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
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