The Advent of Imperialism Essay

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The Advent of Imperialism We live in a world today in which the consequences of nineteenth-century Western imperialism are still being felt. By about 1914 Western civilization reached the high point of its long-standing global expansion. This expansion in this period took many forms. There was, first of all, economic expansion. Europeans invested large sums of money abroad, building railroads and ports, mines and plantations, factories and public utilities. Trade between nations grew greatly and a world economy developed. Between 1750 and 1900 the gap in income disparities between industrialized Europe and America and the rest of the world grew at an astounding rate. Part of this was due, first, to…show more content…
Competition for trade, superior military force, European power politics, and a racist belief in European superiority were among the most important. Some Europeans bitterly criticized imperialism as a betrayal of Western ideals of freedom and equality. Western imperialism produced various reactions in Africa and Asia. The first response was simply to try to drive the foreigners away. The general failure of this traditionalist response then led large masses to accept European rule, which did bring some improvements. A third response was the modernist response of Western-educated natives, who were repelled by Western racism and attracted by Western ideals of national independence and economic progress. Thus, imperialism and reactions to it spread Western civilization to non-Western lands. The great test of Western Imperialism is Asia, where vast peoples live, the inheritors of civilisations as complex as our own, more ancient and more firmly rooted by enduring custom in the general life. The races of Africa it has been possible to regard as savages or children, "backward" in their progress along the same general road of civilisation in which Anglo-Saxondom represents the vanguard, and requiring the help of more forward races. It is not so easy to make a specious case for Western control over India, China, and other Asiatic peoples upon the same ground. Save in the more recent

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