Significant political, economic, and cultural changes in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries allowed for extensive European colonial expansion to Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Significant political, economic, and cultural changes in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries allowed for extensive European colonial expansion to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The medieval order was in a state of collapse; the concept of
The development of nation-states paralleled the rise of
When Britain acquired the Cape Colony, cartoonist Linley Sambourne drew colonial administrator and financier Cecil Rhodes straddling the continent in a symbolic depiction of British power in Africa.
Another factor that contributed to the beginning of colonial warfare was the technological revolution that made possible the commercial
Under the leadership of Prince Henry the
World Exploration in the Sixteenth Century
Throughout the sixteenth century, colonies in the Americas, Africa, and Asia were viewed as fiscal resources from which great wealth could be obtained. The native
A variety of conflicts during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries witnessed the rising power of
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
Under the influence of
The Anglo-French rivalry was the primary cause for colonial wars in the eighteenth century. In 1739 the War of Jenkins’s
At the close of the eighteenth century, the ideology of the
It was the great wealth that could be made in the colonies that attracted many young men to serve in the
The desire for profit by company directors led to many instances of gross exploitation of the native peoples. The worst instances surrounded
During the early decades of the nineteenth century, European interest in colonial acquisitions declined. Nonetheless, European states continued to retain their colonial holdings, and England and France continued their respective interests in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. In 1857 the British were confronted in India by the Sepoy
The major military achievements in the age of colonial warfare included the conquest, suppression, or dislocation of the native populations of North and South America; the triumph of Britain in the French and Indian War (1754-1763) in both North America and India; the success of the Americans in their war of independence against Britain; the initial military success and ultimate strategic failure of Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign of
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captures Inca king Atahualpa in 1532. By 1600 Spain controlled all of the land from New Mexico and Florida in the north to Chile and the Río de la Plata in the south, with the exception of Portugal’s Brazil.
In the mid-eighteenth century
Without doubt the most significant colonial war of the era was the American
Bengali mobile cannons are shown being pulled by oxen during the Battle of Plassey (1757).
During the same century the English mathematician Benjamin
During the colonial era, Europeans wore their standard
From the fifteenth through the late seventeenth century, Europeans continued to use some of the personal
The design of the military organizations of the European colonial powers differed from those states that were not involved in colonial struggles. The two most evident differences were their reliance on colonial militias and their reliance on strong naval forces to transport troops and supplies. Britain’s success in colonial wars resulted in large part from its superior
During the early centuries of the era of colonial war, the medieval notion that the landed
It was often these quasi-military forces which were able to prove the most effective in colonial wars. These often included officers from Europe, and then local recruits, as well as auxiliary units, the latter modeled on their Roman counterparts (the study of the Roman Empire became extremely popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries). These chartered companies were able to draw up treaties with local rulers and were often provided soldiers by them, such as the Sikh units who fought alongside the British East India Company.
Colonial conflicts between European rivals were fought using both traditional continental battle tactics of organized ranks facing one another in exchanges of gun and cannon fire and the less predictable guerrilla
From the fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, with the expansion of printing and transportation, military strategists had increasing access to the strategic and tactical thoughts of others. In most instances, the strategy and tactics employed in Europe were extended and adapted in colonial wars. Among the earliest sources were
More widely disseminated sources include Niccolò
Two contemporary sources on naval strategy and tactics were Richard
As well as books on strategy and military science, there were countless books published that were written by participants in various conflicts. Many of these had a ready audience in their home countries, and some were translated and sold elsewhere. There was also coverage, from the 1790’s, in newspapers and later in weekly and monthly magazines.
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The Ottoman Empire
The Mughal Empire
China: The Qing Empire