History 10 Reasons for the New Wave of Imperialism
There were many underlying reasons for the new wave of Imperialism in the late 1880’s, as industrialization and nationalism being the main factors that contributed to the cause, brought European nations to direct control of new territories like Africa, the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia. Imperialism is the domination of one country’s political, economic or cultural life by another. The reason it’s called the “New” Imperialism is to be distinguished from the sixteenth and seventeenth Era of “Colonialism” which is how Europeans colonized in the Americas displacing the native population that lived there before their unwanted arrival. This new wave of imperialism in an expansion of nationalism but out side their boundaries. The motive for this imperialistic expansion varied due to economic, political, social and technological causes, which are the roots of nationalism and industrialization. Nationalism is when a country assumes they’re superior and have a special destiny and therefore be the greatest power of the world. Each country with this feeling of superiority and thinking they’re better then the others brought success to the so call “New” Imperialism. European countries were basically in a competition to being the number one empire or nation of the world. Not only to be recognized of being the greatest power but to give fear and secure their land from those other countries. This Imperialistic expansion lasted from 1869 to 1914. Europe owned more than 80% of Africa by 1914. “Land was seen as a symbol of power and domination”. – Lucie Patching. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the new imperialism in many ways, creating a huge demand for cheap raw materials and native labor and to expand new markets. Great Britain led the Industrial Revolution after they won the 7-Year War against France that took place between 1754 and 1763. Great Britain became the number one power of the world with the biggest Navy; therefore the most secure nation and the richest. Because the Industrial Revolution changed work patters and reshaped social class structures, even unskilled citizens had jobs; unlike other countries there wasn’t enough jobs. Other countries looked up at Great Britain and wanted to become world powers as well, therefore other countries began to industrialize to maintain a balance of power and security. Great Britain founded Singapore being a key region for steamship traffic going in and out of china, also gaining routes between India and china. Great Britain took control of all these key regions. But it didn’t go very well with the Indians, since it led to violent conflicts in between them because of their differences. King William I was the Kaiser of Prussia but believe Prussia needed to be as strong as other industrialize countries so a middle class was created but once a middle class has the capital, they also want political power. He unifies Germany with the help of Otto Von Bismarck and Germany entered the competition in the pursuit of great power.
There was an economic depression in the mid-1870s until the mid-1890s making European countries look out for more sources of raw material to keep their economy intact without fearing their nation would collapse. Raw materials like ivory, rubber in the Congo, diamonds in South Africa, Tea in china, cotton from India and Egypt were essential to keep their factories running and selling goods made out of these materials. They also saw the foreign population as vast markets, where goods from domestic factories could be sold; this meant that they wanted to sell their goods, not only locally but also overseas (Desire to expand markets and invest profits). J.A Hobson wrote the book “Imperialism” in 1902 stating that imperialistic expansion was due to the need of unregulated capitalism that created desire to spread their boundaries in search of profit.