The push for power was motivated by greed and an overwhelming desire to control every aspect of valuable foreign areas. One of the biggest moments in the history of colonization was the ‘Scramble for Africa’, as historians (and Professor Hopkins) refer to it as. As slaves were the biggest resource of the time, the banning of slave trade in Africa in the early nineteenth century caused European disinterest in continent that they were once heavily dependent on. Although there were localized replacements, like ivory trading, they were not as effective in keeping Europe’s interest. As a result, Africa was desperate to be relevant again, their economy depended on it.
The age of imperialism brought about the colonization of smaller weaker countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East by the major powers of the world, most notably Britain and France. These colonized countries were used for the benefit, mostly economic, of the mother countries for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. As time went on problems facing the colonial powers toward the end of the 19th century sparked a rapid change of decolonization. Although the decolonization was a major victory for countries seeking independence, in many cases these the damages of colonization caused many issues. The newly independent nations faced countless challenges such as continued interference from colonial powers, neo colonialism, social issues within the state itself, and most notably economic instability.
Motivation for Expansion During the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution gave certain countries in Western Europe a big boost of economic power. France, Britain, Italy, and Germany emerged as industrialized powers, with high population and high production. During a time when Social Darwinism was popular, it was only natural that these nations compete with each other for survival. The most important motivation for Europeans to colonize during the 19th and 20th centuries was to strengthen their own countries in order to compete with the other European powers. One of the major ways a colony can strengthen a nation is by providing it with another economic market.
This related to imperialism because stronger countries like Britain and France used this “Burden” as an excuse to express their control over weaker countries. United States expansionism during the late ninetieth- century and early twentieth century were similar because of economic power and religious beliefs. Before the ninetieth century the United States had an agricultural economy and in the early twentieth century it had changed to a business economy. As the United States became a stronger nation it started to expand its influence into other countries.
Soon after, Japan joined along with the European nations. There was much competition going around and surely the United States of America would not want to miss out on this opportunity to improve economy as its nation was producing more than it could consume. American businesses looked toward the rest of the world as a pillar of support for their growing industries. Senator Alfred Beveridge believed that imperialism was justified by the demands and economic competitions among the industrial nations. Today we are raising more than we can consume.
Europeans invested large sums of money abroad, building railroads and ports, mines and plantations, factories and public utilities. Trade between nations grew greatly and a world economy developed. Between 1750 and 1900 the gap in income disparities between industrialized Europe and America and the rest of the world grew at an astounding rate. Part of this was due, first, to a rearrangement of land use that accompanies Western colonialism and to Western success in preventing industrialization in areas Westerners saw as markets for their manufactured goods. European economic penetration was very often peaceful, but Europeans (and Americans) were also quite willing to force isolationist nations such as China and Japan to throw open their doors to Westerners.
The Atlantic slave trade was abolished by the British parliament in 1807. This caused great problems for West African slave traders who had witnessed a period of vast growth in the industry towards the end of the eighteenth century. They now had to focus on more lawful, legitimate means of trading. The types of industry that often replaced the slave trade were produce based, agricultural goods such as palm oil. The potential problems faced by traders were ‘exacerbated by the fact that it coincided with other problems for West Africa’s external trade.’ This refers to the Anglo-French wars which made the demand for West African exports very unreliable.
During the eighteenth century Europe increased its ability to win wars. Through advances in weaponry and fighting formations, they were able to dominant adversaries with an almost unfair edge. Technology and military strategy both played a significant part in placing European countries at the front of world powers, but it was the ability to integrate and leverage the governments’ economic resources, that separated them from most of the world, when it came to battlefield superiority. A Well Oiled Machine Europe’s economy saw a major boost in the eighteenth century, due to a focus on manufacturing of exportable goods. Mercantilism, a theory that encourages a society to export more than import, was promoted by economists.
By the late sixteenth century the British East India Company had established trade posts in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, dominating vast areas in India and southeast Asia . Although traders saw the potential for cheap labor and raw materials India held, they were... ... middle of paper ... ...ndia was rendered unable to progress economically and socially because of their forced dependence on Britain that made the nation unstable. Today, Britain remains an advanced country with a stable economy and strong government while India is filled with corruption, poverty, and crime. British involvement in India forever changed the course of history, and eventually determined the world we know today. While the British were able to thrive in this imperialized society, the most basic rights to freedom and equality were deprived from Indian citizens for centuries.
Feelings of nationalism itensified throughout Europe during the nineteenth century. Nationalism in the extreme promotes the idea of national superiority. Industrialized countries therefore felt they had the right to take control of weaker areas. Countries also tried to increase their power through the control of more land and people. Economic causes also led to imperialism.