Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 32: The Building of Global Empires

Interactive Map Quiz


Map A. Dominion of Canada

The Dominion of Canada was established in 1867 by the British North America Act. This act gave Canada the right to govern itself as a member of the British Empire. Until 1931, when Canada gained its sovereignty, it remained under the nominal control of the British government. This interactive map shows the patterns of settlement and the explorations of Canada after it achieved Dominion status in the mid-nineteenth century. When using this map, think about the patterns of settlement in Canada. What geographic and environmental factors influenced where people settled?

Compare the efforts of the United States and Latin America to create a multi-cultural society.


Explain the relationship between American economic development and Europe. How did Europe function in different American economies?


What environmental and geographic factors influenced these patterns of settlement?


Contrast the granting of independence to Canada with that of other colonies in the British Empire. How was Canada different?


Map B. Spanish-American War

With the closing of its western frontier and growing concern about European empire building, the United States took a particular interest in Cuba's war of independence against the Spanish. Under hazy circumstances, war was declared against Spain in April of 1898. Since the Cuban rebels had brought the Spanish to the brink of defeat, American maneuvers on the island were little more than a "mopping up" exercise. Supported by a naval blockade, American forces won three decisive battles, the last of which was the well-reported assault on Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill by Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. In the end, many more soldiers died of disease than were killed in battle; logistical disasters and racial conflict (almost one-quarter of the soldiers were black) also caused embarrassing setbacks. Nonetheless, what some called "a splendid little war" ended in a Spanish capitulation in August and independence -- of a distinctly American brand --for Cuba.

The Spanish-American war is considered by most historians to be a one-sided contest between the overwhelming forces of the U.S. and a small, far-off, crumbling Spanish empire. What military events confirm this view of the war? In what way was the U.S. effort a "mopping up" of an already defeated regime?


How did the conquest of Cuba change the world and self-image of the United States? How were the new territories conquered in the war treated by America? How did America's conquest of these areas raise future problems?


Create the diary entries of a soldier involved in the 1898 war, on either side. Include reasons for enlistment, experience of moving to the theater of battle, combat, and details of the aftermath of the war in your account.


Map C. Imperialism in Africa

During the late nineteenth century, the countries of Europe were engaged in what has since been referred to as the "Scramble for Africa." Prior to the 1880s, most Western countries engaged in "informal" empires. This meant that although certain areas of the non-Western world were under the influence of companies such as the East India Company, there was no official governmental control of these areas. However, with the growing tide of nationalism and empire building that swept Europe in the 1880s and the discovery of quinine, which helped protect against malaria, the carving up and colonization of Africa began in earnest. This interactive map details the rise and fall of the European colonies in Africa throughout the twentieth century. When using this map, be sure to note the changing borders of African countries over the course of the century.

Why was the continent of Africa carved up between European powers? What events were taking place on the European continent that helped fuel rivalries in Africa?


Which European countries possessed the greater number of colonies in Africa?


What were some of the resources that made the colonization of Africa so lucrative? Which countries were able to control these precious resources?


When did the countries of Europe start losing their African colonies? What events precipitated this wave of decolonization?


Map D. Imperialism in Asia

As early as the sixteenth century, European countries began colonizing and trading with many areas of Asia. By the nineteenth century, much of Asia was under European, Chinese, or Japanese control. The European powers that colonized these areas were able to take advantage of collapsing empires that had previously held control in a region. This was especially true for Britain's control over India, which became solidified with the dissolution of the Mughal Empire. Also, many smaller, less urbanized Asian countries had not industrialized by the nineteenth century and this lower level of industrialization led to European military dominance. By the dawn of the twentieth century, the majority of Asia was under some form of colonial control. By mid-century, however, European dominance started to fade. When using this map, think about what factors contributed to the decolonization of Asia.

Discuss the reasons why European countries wanted overseas empires. What was the primary force that motivated imperialism?


Compare the colonial experiences of Africa and India. How important was it that India had one primary colonial power (Britain) while Africa had many?


Explore the relationship between nationalism and imperialism. Does imperialism always cause the increase in nationalist aspirations among subject peoples?


What were the overall effects of imperialism on world history? Explain how developments in late nineteenth century altered both European societies and those in subject countries.

Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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