Evaluate the growth of Imperialism; its causes, expansion and effects on Europe, Asia, and Africa
During the 19th-20th centuries European powers extended their domains over Asia and Africa in a race for power. This expansionism changed people’s lifestyle in satellite countries of the new empires, and also imposed on them a role in the world market. On the other hand, it reinforced Europe’s leadership in manufacturing and economic development, and created a strong economic status quo in the world that it took a long time to change.
The Age of Imperialism brought about many important changes to the way societies worked in conquered territories and in the way Europeans viewed themselves and others. For example, the British imposed English as the official language in India, and worked to make the Indians adopt western culture and costumes over Indian ones. In fact, the British had such a strong impact on Indian culture that to this day the official language in India is English and the British costume of drinking tea is practiced in India. In a similar, but much more dramatic case, the opening of international ports in China, introduced modern ideas to an age-old culture. The most noticeable direct effect of this is the Opium Wars, fought over the selling of opium by Western powers to the people of China. This conflict ended with the Treaty of Nanking, which ceded Hong Kong to the British and opened more ports to European trade. Most importantly, this conflict brought civil strife to China as supporters of opium trade turned against the emperor during the war, causing a break with traditions. Besides affecting the way people lived in Africa and Asia, Imperialism brought Europe tremendous amounts of wealth and power. While before obtaining natural resources, raw materials, and an agricultural surplus in quantities large enough to sustain the Industrial Revolution had been a great problem for the European powers, with the...