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🚀  Thematic Guides

✈️  Unit 9: Globalization

👉  Introduction to AP World

6.2 Expansion of Imperialism





⏱️  2 min read

written by

Eric Beckman

eric beckman

June 23, 2020

State Expansion

👉Imperialism means the belief in and commitment to the importance of empire. During this time several industrialized nations took control of additional territories.

Some of these imperialist states built on existing maritime empires. Britain and France both had colonies in the Americas and Asia in 1750. France lost its North American colonies to Britain but conquered new colonies in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Britain lost some of its North American colonies when the United States became independent, but they also conquered new territories in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

The British and Dutch East India companies also controlled territories in Asia at the beginning of this period. In both cases, this private possession became state colonies as the Dutch East Indies (1800) and the British Raj in India (1858).

Moreover, new states created overseas empires in this period. Belgium, Germany, and the United States are all countries that came into existence after 1750 and established colonies overseas in the 1800s. Japan had long existed, but after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it industrialized and expanded into mainland and island East Asia🗾.

Expanding empires met resistance from indigenous people and other states. Japan defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War for instance; and, US troops fought rebels in the Philippines for several years after defeating Spain in a few months.


Image Courtesy of Britannica

First Sino-Japanese War. There Stands No Enemy Where We Go: Surrender of Pyongyang, a scene from the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), ink and colour on paper by Migita Toshihide, 1894; in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1959, JP3177a-f, www.metmuseum.org

📍Settler colonialism was the most extreme form of imperialism. Settlers from imperialist countries took land and resources from indigenous people with the backing of their states. The United States is a classic example, as are British settler colonies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some parts of Africa. Russian and American territorial expansion were also examples of settler colonialism.

Expanding Empires 🗺 

Imperialist State

Empire in 1750

Areas of Expansion



North America, Caribbean Islands; India (East India Company)

  • India

  • Australia and New Zealand

  • Africa

  • China (Hong Kong)

  • Loss: 13 Colonies

American Revolution

Opium War

Great Indian Rebellion 

Some indigenous elites cooperated


North America, Caribbean, South Asia

  • Africa

  • SE Asia

  • Loss: Quebec

Armed resistance

Some cooperation


None (state did not exist until 1839)

  • Central Africa (Congo)

Brutal exploitation of labor and resources in Congo



  • Taiwan

  • Liaodong Peninsula (NE China)

  • Korea (protectorate)

First Sino- Japanese War (with China)


None (recognized state did not exist until 1783)

  • Caribbean

  • Pacific

  • Philippines

  • Westward expansion

Resistance leaders: Aguinaldo, Lili’oukalani

Spanish- American and Philippine Wars

American Indian Wars

Ghost Dance



  • Central Asia

  • Poland

  • Caucasus

War with the Ottoman Empire

Indigenous resistance, but also cooperation

Nationalist movements among non-Russians

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