Old Imperialism vs. New Imperialism

Last Updated: 21 Apr 2020
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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, in which powers were motivated by “gold, glory, and God”.

Political power was controlled by central governments while leaders were busy trying to increase their power. National wealth was widely viewed as holder of power. In old Imperialism, Europeans focused on a cash and carry system, where they purchased goods from native merchants who brought the goods they produced. 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.

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New Imperialism took place from 1750-1914 in which, Europeans encouraged the acquiring of new native territories in order to invest capital in them to expand their profits. Many others started following European actions such as France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, and Russia. Europeans saw these native lands as the light to opening them politically and economically. Europeans sought out lands that provided new sources of raw materials, cheap labor, markets, areas of investment, and military boosters. As European nations became competitive with one another, here was an increased pressure to practice Imperialism to maintain power. New Imperialism was motivated greatly by the Industrial Revolution and its advancements, and efficiency of manufacturing and supplying products. European nations also focused on opening trade routes that would give them places to sell their goods. Also significant was the Europeans desire to Christianize and “civilize” other nations through missionary work and the enforcement of European cultures and beliefs. The new Imperialism brought on social changes as well.

Many people urged the taking up of the “White Man’s Burden”, bringing the European version of civilization to the rest of the world, regardless whether they wanted it or not. While old Imperialism and new Imperialism obviously differed they do share some of the same concepts. During each era, both focused on building their nation stronger, superior, and more enhanced than everyone else through political, economic, and militaristic strategies. Both Imperialisms brought on war, hatred, and strong levels of competition among the World.

They brought on ethnic diversity as well as cultural diversity throughout. Each significantly boosted economies worldwide, creating hatful competition which would lead to big wars, maybe even two of them. Imperialism refers to colonial expansion across the globe. As more and more countries began competing, it folded out a new playing field of war. Soon, there would be allies, enemies, victories, defeats, and a whole lot of casualties. Yes, this expansionism would lead to World War I, eventually, into World War II and slumping depressions worldwide.

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Old Imperialism vs. New Imperialism. (2018, Sep 25). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/old-imperialism-vs-new-imperialism/

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