DMPQ-Discuss the unique features of Industrial Phase of Colonization

This phase of Colonization coincided with the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe and the United States of America. The relative technological supremacy and decadence in the Eastern states meant that Europe could interfere in the internal affairs of these states.

  • European states used gunboat diplomacy (Opium Wars in China) as well as vile political machinations (Bengal in India, leading to the Battle of Plassey, 1757) to secure their aims.
  • Apart from trade, they sought to secure vast markets for the new industrial goods produced through the Industrial revolution in these countries. Political influence gained in these countries were used to destroy traditional industries and promoted cheap, mass-produced European goods. Eg: Destruction of the famed textile industry of Bengal by the British to promote cheap cotton from the textile mills of England.
  • Colonies were used to source cheap raw materials and value-added manufactured goods were dumped in the colonies under the banner of “Free trade”.
  • The colonial powers controlled foreign, monetary and trade policies. This meant an advantage to the industrialists at home. This led to the famous drain of wealth from the colonies.

Colonialism reached its logical conclusion with the rise of new industrial powers in Europe – Germany and Italy. This lead to a competition for accruing larger and larger empires that meant more power and prestige to these countries. This was most pronounced in the tragic event of Scramble for Africa.

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