The act of Imperialism refers to process where one nation attempts to take control of other countries for either raw resources or strategical purposes. All throughout history we can see this act being used to exploit neighboring areas to benefit their own empire, at the expense of other nations. The benefits would include an increase of wealth, an increase in world power status, and even an increase in military strength.
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With the added strength to a nation’s army, they would be able to maintain authority worldwide and used the conquered countries as bases as well as for fortification purposes.
From the year 1870, a period known as New Imperialism began for several European nations. With this, hungry European powers started expanding worldwide to conquer more land such as Africa and Asia. Around the year 1878, most of the African continent was unexplored but by 1914, the continent was carved up and in control of various European powerhouses. This taking of the nations there was called the scramble for Africa.’ This was one of the most dramatic examples of imperialism in the late nineteenth century. Various pieces of literature were written around that time that showed the belief that the Europeans were a superior race to the Africans. One such is the poem, The White Man’s Burden where the author, Rudyard Kipling, writes a poem that stating how it the burden of the White Man to take care of the so called inferior people beneath them in the society like the African people. He would say that the civilizing missions by the European nations were necessary in order to help the inferior people. Most Europeans at the time agreed with such imperialist sentiment.
A variety of these civilizing missions were made during the period of New Imperialism. One kind were the religious missions that European countries had sent before. Nations like Spain, France and Great Britain sent religious missionaries to Africa, Asian and India. The goal here was to unite as many of these so called inferior people under one God. Countries like Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium sent missionaries too, but to raise morale of troops stationed there. In this instance, the goal of religious conquest was a motivation for European expansion into new areas during the age of New Imperialism.
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