The pace and scale of European overseas enterprise greatly increased in the nineteenth century as a result of the economic and technological changes of the Industrial Revolution. The accompanying rise in European population had its effects (no. 34), while there was a constant search for new sources of raw materials, new markets and new investment opportunities. The most direct impact of technological change was in the improvement of communications. Better sailing ships were built and, later, faster and more reliable steamships which could use the Suez Canal. On land, thousands of miles of railway track were laid. Telegraphic services were also a significant development. Many of the documents in this chapter reflect such factors. Yet European expansion cannot be studied only in terms of economics and technology; political, religious, moral and social attitudes towards the outside world (nos. 35, 40) profoundly modified the use which Europe made of its material superiority.
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