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Historical Systems of Power, Governance, and Authority Essay


The rise of new imperialism of the 19th and early 20th century involved Europe going into Africa. The causes of imperialism in Africa were partly due to the decolonization in America. The European powers were out political and economic gain by the United States gaining their independence. In 1876 European powers especially King Leopold II of Belgium, agreed in the Berlin Conference to split up the land in Africa, no longer invading to colonize but to gain political, military and economic power. The methods to imperialism of the African land were done differently, by each European power. The British who imperialized the cape of Africa used laws and indirect methods to gain power, however King Leopold II used extreme force to gain control of the Congo. The Congo was then ruled with strict political control and military force.


Between the years 1885 and 1905 more than 10 million indigenous people of Congo were murdered. King Leopold II used the natives as slave labor to gain resources such as rubber and ivory. Edward Morel an official that monitored shipping traffic started noticing that King Leopold II ships came back with tons of cargo, but little to no cargo was being sent to the Congo for trade. Morel soon put two and two together and realized the native people were being used as slave labor. In doing so Morel soon started to organize a protest. Other than the protest that Morel started the people of Congo were silent, due to many years of off and on again use as slave laborers.


The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a violent revolution and in comparison to the Indian Independence Movement was a nonviolent revolution both had causes and goals that will be discussed. To begin, the Russian Revolution of 1917 was caused by food shortages and the peoples opposition to the government, ran by Nicolas II who was czar. Czar Nicolas II had pushed into World War I leaving the people in Russia in anguish due to the many losses and economic downfall. This downfall came due to the amount of soldier and horses being placed into the war leaving the peasants at home with a loss of man power to continue a, “standard of living”( Causes of the Russian Revolution 2).

Due to the decrease in man power, and materials to use at the home front, prices increased and a hunger endemic began. With hunger increasing and inflation of prices continuing strikes began, which eventually stopped transportation. When the transportation stopped supplies and food did not get to the soldiers at war decreasing the amount of people who believed in the czar. The goal of the peasants of the Russian Revolution of 1917, was to gain a new leader and for their voices to be heard. In March 1917, a riot of peasants, and soldiers stormed the streets with the support of the Duma, a group of government officials, forcing Nicolas II out of power.

The Indian Independence Movement was a nonviolent revolution that gained India’s independence in August 15, 1947 from Britain, French and Portugal. The start of the revolution began in 1857 when Indian soldiers rebelled against the British East Indian Company when Indian political rights were not being honored, however British squashed the matter. Eventually, non- violent movements began in 1918-1922 when, “suppression of civil liberties, political rights and culture,” were not being recognized by the British (Sharma, S. (2010)).

The movement was led by the Indian National Congress who were under the direct leadership of Mohandas Ganghi. The movement held a revolt in 1942, ” demanding that the British leave India,” known as the Quit India Movement, due to the riot in Calcutta, Independence was finally gained(Sharma, S. (2010)). The goal of the revolution was finally met to gain civil liberties, political integrity and have Indian culture recognized. B1.

The strategies of the two revolution discussed above include a riot in the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the riot peasants, soldiers and the Duma stood together to over throw the czar. In the Indian Independence Movement the strategies were to use boycotts and stances against the British force to gain their independence.

Causes of the Russian Revolution of February/March 1917. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.johndclare.net/Russ3.htm Causes of the Russian Revolution 2 – What were the causes of the Russian Revolution? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/russiaandukraine/a/Causes-Of-The-Russian-Revolution_2.htm Hochschild, A. (1999). King Leopold’s ghost: A story of greed, terror, and heroism in colonial Africa [ebrary book]. Retrieved from https://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/17910385 Sharma, S. (2010). Civil rights movements [ebrary book]. Retrieved from http://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/8542979 SparkNotes: Europe 1871-1914: The Scramble for Africa (1876-1914). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/1871-1914/section5.rhtml

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