The Enlightenment Set the Stage for New Imperialism Essay

The Enlightenment Set the Stage for New Imperialism Essay

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New imperialism was the mid nineteenth and twentieth centuries cultural equivalent to a modern day mafia, its roots entangled in the economic, cultural, and humanistic aspects of life. The sole objective of the nations entailed the exploitation of their controlled state. Gestating from the change in control of Asian and African nations to the Europeans by means of political deviance, malicious sieges, and strategic military attacks. The juxtaposition to the modern equivalent endures as the aforesaid is sheltered by the fairytale that these nations were in need of aid and by doing so the Europeans were the good guys. The ideas of new imperialism are greatly influenced by those of the enlightenment. Taking place during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the enlightenment was an intellectual movement with the goal of social progress (Genova, 1/11). Armed with scientific thought and reason, enlightenment thinkers set out to explore the fields of science, economics, and human nature. Brilliant minds such as Voltaire, Kant and others all across Western Europe collaborated to further knowledge. The enlightenment laid the foundation on which new imperialism sprung, embedding the ideas of an incessant need to explore not only the scientific world but the physical world as well. The enlightenments goals and ideas significantly influenced new imperialism, because the enlightenment created a need for new means and a purpose to accrue them.
The foundation for new imperialism rested on the ideas and products of the enlightenment. Advancements in technology, medicine and cartography led to the success of new imperialism (Genova, 2/15). For example, European voyages would have been for naught, if it were not for the enlightenment discover...


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... They denounce the argument of slavery as illegal; their sole goal is their freedom, to inevitably return to the trade themselves (Sparks, 132). Thusly, showing a key characteristic of new imperialism greed, the prevalence of materialism over everything else.
The ideas and goals of the enlightenment significantly influenced new imperialism. The enlightenment set the stage for new imperialism, it created new needs to be fulfilled by the means of foreign countries and was concealed by the enlightenment concept of universalism. And although the abolition of the slave trade was influenced by the ideas and goals of the enlightenment, it was not to the extent of new imperialism. Without the enlightenments influence there is no doubt that new imperialism would have had no reason to take place, however the same cannot be said for the abolition of the slave trade.



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