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Imperialism Causes

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Date added: 17-09-20


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The “New” Imperialism (1800-1914) •From 1770-1900: England took 50 Colonies, France 33, Germany 13, US 6, The Netherlands 4, Russia, 3, Italy 3, Spain 3, Japan 2, Portugal 2 and Belgium 1. •“The sun never sets on the British Empire. ” (Edward VII) •Old Imperialism vs. New Imperialism: old imperialist states, though brutal and repressive at times, lacked the power to dominate their colonies (think Spanish in the Americas). However, with the combination of the Industrial Revolution, the unification of nation-states and a period of sustained economic prosperity, the new imperialists set their eyes on a more comprehensive form of domination. In short, M + N = I. I. Causes of New Imperialism i. Economic Benefits: the industrial revolution cried for raw materials and output markets ii. Political Apprehension: once the race for colonies was on, nations were compelled to enter the race in fear of being left in the dust (Africa). iii. Military Might: the industrial machine mass produced new and exciting military technologies. Steam powered vessels needed coaling stations and islands and ports around the world were in demand. iv. Psychological Motivations: superiority feels good and fear and anxiety feel bad. Moreover, there is a certain pride and glory to the fight—especially when it is the fight for civilization v. Curiosity: adventurers wanted to experience (and dominate) other cultures. vi. Capitalism: imperialism is the natural manifestation of capitalism. Corporations, with government aid, profited brilliantly. Enter multinational corporations. vii. Social Darwinism: application of natural selection to the human species. European races were destined to follow their natural order and uplift and strengthen humankind viii. Humanitarian Concerns: missionaries and doctors felt compelled to civilize their “little brown brothers”. II. The Success of Western Imperialism (1870- 1914) i. Weakness of Non-Western States i. The Ottoman Middle East ii. Mughal India iii. Qing China iv. West Africa ii. Western Advantages i. Industrialized Economies ii. Strong Militaries (with industrial weaponry) iii. Medical Technology (esp. quinine) iii. Mass Appeal of Imperialism i. The glory of sailors, adventure, diamonds, spices and mysterious Asia ii. Poetry and literature glorified imperialism (White Man’s Burden) III. Britain’s lead was challenged . Britain was the lead exporter of goods, money, entrepreneurs and services. Yet Britain was losing her monopoly on industrial capitalism. b. By the end of the 1800’s, Britain couldn’t decide of the colonies were worth it. Yet, in late 1800’s, they decided to tighten control on India (they needed resources to feed their industrial machine, they needed a market and they feared the competition) c. Imperialist Rivalries i. France, Russia, Germany, Spain and Portugal entered the race ii. Even Belgium, Italy and Germany got in the African race iii. The United States desired Latin American and Eat Asia
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