Imperialism in History

Imperialism refers to the act of acquisition of another governments’ property or power by another government. This acquisition normally occurs by the use of force. Although imperialism is significantly associated the early civilization of humans, it resurfaced in the 19th century during the vigorous rise in western economic dominance. With economic supremacy, the developed nations forcefully expanded their territories into the less developed regions leading to colonialism. The developed nations’ need for raw materials for production, ability to conquer the high seas, and use of sophisticated technology considerably facilitated their undertakings in suppressing the natives. Currently, imperialism refers to the economical and political influences of developing countries on underdeveloped nations.

There have been heated debates among scholars regarding the benefits of imperialism. However, in my opinion, imperialism was justifiable and beneficial to all the parties involved. This is because the spread of imperialism resulted in the creation of a global society. Furthermore, throughout history, technological advances were because of imperialism. For example, the Roman Empire’s expansion across Europe brought about infrastructural development and cultural benefits. Similarly, in the native America, despite the terror perpetrated, imperialism had numerous benefits (Marcus 90). When the Europeans conquered America, they brought along several benefits. Despite the natives’ resistance, the Europeans’ invasion resulted in modern infrastructures, education and change of culture (Oberg 78). The Europeans had to build railways and roads in the natives’ land to enhance trade. In addition, they built several schools and forcefully educated the natives’ children, which was both beneficial to the invaders and the natives. Eventually, this resulted in cultural diversity through the intermingling of the native Indians’ culture and the Europeans’ value systems (Marcus 95). The Europeans taught the natives the art of financial saving and accumulating wealth and properties. In this regard, the natives became economically empowered.

The Europeans’ invasion in Mexico, Peru and other parts of America was instigated by several factors such as the desire for acquisition of new land. During the 18th century, the Europeans were considered more superior and had sophisticated weaponry as compared to other races. The Europeans had managed to conquer the high seas enabling them to travel as far as North America and Australia. They conquered the North America with little struggle considering their unrivaled military strength.

The industrial revolution in Europe led to the establishment of textile industries, which required more raw materials (Crosby 89). Consequently, Europe needed to expand its activities into America and other unconquered regions. Moreover, competition for power among Europeans nations like France, Germany and United Kingdom (UK) in the 18th century enhanced imperialism in America. For instance, France and UK fought over the control of North America for more than a decade leading to damaged political ties between the two countries. In 1864, Napoleon III, a French emperor, sent French troops to the Mexican emperor in an effort to extend French’s influence in Mexico (Crosby155) despite the resistance from Mexican rebels.

Despite the powerfulness of European nations in the 18th century, there were successful uprisings by countries like America and Haiti, which led to their attainment of independence from their colonial masters (Crosby 256). The Haitian revolution of 1791 to 1804 affected the French revolution legacy in various ways. France, through the Declaration of the human rights act, had earlier declared all men in its colonies free and equal. This twisted the course of the conflicts in Haiti. The whites took advantage of the opportunity to demand independence from France leading to the creation of trade regulations by plantation owners. The France leadership transformations lead to several changes in political alignments in Haiti. As a result, the Haitian revolution became a major challenge to the French revolution principles reforming slavery and forcing the French government to analyze its revolution strategies. In my opinion, the French revolution was marked by change rather than its continuity considering that the transitions between leaderships had the most significant effects on it. 

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