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History Essay

1481 words - 6 pages

Essay 3
In the late 19th century much of the world was captured in an expansionist wave. The focus was mostly on Africa, but was seen also in much of Asia. The French had control over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and the British controlled much of Malaysia. Most of the major powers in the world wanted some influence over China and India, which led the British to take over Burma. Britain and Russia fought over territories in Afghanistan and Asia, while the United States expansion was mostly capturing new territories and making them into new states (Tignor, et al, 648).
During this time Britain had a lot of control over Indian colonies. Many wanted to follow in Britain’s footsteps and have ...view middle of the document...

At the beginning they focused mainly on railroads, and spent approximately 150 million euros on these railways. By 1853 the first railway opened and in 1910 India had 30,627 miles of railroad track, which was the fourth largest in the world (Tignor, et al, 650).
Next, many dams were built in rivers to irrigate the land and telegraph lines were opened to connect far parts of India with each other. Britain wanted India to supply them with cotton, tea, wheat, and vegetable oil seeds. The dams that were built in rivers helped to make massive cotton fields with plenty of water. The British used North East India to grow tea, which was marketed as much healthier than Green tea from China. India became a larger consumer of British textiles, which were often made from Indian cotton (Tignor, et al, 650).
Because of the new resources and raw materials that India was now producing, they were in a surplus with foreign trade. The surplus was then given to the British as payment for many different things including interest payments on the railroads. Despite the money many positive things came of this for India. India now became a unified territory, and people even began to call themselves Indians. The one downside still was there was no central language, so people still had a very difficult time communicating (Tignor, et al, 650).
Just as the British did in India, the Dutch tried to modernize and integrate with Indonesia. In the 1830’s the Dutch began by taking over many of Indonesia’s affairs. The Dutch tried to make Indonesia more stable economically than the British had made India, by making deals with the people of Indonesia. Even though they attempted to make peace with the natives, the changes that the Dutch made still had great consequences. The Dutch wanted to focus mostly on food products for exportation, such as coffee beans, sugar, and tobacco. With the great amounts of exports they had there was much less food left over for the people of Indonesia, which caused a famine to spread and kill over 300,000 Indonesians. The people that survived were greatly angered, which scared the Dutch causing them to become much stricter with the people. This was viewed widely as an embarrassment, and forced the Dutch to make an ethical policy for governing the Indonesians, such as more private settlement instead of government settlement. Even with private Dutch settlers, in the beginning, Indonesians tried to fight them off. Eventually they accepted, and Indonesian exports helped Dutch become richer still (Tignor, et al, 650-51).
Africa was affected the most by the spread of colonialism. In the beginning only France and Britain had colonies in Africa, but within thirty years there were seven new European countries with colonies. Much of the obsession with colonializing Africa began when the British took over Egypt, which was seen by the French as their territory. This intensified Britain and France’s want for territories and also encouraged other countries...

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