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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History

10.6 Significance and Consequences of Imperialism

There were far-reaching effects in several respects:

Western imperialism converted the lands of Asia and Africa into European colonies. By 1875, about one-tenth of African territories remained to be colonized. Between 1871 and 1900, Great Britain added 4.25 million square miles, with sixty six million people to her empire. France added 3 - 5 million square miles with 26 million people, to her Empire. Russia added 0.5 million square miles with 6.5 million people. Germany added one million square miles with 13 million people. Italy had 1,85,000 square miles with 750,000 people and Belgium had 900,000 square miles with 8.5 million people.

Owing to a simultaneous colonial expansion of western powers into Asia and Africa, there were frequent colonial collisions all over Asia and Africa. The major collisions were five:

  1. between Great Britain and France, over Egypt and the Sudan

  2. between Great Britain and Germany, over South Africa

  3. between Great Britain and Russia, over Persia

  4. between Russia and Japan, over China

  5. between Germany and France, over Morocco.

This led to the formation of political and military alliances and counter alliances, which ultimately brought about World War I (1914-1918).

The European imperialists like the Belgians, the British, the French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Japanese and the European imperialists in China, exploited their colonies economically, commercially, industrially, socially and politically.

An important result of Imperialism was that Asia and Africa got westernized.

The process of Europeanization in language, culture and civilization began in the 16th century. In India, the English introduced the British educational system with western education taught through English, from the primary schools onwards to the University level.

The British in India:

  1. converted many Indians to Christianity;

  2. remodeled Indian political and administrative institutions according to the English pattern;

  3. industrialized India by building railways, stringing telegraph wires and setting up factories, mills and workshops;

  4. introduced western customs and ideas to the Indians.

The Africans also obtained the fruits of Western Civilization.

However, the imperialists reduced the colonies to poverty and social degradation. They became masters in their colonies. The natives were transformed into servants and slaves.

Some of the African and Asian nations could not stand the attack of the European imperialists. They were wiped out of existence and their lands were occupied by the Imperialist powers.

Owing to the process of Europeanization, some of the colonies lost their culture and civilization. They became Europeanized and lost their identity as a nation.

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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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