It is known to us that Europeans extended their control over vast portion of Africa and Asia in the late 1800s. However, many people know little about why Europeans can make it to extend their control over vast portion of Africa and Asia at that period of time. Therefore the following would like to explore the factors that led European countries to pursue imperialism in the late 19th century, why Ethiopia was more successful than other African nations at preventing European takeover as well as the course and consequences of the Boxer Rebellion in China. It is hoped that this exploration can help provide some insightful suggestions as for how to understand why Europeans can make it to extend their control over vast portion of Africa and Asia at that period of time.
Extended Control of Europeans
First and foremost, factors that led European countries to pursue imperialism in the late 19th century will be illustrated and they can be divided to economic factor, prestige, social factor, social factor as well as strategic factor. Economically speaking, the price of BE is larger than that of rubber in the Congo so that cheap raw materials help open new markets for their finished goods (spheres of influence in CH). When it comes to prestige, what is a must to point out is that some nations like GE and IT had colonies that never turned a profit and had little strategic value. Their motive is larger than the appearance of being an imperial power. As for its social factor, civilizing mission matters more than sharing the benefits of Westernization (David Livingstone in Central Africa). Also, missionaries provided medical care and shared the Gospel. Some countries wanted places for their excess population to move. Others accepted social Darwinism and they have no concern for the lives of the native peoples. The US had closed its Western frontier around 1890 so that some Americans looked for another great challenge. Strategic factor as well plays an important role because the British are concerned about the route to India and they developed north-south All-Red Route across Africa. The French wanted to challenge the British with their own east-west connections, resulting in a crisis at Fashoda on the Nile River in 1898. Many nations sought to acquire naval bases to re-supply and repair their ships (Samoa).
Moreover, why Ethiopia was more successful than other African nations at preventing European takeover follows. At the first place, geography plays a key role in helping Ethiopia prevent European takeover. The location of Abyssinia made it not convenient for Europeans to attack and the mountains helped Ethiopians to defend their territory. Also, leadership has to be considered for why Ethiopia was more successful than other African nations at preventing European takeover. Emperor Menelik II had watched other AF states be taken over, and he procured Western technology (rifles and cannon) and Western advisers to train his army. Besides, opposition also influences why Ethiopia was more successful than other African nations at preventing European takeover. Ethiopian forces faces the Italian Army, generally recognized as weaker than many others in Europe. If BR, FR, or GE had invaded, ETH would probably have lost. In addition, luck has to be taken into account as well because both sides had similar forces at the Battle of Adowa. The Italians ran low on food just before the Ethiopians, and they were forced to attack or retreat, leading to a long delay. The Ethiopians had the easier task of defending their position in due time.
Last but not the least, the course and consequences of the Boxer Rebellion in China will be elaborated on. Chinese nationalist groups practiced martial arts and gathered weapons. They attacked missionaries and Chinese Christians, 1899. The Qing Dowager Empress Ci Xi urged them to attack foreigners in Beijing and the Boxers surrounded embassies in Beijing in a siege that lasted 55 days, 1900. An international rescue force of 18k troops from 8 nations reached Beijing and rescued the diplomats. In the meantime, the eight-power coalition forced China to pay a huge indemnity and punished many of the Qing officials who had supported the Boxers. The US protected Ci Xi from direct punishment. The Boxer Rebellion did little to reduce the foreign presence in China, and the Qing Dynasty was weakened. Sun Yixian led a growing opposition movement. Ci Xi died in 1908; revolution began in 1911.
To sum up, a reasonable conclusion can be drawn that many aspects should be considered to explain for why Europeans can make it to extend their control over vast portion of Africa and Asia in the late 1800s. However, what cannot be neglected is that there are many other factors that can be used to explain it as have not been mentioned in the above, which calls for further efforts in the future.
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