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Imperialism Essay

1561 words - 6 pages


Imperialism Throughout time more powerful countries have extended their influence over weaker countries and then colonized those countries to expand their own power. Imperialism causes the stronger countries to grow and become nations or even empires. There are many examples throughout European history of nations enveloping weaker countries and increasing their own wealth and power to form strong nation-states and even empires. Through imperialism one culture is invading another culture and most of the time the European colonialists are not thinking about the effects this invasion might have on the natives of that land. Problems caused by imperialism have prevailed to this day. Imperialism caused a breakdown of the previous cultures and lifestyles that the natives had followed. The European imperialism caused many of the now prevalent ethnic rivalries that can be found in northern India, parts of Asia, and parts of Africa. "Africa and much of the developing world have been struggling for nearly half a century to come to terms with grinding ethnic and tribal rivalries that remain, in a way, one of the most enduring legacies of their colonial past." In many cases of European imperialism, the European colonialists would pick a favored minority in one of their colonies to govern their colony locally and with this priority came assurance of the best jobs and favored treatment. This caused a sort of rivalry between that minority and the majority of natives who were not given this priority. Resentment towards these favored minorities grows and after the country achieves independence the popular resentment can turn to violence. An example of this is the Sikhs in India. The Sikhs created the powerful state of Punjab in 1800, which became a threat to British-controlled India and after two years of war Britain annexed the Punjab in 1849. The Sikhs were loyal to the British. In return for that loyalty, during the Sepoy Mutiny the British gave them preferential land grants. Throughout British rule, the Sikhs gained wealth and a great reputation as soldiers and policemen. After independence, they lost all of their special privileges and found their state divided between India and Pakistan. This followed with a bitter war against the Muslims in 1965, which forced the Sikhs to migrate from their homeland of Punjab to India. This followed a year of extreme agitation between the Muslims and the Sikhs that led Indian government to create Punjab as a single Punjabi-speaking state in 1966. It remains to this day the home of most of India's 16 million Sikhs. Another example can be seen the Tutsi race. The Tutsi were used to locally rule their lands of Rwanda and Burundi. Throughout their native lands they were assured the best jobs and favored treatment, which included education. After Rwanda gained independence, a majority rule emerged and the Tutsi lost their power. Uprising and revolts among the majority (the Hutu) usually singled out...

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