EQ1 Does might make right?

EQ2 Have right and wrong always been right and wrong?

EQ3 Who determines right from wrong?

EQ4 Is Imperialism defensible?

Before Imperialism
Imperial Age 1876-1914
Post Independence Movement (after 1960)
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"Neither imperialism nor colonialism is a simple act of accumulation and acquisition… Out of imperialism, notions about culture were classified, reinforced, criticised or rejected."

Taken from Culture and Imperialism, Edward W. Said. "Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder but to educate and liberate."

Los Angeles Times 2003 Edward W. Said Edward W. Said

Short Quiz /Discussion Prompts

Global Economies & Imperialism
africa imperialism.jpg
africa imperialism.jpg

Jules Ferry Minister of Foreign Affairs – France 1883

“France…..cannot be merely a free country…..She ought to propagate(spread)
Her influence throughout the world and carry everywhere that she can….
Her language, her customs, her flag, and her genius.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany 1901

“We have conquered for ourselves a place in the sun. It will now be my task to see to it that this place in the sun shall remain our undisputed possession.”

Imperialism: In which John Green teaches you about European Imperialism in the 19th century. European powers started to create colonial empires way back in the 16th century, but businesses really took off in the 19th century, especially in Asia and Africa. During the 1800s, European powers carved out spheres of influence in China, India, and pretty much all of Africa. While all of the major (and some minor) powers in Europe participated in this new imperialism, England was by far the most dominant, once able to claim that the "sun never set on the British Empire." Also, they went to war for the right to continue to sell opium to the people of China. Twice. John will teach you how these empires managed to leverage the advances of the Industrial Revolution to build vast, wealth-generating empires. As it turns out, improved medicine, steam engines, and better guns were crucial in the 19th century conquests. Also, the willingness to exploit and abuse the people and resources of so-called "primitive" nations was very helpful in the whole enterprise. 

Other Vocabulary to Know:
  • imperialism
  • nationalism
  • protectorate
  • indirect rule
  • direct rule
  • Berlin Conference

Overview of Africa:

Berlin Conference - Bismarck 1885Inference: What perspective might the artist portray?
Berlin Conference - Bismarck 1885Inference: What perspective might the artist portray?

The Berlin Conference was called for by Portugal due to their concern that they would lose their colonies in Mozambique and Angola, possessions that they had held since the Age of Exploration. Bismarck presided over the conference hence the name Berlin Conference. It was seen as the more logical way to claim territory in Africa. There were provisions to share waterways, and to put and end to the slave trade which still remained in eastern Africa well into the 1880s with slaves being bought/sold into the Middle East.
Perspective Check:  Who is missing from this cartoon?  What might this say about the artist?
Perspective Check: Who is missing from this cartoon? What might this say about the artist?

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I See/It Means #1 See this image in a much larger version.

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany 1901

“We have conquered for ourselves a place in the sun. It will now be my task to see to it that this place in the sun shall remain our undisputed possession.”

Motives for Imperialism || Economic Motives
The Industrial Revolution created an insatiable demand for raw materials and new markets.

European nations wanted to demonstrate their power and prestige to the world.

Balance of Power
European nations were forced to acquire new colonies to achieve a balance with their neighbors and competitors.

White Man's Burden
The Europeans’ sense of superiority made them feel obligated to “civilize the heathen savages” they encountered.
"Heathen savage"?? What does that mean??

Watch The Scramble For Africa in Educational  |  View More Free Videos Online at
1.Sudan: 20 min Write a short summary of what you learned on the Sudan (extra credit)

2. Cecil Rhodes: start at approx. 20 min-mark Write a short summary on what you've learned about Rhodes (required)

Imperial European Cooperation

  • France began to "show interest" in Algeria in 1830 after it had fell away from the older Ottoman Empire. Resistance by Algerians to colonization was futile. Tunisia was next on the list and was taken as a protectorate in 1881. Finally in 1904, the Sultan of Morocco sought French help to retain his rule during a rebellion. Long story made short Morocco was made a protectorate.
  • Spain got the Western Sahara and other much smaller areas as spheres of influence. At this time, Spain still held on to other parts of their formerly large empire. These areas included Cuba, Puerto Rico, as well as the Philippines.
  • Italy crossed the Mediterranean to grab Libya and but wanted more since they were late to the "Imperial Banquet". They would
  • In 1875, Great Britain saw the economic opportunity to gain controlling interest of the Suez Canal after the Egyptian ruler sold off stock to support a lavish lifestyle. Egyptians rose up in rebellion in 1882 but were put down by the British Royal Navy. Afterwards, Egypt became a British protectorate. British dominance over eastern Africa was nearly complete with the acquisition of the Sudan & the Upper Nile River. They had been briefly menaced by the threat of violence from the French army, but the French quickly realized that they were no match for the British in the heart of the Sudan.
  • Germany like Italy had just newly united and became the German Empire. Their kaisers (emperors) after the defeat of the Austrians and French in the 1860s to 1870s, sought to make their mark in world politics by building a colonial empire. After the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885, Germany laid claim to modern day Namibia (southwest Atlantic coast) and Tanzania (formerly called Tanganyika just south of Kenya). It was in Namibia that the first genocide of the 20th century was committed.
  • Portugal which had been the first to colonize Africa in the 15th century, forcefully maintained their hold on Angola and Mozambique until the 1970s.
Africa 1900.PNG
African Imperialism "Legacy" text p. 361

African Resistance to European Imperialism - The Rise of African Nationalism

South African History Online - great resource!
British Central Africa.PNG

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African Nationalism.PNG
Decolonization and Nationalism Triumphant: In which John Green teaches you about the post-World War II breakup of most of the European empires. As you'll remember from previous installments of Crash Course, Europeans spent several centuries sailing around the world creating empires, despite the fact that most of the places they conquered were perfectly happy to carry on alone. After World War II, most of these empires collapsed. This is the story of those collapses. In most places, the end of empire was not orderly, and violence often ensued. While India was a (sort of) shining example of non-violent change, in places like The Congo, Egypt, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, things didn't go smoothly at all. John brings you all this, plus pictures of Sea Monkeys. Sadly, they don't look anything like those awesome commercials in the comic books.