• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that economic considerations were the key factor explaining both the expansion and contraction of Birtain's empire in Africa and India from c 1970 to c. 1970?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far do you agree that economic considerations were the key factor explaining both the expansion and contraction of Birtain's empire in Africa and India from c 1970 to c. 1970? Britain's foreign and imperial policies were shaped by a number of different factors. However, Cain & Hopkins argued that economic considerations were at the heart of British imperialism. Great weight can be given to the argument that underlying economic factors aided in the expansion and contraction of the British empire particularly with India and the partition of Africa. Britain's involvement with Africa dated back to the early 1800s. As the demand in Britain for alternative products raised, organizations set up businesses in accordance to the raw materials from different regions in Africa. Britain was interested in West Africa for trades in palm oil which was used as an industrial lubricant and manufacture of soap. George Goldie established an informal empire in the Niger through the set up of United Africa Company in late nineteenth century. Without the consent of the British government, the company was established to monopoly of palm oil collected n the River Niger. This was an example of economics driving 'men on the spot' such as Goldie to establish an informal empire. ...read more.

Middle

The establishing of formal control of Bechuanaland was to protect Britain's economic interest in Southern Africa. Yet, if it wasn't for the arrival of the Germans Britain would gladly settle for an informal empire as it would spare her from economic distress. Also, Southern Africa has yet to prove to be lucrative to Britain. Export trade with south Africa worth 15 million pounds per year but this was not enough to justify the 200 million pounds war fought. Economics was a driving factor for these 'men on the spot' to explore Africa for raw materials and trading opportunities. Arguably, the British government only stepped in and took formal control to protect the interest of these 'men on the spot' (inherently keeping the British economy alive) against other powers such as Germany and France. India was important to Britain in more ways than one. India was progressively swamped by cheap British goods and export goods such as tea, indigo and spices at fairly low prices. Lord Curzon, viceroy of India claimed that 'as long as we rule India, we are the greatest power in the world'. In seventeenth century, the East India Company was set up and under this establishment was the expansion of British rule in India. ...read more.

Conclusion

The empire could no longer sustained the Kenya uprisings and grant her independence in 1963. The process of dismantling the empire in Africa was already underway; Tanganyika gained independence in 1961, as did Uganda in 1963. As shown, economics alone was not enough reason to disintegrate Africa from the British empire. If nationalists such as Kenyatta and Nhkrumah took a backseat, Britain would not have been put under economic pressure to sustain riots and uprisings. Yes, economics was the reason why the British gave in to nationalism but if it wasn't for the uprisings and riots, the British arguably would take a longer time to grant independence to Africa. The role of economics was more significant in the expansion of the British empire in Africa and India in the sense that it is more consequential rather than a direct causal role; economics interests what drove men on the spot to expand, and to protect economics interest from other rising powers. The same rule could be applied to the contraction of the empire. Although nationalism was the key factor in the eventual decolonization of the empire in Africa and India, it is the lack of finance that prevented the British government from fighting against nationalism. ?? ?? ?? ?? Khal Hussin ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Within the context of 1880-1980, to what extent did British actions accelerate British decolonisation ...

    Moreover, the colonial peoples had a greater influence on the running of their societies; in effect, many became informal dominions. This, combined with the policies of the 1945 Labour government, further fuelled nationalism which accelerated decolonisation; in a way similar to how the two World Wars improved women's rights in

  2. Assess the significance of Indian nationalism in the period 1845-1947 in changing Britains relationship ...

    These all-India movements were significant in that they increased the costs of maintaining the empire, as rebellions were costly to repress. For Britain, this undermined the purpose of maintaining an Empire, as they wanted economic benefits out of it, not an economic burden.

  1. Death is Part of the Process

    "He should be with you." "He isn't," Alex said. "What's up?" Danny asked, looking up from the laptop. "James is missing," Maddie told him. "Maybe he was in the changing room with Will," Danny suggested. Maddie relayed this to Alex. "I'll check it out," Alex said. "Jack is down there- he'll know."

  2. Marxism and Economic Theory.

    The theory of Marxism has three basic concepts: historic materialism, forces of production and relations of production. Historic materialism is defined as a society's past performance and present capabilities of satisfying the basic means of life. Humankind's basic needs of eating, drinking and shelter need to be met properly.

  1. How united was Britain in 1688?

    The nobles were further frustrated, as they had been in the times of Charles I, by the failure of the King to represent them at court. James, much like Charles, had built up a closed court of close friends and sycophants.

  2. How far was British expansion in East and West Africa driven by the men ...

    attractive to the government and this shows that Britain was in no rush to increase their responsibility in East Africa, even if it was under the Sultan?s authority. Therefore Mackinnon could only have a limited impact. Although he was one of the first people to suggest the idea of seriously

  1. How far do you agree with the view that cultural imperialism was the main ...

    He wanted to take over large counties as he believed that more territory meant ?the birth of more of the English race?14. This shows that he wanted to expand into Africa because he wanted the English race to grow, as he believed it was a ?finer?[2] race, therefore also proving that imperialism drove British expansion.

  2. How the British Empire took over India

    Although the Company ruled the areas of their factories and trading posts, the beginning of true British authority in India is often dated from the 1757 Battle of Plassey. In this battle the British faced off against the Nawab of Bengal and French allies.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work