Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending a country's rule over foreign nations. Imperialism refers to the system by which a powerful nation established its control over another country, either by political pressure, infiltration, and annexation or by outright wars.
Imperialism � Introduction
� The word �imperialism� has originated from the Latin word imperium, which means supreme power.
� Imperialism refers to the system by which a powerful nation established its control over another country, either by political pressure, infiltration, and annexation or by outright wars.
� The imperialist country is called the Mother Country whereas the subjugated country is called a Colony.
� These colonies were governed and administered by the imperial nation through their representatives or a puppet government.
� The imperial nations exploited the resources of these colonies for their economic interest. Colonies provided raw material, cheap labour, agricultural land and trading ports to the imperial nations.
By the end of the 15th century, after the Industrial Revolution in Europe, the territorial ambitions of the European nations were mostly confined to acquiring one another�s territories in Europe.
Leading industrialized countries established colonies in Asia and Africa. Some of these countries were:
However geographical discoveries, the establishment of new trading routes and the consequent trade relations stimulated their rivalry in a new direction. For more than two centuries these nations fought with each other for colonies and trade in Asia and Africa.
By the end of the 19th century, England and France had built up a huge colonial empire in Asia and Africa. British imperialism was focused on maintaining and expanding trade by exploiting the resources of its colonies � India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Egypt, South Africa, the Caribbean Islands and many parts of Africa.
Some other countries of the world like Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan also wanted to increase their sphere of influence and create their colonies in Asia and Africa. What do you think why were these colonies important for their progress?
These colonies were essential for their progress as they could provide raw materials for their industries and markets for their finished products. Besides, acquiring colonies would add to the power and prestige of these countries. This led to a clash of interest among these countries.
The European powers began to scramble for expanding their economic and political empire. Rivalries between nations were not just for colonies but for colonial trade and trade routes. These rivalries created suspicion, tension, and wars, which finally culminated in the First World War.