FACTORS RELATING TO THE GROWTH OF 19TH IMPERIALISM:

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FACTORS RELATING TO THE GROWTH OF 19TH IMPERIALISM:
Economic: triumph of modern industrial societies over traditional, pre-industrial societies. Colonies used for raw materials and markets for manufactured goods.

Technological: railway, telegraph, and steamship. Better than traditional means. Machine gun over spear; modern medicine over witch doctor.

Political: close government involvement with overseas business interests. Economic competition then became political competition.

Strategic: network of naval bases and coaling stations. Railways too. Pursuit of strategic interests could lead to political conflict.

Cultural: chauvinistic type of nationalism – jingoism. Encouraged by press. Colonies as symbol of prestige. Fashionable to be an imperialist

Social Darwinism: survival of the fittest became survival of the strongest. One race being superior to others. Pseudo-scientific basis for modern race theory

Religion: bringing Christianity to the uneducated masses. Would bring progress to backwards peoples.

CAUSE OF WWI?
Distinction needs to be made between factors associated with imperialism and the political and diplomatic crises of July 1914.

Connections are indirect

Difficult to demonstrate connection between imperialism and the decision to go to war

Some historians (AJP Taylor) deny any casual link between imperialism and outbreak of war in Europe

WELTPOLITIK (after 1890)
Germany begins playing active role in international relations

Aggressive promotion of German economic interests and acquiring colonies

“Germany demands her place in the sun”

Building powerful navy to promote and protect German interests

First-class ocean going fleet top priority

SPLENDID ISOLATION
End of 19th century Britain not part of alliance

Cost of defending empire too great

Threats to: China, Central Asia

Threats from: France (Egypt), Russia

No threat from Germany yet

Kaiser did upset British when he

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