The Development of New Imperialism
Imperialism refers to the domination over subject lands in a larger world. A wide range of motives encouraged European peoples to launch campaigns of domination, conquest, and control. In modern times, the term colonialism means the settlement of colonists in new lands, but it also has to do with the political, social, economic, and cultural structures that play a role in enabling imperial powers to dominate subject lands.
One way for the development of new imperialism was through political means. Imperialist’s held that is was crucial, for political and military reasons, to maintain the colonies even if they were not economically beneficial. Some overseas colonies occupied sites on the world’s sea-lanes. Others offered harbors or supply stations for commercial and naval ships. Also, Imperialists had the use for domestic politics. This was sought to diffuse social tension and to inspire patriotism by focusing public attention on foreign imperialist ventures.
Another way that new imperialism was developed was through economic means. During the nineteenth century, Europe came to believe that imperial expansion and colonial domination were crucial for their societies to survive. Imperialism was in the economic interests of European society as well as in the interest of the individual. Overseas colonies could serve as reliable sources of raw materials. Rubber, tin, and copper were vital industrial products. By the late nineteenth century, petroleum had also become a crucial industrial resource.
Finally, the last development in imperialism was through cultural motives. Missionaries sought to introduce Christianity to subject peoples. Their goals were also the same as those of other Europeans who sought to bring these peoples “civilization” in the form of political order and social and cultural enlightenment. French imperialists invoked the civilizing mission as justification for their expansion into Africa...
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