By Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich
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Extra resources for An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1890–1939
Certainly the mere fact of expansionism was not new. European nations had won and lost empires in the Americas by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the speed and extent of the conquests were astonishing. In three decades after 1870 European nations divided up the remainder of the unconquered world; by 1900, Europe controlled almost all of Africa and Southeast Asia and had made significant encroachments on the independence of China. Britain had taken over 345 million non-Britons in Africa, India and the Pacific region; Queen Victoria's realm was so vast that Englishmen proudly proclaimed that the sun never set on the British flag.
In three decades after 1870 European nations divided up the remainder of the unconquered world; by 1900, Europe controlled almost all of Africa and Southeast Asia and had made significant encroachments on the independence of China. Britain had taken over 345 million non-Britons in Africa, India and the Pacific region; Queen Victoria's realm was so vast that Englishmen proudly proclaimed that the sun never set on the British flag. France had raised its tricolour flag over 56 million people outside Europe, the Netherlands controlled 35 million, Germany almost 15 million.
Total national income rose slowly, in part because the French birth rate, already the lowest in Europe, continued to decline and total population increased by only one million in the generation preceding 1914. France had been severely injured by the losses of Alsace and Lorraine in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian cotton industry had been the most modern segment of the French textile industry. When the techniques for smelting Lorraine's phosphoric iron ore appeared in the 1880s, the ore belonged to Germany and not to France.
An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1890–1939 by Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich