Throughout history, especially in the late 1800s to the early 1900s, imperialism was a prevailing affair in the world. Imperialism is a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force, and it was used in political, economic, and social ways. Since the 1400s, people have debated over the most prominent reason of the cause of imperialism. Some believe that political reasons started the enthusiasm to seize smaller nations, while others argue that its cause was economical or social. All three forces are reasons for imperialism, and they all confirm that imperialism brought about a great change in the lives of people all around the world.
Firstly, there were political gains seen in Imperialism. Some nations saw that they could demonstrate their power by taking over weaker lands. France captured Vietnam quite easily in 1867, and made sure they were seen as the stronger ones. A Vietnamese governor at the time recounts, “We are weak against them… The French have immense warships, filled with soldiers and armed with large cannons. No one can resist them. They go where they want, the strongest ramparts fall before them.” (Document 8) Nations also rivaled against each other in the building of empires. Nations would try to take lands in a certain continent and other rival nations would compete and try to take more land. (Document 9) Besides demonstrating political strength, certain nations also capitalized on economic benefits that imperialism offered.
World leaders realized that their nations could experience a flourishing economy if they took advantage of imperialism. Iron and cotton producers were able to market their goods overseas to colonies that needed it. Bank lenders made money off of loans given to developing colonies. With the distance between a mainland and its colonies, railway and ship builders found themselves in high demand. Telegraph makers were requested by the government to send...
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