Is imperialism a consequence of the industrial revolution?

Colonialism and imperialism

The "colonial fever"

Until the middle of the 19th century, the interest of European powers in colonies was comparatively low. Some powers maintained colonies, the reason for this was mostly fortuitous and to be found in trade. For example, many colonies were founded to protect an important trading post. From the second half of the 19th century, colonialism experienced an upswing: That "Colonial fever", to which the European powers fell, was driven, among other things, by the travel reports of famous researchers who researched mainly in Africa and published their results and experiences.

A picture is taken of a native family

Race for colonies

From around 1880 a real one began race around colonies. England occupied Egypt and thereby secured the newly built one Suez Canal. This was particularly important for England, as it meant a sea route to India (which was an English colony) without having to circumnavigate the entire African continent. Other European powers then tried to maintain or increase their influence and prestige as a nation through colonies. This modern imperialism was not the direct successor to colonialism before the mid-19th century. This was mainly operated for reasons of prestige, while the earlier colonialism was mainly for economic reasons.

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Do historians speak of the imperialismthen they mean the period between 1880 and 1914.

In the race to divide the territories that still "White spots" were on the map, every nation wanted to be the fastest and thereby increase its reputation. Failure to do this would be perceived as a severe defeat and humiliation. Such an exaggerated nationalism is also known as chauvinism. In addition, the awareness developed in European societies that the "white race" was called to rule over others. The teaching of Darwin, which referred to the animal and plant world, was applied to human societies. This transfer is called Social darwinism.

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The "white spots" on the maps of the Europeans did not mean that the land in this area was actually unpopulated. The people living there were just not known to the powers that be and their customs and norms were not seen as a culture by Europeans, who started from their own background. "Cultivated" means according to the standards of European societies.