Compare and Contrast Old and New Imperialism Essay
1217 WordsMay 10th, 20125 Pages
Compare and Contrast old and new imperialism
New Imperialism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries compared to Old Imperialism of the 16th and 17th centuries. Imperialism is the spread of control over territories across the globe. The Industrial Revolution and interests in nationalism created a new period of imperialism around 1750. Old imperialism lasted from 1450- 1750, but imperialism alone remained until 1914.Old imperialism and new imperialism shared the same basic concept of controlling and utilizing foreign countries. Old imperialism focused mainly on systems of trade while new imperialism took bolder steps to overtaking nations. Old Imperialism was the period from 1450-1750
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This led to a focus on a trading system because Europeans didn’t want to take on territorial responsibilities. During the Old imperialism era, Europeans set up trading posts, ports, and docks. These trading centers benefited the places the mother country was supplying too. They had objectives to protect their trading centers in native places and none to obtain territories in them. Europe’s trade within and between native lands led to cultural diversity which may have caused a small breach in unity. However, the old Imperialism era ended due to high costs in taking over territories and too much time to supply the mother country. There was no time to build up a superior, organized, skilled army for anyone. Also, due to the Industrial Revolution there was now a faster more efficient way to create and manufacture products. Throughout Western Europe, political authority was completely controlled by central governments, while leaders, such as Isabela I, were busy with the concept of how to increase the power of the state. National wealth was widely viewed as the groundwork of national power, governmental controls soon dominated nearly all of the state's domestic economy.
The start of Old Imperialism was based on the military and naval power and the underlining motive was essentially capitalistic. It began with sea explorations of the Spanish and Portuguese in the second half of the 15th century. Prince Henry the
One of the main events that was responsible for the new imperialism was the Industrial Revolution. Advancement of technology helped the European nations to gain control over many areas in the New World. There were also other forces involved with the start of imperialism; economic force [survival of the fittest], political force [growing power of the government], and social forces [racism]. All of these forces along with the Industrial Revolution played a role in the start of imperialism in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The teachings of survival of the fittest had a great impact on the start of imperialism. In Document 5 William L. Langer states “…the economic side…must not be allowed to hide the other factors. Psychologically speaking…evolutionary teaching [about the “survival of the fittest”] was perhaps the most critical.” Langer is basically saying that the teaching of survival of the fittest is what helped the economy grow. He also claims that it only brought out competition, struggle, and ruthlessness. Survival of the fittest is a theory that the strongest will survive, and the weakest will parish. Everyday someone was trying to gain more money and or power. Survival of the fittest is what caused people to want to stretch out and conquer land. Based on his theory the teachings of survival of the fittest had a great impact on the start of imperialism. The most important political force impacting imperialism was the growing power of the government. In Document 9 the map shows the growth of imperialism in Africa. If you take a look at the key it shows that Africa was colonized by European nations. The map also shows that the European government was growing stronger. In Document 3 it states “…none of the colonial undertakings was motivated by the quest for capitalist profits; they all originated in political ambitions…the nations’ will to power…glory or national greatness.” In summery it was the Europeans quest for power that caused the colonization in Africa. This is why the growing powers of the government were a very important political force when it comes to the start of imperialism. The social force of racism played a great role in the start of imperialism. The European nations though that they were better than everyone as identified in Document 7. In Document 7 President William McKinley states, “We cannot leave them to themselves. They are unfit for self-government. There was nothing left for us to do but to take them over. Then we would be able to educate the Filipinos. We could uplift and civilize and Christianize them…” He believed that because they were not like him and his people that they were uneducated and unfit to govern themselves. He also believed the different races needed to be imperialized. President McKinley’s writings had an influence on Rudyard Kipling, and Cecil Rhodes as seen in the following Documents. In Document 6 Kipling tells of how the people they encounter that are not like them are “The White Man’s Burden”. He would send people over to the new land and teach and convert the natives of that land. In Document 4 Cecil Rhodes states “…we [Britons] are the finest race in the world, and more the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race…” What Rhodes is saying is that if you are not a Briton you are nothing. Several factors along with the Industrial Revolution played a role in the start of the imperialism in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The main event that was responsible for the new imperialism was the Industrial Revolution. Advancement of technology helped the European nations to gain control over many areas in the New World. There were also other forces involved with the start of imperialism; economic force [survival of the fittest], political force [growing power of the government], and social forces [racism].