The world is always driven by ideas that are dominant at the moment. In the majority of epochs, the force had been the leading factor. This approach was reflected in the concept of imperialism which became a topical term in the age of giant empires dominating vast territories and affecting multiple nations.
Imperialism is a unique policy, ideology, and framework presupposing the undying rule of authority of a state over other nations and people, which is exercised through substantial resources, military force, political, economic, and cultural control. This paradigm encompasses numerous ideas about the right of a certain nation to rule other ones and hold the dominant position because of its more successful development or military successes aimed at conquering other areas and using its resources to spread influence and remain a strong international player.
The Age of Discoveries can be viewed as the birthplace of imperialism. Numerous campaigns to open and utilise new lands cultivated a unique mentality of people. They viewed new areas and people on them as inferior to them and accepted the idea that imperialism is the fair rule and the only way to manage colonies. In such a way, the most severe form of this ideology was established. The ruthless political control, depression of culture and religion, along with the use of other states as raw material bases, became the elements of imperialism of that period. The exploitation of other nations preconditioned the fast evolution of dominant ones and created the basis for the further rise of the given concept.
The next period in history was characterised by significant shifts in international relations and the political map of the world. Revolutions and religious and colonial wars were the factors impacting the evolution of society; however, imperialism remained the dominant paradigm as the world was ruled by giant empires with multiple colonies, which struggled with each other to spread their power. There was little change in the ideology as there were still inferior nations and lands used to provide sources to mother countries. At the same time, under the impact of some social movements, the first attempts to reconsider political relations and the rise of the culture were observed.
The 20th century can be considered one of the essential periods for the idea of imperialism. The collapse of the Russian Empire, which had always been one of the dominant forces in the world, the weakening of the British Empire, and the following WWII demonstrated the inability of imperialism to serve as the dominant ideology in the new era. For this reason, the attitude to other nations was reconsidered, and the world officially shifted to the ideas of tolerance, democracy, and supportive relations. The unique impotence of every culture and the right of nations to evolve in the way they want were also considered the major ideas of the new era.
Unfortunately, regardless of the proclaimed course, imperialism remains one of the problems of the modern world. However, it acquires hidden forms and is often covered by popular ideas or populist slogans. One of the ugliest components of imperialism, racism, constitutes a problem for multiple minorities and deteriorates the quality of people’s lives. Finally, because of the colonial history, new states, such as countries in Africa, have numerous problems with their development, which gives rise to specific attitudes to these nations.
- Imperialism Consequences on the Life of People
- U.S. History: Reconstruction, American Imperialism, Immigration
- European Imperialism and Global Economic Situation
- European Imperialism and Its Effects on Colonies
- Reconstruction and the Age of American Imperialism
- European Supremacy, European Thought, and Imperialism
- The History of American Imperialism
- The Gold Coast: The Impact of British Imperialism