Class Notes (810,861)
Canada (494,337)
York University (33,686)
Humanities (1,633)
HUMA 1770 (83)
Leo Stan (35)

Western Colonialism.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

York University
HUMA 1770
Leo Stan

Western Colonialism Western imperialism has made a significant impact on many countries throughout the world. Through the efforts of Western nations, colonialism spread throughout much of the non-Western world during the nineteenth and early 20 century due to the technological and scientific advancements made in the Industrial Revolution. The definition of imperialism, as defined in the course textbook is the "efforts of capitalist Western states to seize markets, raw materials and lucrative avenues for investment in countries beyond Western civilization" (Duiker and Spielvogel, 515). These advancements have caused powerful Western states (Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the US) to expand into other territories to compete against each other for consumer markets and raw materials necessary for their developing economies. By the end of the nineteenth century, almost all countries in Africa and Asia were under colonial rule and at the start of the new century, the imprints left by Western nations appeared to be a permanent feature of the evolving political and cultural landscape which resulted in both consequences and benefits on these societies. The main motives of Western colonialism was primarily for economic reasons, but also included political competition and power amongst Western nations, Christian missionary efforts and cultural imperialism. All these motives, along with the tactics, philosophy and consequences will be discussed in further detail in the upcoming paragraphs, showing their close interconnectedness with one another. Economic prosperity was the main motive and objective of Western colonialism. Western nations went into these countries looking to extract raw materials and spices to bring back to their home countries. Many of these countries were lacking in resources and needed them for economic purposes. They also needed markets to export the manufactured goods and trade with other European nations. The tactics/strategies involved include the exploitation of natural resources in the subject area and establishing regional trade routes/networks to export goods to other countries. These two methods were critical to the economic development of these nations as the establishment of these regional trade routes helped to transport manufactured goods from one country to another in an efficient manner. The main philosophy used to justify these economic motives was the idea of laissez-faire, a completely free market economy without any governmental interference in the economic affairs of individuals and businesses with regulations such as tariffs and taxes, with the exception of regulations/laws that protect property rights against theft and aggression (Duiker and Spielvogel, 517). Widely accepted in the nineteenth century, this philosophy assumed that the individual or business who pursues their own desires contributes the most successfully to the society as a whole. The market forces dictated the economic environment and was largely based on supply and demand. Many Western nations adopted this philosophy to justify their actions. However, the consequences of this was detrimental to the colonizing nations. Colonial policy concentrated on the exportation of raw materials to industrialized nations and had took advantage of the third world countries in Africa and Asia by draining their natural resources, leaving them without an adequate food supply to feed their populations. This would cause these nations to suffer from issues dealing with hunger and poverty. Also, the introduction of British textiles put thousands of Bengalis out of work and severely damaged the local textile industry in India. Political competition and power was another motive of Western colonialism. Western nations competed against each other in an attempt of acquiring new territories and establishing control to increase the strength of their colonial empire. They had a tremendous amount of power over their colonies and many were successful in establishing a centralized bureaucratic government system, with hopes of making them more civilized. Nations that were successful in establishing effective governmental policies on their colonies include Britain and France. These two nations used a variety of tactics to accomplish their objectives through indirect rule and territorial expansion. The strategy of indirect rule was more common in societies in Africa, India and Southeast Asia whose local political elites were willing to cooperate with the colonizers; however this policy was not effective in countries where resistance was greater. The French tried to impose a centralized administrative system on their colonies that mirr
More Less

Related notes for HUMA 1770

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.