World History notes 6.04.docx - Imperialism Why Colonize...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.

Imperialism Why Colonize? From the Age of Exploration and beyond the Industrial Revolution, European nations competed against each other to colonize and control less developed parts of the world. Each nation felt that its status and pride depended on outdoing or at least matching its neighbors in acquiring and controlling colonies. Many European nations engaged in a mad scramble to find and control faraway places as colonies. The more colonies you had, the greater your prestige and power as a nation. The more successful your imperial ambitions, the better off your economy was. Some nations were able to control colonies outright. These colonies became part of the nation's empire. The annexation of these outposts was solely for the purpose of exploitation , and their people lacked all or most rights. Where it was impractical to directly control a region, an imperial power might incorporate it within its sphere of influence , an area mainly of economic control. Spheres of influence were created in places that were too difficult to take over completely and politically. China is one example where several European nations created their own spheres of influence in different parts of that nation. How Should Historians Conceptualize the Age of Imperialism? The Age of Imperialism can best be understood as having occurred in two different periods. The first was a product of the Age of Exploration. This process resulted in the colonization of most of the Western Hemisphere by Spain, France, Britain, and Portugal. The second imperialist expansion occurred later and was largely a product of the Industrial Revolution. This process resulted in the colonization of most of Africa, the Middle East, India, China, and the South Pacific. The Western Empires were established and developed far earlier than those later empires formed in the east. However, by the early 19th century, much had changed in the Western Hemisphere. France had lost much of its colonial possessions to Britain. Not long afterward, many of the British colonies in North America had broken free to form the United States. Haiti in the Caribbean had declared independence. Brazil had become its own monarchy. And the Spanish colonies in Mexico, Central America, and South America were in rebellion against Spain. With the colonies of the Western Hemisphere labeled a lost cause by European countries, it was only natural that the second phase of European imperialism would take place in the east. Britain took the lead in this era of expansion and soon had colonies spanning the globe. But it wasn't the only nation to seek new colonies in the east. France wasn't far behind. It had colonized areas of northwest Africa, Madagascar, and Indo-China. The Dutch controlled Indonesia and many other islands in the South Pacific. By the late 19th

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture