The World 1850

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Map Code: Ax00956

By 1850, the need for raw materials continued to drive the expansion of European empires. This generated a ‘scramble’ for land, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia. This imperialist drive created the beginnings of globalization, but also acted as a catalyst for revolution and nationalist movements. Not only were there internal revolutions throughout western and central Europe in 1848 (including the Polish uprisings in Russia), there was also frustration amongst colonized territories in Africa, Asia and Latin America, challenging the European belief that they had the right to ‘civilize’ and exploit others, using weapons, trade and Christianity as tools of suppression. By 1822, Portuguese Brazil had achieved a bloodless independence and Cuba and Puerto Rica were becoming increasingly resistant to Spanish rule. Spain had lost colonies to the US. After the first Opium War in 1838, the Qing dynasty was weak and Japan was emerging as a military power.

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