Imperialism in the 19th century

Essay by marcin017University, Bachelor's April 2004

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There was a great deal of Imperialism in the 19th century, led by mostly westerners from Europe. Imperialism is the act in which one nation extends its rule over another. Imperialism had a substantial effect on the 19th century throughout the entire world by bringing upon changes to many different countries, for better and for worse, especially to Africa.

Prior to the nineteenth century, westerners did interfere with many of the affairs of nations outside of their boarders, so signs of imperialism are shown many times throughout history. Examples of this would be the European colonies in the Americas and also influence in Asia. Whenever a western country was involved with the economy of an outside country,

There were many reasons for Imperialism, two of which were economical and political. What better way to boost an economy than to open markets in other areas of the world? The colonized nations had abundant supplies of resources that could not be found in Europe, which is what first attracted the westerners.

Because of imperialism, not only did Europeans have access to resources in Africa and Asia, but they also had access to cheap labor by forcing the natives of the lands to work for little or no money. The desire of power and security for the military were also causes for Imperialism. By having control over distant lands, it would be a benefit, militarily, to have bases spread out around the world, especially during times of war. (Wakefield, Edward Gibbon A Letter from Sydney and Other Writings on Colonization)

Racism on account of Social Darwism was another major factor contributing to Imperialism. Social Darwism ("survival of the fittest") led to the Europeans' belief that they were of a higher race and it was their duty to go into other areas and improve...