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Causes that lead Western European Countries to Imperialism

Topic: The causes that lead Western European countries to favour Imperialism as a foreign policy and the effects this had on Sub-Saharan Africa and/or Asian countries Nationalist movements. (pick either a region or regions as well as a country or countries).


Imperialism is the policy of a state defending to take economic and political control of an area for the access to hard resources and market advantage. (imperialism, globalisation, no date, p.1) Beside the economic point of view, the process of imperialism can not be defined without the cultural concepts such as imposing a religion, traditions or a language of a nation. With these two main perspectives, Europe always had the policy to exploit the underdeveloped regions of the world. In contrast to European desires, the imperialistic policies was refused by the nationalist movements of the public of exploited regions. The imperialistic policies of West to gain economic benefits and cultural expansion resulted with nationalistic counter policies created by the elite that were supported by the public of exploited regions in terms of liberation struggles and rebellions.

Western European countries favored imperialism as a foreign policy to reach the raw materials of underdeveloped regions and increase their market. By the industrial revolution, the production in Europe had accelerated immensely resulting with increasing importance and necessity of raw materials. Due to limited sources in Europe, contrary to the variety in Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, European countries favored imperialism. Moreover, not only the necessity of sources, but also the need of market because of the increased production led them to perform imperialism. In this sense, South Africa is a good example to emphasize the causes of imperialism. In the 18th century, there was no colonial settlement in South Africa but after the discovery of diamonds, the situation was replaced with British settlement aiming to use those mine resources.(South Africa: History, 1995, p.1)

In addition to the economic causes of imperialism, the desire of cultural expansion in terms of language, tradition and religion was another cause of European imperialism. The reason for Europeans to have the desire to impose their culture was the idea of being superior than the other civilizations. Moreover they accept neither any African civilization nor Africans as humans. Therefore the Euro centric idea based on creating an African civilization which did not exist forced them to use their language and be...

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Category:   History

Length:   5 pages (1,050 words)

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