Several structural differences existed between European Empires and other kingdoms found in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. However, the empires that existed in Europe and other parts of the world between 1500 and 1914 shared several features. They were both dynamic, implying that they always embraced change where one kingdom would be conquered and subjected to the rules of the other empire. This part of the essay will talk about the major differences between the European empires and other kingdoms in various parts of the world between 1500 and 1914 when the First World War started. Unlike empires in Asia and Africa, it is observed those in Europe were formed through the signing of treaties in major cities after the war that rocked the continent
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The kingdoms in African were purely created to serve administrative roles meaning that they would act as governments to provide security and offer guidance to the community. Those in Europe were mainly focused on resolving conflicts, as leaders were concentrated on finding new markets for the finished goods and establishing new regions where cheap labor would be sourced. Through the signing of treaties, Gibraltar, Singapore, and Cape Town were handed to the British Empire, and they were to serve as the settlement colonies. Asian and African empires never had global influence because traditional leaders that had little skills in expansion controlled them while experts of war that understood the importance of oversees regions controlled the European empires. In 1627, for instance, the Dutch Empire participated in the assassination of the British nutmeg trader in the Banda Islands. The British understood that engaging the Dutch in the war was a waste of time and resources, as this would simply lead to conflicts. Consequently, the British Empire demanded compensation and the Dutch had to lose New Amsterdam, which was later renamed New York, in 1660.
Upon the acquisition of the foreign land, the European empires ensured that the citizens were subjected to unfair policies, which were indifferent to their needs since this was viewed as the best way of instilling compliance. The new legal and political systems instituted in new colonies had major consequences to the people because they interfered with the social structure and the culture of the locals. For instance, the British Empire had a robust and purposeful mission as compared to those of the Asian and African kingdoms, such as that of Morocco. The European empires ensured that society went through changes because these reforms would pave the way for bureaucracies and scientific management.
With time, the social arrangements of the locals were interfered with, and quality projects that would spur political and economic changes were introduced. In all European empires, education was given a priority since it was believed that this would enable the locals to conduct their businesses more easily. Whenever a territory was acquired in the British Empire, land reforms were instituted right away to give the British nationals a chance to take over the running of the economy through agriculture. Within a short time, the European empires would develop the infrastructure in the new territories, including the construction of railways and roads because this was important in the effective administration of the colonies.
Additionally, the taxation system was well developed in the European, and the public was made to believe that the kingdom would not develop without financial support. China is one of the modern states that had a strong empire, but people wonder why it did not expand to the extent of acquiring new territories in the Americas and Africa. Moreover, the empire had shipbuilding technology at its disposal, as well as navigational skills long before the knowledge reached Europe. Unfortunately, China decided to pull back and surprised many when it withdrew from a well-developed seaborne long-distance business. This shows that the European empires aspired to acquire political power since they knew that it was an important aspect of administration.
Key Features of the Atlantic World
The Atlantic world is a historical term often used to refer to the interactions among several ethnicities, races, and governments that border the Atlantic Ocean. The people and governments around this region interacted freely between the 1450s when the first European arrived and the 21st century when the modern government was put in place outlawing all the activities that went on in the past. In this section, the major features of the Atlantic World are examined to understand the interactions and interrelations among cultures and civilizations.
The main feature of the Atlantic World was the slave trade, which was conducted among the Europeans, Americans, and Africans. In the trade, many black people were transferred to the United States, Colombia, and Brazil to work in the mining fields, sugar plantations, and factories. The goods produced in the American continent were exported to Europe, whereby they had ready markets while some were taken for further processing. European powers had a significant influence in the region, as they owned large tracts of land in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was noted that the role of chattel slavery, which was closely related to forced labor, was critical since it would enable the growth and development of the region. Before the establishment of the slave trade, European powers had ventured heavily in trade, mining, and agriculture, which demand unskilled human resources.
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Unfortunately, the European population was scarce, and no one was willing to take up a job in the mining industry and the agricultural-based company. A new system of acquiring labor was devised, which was mainly coercive to convene the needs of the whites. At first, the decision was to make effective use of the native speakers who were mainly the Red Indians, but they resisted to the extent that some were willing to lose their lives through starvation instead of working for whites. The system had already enslaved Indians through the system that the Spanish introduced referred to as encomienda. While European laborers were treated as indentured servants meaning that they were free to reassign from their positions and venture into other activities, Africans were treated like machines in the sense that they were owned permanently and only their bosses would determine the work they were expected to do.
New administrative techniques and governance structures was another main feature that characterized the Atlantic World during the early modern era. However, the European powers introduced various tactics in fighting the locals to accept the new governance systems. The Spanish subdued the Aztec Empire in Mexico, as well as the Inca Empire in Peru, forcing them to adopt the new governance structures that had developed taxation systems. The locals were easily defeated because they were already facing challenges that the new diseases presented, such as smallpox. Aztec and other traditional empires in the region were coerced to support the Spanish in establishing the new system of governance. Historians observe that the foreign powers were able to penetrate the region with ease because of the conflicts that went on between the traditional empires.
Both the Spanish and the British faced challenges in putting up the administrative structures, but they finally succeeded in doing so. Spain was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the governance of Mexico, and Central American and the main system employed was the establishment of a network of influential viceroyalties who had the power to rule by administering law and order. Unlike the Spanish, the British Empire had a different approach as regards governance since it subdivided the territories into various districts, each of them being given an administrator. In each colony wad under a governor that was further assisted by the assembly in formulating laws. Unfortunately, the natives and slaves did not have a chance of voting since only the rich would be in the ballot either to vote or be voted for meaning that workers never had representatives in these administrative organs.
Important Effects of the Dual Revolutions
Dual revolution is a term that historians employ to refer to the period between 1789 and 1848. In this era, ideological differences and the growth of nationalism was the main feature of politics in many countries, and France is always cited as the major actor. Economic development was at its peak, and the role of government was fading because it failed to respond to the new realities effectively. The revolutionists in France advocated for democratic government where only the majority would be allowed to rule, but minorities would also be allowed to present their views.
Furthermore, the ideas of liberalists were adopted meaning that the government’s role in economic activities was expected to be minimal since its main function was to provide an enabling environment that would help each to fulfill his or her needs. As economic changes were taking place, wars were witnessed everywhere, forcing states to enter into treaties to prevent conflicts since they were harming development. Consequently, powerful states, such as Italy, Spain, Britain, France, and Germany, lost their power, and a new system was put in place that would ensure the balance of power. Through this, it was felt that no single state would have adequate powers to make it the most powerful. This part of the power looks at the major effects of the dual revolution. The revolution entailed both a political change and a social transformation whereby people demanded inclusion in government and proper representation.
Through the dual revolution, radical thinkers emerged with new ideas that played a major role in the transformation of the continent. For instance, liberalism and conservatism emerged as the only major schools of thoughts leading to major development. The French government under the leadership of King Louis and his wife Maria Antoinette was oppressive and unsupportive to the extent that the king requested people to feed on expensive cakes yet there was no flour due to the poor planning. People organized themselves based on the liberalist idea that each person should determine his destiny, and the government should simply come in to help in the fulfillment of individual goals. Liberalism is based on the idea of change whereby people have to be empowered economically through the provision of equal opportunities, but the French government at the time gave chances only to the few rich in society. This meant that the poor had to continue suffering while the rich became rich something that widened the gap between the fortunate and the unfortunate in the community. The theory suggested that actions have to be taken to achieve the desired goals, and this inspired other freedom fighters, as well as nationalists, to demand their rights.
Economically, the dual revolution speeded up the process of industrial revolution since individuals could own companies without interference from the government. The liberalist thinking suggested that each person was free to do as he or she wishes, which encouraged private ownership of property. The government participated in the economic matters through regulation of standards and licensing, but it never took part in controlling the economy by determining the prices. Based on this, a new mode of production based on the market, commonly referred to as capitalism, was introduced in European society.
Exploitation, intense advertising, and consumerism, whereby people utilized products that never satisfied their needs, characterized the mode. Dual revolution played a role in empire formation since each state in the continent was concerned with future interests. The local market was flooded because of the production of goods in mass meaning that markets had to be found elsewhere and Africa was the preferred destination. Many local companies opted to go global, whereby they established branches in various countries across the world. This strengthened the position of various countries in the European continent, and some emerged as the superpowers.