European Imperialism Research Paper

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The Age of Exploration and the Age of Imperialism influenced colonialism by Europeans. However, the periods of 1450-1760 and 1850-1914 were each characterized differently by the motivations and influences in Europe at the time. The main economic and social motive of Europe in the period 1450-1760 was the advancement of mercantilism and competition for resources and land against other European countries. They also wanted to spread Christianity to the Americas. In the period 1850-1914 they shifted their focus to global capitalism and industrializing. Rather than mercantilism, they used imperialism to spread capitalism and used colonies as independent markets of their products and labor. Social factors that led to glorifying pride in the white…show more content…
Economic changes were influenced greatly in this period by imperialism in Africa. Africa's suffering from weak governments and conflicts with economic rationality led towards "a tendency toward personal, tyrannical, anti-entrepreneurial governance" (Cooper 11). New Imperialism was caused by the capitalist system and used as a tool for European industrialists who used labor forces and dependent markets after the Industrial Revolution. Rather than mercantilism, capitalism grew as European powers used colonies as dependent markets for their manufactured goods. This benefited large property owners and "merged [colonists] under the leadership of monopoly capital" (Chilcote 34). Colonies were stripped of their resources and raw minerals which fueled the manufacturing of the motherland. For example, England takes advantage of Egypt and establishes political dominance over the oil-producing nation. However, as superpowers took over territories, they did not only take advantage of the resources but also the labor the people could offer. Native populations were exploited and made into harsh labor forces. The prime example would be the exploitation of the Belgium Congo Free State under King Leopold II. The natives were forced to mine diamonds under unimaginable conditions with little in return. King Leopold's Ghost describes capitalism taken affect in

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