Earliest Empires Age of Conquest

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  • Imperialism occurs when a strong nation takes over a weaker nation or region and dominates its economic, political, or cultural life.

Past Essays DBQ – Jan. 2003

  • Historical Context:
  • The geographic factors of location and availability of resources have affected the history of Great Britain and Japan.
  • Task:
  • • Compare and contrast the effect of geographic factors such as location and availability of resources on the political and economic development of Great Britain and Japan

DBQ – Aug 2011

  • For a variety of reasons, groups have set out to conquer other regions or people using various methods of force. These groups include the Mongols, the Spanish, and the Ottoman. Their conquests have had an impact on both the conqueror and the conquered.
  • • Explain a reason for the conquest
  • • Explain how the conquest was achieved
  • • Discuss an impact of the conquest

Ancient Empires

  • Persian
  • Hellenistic
  • Roman
  • Byzantine
  • Mongolian
  • Ottoman
  • Rise
  • Fall
  • Good Leadership
  • Expansion of Land
  • Golden Age
  • Peace/Prosperity
  • Economic Gain
  • Tolerance
  • Poor Leadership
  • Rivals
  • Division of Land
  • Foreign Invasion
  • Inflation & Debasement of Coins

Persian Empire (500s-362 BC)

  • Darius –
    • Satrapies
    • Taxation
    • Royal road
    • Pony express
    • 4 capitals
  • War with Greeks – Marathon/ Salamis
  • Defeated by Alex the Great

Hellenistic Empire (362-30 BC)

  • Alexander the Great blending of Greek, Egyptian, Persian that gave rise to advancements in math, science, art, and literature. (Aristotles, Aristarchus, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Euclid)
  • Unexpected death – no heir – civil war

June 2010

  • 71. One way in which the actions of Alexander the Great, Saladin, and Shaka Zulu are similar is that each implemented
  • (1) military strategies to defeat opponents
  • (2) constitutions to define political powers
  • (3) policies to increase religious persecution
  • (4) legal changes to protect human rights

Roman Empire (27 BC – 495 AD)

  • Emperors –
  • Strong army (legion)
  • Proconsuls collect taxes in provinces
  • Roads/bridges/ aqueducts/walls
  • Pax Romana
  • Emperors to know: Augustus,
  • Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, Diocletian,
  • Constantine

January 2013

  • Theme: Change—Collapse of Government
  • The sudden death of a ruler, a defeat in war, or a successful revolution has often led to the collapse of a government. Political, social, and economic changes have occurred as a result of the collapse of a government.
  • Task:
  • Select two situations where the collapse of a government has led to significant changes in a country or region and for each
  • • Describe the historical circumstances that led to the collapse of a government
  • • Discuss the political, social, and/or economic changes that occurred as a result of the collapse
  • You may use any situation from your study of global history and geography in which the collapse of a government led to significant changes in a country or region. Some suggestions you might wish to consider include collapse of the Roman Empire, collapse of Louis XVI’s government,

Cause of Collapse

  • Barbarian invasion
  • Diocletian Divided
  • Debased coinage
  • Inflation/Unemployment
  • Christianity (Edict of Milan)
  • Slave farmers - latifundia
  • Corruption/weak emperors - Commodus

August 2012

  • 76. Which factor contributed to the fall of the Han
  • dynasty, the fall of the Roman Empire, and the
  • fall of the Abbasid Empire?
  • (1) invasions by nomadic peoples from Central Asia
  • (2) demands for religious freedom by Christians
  • (3) long periods of drought that led to isolation
  • (4) dependence on slaves to produce manufactured goods
  • A study of the fall of the Roman Empire (476) and of the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991) shows that powerful empires can
  • (1) lose strength when mercenaries enforce reforms
  • (2) be threatened only when directly attacked by outsiders
  • (3) conquer more than one continent and remain stable
  • (4) be weakened by both internal and external pressures

Byzantine Empire

  • Created from eastern half of Roman Empire by Diocletian (wealthier ½)
  • Preserved Greco-Roman tradition.
  • Capital Constantinople (trade!!!)
  • Orthodox Christianity – impacted Russia (Orthodox & Cyrillic Alphabet)
  • Collapsed after Seljuk & Ottoman invasions (Crusades tried to protect) in 1453.

Jan 2011

  • Which development is most closely associated with the beginning of the Byzantine Empire?
  • (1) emergence of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • (2) division of the Roman Empire
  • (3) building of the Hagia Sophia
  • (4) fall of Constantinople

June 2013

  • The introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet and
  • Orthodox Christianity to Russia is most closely
  • associated with
  • (1) Viking conquests
  • (2) Byzantine missionaries
  • (3) Alexander the Great’s armies
  • (4) Ottoman expansion

Native American Empires

  • Aztec –
  • Conquered by Cortes – better technology and guns
  • Chinampas
  • Collected tributes
  • Fierce warriors
  • Sophisticated culture – architecture and calendar
  • Incas –
  • Conquered by Pizzaro
  • Terrace farming
  • Road Network
  • Quipu
  • Sophisticated culture
  • What was one reason the Spanish conquistadors were able to conquer the Aztec Empire?
  • (1) The Spanish soldiers made effective use of
  • their military technology against the Aztecs.
  • (2) Aztec religious beliefs promoted nonviolence.
  • (3) Spain joined the Incas in their fight against
  • the Aztecs.
  • (4) The Spanish cavalry outnumbered the Aztec
  • warriors.

Mongolian Empire (1100-1200 AD)

  • The Mongols were a nomadic tribe of herders who lived in Central Asia
  • Terms:
  • Genghis Khan
  • Golden Horde
  • Kublai Khan
  • Mughal India (Akbar)
  • Pax Mongolia
  • Marco Polo

Ottoman Empire (1400s-1917)

  • Migrated from C. Asia by 1453 took over Byzantine Empire’s Constantinople. Peak had 3 continents. Cannons & muskets.
  • Decline – cut out of global trade (explorers), “Sick Man of Europe”, Armenian Mass., WWI
  • Suleiman
  • (1520-66) – Shariah Laws, efficient bureaucracy.
  • One way in which Suleiman the Magnificent and Akbar the Great are similar is that they both brought about periods of
  • (1) political stability and religious tolerance
  • (2) religious conquest and persecution
  • (3) isolationism and cultural stagnation
  • (4) modernization and political disunity

Old Imperialism 1490s

  • Reasons:
  • Excess capital for investment (joint-stock companies)
  • New technology (astrolabe, gunpowder)
  • Desire to gain new route to spice islands/India (avoid Italians and Turks)
  • Religion (spread Catholicism – Isabella or freedom – Puritans)
  • • Spain mines silver in the Americas.
  • • The Dutch establish a colony in Southeast Asia.
  • • The English E. India Co. controls tea plantations in India.
  • Which policy is most closely associated with these events?
  • (1) pacifism (3) nonalignment
  • (2) mercantilism (4) containment
  • Which statement demonstrates a major characteristic of mercantilism in colonial Latin America?
  • (1) Colonies developed local industries to compete with Spain.
  • (2) Spanish colonies traded freely with English colonies.
  • (3) Spain instituted democratic governments in its colonies.
  • (4) Colonies were a source of raw materials for Spain.

Spanish Imperialism

  • Isabel and Ferdinand – after Reconquista turned to world – used Columbus (Italian)
  • Philip II – fought many wars against Ottomans (Lepanto) and other Europeans (English) to maintain his territory.

Practice Question

  • The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), concerning Latin America, and the Berlin Conference (1884-1885), concerning Africa, were similar in that each agreement
  • provided for self-government by the native peoples
  • declared that in these areas monarchs rule by divine right
  • divided each area into European-controlled segments
  • suppressed revolts by native peoples against European imperialists

Explorers to Know

  • Christopher Columbus – discovered new world (Caribbean) in 1492 for Spain.
  • Ferdinand Magellan – circumnavigated globe for Spain.
  • Vasco de Gama – went south of Africa to India for Portugal.
  • Henry Hudson – looking for NW Passage discovered “New Netherlands” – Hudson River.
  • Zheng-He – explored for China to Africa … spent so much money that China gave up exploration for good.
  • The journeys of Vasco da Gama, Bartholomeu Dias, and Christopher Columbus became possible in the late 1400s because of the
  • (1) support of exploration by the English government
  • (2) trade connections established by Ibn Battuta
  • (3) effects of the Atlantic slave trade
  • (4) development of new navigational instruments and technology
  • Other Terms:
  • mercantalism,
  • Columbian Exchange,
  • Middle Passage

Old Imperialism – or the “Encounter”

  • Results
  • New routes explored (Magellan circumnavigated globe)
  • Aztecs/Incans populations declined (smallpox & forced labor)
  • Encomienda system (forced labor) established
  • Movement of people (slavery)
  • Cultural diffusion (Catholicism in L. America, Spanish & Portuguese language)
  • The encomienda system in colonial Latin America led to the
  • (1) use of forced labor
  • (2) establishment of trade unions
  • (3) increase in landownership by Native Americans
  • (4) weakening of the power of peninsulares

Social Structure of the Spanish Colonies

  • Peons - Native Americans & African Descent
  • Mestizos
  • People of Native
  • American and
  • European
  • Descent
  • Mulattoes
  • People of mixed
  • African and
  • European descent
  • Creoles
  • People of European descent
  • Born in the colonies
  • Peninsulares
  • People born
  • in Spain
  • Most Power
  • Fewer People
  • Least Power
  • Most People
  • Viceroys- Spanish Governors of colonies
  • Generally Educated,
  • but lacked power

Global 2 – Long Last Impact

  • Class resentment between Peninsulares, Creoles and Mestizos will lead to revolutions in Mexico (Hidalgo, etc)
  • Never truly resolved until 1900s with Zapata and efforts of land redistribution
  • Prejudice still exist against those with Native American heritage
  • Cash crop economy and mercantalistic habits will cripple Latin America until import substitution and rise of manufacturing after WW2
  • One principle in the theory of mercantilism is that colonies should be
  • granted independence as soon as possible
  • considered an economic burden for the colonial power
  • encouraged to develop their own industries
  • acquired as markets and sources of raw materials
  • A major result of the Age of Exploration was
  • a long period of peace and prosperity for the nations of Western Europe
  • extensive migration of people from the Western Hemisphere to Europe and Asia
  • the fall of European national monarchies and the end of the power of the Catholic Church
  • the end of regional isolation and the beginning of a period of European global domination
  • The social class system in Latin America during the 16th and 17th centuries reflects the
  • (1) dominance of Spanish-born nobility
  • (2) emerging equality between classes
  • (3) influence of mestizo economic power
  • (4) increasing social mobility of Native American
  • Indians

New Imperialism


  • Agrarian Revolution – Rise of Population
  • Industrial Revolution – Machines need new raw materials (cotton – India/Egypt; rubber – Congo)
  • Humanitarian – “White Man’s Burden”
  • New Technology – Quinine, Maxim Gun, Livingstone’s maps
  • Balance of Power – International Competition and Nationalism
  • Industrial
  • Revolution
  • Source for
  • Raw
  • Materials
  • Markets for Finished Goods
  • European Nationalism
  • Missionary Activity
  • Military & Naval Bases
  • European
  • Motives
  • For Colonization
  • Places to Dump Unwanted/ Excess Popul.
  • Soc. & Eco. Opportunities
  • Humanitarian Reasons
  • European Racism
  • “White Man’s Burden”
  • Social Darwinism
  • Take up the White Man's burden--
    • Send forth the best ye breed--
  • Go, bind your sons to exile
    • To serve your captive's need;
  • To wait, in heavy harness,
    • On fluttered folk and wild--
  • Your new-caught sullen peoples,
    • Half devil and half child. …
  • Take up the White Man's burden,
    • And reap his old reward--
  • The blame of those ye better
    • The hate of those ye guard--
  • The cry of those ye humor
    • (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
  • "Why brought ye us from bondage,
    • Our loved Egyptian night?"
  • The White Man's Burden
  • by Rudyard Kipling
  • First published in McClure's Magazine (Feb. 1899).

Regents Multiple Choice

  • The 19th century term “White Man’s Burden” reflects the idea that
  • Asians and Africans were equal to Europeans
  • Asians and Africans would be grateful for European help
  • imperialism was opposed by most Europeans
  • Europeans had a responsibility to improve the lives of the colonial peoples
  • The phrase “White Man’s burden” in this excerpt refers to the
  • negative attitude of Europeans toward peoples of the non-Western world
  • advantages Europeans would gain by colonizing Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • positive role of the Roman Catholic Church in Africa and Asia
  • challenges non-Europeans faced when trading with the Europeans
  • Berlin Conference 1884/5
  • Need for military bases to protect interests.
  • Wished to create a series of British colonies from South Africa to Egypt “Cape to Cairo” railroad

Regents Multiple Choice

  • Which is an accurate statement about the partitioning of Africa by European imperialist nations during the 1800’s?
  • new nations were based on old tribal boundaries
  • the cultural and ethnic diversity of the African people was disregarded
  • the continent was divided equally among the colonial powers
  • African unity was encouraged

People to Know African Imperialism

  • King Leopold (Belgium)– Congo – severe human right violations – cut off hands if not meeting quota
  • Otto von Bismarck – called Congress wanted Germany to take active role in industrialism/imperialism
  • Queen Victoria (England) – wanted to “Paint Africa Red”; “Sun Never Sets on English Empire”; created Crystal Palace to showcase exhibits from around world, wanted to convert natives (end sati) – sent Livingstone to Africa
  • Cecil Rhodes (England) – Cape to Cairo Railroad, Debeers Diamond Mines, Boer War


  • Terms to Know:
  • British East India Co. 1700s
  • Sepoy Mutiny 1857
  • Gandhi – Amritsar “Home Rule” (1948)
  • Pakistan/India (Kashmir)
  • Benefits – educations, industry, railroad
  • Mercantalism

Regents Multiple Choice

  • A primary purpose for building the Suez Canal was to
  • encourage Jewish settlement in nearby Palestine
  • increase trade between the Middle East, Europe and Asia
  • reduce the time needed for travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea
  • allow Indian merchants to reach the east coast of Africa
  • Both the French and the British were interested in controlling Egypt in the mid-19th century because Egypt had
  • control of the spice trade
  • an industrial-based economy
  • vital mineral resources
  • a strategic location
  • Which of these developments in Africa was a cause of the other three?
  • (1) Rival tribal groups fought wars.
  • (2) The Berlin Conference of 1884 influenced
  • colonial boundaries.
  • (3) Traditional territories and culture groups
  • were permanently fragmented.
  • (4) African economies became dependent on the
  • sale of cash crops and raw materials.


  • Terms to Know:
  • Opium War
  • Treaty of Nanjing (1842)
  • Hong Kong
  • Open Door Policy
  • Taiping Rebellion
  • Boxer Rebellion 1900
  • A primary reason the Mongols and the British
  • were able to expand their empires through conquest was because of
  • (1) a knowledge and command of advanced technologies
  • (2) a rejection of democratic policies and practices
  • (3) the development of religious and cultural reforms
  • (4) an extended period of peaceful trade and commerce

SE Asia

  • Dutch East Indies (1800s)
  • Philippines to America (1898 Spanish American War)
  • French Indo-China (Vietnam)
  • What was a principal reason for the success of European colonialism in Asia in the late 1800s?
  • (1) Asians respected Europeans as representatives of an advanced civilization.
  • (2) Europe was able to dominate military and commercial relations with Asia.
  • (3) Europeans respected Asian laws and customs.
  • (4) Many Asians adopted European religious practices.


  • Tokugawa Shogunate
  • Com. Matthew Perry (1853)
  • Treaty of Kanagawa
  • Meiji Restoration
  • Sino-Japanese (1894)/Russo-Japanese War (1905)
  • Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere (WW2)


  • The arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in Japan in 1853 signaled the end of Japanese
  • cultural contacts with the West
  • policies of isolationism
  • militarism in Southeast Asia
  • trade relations with the United States
  • In Japan, the Meiji Restoration resulted in the
  • division of the nation between the European powers
  • modernization of the nation’s industry
  • abolition of the position of emperor
  • government being controlled by the samurai
  • During the late 19th century, Japan’s lack of natural resources was one reason for implementing a policy of
  • (1) collectivization (3) socialism
  • (2) free trade (4) imperialism

Impact of Colonial Rule (think +/- and point of view)

  • Breakdown of traditional culture
  • International competition – WWI/II
  • Movement of people – urbanization
  • Conversions to Christianity sparked religious conflicts
  • Built roads, railroads, harbors
  • Increased literacy, developed alphabets for African languages
  • Better medical care, sanitation, and improved farming.
  • Tribal conflict – Rwanda, Sudan, etc.
  • Apartheid – institutionalized separation of Blacks from Political, Economic and Social Power.
  • People of color (blacks and Indians) are required to carry pass cards.
  • Gandhi working as a lawyer in South Africa will burn his pass cards

Resistance to Foreign Control

  • India – Sepoy Mutiny; Gandhi’s Non-Violent, Non-Cooperation
  • China – Boxer Rebellion

Sepoy Mutiny - 1857

  • Rumor Started: The rifle cartridges that were distributed to the Sepoys (bitten to remove a cover before being inserted into a gun) had been greased with beef and pork fat.
  • Muslim Sepoys who were not supposed to consume pork, and the Hindu Sepoys who were not supposed to eat beef.
  • The Sepoy Rebellion is considered an important event in Indian history because it was one cause of the
  • (1) independence movement in India
  • (2) secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan
  • (3) establishment of French colonies in India
  • (4) creation of the Mughal Empire by Muslims
  • A goal of both the Boxer Rebellion in China and the Mau Mau movement in Kenya was to
  • (1) promote laissez-faire capitalism
  • (2) end foreign control
  • (3) develop modern industries
  • (4) create a totalitarian state

Collapse of Imperialism

  • Nationalistic Mvmts – during and after WWII.
  • Terms to Know – Gandhi (India), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), OAU (Org. of African Unity – Pan Africanism) Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and ANC (S. Africa), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam)
  • World War II was a turning point for many European colonies in Africa and Asia because the war led to
  • (1) the occupation of most European colonies by United Nations troops
  • (2) increased efforts by these colonies to gain independence
  • (3) the expansion of European imperialism
  • (4) decreased friction between the Europeans and their colonies

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