Emergence Of New Imperialism Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Drama - World Type: Research Paper Paper: #58107563 Related Topics: Mussolini, New England Colonies, Colonialism, Marx Engels
Excerpt from Research Paper :


Looking at late 19th century world history we see that a prominent trend was that of non-Europeans being dominated by Europeans. There were a number of ways in which this domination took place such as economic penetration and by annexation. It seemed that there were few places on the planet that European adventurers, merchants, missionaries, or explorers couldn't get to. This activity is commonly called imperialism or colonialism, reflecting the fact that many countries, such as Great Britain established 'empires' and had colonies (The New Imperialism).

In examining the impact of imperialism, perspectives as to its value and/or utility have changed. If one had asked whether colonial was beneficial only a few decades ago, the answer would have been a definite no. However, after the failure of Soviet Union, and the conclusion of Cold War, there has been somewhat extensive discrediting of Leninist and Marxist analysis. As well as there are a lot of historian, politicians and scientists that seem more open to looking at the Nineteenth Century Imperialism in a more positive manner (The New Imperialism).

Niall Ferguson is a renowned historian according to whom the British Empire has been able to accomplish a great deal for the world. This is distinct from the previous generation of historians that Marxism poisoned. His wife, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a prominent speaker on the topic of international women's rights. According to Ferguson, the British Empire was "liberal," for the period, and they followed international law in keeping the seas open, a factor that ultimately helped the continuation of the free-trade flow. The majority of European expansion occurred during the last thirty years of the 19th century; one European power or another took control of different parts of Asia and Africa during the period from 1870 to 1900. From this perspective, it is important to remember that the United States (U.S.) can also be considered to be a cultural and economic outpost of Europe (The New Imperialism).

Given the extent of popularity of colonial expansion in the later years it may seem quite surprising to realize how futile the colonies were considered to be before 1850. For instance, Adam Smith argued that the supposed benefits of colonialism were outweighed by the burdens that they brought. Laissez faire economics was generally favored by liberal reformers, whereas, it did not seem that any colonies tied to the mother country were useful in terms of the global free-trade model. William Gladstone, the leader of the liberal party at this time, stated that ultimately the whole of the British Empire would dissolve. Speaking in 1852, Benjamin Disraeli agreed with Gladstone, making the famous declaration that "in some years all these worthless colonies will be independent and these are the millstones around our necks." As well, the experiences of the Spanish in Western Hemisphere certainly hinted that their colonial empire might soon end. A general feeling in Europe of the period was that colonies brought more trouble than good; it was recognized as being likely that one day the colonial population would revolt and start fighting for independence. Between the years of 1775 and 1875 more territory was lost by the Europeans than gained; this was due to the success of revolutions in Latin and North America (The New Imperialism).


Industrial Revolution and consequences

The economic system of capitalism, investment, or use of money to generate profits, had a close relationship with the industrial revolution. Agriculture could be considered as the earliest kind of capitalism. Here land helped in the generation of wealth, and this wealth was then invested in the expansion and improvements of the lands. It was in a very gradual manner that market-oriented agriculture took over self-sufficient and localized agriculture. The late-medieval revival of cities gave rise to commercial capitalism; this was a great success due to trade, global exploration, and the colonization that began in the start of the...


Prior to the 16th century, the authority of monarchs was determined, in part, by the relationship(s) that they had with the agrarian-military aristocracy. However, after commercial capitalism it was merchants who provided support to the monarchs. (Goucher, LeGuin and Walton) Investment of the capital present in industry began to be vastly expanded during the late 18th century; this was the period when agriculture and commerce were the major sources of capital. However as a result of this expansion, by the late 19th century industrial capital became the major type of capitalism. Big corporations, as well as large amounts of money, were entering economic activities due to finance capitalists; this resulted in the growth of the European states in Asia, Africa and America. (Goucher, LeGuin and Walton)

Revolution of Capitalist Industrialism

It was in the late 18th and early 19th centuries that capitalist industrialism successfully took form on the Atlantic frontier of Western Europe as well as in England. The processes of capitalist industrialization were especially affected in England, and to a certain extent in France, by the French Revolution in 1789. This political disturbance lasted for at least two decades and ended only with the exile of Napoleon to St. Helena in 1814 (Goucher, LeGuin and Walton).

There were a number of factors that resulted in capitalist industrialism, such as the economic growth encouraged by the government, the disposal of spare capital, technological innovation, and new large-scale marketing. A lot of the factors that were responsible for capitalist industrialism such as demographic shifts, population growth, and capital accumulation for the sake of investments, as well as technological innovations, can be traced back to the 17th century. This was a time when political transformations of 'Glorious Revolution' and the English Civil War were helping to bring about deep changes within the English nation state. When these economic and political developments intertwined, they resulted in the industrial revolution of the 18th century. This revolution created drastic changes in personal living styles and the way that individuals experienced the world. (Goucher, LeGuin and Walton)

Imperialism and Nationalism

Communism is an important political ideology upon which fascism was sustained. According to fascism it is necessary to work towards a common good; this 'good' is then the good of the nation. In the 'Communist Manifesto' it is stressed by Marx and Engels that individuals should work towards the good of the common man. According to Marx and Engels, a classless society is formed as a result of fascism; in contrast, it was said to promote material relations by Mussolini. Emphasis is put upon working towards a common goal by both communism and fascism however; there exist some differences that point towards the uniqueness of fascism. (IndDo)

Nationalism also helps in the formation of fascism. Unity among people is stressed by Mazzini. It was his belief that nations are formed when people rise and create them. Mussolini believed that the nation begins with the state and its leader, and later on is promulgated to the people. Even though it is an ancient autocratic idea to have a single leader, Mussolini thought of it (and himself) as revolutionary and modern. He believed the leader to be a person with the strongest will, someone who got "elected" only through his personal will rather than by some "divine right" (IndDo).

High Imperialism and White Man's Burden

It was more than a 100 hundred years ago that the poem "The White Man's Burden" was written by the British poet Rudyard Kipling. This poem is famous for the warning manner in which the poet described the responsibilities of an empire. Here, one interpretation is that the empire referred to is that of Washington and the United States, rather than London, and the British Empire. Most other critics and analysts tie the poem to the British Empire, particularly given Kipling's long history living in India, and his experience with British colonialism in India. The sentiments shown by Kipling through his poem are as relevant today as they were when the poem was written (Foster and McChesney, 2003).

Reasons for Happening of New Imperialism

An imperialistic policy was followed by Western Europe from late 1800s to the beginning of 1900s. This policy came to be known as New Imperialism. Economics, politics, military, religion, social Darwinism, technological advancements, and humanitarianism played a part in motivating this New Imperialist Age. (The Age of Imperialism)

Economic Reasons

By 1870, it became compulsory for the industrialized nations of Europe to globally expand their markets. This was mainly because in the global market they were able to sell products that couldn't be sold within their own nations. As well, in many cases there was excess capital available to bankers and businessmen; investing it in foreign lands meant greater profits, even if the risks were higher. Simultaneously however, there were limited economic gains from this new imperialism, as often the new colonies didn't have sufficient money to spend on the goods coming from the European nations. (The Age of Imperialism)

Military and Political Reasons

An additional factor stimulating the drive for colonialism by the major European nations concerned their…

Sources Used in Documents:


n.d. Document. Retrieved from: http://www.indiana.edu/~hist104/final%20exam%20model%20answers.pdf

Foster, John Bellamy and Robert W. McChesney. monthlyreview.org. 2003. 22 April 2015. Retrieved from: http://monthlyreview.org/2003/11/01/kipling-the-white-mans-burden-and-u-s-imperialism/

Goucher, Candice, Charles LeGuin and Linda Walton. "In the Balance: Themes in Global History." 2004. Retrieved from: http://www.learner.org/courses/worldhistory/support/reading_19_1.pdf

"The Age of Imperialism." n.d. Retrieved from: http://www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us/cms/lib07/PA01000119/Centricity/Domain/119/TheAgeofImperialism.pdf
"The New Imperialism." Suu.Edu (n.d.): 1-8. Retrieved from: http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ping/pdf/TheNewImperialism.pdf

Cite this Document:

"Emergence Of New Imperialism" (2015, April 29) Retrieved January 20, 2022, from

"Emergence Of New Imperialism" 29 April 2015. Web.20 January. 2022. <

"Emergence Of New Imperialism", 29 April 2015, Accessed.20 January. 2022,

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