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Imperialism - in India and China

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Imperialism is the domination of a weaker country by a stronger country. For instance Britain dominated India and China in the mid 1880s to the beginning of the 20th century. Imperialism has had both a positive and negative effects on the countries involved. Britain was imperialistic for many reasons, it could dominate because it had the technology and power to do so. They also needed land to acquire raw materials for growing markets.

One country that had imperialism was India. By the mid-1880s, the British East India Company controlled three fifths of India. The cause of British domination was that the land was very diverse and the people could not unite and that the British either paid local princes or used weapons to get control. Positive effects of imperialistic rule in India were that the British set up a stronger economy and more powerful industries. They built roads and railroads. British rule brought peace and order to the countryside. They revised the legal system to promote justice for the Indians regardless of class. Indian landowners and princes, who still owned territory grew rich from exporting cash crops such as cotton and jute. The British introduced the telegraph and the postal system as a means of communication. These improvements and benefits from British rule eventually lead to Indian nationalism. The exposure to European ideas caused an Indian nationalist movement, the people dreamed of ending Imperial rule. The Indians wanted to have more power to themselves. They looked forward to self rule and therefore united. In 1885, nationalist leaders organized the Indian National Congress who called for greater democracy which they felt would bring more power to themselves. Other Indian nationalists, took a more radical, anti-British stand. I believe this is positive because I feel that the first instance of British resistance was the first step towards independence. Negative effects of the imperialistic rule in India were that there was a rapid population growth , hence, there was a strain on the food supply, especially since farmland was turned into cash crops instead of food. They cleared new farmlands which led to massive deforestation and other environmental destruction. Also, in the late 1800s terrible famines swept India. The railroads could not carry food to the suffering areas, but overall, millions of Indian peasants sank deeply into poverty.

Another country that had imperialistic rule was China. The British forced the Chinese to trade with them. As the result of the Opium War, which China lost, they had to accept extraterritoriality. In 1894, Japanese pressure on China led to war. Japan crushed China and western powers moved quickly to carve out spheres



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