The Industrial Revolution and Imperialism Essay

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The concept of imperialism is one that has pervaded nearly every major society or empire throughout human history. It seems to be a natural consequence of societies growing in size, power, and knowledge. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries vast changes occurred in Western Europe (and soon spread elsewhere) that spurred a new round of imperialism the likes of which had not been seen before. The changes were the industrial revolution that was taking place. Countries were rapidly advancing to industrial societies producing much greater quantities of goods at much lower costs. The goods produced ranged everywhere from cotton textiles to military machinery, all of which would play important roles in rounds of imperialistic expansion that…show more content…
An example of this situation occurred involving Britain and India where British merchants exported great quantities of cotton to England where it would be refined and made into end products for export. This same situation arose with nearly every other natural resource one could imagine. The world is abundant with natural resources all from different regions, and European nations saw it as their opportunity for the taking. Another very important result of the industrial revolution was the advancement of European weaponry. It was mentioned in a previous module for this course how something of an arms race began in Western Europe as the societies were separating into different empires and nations. That would continue with European weapons advancing far beyond what any other societies could match, there is even the example of a small number of British soldiers defeating thousands of African soldiers in a matter of hours due to the invention of the maxim gun. The evolution of European weaponry played several important roles in relation to imperialism. European weaponry first and foremost made it possible for those nations to dominate indigenous people to submit to their will in terms of trade. It even opened up new regions such as Japan that had previously only allowed very minor outside trade. With steamboats that could navigate upstream British soldiers were able to traverse up the Yangtze River and
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