| The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
|Africa, India, and the New British Empire, 1750-1870
Map of Africa, 1850
This map demonstrates Europeans' limited knowledge of
Africa during the mid-nineteenth century, particularly of the interior
of the continent.
Political Entities before the Scramble
This map is a more accurate portrayal of political developments
in Africa during the nineteenth century before the Europeans colonized
most of the region.
History: The Age of Exploration
This site includes several maps of the routes that European
explorers took on their journeys through the continent.
of British India, 1875
Empire: Map Room
This interactive map allows you to view specific areas.
Note: This map covers the British Empire at its territorial peak, not necessarily
the period discussed in this chapter.
At the bottom of this web page are two maps that show
the routes used by European explorers from the fifteenth through the nineteenth
century in a global context. These routes helped to create the commercial
system explored in this chapter.
Illustrated Atlas, 1876
This site presents images from this nineteenth-century
atlas and also includes several images of the British Empire and other
regions of the world.
British Empire Museum
By clicking on "Timeline," you can view images and maps
of the British Empire at various historical stages. This site uses
Geographic: Forbidden Territory
This unique site offers numerous images of David Livingston's
and Henry Stanley's explorations of Africa.
This site offers a video clip from the PBS series of
an interview with a descendant of the merchant Tippu Tip.
Placed within this essay are numerous images from the
of India: British Rule
By clicking on the time line at the top of the page,
you can access images from various periods of Britain's rule over India
during the nineteenth century.
Tippu Sultan, 1750-1799
This comprehensive site includes an image gallery of
this man and this period in Indian history.
British and Indian Armies and their soldiers
This site offers numerous digitized versions of photographs
from this period.
Epic of the Race: India, 1857
This site presents several images of India during the
and Wireless: A History Around the World
This unique site contains images from the nineteenth-century
activities of this British company, including the laying of the trans-atlantic
Chapter 26, Africa, India, and the New British Empire,
1750-1870 in Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its Peoples (Second
Edition) explores many of the changes in Britain's overseas empire that
occurred during the nineteenth century. To pursue this topic further,
go to The
Second British Empire and British
Imperial Territories in the 1850's. In terms of territory, what
was new about the British Empire in the nineteenth century?
On a related topic, this chapter also discusses the impact of industrialization
on Britain's overseas policies. Locate the territories listed at
Imperial Territories in the 1850s on the map provided at World
Continents. (Hint: Print out this map and also use the maps in
your textbook to locate these possessions.) Which territories gave
the British control of vital sea lanes or commercial routes? Which
ones gave them access to major markets such as China or to certain raw
materials such as palm oil from Africa? At this point you should
realize that the concerns of the new British Empire were not solely matters
of territorial control. They also involved controlling vital trade
routes and having access to many raw materials and overseas markets.
What kinds of raw materials or primary products did the British hope to
obtain, and what kinds of items did they desire to sell during this period?
How did these objectives differ from Britain's aims during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, when its primary overseas focus was the Atlantic
World and India?
The Industrial Revolution made the new British Empire
possible. Without the technological advances in transportation and
communication, Britain's influence around the world during the nineteenth
century would not have been as comprehensive. For example, explore
the impact of the telegraph on the evolution of the British Empire at Cable
and Wireless: A History. Click on "Life of the Company" on the
left-hand side of your screen. Then click on the link "Cable and
Wireless and the British Empire" and read this brief essay. Explain
why the author describes this company as the "nerve system" of the British
Empire. For further insight into the meaning of this description,
click on "Around the World" on the left-hand side of your screen; then
tour the areas that appear on the screen. Be sure to click on the
image of a globe shown at the bottom of each site.
What advantages did the growth of this company provide
for the nation of Britain during the nineteenth century? How did
the Cable and Wireless Company's operations promote Britain's access to
raw materials or foreign markets? Why do you think that a British
company, rather than one from another country, happened to build the world's
first global communications system?
To explore further the impact of technology on the evolution
of the British Empire during the nineteenth century, see The
Suez Isthmus: The Joining of Two Seas. At the bottom right-hand
corner, click on the second icon (the one with an h). When
the new screen appears, click on the image of the man and then read the
essay on the diplomacy that was used during the building of the canal.
After reading the essay, click on the icon shaped like a crane in the bottom
left-hand corner. When the new page appears, click on "Introduction"
at the bottom right, read the essay, and then hit "return." Continue
this process to access all of the topics listed under "Introduction" and
then answer the following questions: What was the purpose of the
Suez Canal? Why did the British initially refuse to go along with
the project but then acquiesce to the French efforts? How did the
British benefit from the canal's construction? What aspects of the
Industrial Revolution made the construction of the canal possible?
Finally, go to Ships:
The Backbone of the Empire and read the first eleven paragraphs.
Explain why the author describes ships as the "backbone" of the empire.
How did the Industrial Revolution increase the influence of British shipping?
To complete this activity after reviewing all the links at this site, analyze
the ways in which the Industrial Revolution led to the development of a
"new British Empire" during the nineteenth century. Refer back to
activity one for your definition of this new empire and include it in your
The growth of the new British Empire affected different
peoples around the world in different ways. The subcontinent of India
became Britain's most important overseas possession during the nineteenth
century. For an assessment of the British raj, read The
New Nationalist Movement in India by Jabez T. Sunderland. This
article appeared in the Atlantic
Monthly, a popular journal in the United States, in 1908. Accordings
to its author, what was the legacy of British rule in India? While
crafting your response, consider the following questions: How had
India's economy developed? What new technologies had been introduced
into the subcontinent? What were living standards like for the average
Indian? The author puts the blame for the conditions squarely on
British rule. What specific policies does he blame for India's problems,
and what remedy does he offer? Does he advocate turning back the
clock and restoring India to its old traditions, or does he propose a more
Western solution? Does he look to India's past to support the idea
of a modern Indian nation-state?
Sunderland claims that there is a generation of Indians,
especially members of the Indian National Congress Party, ready to govern
the subcontinent more justly. To explore this topic further, read
the essays at History
of India: Social and Cultural Awakening, The
Indian National Congress [1885 AD - 1905 AD], and Western
Education in Nineteenth-Century India and then answer the following
questions: Which groups made up the Indian National Congress?
How had their lives been affected by British rule? What impact did
Western ideas have on their sense of Indian nationalism? What alternatives
to direct British rule did the Indian Congress propose? What ideas
influenced this demand for more autonomy? Were these ideas strictly
Western, or did they also draw on India's past? Which groups led
the Congress Party, and what role did they play in Indian society during
After reviewing all of these sites, explain the impact
of British rule on India during the nineteenth century. Be sure to
consider developments in economics, education, politics, and national identity.
How had India changed during the period from the beginning of the nineteenth
century until the century's end?
The new British Empire also strongly influenced areas
that were not under the direct control of British authorities.
example, go to The Rulers
of Zanzibar. While reading this essay, think about how the growth
of the new British Empire affected this island kingdom. Remember,
it wasn't until the end of the nineteenth century that the British had
direct control over the island, yet the power and decisions of the British
government and British merchants strongly influenced the history of Zanzibar
throughout the period. Consider developments such as the ending of
the international slave trade, the increase in British shipping and British
markets for African exports other than slaves, and the transportation and
communication revolutions. In analyzing the relationship of Great
Britain and Zanzibar throughout the nineteenth century, how much would
you say that the rulers of Zanzibar gained or lost due to the expansion
of the new British Empire? How did the more common people of Zanzibar
fare during this period?