Imperialism Timeline

By Alex K
  • European Trade with Africa becomes Strong

    As the Industrial Revolution grew in Europe, countries looked to Africa for raw materials like rubber. A bit later, the discovery of gold and diamonds in South Africa drew Europeans. Steam-powered river-boats (and superior weapons) allowed Europeans to explore and conquer more of the interior of Africa. In 1829, scientists discovered that quinine helps prevent malaria, and this also made the interior of Africa more accessible to Europeans.
  • The Sepoy Rebellion Causes the East India Trading Co. to Fall and The British Raj begins

    Britain controlled most of India in the 1850s. They treated the Indians as servants. When Sepoys (Indian soldiers) learned that the cartridges for their new rifles provided by the British were greased with pork and beef fat, they refused to use them. The British imprisoned the Sepoys. The Indian people were outraged and rebellion against the British began. The Sepoys captured the city of Delhi. There was fierce fighting, and the British regained control a year later.
  • The Mediterranean and Red Seas are linked by the Suez Canal

    The Suez Canal is a human-made waterway to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. It was opened in 1869 with international celebration because of the quick access it would allow for trade and for European countries to connect with African colonies. It was funded by French investors and taken over by the British. The British then insisted on financial control of the canal.
  • Berlin Conference Discusses the Terms for African Colonization

    So many European countries were trying to colonize Africa there was a concern that there would be conflict in Europe over this. To prevent a European war, 14 European countries met in Berlin to establish rules for the division of Africa. They divided the continent based on what areas they could control, without regard to African ethnic or linguistic groups.
  • Queen Liliuokalani Becomes the Ruler of Hawaii

    Queen Liliuokalani called for a new constitution in 1893 to increase her power. She wanted to restore the political power of Hawaiians at the expense of the wealthy planters. The wealthy planters didn't approve of this, and a group of American businessmen devised a plan to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. They accomplished this in 1893.
  • At the Battle of Adowa, Ethiopians Defeat the Invading Italians

    Ethiopia is the only African country to defeat invading colonists. Emperor Menelik II was the leader of Ethiopia, and he successfully played European countries against each other while stockpiling weapons for his country. When the Italians invaded, he declared war and successfully defeated them in the Battle of Adowa.
  • The Spanish-American War begins, Spain loses Puerto Rico and The Phillipines

    The U.S. acquired the Phillipines, Guam, and Puerto Rico as a result of the Spanish-Americn war in 1898.
  • Boer War Takes Place in South Africa

    The Boer War was fought between the British and the Boers, who were Dutch settlers of South Africa. The British wanted to control this same area that the Boers had settled, particularly when diamonds and gold were discovered there. This was the first modern "total" war. Britain won in 1910.
  • The Majority of Africa is Under European Control

    By 1914, only Ethiopia and Liberia remained free of imperial control. France controlled much of Western Africa. The British controlled South Africa and much of East Africa. In central Africa, Belgium controlled the Congo. Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain also had holdings.