Imperialism

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Imperialism

Whether for economic, nationalist, or humanitarian reasons, more powerful nations have

often interfered with the affairs of weaker nations. These more powerful nations, including the

United States, Britain, and several European countries, have in the past exploited less fortunate ones

for resources, capital, and knowledge. Yet in return countries located in South America, Africa, and

Southeast Asia have gained the technology and capital that, over a period of time and development,

improves their quality of life.

One point of view could be that imperialism results in oppression and abuse. While this is

sometimes a temporary side effect of larger nations adopting protectorates, the long term effects

often cause the weaker nation to grow stronger. Even when a country feels they must rebel against

their suppressor, they gain a sense of nationalism and independence, resulting in a more distinct

culture than before. Why then, should a country have to withdraw from such interference?

Another argument could be that only when needed, should a country be involved with

another’s affairs. Yet with this point of view most would agree that there would be too much

diversity in opinion when deciding exactly when help is needed. Also, countries such as Japan

would never have developed, whose primary success was to take the ideas of other nations and

better them.

Stronger countries must interfere in the affairs of weaker nations for the gain of both nations.

A more powerful nation can better its own economy by sharing the resources of other nations and

weaker nations are able to obtain an improved standard of living by learning new technologies that

are more advanced than their own. Third world countries can receive food from stronger nations

and heathen nations can learn to be civilized from missionaries. Imperialism also follows the laws

of social Darwinism, where the “fitter” and more advanced countries must prosper.

An excellent example of how imperialism can benefit a weaker nation as well as a stronger,

more dominant one is the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854. This treaty, forced upon the Japanese by

the Americans, opened up two Japanese ports to foreign trade as well as meeting other demands of

the Americans. Japan’s point of view was that by surrendering to the more powerful Americans

they could a...

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...nd, resources, and money. Use of this

theory has resulted in the creation of Canada, the United States, and many other former European

colonies. By exploiting natives, European nations (primarily Britain and France) were able to create

colonies that bettered their economy. When these colonies became independent and rebelled, it

created an even more powerful and nationalistic country, the United States. This knew country then

created a theory using social Darwinism called Manifest Destiny where Americans believed they

would soon conquer all of North America. Thus the struggle for survival of the fittest went on.

These theories of Darwinism are easily be used to justify the imperialistic views of more powerful

nations.

By learning from the past it is easy to see that nations help each other when imperialism

occurs, and even when oppression of some nations does happen, a stronger, more patriotic nation

is able to come to power. Through helping themselves, stronger nations are able to create economic

conditions beneficial to all nations. Allowing stronger nations to intervene in the matters of weaker

nations should be encouraged for the growth of both countries.

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