Impact of Imperialism: Positive and Negative Effects – Class 8

Impact of Imperialism

When a European power came into a foreign country of Asia, Africa or the Caribbean and conquered it for its own imperialistic motives, it completely dominated that country.

These mother countries changed the administrative, social and economic policies of the colony for their own benefits. Imperialism led to the acquisition of colonies and colonial rivalries which eventually led to the First World War (1914 – 1918) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945).

The imperialistic nations made huge profits using the resources of their colonies. In the course of these developments, the imperialistic nations also brought many new inventions and discoveries to these colonies, which transformed them for the better. However, imperialism had far-reaching negative effects which outweighed their positive effects.

Impact Of Imperialism

Positive Effects

• The imperialistic nations built roads, canals, and railways in the colonies of Asia and Africa.
• They established many new industries in these colonies for their own benefit. But in the course of their development, they also benefitted the people of the colonies.
• They introduced improved medical care and better methods of sanitation in the colonies.
• They introduced new technology and paved the way for modernization.

Negative Effects

• By breaking up the age-old patterns of the agrarian economy in the colonies and by forcing them to grow commercial crops, they destroyed the self-sufficiency of their rural society.
• They made land revenue policies according to their own benefits and charged exorbitant land revenue and evicted the farmers from their land in case of non-payment. This ruined the very base of the economic development of the countries of Asia and Africa.
• They ruined the traditional handicrafts and cottage industry of the colonies and rendered many people jobless.
• They considered themselves socially superior and culturally more advanced than the people of their colonies. But how did this negatively impact the colonies?

They introduced many changes in the system of education and the customs and culture of these colonized countries. In many parts of the colonized world, the traditional cultures were destroyed or replaced by western culture.

Impact of Imperialism in South Asia

The economic and political systems prevalent in South Asia were backward. But imperialism led to the rise of nationalism in these countries as a reaction against imperialism. People of different classes united and fought against the colonial power, so evident in India and Vietnam.

• The East India Company gradually became rulers from traders and eventually dominated the whole of India.
• China was divided into several ‘Spheres of influence’ by European powers. But what do you think “Spheres of influence” is?

Sphere of influence is a field or area in which an individual or organization has power to affect change and developments.

• Sri Lanka was first occupied by the Portuguese, then by the Dutch and finally by the British.
• The Dutch lost Malaya to the British including Singapore.
• Indonesia and the surrounding islands were under Dutch control.
• France gradually subjugated the Indochina consisting of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
• Holland extended her control over the Moluccas
Thus the whole of South and South-East Asia was politically subjugated and fell under the influence of imperialism.

Read More:
What is Imperialism: Introduction, Examples and MCQs – Class 8
Causes of Imperialism: Surplus Production, Ardent Nationalism and Others

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