In which John Green teaches you about European Imperialism in the 19th century.
European powers started to create colonial empires way back in the 16th century, but businesses really took off in the 19th century, especially in Asia and Africa.
During the 1800s, European powers carved out spheres of influence in China, India, and pretty much all of Africa. While all of the major (and some minor) powers in Europe participated in this new imperialism, England was by far the most dominant, once able to claim that the “sun never set on the British Empire.”
Also, they went to war for the right to continue to sell opium to the people of China.
John will teach you how these empires managed to leverage the advances of the Industrial Revolution to build vast, wealth-generating empires. As it turns out, improved medicine, steam engines, and better guns were crucial in the 19th century conquests.
Also, the willingness to exploit and abuse the people and resources of so-called “primitive” nations was very helpful in the whole enterprise.
Note from Among the Fray: To begin April, we will be finishing Crash Course’s World History series. An episode – in chronological order of course – will be posted with the morning news everyday. Enjoy!