Imerialism - A paper on what imperialism is, how it came to be, and it's effects on Europe and today's society.

Essay by Celes_ChereUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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Between the years of the 15th and 18th centuries, European nations flourished. They gained control over a majority of the Western Hemisphere. From 1880 and 1914, Western powers set out to gain power in many places such as Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. This was known as "new imperialism".

What exactly is Imperialism? Imperialism is the policy or action by which one country owns another country or territory. Most such control is achieved by military means to gain economic and political advantages. Such an action is also called "expansionism". An expansionist state that obtains overseas territories follows a policy known as colonialism. Imperialism was based off of colonialism. An imperialist government wishes to obtain new markets, and new sources for new materials.

Many theories attempt to explain the motives for Imperialism. One of the best known theories focuses on economic profit as the main reason for a nation to seek foreign territories.

Industrialized nations can produce more manufactured goods that their citizens need and can afford to buy. Colonies may provide serve as a market for the un used goods. They also may provide cheap land, valuable resources, and investment opportunities. However, this theory does not fully explain imperialism because many colonies were not economically profitable. Another important motive was Military strategy. Long before this, nations have absorbed territory near their border to protect themselves from attacks. This strategy was used as a "safety zone". In the late 1800's, many European countries (such as England, France, Prussia, and more) had colonies throughout the world where their ships, both naval and merchant, could take on supplies. Also, Imperialism can be encouraged by patriotism, religion, and a sense of cultural/racial superiority (The White Man's Burden). During the 1800's, a strong feeling of nationalism swept most European countries. Many people believed that their...