Colonial élites. Rome, Spain and the Americas
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When, during the course of the 19th century, the Italians, Belgians and Germans raised a claim to their share of the world in addition to the old colonial powers, the term "Imperialism" became an ideologically loaded and overall imprecise, but probably irreplaceable historiographical concept. That is what makes this period so unique in European history, though measured against other criteria, such as time and space, it was not more spectacular than previous ones.
Thus, the European conquest of North and South America in the 16th and 17th centuries or of India in the 18th and early 19th centuries was no less incisive in its spatial dimension or the number of people brought under European rule as was the "Scramble for Africa" that became synonymous with the unsystematic and overly hasty intervention of Europeans in the entire African continent.
But unlike in earlier periods, a broad European public for the first time participated politically, economically and culturally directly in the process of that expansion. It had deep-reaching effects on the historical development of the European societies themselves, which is reflected, for example, in the professional careers of politicians, diplomats and high-ranking military men.
After all, it was caused by massive economic and diplomatic rivalries between the European colonial powers and a widespread chauvinism. Likewise, this process was to a significant extent triggered by internal crises in Africa itself. As in the 16th century, the rivalry between Christian and Islamic missions again erupted in the North of Africa. In a classic of the historiography of imperialism, Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher explain that Europe is not the only place for understanding the motives of European expansion.
According to Robinson and Gallagher, this motivation was primarily founded in Africa, at least, as far as late Victorian society was concerned.
2. Colliding Cultures
Their lobbying influence on the expansion of the colonial empires was no less than that of political and economic interest groups in the metropole, even though their motivations depended more situationally on the events in the colonies than could be or would be the case in the European centres of power. This can be shown equally for the Asian, the African and the Pacific regions. Colonial sites of remembrance and their culture of monuments recall to this day conflicts and ambivalences of European colonial rule in public memory.
This circumstance made High Imperialism a European and global project at both the centre and the periphery. Furthermore, it illustrates the critical significance of political and military force in the imperial process.
Colonial Élites: Rome, Spain and the Americas - Ronald Syme - Google книги
Informal imperialism, often equated with the dominance of free trade over other methods of colonial influence, lost ground to the extent that coercion could only be exercised by violence. This is well illustrated by the war with China over the opium trade — The protection of national economic interests or the defence of prestige later led several German observers to the conclusion that the English were conducting a commercial imperialism, whereas the French wanted to enhance the respect for their nation in the world.
Nevertheless, the "informal empire" was the prevailing model. In the British context, this led to the exaggerated thesis that the nation was not interested in expansion and that in this regard it was characterized by "absentmindedness".
Until the recent past, this thesis could be countered by noting that it not only underestimates the scale of the creation of global empires but also their dissolution. In this respect, colonisation and decolonisation were two historical processes referring to each other, comparable to the systole and diastole of the metropolitan heart beat.
Only the interaction of these two as well as numerous other factors resulted in the world historical consequences of European expansion. Colonial regions and their limits as well as periods and their caesuras offer two possibilities of approaching European colonialism.
For example, the independence of the North American colonies in [ ] marks one of the most important turning points — from the Atlantic to the Asian aspect of the British empire — and, also, the first experience of decolonization of global significance in the history of European imperialism. The second only began in the s, here especially on the African continent and, offset in time from the freedom movements of Central and South America as well as Asia. In the 18th century, the foremost European colonial powers, led by England , solidified their global hegemonic position.
If they did not create overseas empires, they conquered territories in the form of a continental colonialism as the Russian monarchy did in Siberia and the Habsburgs in South-eastern Europe. This continental variant was equivalent in nature to the later westward shift of the American Frontier and the north migration of the South African boundary as well as the subimperialism, e.
While the direct penetration of North and South America was almost entirely completed, that of the Asian and African sphere only began on a larger scale after — in Africa, for example, after with the French conquest of Algeria, from which Morocco and Tunis were also to be brought under French influence.
Disease and Population Loss
The Russian conquest of Siberia, which followed the course of the rivers similar to the American expansion, aimed to acquire the lucrative fur trade. Concurrent with the mining of gold and precious stones in Brazil, silver mines were also found in the Siberian highland and the financial as well as the informational value of a caravan route between Russia and China was recognized. The coastal fort colonies that the Dutch operated in Indonesia and the English on the coasts of India initially were reserved for commercial interests in spices, tea, coffee and cotton.
As long as they did not expand inland and develop larger areas, they lacked military value. In , when governor Warren Hastings — [ ] strove not only for economic but also for the political and administrative development of the hinterland in Bengal and his administration was overshadowed by numerous scandals, his famous critic Edmund Burke — vented his anger on the methods of colonial rule.
In this way, he also directed attention to the newly formed field of tension of the competing powers of the administrative centre in London and the "men on the spot", those increasingly more powerful servants of European colonialism who at the same time also pursued their own interests in the periphery.
In the 19th century, this would become a fixed topos of mutual accusations when businesses based on shares and founded on the model of the East India Company chartered in , monopoly to , and comparable to the Dutch Vereenigden Oost-Indischen Compagnie — , were raised by Sweden , Denmark , Scotland , Austria , Brandenburg-Prussia and Poland and were partly equipped with sovereign rights. Financially, they were based on the exchanges, which were becoming ever more central to European economic life, and a modern banking system that coordinated the international trade in luxury goods, such as silk, with that in foods novel to Europe, such as potatoes, maize and rice.
Only the English company flourished in the long run. Within limits, the Dutch company, which focused on the spice trade and participated in expanding the colonial empire in Southeast Asia, also succeeded. The British created a cotton monopoly. With the trade in goods, for example, coffee from Java and tea from China, Europeans continuously developed new areas, especially Asia, that could be "opened" almost without violence China since The formal use of colonial violence was symbolized in its most illustrative form in the slave trade with the establishment of slave ports on the coasts of West and East Africa as the starting points of slave shipments to the plantations of Middle and South America.
South Africa, since the 17th century developed by the Dutch as a settlement colony and since of importance to the British because of its gold and diamond mines, is exempted from this. Similar to Egypt, it played a special role, including with regard to its perception by Europeans. The shipping routes around the Cape and through the Suez Canal were of elementary significance from the perspective of military and commercial politics. Furthermore, a presence in Egypt held great symbolic significance, as manifested in attempts at its conquest from Napoleon Bonaparte — to Adolf Hitler — Remarkable in this parallel is the belief that focussed power in Europe and on the Nile — as the access to Asia — was a condition of concentrated power in the world.
A British colonial administrator such as Evelyn Baring, Lord Cromer — , who was stationed in Calcutta and Cairo , knew like none other that the survival of the empire depended as much on India, the Jewel in the Crown, as on the Suez Canal. His book Ancient and Modern Imperialism is a testimonial of intimate knowledge of the manner in which colonial rule functioned, as they were handed down at various administrative posts. What the British were willing to spend on the defence of their interests some 6, miles from London is evident from the, on the whole devastating, South African War also Second Boer War, — Volunteers from numerous European countries fought on the side of the Boers against the British, who in turn recruited large military contingents in Australia and Canada.
The legend of imperial rule irretrievably lost its legitimacy when in the British and the French armies had to leave the Suez Canal Zone under pressure from the USA and the Soviet Union. Therefore, the Canal as well as the Cape were areas of first rank in the encounters of Europeans and non-Europeans as well as areas of encounter in the sequence of various European colonialisms.
Precisely defined dividing lines between periods are impossible in this panorama as a matter of course.
For this, the enterprises in which all European colonial powers were more or less involved voyages of discovery , scientific projects such as cartography, construction of mercantilist colonial economies etc. However, there were phases in the overall development of European colonialism that can be separated in analogy to the development of the great power system of the European states:. In the beginning, Portugal and Spain in personal union — were primarily interested in overseas trade to Brazil and the Philippines and inspired by Christian missionary zeal.
With few exceptions, they managed to avoid colonial overlap. European nations, through voyages of discovery , were looking for new trade routes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which allowed the European powers to build vast, new international trade networks. Nations also sought new sources of wealth.
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To deal with this new-found wealth, new economic theories and practices were created. Because of competing national interest, nations had the desire for increased world power through their colonial empires. The Commercial Revolution is marked by an increase in general commerce, and in the growth of non-manufacturing pursuits, such as banking, insurance, and investing.
In the Old World , the most desired trading goods were gold, silver, and spices. Western Europeans used the compass , new sailing ship technologies, new maps, and advances in astronomy to seek a viable trade route to Asia for valuable spices that Mediterranean powers could not contest. Gold fueled European exploration of the Americas. Silver, valued as a precious metal , has been used to make expensive ornaments , fine jewelry , high-value tableware and utensils silverware , and currency coins.
Spices were among the most luxurious products, the most common being black pepper , cinnamon and the cheaper alternative cassia , cumin , nutmeg , ginger and cloves. In terms of shipping advances, the most important developments were the creation of the carrack and caravel designs in Portugal. These vessels evolved from medieval European designs from the North Sea and both the Christian and Islamic Mediterranean. They were the first ships that could leave the relatively placid and calm Mediterranean , Baltic or North Sea and sail safely on the open Atlantic.
When the carrack and then the caravel were developed in Iberia , European thoughts returned to the fabled East. These explorations have a number of causes. Monetarists believe the main reason the Age of Exploration began was because of a severe shortage of bullion in Europe. The European economy was dependent on gold and silver currency, but low domestic supplies had plunged much of Europe into a recession. Another factor was the centuries-long conflict between the Iberians and the Muslims to the south.
The Golden Age of Piracy is a designation given to one or more outbursts of piracy in the early modern period, spanning from the midth century to the midth century. The buccaneering period covers approximately the late 17th century. The period is characterized by Anglo-French seamen based on Jamaica and Tortuga attacking Spanish colonies and shipping in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. A sailing route known as the Pirate Round was followed by certain Anglo-American pirates at the turn of the 18th century, associated with long-distance voyages from Bermuda and the Americas to rob Muslim and East India Company targets in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.
The post-Spanish Succession period extending into the early 18th century, when Anglo-American sailors and privateers left unemployed by the end of the War of the Spanish Succession turned en masse to piracy in the Caribbean, the American eastern seaboard, the West African coast, and the Indian Ocean.
The 15th to 18th century period is marked by the first European colonies, the rise of strong centralized governments, and the beginnings of recognizable European nation states that are the direct antecedents of today's states. Although the Renaissance included revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for European artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo , who inspired the term " Renaissance man ".
The Peace of Westphalia resulted from the first modern diplomatic congress. Until , the regulations became part of the constitutional laws of the Holy Roman Empire. The Treaty of the Pyrenees , signed in , ended the war between France and Spain and is often considered part of the overall accord. The Age of Absolutism describes the monarchical power that was unrestrained by any other institutions, such as churches, legislatures , or social elites of the European monarchs during the transition from feudalism to capitalism.
Monarchs described as absolute can especially be found in the 17th century through the 19th century. Nations that adopted Absolutism include France, Prussia, and Russia. Nobles tended to trade privileges for allegiance throughout the eighteenth century, so that the interests of the nobility aligned with that of the crown.
Absolutism is characterized by the ending of feudal partitioning, consolidation of power with the monarch, rise of state power , unification of the state laws , drastic increase in tax revenue collected by the monarch, and a decrease in the influence of nobility. Louis believed in the Divine Right of Kings , the theory that the King was crowned by God and accountable to him alone. Consequently, he has long been considered the archetypal absolute monarch.
Louis XIV continued the work of his predecessor to create a centralized state , governed from the capital to sweep away the remnants of feudalism that persisted in parts of France. He succeeded in breaking the power of the provincial nobility, much of which had risen in revolt during his minority called the Fronde , and forced many leading nobles to live with him in his lavish Palace of Versailles. Men who featured prominently in the political and military life of France during this period include Mazarin , Jean-Baptiste Colbert , Turenne , Vauban.
Before the Age of Revolution, the English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists.
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The first and second civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.