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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History


10.2 Causes

Various factors contributed to the rise of Imperialism

The foremost were the economic factors. The Industrial Revolution created a great need for raw materials. Asia and Africa offered most of the raw materials such as rubber, tin, petroleum, cotton, silk, vegetable oils and rare minerals.

Owing to the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain, Germany and other European nations, began to produce surplus goods for which they required markets abroad. Asia as well as Africa served this purpose well.

There was excessive surplus capital in the industrialized countries, which invested it in foreign lands. Political control over these lands would thus act as a guarantee of security of their investments.

The Industrial Revolution introduced great progress in the means of transport and communication. Ocean liners could carry heavy articles like manganese ore from any part of the world. The telegraph linked the whole world and reduced great distances. The development of railways speeded the movement of goods between colonies and to the mother country.

The activities of political groups and intellectuals, who desired to ensure national security and self-sufficiency, instigated colonial imperialism. Often, Presidents or Prime Ministers worked towards colonial imperialism owing to the influence of business or other interest groups.

A strong motive for imperialism was the spirit of national pride and prestige. The British Empire had set the precedent that it was essential to have colonies in order to become a world power. Hence both Germany and Italy entered the colonial race.


Some parts of Africa and the Far East served as valuable naval bases and ports of call, for trade, commerce and investment.

There was an inner urge to spread Christianity among Christian European nations. Both Catholic and Protestant missionaries went to the colonies to convert non-believers into Christians.

The activities of explorers and adventurers like the Frenchmen Du Chaillu and De Brazza in Equatorial Africa, and the German Karl Peters in East Africa, helped to promote the new wave of imperialism.

The expansion of population also contributed to the spread of imperialism. This was further aided by the periodical recurrence of unemployment, which compelled millions of Europeans to emigrate, in search of new homes and careers abroad.

There was international anarchy. Every nation was free to do what it pleased, because of the lack of any international machinery to enact laws for nations and force them to respect such laws. This state of affairs encouraged the colonial race.

Thus various factors and forces were working towards the spread of imperialism in different countries.

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Index

10.0 - Introduction
10.1 Meaning
10.2 Causes
10.3 Forms and Techniques of Imperialism
10.4 Imperialism in Africa
10.5 Imperialism in Asia
10.6 Significance and Consequences of Imperialism
10.7 Points to Remember

Chapter 11





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