A History of Imperialism and Slavery

Classified in History

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Tell a Painter's Name

Famous Painters

  • Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
  • Vincent van Gogh

Art Movement

  • The Impressionists

The Atlantic Slave Trade

Between 9–11 million Africans were taken by European slave traders and landed alive in North America. Between 1698 and 1807 the slave trade was open to anyone who wanted to take part. Before that, it was restricted to the Royal African Company. The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown in 1618. They were sold and forced to work on plantations (sugar, cotton, tobacco) in America. Slavery was hereditary.

Slave Auctions

“The Weeping Time”, March 1859, was the largest slave auction in history. 436 men, women, and children were sold. They stayed in stalls meant for horses at a racetrack in Savannah, Georgia for weeks before the auction began. Traders made 50 pounds per slave (4 years' salary). Traders sold over 10 million Africans. The net gain is 1 trillion dollars today. In 1808, the slave trade was banned, but not the institution. Hereditary law = more slaves for free.


It was imperialism. It is of strategic value for trade. The Dutch “East India Company” sent farmers (Boers) to South Africa in 1652. In 1795, the British arrived and kicked out the Boers. In 1895, Cecil Rhodes financed the Jameson Raid (trying to take Transvaal by force). It failed but convinced the Boers that the British would try again. Lord Milner, the British Governor of the Cape, publicly favored annexation.

Important Figures

  • Cecil Rhodes: Head of De Beers Diamond Company, Head of the BSAC, PM of Cape Colony
  • Alfred Milner: High Commissioner of South Africa
  • Joseph Chamberlain

Victorian Values/Eugenics

Eugenics is a movement that is aimed at improving the genetic composition of the human race. Historically, eugenicists advocated selective breeding to achieve these goals. Social Darwinism backed up their rash and vulgar opinions on other races because they thought they were helping civilize them and thought that the Black “people would think it's a white man's burden.” As demonstrated in Kipling's poem, the whites think it is a white man's burden to civilize the “monkeys” or, in other words, the African Americans.


A policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.


Patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.


The belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests.

Colonial Expansion

Expanding an empire by taking over other places in the world.

  • Shapes the world we live in today
  • Canada was created due to Colonial Expansion


A system in which a country finds and takes over land for economic/military power.

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