ImperialismImperialism is the domination by one country of the political, economic,or cultural life of another country or region in order to increase its ownwealth and power. Imperialism during the period following the Age ofExploration, when European countries acquired colonies to support mercantilism,can be called old imperialism.
In the nineteenth century, a new era ofimperialism began, this time spurred on by the Industrial Revolution. Some reasons for imperialism were political, economic, and social. Theseare some political reasons. Feelings of nationalism itensified throughoutEurope during the nineteenth century. Nationalism in the extreme promotes theidea of national superiority. Industrialized countries therefore felt they hadthe right to take control of weaker areas.
Countries also tried to increasetheir power through the control of more land and people. Economic causes also led to imperialism. As a result of the IndustrialRevolution, countries needed colonies for Raw materials to feed the ever-increasing number of factories, Markets for finished products, places to investsurplus capital, and places to send surplus population. And social causes alsoled to imperialism. Many people believed the word of Rudyard Kipling, who saidit was the white mans burden to educate the people of the underdeveloped world,spread the customs of what they perceived was a superior western culture, and toconvert people to Christianity, since it was believed that the souls of the non-believers would not be saved.
The new era of imperialism brought about important and farreachingeffects. Through the creation of global empires, the imperial powers helpedspread the Industrial Revolution and the capitalist system around the world. Christianity, western European languages, and Imperialism benefitedunderdeveloped regions through improved transportation, education, and medicalcare. Imperialism also had its negative side.
It undermined native culturesand exploited people and resources in underdeveloped lands. Eventually,colonial nationalist movements developed to end imperial control. One suchmovement was the Boxer Rebellion in China. The most dangerous aspect ofimperialism was competition among the colonial powers themselves. Theserivalries held the potential for conflict and war. Much of Africa suffers from restrictive trading patterns establishedduring the age of European imperialism.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s,European nations acquired colonies in Africa in order to take advantage of thecontinents raw materials. For example, imperial powers built zi