World History By: Gabriela Martinez

Imperialism: a policy which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries politically, economically, or socially.

Piano's Grace

A Mighty Fortress (Christy Nockels Cover) by Piano's Grace

Empire Building

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Western powers divided Africa and colonized large areas of Asia. At the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885, European nations established rules for the division of Africa with little concern about how their actions would affect the African people. Industrialization increased the need for raw material and new markets. Western imperialists were driven by this need as they looked for colonies to acquire. Europeans embarked on a new phase of empire building that affected both Africa and the rest of the world. Uppermost in the minds of the Europeans was the ability to control Africa's land, its people, and its resources. During this new period of imperialism , the Europeans demanded more influence over the economic, political, and social lives of the people. Each European nation had certain policies and goals for establishing colonies. Over time, four forms of colonial control emerged: colony, protectorate, sphere of influence, and economic imperialism. For colony a country or a territory governed internally by a foreign power. Protectorate was a country or territory with its own internal government but under the control of an outside power. Sphere of influence was an area in which an outside power claims exclusive investment or trading privileges. Economic Imperialism was an independent but less developed country controlled by private business interests rather than other governments. In 1905, the British Empire was the largest and most powerful in the world's history. In 1884, Western leaders met to divide Africa into colonial holdings. By 1914, nearly all of Africa had been distributed among European powers. Africans across the continent resisted European attempts to colonize their lands. However, the contest between African states and European powers was never equal because of the Europeans' superior arms. European nations expanded their empires by seizing territories from Muslim states. In the Muslim lands, many European imperialists gained control by using economic imperialism and creating spheres of influence. In other areas of the globe, imperialists provided the modernization. India, for example, became a colony that experienced enormous change as a result of the occupation of the imperialist British. As the Mughal Empire declined, Britain seized Indian territory and soon controlled almost the whole subcontinent. Conflicts over the control of India continued to develop between the Indians and the British in the following years. Elsewhere in the Southeast Asia, the same struggles for control of land took place between local groups and the major European powers that dominated them.