2. What is NEW IMPERIALISM?
• New Imperialism refers to the colonial expansion
adopted by Europe’s powers during the 19th and
early 20th centuries.
• The expansion approximately took place from the
Franco-Prussian War to World War I. (c. 1870–
• The period is distinguished by an unprecedented
pursuit of what has been termed "empire for
• Aggressive competition for overseas territorial
3. CAUSES OF NEW IMPERIALISM
• Need for raw materials, markets and new areas to
• To provide protected supplies of raw materials.
• The need for new outlets of investment.
• The quest for markets drove British imperialism.
• After 1871 other European countries used tariffs
to stop sale of British goods.
4. CAUSES OF NEW IMPERIALISM
• The competition for greatness.
• Growing belief that a nations status was
reflected in the size and extent of its colonial
• The newly created Germany was determined to
prove their status as a great power by being
involved in the race for colonies.
• For France it provided a distraction from
domestic policies at home. (Bismarck was pleased
that France was not preoccupied with planning a
war of revenge for the 1871 defeat.
5. CAUSES OF NEW IMPERIALISM
• Social Darwinism: survival of the fittest. There
was a need to expand empires.
• Idealistic Motives: To bring “superior” civilisation
to the more “backward” areas of the globe. (In
reality there was exploitation). To spread the
• Strategic Reasons: To safeguard existing colonies
and trade routes meant further land was needed.
e.g: In 1882 Britain occupied Egypt to protect the
6. CAUSES OF NEW IMPERIALISM
OTHER REASONS CONTINUED…
• The Work of Explorers: Into Africa. (David
• Technological Factors: the superior weaponry of
European powers meant the native populations of
Africa and Asia were forced to submit to their
control. The development of railways and
steamships opened up Africa to the Europeans.
7. The Suez Canal
8. Overview: Causes of New
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
(1) Notable speed up in colonial acquisitions.
(2) An increase in the number of colonial powers.
9. Imperial Expansion before 1871
• European expansion began from the sixteenth
• After American independence territory was lost.
• After this loss of territory there was a view that
Empire was problematic.
• This policy soon changed in the “scramble for
• Colonial expansion was therefore not totally
Colonies are wretched and
milestones around our
10. THE SCRAMBLE FOR
11. Britain and New Imperialism
• Britain was concerned about her
•Required to defend and police an empire
which sprawled across the globe and was
home to 235 million people.
•Her military forces overstretched and
politically impossible to introduce
conscription unlike the other great
• Economic need for colonies was no longer
12. Britain and New Imperialism
Despite this, Britain did not give up an
BUT………. overwhelming naval supremacy
and economic superiority led to
Britain’s continued interest in colonial
Strategic expansion to protect trade
routes and existing colonies.
13. British Colonialism
•It seems that the "Scramble for Africa" began for
•After the Congress of Vienna, Britain acquired the
Cape Colony in South Africa. It was an important
port on the sea route to India.
•In 1867, the Suez Canal was built across Egyptian
territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the
•The Egyptian government became hopelessly
unstable and in 1882, Britain took over the
administration of the country. This began the
"Scramble for Africa".
14. Popular Imperialism?
• Imperial imagery commonplace
• Advertising used soldiers to promote goods
• Children‘s fiction – emphasis on imperial
• Boys‘ magazines – war stories featuring the
defence of Empire
• Boy Scouts movement
• Novels used imperial setting e.g. Rider
Haggard‘s ―King Solomon‘s Mines‖.
15. Popular Imperialism?
• Public school ethos - to look after ―less
• Promote a sense of glory
• To promote a sense of duty Christianity
• A great example – the poem Vitai Lampada
by Sir Henry Newbolt
• Public School‘s train officers – Officer
16. Popular Imperialism?
Growing realistoc belief that all mpires
ultimately fail and decline – Kipling‘s poem
Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
17. Popular Imperialism?
Not as popular amongst the working class
The Boer War – 1899 – 1901
Volunteers middle class – leaving well paid
Working class through economic necessity
Worry by imperialists that Britain unable to
beat the Boer farmers quickly
18. Popular Imperialism?
40,000 Boer fighters –takes Britain 3 years
and 500,000 troops
Boers financed by Germany – caused tensions
between the countries
Also the brutal side of British Imperialism –
first concentration camps to control the boer
population – starvation, illness and cold
28,000 Boer children, women and men dies in
19. Popular Imperialism?
A government report published shortly after the war found
that 40-60 per cent of volunteers for the army had been
rejected because they were physically unfit for service. -
Causes anxiety especially if following a Social Darwinist
Illness, malnutrition and relentless hard work meant that the
urban poor were generally shorter, thinner, weaker and sicker
than their wealthier compatriots; as a result, many had failed
to pass the physical examination for the army.
20. Popular Imperialism?
There was a sense that the British were too liberal and too relaxed to
compete with the other great powers.
All the other great powers had conscription.
―Invasion literature‖ parallels Germany‘s rising power and attempt to built
a navy top rival G.B.‘s
Reliance on OTC
Baden-Powell founds the Boy Scouts. He stated they were ‗peace
Scouts‘, and did not include military drill in their activities.
Openly admitted that the Boy Scouts were a ‗potential recruiting ground‘,
and claimed that 70 per cent of scouts went into the army.
21. Popular Imperialism?
The rush to volunteer in 1914 is evidence that a sense of duty had been
instilled in the general population. Themes of glory and masculinity had
been used to create a society which was ready for war, from the men who
eagerly enlisted to the women who taunted civilian men with white
feathers. However, fear had also played a crucial role in creating an
atmosphere in which militarism was seen as essential.
Therefore imperialism was one more factor in creating international
tensions within G.B. and amongst the other great powers.
22. Africa before 1870
•It was assumed by countries such as Britain that
Africa was barbaric. (Traveller’s “tales”).
• BUT in reality numerous Europeans in West Africa
mingled and inter-married with Africans.
• After 1815 the slave trade declined.
• Between 1880-1900, Africa was partitioned and
conquered by various European states.
• In just 20 years about 90% of Africa was
• Britain clashed with almost every other European
power for control.
23. Britain and France
• France resented British rule of Egypt and the Suez in the
• French trading companies in West Africa challenged British
• France expanded their military control and Britain extended
direct control of many parts of West Africa.
• France and Germany were resentful of British dominance of
• War was avoided between Britain and France, but at times
• In 1898 France demanded a conference over the Sudan and
Egypt. France sent a military force to the Nile. France, due
to her naval weakness, backed down.
• In 1904 Britain and France came to a colonial agreement.
24. British Colonialism
•Little by little the rest of East Africa was occupied
by the British, again principally to safeguard the
Indian Ocean sea-routes.
•At the same time, British colonists in South Africa
were interested in extending their possessions
northwards, particularly since gold and diamonds had
been found in the interior of the region.
•One colonial leader, Cecil Rhodes, dreamt of building
a railway right across Africa, from Cairo in the north
to the Cape in the south.
25. French Colonialism
• In West Africa trade was the main interest.
•French colonists were particularly active in West
Africa. After defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of
1871, some French politicians sought commercial gain
and prestige by expanding eastwards into the
African interior from Senegal and southwards from
Algeria and Tunisia.
•There was a need to compensate the loss of Alsace-
Lorraine with a large empire.
26. German Colonialism
• Germany arrived very late in the "Scramble". After
unification of his country in 1871, Bismarck, the
Chancellor, was against colonising distant parts of
•In 1881, under pressure from businessmen and
nationalists, he was forced to change policy, but it
was almost too late.
• Britain’s dominant trade position in trade with
China began to be challenged by other European
• The focus of Britain, France and Germany was
attaining economic dominance and trading posts.
• Russia and Japan were interested in expanding
onto China for territory.
• Japan conquered land in NE China and large parts
• Russia secured Manchuria.
• Britain were concerned about Russian domination.
• In 1904 Russia and Japan went to war. Russia had
to abandon control of Manchuria. China reasserted
their control over their land.
• Russian ambitions had been checked.
• Boxer rebellion 1900.
• Alliance of 8 formed to quell the riots in Beijing
• Shows the emerging role of Japan and the USA on
the world stage.
• Shows how the Great Powers could cooperate when
they had a mutual interest.
30. THE IMPACT OF NEW IMPERIALISM
• Britain’s imperial rivalries with France and Russia
poisoned relations with them.
• Britain and France on verge of war in 1898 over
• France backed down and relations did improve and
eventually led to the Anglo-French entente in 1904.
• After 1904 the focus was on German aggression.
• There was hostility between Britain and Russia.
• There was much bitterness but they did manage to
• Colonial disagreements were a distraction from
simmering tensions in Europe.
• After colonial questions were settled by 1904
European tensions began to reach breaking point.
To create a display on “The Impact on
Europe of New Imperialism” on A3
paper. Include the following:
a. A definition of “New Imperialism”.
b. A summary of each of the major
European powers territorial gains from
c. An explanation of how “New
Imperialism” affected relations between
the major powers 1870-1914.