What Was The Reason For Imperialism In 1850

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In the years leading up to 1850, European powers grappled for political and economic dominance of the international market. The Age of Discovery during the early modern period in Europe posed as a period that redefined the idea of exploration. No longer was the reason for subjugating a group of people to European rule the main reason to colonize. Rather, the main reason for imperialism after 1850 was in regards to the extraction of natural resources and economic control of the world market. After 1850, it became apparent that interests in overseas empires was ultimately inevitable as Europe began to industrialize and gain military and technological power. European powers became dangerously ambitious towards the end of the 19th century as each…show more content…
As pressure rose to become the strongest world power, European powers scrambled to claim different territories overseas. By the mid-nineteenth century, Great Britain was arguably the most powerful country in Europe. With such a high status of power, the British aspired to maintain their dominance. To maintain such prominence, expansion became a necessary action to prevent hegemony from other nations. Since Great Britain’s geography as an island prevented them from having better access to resources, it was clear that colonies overseas would allow them to retain power. According to Paul Kennedy, Britain would not have a hegemony because ‘as a consequence, the “modernization” which occurred in British industry and communications was not paralleled by improvements in the army’. Without an improvement in the British forces (despite technological improvements), expansion was necessary in order to maintain their dominance. Also, as a political and economic rivalry grew between France, the British were inspired to colonize more overseas empires successfully. As a result, Great Britain saw interests in regions such as northern and eastern Africa.
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