Recent Event Highlights: Most of Africa is under European control, Boer War in South Africa, Spanish-American War breaks out; Puerto Rico, Spain, and the Philippines taken from Spain , European trade with Africa becomes well established, and 5 more...
Created by chelseaface on Jan 4, 2010
Last updated: 01/31/10 at 02:07 PM
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Ignoring the claims of African ethnic groups, kingdoms, and city-states, Europeans established colonies. The establishing of colonies signaled a change in the way of life of the Africans. The Europeans made efforts to change the political, social, and economic lives of the people they conquered. This seizure of a country or territory by a stronger county is called imperialism. Over time, four forms of colonial control emerged: colony, protectorate, sphere of influence, and economic imperialism. European rulers also developed methods of day-to-day management of the colonies. To basic methods emerged. Britain and other nations (like the United States in its Pacific Island colonies)- preferred indirect control. France and most other European nations used a more direct control. Later, when colonies gained independence, the management method used had an influence on the new government tactic used in the new nation.
The first Europeans to settle in South Africa had been the Dutch. The Dutch settlers known as Boers (Dutch for "farmers") gradually took Africa's land and established large farms. When the British took over the Cape Colony permanently in the early 1800s, they and the Boers clashed over British policies.The Boers began to move north to escape the British. When diamonds and gold were discovered in southern Africa, adventurers suddenly rushed in from all parts of the world. The Boers tried to keep these "outsiders" from gaining political rights. An attempt to start a rebellion against the Boers failed. The Boers blamed the British, and in 1899, took arms against them. In many ways, the Boer War between the British and the Boers was the first modern "total" war. It was extremely violent and black South Africans were also involved. Britain finally won the war. The Boers' republics were joined into a self-governing Union of South Africa, with was controlled by the British.
The US acquired the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam as a result of the Spanish American War in 1898. Gaining the Philippines started debate in the US over imperialism. President McKinley view was to "educate Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them." Filipino nationalists were not happy to trade one colonizer- the Spanish- for another, the Americans. Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the Filipino nationalists claimed that the US had promised independence after the Spanish-American war had ended. They declared independence and established the Philippine Republic. The US went into a fierce struggle with the Filipino nationalists and defeated them in 1902. The US promised that it would prepare the Philippines for self-rule. The US began industrializing the Philippines. But when businessmen began to grow cash crops at expense for basic food crops, it eventually led to food shortages for the Filipinos.
Ethiopia was the only African nation that successfully resisted the Europeans. Its victory was due to one man, Menelik II. He was the emperor of Ethiopia in 1889. He successfully played many power countries against each other (such as Italy, France, and Britain), all who were trying to add Ethiopia to their spheres of influence. In the meantime, he built up a large arsenal of modern weapons bought from France and Russia. In 1889, after signing a treaty with France, Menelik discovered differences in the wording of the treaty between the Ethiopian language and Italian. While he thought he was losing part of Ethiopia, Italy was still claiming Ethiopia as protectorate. Menelik declared war. The Battle of Adowa was one of the greatest battles in the history of Africa where Ethiopian forces successfully defeated the Italians and kept their nation independent. After defeating Italy, Menelik continued to stock up on rifles in case of another attack on their liberty and modernized Africa with railroads and by weakening the power of the nobility.
Queen Liliuokalani was Hawaii's only queen and last monarch. She regretted her brother's loss of power to American plantation owners and worked to regain power for the Hawaiian monarchy with a new constitution in 1893. As queen, she refused to renew a treaty signed by her brother that would have given commercial privileges to foreign businessmen. It was a decision that would cost her the crown.
The scramble for Africa was so great that European countries feared war among themselves. To prevent conflict, 14 European nations met at the Berlin Conference in 1884-85 to lay down rules for the division of Africa. Ironically, no African ruler was invited to attend these meetings, yet the conference sealed Africa's fate. They agreed that any European country could claim land in Africa by notifying the other countries of its claims and showing it could control the area.They divided the continent with little thought on how it would affect African eithnic or liguistic groups.
Muhammad Ali's efforts to modernize Egypt were continued by his grandson, Isma'il. Isma'il supported the construction of the Suez Canal. It was a human-made waterway that cut through the Isthmus of Suez. It connected the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. The canal was built mainly with French money from private interest groups, using Egyptian labor. It opened in 1869 with a huge international celebration. However, Isma'il's modernization efforts were extremely expensive and soon Egypt found itself in debt.
By 1850, the British controlled most of the Indian subcontinent. As economic problems increased for Indians, so did their feelings of resentment and nationalism. In 1867, gossip spread among the sepoys, or Indian soldiers, that the cartridges of their new Enfield rifles were greased with beef and pork fat. To use these cartridges, they had to bite off the end. But both Hindus, who worshiped the cow and Muslims who did not eat pork were outraged. British commanders were shocked when the sepoys refused to accept the cartridges. The soldiers who disobeyed were jailed. The next day, the sepoys rebelled. The marched to Delhi and joined with Indian soldiers stationed there. This outbreak became known the Sepoy Mutiny. The uprising spread throughout northern India and fierce fighting took place. The East India Company took more than a year to regain control of the country. As a result of the mutiny, in 1858, the British government took direct command of India. The term, Raj, referred to British rule after India came under the British crown during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Industrialization caused many European nations to want more resources to fuel their industrial production. Many looked to Africa as a source of raw materials and as a market for industrial products. The first nation to see Africa as potential was Belgium. After the Belgium government claimed the Belgian Congo, which was 80 times larger than Belgium itself, other countries became alarmed as well. As a result, colonial powers divided up Africa and seized African territories through a process called imperialism.