One of the most prolific imperialistic powers was Great Britain. The British Empire stretched across the globe. There were British colonies in Africa, India, China, and the Americas. “The sun never sets on the British empire”, is a well-known quote that illustrates the stretch of the vast empire. This paper will analyze the positives, negatives and the overall influence of the imperialistic empire. Influenced by the Industrial Revolution, imperialism enabled countries such as India access to advanced technology and innovation, which in turn made is possible for them to become major players in trade. In addition to increased trade, British influence also prevented the political and social system of their colonies from crumbling within. However, there were still negative aspects of the British rule upon the different peoples. Moreover, each different colony the British ruled longed for a sense of nationalism and hence the revolts and turmoil.
To fully understand the influence Britain had over its colonies, imperialism itself must be defined. Winfried Baumagart explains the social conception of nationalism and the “white man’s burden” which is to not only expand into foreign lands and establish rule, but is also to culturally educate the people. This is the definition of imperialism; however, there is more to imperialism as he goes on to explain. The significance of trade, missionary activities, technological advancements, naval developments, and exploration are all highlighted as important factors of imperialism. This allows a grading criterion for this paper to be established. Questions such as what advancements and how trade changed with British influence can be evaluated. Including all of these factors in imperialism opens up a wider horizon to better evaluate the overall record of the empire.
Great Britain used its colonies to greatly improve their economic structure. By having access to and utilizing the resources from their colonies, Britain was able to make products out of these resources and then sell them for a profit. Take India as an example; India was one of the most important colonies to the British Empire. The growth started in the Bay of Bengal because the British traded along the coasts and then spread inward. Because of Britain, India was well known for trade in teas, spices, opium, porcelain, and opium. This spiked the economy of Britain and made India once again a vital trade hub in the world. In order to solely protect economic interests Britain enables India to raise its own military. If it had not been for Britain’s economic interest India would not have had weaponry advancements like the breech-loading weapon, iron-clad ships, machine guns, rifled projectiles, and submarines.
Britain imperialized Africa because of the economic benefits, which included labor, new markets, and resources. Gold and diamonds were and are still two of the most valued materials on the planet. These two resources flourished throughout Africa, “The...