Elizabeth Hanson Pd 2 12/14/17Imperialism DBQBetween the 19th and 20th centuries, imperialism started to rapidly spread across the world. First world countries began to expand. Economic, political and social forces were responsible for the new imperialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Countries like Britain, U.
S. and certain other first world countries were those that took “responsibility” during imperialism. These countries as well as a few others took in some third world countries as colonies. These third world countries include places in Africa as well as Latin America. The parent countries took control of these other, smaller, countries for self-beneficial reasons. They used these places for their resources.
In return these countries may have been provided with manufactured goods. It also could be said that they may have gained knowledge from these “superior” countries that were controlling them. They gained improved technology and also may have gained insight into the ways of these more advanced countries.
The political reasons for imperialism were the following. Starting from nationalism, everything had led up to imperialism. First world countries had expanded themselves and became stronger nations.
Included in these nations was the United States. The United States was focused on improving themselves from within their own country. Meanwhile, Britain was taking over colonies and urged the U.S. to do the same which connects to the social forces. Britain themselves wanted colonies so that they could basically take advantage of them.
The colonies they took over had natural resources such as cotton, etc. They fought some third world nations in order to take control of them. According to Document 1, “Shipowners demand coaling stations for their vessels and naval bases for protection,” (Parker T. Moon). Furthermore, this increase in imperialism cause an increase in war and therefore an increase in a need for warfare.
Also, in the perspective of those that were being conquered they had no choice but to be taken over because they didn’t have the strength or power to resist. For instance, according to a Vietnamese man, “The French have immense warships, filled with soldiers and armed with huge cannons. No one can resist them,” (Document 8). These examples prove the political causes of imperialism; that the French were just able to do what they wanted and nobody could stop them and that wht they were doing was all for capital profit.The social aspects of imperialism also connect back to the political reasons. The political reasons included the previous things, such as nationalism and industrialization, which also caused a chain of events that caused for the social reasons. The chain of events mentioned started from industrialization.
Furthermore, countries were focused on improving themselves. Once they had done so as best as they possibly could, they then thought they were strong enough to expand. Furthermore, industrialization cause for advanced countries such as the United States and Britain to become even more advanced. They expanded industry which alone cause for an increase in populations. Together the causes on an expanded industry and increased populations gave them a greater sense of nationalism. Now that they had more power, resources, machinery, etc., they saw this as an opportunity to further expand. They have already expanded as much as they could within themselves and so they needed to take in other countries as a way of expanding.
They started to notice places that weren’t as advanced as them but could still provide a benefit to them through things like natural resources, etc. They looked at it as a way for them to further expand themselves and justified that it would also be of help to the colonies they took power over. Stating that they would be improving the industry of these places as well as teaching them their ways of government and industry. This thought was further explained and backed up by the famous document of the White Man’s Burden. The White Man’s Burden was written by the British in order to convince the United States that it was their responsibility s a powerful nation to take on the burden of having colonies. Document 6 quotes the White Man’s Burden; ” Take up the white man’s burden, send forth the best ye breed, Go bind your captives’ need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild, Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child,” (Rudyard King). Also as further stated in Document 4, ” It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.” The Europeans thought that they were a superior race and that that meant that they had to take on other countries and make them just as superior and that they had the right to do so.
This concept that the British had can also be referred to as social darwinism. Going back to the previous quote, they also managed to convince the United States that as a first world country it was their responsibility to do so as well. Connecting to the political reasons, these were the social cause of imperialism that also connect to the economic reasons listed below.
The economic reasons of imperialism do connect back to the previously stated political and social reasons. In simple terms, the economic reasons basically had to do with making self-profit. The powerful countries saw other countries that had valuable natural resources and decided to take over these countries so that they could also have these resources. According to Document 2, “We will establish trading posts throughout the world as distributing points for American products.
We will cover the ocean with our merchant marines. We will build a navy to the measure of our greatness.” These imperialistic countries saw resources in other countries that they needed and automatically viewed it as an opportunity to expand.
These are the economic causes of imperialism based on capitalism and self-profit.In conclusion, imperialism occured in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a result of political, social and economic influences. It was the further development of countries after the occurence of industrialization and nationalism. In order to keep modernizing/advancing, first world countries took on third world countries as colonies. Politically they may have been influenced by other countries that were doing the same as well as the benefit they saw it would bring to their country. Socially they could have seen it as their responsibility as well as their chance at becoming an even greater power. Economically they saw it as a way to self-improve and possibly also help the colonies they took control over. Imperialism played an impact on how society is today because without imperialism the United States still wouldn’t have the power, reputation, and wealth it does today as well as for the other first world countries.
Also for the third world nations, they would have still been left out of these advancements and living a primitive lifestyle. It is safe to say that if it wasn’t for imperialism, the world wouldn’t be the same as we know it today.