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Lecture 4

Lecture Fourteen: Technology and the Empire

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Department
Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1775
Professor
Vera Pavri

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Lecture Fourteen: Technology and the Empire November 3, 2011 Technologies of Control Technologies which were instrumental in colonization, bringing people to the colonies as well as maintaining economic and social control over the colonies. Technologies that were mainly used to build empires were not necessarily built to make money. Often, they were not profitable at all. - Their main goals were not to make money, but to control the people - These technologies were expensive to create and maintain them. This became an economic drain on the colonies - Most of the profits associated with colonization were used to control and maintain the colonies. New Methods of Transportation The use of the steam engine was important in ships because that was the way that the people wold be transported to and from the new colonies. The railway and construction of new railways around the world, which is discussed further below, is also an expensive new technology during this time which was widely used. The Use of Medicine The most important form of medicine at this time is called quinine. - It is an anti-malarial drug which was given to the Europeans to prevent death by this disease - The Europeans often were not accustomed to the climates or germs that were present in the environments in the colonies. They often got sick and died due to this fact. New Military Technologies The military made huge improvements, mostly in an effort to control the population, and also to assert their superiority. - The introduction of gun barrels - New types of firearms - Rapid-fire technologies which could kill many natives at once Why were these not profitable? One of the most important reasons that these were not profitable ventures is because they were done on such a large scale. -The railways are a perfect example for this -Railways were built across land which had been inhabitable by humans -This required the use of special explosives to level the land and make it usable for railway construction -Initially, Europeans were eager to invest in these project. -As the railways were getting built, people began to realize that they were not very profitable -A reason for this is that the costs often went over the initial estimates (engineers would often gold-plate the railways, meaning they would build more elaborate structures than necessary) -To gain investors, there was a guaranteed rate of return on the building of a railway. The tax-payers were responsible to pay for these rates of returns. Industrialization in the Colonies The colonies were discouraged from becoming industrialized because they would present a threat to the colonizing countries. Protective Tariffs - there was a tax on goods which are being produced in another country. -Britain placed a 3% tariff on goods made in India, which made it harder for India to sell their goods New technologies were gaining momentum in Europe, but they were discouraged in the colonies. Consequences of Industrialization The creation of “third world” or “developing” countries -Countries today are classified according to what degree of industrialization is present in their country -The less industrialized, the less advanced and generally more impoverished the country is Pollution Disregard for safety/fairness in the hopes of making more money Steamships The main energy source of steamships is of course, steam. Faster Travel Between Britain and India Prior to the use of steamships, communication between Ind
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