Causes of Imperialism (Question 1)

Surabi, Eric, Teja, Varshini, Pooja, and Kaushik

Causes of Imperialism Quizlet


World History II: Nationalism in Europe (Part 1)

Nationalism and Imperialism

After Napoleon's attempted conquest on several European states, nationalist sentiments rose throughout Europe. All European countries believed that they were superior to everyone else. Therefore, they all fought to gain the most wealth, land, status, and power. This was accomplished by establishing more and more imperialist colonies throughout the world. Because of nationalism, imperialism rose throughout Europe. Even America and Japan took part in imperialism. Nationalism was also seen in economic competition and colonial conflicts. For example, Great Britain and Germany engaged in tariff wars and competed for foreign markets. These two countries were notable rivals because Germany's industrialization was beginning to outshine Britain's industrialization. A source of foreign markets were, of course, imperial colonies. Therefore, both Germany and Great Britain attempted to claim as many colonies as possible to benefit their economy. This caused nationalistic rivalries between the citizens of both countries as they all urged their leaders to outshine the leaders of the other country. Such was the case with many states, especially within Europe. This spurred imperialism.


Nationalism and Militarism

Due to the rise of nationalism, people belonging to a country believed that they should maintain a large army in order to promote their nation's interest. Military triumphs raised the morale of people as well, increasing their pride in their nation. Let us examine Great Britain and Germany's rivalry again. A naval race between these two countries (Great Britain developed dreadnoughts, which were super battleships. This spurred Germany to improve its navy as well) led to militarism. As European states aggressively searched for new colonies to extend imperialism onto, they required a powerful military to overwhelm the natives of the area. With advancements such as more efficient guns and transportation of the military, countries were able to expand their reach of imperialism. In addition, European countries even ran into skirmishes amongst themselves. For example, Britain and Russia fought in Persia and Afghanistan, while Britain and France fought in Siam for possession of these places. This is another reason why these countries needed a strong military for imperialistic ventures and success.


Industrialization and Imperialism

Industrialization fueled the desire for raw materials, including rubber, cotton, and coal. Therefore, European (along with other) states sought to extend imperialism over colonies in order to obtain these raw materials. Furthermore, these manufacturing-based industries sought to sell their goods back to their colonies. This would improve the countries' own economies. This is a primary reason why European states extended imperialism over places such as India and Indonesia. In India, the British encouraged the growth of cotton. Then, they shipped the Indian-grown cotton to Britain and finished it into certain products. Next, they exported the cotton products to India and forced Indians to buy their products. This strengthened the British economy. Furthermore, numerous rubber plantations were established in Indonesia to provide raw materials for industrialization.

Social Darwinism

What is it?

Natural selection includes the idea of "survival of the fittest" within animals and other organisms. Competitions causes the stronger animals to live, while the weaker animals either die or are unable to successfully survive and reproduce. Social Darwinism is the application of this same principle to human beings.

This controversial idea stated that the wealth and power of the "fittest" increase, while the resources of the least "fittest" decrease. People whose lands were taken over as imperial colonies were dubbed the "least fittest". Rudyard Kipling even coined a term that described the superiority white Europeans displayed against the inhabitants of the foreign lands they conquered: White Man's Burden.