This essay is an attempt to explain the role and concept of imperialism according to the Radical school of thought. Beginning by defining a few key terms then later, using underdevelopment in less developed countries to help justify the perspectives explanation for imperialism.
Imperialism can be defined as a policy of extending the control or authority over entities as a means of acquisition and maintenance of empires through direct territorial or through indirect method of exerting control on politics or economies of other countries (Loomba 1998:2). Imperialism is used by some to describe the policy of a country in maintaining colonies and dominance over distant lands regardless of whether a country calls itself an empire. Thus the imperial country is the metro pole from which power flows and the colony is the place which it penetrates and controls.
By 1910, Africa had been divided up among the Europeans and from then onwards decisions affecting Africa and its people were made not in Africa but in European countries. (Alavi 1964) Africa was tremendously rich in natural resources and European countries ultimately gained control of these territories and had free and easy access to the abundant natural resources and labour in these areas through the signing of treaties and agreements. Africans never really understood these treaties and did not realise what they were giving away. Hence, the decisions made almost a century ago have had far fetching consequences that are evident even today.
With this background, Radical theorists argue that the main motive behind imperial expansion was an economic one. The theories are basically