The Four Empires of The New World

This paper discusses how the interactions of the four empires of the new world caused the four continents to convulse. It also describes how each empire approached colonization and the reactions of the locals to the colonizers. There are four main empires in the new world: the British Empire, the Mongol Empire, the Russian Empire and the Spanish Empire1[1]. Considerations from the perspectives and approaches of relative history of the world continue indicating the essentiality of high level interactions among societies. These interactions imply missionary encounter, migration, long-distance trade, and empire building all of which have been significant for steering changes in history especially in the pre-modern times.

The interactions of the four empires in the new world caused the continents to convulse. This means that creation of empires across Eurasia was unprecedented and it led to inauguration of a new era in the history of the world, which was characterized by interaction of different cultures around the world. The age of continental convulsion extended between 13th and 17th Centuries. Despite the fact there had already been intermitted interaction of peoples from Europe, Asia and Africa from ancient times, cross-cultural exchange in the new world was unique in its ongoing regularity and worldwide scale. These resulted into extreme ramifications that influenced basic shifts in political power relations and economic structures on each continent. The interaction of the four empires in the new world was distinctive in such a way that it led to the emergence of modern patterns that included the advent of industrialization in the 1800s[2]. This era of industrial revolution favored the western nations by equipping them with the technical abilities. These technical capacities enabled many European nations, Japan as well as the United States to dominate the affairs of the world in the 19th and 20th Centuries[3]. In other words, the interaction of the four empires introduced the age of imperialism. This introduced the era of imperialism where the European, Japanese and United States powers imposed tough colonial rule or more implied political control over most parts of the world. The most interesting aspect during continental convulsion was that there was no region that remained dominant despite the violence that happened during the early modern times.

In the early 20th century, the British Empire had become the largest official empire in the world. Besides the white settler colonies in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Australia, it had more colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Britain had become the world’s dominant power after Napoleonic Wars ended. Most of its power and wealth was established on slave trade and increased demand for coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton and sugar. The British Empire approached colonization through trade of the above mentioned commodities including slave trade. The empire was constituted by mandates, dominions, protectorates, colonies and many other territories all of which were ruled by the United Kingdom[4]. Besides the British Empire, the Mongol Empire was also one of the largest empires in the world. The Mongols were not interested in colonization of their prey; but their money. They acquired dominance through brutality and violence, which they embrace as a powerful tool for deterring any form of violence. They approached colonization through the opportunities that arose as a result of the power vacuum among decentralized states[5]. The British locals, however, put up resistance and destroyed it in the 1700’s when it started breaking up. The Russian empire dominated the world for almost 200 years covering about 15 percent of the globe’s landmass. The Russian Empire approached colonization by domesticating the heartlands that belonged to it eventually colonizing its own people[6]. The locals reacted to the Russian colonization through revolutions between 1905 and 1917 that ended up in a serious civil war. The Spanish Empire also approached colonization through trade as well the spread of Christianity by means of indigenous conversions. The locals reacted to colonialists by engaging in wars of independence.

The British Empire was the most successful of all the four empires. Some of the reasons for the success of the British are attributed to politics. In the entire 19th century, Queen Victoria was the longest imperial ruler in England. This brought about a lot of scientific progress and stability in most parts of Europe driving the British Empire to its greatest heights[7]. Besides, during the 18th century, Britain had colonized India and acquired unrestricted access to its labor, armed forces, markets and resources, which it could engage in the British plantations all over the world. Britain was accurate in its timing and it began peaking as the other key colonial powers were declining. The British Empire embraced the democracy, capitalism and industrial revolution of the 19th century that enabled Britain to become the most powerful economy compared to other nations in the world. Embracing the rule of law in the British Empire was another reason for its success[8]. For this reason, British owned colonies like Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Canada, South Africa, Australia and the US had better performance in democracy than their rival colonial powers in the region.

The Asian situation was also significant for contributing to the success of the British Empire. For instance, the Mughal Empire had reached its peak and was on a decline mode in India. This situation left a power vacuum, which Britain took advantage of. After winning India, Britain got an opportunity to access the resources that were essential for helping it fight wars in other parts of the world. Besides, the War between the European Empire and Austria distracted Turkey’s Ottoman Empire, which controlled huge lands in North Africa and West Asia[9].  This situation rendered them too exhausted to prevent the influence of the British over Iraq, Egypt, Palestine as well as various other regions. The position of France in Asia and other places was terribly weakened following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. This situation forced them to join forces with the British empires thereby giving it support to become more successful.

In conclusion, creation of empires across Eurasia was unprecedented and it led to inauguration of a new era in the history of the world, which was characterized by interaction of different cultures around the world. The interaction of the four empires in the new world was distinctive in such a way that it led to the emergence of modern patterns that included the advent of industrialization in the 1800s. The British Empire was the most successful of all the four empires. Some of the reasons for the success of the British are attributed to politics. During the 18th century, Britain had colonized India and acquired unrestricted access to its labor, armed forces, markets and resources, which it could engage in the British plantations all over the world.

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