Ap World History Western Imperialism in India and Africa

AP World History Comparative Essay Aieshah Abdeljawad 5th 2/14/11 During the period of 1750-1914, Western intervention was a common thing as European states began to believe that imperial expansion and colonial domination were crucial for the survival of their states and societies as well as their personal fortunes. India and Africa were colonized so quickly for their resources and out of competition that other European states would colonize them first. Both India and Africa had violent reactions to European colonization but the effect was different between the two.

For India, the colonization, though had a very violent rebellion, linked India into the global economy and provided better communication throughout the whole state. For Africa the colonization often led to violent conflict with indigenous people and the new boundaries the Europeans made cut across existing ethnic and political boundaries that weakened the indigenous people. The boundaries would later cause drastic problems when the Europeans left examples would be the Apartheid in South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda.

The British Empire in India grew out of mercantilism activities of the England East India Company. The company gained permission from the Mughal Empire to build forts on the coastlines for the trading agents to store commodities and transport back to Europe. As the Mughal Empire weakened; The East India Company took advantage of this weakness the merchants began campaigns to conquest India. They won official rule of Mughal officials and local authority then they enforced their rule with a small British army and a large number of Indian troops known as sepoys.

A very violent revolt against British rule by the sepoys would begin. The sepoys would receive rifles that fired bullets from cartridges. The cartridges would be wrapped in a wax made from animal fat and the British officials would advise them to ripe the wax with their teeth. The sepys would refuse out of fear that the wax was made from cows that were held sacred and the Muslim sepoys refused because it could be made from pigs which where held foul. The sepoys would hen have a mutiny in 1857 where they killed their British officers and tried to restore Mughal authority. The revolt was very violent and many were killed but in 1858, British government had restored their direct rule in India. Even though the revolt was violent, under the British administration, officials began to encourage the cultivation of crops and built railroads and telegraph networks that then would link India to the global economy. They also constructed canals and irrigation systems.

Between 1875 and 1900, the relationship between Africa and Europe would dramatically change. The Prospect of exploiting African resources and rivalries between European powers became known as the “scramble for Africa”. The tension between those European powers seeking African colonies led to the Berlin Conference. Delegates of fourteen European states devised the ground rules for the colonization of Africa. The conference provided European diplomats with the justification they needed to draw lines on maps and carve a continent into colonies.

The redistraputing of boundaries would later cause much trouble when Africa gained independence from Europe. European states also had trouble ruling over Africa because of the long distances and slow transport limited effective communication between regional authorities and officials in remote areas. Also the inability to speak local languages and limited understanding of local customs among Europeans also undermined their effort to rule properly.