European Expansion in the Nineteenth Century: An Account of Imperialism from a history textbook written in 1905.
[Excerpted from Philip Van Ness Myers, Mediæval and Modern History (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905), pp. 251-274]
CAUSES AND GENERAL PHASES OF THE EXPANSION MOVEMENT
Significance of the Expansion of Europe into Greater Europe.--In speaking of the establishment of the European colonies and settlements of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries we likened this expansion of Europe into Greater Europe to the expansion in antiquity of Greece into Greater Greece and Rome into Greater Rome. We have now to say something of the later phases of this wonderful outward movement of the European peoples.
In the first place we should note that it is this expansion movement which gives such significance to that intellectual, moral, and political development of the European peoples which we have been studying. This evolution might well be likened to the religious evolution in ancient Judea. That development of a new religion was a matter of transcendent importance because the new faith was destined not for a little corner of the earth but for all the world. Likewise the creation by Renaissance, Reformation, and Revolution of a new, rich, and progressive civilization in Europe is a matter of vast importance to universal history because that civilization has manifestly been wrought out not for a single continent or for a single race but for all the continents and for all mankind.
We are now to see how the bearers of this new culture have carried or are carrying it to all lands and are communicating it to all peoples, thereby opening up a new era not alone in the history of Europe but in the history of the world.
The Fate of the Earlier Colonial Empires; Decline and Revival of Interest in Colonies.--The history we have narrated has revealed the fate of all the colonial empires founded by the various European nations during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The magnificent Portuguese Empire soon became the spoil of the Dutch and the English; France lost her colonial possessions to England; a great part of the colonies of the Dutch also finally fell into English hands; before the end of the eighteenth century England lost through revolution her thirteen colonies in North America; and in the early part of the nineteenth century Spain in like manner lost all her dependencies on the mainland of the New World.
After these discouraging experiences with their colonies the governments of Europe lost interest for a while in possessions beyond the seas. Statesmen came to hold the doctrine that colonies are "like fruit, which as soon as ripe falls from the tree." The English minister Disraeli, in referring to England's colonial possessions, once used these words: "Those wretched colonies are millstones about our neck."
Before the close of the nineteenth century, however, there sprang up a most extraordinary revival of interest in colonies and dependencies, and the leading European states began to compete eagerly for over-the-sea possessions.
Causes of the Revived Interest in Colonies.--A variety of causes concurred to awaken or to foster this new interest in colonies. One cause is to be found in the rapid increase during the nineteenth century of the people of European stock. At the beginning of the century the estimated population of Europe (excluding Turkey) was about one hundred and sixty millions; at the end of the century it had risen to four hundred and thirty-six millions. During this same period the number of people of European stock in the world at large rose from about one hundred and seventy millions to over five hundred millions. [These earlier numbers must be regarded as mere approximations. We have no reliable figures for the beginning of the century. Census-taking is practically a nineteenth-century innovation, save in two or three countries.] This increase in numbers of the European peoples is one of the most important facts in modern history. It has caused Europe to overflow and to inundate the world. It has made the smallest of the continents the mother and nursery of nations. [The great tide of emigration which during the past century has flowed from Europe into the unoccupied places of the world was not set in motion by any single cause. With the pressure arising from the growing population of Europe, which may be regarded as the primary cause of the movement, there concurred a great variety of other causes, political, religious, and economic in their nature, such as have always been inciting or fostering causes in every great migration and colonization movement known to history.]
The political significance of this great outward movement, which almost unnoticed for a long time by European statesmen was creating a new Europe outside of Europe and shifting the center of gravity of the world, at last attracted the attention of the European governments and awakened an unwonted interest in colonies and dependencies.
A second cause is to be found in the industrial revolution which began in England towards the end of the eighteenth century and which gradually transformed the industrial life of all the more advanced nations. The enormous quantity of fabrics and wares of every kind which the new processes of manufacture created, led to sharp competition among commercial classes in the different nations for the control of the markets in the uncivilized or semi-civilized lands. In order to secure a monopoly of these markets for their subjects it was thought necessary by the European governments to take possession of these lands or to establish protectorates over them.
A third cause, one which tended to give a general character to the colonial movement, was the manifest advantage that England was deriving from her colonial possessions, especially as revealed on the occasions of Queen Victoria's Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1887 and 1897, when there passed along the streets of London imposing processions of representatives of all the races of the British Empire. This spectacle, unparalleled in modern times in its suggestions of imperial riches and power, produced a profound impression upon the witnessing nations. It stirred in them a spirit of emulation and made them eager to secure colonial possessions and dependencies that they too like England might rule over many lands and races.
Thus it came about through these and other influences that during the last fifteen or twenty years of the nineteenth century almost all the old colonizing peoples of Europe were exerting themselves to the utmost to build up new empires to take the place of those they had lost, while other nations that had never possessed colonies now also began to compete eagerly with those earlier in the field for over-the-sea possessions.
Stanley's Discoveries open up the "Dark Continent."--By the time, however, of this awakening of the governments of Europe to the importance of colonies almost all the lands outside of Europe suited to European settlement were closed against true colonizing enterprises by having been appropriated by England, or through their being in the control of independent states that had grown out of colonies planted by immigrants of European speech and blood. The makers of new empires had no longer the whole world before them from which to choose.
Africa, however, was still left. For a century intrepid explorers had been endeavoring to uncover the mysteries of that continent. Among these was the missionary-explorer David Livingstone. He died in 1873. His mantle fell upon Henry M. Stanley, who a short time after the death of Livingstone set out on an adventurous expedition across Africa (1874-1877) [Stanley had made an earlier expedition (1871-1872) in search Dr. Livingstone], in which journey he discovered the course of the Congo and learned the nature of its great basin. Not since the age of Columbus had there been any discoveries in the domain of geography comparable in importance to these of Stanley. Stanley gave the world an account of his journey in a book bearing the title Though the Dark Continent. The appearance of this work marks an epoch in the history of Africa. It inspired innumerable enterprises, political, commercial, and philanthropic, whose aim was to develop the natural resources of the continent and to open it up to civilization.
The Founding of the Congo Free State (1885).--One immediate outcome of the writings and discoveries of Stanley was the founding of the Congo Free State.
King Leopold II of Belgium was one of those whose imagination was touched by the vast possibilities of the African continent. He conceived the idea of establishing in the valley of the Congo a great state which should be a radiating center for the diffusion of the benefits of civilization over the Dark Continent. Through his efforts an International African Association was formed, under whose auspices Stanley, after his return from his second expedition, was sent out to establish stations in the Congo basin and to lay there the foundation of European order and government.
The Association had found in Stanley a remarkably able lieutenant. His work as an organizer and administrator was carried on almost continuously for five years (1879-1884),long years of bitter labor," as he himself speaks of them. He made treaties with over four hundred and fifty native chiefs, who ceded to him their sovereign rights over their lands. He founded numerous stations along the banks of the Congo and its tributaries. By these and like herculean labors Stanley--Stanley Africanus, it has been suggested, should be his ennobled name--became the real founder of what is now known as the Congo Free State and earned a place among the great administrators and state builders of modern times. [The Congo Free State has an estimated population of thirty millions. King Leopold of Belgium is the head of the state, whose independence and sovereignty have been recognized by the United States and most of the governments of Europe. The state is not nominally a Belgian colony; it is (at the present time, 1905) merely an appanage of the Belgian crown. A railroad projected by Stanley, two hundred and fifty miles in length, has been built around the falls of the Congo. This enterprise has brought into touch with civilization a vast region which throughout all the long period of history up to the time of Stanley's achievement had been absolutely cut off from communication with the civilized races of mankind. Regretfully one records that just now there are persistent reports of atrocious cruelty on the part of the agents of the Belgian government towards the natives in the collection of the tribute of rubber which is exacted of them.]
The Partition of Africa.--The discoveries of Stanley and the founding of the Congo Free State were the signal for a scramble among the powers of Europe for African territory. England, France, and Germany were the strongest competitors and they got the largest shares. In the short space of fifteen years Africa became a dependency of Europe. The only native states retaining their independence by the end of the nineteenth century were Abyssinia and Morocco, [Just now (1905) French influence in Morocco is increasing, and it looks as though the country would soon pass under French control.] together with the negro republic of Liberia, the government of which is in the hands of American freedmen or their descendants.
This transference of the control of the affairs of Africa from the hands of its native inhabitants or those of Asiatic Mohammedan intruders to the hands of Europeans is without question the most momentous transaction in the history of that continent, and one which must shape its future destiny.
In the following sections of this chapter, in which we propose briefly to rehearse the part which each of the leading European states has taken in the general expansion movement, we shall necessarily have to speak of the part which each played in the partition of Africa and tell what each secured.
THE EXPANSION OF ENGLAND
England in America; the Dominion of Canada.--The separation of the thirteen American colonies from England in 1776 seemed to give a fatal blow to English hopes of establishing a great colonial empire in America. But half of North America still remained in English hands.
Gradually the attractions of British North America as a dwelling-place for settlers of European stock became known. Immigration, mostly from the British Isles, increased in volume, so that the growth of the country in population during the nineteenth century was phenomenal, rising from about a quarter of a million at the opening of the period to over five millions at its close.
One of the most important matters in the political history of Canada since the country passed under English rule is the granting of responsible government to the provinces in 1841. Up to that time England's colonial system was in principle like that which had resulted in the loss to the British Empire of the thirteen colonies. The concession marked a new era in the history of English colonization. The Canadian provinces now became in all home matters absolutely self-governing. [The treaty-making power and matters of peace and war are still in the hands of the English government.]
The concession of complete self-government to the provinces was followed, in 1867, by the union of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick in a federal state under the name of the Dominion of Canada. [Later the confederation was joined by British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and other provinces. Newfoundland has steadily refused to join the union.] The constitution of the Dominion, save as to the federal principle, is modeled after the British, wherein it differs from the recently framed Australian constitution, which follows closely that of the United States.
The political union of the provinces made possible the successful accomplishment of one of the great engineering undertakings of our age. This was the construction of a transcontinental railroad from Montreal to Vancouver. This road has done for the confirming of the federal union and for the industrial development of the Dominion what the building of similar transcontinental lines has done for the United States.
By reason of its vast geographical extent,--its area is more than thirty-five times as great as that of the British Isles,--its inexhaustible mineral deposits, its unrivaled fisheries, its limitless forests, grazing lands, and wheat fields, its bracing climate, and above all its free institutions, the Dominion of Canada seems marked out to be one of the great future homes of the Anglo-Saxon race. What the United States now is, the Dominion seems destined at a time not very remote to become.
England in Australasia; the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia (19O1).--About the time that England lost her American colonies the celebrated navigator Captain Cook reached and explored the shores of New Zealand and Australia (I769-1771). Disregarding the claims of earlier visitors to these lands, he took possession of the islands for the British crown. [Australasia, meaning "south land of Asia," is the name under which Australia and New Zealand are comprehended. Here, as in South Africa, in Canada, and in India England appeared late on the ground. The Spaniards and the Dutch had both preceded her. The presence of the Dutch is witnessed by the names New Holland (the earlier name of Australia) and New Zealand attaching to the greater islands.]
The best use to which England could at first think to put the new lands was to make them a place 'of exile for criminals. The first shipload of convicts was landed at Botany Bay in Australia in 1788. But the agricultural riches of the new lands, their adaptability to stock raising, and the healthfulness of the climate soon drew to them a stream of English immigrants. In 1851 came the announcement of the discovery of fabulously rich deposits of gold, and then set in a tide of immigration such as the world has seldom seen.
Before the close of the century five flourishing colonies (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and West Australia), with an aggregate population, including that of the neighboring island of Tasmania, of almost four millions, had grown up along the fertile well-watered rim of the Australian continent and had developed free institutions similar to those of the mother country.
The great political event in the history of these colonies was their consolidation, just at the opening of the twentieth century, into the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal union like our own.
The vast possibilities of the future of this new Anglo-Saxon commonwealth in the South Pacific has impressed in an unwonted way the imagination of the world. It is possible that in the coming periods of history this new Britain will hold some such place in the Pacific as the motherland now holds in the Atlantic.
England in Asia.--We have noted the founding of the British Empire in India. Throughout the nineteenth century England steadily advanced the frontiers of her dominions here and consolidated her power until by the close of the century she had brought either under her direct rule or under her suzerainty almost three hundred millions of Asiatics, [By the census of 1901, the population of the British Indian Empire (this includes the feudatory states) was 294,461,056.]--the largest number of human beings, so far as history knows, ever united under a single scepter.
We must here note how England's occupation of India and her large interests in the trade of Southern and Eastern Asia involved her during the century in several wars and shaped in great measure her foreign policies. One of the earliest of these wars was that known as the Afghan War of 1838-1842, into which she was drawn through her jealousy of Russia. [England's endeavor here was to maintain Afghanistan as a buffer state between her Indian possessions and the expanding Russian Empire. The war was marked by a great tragedy,--the virtual annihilation in the wild mountain passes leading from India to Afghanistan of an Anglo-Indian army of 16,000 men. There was a second Afghan War in 1870-1880.]
At the same time England became involved in the so-called Opium War with China [The opium traffic between India and China had grown into gigantic proportions and had become a source of wealth to the British merchants and of revenue to the Indian government. The Chinese government, however, awake to the evils of the growing use of the narcotic, resisted the importation of the drug. This was the cause of the war, The Chinese government was compelled to acquiesce in the continuance of the nefarious traffic.] (1839-1842). As a result of this war England obtained by cession from China the island and port of Hong Kong, which she has made one of the most important commercial and naval stations of her empire. In 1901 over twenty-four thousand vessels entered the ports of the island.
Scarcely was the Opium War ended before England was involved in a gigantic struggle with Russia,--the Crimean War, already spoken of in connection with Russian history. From our present standpoint we can better understand why England threw herself into the conflict on the side of Turkey. She fought to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire in order that her own great rival, Russia, might be prevented from seizing Constantinople and the Bosporus, and from that point controlling the affairs of Asia through the command of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The echoes of the Crimean War had barely died away before England was startled by the most alarming intelligence from the country for the secure possession of which English soldiers had borne their part in the fierce struggle before Sevastopol.
In 1857 there broke out in the armies of the East India Company what is known as the Sepoy Mutiny. [The causes of the uprising were various. The crowd of deposed princes was one element of discontent. A widespread conviction among the natives, awakened by different acts of the English, that their religion was in danger was another of the causes that led to the rebellion. There were also military grievances of which the native soldiers complained. The mutiny broke out simultaneously at different points. The atrocities committed by the rebels at Cawnpur sent a thrill of horror throughout the civilized world. Nana Sahib had slain the garrison and crowded about two hundred English women and children into a small chamber. They were spared the fate of the prisoners in the Black Hole of Calcutta, but only to meet a more terrible one. Fearing that the English forces, advancing by forced marches under General Henry Havelock, would effect a rescue of the prisoners, Nana Sahib employed five assassins to go into the room with their swords and knives and kill them all. The work required two hours. Then the bodies were dragged out and flung into a neighboring well, where they were found by the rescuing party, which arrived Just too late to prevent the tragedy.] Fortunately many of the native regiments stood firm in their allegiance to England, and with their aid the revolt was speedily crushed. As a consequence of the mutiny the government of India was by act of Parliament taken out of the hands of the East India Company and vested in the English crown.
There are without question offsets to the indisputably good results of English rule in India; nevertheless it is one of the most important facts of modern history, and one of special import as bearing on our present study, that nearly three hundred millions of the population of Asia should thus have passed, whether for better or for worse, under the rule and wardship of a European nation.
England in South Africa; Boer and Briton.--England has played a great part in the partition of Africa, and as usual has got the lion's share of the spoils, not as to the size of her portion but as to its real value. Her first appearance upon the continent both in Egypt and at the Cape was brought about through her solicitude for her East India possessions and the security of her routes thither. Later she joined in the scramble of European powers for African territories for their own sake.
The Dutch had preceded the English in South Africa. They began their settlement at the Cape about the middle of the seventeenth century in the great days of Holland. During the French Revolution and again during Napoleon's ascendancy the English took the Dutch colony under their protection. After the downfall of Napoleon in 1814 the colony was ceded to England by the Netherlands. [After the loss of the Cape Settlement the island of Java was the most important colonial possession remaining to the Dutch. Gradually they got possession of the greater part of the large island of Sumatra. These two islands form the heart of the Dutch East Indies of to-day, which embrace a native population of about 36,000,000.]
The Dutch settlers refused to become reconciled to the English rule. In 1836 a large number of these aggrieved colonists took the heroic resolve of abandoning their old homes and going out into the African wilderness in search of new ones. This was a resolution worthy of their ancestry, for these African Pilgrims were descendants of those Dutch patriots who fought so heroically against Philip II, and of Huguenot refugees who in the seventeenth century fled from France to escape the tyranny of Louis XIV.
This migration is known as "The Great Trek." [Trek is Dutch for "migration" or "journey."] The immigrants journeyed from the Cape towards the northeast, driving their herds before them and carrying their women and children and all their earthly goods in great clumsy ox carts. Beyond the Orange River some of the immigrants unyoked-their oxen and set up homes, laying there the basis of the Orange Free State; the more intrepid "trekked" still farther to the north, across the Vaal River, and established the republic of the Transvaal.
Two generations passed, a period filled fort the little republics, Surrounded by hostile African tribes, with anxieties and fighting. Then there came a turning point in their history. In the year 1885 gold deposits of extraordinary richness were discovered in the Transvaal. Straightway there began a tremendous inrush of miners and adventurers from all parts of the globe.
A great portion of these newcomers were English-speaking people. As aliens--Uitanders, "outlanders," they were called --they were excluded from any share in the government, although they made up two thirds of the population of the little state and paid the greater part of the taxes. They demanded the franchise. The Boers, under the lead of the sturdy President of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger, refused to accede to their demands, urging that this would mean practically the surrender of the independence of the Republic and its annexation to the British Empire.
The controversy grew more and more bitter and soon ripened into war between England and the Transvaal (1899). The Orange Free State joined its little army to that of its sister state,--an act in which James Bryce declares there wars "an heroic quality not surpassed by anything in the history of the classical peoples." [The total European or white population of the two little republics that thus threw down the gage of battle to the most powerful empire of modern times was only a little over 300,000.]
At the outset the Boers, who are very expert with their rifles, were everywhere successful, inflicting one disastrous defeat after another upon the English forces, while the world looked on in amazement. The British Empire in Africa was threatened with destruction. England was stirred as she head not been stirred since the Sepoy Mutiny in India- An army of three hundred thousand men, gathered from all parts of the British Empire, was hastily thrown into South Africa, and the supreme command intrusted to the able and experienced general, Lord Roberts. After the maintenance of the struggle for over two years the last of the Boer bands surrendered (1902). As the outcome of the war both of the republics were annexed to the British Empire under the names of the Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony.
These new acquisitions, taken in connection with Cape Colony, Natal, and the various protectorates and dependencies which England has established in West, East, and Central Africa, form a vast empire, a considerable portion of which is well suited to European settlement.
A political ideal of English statesmen is the union of all the English and Anglo-Dutch colonies and states of South Africa into a great federation like the Canadian and Australian. This was a favorite project of the late South African statesman, Cecil Rhodes, one of the most masterful men of his generation. Such a federation must be the ultimate destiny of these colonies; and if only the present bitter antagonism between Boer and Briton dies away here, as the once like antagonism between French and Briton has died away in Canada, such a federal state could not fail of having a great future.
Another important project of the English is the building of a Cape-to-Cairo railroad. This, like the political scheme of a federation, was also a favorite project of Cecil Rhodes. Already his dream has been in great part realized. The projected line has now (1905) been carried northward from Cape Town over fifteen hundred miles, to the celebrated Victoria Falls on the Zambesi; while at the other end of the continent the road has been pushed up the Nile from Cairo to Khartum, a distance of over thirteen hundred miles (including a little over two hundred miles of river navigation above Assuan). This railway when completed, as it without doubt will be at no very remote date, will be a potent factor in the opening up of the Dark Continent to civilization.
England in Egypt.--In 1876 England and France established what was in effect a dual protectorate over Egypt in order to secure against loss their subjects who were holders of Egyptian bonds.[Egypt was at that time and still is nominally an hereditary principality under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Porte. Practically it was then an independent state and now is virtually a part of the British Empire; for no one doubts that the present English protectorate will in time be converted into absolute dominion. English statesmen are beginning to regard Egypt as an indispensable link in England's chain of stations uniting her Asian empire to the home land.] Six years later, in 1882, there broke out in the Egyptian army a mutiny against the authority of the Khedive. France declining to act with England in suppressing the disorder, England moved alone in the matter. The result of her intervention was the establishment of an English protectorate over the country.
In 1885 a second expedition had to be sent out to the same country. The Sudanese, subjects of the Khedive, had revolted and were threatening the Egyptian garrisons in the Sudan with destruction. An Anglo-Egyptian army pushed its way up the Nile to the relief of Khartum, which General Gordon, the modern English knight-errant, was holding against the Mahdi, the military prophet and leader of the Sudanese Arabs. The expedition arrived too late, Khartum having fallen just before relief reached the town. Gordon perished with most of his followers.
The English troops were now recalled and the Sudan was abandoned to the rebel Arabs. For over a decade this southern land remained under the cruel rule of the Mahdi and his successor. The country was devastated by fire and sword, and Egypt was continually harassed by raids of the dervishes.
Finally in 1896 the English sent up the Nile another expedition under General Kitchener for the recovery of the lost territory. The undertaking was successful, and the Eastern Sudan and a vast territory embracing the basin of the Nile and its tributaries were again brought under the rule of the Khedive, that is to say, under the administrative control of England (1898).
No part of the world has benefited more by European control than Egypt. When England assumed the administration of its affairs it was in every respect one of the most wretched of the lands under the rule, actual or nominal, of the Turkish Sultan. The country is now, according to the claims of eminent English authority, more prosperous than at any previous period of its history, not excepting the time of the rule of the Pharaohs. This high degree of prosperity has been secured mainly through England's having given Egypt the two things declared necessary to its prosperity,--" justice and water."
The construction of the great irrigation or storage dam across the Nile at the First Cataract (at Assuan) is one of the greatest engineering achievements of modern times. The dam retains the surplus waters of the Nile in flood times and releases them gradually during the months of low water. This constant supply of water for irrigation purposes will, it is estimated, increase by a third the agricultural capabilities of Egypt not only by greatly augmenting the area of fertile soil but by making it possible on much of the land to raise two and even three crops each year.
THE EXPANSION OF FRANCE
France in Africa.--At the opening of the nineteenth century France possessed only fragments of a once promising colonial empire. From the long Napoleonic Wars she emerged too exhausted to give any attention for a time to interests outside of the home land.
When finally she began to look about her for over-the-sea territories to make good her losses in America and Asia, it was the North African shore which on account of proximity (it is only twenty-four hours distant by steam from the southern ports of France), climate, and products naturally attracted her attention. This region possesses great agricultural resources. In ancient times it was one of the richest grain-tribute-paying provinces of the Roman Empire. Its climate is favorable for Latin-European settlement. It is really geographically a part of Europe, "the true Africa beginning with the Sahara."
France began the conquest of Algeria as early as 1830. The subjugation of the country was not effected without much hard fighting with the native tribes and a great expenditure in men and money. In the year 1881, under the pretext of defending her Algerian frontier against the raids of the mountain tribes of Tunis on the east, France sent troops into that country and established a protectorate over it. This act of hers deeply offended the Italians, who had had their eye upon this district, regarding it as belonging to them by virtue of its geographical position as well as its historical traditions. [Disappointed in not getting Tunis, the Italians sought to secure a foothold on the Red Sea coast. They seized here a district and organized it under the name of the Colony of Eritrea; but they had hard luck almost from the first. The coast is hot and unhealthy and inland is the kingdom of Abyssinia. Over this the Italians attempted to establish a protectorate; but unfortunately for them Abyssinia does not regard herself as one of the uncivilized or moribund states over which it is necessary for Europeans to extend their protection. King Menelik of that country inflicted upon the Italian army a most disastrous defeat (1896). Since then the Italians have done very little in the way of developing their African possessions.]
These North African territories form the most promising portion of France's new colonial empire. The more sanguine of her statesmen entertain hopes of ultimately creating here a new home for the French people,--a sort of New France. In any event it seems certain that all these shore lands, which in the seventh century were severed from Europe by the Arabian conquests, are now again permanently reunited to that continent and are henceforth to constitute virtually a part of the European world.
Besides these lands in North Africa, France possesses a vast domain in the region of the Senegal and lays claim -to all the Sahara lying between her colony of Senegal and Algeria. She also holds extensive territories just north of the Congo Free State, embracing part of Central Sudan. The island of Madagascar also forms a part of the French-African empire.
It is to be feared that France will not find in Africa any such valuable possessions as in the eighteenth century she lost to England in America and Asia. Yet she has entered upon the work of opening up and developing her African empire with characteristic enthusiasm and expansiveness of plans. She has projects that aim at the redemption, by means of artesian wells, of extensive tracts of the Sahara. It is thought not impracticable to create a line of these oases across the Sahara from the city of Constantine in Algeria to Timbuktu in the Sudan, and thus to facilitate the construction of a projected Trans-Saharan railway.
France in Asia.--In the year 1862 France secured a foothold near the mouth of the Cambodia River in Indo-China and has since then steadily enlarged her possessions until now she holds in those quarters territories which exceed in extent the home land. A chief aim of the French in this region is to secure the trade of Southern China. To this end they are projecting the extension northward into China of the system of railways they have already constructed.
With these ample African and Asiatic territories France feels in a measure consoled for her losses in the past, and dreams of a brilliant career as one of the great colonizing powers of Europe. France has, however, one great handicap as a colonizing state. She has not, what both England and Germany have, a rapidly increasing population at home. Nor have her citizens that restless, adventurous spirit of the Anglo-Saxons which has driven them as conquerors and settlers into the remotest parts of the earth and made England the mother of innumerable colonies and states.
THE EXPANSION OF GERMANY
German Emigrants lost to Germany.--No country of Europe during the expansion movement of the nineteenth century has supplied a greater number of emigrants for the settlement of transoceanic lands than Germany. But Germany has not until recently possessed under her own flag any over-the-sea territories, and consequently the vast number of emigrants she has sent out have sought homes in the United States, in the different English colonies, in the Spanish and Portuguese republics of South America, and even in the Asiatic provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Thus it happens that although Germany has during the century sent out vast swarms of emigrants no true Greater Germany has grown up outside of Europe.
Stimulated by the patriotic war of 1870-1871 against France, and the consolidation of the German Empire, German statesmen began to dream of making Germany a world power. To this end it was deemed necessary to secure for Germany colonies where the German emigrants might live under the German flag and, instead of contributing to the growth and prosperity of rival states, should remain Germans and constitute a part of the German nation.
Germany in Africa.--Consequently when the competition came for African territory Germany entered into the struggle with great zeal and got a fair share of the spoils. In I 884 she declared a protectorate over a large region on the southwest coast of the continent just north of the Orange River, and thus lying partly in the temperate zone. This region she has opened up to civilization by the construction of a railroad over two hundred and thirty miles in length running from the west coast inland. [In 1904 the German government was forced to face a serious revolt of some of the native tribes of the protectorate. At the present writing (January, 1905) the trouble is still unallayed.]
At almost the same time she established two smaller protectorates in the tropic belt farther to the north. On the East African coast she seized a great territory, twice as large as Germany itself, embracing a part of the celebrated Lake District. These upland regions are well adapted to European settlement and must in time be filled by people of European descent.
Germany in Asia.--The hopes of many German expansionists are centered in Western Asia rather than in Africa. Thousands of Germans have crowded into Asia Minor and Syria and have come to form in some districts an important element of the industrial and trading population. It is said to be the hope of the present German Emperor that ultimately Asia Minor and Syria will come to form a part of the German Empire. Certainly if the present process of the Germanization of those regions continues, it is not at all unlikely that a large part of Western Asia will come eventually into some such relation to Germany as Egypt now sustains to England.
One of the most important projects of the Germans in these Asian regions is the extension of the Anatolian Railway, now under German control, from Konieh in Asia Minor down the Euphrates valley to Bagdad on the Lower Tigris. Such a line under German control would greatly enhance German influence in Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. Besides providing a new and shorter route to India,--the route used by the ancient peoples, --it would open up to civilization the wonderfully fertile regions which formed the heart of the early and populous empires of Assyria and Babylonia. The restoration of these lands from their present artificial sterility would give back to mankind some of the choicest portions of their heritage, long given over to desolation and neglect. [Along with this railway project is being discussed a proposal for the restoration of the ancient irrigation works of the Tigris and Euphrates region. It is estimated by Sir William Willcocks that $l00,000,000 expended in the restoration of the irrigation system of the ancient Babylonians would bring a return of at least $300,000,000. What has already been done for Egypt by the building of the great storage Nile dam at Assuan will almost certainly at no remote date be repeated here in what was formerly the "Asian Egypt."]
German expansion presses not only on the Turkish Empire but also upon the Chinese Empire. In 1897 Germany, on the pretext of protecting German missionaries in China, seized the port of Kiau-chau and forced its practical cession from the Chinese government. This is a spot of great importance commercially and politically. The German government aims to make this colony a true German settlement and the outgoing point of German power and influence in the Far East. [Besides the colonial possessions we have named, Germany holds a number of islands and groups of islands in the Pacific.]
THE EXPANSION OF RUSSIA
Russia as the Modern Rome.--Russia has large and numerous inland lakes and seas and vast rivers, but she lacks seaboard. Her efforts to reach the sea in different directions is, as we have learned, the key to much of her history. It is this which has given a special character to Russian expansion,-- which has made it a movement by land instead of by sea, as in the case of all the other European states that have had a part in the great expansion movement.
The expansion of Russia is one of the most striking features of the great European development which we are following. Her conquests and colonizations have put her in possession of about one seventh of the habitable earth and made her one of the most potent political factors in the modern world.
Patriotic English writers are fond of comparing England's Empire to that of ancient Rome and the Pax Britannica to the Pax Romana. In the view of patriotic Russians these English patriots wholly misconceive England's real place in the modern world. To them Russia is the representative of the old Roman Empire, the heir of her traditions, of her world-wide sway, while England is the modern Carthage with the fate of old Carthage awaiting her in conflict with the modern Rome.
Russian Expansion in Asia; her Three Lines of Advance.--Russia has steadily gravitated towards the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific. Only in Europe has her glacier-like movement been much impeded by the obstacles placed in her path by the jealousy of the other European powers. She made no material territorial gains in Europe, aside from the acquisition of Finland and part of Prussian Poland, during the nineteenth century, though she fought in three great wars for this end and shattered into fragments a great part of the Turkish Empire which lay between her and the goal of her ambition.
But in Asia the additions which Russia has made to her empire since the opening of the nineteenth century are not only immense in extent but most important to her politically and commercially. These annexations will best be remembered if we bear in mind the three chief objects Russia has had in view in her Asiatic acquisitions. These have been the securing of an outlet on the Persian Gulf, the opening of an overland route to India, and the securing of ice-free ports on the Pacific.
In pursuit of the first object Russia, during the nineteenth century, conquered and absorbed the Caucasus and the Transcaucasian region. She dominates Northern Persia, and it is surmised that she has secretly secured from the Persian government the lease of Bender Abbas on the Persian Gulf and the concession for the construction of a railway across Persia from the Caspian Sea to this southern port. [But England stands guard here just as she does at the Dardanelles. She has declared a sort of Monroe Doctrine for the Persian Gulf and warns off Russia and all other powers. She has good ground for her action, for the establishment of a Russian naval station on the Persian Gulf would destroy the security of England's route to India by way of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.] Thus Russia's expansion in this quarter has given her a commanding position in Western Asia which makes her a formidable competitor with Germany and England for the political control of Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and Persia.
During the latter half of the nineteenth century Russia steadily pushed forward her boundaries in Central Asia. She conquered or conciliated the tribes of Turkestan and advanced her frontier in this quarter far towards the south,--close up against Afghanistan. In the very heart of the continent her outposts are now established upon the lofty table-lands of the Pamirs, the "Roof of the World." Here her frontier and that of the British Empire are only twenty miles apart. The apprehension with which Russia's steady advance in these regions has been viewed by England is shown by the constant efforts she has made to prevent Russian influence from becoming dominant in Afghanistan and to increase her own influence in that quarter.
In the extreme eastern part of Asia, Russia has obtained from China the lease of Port Arthur (1898), one of the most important Asiatic harbors on the Pacific, and has recently occupied the large Chinese province of Manchuria, which occupation it is generally believed will end in the actual annexation of that magnificent domain to the Russian Empire. [These lines were written in the late summer of 1903. It has been thought best to let them and other passages in following sections bearing upon the situation in the Far East stand unchanged, and in an added section briefly to summarize the course of events in that region during the year 1904.] Manchuria is probably better adapted to European settlement than any other thinly peopled region in Asia, and can hardly fail to become, if it remains in Russian hands, the chief center of European population in the Far East.
Thus in her expansion Russia has not only subjugated the wild nomadic tribes of Northern and Central Asia, but she has also wrested territories from the three semi-civilized states of the continent,--Turkey, Persia, and China,--and still crowds heavily upon all these countries, besides threatening to absorb the buffer state of Afghanistan. She overshadows Europe and dominates Asia. It is not a matter of wonder that the steady growth of this "Colossus of the North" awakens the apprehension of the rulers of India.
The outward movement we have traced has given Russia a physical basis which insures her a rapid and unimpeded development. It has made her a competitor for a place among the three or four probable world powers of the future. It has made pertinent the question, Will Slav or Saxon mold the destinies of the coming time? As it is, Russia, with her population of a hundred and thirty millions, lacks only a common-school system with compulsory education to make her a chief force in the world of to-day.
The Trans-Siberian Railway.--Russia's most noteworthy undertaking in connection with her Asiatic empire is the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which now unites St. Petersburg with Port Arthur, the new Russian port on the Pacific. This is one of the most gigantic enterprises of its kind of our age.
The building of this road has done as much as any other single achievement of the past century to make the world small. Its effects upon political relations in the Far East will be profound. It will cause Russia to face the Pacific. It will make accessible to Russian settlers the vast fertile regions of Southern Siberia, and will render that country a part of the civilized world; for though it may be true as to the past that "civilization has come riding on a gun carriage," now it comes riding on a locomotive.
THE EXPANSION OF THE UNITED STATES
The Growth of the United States a Part of the Great European Expansion Movement.--At first view it might seem that the growth of our own country should not be given a place in the present chapter. But the expansion of the United States is as truly a part of European expansion as is the increase of the English race in Canada, or in Australasia, or in South Africa. The circumstance that the development here has taken place since the severance of all political ties binding this country to the motherland is wholly immaterial. The Canadian, Australian, and African developments have as a matter of fact been expansion movements from practically secondary and independent centers of European settlement.
Hence to complete our survey of the movement which has put in possession or in control of the European peoples so much of the earth, we must note--we can simply note--the expansion during the past century of the great American Commonwealth.
How the Territorial Acquisitions of the United States and its Growth in Population have contributed to assure the Predominance of the Anglo-Saxon Race in Greater Europe.--Six times during the nineteenth century the United States materially enlarged her borders. [Just at the end of the century the territorial expansion of the United States assumed a character altogether unlike that which up to that time it had retained. All our chief earlier acquisitions were lands contiguous to our previous possessions, were unoccupied or practically unoccupied, were adapted to European settlement, and were secured with the intention of making them into territories which might ultimately be carved into states and made an integral part of the Federal Union. But in 1898, as an outcome of our war with Spain, we acquired Porto Rico and the Philippine Islands. In the latter islands we came into possession of lands already peopled with an Asiatic race, and moreover lands unfitted for settlement by people of Teutonic stock. The acquisition by the United States of these Asiatic tropical dependencies has created for our government and our people many problems which still remain unsolved] These gains in territory were in the main at the expense of a Latin race,--the Spanish. They have not therefore resulted in an actual increase in the possessions of the European peoples, but have simply contributed to the predominance, or have marked the growing predominance, in this new-forming European world of the Anglo-Saxon race.
Of even greater significance than the territorial expansion of the United States during the past century is the amazing growth of the Republic during this period in population and in material and intellectual resources. At the opening of the century the white population of the United States was a little over four millions; at the end of the century it had risen to over sixty-seven millions. This is the largest aggregate of human force and intelligence that the world has yet seen. Even more impressive than its actual are its potential capacities. With practically unlimited room for expansion by reason of the territorial acquisitions we have noted, it is impossible adequately to realize into what, during the coming centuries, the American people will grow.
This remarkable growth of an English-speaking nation on the soil of the New World has contributed more than anything else, save the expansion of Great Britain into Greater Britain, to lend impressiveness and import to the movement indicated by the expression, "European expansion."
SITUATIONS AND PROBLEMS CREATED BY THE EUROPEAN RACE EXPANSION
Shall China be partitioned?--The outward movement of the European peoples which we have now traced in broad outlines has raised several of the most serious problems that civilization has ever faced, and has created situations well calculated while awakening profound apprehensions to create also vast hopes.
One of the problems raised is altogether like the old (and yet ever new) problem--the so-called Eastern Question. It is, What shall be done with the "sick man" of the Far East? Shall China be partitioned?
This question we repeat has been raised by the great European race expansion and can be understood only when viewed as a result of the pressure of the Occidental upon the Oriental world. In the following paragraphs we shall endeavor in the briefest way possible to put in their causal and logical relations the series of events forming the antecedents and the causes of the present situation in Eastern Asia.
The Awakening of Japan.--Bearing directly upon the question of the future of China is the recent wonderful awakening of Japan. At the middle of the nineteenth century Japan was a hermit nation. She jealously excluded foreigners and refused to enter into diplomatic relations with the Western powers. But in the year r854 Commodore Perry of the United States secured from the Japanese government concessions which opened the country to Western influences, under which Japan soon awoke to a new life.
During the last half century the progress made by Japan on all lines, political, material, and intellectual, has been something without a parallel in history. She has transformed her ancient feudal divine-right government into a representative constitutional system modeled upon the political institutions of the West. She has adopted almost entire the material side of the civilization of the Western nations and has eagerly absorbed their sciences.
But what has taken place, it should be carefully noted, is not a Europeanization of Japan. The new Japan is an evolution of the old. The Japanese to-day in their innermost life, in their deepest instincts, and in their modes of thought are still an Oriental people.
Chino-Japanese War of 1894; a Mongolian Monroe Doctrine.--In I 894 came the war between Japan and China. A chief cause of this war was China's claim to suzerainty over Korea and her efforts to secure control of the affairs of that country. But under the conditions of modern warfare, and particularly in view of the Russian advance in Eastern Asia, the maintenance of Korea as an independent state seems to Japan absolutely necessary to the security of her island empire. The situation is vividly pictured in these words of Okakura-Kakuzo, the author of The Awakening of Japan: "Any hostile power," he says, "in occupation of the peninsula might easily throw an army into Japan, for Korea lies like a dagger ever pointed toward the very heart of Japan."
Still again, realizing that greed of territory would lead the European powers sooner or later to seek the partition of China and the political control of the Mongolian lands of the Far East, Japan wished to stir China from her lethargy, make herself her adviser and leader, and thus get in a position to control the affairs of Eastern Asia. In a word she was resolved to set up a sort of Monroe Doctrine in her part of the world, which should close Mongolian lands against European encroachments and preserve for Asiatics what was still left of Asia.
The war was short and decisive. It was a fight between David and Goliath. China with her great inert mass was absolutely helpless in the hands of her tiny antagonist. With the Japanese army in full march upon Peking the Chinese government was forced to sue for peace. China now recognized the independence of Korea, and ceded to Japan Formosa and the extreme southern part of Manchuria, including Port Arthur. But at this juncture of affairs, Russia, supported by France and Germany, jealously intervened. These powers forced Japan to accept a money indemnity in lieu of territory on the continent. She was permitted, however, to take possession of the island of Formosa.
China in Process of Dismemberment; the Boxer Uprising (1900).--The march of the little Japanese army into the heart of the huge Chinese Empire was in its consequences something like the famous march of the Ten Thousand Greeks through the great Persian Empire. It revealed the surprising weakness of China-- a fact known before to all the world but never so perfectly realized as after the Japanese exploit--and marked her out for partition. The process of dismemberment began without unnecessary delay.
Germany seized the port of Kiao-chau, [or Kiaushau.] as already noted, and forced from China a ninety-nine years' lease of it and some adjoining territory (January, 1898).
Then Russia asked and received a twenty-five years' lease of Port Arthur (March, 1898). Thereupon England demanded and received from China Wei-hai-wei (April, 1898), to be held by England "as long as Russia should hold Port Arthur."
France viewed these cessions to Germany, Russia, and England with natural jealousy, and immediately sought and obtained from China as compensation a ninety-nine years' lease of the Bay of Kwang-chau-wan (April, 1898).
Italy was now reported to have made demands upon the Chinese government for something as compensation to her for what the other powers had received. The press in Europe and America began openly to discuss the impending partition of the Chinese Empire and to speculate as to how the spoils would be divided. Suddenly the whole Western world was startled by the intelligence that the legations or embassies of all the European powers at Peking were hemmed in and besieged by a Chinese mob aided by the imperial troops. Then quickly followed a report of the massacre of all the Europeans in the city. Strenuous efforts were at once made by the different Western nations, as well as by Japan, to send an international force to the rescue of their representatives and the missionaries and other Europeans with them, should it chance that any were still alive. Not since the Crusades had so many European nations joined in a common undertaking. There were in the relief army Russian, French, English, American, and German troops, besides a strong Japanese contingent. The relief column fought its way through to Peking and forced the gates of the capital. The worst had not happened, and soon the tension of the Western world, which had lasted for six weeks, was relieved by the glad news of the rescue of the beleaguered little company of Europeans.
All which it concerns us now to notice is the place which this remarkable passage in Chinese history holds in the story of European expansion which we have been rehearsing. The point of view to which our study has brought us discloses this at once.
The insurrection had at bottom for its cause the determination o f the Chinese to set a limit to the encroachments of the Western races, to prevent the dismemberment of their country, to preserve China for the Chinese. All the various causes that have been assigned for the uprising are included in this general underlying cause.
Will the World be Europeanized?--the Present Situation viewed in the Light of the History of Similar Situations in the Past.--It is not simply a Chinese situation which we face here but a world situation. Civilization in its advance leas reached what James Bryce in his lecture on "The Relations of the Advanced and the Backward Races of Mankind" calls a crisis, the probable issue of which can best be read in the light afforded by the issue of similar crises in the history of the past
Three times in the historic period previous to the present epoch, strong prolific races, pushing out their borders, have created situations like the one the world now faces. The outcome each time teaches the truth which the philosopher-historian Laurent in his plea for the rights of nations and races so eloquently urges, namely, that no race is great enough to absorb all other races.
In the third century before the Christian era the most striking feature presented by the historical arena was the expansion of the Greek race. Hellas had expanded into Greater Hellas and was pressing hard upon the Oriental world. That world seemed on the point of being Hellenized. Fortunately that is not what happened. The best elements of Greek and Oriental life and thought blended. The result was a composite product which we call Graeco-Oriental civilization, a culture which bore in its bosom the germs of a new world-religion--Christianity.
About the beginning of our era another like situation had been created by the expansion of a people who regarded it as their mission to conquer and to rule the world. Rome had expanded into Greater Rome. The Graeco-Oriental world seemed on the point of being Romanized. What really took place was the blending of the two civilizations which had come into contact. The resulting culture we call the Graeco-Roman.
Again, in the fourth and fifth centuries of our era a new and vigorous race, the German race of the North, began in its outward movement to press upon the then decadent Graeco-Roman world of the South. That world seemed on the point of being Germanized. What actually took place was the blending of the two races and cultures. We indicate the composite character of the new civilization which arose by calling it the Romano-German.
And now for the fourth time history repeats itself. The Aryan speaking peoples of Europe, increasing wonderfully in numbers, are filling the earth with their progeny and are pressing hard upon the Oriental nations. Will the result be the Europeanizing of Asia? That is not to be desired. In the words of Captain Mahan, what is to be hoped for is "a renewed Asia and not another Europe." The enrichment brought to civilization by a renewed Japan should teach us the possible worth to the common life of the world of a renewed China and a renewed India.
It is true that in the purely scientific and material spheres there is nothing in the possession of either the Hindus or the Chinese or the Japanese that can be offered as a substitute for what the European peoples possess and are now giving to the world. But in other life spheres it is different. The Orient, which has given the world all its great religious faiths, may not yet have exhausted its moral and spiritual life. It may well be that, as Professor Reinsch says, quoting with approval Lord Curzon, "The whole cast of thought that characterizes the West, its ideals and principles, may be modified by the intimate contact with the Orient into which it is now brought by imperial expansion."
The student of the past will not only recognize how good are the grounds for such an opinion, but he will also hopefully forecast that the issue of the expansion of Europe and the contact of the Christian West with the Confucian and Buddhistic East will be to give a new and richer content to civilization and a fresh impulse to the true progress of humanity.
The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).--During the few months which have passed since the above sections were written, events have moved rapidly in the Far East. Early in the year 1904 war opened between Japan and Russia. Respecting the profound cause of this conflict, little need be added to what has already been said in the preceding paragraphs. Soon after Russia had forced Japan to give up Port Arthur and the territory in Manchuria ceded to her by the terms of the treaty with China after the Chino-Japanese War of 1904, she herself secured from China a lease of the most "strategic portion" of this same territory, and straightway proceeded to transform Port Arthur into a great naval and military fortress, which was to be the Gibraltar of the East. Moreover she occupied the whole of the great Chinese province of Manchuria. Notwithstanding she had given her solemn pledges that the occupation of this territory should be only temporary, she not only violated these pledges but made it evident by her acts that she intended, besides making Manchuria a part of the Russian Empire, also to seize Korea. But Russian control of this stretch of seaboard and command of the Eastern seas meant that Japan would be hemmed in by a perpetual blockade and her existence as an independent nation imperiled. It would place her destiny in the hands of Russia. Japan could not accept this fate, and drew the sword.
The campaign of 1904 resulted in astonishing victories for the Japanese on land and on sea. They assumed practical control of Korea, and under Field Marshal Oyama wrested from the Russian armies under Kuropatkin the southernmost portion of Manchuria. Port Arthur, after one of the longest and most memorable sieges of modern times, was forced to capitulate [The siege was conducted by General Nogi and Admiral Togo, the defense of the place was made by General Stoessel.] (January 11, 1905). The strong Russian fleet in the Eastern waters at the beginning of hostilities was virtually destroyed. Such was the situation of things at the end of the first year of the war.
The final issue of the great struggle and its ultimate consequences for the nations engaged and for civilization lie hidden in the future; but it seems already certain that the results of the war will be more momentous and far-reaching than those of any other conflict of races recorded in modern history. The revelation which the war has made of the resources and power of Japan, of the strength of the national consciousness, of the military capacity and the fine intellectual and spiritual qualities of the Japanese people, seems to make safe the prediction that Japan will not only safeguard her own national existence but will also insure the territorial integrity of Korea and China,--in a word, will set limits to European encroachments in Eastern Asia and put in the hands of the Mongol peoples whose independence has been imperiled the shaping of their own lives and destinies. The entrance of these peoples, under the inspiring leadership of Japan, into the great family of free, self-governed, and progressive nations, would mean the shifting of the center of gravity of the world.
Another momentous result of the war is certain to be the discrediting of the corrupt, unscrupulous, and incapable Russian autocracy and the imparting of a great impulse to the Liberal movement in Russia.