Age Of Imperialism
In the late 1800s, European nations became involved in a new kind of empire building, imperialism, which arose from the need for self-sufficiency, new markets, and places in which an ever-growing population could settle. European nations divided up almost all of Africa in the late 1800s. Communication and transportation improved, and the slave trade was abolished. For the most part, Africa and Africans were exploited, and tensions developed that would lead to further struggles later in the 1900s. In India the British government assumed direct control. The British established themselves as a caste superior to the native population.
After a civil war in Japan, the emperor was restored to power in 1868. The Japanese then began a successful process of industrialization. Although foreign powers helped China resist the Japanese, the Chinese had to make concessions for receiving this European assistance.
Imperialism was also a strong force in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific. By the late 1800s, the kingdom Siam was the only Southeast Asia that remained free from foreign rule. The Pacific islands became valuable as coaling stations and naval bases.
The countries of Latin America were weak and vulnerable to economic imperialism as well. The United States sought to protect its influence and to protect Latin America from the influence of powerful European nations.
The relatively easy American victory in the Spanish-American War dramatized the growing strength of the United States. In the early 1900s, the United States became increasingly involved in Latin American affairs, often invoking the Roosevelt Corollary.
World War I
Suspicions and rivalries among European nations intensified beginning in the late 1800s. This was caused by strong national feelings, the spread of imperialism, military buildups, and a system of rival alliances. The 1914 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo...