by Danielle Bolduc and Kelly Lamarre


Imperialism is the extension of one nation-state's domination or control over territory outside it's own boundaries. Protectorate is when a state is controlled and protected by another. Imperialism can be both formal and informal. Formal imperialism is when a powerful foreign state manages the day-to-day political, social, and economic affairs in another land. On the other hand, informal imperialism, refers to a more indirect arrangement, whereby a foreign state works through local intermediaries to manage a distant society.

Motives for imperialism

After 1880 there were strong economic motives for western states to expand their colonies. They were looking for both markets and raw materials such as rubber, oil and tin for their industries. Another motive for economic expansion was the Euopean nation- states were involved in rivalies, and had to expand to gain advantages. In other words because of imperialism nations gained great pride over their counties or nationalism.

Imperialism in Africa and India

In 1885 Great Britain and France controlled all but one-tenth of Africa. Between 1871 and 1900 Britain added 4.25 million square miles and 66 million people to its empire. During the same time, France added over 3.5 million square miles of territory and 26 million people to its empire. France controlled the meager populated Sahara, and did not rule as many people as Great Britain. By 1912 only Liberia and Ethiopia in Africa remained independent states. Missionaries from the west came over to spread the word of God, and educate the African people in the English language . Great Britain also had control over much of India, and built schools and universities to educate. Mohandas Gandhi encouraged many of the Indian people to resist British imperialism.


American took over the Philippines, who had been controlled by the Spanish before America stepped in.

Social Darwinism and The White Man's Burden

Social Darwinism was an intellectual and social movement, that was the principles of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to justify the existing social order. It stated that the lower classes, the inferior classes, and the unhealthy were destined to fail in the struggle for survival, and that is just nature.

The White Man's Burden was a poem written by Rudyard Kipling stating that the white man's race was superior, and should help the lower standard people by having them follow their own ways.

Effects of Imperialism

Most European states used indirect or direct rule over their African colonies. Indirect rule is relying on existing political elites and institutions. Great Britain used this type of government. The Bristish administraitors made all the major desicisons, and the African leaders just enforced them. This caused tension between the Bristish officials and the African leaders. Direct rule allowed the governments in Europe to enforce policies within their colonies at a local level. The African Natives thought that they had no say in what was going on in their own colonies. Using direct and indirect rule the Europens took advantage of the African people, and that caused African nationalism and them revolting against their leaders.

Suez Canal

Britain wanted to control the Suez Canal to insure the flow of oil.

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal was built to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and to form a quicker route.