The Imperial Age Essay

1788 words - 7 pages

The imperial age refers to the period from 1880 to 1914 when the great powers of Europe sought to dominate the world. In this time period, imperialism was best defined as a movement by the major European powers to dominate or to take into their spheres of influence all the unattached states in the world. In the period of 1880 to 1914, the few remaining independent area of the globe came under the dominance of one industrial power or another. During this time, European nations were the most active in pursuing imperialist activities. Many people believe that these European nations were not justified in pursuing imperialism, because they were only interested in selfish goals. While other people believe that these nations had every right to pursue imperialism, because these nations were only concentrated on helping and improving the countries they conquered. The importance of this issue is significant, because the colonies that these European nations conquered, endured many changes that still to this day affect their standard of living and recognition in the world. These European nations pursued imperialism for three general reasons. The first reason being Economic, because as the Industrial Revolution continued, these European nations needed more and more raw materials to supply their factories. They also needed more and more markets in which to sell their masses of manufactured products. The second reason was political, because the major western European nations were rivals for power and glory. Nationalists believed that colonies would increase their nation's wealth, status, prestige, and military strength. The third reason was social, because many Europeans believed that western civilization was far superior to all the other civilizations in the world. They felt "compelled" to bring to or impose upon other people the benefits of the Industrial Revolution, western European languages, cultures, education, values and most of all Christianity. The three major types of imperialism are protectorate, colony, and spheres of influence. A colony is an area over which an imperial power has direct political control. A protectorate is a country that has a government of its own, but which is really guided in its policies by an imperial power. A sphere of influence is a region that governs itself, but where an imperial power claims the sole right to trade or invest money. My position on this topic is in the median, I believe that European nations were justified in pursuing imperialism only to improve the countries they conquered. However, these powers were not justified in pursuing imperialism to benefit their already powerful nation, because these nations were usually only concentrated on selfish goals. Imperialism created motive for the European nations to better the situation of the colonies, pursue selfish goals to benefit themselves by taking advantage of the colonies, and by hurting the colonies by their imperialist activities. This was all due to the...

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