Q:

What are some of the major causes of imperialism?

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Quick Answer

Some of the major causes of imperialism have previously been the need for resources to supply the industrial revolution with raw materials, maintaining a supply of cheap labor and the desire to sustain a steady market for exported manufactured goods. To the benefit of a stronger nation intent on developing its economic and political strength through means outside of its borders, a weaker nation's economic, cultural and political systems are dominated. Imperialism, in contrast to colonialism, is a centrally developed state policy that is enacted for both economic and ideological reasons.

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What are some of the major causes of imperialism?
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Differing perspectives exist on the subject of imperialism. The American sociologist, Lewis Samuel Feuer, identifies two subtypes of imperialism: progressive imperialism and regressive imperialism. Progressive imperialism is based on a cosmopolitan view of humanity in which the ruling nation is offering the controlled nation's allegedly backward people an opportunity to better living standards and assimilation into the more advanced imperial nation's society. Regressive imperialism is described by Feuer as based purely on a desire for conquest, exploitation and the reduction of undesired inhabitants to make room for those considered desirable.

The English economist John A. Hobson criticizes imperialism by identifying it with a nation's belief that the earth should be governed and developed by "those races who can do the work best." The term "imperialism" is often used as a pejorative, particularly when criticizing a nation's expansionist policies, whether they are forcibly imposed or obtained through indirect means.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are three factors that spurred American imperialism?

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    Three factors that spurred American imperialism were the need to expand even after the frontier had vanished, with industrialization warranting further claim to more resources, the growing importance of foreign trade to the American economy and the desire to compete with European empires for power. Because of this mixture of cultural, economic and political factors, the U.S. was influenced to practice imperialism, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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  • Q:

    What were the political causes of British imperialism?

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    One of the underlying political causes of British imperialism was the need to strengthen the country, alongside making free trade easier. In addition, the British government aimed to appease the popular consensus that Christian values should reach Africa, and there was a need to strengthen the economy.

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  • Q:

    What is an example of cultural imperialism?

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    An example of cultural imperialism would be the proliferation of American businesses in China. The influence of large corporate chains has changed the face of modern Chinese cities, as they try to emulate U.S. cities with large apartment buildings and corporate food chains at the cost of historical identity.

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  • Q:

    How has Cuba been affected by imperialism?

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    The United States trade sanctions on Cuba are considered by many to be an act of imperialism. Imperialism is the tendency of one or more countries to impose some degree of force on a country of lesser world status in order to gain resources, land or population. Cuba is one of many countries that has been affected by what some call United States imperialism.

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