Colonialism / Imperialism
‘The sun never sets on the British empire” was a popular saying from the 18th to 20th century, due to the British's vast resources and colonies all over the world.
Africa was known for its diamonds, coal, gold, and iron. Britain had excellent access to these rare items through mines they established in Central, Northeast, and Southern Africa . Africa helped Britain establish a trade route to India , which was an asset to Great Britain .
Britain took advantage of the decline of the Mughal Empire in India to establish strong and often tyrannical trade positions with India . The British East India Company was the company that established firm trade with India, giving Britain not only a place to deposit its textile products, but also a means of acquiring gold and diamond – aiding the empire in growing wealthier.
Britain , along with most other European countries, had its eye on China , hoping to establish trade. When China refused trade relations in order to uphold its isolationist beliefs, Britain fought the Opium War in 1840. After establishing the Treaty of Nanking, Britain had primary trade with China enabling it to open ports in Canton , Shanghai , Foochow , Ningpo, and Amoy .
"Imperialism in the Industrial Age." Consequences in China and India . Kenyon . 26 Dec. 2005 <http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/PSci/Inst21/china%20and%20imperialism.htm>.