Imperialism

Topics: Imperialism, British Empire, Colonialism Pages: 7 (2456 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Imperialism

Imperialism defined by The Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years, as described by the above work, is primarily a western undertaking that employs "expansionist – mercantilism and latterly communist – systems." Geographical domains have included the Mongolian, Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Dutch Empire, the Persian Empire, the French Empire, the Russian Empire, the Chinese Empire, and the British Empire, but the term can equally be applied to domains of knowledge, beliefs, values and expertise, such as the empires of Christianity  or Islam .Imperialism is usually autocratic, and also sometimes monolithic (i.e. having a massive, unchanging structure that does not allow individual variation) in character. It can be relatively benign as in Canada, or brutal as in the Belgian Congo.

The term imperialism is referred to as a domain that can be political, economic or geographical in nature. A prominent example of such a domain is the Imperialist and Colonist British Empire of the 19th century. Sometimes, it can also be with regard to thoughts, religious beliefs, political beliefs, etc. Communism is an example of such imperialism. The word imperialism is coined from the Latin word impetrate roughly translated as 'to command'. It is believed that the word imperialism came into use in the 16th century, and was derived from the Roman concept of emporium. Prominent dictionaries, give three significant definitions to the term imperialism. Every definition of this kind refers to some or the other 'type' of imperialism or domains of imperialism.

The first and the most predominant definition of imperialism is "political expansion of rule over foreign countries". This definition refers to conquest, annexation and dominance of one nation over another nation or nations. This definition is normally used in the reference of the expansionist and colonist activities that the European nations carried out after the discovery of trade routes to Asia, Africa and the New World (present day American continent). Initially the concept of imperialism was initiated even before the European nations started their expansion. Imperialism was prominently seen in ancient times in the empires like the Chinese Empire, the Roman Empire, and the golden horde of Genghis Khan. In the late 19th century, the era or 'age of Imperialism' began, where European nations, who happened to be technologically more advanced than the rest of the world, started enslaving the continents of Asia, Africa, and America. Sometimes imperialism is also defined as a "political orientation advocating imperial interests". This definition refers to the promotion of ideologies. One of the most prominent examples is that of promotion of democracy, or the promotion of communism, by the United States and Russia, during the Cold War. Sometimes this definition is also referred to the promotion domain of faith or religious belief. One of the best example is that of Spain's promotion of Catholic faith in England, during the rule of 'Bloody' Mary (1516 to 1558, predecessor of Elizabeth I). Imperialism is also defined as "aggressive extension of authority". This definition of imperialism is considered to be a generalized definition. However, it also refers to any kind of expansion, either political or economic in nature. This kind of imperialism is seen in the modern era, in the corporate world where companies try to monopolize or dominate the market in which they sell their product. The most common means of doing so is resorting to imperialist measures like trying to purchase all the competitors, developing the best possible products and services, reduction of price, excessive...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Imperialism Essay
  • The Case for Imperialism Essay
  • Economic Reasons for Imperialism Essay
  • Imperialism Essay
  • Imperialism Essay
  • Imperialism Essay
  • Imperialism Essay
  • Imperialism Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free