The Age of Imperialism

The age of Imperialism was between the period of 1850 up until 1910. Imperialism in a simple definition is when a country wants to spread their political, social, or economic dominance using force from a military or through diplomacy. Imperialism is so important especially during that time because it added wealth and power to countries that wanted to grow their empires. The nation’s Eastern and Western knew that with a strong military power that they could take over the work, which was the goal at the time. Many of the weak and unprotected countries lost their land and independence during this time period.

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Many aspects went into the start of Imperialism during this time the industrial revolution was taking place and all nations were in a race to have the most efficient technology. Bigger nations also felt as though the religions that they practiced should be the religion of the world, so that was a major drive for nations to spread. Charles Darwin also played a huge role in Imperialism; He created a social theory titled Social Darwinism which applies to human society. Social Darwinism is explaining natural selection and evolution Survival of the fittest. All of the leaders with power knew that there was unclaimed land and Imperialism was able to show who wanted it bad enough.

One huge example of Imperialism in history is during the time period of the 1800’s with the country of Great Britain. Britain knew that they were much larger than any other Western nation because they had colonies in both Asia and Africa. Dababhai Naoroji was elected to be a member of the British Parliament in 1892 and wanted to improve the laws in India using Britain rules. Naoroji wrote, The Benefits of British Rule in 1871. It explains and goes into details about the positive effects and tireless workings of the British rule, it also zoned in on the political and economic effects of British Imperialism.

Naoroji feels that British rule is Morally, a great blessing and also speaks of peace and order. Sakar ki Churi is used to describe the British system by natives, this statement means knife of sugar. In my opinion, the author of this sourcebook felt that British Imperialism was necessary for India because of its harsh laws on women and its low focus on education. The knife of sugar statement can mean that even though it seems like a sweet idea to fix India’s government, the reality that there is still a knife or government could be painful.

Unlike Naoroji who somewhat agreed with Imperialism, there is John A. Hobson who was an English economist and huge critic of the idea of Imperialism. Hobson began to explain Imperialism as larger nations like Great Britain were feeding on other weak countries so that they could eventually take over the world. Hobson also explained how Nationalism played a huge role in why major countries with power wanted to take over. Nationalism is when a group of people or a nation thinks they are the best and above others.

British nationalism is the main cause of the spread of Great Britain because they forcefully began to push their ways and beliefs on other colonies. A great example of Great Britain’s Imperialism is what they did in parts of Africa. Britain was able to bring in Opium and other goods forcefully because they had the waterways and land ways to do so. When you take the back knowledge of what Great Britain has done to gain territory you can understand what Hobson meant by true British nationalism.

Mary Kingsley was a self-taught historian who began to travel in Africa at the age of 29. Before her travels, she did not leave the house much and spent most of her time reading books and traveling and exploring other places. She had so much love for Africa that she wrote two books of her own, Travels in West Africa and West African Studies.

Since Kingsley had so much free time on her hands she really got involved with the African culture and took the time to learn how important it was. Once, Kingsley, she saw how Europeans were taking over these smaller countries and began to change things it was clear to see how she would disagree with imperialism. And unlike the racist idea that other whites had on Africans at the time Kingsley took the side of the Africans. Kingsley showed sympathy for the Africans up until her dying day where she was cremated at sea.

In my opinion, it is unclear what Edgar Canisius idea on imperialism was. Canisius was from America and worked for the Congo Free State, then he later worked for a monopoly concessionary company. We wanted to tell everyone about how horrible the CFS was treating people. He knew that having things like all white hospitals was wrong and did not agree with King Leopold’s views, however when it comes to the views on imperialism it was unstated how he felt.

Albert Beveridge was a senator in the American state of Indiana. He was a historian and agreed with imperialism. He was able to balance the opposing objectives of imperialism and nationalism without focusing on the negative goals. This new idea was called American Imperialism and in it would end with Anglo- American prevalence. Beveridge’s prosperity shows that it is workable for rhetors to adjust to changes in the expository circumstance without surrendering their own feelings. He wanted Theodore Roosevelt, the president at the time, to expand America to the smaller islands like Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico.

Beveridge thought this would be a good idea since America had already won the Spanish-American war. Beveridge wrote a book called Defense of Imperialism, which goes into to detail about how Americans were favored by God and were made to rule over other countries. This idea also ties into the idea of Nationalism. He tried to make a point of saying that the smaller countries were not ready to govern themselves and that they needed the united states to be successful.

Rudyard Kipling was a British writer and creator who won the Nobel Prize in 1907 for Literature. Destined to an English family in Bombay, India, that was a British state at the time. kipling was taught in England, filled in as a writer, and voyaged broadly in the European provinces of Asia and Africa. His most famous work The Jungle Book and Kim were regularly centered around the complicated effects of the government and imperialism.

He later wrote a famous poem that showed his support for American Imperialism. Kipling viewed Westerners as a better people whose obligation it was than colonize and acculturate the lesser people groups of the world. Kipling also believed that the load of white Americans and Europeans having to spread their own culture and religion was a burden and a challenge. This idea of imperialism is the complete opposite of those like Mary Kingsley.

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The Age Of Imperialism. (2019, Apr 15). Retrieved October 7, 2022 , from
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