132

Europeans were introduced to at least one important disease from the Americas (syphilis), but far more Old World pathogens were introduced to the Americas than vice versa. There are several reasons for this imbalance. European agriculturalists lived in closer proximity to disease vectors than did most Native Americans. A number of important diseases started ...


99

Which Germany do you mean? Something that can reasonably called a German nation-state was founded only in 1871, when Prussia first defeated France and then unified most German states under their leadership in the Kaiserreich. Before there had been a messy rivalry between Prussia and Austria for the leadership in what used to be the Holy Roman Empire -- not ...


77

They did. Depending on the preferred definition of "colonies", Chinese states in fact established innumerable colonies throughout history. Certainly the most common form was overland colonies created in conquered "barbarian" territories. This processes lasts up till today; Beijing's sinicisation and settlement policies in Tibet and Xinjiang are viewed with ...


58

SHORT ANSWER Spanish policy was rooted in the tradition of setting up universities in conquered territories, accompanied by the aim of converting the local people to Catholicism in order to bind them to Spain through religious faith. The Spanish approach was quite different to that of any other European colonial power. Portuguese policy on education in its ...


51

The Chinese situation was fundamentally different from the Western European colonial empires. In fact it's rather more like Russia, who also managed to keep her Eurasian empire, or the United States, who acquire vast territories West of the Mississippi. In the case of China, those lands you refer to are mostly Sinkiang and Tibet. Most notably there is the ...


50

Siberia was colonized earlier than the 18/19th centuries. There actually were a few challenges by great powers to Russia's colonial empire as it expanded and later: from China to some extent early on, if one is willing to count the latter as a great power in the 16-18th centuries, and later from Great Britain and Japan in the 19th century. Russia conquered ...


45

It seems likely this is a historical myth. According to WikiPedia's list of Papal Bulls*, Urban II did issue a bull that year, but it had to do with who was allowed to excommunicate the ruler of the Kingdom of Aragon. I can't find a link to the text online either, so it seems possible other topics were dealt with, but that one's so different it seems ...


44

The book is well written and well explained; Jared Diamond actually takes real pain to explain that his theories are not implacable and must not be taken as a 100% reliable blueprint for predicting success or failure of any civilization (even if we could actually define what "failure" means for a civilization). The book, though, attracted criticism because ...


44

Several good answers have already been suggested, but there are a few very important points that are worth mentioning: Native Americans were badly unprepared for the emergence of epidemic disease among their populations, both genetically and culturally. According to this article from 2002, there was a major genetic component to it: far less immune system ...


43

Because it didn't have a choice: it had neither the will to defy the British Government, nor the ability to do so. Remember corporations are not people; its shareholders and directors were. In this case, most of them were British, owning properties and with aspirations in Britain. That alone made resisting a duly constituted Act of Parliament by force ...


38

There are a good number of reasons why the British were able to do so, and in fact rule over India effectively for over a century. Disunity among Indian princely states. India was more a collection of warring princely states, at loggerheads with each other. The British sucessfully used this to play off one state against another. Add to it there was no ...


38

The other two answers speak in terms of Tibet's legal status; and these answers, while correct, don't properly explain why Tibet is important to China. This answer relates entirely to geography. The motives: Short Answer: 1. Tibet has control of most the water in China; the Huang He and the Chang Jiang originate there. If you exercise control these two ...


33

Germany arrived late to the party, and did so unenthusiastically Germany basically was a mess of small states at the onset of the colonial era. It took a very long time for Brandenburg-Prussia to emerge as a power to be reckoned with. And it was not until Napoleon dismantled the Holy Roman Empire that the way was paved for Germany's unification. When that ...


30

The peopling of Hawaii in the 1100s or 1200s may qualify. Drifters or shipwrecks could have arrived in the following centuries (for which see Braden's On the Probability of Pre-1778 Japanese Drifts to Hawaii), but the local culture was seemingly isolated from its Polynesian relatives, with its language and religion diverging significantly. James Cook's ...


28

In order to support a global empire, you need to be capable of supplying and defending your outposts with a strong Navy. The five other European nations that you named all had long naval traditions and the growth and decline of their empires reflect their respective abilities to support and defend their overseas assets. Failing to recognise the importance ...


26

If your textbook indeed says this, it is evidently biased. First of all, these things (the Caliphate, the Mongol Empire, and European empires) belong to very different historical periods, and thus cannot be compared. The "world standards" of what is considered "benevolent" and "tolerant" are changing with time. For example, in ...


26

Abyssinia / Ethiopia (the borders of which expanded and contracted frequently over the centuries) maintained its independence until 1936 by a combination of diplomatic skill in playing would-be colonizers off against each other, and military strength. These factors were, in turn, facilitated by centuries of diplomatic contacts with (as commented on by Denis ...


25

The British East India Company did not set out to conquer and rule India, nor did that situation manifest itself overnight, nor by any single battle or treaty. The British built ties with stable commercial interests in India, leaving the freedom to act opportunistically in Indian politics as the Mughal Empire crumbled outmaneuvered European rivals in ...


24

Yes, surprising as it is, I found credible sources indicating that there was some discussion of offering India East Africa as a mandate. Perhaps it is useful for others who wish to read more about this a full detail of my sources. In "How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics (2014)" by Itty Abraham, I found this quote: On war ...


23

I take it you mean why was there no "Scramble for China" in the 19th century. Excluding Hong Kong, ceded to Britain after the First Opium War. The Second Sino-Japanese War makes an excellent case study of the problems of invading China. In 1937 China had a completely out of date military and an ineffective industrial base, and was fighting a civil war. ...


23

There were some times Nepal was partially conquered. Most were during the early medieval period. Documentation during this period can be problematic, but there are records of the Muraya Empire claiming the southern part of the country in the 3rd Century BCE, the Chalukya's managing to get Hindus installed as kings in the 6th CE, and the Tibetian Empire ...


22

This is a good question that must come to many people's minds when they see the two very similarly sized (Taiwan only slightly larger) islands. The similarities are a even more numerous than the visual. They were both long at the margins of power in Chinese empires, had significant minorities who vigorously defended their autonomy (in Hainan it was the Li)...


21

Fire-hardened spears, hardwood clubs and maces and shark-tooth "swords" were pretty much state-of-the-art for both Aboriginal and Polynesian cultures. The Polynesians had the advantage of advanced stonemasonry and oceanic navigation, neither of which would do them much good in a war of conquest, the native Australians had a spear-thrower, the woomera, which ...


19

Although this question probably can't be resolved without years of comparative study, a quick indication of the answer can be done by looking at the current GDP of the countries as a reasonable measure of "stability and success". The cases are also very different between different continents and times, as colonization changed a lot during the ...


18

If by "colonize", you mean ethnicly and culturally take over the territory, like was done in North America and Austrialia: This is one of the questions touched on by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. The basic thesis is that Eurasians had an advantage due to their large shared pool of (termperate-climate) domesticated crops/animal technology, and ...


18

One of the main differences between Algeria and other Maghreb countries controlled by France was the extensive settlements established there. European settlers began arriving immediately after the capture of Algeria in 1830. These settlers were encouraged by the colonial policy which makes it easy for them to massively "buy" Algerian lands at the expense ...


18

Unlike the earlier European wars of the 18th Century, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, from a British perspective, were not about acquiring or retaining territory. The purpose of war for the British Government was more of an ideological one, to prevent the spread of revolutionary ideas (especially to Britain) by restoring the French monarchy. ...


16

The answer to your question is one of timing, power and the types of colonies. There were 5 countries that were the main competitors in the global colonization game. The Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and Dutch. Simply said the Spanish and Portuguese were about 100 years ahead of the rest, Also known as the Age of Discovery. Portugal and Spain, due ...


16

First, there was hardly such thing as "German monarchs": before Bismarck Germany was fractured into a bunch of small states, each with its own monarch. True, they were formally united into "Holy Roman Empire of German People", but, as Voltaire pointed out, "Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy nor Roman nor Empire". And when Bismarck finally united Germany it ...


16

The British East India Company raised three forces between 1740-1757. These became known as the Presidency Armies, named after the three Presidencies in India under Company rule. They were the: Bengal Army Bombay Army Madras Army The size of these armies underwent tremendous growth as the Company expanded in India and acquired ever more security ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible