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10.3 Forms and Techniques of Imperialism

Several forms and techniques were adopted by modern imperialism in order to establish itself.

1. Conquest and Annexation

In the early modern times, the Spaniards, the Frenchmen and the British used to send soldiers to distant lands. They overpowered the native chiefs, annexed the conquered lands and made them a colony. Outright conquest and annexation proved to be expensive and burdensome.

2. Concession or Franchise

When a powerful, ambitious and aggressive agency, acquired an exclusive right to exploit some economic resources, in a "background" region, it was called a concession or franchise. A group of German bankers and engineers got a concession to build a long railroad, which later came to be known as the Bagdad Railway in Turkey.

3. Leasehold

When the exclusive right to exploit some economic resources was accompanied with the grant of lease of a stretch of territory and the actual exercise of political control over it, it was called a leasehold. The German Empire acquired such leasehold of ninety-nine years over a part of the Shantung Peninsula in China.

4. Sphere of Influence and Sphere of Interest

When a state acquires an exclusive or even a preferential right to exploit and develop a backward region economically, and claims that other states have no right or claim to establish any form of control over it, it was called the Sphere of influence. Thus in 1907, Great Britain and Russia, divided Persia into three zones:

(i) British (southern) sphere of influence

(ii) Russian (northern) sphere of influence,

(iii) Central or neutral sphere of influence.

In case the state only had the right to exploit a backward region, but did not exercise political control over it, it was called a Sphere of Interest.

5. Protectorate

This meant an indirect exercise of political control by a powerful nation, over a weak and backward region through a native puppet ruler, who remained only in nominal command. Thus in 1912, France established a protectorate over Morocco.

6. Financial or Tariff Control

Economic imperialism could assume the form of financial or tariff control. Thus, the powerful nation could take over the complete charge of the finances of a weak and backward region, or its tariff system. Before World War I, the Turkish finances was actually run by the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, an organization composed of mainly European officials.

7. Extra-territoriality

The right of extra-territoriality was a privilege whereby the Europeans were subjected the Western law and Western courts of law, even if they committed crimes in non-European jurisdictions.

Thus if a Frenchman committed an offence in Constantinople, he was tried by a French or a European official under French law, and not by a Muslim court under the Mohammedan law.

8. The Mandate System

This was the last form of the new imperialism. It emerged at the Paris Peace Conference, at the suggestion of General Jan Smut of South Africa. Most of the former colonies and other weak and backward regions were assigned to the League of Nations. The League delegated its authority, subject to some restrictions, to various states as its agents or "mandatories." The mandatories had to submit to a League body called the íPermanent Mandates Commissioní which were annual reports about the moral and material progress in regions under their control.

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10.0 - Introduction
10.1 Meaning
10.2 Causes
10.3 Forms and Techniques of Imperialism
10.4 Imperialism in Africa
10.5 Imperialism in Asia
10.6 Significance and Consequences of Imperialism
10.7 Points to Remember

Chapter 11


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