Second Wave of European Expansion
The main driving force of colonization consists of various reasons. Among them are the desire of countries to acquire additional new resources, the place of sale of goods, the acquisition of a new workforce, and many other factors. Thus, the states aimed to take control of various territories that did not yet belong to rivals and on which only indigenous people lived. There are two main waves of European colonization in the history of mankind. This work discusses the colonization by European countries of Africa and Asia, which began in the sixteenth century and ended after the Second World War. Its main features were the establishment of political dominance, the plundering of indigenous peoples’ resources, and the creation of a colonial management tool to serve the demands of European countries.
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Before proceeding to consider the processes of the second wave of European colonization, it is necessary to have a clear concept of this phenomenon. Thus, colonization is considered the process of gaining control of one country over the resources, mainly the human and territorial resources of another. Moreover, the invader country is sent to the newfound lands of its people so that they live there and engage in its development. The concept of imperialism is closely related to this concept, which is defined as a set of policies that further expand the powers of one country’s control over the territory. In this case, the political, cultural, and economic spheres of life of indigenous people are affected. Thus, imperialism can be understood as more of an ideology that motivates the colonization process.
The second wave of European colonization of Africa and Asia began in the 19th century. Countries such as Britain, France, Portugal, and Spain took part in this process. All these countries have divided the African continent among themselves, setting their own borders. The divided territories acquired their own cultural customs and ethnic characteristics, which influenced the emergence of strife between people. This fact has led to the almost complete destruction of economic, political, and social norms, rules, and customs of indigenous peoples. There was a complete change in the way of life of the aborigines, which was influenced by newly settled people.
A special feature of colonization was the increased level of violence. Thus, the colonialists were motivated by the idea of conquering new territories and considered blacks and indigenous people as the only tool to achieve development goals. Thus, there is such a strong desire to acquire the rich resources of the country and neglect the needs, desires, and, in principle, the lives of people. The second wave of European colonization was mainly inspired by the desire to open new markets and territories for emigrants to settle in new lands and gain the greatest benefit from their exploitation.
However, it is important to emphasize that such exploitation of the colonized labor force has met with a negative attitude in some European countries. Therefore, Britain has become the most ardent abolitionist in this process. In the nineteenth century, the country spent a huge amount of investments and reinforcements to stop the slave trade. Such actions justified the information obtained during the incorrect use of the colonized population in the past. Thus, African countries have the opportunity to expand exports to other countries. For this purpose, resources such as fabrics and metal were used.
One of the main reasons for European expansion is the desire to explore new lands and investigate them. Moreover, Europe sought to gain material wealth through the formation of new trade routes. These innovations would increase the number of imports, and especially exports. In addition, one of the driving forces can be called the desire to gain military glory while conquering previously untouched lands. European expansion also developed along with its imperialist views after the collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition, and suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist industrial revolution.
African states such as Egypt and Ethiopia have received special growth and development. Military and economic transformations were caused by the activities of Muhammad Ali. This ruler defeated their troops of Napoleon, invading the territories to conquer them. Ali was engaged in strengthening the country’s martial law, applying technologies and innovations of European states. The positive interaction of European countries with others was the provision of opportunities to increase the education of the population; for example, “in the 1820s, Muhammad Ali sent the first educational “mission” of students to Europe” (Muhammad Ali of Egypt para. 25). This interaction significantly influenced the development of the literary direction. During the colonization of the African territory, there were many famous and significant personalities. One of them was Simón Bolívar, who is “considered the national symbol of most of modern South America” (Simón Bolívar para. 4). This political leader is regarded as one of the outstanding personalities of the Spanish-speaking independence movements.
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Considering all of the above, it can be concluded that the process of colonization of African and Asian lands by European peoples from the nineteenth to the nineteenth century implied the policy of a powerful nation to expand its control over other countries. This was especially true for the establishment of settlements or the exploitation of resources. The main reason for the colonization of Africa by Europeans was the formation of trade routes. The reasons for this choice were to find ways to avoid taxes of the Arab and Ottoman Empires. Thus, European countries have established ports in south and east Africa so that traders can restock before crossing the Indian Ocean.
Factors that Led to the Second Wave of European Expansion
The colonization of Africa took a special development in the nineteenth century when France began expansion from the coast of West Africa. The reason was the discovery of diamond and gold deposits, which could have a significant impact on the economic development of the country. As a result of the second wave of European expansion, countries such as Britain gained democracy. Industrialization created a huge demand for raw materials, which influenced the large colonization of African and Asian territories in search of valuable resources. Moreover, Europe established trade relations with the rulers of Africa and encouraged them to have trade relations only with this country.
The main reason for the termination of the process of European colonization and imperialism was the complete destruction of Africa and Asia and their transformation into ruins. Moreover, the process of decolonization led to the emergence of military actions, for example, the Vietnamese uprising against the French. However, it is worth noting that these events rarely led to large-scale destruction. This is due to the fact that these were mostly guerrilla uprisings without the use of armed forces.
One of the first reasons was the emergence of prerequisites for the Second World War when Hitler and Tojo demonstrated the moral bankruptcy of imperialism in particularly cruel ways. So, many considered the point of view that self-determination should replace colonization should be replaced by the processes of self-determination and self-rehabilitation of countries. Further, European countries that colonized new territories found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy and could not properly maintain their colonies. Moreover, they could not fight the growing unrest in the conquered territories. Thus, the French fought to hold Algeria and ultimately failed. In addition, many European countries have become indebted to the United States of America due to the resurgent hostilities. America, in turn, at this time pursued a fairly effective anti-colonial policy, which freed African and Asian territories from the oppression of colonialists. Thus, the United States assumed a more harmonious and humanistic development of these countries, aiming to find a way to export its products and resources.
Effect of European Imperialism
The second wave of European colonization left a significant mark on African countries. Thus, many rural settlements lost a significant amount of their labor and resources, which led to hunger and even greater poverty. Many territories have suffered a huge decline, which helped attract the Asian population. This circumstance contributed to the incitement of interethnic and cultural conflicts and discontent. Moreover, a significant number of the European population influenced the restructuring of the African economy. Thus, economic policy destroyed colonized territories more than it promoted their development and prosperity.
The peoples of Asia have largely experienced the influence of European colonization. This process has affected them especially strongly in such aspects as trade and culture than in the case of African countries. For example, almost all regions of India came under the rule of Great Britain. At that time, the country gained a centralized government and was characterized by particularly rapid economic growth. Moreover, a new national consciousness has begun to form in India. Research shows that “the proclamation of Queen Victoria in 1858 guaranteed all Indians equal protection of the law and freedom to practice their religions and social customs” (Bulliet et al. 611). Thus, the new government guaranteed the country respect for rights, territories, and honor.
As already noted, both the traditional and cultural components of the countries have suffered. The introduction of European culture to the continent mixed the characteristic features of African settlements (Bulliet et al. 599). Moreover, the destructive influence of the second wave of European colonization was noticeable only after some time, after the completion of the process under study. Many territories were used for the personal purposes of the invaders, for example, mining. It is worth noting that the development of African and Asian lands was not the primary goal of the colonizers. The captured people were exploited as labor for the production of raw materials and their export to Europe. The products and resources produced in the countries were transported to different regions and sold at highly inflated prices and made a profit directly to European countries.
Another important effect of the second wave of European colonization of African and Asian territories was the opposition of working-class countries to women. Prior to this process, the female sex was forbidden to work, and they had no professions. Only a small number of educational institutions provided educational services to women. The first job that became available to them was teaching in connection with the laws providing for compulsory universal education. Many experts have decided that women are the best at teaching young children; however, which is worth noting that this profession was closed to married women.
Despite this fact, many middle-class women still became professionals in some areas. Thus, some became nurses or social workers. Women’s work did not bring as much income as men’s. Moreover, colonization also had an impact on the emergence of organizations to combat prostitution and the availability of alcoholic beverages. Many women emigrants from other countries also took part in them (Kollontai para. 7). In addition, since the end of the nineteenth century, the female population began to receive the right to vote in elections, but still not all women.
The two largest countries in East Asia, such as China and Japan. They were significantly influenced by European colonization. However, it is worth noting that the two states reacted quite differently to the changes. Thus, China resisted Western influence and became weaker (Bullet et al. 654). At the same time, Japan became a major and influential industrial and military power, developing quite rapidly. One of the reasons for this difference was the active participation of Western powers in China’s affairs.
The process of colonization of Africa and Asia began in the sixteenth century and continued until the nineteenth century and the Second World War. During this period, European countries created huge empires in the occupied territories. During this time, the Western European states expanded their possessions as aggressively as possible. Their actions led to the devastation of Africa and Asia conflicts on the basis of cultural differences between European peoples and indigenous populations, the exploitation of labor, and the slave trade. European countries used the labor and natural resources of the colonies primarily for personal gain, the development of the country, and exports. This process had political and economic reasons, where European countries fought for dominance in the colonized territories to provide opportunities for effective development.
Furthermore, it can be concluded that the colonization of African and Asian countries had significant negative consequences. Hence, among them, the most obvious ones can be noted as the depletion of resources and the exploitation of labor. In addition, this process was characterized by unfair and absurd taxation, a lack of industrialization and development of the occupied territories, a ban on independent exports and imports, and the destruction of traditional African society and values.
However, colonization also had some positive aspects for Africa and Asia. Thus, without the imperialist policies of European countries, Africa would have remained one of the most backward countries in the world. This is due to the fact that the Europeans have brought some development to such areas of the country’s functioning as medicine, education, and infrastructure improvement. These processes contributed to the growth of the population, the introduction of Europeans to education, and the improvement of African road systems. Taking into account such an aspect as the borders of the country, the European colonialists facilitated the process of gaining independence by the regions with the help of modified state education. Therefore, it can be said that despite the negative aspects, European imperialism had positive aspects.
Bulliet, Richard, et al. The earth and its peoples: A global history. Cengage Learning, 2018.
“Galileo Galilei.” Wikipedia, 2021, Web.
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Kollontai, Alexandra. “The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman”, The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman, 1971.
“Muhammad Ali of Egypt.” Wikipedia, 2021, Web.
“Simón Bolívar.” Wikipedia, 2021, Web.