The Case for Imperialism

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The Case for Imperialism

There is little if any doubt that modern society has condemned Imperialism and its various devices. I will gladly concede the fact the past implementations of Imperialism have been, in many ways, terrible with consequences that have wounded humanity deeply. This however does not mean that good things were not present. Or that the side effects were only bad. It is, as in all cases, easy to overlook the good if little or any bad exists. I believe that is the case here.

However I will not lie. The implementations of early imperialism had terrible side affects. Racial superiority combined with industrial greed all served to weaken the image of something that can truly be great. Sure, colonial policy had its flaws, and those flaws were particularly noticeable to Americans who knew just how well colonial status couldn't cope with two equally racial levels. But to the rest of England's colonies, the touch of British imperialism brought great advances in food production, medicine, education, and liberty. But here's why the Left had to demonize imperialism. When Britain colonized a region, she not only sent businessmen and soldiers, she also sent Christian missionaries. Britain's strategy, which was simply motivated by the Christian duty to spread the Gospel, was uniquely successful for a reason most historians miss. By winning converts to Christianity, Britain created a segment of the native population that accepted the moral ideas on which the British political and economic philosophy was based. Although Britain initially "harmonized" trade between the colonies and the mother country - forcing the colonies to export raw materials and import British goods. The high point of the empire did not come about until after Britain enacted a policy of complete free trade in the mid 19th century. This policy produced great wealth both at home and in the colonies, because everyone was able to produce what they were best at, This is what economists call the principle of comparative advantage. Looking back on the British example, modern society forgets that what was essential to Britain's success was not free trade alone, but having large numbers of the native population that understood and accepted the Bible ideas on which free markets are based. Principal among these are the ideas of personal accountability, rights to property, including property in one's labor, freedom of contract, and honesty. All of these rights flow from God's moral rules - don't steal, don't lie, etc.

Many theories attempt to explain the motives for imperialism. One of the best-known theories focuses on economic profit as the chief reason for a nation to seek foreign territories. Industrialized nations can produce more manufactured goods than their people need or can afford to buy. Colonies may serve as markets for these unsold products. They also may provide cheap land, valuable natural resources, and investment opportunities for surplus capital. However, this theory does not fully explain imperialism because many colonies were not economically profitable. Many expansionists thought they had a God-given mission to take new territory and to spread Christianity and the benefits of European culture.

It would be absurd to suggest an entire nation of people would allow themselves to perform essentially evil deeds for evil reasons. One must also remember that Britain, and in the beginning Rome, were both democratic nations, therefore such imperial exploits could not have been undertaken without the general consent of the people. Thus such consent would have to be justified, and it was- through a belief in a higher responsibility to others less fortunate than themselves. Effects of imperialism include certain benefits that a ruling nation may provide for territories that form part of its empire. For example, the colonial powers built new communications and transportation systems, established universities, and introduced modern...
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