Their main intention was an extension of their control over foreign nations as a means of acquisition of empires. They either did this through direct conquest or imposing their power on the economy or politics of…
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This would become possible by ensuring they supplied raw materials and food stuff in exchange for industrial products.
When the conquest began, different European countries had different motives as to why they wished to acquire so much territory outside of their home territory. Some of the European nations had political motives2. They simply had the desire to gain national prestige in Europe. Colonial governors also acquired personal colonial possessions before informing their home governments. This got done for power and prestige. Imperialism was attractive for young men who found the opportunity for adventure. By 1890, it was the most popular cause in Europe. It was the overseas extension of nationalism.
The key reason why Europeans nations needed so much territory out of their home territory was the industrial revolution. The industrialization in Europe stimulated the demand for industrial crops and minerals. This led to the explosion of imperialism between 1870 and 1890 because this was the period of the economic depression in Europe. This gave the industrialized countries the incentive to seek raw materials and market for their industrial products in Africa and South Asia. From the territories that they conquered, the Europeans looked to profit from plantations and mines (Duker & Spielvogel 2006, 34).
Imperialism was a good thing for the people and societies of Europe. They were able to acquire resources for their factories, which meant that they got to support and maintain the industrial revolution that took place in Europe then. Since the raw materials were available, the industries produced more than Europe could consume. They used the extra territories they had acquired to sell their manufactured goods and had a good economy. This was positive for the people and societies of Europe because there was a significant decline in poverty as they could work in
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The beginnings of European expansion in the countries of the Far East could be traced as far back as the Age of the Great Discoveries. It was the time when the first European maritime empires sprang up. Those newly appeared empires with the exception of Spain deferred local kingdoms so intercourse with local cultures was between cultural, yet not religious, equals.
This also enabled a rise in the wealthy middle class who were mainly industry owners. The rise of the working class in various cities resulted to the development of the urban poor with many young leaving farm lives to find work in the city. Transitioning into city life was not an easily thing with most of the low class workers facing difficult situations and horrible living conditions.
They also owned very big farms and worked in these farms to earn their livelihood. This changed with the Industrial Revolution taking place. Most of the individuals moved from the farms to the cities with women not being an exception, whereby they were now working in industries while living in the towns.
By contrast, in economies where property is secure because the constitution restricts rulers, or because the ruling lite is made up of merchants, prosperity and growth are expected (Ibid).
This theory of cities growing because of merchants' free trading of their money rather than burying or concealing them has been propounded in earlier times by Adam Smith (cited in De Long and Shleifer 1992).
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