European Imperialism 1870-1914

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This essay will look at how the ‘new imperialism’ affected relations between the major European powers, between 1870 and 1914 and will also discuss the weaknesses of ‘Europeanism’. This essay will also evaluate the main factors which were responsible for increasing tension in Europe during this time and will evaluate historical sources relating to the cause of the First World War, assessing the degree of responsibility of the major powers which provoked it. One of the main causes of the First World War was imperialism: an unequal relationship, often in the form of an empire, forced on other countries and peoples, resulting in domination and subordination of economics, culture, and territory (, n.d.). In the period 1870 to 1914, European…show more content…
In most cases, the imperialist nation establishes control over new territory by coercion. Once conquered, the territory is claimed as a colony of the imperialist nation. Colonial government was operated by the imperial power and a military presence was stationed in the colony, to control native inhabitants, to deal with uprisings and deter imperial rivals. The main advantages of imperialism were economic. Colonies existed to profit and enrich the imperial power. This involved the supply of precious metals or other resources such as timber, rubber and rice. Colonies were also an invaluable source of cheap labour, agricultural land and trading ports. Between 1860 and 1914, Western expansion and colonialism spread throughout the rest of the world – known as the ‘New Imperialism’. The motives for this were economical as Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Russia and the U.S. all competed for markets and raw materials such as coal, iron and copper for their expanding economies and the nations began to view Africa and Asia as a source for this. Other motives were for political, military, technological factors and cultural

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