A.J.P Taylor’s theories of Imperialism Essay

A.J.P Taylor’s theories of Imperialism Essay

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A similarity between Taylor and Kennedy’s theory is that they both recognize the impact that Germany had. Kennedy suggests that Germany was the one to alter “the relative position of all the existing Great Powers in Europe” , this was based on the argument that Germany was the economic “powerhouse” of Europe. There was an increasing manifestation of Germany’s growth and place in the world. This can be seen in the words of the German politician, Friedrick Naumann “The German race brings it” . We can see the emphasis on political prestige through his elaboration, that Germany “brings army, navy, money and power”. This was the age of “new European Imperialism”, where each country seemed to be asserting their status and political prestige. Kennedy’s theories of imperialism argue that colonisation in Africa was motivated by the need for “large scale territorial expansion”. Germany’s colonisation in Africa was argued to be “irresistible as a natural Law” However, it may seem that Kennedy and Taylor’s theories are valid in explaining the colonisation in Africa. It is worth mentioning, nevertheless, that in Germany after 1895; it was the “ruling elite” that had become conceived of the need for colonisation in Africa. This factor applies more towards the theories of “gentlemanly capitalism” rather than the theories of “diplomatic and political aims”. Therefore, as a result, it may be the case that all different elements of theories are valid for explaining the colonisation of Africa. In further analysis, it will become clearer whether this is the case.

Germany’s influence on the Partition of Africa cannot be ignored, however there is a great power that Kennedy regarded as the centre of this event. That country was Great Britain. In Ke...


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...onomic interests that had motivated colonisation in Africa can be seen in the economic statistics. They do demonstrate a vast increase in British overseas investment, for example, it was “£144 million in 1862 to £1,698 million in 1893” . Nevertheless, Fieldhouse does recognize that there is no clear distinction about where British overseas investment was financed as the “largest proportion” went to the “settlement colonies” , for example Latin America and the USA – not African colonies. What implications does this have for European imperialism?



Works Cited

Frank McDonough, The British Empire 1815 - 1914
Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
Darwin, Britain and Decolonisation
Gary Thorn, End of Empires: European Decolonisation 1919 - 80
Ibid
M. E. Chamberlain, Decolonisation
Gary Thorn, End of Empires: European Decolonisation 1919 - 80

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