Industrailization and Imperialism: The Making of the European Global Order

By : Emmanuel Chae 

Kwang Jin Lim  

 Theme 3: State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict

• Political structures and forms of governance

• Empires

• Nations and nationalism

• Revolts and revolutions

• Regional, transregional, and global structures and organizations

Theme 3: 

                The Europeans held great power internationally and basically globally. For example, the Dutch successfully became the supreme power of Java. Initially, the Dutch was just a small colony that paid tributes to the people in power in Java. This was to keep their peace and to keep the indigenous people from attacking their settlement. But the Dutch worked very hard to monopolize spices and succeeded in doing so. Thus the Dutch gained great power over the Java and started to grow a militia to defend its territory. After some time, the Dutch started dominating the indigenous people and became the central power of Java, even intervening in the native government and laws. The humble beginnings of the Dutch in Java grew to become total dominance over the settlement. Its industrialization and superior weaponry proved to be a strong point as they accumulated wealth with the monopolization of the spices.

                Another example of European dominance and expansion is the case of dominance of British in India. Due to the declining powers of the Mughal dynasty, the British laid great influence and power over India. The British had 3 presidencies (in Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta) that helped dominate and control India. Other parts of India were kept in check by the Indian rulers’ courts. Soon, India became practically a possession of Britain and produced much goods and received much overseas investments. The Indians were also very willing with the dominance of Britain and even formed armies and battle forces that fought for the British. There were some revolts and revolutions of the Indians, but they were easily suppressed and controlled. The British successfully instated European nationalism by instituting many schools instituted with European and British education and ideals.

Theme 5: Development and Transformation of Social Structures

• Gender roles and relations

• Family and kinship

• Racial and ethnic constructions

• Social and economic classes

                The Europeans were the unquestionable supreme global power of this era because of their advanced technology in transportation and weaponry. The Europeans in Asia were initially very tolerable of the customs of Asia and even assimilated themselves into the culture that they were governing. The Europeans had to accommodate themselves to the culture and the customs of the Asian civilizations to survive. The Europeans in Asian civilizations made a new ladder of the social ladder, including themselves into the social ranking of the indigenous people. This essentially meant that the Europeans actually accommodated themselves into the customs of the foreigners completely. The Europeans adopted the lifestyles of the Asians: food, housing, dress (clothes), political symbols, and working habits as well.

                However as time passed by, the Europeans gained more and more dominance over the Asian civilizations, completely putting them in their control. Thus, the Europeans started to change the lifestyles of the indigenous people of their colonies to make them become more like Europeans. For example, the British instituted many schools that taught the indigenous students with European curriculum, making them become more like Europeans. This caused many students who learned to think like a European to lose their native cultural identity and to assimilate into the European lifestyles. By doing this, the British not only physically dominated India. By “brain washing” the future of India with European ideals, the Europeans dominated India in almost every way possible. This was not always the case though. Many of the students who were taught with European curriculum started to question the European ideals and began comparing them with their indigenous ideals. They then began to strive for their own destinies, not shackled down by neither the European or the indigenous ideals.

Kingdom of Mataram: Controlled most of interior Java in the 17th century; weakness of the state after the 1670s allowed the Dutch to expand their control over all of Java. It was the dominant political force in interior Central Java from the late 16th century until the beginning of the 18th century.

Sepoys: was formerly the designation given to an Indian soldier in the service of a European power. Indian troops, trained in European style, serving the French and British. In the French service, companies of Indian sepoys were raised to augment the French and Swiss mercenary troops available. In the British service, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the surviving East India Company regiments were merged into a new Indian Army under the direct control of the British Crown.

 Raj: The British political establishment in India, ending a century of control by the East India Company. The system of governance was instituted in 1858 and lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states. 

Plassey (1757): Battle between the troops of the British East India Company and an Indian army under Siraj-ud-daula, ruler of Bengal. British victory gave them control of Northeast India. It ultimately led to the establishment of British rule in Bengal and eventually, the whole Indian subcontinent.

Robert Clive: Architect of British victory at Plassey. Established foundations of the Raj in Northern India. Was a British officer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal.


Presidencies: Three districts that comprised the bulk of British-ruled territories in India during the early 19th century; capitals at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. Were the administrative units of the territories of India under the tenancy or the sovereignty of either the East India Company or the British Crown between 1612 and 1947.

Princely states: Also known as Native State or Indian State, ruled by Indian princes allied with the Raj. Agents of the East India Company that were stationed at their courts to ensure loyalty.

Nabobs: Name given to Britons who went to India to make fortunes through graft and exploitation. Returned to Britain to live richly. A servant who had become wealthy through corrupt trade and other practices. A common fear was that these individuals - the nabobs, their agents, and those who took their bribes - would use their wealth and influence to corrupt Parliament.

Charles Cornwallis: British official who reformed East India Company corruption during the 1790s. He was a British Army officer and colonial administrator. In the US and United Kingdom, he is remembered as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence. He surrendered in 1781 to a combined American and French force at the Siege of Yorktown which ended significant hostilities in North America.

Isandhlwana (1879):  The first encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom, where 22000 Zulu warriors defeated a small army of approximately 1350 British and Native troops. This resulted in the British taking a much more aggressive approach in the Anglo-Zulu War. leading to a heavily reinforced second invasion, destroying the hopes of negotiated peace. 

Tropical dependencies: Western European possessions in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific where small numbers of Europeans ruled large indigenous populations.

White dominions: Colonies in which European settlers made up the overwhelming majority of the population. small numbers of native inhabitants were typically reduced by disease and wars of conquests.  

Settler colonies: Areas such as North America and Australia, that were both conquered by European invaders and settled by large numbers of European migrants who made the colonized areas their permanent home and dispersed and decimated the indigenous inhabitants. 

White racial supremacy: Belief in the inherent superiority of whites over the rest of humanity. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social, political, historical, and industrial dominance by whites.

Great Trek: Migration into the South African interior of thousands of Afrikaners seeking to escape British control. Was an eastward and north-eastward migration away from British control in the Cape Colony during 1830s and 1840s by Boers.

Boer republics: Independent states—Orange Free State and Transvaal—established during the 1850s in the South African interior by Afrikaners.  Independent self-governed republics created by the northeastern frontier branch of the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the north eastern Cape Province and their descendants named Trekboers, Boers, Afrikaners, and Vootrekkers in mainly the northern and eastern parts of South Africa.

Cecil Rhodes: British entrepreneur in South Africa. Manipulated political situation to gain entry to the diamonds and gold discovered in the Boer republics. Mining Magnate and politician. Founder of the diamond company De Beers. This company today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%. He was the founder of the state of Rhodesia, which was named after him. 

Boer War (1899-1902): Fought between the British and Afrikaners. British victory and postwar policies left the African population of South Africa under Afrikaner control. First Anglo- Boer war was a rebellion of Boers against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence. The conflict occurred against the backdrop of Pretoria government becoming increasingly ineffective at dealing with growing claims on South African land from rival interests within the country. Second Anglo- Boer War involved large numbers of troops from many British possessions which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies.

James Cook: His voyages to Hawaii from 1777 to 1779 opened the islands to the West. A British explorer, navigator, and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain the Royal Navy. Cook created detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to Pacific Ocean. Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755.


Kamehameha: Also known as Kamehameha the Great was a prince that established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810.  Promoted the entry of Western ideas in commerce and social relations. 

Great Mahele: Also known as division of lands, is proclamed by Kamehameha III. It provided a basis for changing the old feudal tenures to modern land titles in the island. By the end of the 19th century, the Great Mahele had become a great dispossession for Native Hawaiian. 

Mataram: Kingdom that controlled interior regions of Java in 17th century; Dutch East Company paid tribute to the kingdom for rights of trade at Batavia; weakness of kingdom after 1670s allowed Dutch to exert control over all of Java.

Ram Mohun Roy: Indian religious, social, and educational reformer who challenged traditional Hindu culture and indicated the lines of progress for Indian society under British rule. He is known for his efforts to abolish sati, the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband's funeral pyre, and child marriage. 

Natal: British colony in South Africa; developed after Boer trek north from Cape Colony. Major commercial outpost of Durban. British established sugar cane industry and brought thousands of laborers from India. As a result, South Africa became home to a large Indian population.

Nationalism: A belief system or political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a nation. National flags, national anthems, and other symbols of national identity are commonly considered highly important symbols of the national community. 

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