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Developments in the 19th Century that Drove the Shifts in Imperial Policies and Practices of European Empires during New Imperia - Research Paper Example

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Developments in the nineteenth century that drove the shifts in Imperial policies and practices of European Empires during New Imperialism (30.12.11) Introduction From the perspective of world history, the most conspicuous pattern in the history of the late nineteenth century was the dominance of Europeans over non Europeans…
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Developments in the 19th Century that Drove the Shifts in Imperial Policies and Practices of European Empires during New Imperia
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"Developments in the 19th Century that Drove the Shifts in Imperial Policies and Practices of European Empires during New Imperia"

Download file to see previous pages Amongst others, these shifts included the moving away from the economic doctrine of mercantilism that focused on the expansion of trade and markets through strategic control of ports towards the establishment of large scale, formal empires by way of aggressive internal penetration of territory and the exercising of control over the geography and population in those territories. We need only a glimpse at a few statistics to see that these shifts had remarkable consequences. According to Daniel R. Headrick- professor of social sciences at Roosevelt University and author of The Tools of Empire- “in the year 1800 Europeans occupied or controlled thirty-five percent of the land surface of the world; by 1878 this figure had risen to sixty-seven percent, and by 1914 over eighty-four percent of the world’s land area was European-dominated. ‘The British Empire alone,” Headrick continues, “already formidable in 1800… increased it’s land area sevenfold and its population twentyfold in the following hundred years”.1 However, these shifts were not simply coincidental. In fact, the changes in the imperial policies of the Europeans during the era of “New Imperialism” were driven by two major nineteenth century developments: the second industrial revolution, and the emergence of a pack of European nation states. Main Body Imperialism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation… over the political or economic life of other areas”2 To put this in simple terms, imperialism is the acquisition and buildup of territory and capital. However, the Merriam-Webster definition does not quite pin the proverbial tail on the donkey, for it lacks one key component of imperialism: what is the justification for this said extension of power? According to Edward Said- former professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and author of Culture and Imperialism- the acts “of accumulation and acquisition… are supported and perhaps even impelled by impressive ideological formations that include notions that certain territories and people require and beseech domination, as well as forms of knowledge associated with domination”.3 Thus, the working definition for Imperialism from here on out is the combination of two previous definitions, which goes as follows: the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation… over the political or economic life others, which is supported and perhaps even impelled by impressive ideological formations that include notions that certain territories and people require and beseech domination, as well as forms of knowledge associated with domination.  New imperialism cannot be said to be only the policies of the elite because it was greatly supported by the lower classes in Europe. The main aspect of the culture of imperialism was the feeling of superiority amongst white Europeans. Many people had such perceptions because of being bound by Christianity and they believed that there was nothing wrong in forcibly Christianizing the conquered societies, which they believed was the main motive of imperial missions. Some viewed imperialistic aspirations from a secular perspective, while some followed Darwinian concepts in upholding their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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