.

      The impact of the new upsurge of rivalry is well illustrated in the case of Great Britain. Relying on its economic preeminence in manufacturing, trade, and international finance as well as on its undisputed mastery of the seas during most of the 19th century, Great Britain could afford to relax in the search for new colonies, while concentrating on consolidation of the empire in hand and on building up an informal empire. But the challenge of new empire builders, backed up by increasing naval power, put a new priority on Britain's desire to extend its colonial empire. On the other hand, the more that potential colonial space shrank, the greater became the urge of lesser powers to remedy disparities in size of empires by redivision of the colonial world. The struggle over contested space and for redivision of empire generated an increase in wars among the colonial powers and an intensification of diplomatic manoeuvring.

Rise of new industrialized nations
      Parallel with the emergence of new powers seeking a place in the colonial sun and the increasing rivalry among existing colonial powers was the rise of industrialized nations able and willing to challenge Great Britain's lead in industry, finance, and world trade. In the mid-19th century Britain's economy outdistanced by far its potential rivals. But, by the last quarter of that century, Britain was confronted by restless competitors seeking a greater share of world trade and finance; the Industrial Revolution had gained a strong foothold in these nations, which were spurred on to increasing industrialization with the spread of railroad lines and the maturation of integrated national markets.

      Moreover, the major technological innovations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries improved the competitive potential of the newer industrial nations. Great Britain's advantage as the progenitor of the first Industrial Revolution diminished substantially as the newer products and sources of energy of what has been called a second Industrial Revolution began to dominate industrial activity. The late starters, having digested the first Industrial Revolution, now had a more equal footing with Great Britain: they were all starting out more or less from the same base to exploit the second Industrial Revolution. This new industrialism, notably featuring mass-produced steel, electric power and oil as sources of energy, industrial chemistry, and the internal-combustion engine, spread over western Europe, the United States, and eventually Japan.

A world economy
      To operate efficiently, the new industries required heavy capital investment in large-scale units. Accordingly, they encouraged the development of capital markets and banking institutions that were large and flexible enough to finance the new enterprises. The larger capital markets and industrial enterprises, in turn, helped push forward the geographic scale of operations of the industrialized nations: more capital could now be mobilized for foreign loans and investment, and the bigger businesses had the resources for the worldwide search for and development of the raw materials essential to the success and security of their investments. Not only did the new industrialism generate a voracious appetite for raw materials, but food for the swelling urban populations was now also sought in the far corners of the world. Advances in ship construction (steamships using steel hulls, twin screws, and compound engines) made feasible the inexpensive movement of bulk raw materials and food over long ocean distances. Under the pressures and opportunities of the later decades of the 19th century, more and more of the world was drawn upon as primary producers for the industrialized nations. Self-contained economic regions dissolved into a world economy, involving an international division of labour whereby the leading industrial nations made and sold manufactured products and the rest of the world supplied them with raw materials and food.

New militarism
      The complex of social, political, and economic changes that accompanied the new industrialism and the vastly expanded and integrated world commerce also provided a setting for intensified commercial rivalry, the rebuilding of high tariff walls, and a revival of militarism. Of special importance militarily was the race in naval construction, which was propelled by the successful introduction and steady improvement of radically new warships that were steam driven, armour-plated, and equipped with weapons able to penetrate the new armour. Before the development of these new technologies, Britain's naval superiority was overwhelming and unchallengeable. But because Britain was now obliged in effect to build a completely new navy, other nations with adequate industrial capacities and the will to devote their resources to this purpose could challenge Britain's supremacy at sea.

      The new militarism and the intensification of colonial rivalry signalled the end of the relatively peaceful conditions of the mid-19th century. The conflict over the partition of Africa, the South African War (the Boer War), the Sino-Japanese War, the Spanish-American War, and the Russo-Japanese War were among the indications that the new imperialism had opened a new era that was anything but peaceful.

      The new imperialism also represented an intensification of tendencies that had originated in earlier periods. Thus, for example, the decision by the United States to go to war with Spain cannot be isolated from the long-standing interest of the United States in the Caribbean and the Pacific. The defeat of Spain and the suppression of the independence revolutions in Cuba and the Philippines gave substance to the Monroe Doctrine: the United States now became the dominant power in the Caribbean, and the door was opened for acquisition of greater influence in Latin America. Possession of the Philippines was consistent with the historic interest of the United States in the commerce of the Pacific, as it had already manifested by its long interest in Hawaii (annexed in 1898) and by an expedition by Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan (1853).

Historiographical debate
      The new imperialism marked the end of vacillation over the choice of imperialist military and political policies; similar decisions to push imperialist programs to the forefront were made by the leading industrial nations over a relatively short period. This historical conjuncture requires explanation and still remains the subject of debate among historians and social scientists. The pivot of the controversy is the degree to which the new imperialism was the product of primarily economic forces and in particular whether it was a necessary attribute of the capitalist system.

      Serious analysts on both sides of the argument recognize that there is a multitude of factors involved: the main protagonists of economic imperialism recognize that political, military, and ideological influences were also at work; similarly, many who dispute the economic imperialism thesis acknowledge that economic interests played a significant role. The problem, however, is one of assigning priority to causes.

Economic imperialism
      The father of the economic interpretation of the new imperialism was the British liberal economist John Atkinson Hobson. In his seminal study, Imperialism, a Study (first published in 1902), he pointed to the role of such drives as patriotism, philanthropy, and the spirit of adventure in advancing the imperialist cause. As he saw it, however, the critical question was why the energy of these active agents takes the particular form of imperialist expansion. Hobson located the answer in the financial interests of the capitalist class as “the governor of the imperial engine.” Imperialist policy had to be considered irrational if viewed from the vantage point of the nation as a whole: the economic benefits derived were far less than the costs of wars and armaments; and needed social reforms were shunted aside in the excitement of imperial adventure. But it was rational, indeed, in the eyes of the minority of financial interest groups. The reason for this, in Hobson's view, was the persistent congestion of capital in manufacturing. The pressure of capital needing investment outlets arose in part from a maldistribution of income: low mass consuming power blocks the absorption of goods and capital inside the country. Moreover, the practices of the larger firms, especially those operating in trusts and combines, foster restrictions on output, thus avoiding the risks and waste of overproduction. Because of this, the large firms are faced with limited opportunities to invest in expanding domestic production. The result of both the maldistribution of income and monopolistic behaviour is a need to open up new markets and new investment opportunities in foreign countries.

      Hobson's study covered a broader spectrum than the analysis of what he called its economic taproot. It also examined the associated features of the new imperialism, such as political changes, racial attitudes, and nationalism. The book as a whole made a strong impression on, and greatly influenced, Marxist thinkers who were becoming more involved with the struggle against imperialism. The most influential of the Marxist studies was a small book published by Lenin (Lenin, Vladimir Ilich) in 1917, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Despite many similarities, at bottom there is a wide gulf between Hobson's and Lenin's frameworks of analysis and also between their respective conclusions. While Hobson saw the new imperialism serving the interests of certain capitalist groups, he believed that imperialism could be eliminated by social reforms while maintaining the capitalist system. This would require restricting the profits of those classes whose interests were closely tied to imperialism and attaining a more equitable distribution of income so that consumers would be able to buy up a nation's production. Lenin, on the other hand, saw imperialism as being so closely integrated with the structure and normal functioning of an advanced capitalism that he believed that only the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, with the substitution of Socialism, would rid the world of imperialism.

      Lenin placed the issues of imperialism in a context broader than the interests of a special sector of the capitalist class. According to Lenin, capitalism itself changed in the late 19th century; moreover, because this happened at pretty much the same time in several leading capitalist nations, it explains why the new phase of capitalist development came when it did. This new phase, Lenin believed, involves political and social as well as economic changes; but its economic essence is the replacement of competitive capitalism by monopoly (monopoly and competition) capitalism, a more advanced stage in which finance capital, an alliance between large industrial and banking firms, dominates the economic and political life of society. Competition continues, but among a relatively small number of giants who are able to control large sectors of the national and international economy. It is this monopoly capitalism and the resulting rivalry generated among monopoly capitalist nations that foster imperialism; in turn, the processes of imperialism stimulate the further development of monopoly capital and its influence over the whole society.

      The difference between Lenin's more complex paradigm and Hobson's shows up clearly in the treatment of capital export. Like Hobson, Lenin maintained that the increasing importance of capital exports is a key figure of imperialism, but he attributed the phenomenon to much more than pressure from an overabundance of capital. He also saw the acceleration of capital migration arising from the desire to obtain exclusive control over raw material sources and to get a tighter grip on foreign markets. He thus shifted the emphasis from the general problem of surplus capital, inherent in capitalism in all its stages, to the imperatives of control over raw materials and markets in the monopoly stage. With this perspective, Lenin also broadened the concept of imperialism. Because the thrust is to divide the world among monopoly interest groups, the ensuing rivalry extends to a struggle over markets in the leading capitalist nations as well as in the less advanced capitalist and colonial countries. This rivalry is intensified because of the uneven development of different capitalist nations: the latecomers aggressively seek a share of the markets and colonies controlled by those who got there first, who naturally resist such a redivision. Other forces—political, military, and ideological—are at play in shaping the contours of imperialist policy, but Lenin insisted that these influences germinate in the seedbed of monopoly capitalism.

Noneconomic imperialism
      Perhaps the most systematic alternative theory of imperialism was proposed by Joseph Alois Schumpeter (Schumpeter, Joseph A.), one of the best known economists of the first half of the 20th century. His essay “Zur Soziologie des Imperialismus” (“The Sociology of Imperialism”) was first published in Germany in the form of two articles in 1919. Although Schumpeter was probably not familiar with Lenin's Imperialism at the time he wrote his essay, his arguments were directed against the Marxist currents of thought of the early 20th century and in particular against the idea that imperialism grows naturally out of capitalism. Unlike other critics, however, Schumpeter accepted some of the components of the Marxist thesis, and to a certain extent he followed the Marxist tradition of looking for the influence of class forces and class interests as major levers of social change. In doing so, he in effect used the weapons of Marxist thought to rebut the essence of Marxist theory.

      A survey of empires, beginning with the earliest days of written history, led Schumpeter to conclude that there are three generic characteristics of imperialism: (1) At root is a persistent tendency to war and conquest, often producing nonrational expansions that have no sound utilitarian aim. (2) These urges are not innate in man. They evolved from critical experiences when peoples and classes were molded into warriors to avoid extinction; the warrior mentality and the interests of warrior classes live on, however, and influence events even after the vital need for wars and conquests disappears. (3) The drift to war and conquest is sustained and conditioned by the domestic interests of ruling classes, often under the leadership of those individuals who have most to gain economically and socially from war. But for these factors, Schumpeter believed, imperialism would have been swept away into the dustbin of history as capitalist society ripened; for capitalism in its purest form is antithetical to imperialism: it thrives best with peace and free trade. Yet despite the innate peaceful nature of capitalism, interest groups do emerge that benefit from aggressive foreign conquests. Under monopoly capitalism the fusion of big banks and cartels creates a powerful and influential social group that pressures for exclusive control in colonies and protectorates, for the sake of higher profits.

      Notwithstanding the resemblance between Schumpeter's discussion of monopoly and that of Lenin and other Marxists, a crucial difference does remain. Monopoly capitalism in Lenin's frame of reference is a natural outgrowth of the previous stage of competitive capitalism. But according to Schumpeter, it is an artificial graft on the more natural competitive capitalism, made possible by the catalytic effect of the residue from the preceding feudal society. Schumpeter argued that monopoly capitalism can only grow and prosper under the protection of high tariff walls; without that shield there would be large-scale industry but no cartels or other monopolistic arrangements. Because tariff walls are erected by political decisions, it is the state and not a natural economic process that promotes monopoly. Therefore, it is in the nature of the state—and especially those features that blend the heritage of the previous autocratic state, the old war machine, and feudal interests and ideas along with capitalist interests—that the cause of imperialism will be discovered. The particular form of imperialism in modern times is affected by capitalism, and capitalism itself is modified by the imperialist experience. In Schumpeter's analysis, however, imperialism is not an inevitable product of capitalism.

Quest for a general theory of imperialism
      The main trend of academic thought in the Western world is to follow Schumpeter's conclusion—that modern imperialism is not a product of capitalism—without paying close attention to Schumpeter's sophisticated sociological analysis. Specialized studies have produced a variety of interpretations of the origin or reawakening of the new imperialism: for France, bolstering of national prestige after its defeat in the Franco-German War (1870–71); for Germany, Bismarck's design to stay in power when threatened by political rivals; for England, the desire for greater military security in the Mediterranean and India. These reasons—along with other frequently mentioned contributing causes, such as the spirit of national and racial superiority and the drive for power—are still matters of controversy with respect to specific cases and to the problem of fitting them into a general theory of imperialism. For example, if it is found that a new colony was acquired for better military defense of existing colonies, the questions still remain as to why the existing colonies were acquired in the first place and why it was considered necessary to defend them rather than to give them up. Similarly, explanations in terms of the search for power still have to account for the close relationship between power and wealth, because in the real world adequate economic resources are needed for a nation to hold on to its power, let alone to increase it. Conversely, increasing a nation's wealth often requires power. As is characteristic of historical phenomena, imperialist expansion is conditioned by a nation's previous history and the particular situation preceding each expansionist move. Moreover, it is carried forth in the midst of a complex of political, military, economic, and psychological impulses. It would seem, therefore, that the attempt to arrive at a theory that explains each and every imperialist action—ranging from a semifeudal Russia to a relatively undeveloped Italy to an industrially powerful Germany—is a vain pursuit. But this does not eliminate the more important challenge of constructing a theory that will provide a meaningful interpretation of the almost simultaneous eruption of the new imperialism in a whole group of leading powers.

Penetration of the West in Asia and Africa
Russia's eastward expansion
      European nations and Japan at the end of the 19th century spread their influence and control throughout the continent of Asia. Russia, because of its geographic position, was the only occupying power whose Asian conquests were overland. In that respect there is some similarity between Russia and the United States in the forcible outward push of their continental frontiers. But there is a significant difference: the United States advance displaced the indigenous population, with the remaining Indians becoming wards of the state. On the other hand, the Russian march across Asia resulted in the incorporation of alien cultures and societies as virtual colonies of the Russian Empire, while providing room for the absorption of Russian settlers.

      Although the conquest of Siberia and the drive to the Pacific had been periodically absorbing Russia's military energies since the 16th century, the acquisition of additional Asian territory and the economic integration of previously acquired territory took a new turn in the 19th century. Previously, Russian influence in its occupied territory was quite limited, without marked alteration of the social and economic structure of the conquered peoples. Aside from looting and exacting tribute from subject tribes, the major objects of interest were the fur trade, increased commerce with China and in the Pacific, and land. But changes in 19th-century Russian society, especially those coming after the Crimean War (1853–56), signaled a new departure. First, Russia's resounding defeat in that war temporarily frustrated its aspirations in the Balkans and the Near East; but, because its dynastic and military ambitions were in no way diminished, its expansionist energies turned with increased vigour to its Asian frontiers. Second, the emancipation of the serfs (1861), which eased the feudal restrictions on the landless peasants, led to large waves of migration by Russians and Ukrainians—first to Siberia and later to Central Asia. Third, the surge of industrialization, foreign trade, and railway building in the post-Crimean War decades paved the way for the integration of Russian Asia, which formerly, for all practical purposes, had been composed of separate dependencies, and for a new type of subjugation for many of these areas, especially in Central Asia, in which the conquered societies were “colonized” to suit the political and economic needs of the conqueror.

      This process of acquisition and consolidation in Asia spread out in four directions: Siberia, the Far East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. This pursuit of tsarist ambitions for empire and for warm-water ports involved numerous clashes and conflicts along the way. Russian expansion was ultimately limited not by the fierce opposition of the native population, which was at times a stumbling block, but by the counterpressure of competitive empire builders, such as Great Britain and Japan. Great Britain and Russia were mutually alarmed as the distances between the expanding frontiers of Russia and India shortened. One point of conflict was finally resolved when both powers agreed on the delimitation of the northern border of Afghanistan. A second major area of conflict in Central Asia was settled by an Anglo-Russian treaty (1907) to divide Persia into two separate spheres of influence, leaving a nominally independent Persian nation.

      As in the case of Afghanistan and Persia, penetration of Chinese territory produced clashes with both the native government and other imperialist powers. At times China's preoccupation with its struggle against other invading powers eased the way for Russia's penetration. Thus, in 1860, when Anglo-French soldiers had entered Peking, Russia was able to wrest from China the Amur Province and special privileges in Manchuria (Northeast Provinces) south of the Amur River. With this as a stepping-stone, Russia took over the seacoast north of Korea and founded the town of Vladivostok. But, because the Vladivostok harbour is icebound for some four months of the year, the Russians began to pay more attention to getting control of the Korean coastline, where many good year-round harbours could be found. Attempts to acquire a share of Korea, as well as all of Manchuria, met with the resistance of Britain and Japan. Further thrusts into China beyond the Amur and maritime provinces were finally thwarted by defeat in 1905 in the Russo-Japanese War.

The partitioning of China
      The evolution of the penetration of Asia was naturally influenced by a multiplicity of factors—economic and political conditions in the expanding nations, the strategy of the military officials of the latter nations, the problems facing colonial rulers in each locality, pressures arising from white settlers and businessmen in the colonies, as well as the constraints imposed by the always limited economic and military resources of the imperialist powers. All these elements were present to a greater or lesser extent at each stage of the forward push of the colonial frontiers by the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), and the British in Malaya, Burma, and Borneo.

      Yet, despite the variety of influences at work, three general types of penetration stand out. One of these is expansion designed to overcome resistance to foreign rule. Resistance, which assumed many forms ranging from outright rebellion to sabotage of colonial political and economic domination, was often strongest in the border areas farthest removed from the centres of colonial power. The consequent extension of military control to the border regions tended to arouse the fears and opposition of neighbouring states or tribal societies and thus led to the further extension of control. Hence, attempts to achieve military security prompted the addition of border areas and neighbouring nations to the original colony.

      A second type of expansion was a response to the economic opportunities offered by exploitation of the colonial interiors. Traditional trade and the free play of market forces in Asia did not produce huge supplies of raw materials and food or the enlarged export markets sought by the industrializing colonial powers. For this, entrepreneurs and capital from abroad were needed, mines and plantations had to be organized, labour supplies mobilized, and money economies created. All these alien intrusions functioned best under the firm security of an accommodating alien law and order.

      The third type of expansion was the result of rivalry among colonial powers. When possible, new territory was acquired or old possessions extended in order either to preclude occupation by rivals or to serve as buffers for military security against the expansions of nearby colonial powers. Where the crosscurrents of these rivalries prevented any one power from obtaining exclusive control, various substitute arrangements were arrived at: parts of a country were chipped off and occupied by one or more of the powers; spheres of influence were partitioned; unequal commercial treaties were imposed—while the countries subjected to such treatment remained nominally independent.

      The penetration of China is the outstanding example of this type of expansion. In the early 19th century the middle part of eastern Asia (Japan, Korea, and China), containing about half the Asian population, was still little affected by Western penetration. By the end of the century, Korea was on the way to becoming annexed by Japan, which had itself become a leading imperialist power. China remained independent politically, though it was already extensively dominated by outside powers. Undoubtedly, the intense rivalry of the foreign powers helped save China from being taken over outright (as India had been). China was pressed on all sides by competing powers anxious for its trade and territory: Russia from the north, Great Britain (via India and Burma) from the south and west, France (via Indochina) from the south, and Japan and the United States (in part, via the Philippines) from the east.

      The first phase of the forceful penetration of China by western Europe came in the two Opium Wars. Great Britain had been buying increasing quantities of tea from China, but it had few products that China was interested in buying by way of exchange. A resulting steady drain of British silver to pay for the tea was eventually stopped by Great Britain's ascendancy in India. With British merchants in control of India's foreign trade and with the financing of this trade centred in London, a three-way exchange developed: the tea Britain bought in China was paid for by India's exports of opium and cotton to China. And because of a rapidly increasing demand for tea in England, British merchants actively fostered the profitable exports of opium and cotton from India.

      An increasing Chinese addiction to opium fed a boom in imports of the drug and led to an unfavourable trade balance paid for by a steady loss of China's silver reserves. In light of the economic effect of the opium trade plus the physical and mental deterioration of opium users, Chinese authorities banned the opium trade. At first this posed few obstacles to British merchants, who resorted to smuggling. But enforcement of the ban became stringent toward the end of the 1830s; stores of opium were confiscated, and warehouses were closed down. British merchants had an additional and longstanding grievance because the Chinese limited all trade by foreigners to the port of Canton.

      In June 1840 the British fleet arrived at the mouth of the Canton River to begin the Opium War. The Chinese capitulated in 1842 after the fleet reached the Yangtze, Shanghai fell, and Nanking was under British guns. The resulting Treaty of Nanking—the first in a series of commercial treaties China was forced to sign over the years—provided for: (1) cession of Hong Kong to the British crown; (2) the opening of five treaty ports, where the British would have residence and trade rights; (3) the right of British nationals in China who were accused of criminal acts to be tried in British courts; and (4) the limitation of duties on imports and exports to a modest rate. Other countries soon took advantage of this forcible opening of China; in a few years similar treaties were signed by China with the United States, France, and Russia.

      The Chinese, however, tried to retain some independence by preventing foreigners from entering the interior of China. With the country's economic and social institutions still intact, markets for Western goods, such as cotton textiles and machinery, remained disappointing: the self-sufficient communities of China were not disrupted as those in India had been under direct British rule, and opium smuggling by British merchants continued as a major component of China's foreign trade. Western merchants sought further concessions to improve markets. But meanwhile China's weakness, along with the stresses induced by foreign intervention, was further intensified by an upsurge of peasant rebellions, especially the massive 14-year Taiping Rebellion (1850–64).

      The Western powers took advantage of the increasing difficulties by pressing for even more favourable trade treaties, culminating in a second war against China (1856–60), this time by France and England. Characteristically, the Western powers invading China played a double role: in addition to forcing a new trade treaty, they also helped to sustain the Chinese ruling establishment by participating in the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion; they believed that a Taiping victory would result in a reformed and centralized China, more resistant to Western penetration. China's defeat in the second war with the West produced a series of treaties, signed at Tientsin with Britain, France, Russia, and the United States, which brought the Western world deeper into China's affairs. The Tientsin treaties provided, among other things, for the right of foreign nationals to travel in the interior, the right of foreign ships to trade and patrol on the Yangtze River, the opening up of more treaty ports, and additional exclusive legal jurisdiction by foreign powers over their nationals residing in China.

Foreign privileges in China
      Treaties of this general nature were extended over the years to grant further privileges to foreigners. Furthermore, more and more Western nations—including Germany, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Austria-Hungary—took advantage of the new opportunities by signing such treaties. By the beginning of the 20th century, some 90 Chinese ports had been opened to foreign control. While the Chinese government retained nominal sovereignty in these ports, de facto rule was exercised by one or more of the powers: in Shanghai, for example, Great Britain and the United States coalesced their interests to form the Shanghai International Settlement. In most of the treaty ports, China leased substantial areas of land at low rates to foreign governments. The consulates in these concessions exercised legal jurisdiction over their nationals, who thereby escaped China's laws and tax collections. The foreign settlements had their own police forces and tax systems and ran their own affairs independently of nominally sovereign China.

      These settlements were not the only intrusion on China's sovereignty. In addition, the opium trade was finally legalized, customs duties were forced downward to facilitate competition of imported Western goods, foreign gunboats patrolled China's rivers, and aliens were placed on customs-collection staffs to ensure that China would pay the indemnities imposed by various treaties. In response to these indignities and amid growing antiforeign sentiment, the Chinese government attempted reforms to modernize and develop sufficient strength to resist foreign intrusions. Steps were taken to master Western science and technology, erect shipyards and arsenals, and build a more effective army and navy. The reforms, however, did not get very far: they did not tackle the roots of China's vulnerability, its social and political structure; and they were undertaken quite late, after foreign nations had already established a strong foothold. Also, it is likely that the reforms were not wholehearted because two opposing tendencies were at play: on the one hand, a wish to seek independence and, on the other hand, a basic reliance on foreign support by a weak Manchu government beset with rebellion and internal opposition.

      In any event, preliminary attempts to Westernize Chinese society from within did not deter further foreign penetration; nor did the subsequent revolution (1911) succeed in freeing China from Western domination. Toward the end of the 19th century, under the impact of the new imperialism, the spread of foreign penetration accelerated. Germany entered a vigorous bid for its sphere of influence; Japan and Russia pushed forward their territorial claims; and U.S. commercial and financial penetration of the Pacific, with naval vessels patrolling Chinese rivers, was growing rapidly. But at the same time this mounting foreign interest also inhibited the outright partition of China. Any step by one of the powers toward outright partition or sizable enlargement of its sphere of influence met with strong opposition from other powers. This led eventually to the Open Door Policy, advocated by the United States, which limited or restricted exclusive privileges of any one power vis-à-vis the others. It became generally accepted after the antiforeign Boxer Rebellion (1900) in China. With the foreign armies that had been brought in to suppress the rebellion now stationed in North China, the danger to the continued existence of the Chinese government and the danger of war among the imperialist powers for their share of the country seemed greater than ever. Agreement on the Open Door policy helped to retain both a compliant native government and equal opportunity for commerce, finance, and investment by the more advanced nations.

Japan's rise as a colonial power
      Japan was the only Asian country to escape colonization from the West. European nations and the United States tried to “open the door,” and to some extent they succeeded; but Japan was able to shake off the kind of subjugation, informal or formal, to which the rest of Asia succumbed. Even more important, it moved onto the same road of industrialization as did Europe and the United States. And instead of being colonized it became one of the colonial powers.

      Japan had traditionally sought to avoid foreign intrusion. For many years, only the Dutch and the Chinese were allowed trading depots, each having access to only one port. No other foreigners were permitted to land in Japan, though Russia, France, and England tried, but with little success. The first significant crack in Japan's trade and travel barriers was forced by the United States in an effort to guarantee and strengthen its shipping interests in the Far East. Japan's guns and ships were no match for those of Commodore Perry in his two U.S. naval expeditions to Japan (1853, 1854).

      The Japanese, well aware of the implications of foreign penetration through observing what was happening to China, tried to limit Western trade to two ports. In 1858, however, Japan agreed to a full commercial treaty with the United States, followed by similar treaties with the Low Countries, Russia, France, and Britain. The treaty pattern was familiar: more ports were opened; resident foreigners were granted extraterritorial rights, as in China; import and export duties were predetermined, thus removing control that Japan might otherwise exercise over its foreign trade.

      Many attempts have been made to explain why a weak Japan was not taken over as a colony or, at least, did not follow in China's footsteps. Despite the absence of a commonly accepted theory, two factors were undoubtedly crucial. On the one hand, the Western nations did not pursue their attempts to control Japan as aggressively as they did elsewhere. In Asia the interests of the more aggressively expanding powers had centred on India, China, and the immediately surrounding areas. When greater interest developed in a possible breakthrough in Japan in the 1850s and 1860s, the leading powers were occupied with other pressing affairs, such as the 1857 Indian mutiny, the Taiping Rebellion, the Crimean War, French intervention in Mexico, and the U.S. Civil War. International jealousy may also have played a role in deterring any one power from trying to gain exclusive control over the country. On the other hand, in Japan itself, the danger of foreign military intervention, a crisis in its traditional feudal society, the rise of commerce, and a disaffected peasantry led to an intense internal power struggle and finally to a revolutionary change in the country's society and a thoroughgoing modernization program, one that brought Japan the economic and military strength to resist foreign nations.

      The opposing forces in Japan's civil war were lined up between the supporters of the ruling Tokugawa family, which headed a rigid hierarchical feudal society, and the supporters of the emperor Meiji, whose court had been isolated from any significant government role. The civil war culminated in 1868 in the overthrow of the Tokugawa government and the restoration of the rule of the Emperor. The Meiji Restoration also brought new interest groups to the centre of political power and instigated a radical redirection of Japan's economic development. The nub of the changeover was the destruction of the traditional feudal social system and the building of a political, social, and economic framework conducive to capitalist industrialization. The new state actively participated in the turnabout by various forms of grants and guarantees to enterprising industrialists and by direct investment in basic industries such as railways, shipbuilding, communications, and machinery. The concentration of resources in the industrial sector was matched by social reforms that eliminated feudal restrictions, accelerated mass education, and encouraged acquisition of skills in the use of Western technology. The ensuing industrialized economy provided the means for Japan to hold its own in modern warfare and to withstand foreign economic competition.

      Soon Japan not only followed the Western path of internal industrialization, but it also began an outward aggression resembling that of the European nations. First came the acquisition and colonization of neighbouring islands: Ryukyu Islands (including Okinawa), the Kuril Islands, Bonin Islands, and Hokkaido. Next in Japan's expansion program was Korea, but the opposition of other powers postponed the transformation of Korea into a Japanese colony. The pursuit of influence in Korea involved Japan in war with China (1894–95), at the end of which China recognized Japan's interest in Korea and ceded to Japan Taiwan, the Pescadores, and southern Manchuria. At this point rival powers interceded to force Japan to forgo taking over the southern Manchuria peninsula. While France, Britain, and Germany were involved in seeking to frustrate Japan's imperial ambitions, the most direct clash was with Russia over Korea and Manchuria. Japan's defeat of Russia (Russo-Japanese War) in the war of 1904–05 procured for Japan the lease of the Liaotung Peninsula, the southern part of the island of Sakhalin, and recognition of its “paramount interest” in Korea. Still, pressure by Britain and the United States kept Japan from fulfillment of its plan to possess Manchuria outright. By the early 20th century, however, Japan had, by means of economic and political penetration, attained a privileged position in that part of China, as well as colonies in Korea and Taiwan and neighbouring islands.

Partition of Africa
      By the turn of the 20th century, the map of Africa looked like a huge jigsaw puzzle, with most of the boundary lines having been drawn in a sort of game of give-and-take played in the foreign offices of the leading European powers. The division of Africa, the last continent to be so carved up, was essentially a product of the new imperialism, vividly highlighting its essential features. In this respect, the timing and the pace of the scramble for Africa are especially noteworthy. Before 1880 colonial possessions in Africa were relatively few and limited to coastal areas, with large sections of the coastline and almost all the interior still independent. By 1900 Africa was almost entirely divided into separate territories that were under the administration of European nations. The only exceptions were Liberia, generally regarded as being under the special protection of the United States; Morocco, conquered by France a few years later; Libya, later taken over by Italy; and Ethiopia.

      The second feature of the new imperialism was also strongly evident. It was in Africa that Germany made its first major bid for membership in the club of colonial powers: between May 1884 and February 1885, Germany announced its claims to territory in South West Africa (now South West Africa/Namibia), Togoland, Cameroon, and part of the East African coast opposite Zanzibar. Two smaller nations, Belgium and Italy, also entered the ranks, and even Portugal and Spain once again became active in bidding for African territory. The increasing number of participants in itself sped up the race for conquest. And with the heightened rivalry came more intense concern for preclusive occupation, increased attention to military arguments for additional buffer zones, and, in a period when free trade was giving way to protective tariffs and discriminatory practices in colonies as well as at home, a growing urgency for protected overseas markets. Not only the wish but also the means were at hand for this carving up of the African pie. Repeating rifles, machine guns, and other advances in weaponry gave the small armies of the conquering nations the effective power to defeat the much larger armies of the peoples of Africa. Rapid railroad construction provided the means for military, political, and economic consolidation of continental interiors. With the new steamships, settlers and materials could be moved to Africa with greater dispatch, and bulk shipments of raw materials and food from Africa, prohibitively costly for some products in the days of the sailing ship, became economically feasible and profitable.

      Penetration of Islāmic North Africa was complicated, on the one hand, by the struggle among European powers for control of the Mediterranean Sea and, on the other hand, by the suzerainty that the Ottoman Empire exercised to a greater or lesser extent over large sections of the region. Developments in both respects contributed to the wave of partition toward the end of the 19th century. First, Ottoman power was perceptibly waning: the military balance had tipped decisively in favour of the European nations, and Turkey was becoming increasingly dependent on loans from European centres of capital (in the late 1870s Turkey needed half of its government income just to service its foreign debt). Second, the importance of domination of the Mediterranean increased significantly after the Suez Canal was opened in 1869.

      France was the one European nation that had established a major beachhead in Islāmic North Africa before the 1880s. At a time when Great Britain was too preoccupied to interfere, the French captured the fortress of Algiers in 1830. Frequent revolts kept the French Army busy in the Algerian interior for another 50 years before all Algeria was under full French rule. While Tunisia and Egypt had been areas of great interest to European powers during the long period of France's Algerian takeover, the penetration of these countries had been informal, confined to diplomatic and financial maneuvers. Italy, as well as France and England, had loaned large sums to the ruling beys of Tunisia to help loosen that country's ties with Turkey. The inability of the beys to service the foreign debt in the 1870s led to the installation of debt commissioners by the lenders. Tunisia's revenues were pledged to pay the interest due on outstanding bonds; in fact, the debt charges had first call on the government's income. With this came increased pressure on the people for larger tax payments and a growing popular dissatisfaction with a government that had “sold out” to foreigners. The weakness of the ruling group, intensified by the danger of popular revolt or a military coup, opened the door further for formal occupation by one of the interested foreign powers. When Italy's actions showed that it might be preparing for outright possession, France jumped the gun by invading Tunisia in 1881 and then completed its conquest by defeating the rebellions precipitated by this occupation.

The Europeans in North Africa
      The course of Egypt's loss of sovereignty resembled somewhat the same process in Tunisia: easy credit extended by Europeans, bankruptcy, increasing control by foreign-debt commissioners, mulcting of the peasants to raise revenue for servicing the debt, growing independence movements, and finally military conquest by a foreign power. In Egypt, inter-imperialist rivalry, mainly between Great Britain and France, reached back to the early 19th century but was intensified under the circumstances of the new imperialism and the construction of the Suez Canal. By building the Suez Canal and financing Egypt's ruling group, France had gained a prominent position in Egypt. But Britain's interests were perhaps even more pressing because the Suez Canal was a strategic link to its empire and its other Eastern trade and colonial interests. The successful nationalist revolt headed by the Egyptian army imminently threatened in the 1880s the interests of both powers. France, occupied with war in Tunisia and with internal political problems, did not participate in the military intervention to suppress the revolt. Great Britain bombarded Alexandria in 1882, landed troops, and thus obtained control of Egypt. Unable to find a stable collaborationist government that would also pay Egypt's debts and concerned with suppressing not only the rebellion but also a powerful anti-Egyptian Mahdist revolt in the Sudan, Britain completely took over the reins of government in Egypt.

      The rest of North Africa was carved up in the early 20th century. France, maneuvering for possession of Morocco, which bordered on her Algerian colony, tried to obtain the acquiescence of the other powers by both secret and open treaties granting Italy a free hand in Libya, allotting to Spain a sphere of influence, and acknowledging Britain's paramountcy in Egypt. France had, however, overlooked Germany's ambitions, now backed by an increasingly effective army and navy. The tension created by Germany led to an international conference at Algeciras (Algeciras Conference) (1906), which produced a short-lived compromise, including recognition of France's paramount interest, Spanish participation in policing Morocco, and an open door for the country's economic penetration by other nations. But France's vigorous pursuit of her claims, reinforced by the occupation of Casablanca and surrounding territory, precipitated critical confrontations, which reached their peak in 1911 when French troops were suppressing a Moroccan revolt and a German cruiser appeared before Agadir in a show of force. The resulting settlements completed the European partition of North Africa: France obtained the lion's share of Morocco; in return, Germany received a large part of the French Congo; Italy was given the green light for its war with Turkey over control of Tripoli, the first step in its eventual acquisition of Libya; and Spain was enabled to extend its Río de Oro protectorate to the southern frontier of Morocco. The more or less peaceful trade-offs by the occupying powers differed sharply from the long, bitter, and expensive wars they waged against the indigenous peoples and rulers of Islāmic North Africa to solidify European rule.

The race for colonies in sub-Saharan Africa
      The partition of Africa below the Sahara took place at two levels: (1) on paper—in deals made among colonial powers who were seeking colonies partly for the sake of the colonies themselves and partly as pawns in the power play of European nations struggling for world dominance—and (2) in the field—in battles of conquest against African states and tribes and in military confrontations among the rival powers themselves. This process produced, over and above the ravages of colonialism, a wasp's nest of problems that was to plague African nations long after they achieved independence. Boundary lines between colonies were often drawn arbitrarily, with little or no attention to ethnic unity, regional economic ties, tribal migratory patterns, or even natural boundaries.

      Before the race for partition, only three European powers—France, Portugal, and Britain—had territory in tropical Africa, located mainly in West Africa (western Africa, history of). Only France had moved into the interior along the Sénégal River. The other French colonies or spheres of influence were located along the Ivory Coast and in Dahomey (now Benin) and Gabon. Portugal held on to some coastal points in Angola, Mozambique (Moçambique), and Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau). While Great Britain had a virtual protectorate over Zanzibar in East Africa, its actual possessions were on the west coast in the Gambia, the Gold Coast, the Sierra Leone, all of them surrounded by African states that had enough organization and military strength to make the British hesitate about further expansion. Meanwhile, the ground for eventual occupation of the interior of tropical Africa was being prepared by explorers, missionaries, and traders. But such penetration remained tenuous until the construction of railroads and the arrival of steamships on navigable waterways made it feasible for European merchants to dominate the trade of the interior and for European governments to consolidate conquests.

      Once conditions were ripe for the introduction of railroads and steamships in West Africa, tensions between the English and French increased as each country tried to extend its sphere of influence. As customs duties, the prime source of colonial revenue, could be evaded in uncontrolled ports, both powers began to stretch their coastal frontiers, and overlapping claims and disputes soon arose. The commercial penetration of the interior created additional rivalry and set off a chain reaction. The drive for exclusive control over interior areas intensified in response to both economic competition and the need for protection from African states resisting foreign intrusion. This drive for African possessions was intensified by the new entrants to the colonial race who felt menaced by the possibility of being completely locked out.

      Perhaps the most important stimulants to the scramble for colonies south of the Sahara were the opening up of the Congo River basin by Belgium's king Leopold II and Germany's energetic annexationist activities on both the east and west coasts. As the dash for territory began to accelerate, 15 nations convened in Berlin in 1884 for the West African Conference (Berlin West Africa Conference), which, however, merely set ground rules for the ensuing intensified scramble for colonies. It also recognized the Congo Free State (now Congo [Kinshasa]) ruled by King Leopold, while insisting that the rivers in the Congo basin be open to free trade. From his base in the Congo, the king subsequently took over mineral-rich Katanga region, transferring both territories to Belgium in 1908.

      In West Africa, Germany concentrated on consolidating its possessions of Togoland and Cameroon (Kamerun), while England and France pushed northward and eastward from their bases: England concentrated on the Niger region, the centre of its commercial activity, while France aimed at joining its possessions at Lake Chad within a grand design for an empire of contiguous territories from Algeria to the Congo. Final boundaries were arrived at after the British had defeated, among others, the Ashanti, the Fanti Confederation, the Opobo kingdom, and the Fulani; and the French won wars against the Fon kingdom, the Tuareg, the Mandingo, and other resisting tribes. The boundaries determined by conquest and agreement between the conquerors gave France the lion's share: in addition to the extension of its former coastal possessions, France acquired French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa, while Britain carved out its Nigerian colony.

      In southern Africa, the intercolonial rivalries chiefly involved the British, the Portuguese, the South African Republic of the Transvaal, the British-backed Cape Colony, and the Germans. The acquisitive drive was enormously stimulated by dreams of wealth generated by the discovery of diamonds in Griqualand West and gold in Matabeleland. Encouraged by these discoveries, Cecil Rhodes (heading the British South Africa Company) and other entrepreneurs expected to find gold, copper, and diamonds in the regions surrounding the Transvaal, among them Bechuanaland, Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and Trans-Zambezia. In the ensuing struggle, which involved the conquest of the Nbele and Shona peoples, Britain obtained control over Bechuanaland and, through the British South Africa Company, over the areas later designated as the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. At the same time, Portugal moved inland to seize control over the colony of Mozambique. It was clearly the rivalries of stronger powers, especially the concern of Germany and France over the extension of British rule in southern Africa, that enabled a weak Portugal to have its way in Angola and Mozambique.

      The boundary lines in East Africa (eastern Africa, history of) were arrived at largely in settlements between Britain and Germany, the two chief rivals in that region. Zanzibar and the future Tanganyika were divided in the Anglo-German treaty of 1890: Britain obtained the future Uganda and recognition of its paramount interest in Zanzibar and Pemba in exchange for ceding the strategic North Sea island of Heligoland (Helgoland) and noninterference in Germany's acquisitions in Tanganyika, Rwanda, and Urundi. Britain began to build an East African railroad to the coast, establishing the East African Protectorate (later Kenya) over the area where the railroad was to be built.

      Rivalry in northeastern Africa between the French and British was based on domination of the upper end of the Nile. Italy had established itself at two ends of Ethiopia, in an area on the Red Sea that the Italians called Eritrea and in Italian Somaliland along the Indian Ocean. Italy's inland thrust led to war with Ethiopia and defeat at the hands of the Ethiopians at Adwa (Adwa, Battle of) in 1896. Ethiopia, surrounded by Italian and British armies, had turned to French advisers. The unique victory by an African state over a European army strengthened French influence in Ethiopia and enabled France to stage military expeditions from Ethiopia as well as from the Congo in order to establish footholds on the Upper Nile. The resulting race between British and French armies ended in a confrontation at Fashoda (Fashoda Incident) in 1898, with the British army in the stronger position. War was narrowly avoided in a settlement that completed the partition of the region: eastern Sudan was to be ruled jointly by Britain and Egypt, while France was to have the remaining Sudan from the Congo and Lake Chad to Darfur.

      Germany's entrance into southern Africa through occupation and conquest of South West Africa touched off an upsurge of British colonial activity in that area, notably the separation of Basutoland (Lesotho) as a crown colony from the Cape Colony and the annexation of Zululand. As a consequence of the South African (Boer) War (South African War) (1899–1902) Britain obtained sovereignty over the Transvaal and the Afrikaner Orange Free State.

Harry Magdoff

World War I and the interwar period (1914–39)
Postwar redistribution of colonies
      After World War I the Allied powers partitioned among themselves both the German overseas colonial holdings and the vast Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. They carried out this operation through the League of Nations (Nations, League of), which awarded mandates under varying conditions. Great Britain received as mandates Iraq and Palestine (which it promptly split into Transjordan and Palestine proper); the Palestine mandate obligated Britain to respect its contradictory wartime commitments to both Jews and Arabs. France assumed a mandate over both Syria and Lebanon. In Africa the two powers divided Togo and Cameroon between them, Britain acquired Tanganyika (with a few thousand German settlers), Belgium took Rwanda-Urundi, and South Africa received German South West Africa. Italy, as compensation for not sharing in the award of mandates, obtained from Britain the Juba (Giuba) Valley on the Kenya-Somali frontier, and France eventually ceded to Italy a desert area that rounded out Libya's southern frontiers.

      The interwar years marked the apex of colonial empires throughout the world, and indirect forms of colonial penetration grew with the development of the petroleum industry. Nevertheless, most colonial systems began to show clear signs of strain and even revolt. The Russian Revolution, the Nationalist and Communist successes in China during the 1920s and '30s, the radical nationalism of Kemal Atatürk (Atatürk, Kemal)—all contributed to the rise of political movements opposed to colonialism. The very process of economic modernization, however—with the rise of factories, coordination with the world market, and mass urbanization—did more than any political or cultural factor, taken in itself, to undermine the paternal-militaristic forms of direct colonial domination.

The British Empire
      Britain tended toward a decentralized and empirical type of colonial administration, in which some degree of partial decolonization could prepare the way for eventual self-rule. Realizing that direct rule over ancient civilized lands could not last indefinitely, Britain worked for a continued British presence in areas where the empire conferred self-government.

      At the outset of World War I, Britain had proclaimed a protectorate over Egypt, annulling Ottoman sovereignty; afterward, Egyptian nationalist leaders finally brought the British to recognize Egypt as an independent kingdom in 1922. In 1936–37 Egypt received control over its own economic development, and British military forces were confined to the Suez Canal area. Britain granted Iraq independence in 1932 but retained a military power base in the new kingdom. Both the world strategic balance and the British petroleum industry ruled out any possibility of a real British withdrawal from either of these Middle Eastern states.

      In Palestine the political claims of Arabs and Jews proved to be irreconcilable, and insurrection, terrorism, and occasional guerrilla warfare marked the whole period of British rule. Finally, in 1939, with war looming, the British decided to limit and eventually terminate the flow of Jewish refugees into Palestine, though not proposing to force the more than 500,000 Jewish inhabitants to live under an Arab national regime. Transjordan, detached from Palestine, became a British protectorate.

      In India Britain faced a powerful adversary, the Indian National Congress, uniting businessmen and working classes, Hindus of high and low caste, in a common drive toward independence. The Congress never, however, succeeded in bridging the gap that separated the country's Hindu and Sikh majority from its 90,000,000 Muslims. The British met the Indian anticolonial movement half way. In 1919–23 a series of measures gave the Indians a certain degree of self-rule in a “dyarchy” in which elected Indian ministers governed together with British administrators. These constitutional reforms, however, failed to bring the princely states into line with the new trend toward self-rule. Though Mahatma Gandhi denounced the new system as a “whited sepulchre,” Congress in fact began to participate in the governmental process. Under the constitution granted in 1935–37, the British maintained separate voting rolls for the Muslim minority, in order to ensure its proportional representation; in 1939 relations between Britain and the Congress Party were tense, but India was clearly headed for independence in some form.

      In 1937 the British gave a separate constitution to Burma. Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka in 1972) had been separate and self-governing from 1931.

      In British Africa decolonization progressed more slowly, but London began to accept it as an ultimate outcome. In Kenya, for example, the British government refused to grant the 20,000 European settlers in the “white highlands” any kind of direct political power over the mass of tribal blacks who constituted the colony's overwhelming majority. In British West Africa the passage from direct colonial government to self-rule by a black elite had started by 1939, there being no white settlers or Indian merchants (as there were in East Africa) to complicate matters. Only in the mining areas of Northern Rhodesia (the Copperbelt) and in Southern Rhodesia, where white farmer settlers enjoyed self-government and caste privileges over a disenfranchised black majority, did decolonization make no headway at all.

Overseas France
      France, in contrast to Britain, preferred centralized and assimilative methods in an effort to integrate its colonies into a greater Overseas France. It made no progress in colonial devolution and refused even to grant independence to Syria and Lebanon. In North Africa the French energetically implanted large agrarian capitalist enterprises as well as some industries connected with the area's mineral wealth. These modern production centres and infrastructures were directed and financed by metropolitan French business and were staffed and operated by a large, politically aggressive European settler population. The Muslim majority was subordinate both politically and economically; North African peasants struggled to subsist on the margins. Overt resistance was strongest in Morocco, where a rural Muslim rebellion endangered both the French and the Spanish protectorates. Abd el-Krim, a Berber Moroccan leader who combined tradition with modern nationalism, waged a brilliant five-year campaign till a combined French and Spanish force finally defeated him in 1926. After 1934, resistance to France revived in Morocco, this time in the cities. In Tunisia resistance was centred in Habib Bourguiba's constitutional party; in Algeria the urban Muslim middle classes merely asked for true civil rights and integration. The French Communist Party did not move to mobilize the peasant masses in an anticolonial struggle, and, in consequence, future rebellion in the Maghrib was to be Arab nationalist and not Marxist in its leadership and doctrines.

      Matters were different in French Indochina, where the growth of a modern, French-directed agricultural economy had thrown masses of peasants into debt slavery. The circumstances favoured the formation of an independence movement much influenced by both the Chinese Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party; the movement in the 1930s took the form of a Communist party under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh.

      French sub-Saharan Africa attracted no European settler population. The French colonial authorities promoted a shift from subsistence to market economies, and their methods, including labour conscription for public works, led to protest and questions in the French parliament. The results, guaranteed by a protective tariff linking the colonies to France, were solid but unspectacular.

      In the 1930s an aggressive new colonialism developed on the part of the Axis Powers, which developed a new colonial doctrine (“living space” in German geopolitics, the “empire” in Italian Fascist ideology, the “co-prosperity sphere” in Japan) aiming at the repartition of the world's colonial areas, justified by the supposed racial superiority, higher birth rates, and greater productivity that the Axis Powers enjoyed as against the “decadent” West. To this the Japanese added a slogan of their own, “Asia for the Asians.” In fact, the three powers aimed at carving out for themselves vast, self-sufficient empires. Though intent on a new colonialism of their own, they had to use anticolonialism as a political instrument before and during World War II; in doing so, they helped in the process of world decolonization.

      Fascist Italy's first colonial war was a long, bloody campaign in Cyrenaica that lasted until the early 1930s, when Italy began developing Libya as a place of settlement for Italian peasants. Then a dispute over the border between Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia (1934) gave the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini (Mussolini, Benito), the opportunity to move against the African power that had routed Italian armies at Adwa. In October 1935 Italian troops from Eritrea moved into the Tigray province of northern Ethiopia, although war was never declared. Ethiopia, underequipped and feudal, could not long hold out in open combat, especially against Italian air attacks. In May 1936 Italian motorized columns reached Addis Ababa, and the Emperor went into exile. Mussolini proclaimed the Italian “empire” in East Africa. In reality, however, Ethiopian feudal chiefs continued violent resistance, even in the environs of the capital, while the Italians massacred hundreds of nobles, clergy, and commoners in an effort to repress Ethiopia by terror. In this their success was limited. The Italians built roads and kept control over all principal communication lines, but they never subdued the mountainous hinterland.

      The Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, Japan's new order, amounted to a self-contained empire from Manchuria to the Dutch East Indies, including China, Indochina, Thailand, and Malaya as satellite states. Japan intended to exclude both European imperialism and Communist influence from the entire Far East, while ensuring Japanese political and industrial hegemony.

The United States and the Soviet Union
      During World War I the United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark (1917), but it acquired no new colonies thereafter. In the 1920s the United States agreed to leave unfortified its possessions beyond Hawaii, in exchange for Japan's accepting naval limitations. The Philippines, by the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, were to become independent on July 4, 1946. Until U.S.-Japanese relations began to worsen, in 1939, U.S. possessions in the Pacific counted for little in world affairs. On the other hand, the United States established or continued virtual protectorates in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Panama during the Harding and Coolidge administrations (1921–29), a trend reversed under Hoover and Roosevelt, particularly under the latter's Good Neighbor Policy toward Latin America.

      The new Soviet Russian regime succeeded, after years of civil and foreign war, in regaining the Asian possessions of its tsarist predecessor. The Caucasus was repossessed step by step between 1919 and 1921; after the mountain areas and Azerbaijan were brought back under Soviet control, Armenia was partitioned between Russia and Turkey. Then Georgia, an independent parliamentary republic, was overrun by the Red Army. Russian Turkistan was subdued by 1922, and the khanates of Khiva and Bukhara were suppressed. By 1922, Outer Mongolia was also solidly linked to the Soviet state. Nevertheless, the Russian revolutionary government was ideologically opposed to colonialism, especially where it had no colonial interests that it cared to defend. In general, the Soviet authorities hesitated during the interwar period between the alternatives of backing liberation movements of “national bourgeoisies” and supporting peasant revolutionary parties.

      In Central Asia the Soviet authorities followed a moderate line up to 1928, but with the advent of Stalin a new policy, consisting in purges of national leaders, increasing industrialization, and forced settlement of nomad populations, led to a great increase in the proportion of European settlers, mostly Russians and Ukrainians, to native Muslims. During the 1930s the Kazaks declined sharply in absolute numbers as well as in ratio to the Europeans in their areas. Other Muslim nationalities, especially the Uzbeks, stemmed the Slavic tide of settlement only by virtue of their birth rates, which greatly exceeded those of the Russians and Ukrainians.

World War II (1939–45)
      Although the Axis Powers failed in their global strategy, they crippled European colonial rule in Asia.

      Japan conquered its Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere and arrived at the gates of India, displacing British, Dutch, and French colonial rulers as well as the Americans in Guam and the Philippines. The Japanese had to allow some margin of freedom to their satellite regimes in Burma and Indonesia in both of which preexisting local parties proved capable of creating sovereign states after the war. On August 17, 1945, Sukarno declared Indonesia independent. Indonesia had had a long history of Muslim, nationalist, and Communist agitation against the Dutch; with captured Japanese arms, Indonesia could resist reimposition of Dutch authority.

      In India the Congress Party, though totally unsympathetic to the Axis, tried to take advantage of Britain's wartime extremity in order to secure immediate independence. The Muslim League supported the British administration during the war but demanded a sovereign Muslim homeland (Pakistan) as a postwar objective. By 1945 direct British rule in India was coming to an end, but the contest between Britain, the Congress Party, and the Muslim League clouded any final settlement.

      In the Middle East, Britain returned to forms of direct colonial control as Axis forces drew near, and in June–July 1941 it occupied Syria and Lebanon, under the guise of Free French administration. With Beirut and Damascus secured, the British supported Syrian and Lebanese independence from France; the two states were incorporated into the sterling area. Only U.S. and Soviet support guaranteed the independence of the two republics (1944) and their subsequent admission to the United Nations.

      In Egypt, when Axis forces in 1941 and 1942 came within striking distance of Alexandria, both the king, Farouk, and groups of dissident army officers were ready to welcome them and turn against the British. In February 1942 the British minister forced the king to appoint a government willing to cooperate with the Anglo-Americans; the defeat of the Germans in the Egyptian desert later that year put Egypt firmly in the Allied camp. Nevertheless much anti-British and anticolonial bitterness remained in Egypt, with postwar consequences.

      At the outset of World War II Iran was pro-German, and in August 1941 the Soviet Union and Britain jointly occupied the country, which then became the main supply line connecting the Soviet Union with the Western Allies. In 1942, in a three-power treaty, both Britain and the Soviet Union promised to leave Iran six months after the end of the war. Notwithstanding such commitments, the Soviet Union began to build spheres of influence in northern Iran; in 1944 the Soviet Union brought pressure to bear on Iran for an oil concession.

      During the final years of World War II the United States became vitally interested in the Middle East because of United States petroleum ventures in Saudi Arabia and because of strategic considerations. By the end of the war it was clear to both the Soviet Union and Britain that the United States, as a world power, would support no imposition of direct colonial controls in the postwar Middle East.

      During World War II Italy lost its entire colonial domain. Ethiopia was restored as an independent empire, and the other colonies eventually came under UN jurisdiction, in the first step toward decolonization in the African continent.

Decolonization from 1945
      In the first postwar years there were some prospects that (except in the case of the Indian subcontinent) decolonization might come gradually and on terms favourable to the continued world power positions of the western European colonial nations. After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu (Vietnam) in 1954 and the abortive Anglo-French Suez expedition of 1956, however, decolonization took on an irresistible momentum, so that by the mid-1970s only scattered vestiges of Europe's colonial territories remained.

      The reasons for this accelerated decolonization were threefold. First, the two postwar superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, preferred to exert their might by indirect means of penetration—ideological, economic, and military—often supplanting previous colonial rulers; both the United States and the Soviet Union took up positions opposed to colonialism. Second, the mass revolutionary movements of the colonial world fought colonial wars that were expensive and bloody. Third, the war-weary public of western Europe eventually refused any further sacrifices to maintain overseas colonies.

      In general, those colonies that offered neither concentrated resources nor strategic advantages and that harboured no European settlers won easy separation from their overlords. Armed struggle against colonialism centred in a few areas, which mark the real milestones in the history of postwar decolonization.

British decolonization (British Empire), 1945–56
      General elections in India in 1946 strengthened the Muslim League. In subsequent negotiations, punctuated by mass violence, the Congress Party leaders finally accepted partition as preferable to civil war, and in 1947 the British evacuated the subcontinent, leaving India and a territorially divided Pakistan to contend with problems of communal strife.

      Far more damaging to Britain's world position as a great power was the end of the Palestine mandate. The British would have favoured an Arab state in Palestine, tied to the British system in the Middle East, with Jews as a permanent minority. The Jewish national movement, however, succeeded in making this policy both costly and unpopular; in particular, the U.S. and Soviet governments began to see a Jewish state in Palestine as a necessary solution to the problem of Europe's surviving Jewry. All Arab spokesmen expressed intransigent opposition to any two-nation solution. Britain, isolated internationally, threw the problem into the lap of the United Nations; in November 1947 the General Assembly voted for partition. Britain, exhausted both politically and financially, decided to leave by May 15, 1948. The Jewish national movement's military branch succeeded in defeating the Palestine Arab terrorist and guerrilla bands step by step, and after British evacuation, and the declaration of Israel's independence, the Arab states in turn suffered a series of military defeats. The new Jewish state, recognized by the United States, the Soviet Union, and France, reached an uneasy armistice with the Arabs in 1949, and Britain's position in the Middle East began to crumble.

      The Arab chain reaction against Britain started in Egypt, where in July 1952 a group of army officers seized power. By the end of 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser had induced Britain to accept total withdrawal by June 1956 and set to work to undermine Britain's position in Iraq and Jordan. In June 1956 the British troops quit Suez on schedule. At that point Britain's Middle Eastern position, which depended on a chain of bases and friendly governments, was imperiled. Iran had moved close to the United States, warding off Soviet penetration and expropriating British oil holdings. Now Cyprus and the Persian Gulf oil ports remained the last outposts under British control in the Middle East. Nasser's next move was to cut the link between them. On July 26, 1956, he nationalized the Suez Canal Company, ending the last vestiges of European authority over that vital waterway and precipitating the most serious international crisis of the postwar era.

Wars in overseas France, 1945–56
      The constitution of the French Fourth Republic provided for token decentralization of colonial rule, and cycles of revolt and repression marked French history for 15 years after the end of World War II. The first colonial war was in Indochina, where a power vacuum, caused by Japan's removal after wartime occupation, gave a unique opportunity to the Communist Viet Minh. When in 1946 the French Army tried to regain the colony, the Communists, proclaiming a republic, resorted to the political and military strategies of Mao Tse-tung to wear down and eventually defeat France. All chances for maintaining a semicolonial administration in Indochina ended when the Communists won the civil war in China (1949). Eventually, in 1954, when the French engaged the Communist armies in a pitched battle at Dien Bien Phu, the Communists won with the help of new heavy guns supplied by the Chinese. The Fourth Republic left Indochina under the terms of the Geneva Accords (1954), which set up two independent regimes.

      By 1954 French North Africa was beginning to stir; guerrilla warfare occurred in both Morocco (where the French had deposed and exiled Sultan Muḥammad V) and Tunisia. On November 1, 1954, Algerian rebels began a revolt against France in which for the first time urban Muslims and Muslim peasants joined forces. In March 1956 France accorded complete independence to Morocco and Tunisia, while the army concentrated on a “revolutionary” counterinsurgent war in order to hold Algeria, where French rule had solid local support from about a million European settlers. The Muslim rebels depended on help from the Arab world, especially Egypt. Hence the French took the initiative, in October 1956, in forming an alliance with Nasser's principal adversaries, Britain and Israel, to reclaim the Suez Canal for the West and overthrow the pan-Arab regime in Cairo.

The Sinai-Suez campaign (October–November 1956)
      On October 29, 1956, Israel's army attacked Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula, and within 48 hours the British and French were fighting Egypt for control of the Suez area. But the Western allies found Egyptian resistance more determined than they had anticipated. Before they could turn their invasion into a real occupation, U.S. and Soviet pressure forced them to desist (November 7). The Suez campaign was thus a political disaster for the two colonial powers. The events of November 1956 showed the decline of European colonialism to be irreversible.

Algeria and French decolonization, from 1956
      Between 1956 and 1958 French army commanders in Algeria, politically radicalized, tried to promote a new Franco-Muslim society in preparation for Algeria's total integration into France. Hundreds of thousands of rural Muslims were resettled under French military control, Algiers was successfully cleared of all guerrilla cells, French investments in Saharan petroleum grew, and, in a dramatic climax, a coalition of European settlers, colonial troops, and armed forces commanders in May 1958 refused further obedience to the Fourth Republic.

      Charles de Gaulle (Gaulle, Charles de), first president of the Fifth Republic, thought that the effort of fighting colonial wars had prevented France from developing nuclear weapons and also came to realize that Algerian Muslims could not be converted to a French identity. He began to negotiate with the rebels; the negotiations culminated in a plebiscite, French evacuation, and proclamation of the independence of Muslim Algeria (July 1962). De Gaulle then proceeded to develop a nuclear striking force as the new foundation of France's status as a great power. The Fifth Republic moved rapidly toward freeing the colonies of sub-Saharan Africa, and France's colonial realm became vestigial and insular.

British decolonization after 1956
      During the 15 years after the Suez disaster, Britain divested itself of most colonial holdings and abandoned most power positions in Africa and Asia. In 1958 the pro-British monarchy in Iraq fell; during the 1960s Cyprus and Malta became independent; and in 1971 Britain left the Persian Gulf. Of the imperial lifelines, only Gibraltar remains. After 1956 Britain moved rapidly to grant independence to its black African colonies. One British colony, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), broke away unilaterally in 1965.

      In Malaya the British fought a successful counterinsurgent war against a predominantly Chinese guerrilla movement and then turned over sovereignty to a federal Malaysian government (1957). In 1971 the Royal Navy left Singapore (an independent state since 1965), thus ending British presence in the Far East except (until 1997) at Hong Kong and (until 1983) at Brunei.

      Britain's world position shrank, in effect, to membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Economic Community, with the postcolonial Commonwealth decreasing in importance.

Dutch, Belgian, and Portuguese decolonization
      After World War II the Dutch tried to regain some of their lost control in Indonesia. The Sukarno regime held fast through three years of intermittent war, however, and the Dutch found no allies and no international support. In 1950 Indonesia became a centralized, independent republic.

      The Belgian administration in the Congo had never trained even a small number of Africans much beyond the grade-school level. When Britain and France began to divest themselves of their colonies, Belgium was in no position to impose on the Congo a schedule of its own for gradual withdrawal. The abrupt granting of independence to the Belgian Congo in the summer of 1960 led to a series of civil wars, with intervention by the UN, European business interests employing white mercenaries, and other outside forces. In 1965 Joseph Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) gained control over the central government and created an independent African state; called Zaire from 1971, it was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997.

      Portugal, in the 20th century the poorest and least developed of the western European powers, was the first nation (with Spain) to establish itself as a colonial power and the last to give up its colonial possessions. In Portuguese Africa during the authoritarian regime of António de Oliveira Salazar, the settler population had grown to about 400,000. After 1961 pan-African pressures grew, and Portugal found itself mired in a series of colonial wars, while the development of mining in Angola and Mozambique revealed hitherto unknown economic assets. In 1974 the armed forces overthrew the successors to Salazar, and in the unstable political situation it became clear that Portugal would cut its colonial ties to Africa. Portuguese Guinea (Guinea-Bissau) became independent in 1974. In June 1975 Mozambique achieved independence as a people's republic; in July 1975 São Tomé and Príncipe became an independent republic; and in November of the same year Angola, involved in a civil war between three rival liberation movements, also received sovereignty.

      Historians will long debate the heritage of economic development, mass bitterness, and cultural cleavage that colonialism has left to the world, but the political problems of decolonization are grave and immediate. The international community is laden with minute states unable to secure either sovereignty or solvency and with large states erected without a common ethnic base. The world's postcolonial areas often have been scenes of protracted and violent conflicts: ethnic, as in Nigeria's Biafran war (1967–70); national-religious, as in the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the civil wars in Cyprus, and the clashes between India and Pakistan; or purely political, as in the confrontation between Communist and Nationalist regimes in the divided Korean Peninsula. The end of colonialism did not bring with it the spread of new, neatly divided nation-states throughout the world, nor did it abate or ease rivalry between the great powers.

Richard A. Webster

Additional Reading

General works
Theories of imperialism are discussed in J.A. Hobson, Imperialism, 3rd. ed. (1938, reissued 1988); V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, new, rev. trans. (1939, reissued 1988; originally published in Russian, 1917); Joseph A. Schumpeter, Imperialism and Social Classes, ed. by Paul M. Sweezy (1951, reissued 1991; originally published in German, 1919); A.P. Thornton, Imperialism in the Twentieth Century (1977); and Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Theories of Imperialism (1980; originally published in German, 2nd ed., 1979). Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System (1974– ), sketches the development of the capitalist world economy in a broadly neo-Marxist fashion.

European expansion before 1763
Otto Berkelbach van der Sprenkel et al., Die überseeische Welt und ihre Erschliessung (1959), is a collaborative work by specialists covering all areas and subjects included here. Romola Anderson and Roger C. Anderson, The Sailing Ship, 2nd ed. (1948, reissued 1980), offers a concise account of sailing technology until the advent of steam. Wilbur Cortez Abbott, The Expansion of Europe, 2nd rev. ed., 2 vol. (1938), covers colonialism to 1815, with much attention to European backgrounds. J.H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance, 2nd ed. (1966, reissued 1981), a history of discovery and conquest to 1650, offers a good scientific and maritime survey.G.V. Scammell, The First Imperial Age: European Overseas Expansion, c. 1400–1715 (1989), is probably the best one-volume survey of the topic from a European perspective. Louis Hartz, The Founding of New Societies (1964), presents a highly original series of essays on the colonization of Spanish and British America, Canada, and South Africa. Angus Calder, Revolutionary Empire: The Rise of the English-Speaking Empires from the Fifteenth Century to the 1780s (1981), is an excellent source of information and has a first-rate bibliography. K.R. Andrews, N.P. Canny, and P.E.H. Hair (eds.), The Westward Enterprise: English Activities in Ireland, the Atlantic, and America, 1480–1650 (1978), collects essays on a variety of topics that give a good idea of how the rest of the world was perceived by England. Edgar Prestage, The Portuguese Pioneers (1933, reprinted 1967), is a good work in English on Portuguese voyages. C.R. Boxer, The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415–1825, 2nd ed. (1991), covers the older Portuguese empire. Roger Bigelow Merriman, The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New, 4 vol. (1918–34, reissued 1962), follows Spain in America to the death of Philip II. J.H. Parry, The Discovery of South America (1979), is a good general work on the process of discovery by Spanish, English, and Dutch explorers.Beatriz Pastor Bodmer, The Armature of Conquest: Spanish Accounts of the Discovery of America, 1492–1589 (1992; originally published in Spanish, 1983), analyzes the rhetorical strategies used by the Spanish in order to take responsibility for what they believed were the positive aspects, and to distance themselves from the violent aspects, of contact with indigenous peoples. Anthony Pagden, European Encounters with the New World: From Renaissance to Romanticism (1993), describes the interaction of Europeans with the peoples encountered in their explorations. Shepard B. Clough and Richard T. Rapp, European Economic History, 3rd ed. (1975), is especially good for the effects of the discoveries on Europe. Donald F. Lach and Edwin J. Van Kley, Asia in the Making of Europe (1965– ), comprehensively surveys Europe's information about Asia and its cultural effects. Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900 (1986, reissued 1993), argues that the European colonial successes in the Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa owed more to ecological factors than military or political ones.Holden Furber, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600–1800 (1976), is one of the best surveys of the Dutch and English merchant empires and the conflicts between them. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, vol. 4, The Economy of Expanding Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. by E.E. Rich and C.H. Wilson (1967), covers the economies of the early Dutch, French, and English empires. George Masselman, The Cradle of Colonialism (1963), describes the Dutch early activities in the East, providing a good European background. C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 (1965, reprinted 1990), is a major work on the great age of Dutch imperialism. Eli F. Heckscher, Mercantilism, rev. 2nd ed., 2 vol. (1955, reprinted 1983; originally published in Swedish, 1931), is an acknowledged standard work on theoretical and historical mercantilism. James D. Tracy (ed.), The Rise of Merchant Empires: Long-Distance Trade in the Early Modern World, 1350–1750 (1990), and The Political Economy of Merchant Empires (1991), collects reflective essays that summarize and compare the major themes of the voluminous recent research on the European commercial empires and their eventual domination of the globe. Michael Roberts, The Swedish Imperial Experience, 1560–1718 (1979, reissued 1984), argues that Swedish imperialism was essentially a defense against other European powers. Herbert Ingram Priestley, France Overseas (1938, reprinted 1966), presents a fairly good, if somewhat disjointed, account of early French overseas activity.Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1944, reissued 1983); and Frank J. Klingberg, The Anti-Slavery Movement in England (1926, reissued 1968), have chapters on the early slave trade. A.T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783, 5th ed. (1894, reissued 1987); and Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire Before the American Revolution, 15 vol. (1936–70), describe the colonial wars in detail.

European expansion since 1763
William Woodruff, Impact of Western Man: A Study of Europe's Role in the World Economy, 1750–1960 (1967, reprinted 1982), remains a good introduction. E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire, 1875–1914 (1987), is a highly readable account of rising European nationalism and the resultant focus on empire as a reaction to the dramatic changes undergone in European economies and social structures at the turn of the century. V.G. Kiernan, From Conquest to Collapse: European Empires from 1815 to 1960 (1982), describes the many bloody wars that comprised the conquests involved in European expansion. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (1987), is an interesting though narrowly materialist account of the rise and fall of empires. D.K. Fieldhouse, The Colonial Empires, 2nd ed. (1982), and Colonialism, 1870–1945 (1981), are useful general surveys of the growth and decline of empires from the 18th and 19th centuries. Daniel R. Headrick, The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (1981), and The Tentacles of Progress: Technology Transfer in the Age of Imperialism, 1850–1940 (1988), study technological innovations and their role in maintaining European dominance.The Cambridge History of the British Empire, especially vol. 2, The Growth of the New Empire, 1783–1870 (1961), and vol. 3, The Empire-Commonwealth, 1870–1919 (1959, reissued 1967), is the best source on the British Empire. A view which suggests that, in England, economic pressure groups did not have much impact is presented in Ronald Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century, 1815–1914, 2nd ed. (1993). Lance E. Davis and Robert A. Huttenback, Mammon and the Pursuit of Empire: The Political Economy of British Imperialism, 1860–1912 (1986), shows that empire dramatically benefited a few but was not an unequivocal economic advantage for Britain. Henri Brunschwig, French Colonialism, 1871–1914 (1966; originally published in French, 1960), presents the case against the economic interpretation of French colonialism. Winfried Baumgart, Imperialism: The Idea and Reality of British and French Colonial Expansion, 1880–1914, rev. ed. (1982; originally published in German, 1975), discusses the different perspectives used to explain European expansion. Christopher M. Andrew and A.S. Kanya-Forstner, The Climax of French Imperial Expansion, 1914–1924 (1981), gives an example of the political machinations that paved the way for home governments to accept expansionism. William Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (1984), is a diplomatic history of Britain's failed attempt to maintain informal empire in the Middle East after World War II. On the growth of empire in East Asia, Michael Edwardes, Asia in the European Age, 1498–1955 (1962), should be consulted; this history is examined by an Asian in K.M. Panikkar, Asia and Western Dominance, new ed. (1959, reissued 1969). David Gillard, The Struggle for Asia, 1828–1961: A Study in British and Russian Imperialism (1977), describes the Anglo-Russian rivalry for control of Asia. An illuminating comparative study of colonial policies is contained in J.S. Furnivall, Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India (1948, reissued 1956). Imran Ali, The Punjab Under Imperialism, 1885–1947 (1988), a case study, looks at the ways in which Britain redefined the nature of the local authority through which they maintained informal empire.Jean Suret-Canale, French Colonialism in Tropical Africa, 1900–1945 (1971; originally published in French, 1964), is a sociological study of how French colonialism operated. Prosser Gifford and William Roger Louis (eds.), Britain and Germany in Africa (1967), and France and Britain in Africa (1971), contain useful collections of essays on British, German, and French colonialism. The scramble for Africa viewed as part of Britain's striving for security in the Mediterranean and the East is forcefully argued in Ronald Robinson, John Gallagher, and Alice Denny, Africa and the Victorians, 2nd ed. (1981). Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912 (1991), gives a good overview of the sudden European rivalry over the control of Africa. Charles Van Onselen, Studies in the Social and Economic History of the Witwatersrand, 1886–1914, 2 vol. (1982), is an excellent analysis of the Afrikaners, a distinct group resulting from European expansion in southern Africa.A Marxist view of the impact of colonialism as related to the problems of economic development of the former colonies is found in Paul A. Baran, The Political Economy of Growth, 2nd ed. (1962). Herbert Feis, Europe, the World's Banker, 1870–1914 (1930, reprinted 1974), is a useful reference work on the connection between world finance and diplomacy before World War I. Marcello De Cecco, Money and Empire: The International Gold Standard, 1890–1914 (1974), is an excellent discussion of how Britain's monetary system collapsed under the weight of changes in the European economy, especially those resulting from overseas expansion. A standard, detailed diplomatic history of the new imperialism is found in William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890–1902, 2nd ed. (1951, reissued 1972).The psychological impact of colonialism is explored from an African perspective in Frantz Fanon, The Damned (1963; also published as The Wretched of the Earth, 1963, reissued 1991; originally published in French, 1961). Donald Denoon, Settler Capitalism: The Dynamics of Dependent Development in the Southern Hemisphere (1983), is an economic analysis of the backwardness resulting from European expansion and control. The case against the continuation of Western domination in the period of decolonization is found in Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism (1965, reissued 1973). Jörg Fisch, Die europäische Expansion und das Völkerrecht: Die Auseinandersetzungen um den Status der überseeischen Gebiete vom 15. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (1984), argues that international law was developed in Europe, was imposed on the rest of the world, and has continued functioning since decolonization. Roy MacLeod and Milton Lewis (eds.), Disease, Medicine, and Empire: Perspectives on Western Medicine and the Experience of European Expansion (1988), is a collection of essays on the impact of European medical sciences on the colonies. An impassioned view of the ills that energy-hungry Europe imposed on world culture is found in Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (1990). Geoffrey Stoakes, Hitler and the Quest for World Dominion (1986); and Woodruff D. Smith, The Ideological Origins of Nazi Imperialism (1986), examine the reasoning and casuistry of Hitler's geopolitical designs. A. Glenn Mower, Jr., The European Community and Latin America: A Case Study in Global Role Expansion (1982), contains information on contemporary strategies for economic expansion by the European Economic Community. Lewis Feuer, Imperialism and the Anti-Imperialist Mind (1986), argues that modern empires retreated when the creative impulse to build civilizations was eclipsed by the realization that neither egalitarian relations with the colonies nor aggressive domination were acceptable to the home nations.

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