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Discuss how Europe's 19th century industrialization and nationalism fueled its imperial ambitions in India and/or Africa - Essay Example

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The Role of Industrialization and Nationalism in European Imperialism The modern concept of nationalism appears to be irreconcilable with the concept of imperialism. The former is all about building a nation whereas the latter is all about the dismantling of nations and integrating them into one empire…
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Discuss how Europes 19th century industrialization and nationalism fueled its imperial ambitions in India and/or Africa
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"Discuss how Europe's 19th century industrialization and nationalism fueled its imperial ambitions in India and/or Africa"

Download file to see previous pages In the case of the experiences of the European imperialists during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is easy to understand how industrialization became the economic rationale while nationalism became political basis for the feverish expansion and colonization of countries in Asia and Africa. Industrialization Imperialism's emergence was driven by necessity not unlike the objective of colonization, which, for its part, was driven by the need for additional lands to settle. With industrialization European powers such as Britain had to find new lands to exploit in order to enrich themselves. European countries have experienced rapid economic development and the mechanization of production, which greatly increased production capacity. The ensuing developments typified the increase in sophistication of the economic system that required the participation of dominated dominions. On one hand, there was the huge demand for resources and raw materials that would feed its industries and provide livelihood for its workers. New materials and commodities were in great demand as well such as tea, coffee and tobacco. The colonized countries in Asia and Africa have abundant resources that satisfied the British industrial machine. On the other hand, the sheer volume of commodities being produced found their convenient markets in the colonized nations, which served as outlets for the value expropriated from British workers (Daunton 12). This is also highlighted in the emergence of global capitalism that result as a consequence of the increased mobility of people and goods in tandem with the productive capacity of industrialization. An important consequence of these developments was how economic activity and competition among rival countries have intensified. Merchants have effectively convinced their governments that failing to get a share of the world markets and resources would result in severe economic disadvantage. This point now brings about the issue of nationalism. With the increase in rivalry among nations, overseas dominions became part of the game of prestige, honor and national pride besides the all-important economic argument. Nationalism Many academics believe that nationalism is an inseparable motivation in imperialism. The idea is that conquering people and annexing foreign lands became part of many Europeans’ drive to win honor for their respective countries especially amidst the close rivalry and competition between their countries. At some point of the Industrial Revolution, imperialists have displayed a diminished interest in acquiring new colonies with the fact that they already are costly to govern. But in the latter part of the nineteenth century, there is a resurgence of imperialist activities, which came to be known as the new imperialism. European powers pressed on with the acquisition of new territories because it brings glory and high stature. This happened even when a colony proved to have no resources and raw materials or has poor potential of becoming a market for goods. This period saw how imperialists used their dominions in their attempt to outdo their rivals. Perry, for example, cited the case of Germany, Italy and France: Nationalists in newly unified Germany and Italy demanded colonies as recognition of their countries’ Great Power status. Convinced that Britain’s standing depended on colonies and naval power, they wanted their nations as well to “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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