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Western Domination Essay

1414 words - 6 pages

Western Dominance
By the nineteenth century, the imperialistic western powers dominated and influenced most of the world. Europe’s power spread until much of the world was controlled and influenced by European business imperialism. The British had acquired direct control over France, India, most of Africa, much of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Malaysia, and the Pacific. They had indirect control over large parts of China, Afghanistan, Persia, Mongolia, and Latin America (Kallander 2/13). The Westward shift of power was brought about with the British domination of foreign trade, the advancement of technology and weapons, and business imperialism. The United States expanded into the Pacific, ...view middle of the document...

The opium wars caused China’s economy to suffer because their silver was going to a foreign economy. Also since opium was banned in China, the British held a monopoly over opium and could sell tons by making it accessible at Canton. After being appointed imperial commissioner at Canton, Zexu wrote a letter to Queen Victoria of England hoping to stop the opium smuggling at the source: British India. Zexu tried to appeal to the British’s emotions by writing, “we always have heard that your highness possesses a most kind and benevolent heart” in hopes that the British would feel remorseful (Zexu). However, the opium wars did not subside right away and western dominance in trade was able to grow even more. The rise of the British Empire corresponded with the rise of the opium trade. The British were making huge profits off of the opium trade with China and were beginning to dominate the Chinese ports (Kallander 2/11). To the British, China’s threat to ban trade with them was “unlawful interference in the freedom of commerce” (Fernandez-Armesto 640). The British forcefully kept the ports opened and allowed the illicit trade to continue. Because of this, China lost sovereignty over its people. Not only could the British set tariffs on the imported opium, but they also invaded China’s costal towns and villages. To end this war, the Chinese had to agree to pay off the British and set the “most favored nation treaty”. This treaty gave the British complete control over China’s trade and complete control to “enjoy any privileges and immunities that China conceded in future to other foreigners” (Fernandez-Armesto 641). The British dominated China’s trade and reaped the benefits. The opium wars with China helped the British rise as a global empire.
Social Darwinism became the British’s justification for their imperialism. After Charles Darwin studied the adaption of humans based on their environment and developed this concept, “many people used Darwin’s theories to justify the inequalities of their day; a world stacked in order of race” (Fernandez-Armesto 660). Darwin compiled his findings and beliefs into, The Origin of Species; the book that also discussed survival of the fittest. Englishman Karl Pearson believed that if “the white man and the dark shall share the soil between them” (if they are equal in society) there will no longer be any progression of mankind in the world (Pearson). This means that Pearson wanted the inequality between races to continue on, and wanted the white man to continue to be superior. He also wrote that the deceased are “the stepping stones on which mankind has arisen to the higher intellectual and deeper emotional life of today” (Pearson). This means that in order for men to advance intellectually, it’s important to have weaker men fail, so stronger men can continue to gain strength and learn from the weaker men. Since an Englishman wrote this, he clearly believed that whites were superior and could survive better then any...

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