What were the main benefits of having over seas colonies for European nations? What did imperialism mean for people who were under the control of imperialist nations, in the nineteenth century.
Reasons for Colonization
The essay aims at discussing the facts of history in the European Nations. During the period 1870 and 1900, there existed European diplomatic pressures, imperialist aggression, military invasions, colonization and eventual conquest on Africa. Although the African societies resisted against attempts of colonizing their country but it was not of much help. The essay tries to provide an insight into the benefits of having overseas colonies by the European Nations. There is also discussion on the meaning of Imperialism for the people who were under the control of the Imperialist Nations during the nineteenth century.
The creation of colonies takes place due to various reasons. There are some countries that establish colonies for ensuring economic expansion whereas there is other nation who encourages the concept of colonies for acquiring more farmland in order to feed the growing population in terms of more food and water. Jamestown was the first permanent colony of England established in the year 1607 (Barbour, 2017). However, the interest of the European Nations in having overseas colonies has primarily been economic gain. This is because they realized quite early that it was only the creation of colonies would provide the necessary natural resources for the ensuring the economic benefit of the nation. This also led to concept of mercantilism.
The European Nations have realized several benefits in having overseas colonies. One of the prime reasons of colonization for the European Nations has been in gaining resources (Easterly & Levine, 2016). The European required raw materials for making manufacturing products in the factories that included tobacco, grapes and rice. These raw materials were easily available at cheaper rates at the colonies compared to buying them from the other countries. The European Nations also realized that resources like silver and gold could make the country wealthier. Moreover, the Europeans also felt that the colonies could act as captive audience for the goods they manufactured. This served as the driving force behind the spurring of the European Colonization.
Another factor that led to colonization was the desire of acquiring power and land. The Europeans competed with each other for the power of the land (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin, 2013). The presence of colonies across the world helped the European Nations in enhancing their power as the hegemonic nations. The Colonies helped the Europeans to stop their ships at various locations and resupply them. The colonies also served as military bases during the war. In other words, colonization ensured the European nations with military power. Possession of the colonies gave the country power to move around the world more effectively. It not only determined the bases for their ships but also a homeland for the soldiers.
Benefits of Colonization for European Nations
The third factor for colonization has been fulfilling the desire for converting the people the colonies to Christianity (Wiesner-Hanks, 2014). There are instances when Spain considered people inferior if they were not Christians. The Spanish thought of converting most people to Christianity and teach them proper means of living that also included practicing Christianity. Colonization also implied a sign of prestige for the European Nations that made them look more powerful.
The policy issued between the period of 1800 and 1900 was known as new Imperialism. It refers to the action involving the extension of power of a nation through acquisition of an inhabited territory (O'neil, 2015). The emergence of the imperialist age was due to military, political, economic, humanitarian and religious reasons along with the acceptance and development of a new theory of Social Darwinism and advancement in technology. By the end of the 18th century, the European industrialized the nations by expanding the global markets for selling products that they were not able to send domestically. This led to the imperialist thought of setting up colonies to make the industrial economy work effectively. According to people, military and political factors also led to imperialism that resulted in the enhancement of the military power and national security of the European Nation. Imperialism also emerged due to fulfilment of religious and humanitarian goals. Social Darwinism also paved the way to imperialism (Bader, Alidadi & Vermeulen, 2013). Europeans believed that it was a natural way for them in conquering the inferior people for development of humanity. The missionaries support for colonization also made ways for Imperialism. Further, it was the technology and the enhanced medical knowledge that helped in fostering Imperialism.
The essay ends with a discussion on the perspective of Imperialism amongst the people of the nineteenth century. There are also discussions on how colonization has benefited the European Nations in gaining power. Hence, colonization and imperialism determined the position of the European Nation.
Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2013). Post-colonial studies: The key concepts. Routledge.
Bader, V., Alidadi, K., & Vermeulen, F. (2013). Religious diversity and reasonable accommodation in the workplace in six European countries: An introduction. International journal of discrimination and the law, 13(2-3), 54-82.
Barbour, P. L. (Ed.). (2017). The Jamestown Voyages under the First Charter, 1606-1609: Documents relating to the Foundation of Jamestown and the History of the Jamestown Colony up to the Departure of Captain John Smith, last President of the Council in Virginia under the First Charter, early in October, 1609. Taylor & Francis.
Easterly, W., & Levine, R. (2016). The European origins of economic development. Journal of Economic Growth, 21(3), 225-257.
O'neil, P. H. (2015). Essentials of Comparative Politics: Fifth International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.
Wiesner-Hanks, M. (2014). Christianity and sexuality in the early modern world: Regulating desire, reforming practice. Routledge.
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