European Imperialism

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Imperialism: Europe’s Quest to Conquer the World

Imperialism: the establishment of a policy extending control or authority over foreign entities in a political, cultural, and economic way as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires. This is either through direct territorial conquest or settlement, or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. Some takeovers were brought upon by rivalries, while others would do it to boost the imperial nation’s wealth and value. Whether it was for humanitarian or nationalist reasons, dominant nations have continuously intruded into the affairs of weaker, more vulnerable nations. It arose in the 1800’s; a time period in which Europe’s growth and prosperity was at its peak. Having gained a considerable amount of power, nations with strong central governments had surfaced after the enrichment provided by the Industrial Revolution.

European imperialism grew out of a long development of exploration and industrialization. The European powers competed with one another for control over resources both within Europe and all over the world. There was a significant amount of greed that was inflicted upon the Europeans when they had realized they could conquer Asia and Africa. These were two continents with an abundance of resources that could provide for the growing European population, along with bring power, wealth, and respect for the capital nation. The Europeans also displayed a strong amount of racial supremacy, believing that the citizens of the colonies were in fact “savages” that needed to be civilized. Economics played one of the most important roles, by using the colonies resources, receiving cheap labor and having a market for their goods. Africa was a region that was largely untouched in terms of old imperialism (mercantilism) and a highly attractive to Europe’s dominant countries. The discovery of gold and diamonds had only increased interest in...
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