The New Imperialism Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Imperialism, Europe, England, Colony, Colonization, Colonialism, Finance, Rule

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/01/25

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The article named «The Benefits of British Rule» provides a reader with a short overview of the influence of British Rule on Indian society. One cannot confidently assert whether that impact was good or bad, since, as in all the historical aspects, there were both sides of one coin. Dadabhai Naoroji, the author of the aforementioned article divides the text on two parts, describing separately the positive and negative effect of British Rule on India. In order to make the complicated information simpler, and easier to absorb, the author also describes the British influence on India from three main points of view: financial, political and social.
When it comes to the negative effects of the period of British domination on Indian society, it has to be said that they are quite ambiguous. The author claims that British did not do as much as they could have done for the Indians, and that is somewhat true. However, one should not forget that India was a colony, and the fact that the country was not devastated by the British should already be pleasant for the Indian nation. Looking at all the aforementioned facts, describing the British contribution in the development of Indian society, one can still assert that a lot has been done, and there is nothing to blame the British for. Speaking of economy and politics, areas of great importance for the development of every country, the author brings a couple of very good examples, showing that despite all the good the British have done, there were some negative issues as well. They implemented a new model of taxation for the Indian people, however did not provide the jobs to give the people mens to pay the taxes; India was supposed to carry the England’s political debt on its shoulders; and the promise to «give the natives a fair and reasonable share in the higher administration of their own country» was not kept. All in all, the British Rule on Indian society was definitely heterogeneous: somewhat positive, and somewhat not so. However, far and away it is very hard to imagine how India would look like these days, if not for British influence. And at the end of the article, Dadabhai Naoroji compares the British system with the knife of sugar, concluding that «there is no oppression, it is all smooth and sweet, but it is the knife, notwithstanding.»1
The article, discussed above, opens the curtain and describes life of one nation, under the rule of the other. However, India was not the only country, which was controlled by one of the greatest world powers — England. There were dozens of Asian and African countries and colonies, which lost their independence and were colonized by the Big Powers. This phenomenon is called «imperialism,» and its natures and beginnings will be described further.
«In the late 19th century, between roughly 1875 and 1900, a handful of European nations conquered most of Africa.»2 These areas were called colonies. Britain and France took more colonies than anyone else, however in order to do that they had to compete with other European countries. Japan also won itself a colony. In history, this period is often called the period of imperialism. Imperialism means that the state takes control of the territories outside their own borders. Especially European superstate wanted to control as much as possible of the territories in Africa and Asia.Imperialism is a policy of country, that is aimed on conquering territories, and establishing political and economic control over the conquered nations. This term is often used to describe the policy of domination over the other countries or territories, regardless of whether or not the ruling country calls itself an empire. 3
So, what were the main motifs of conquering the new territories? There are plenty of answers to this question, however here are the most significant ones. First of all, the developed countries needed new markets for their goods. The second reason, which might sound a little absurd, but Big Powers captures new colonies, because they simply wanted to show other countries that they are stronger. Also, many believed that it was their mission to involve Africans and Asians to the Christian religion. And the last reason, is because they could. «Europeans enjoyed a decisive technological and military advantage;»4 the invention of new drugs allowed Europeans to travel to tropical countries; with the help of the steamers Europeans could transform goods to the colonies and back; and the last important prerequisite, that made the colonization possible is the invention of the telegraph, with enabled Europeans to keep control over the remote colonies. «With such colonization, each of the empires justified their imperialistic stance by arguing that their colonial domination would "civilize" the backwards people in their areas.»5 With all that being said, it is very important to emphasize, that the economical motif for conquering the new territories was the strongest for the European Powers, therefore, let’s look a little closer on the European economy during that period.
At the beginning of XXth century capitalism has been transformed into imperialism. «In other words, the issue of oligarchy entails the question of imperialism.»6 Monopolists, who obtained control over all the main branches of economic life, were the ones to determine the vectors of domestic and foreign policies of the capital states. During that time, there was a fusion of industrial and loan capital. Banks became centers of accumulation and redistribution of the great mass of "depersonalized" capital. As a result, in a greater or lesser degree they started to control the activities of industrial and commercial companies (through account management, "holding system" personal union, the spread of stocks and bonds, the idea of ​​short-term and long-term credit). Formed the so-called "financial group", including a number of industrial and banking monopolies. The financial oligarchy had the opportunity to directly or indirectly control the state apparatus, the policy of the bourgeois monarch; for the sake of monopoly profit.The pursuit of super profits boost the export of capital to other countries where raw materials and labor were much cheaper. The second Industrial Revolution has «shifted the geographical focus of technological leadership away from Britain to a more dispersed locus, though leadership remained firmly the monopoly of the industrialized Western world.»7
«The colonial incorporation of Africa on a large scale began with France's conquest of Algeria in 1830, which at the same time more than before released Europe's internal economic and industrial tensions as colonialist forces and peaked in High Imperialism between 1870 and World War I.»8 Bribing the upper stratum of the «labor aristocracy,» due to the unlimited exploitation of the colonial nations, the financial capital was obtained through a policy of "divide and rule». The monopoly unions, which exported the goods and capital, became international, and came together in an agreement to divide the world into «spheres of influence.»The economic division of the world has consequently lead to the territorial division among the great powers. By the end of the XIX century the latter was actually completed. The question about the redistribution of colonies and spheres of influence was on the agenda. The imperialistic rivalry has increased. The militarization of the economy has taken a huge scale. Diversion of a significant proportion of production capacity for unproductive military spending meant the decay of the capitalist system, turning it into a direct obstacle to the development of the productive forces.
Once one understands the real nature of imperialism, he should start looking differently at the all the positive impacts the ruling state might have on its colony, since imperialism itself is not a
positive phenomenon. «Imperialism is a depraved choice of national life, imposed by self-seeking interests which appeal to the lusts of quantitive acquisitiveness and of forceful domination surviving in a nation from early centuries of animal struggle for existence. Its adoption as a policy implies a deliberate renunciation of that cultivation of the higher inner qualities which for a nation as for an individual constitutes the ascendency of reason over brute impulse. It is the besetting sin of all successful States, and its penalty is unalterable in the order of nature.»9

Notes

Halsall, Paul. «Modern History Sourcebook: The Benefits of British Rule, 1871.» http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1871britishrule.asp, January 1, 1998. (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Jones, Jim. «Europe and Africa in the 19th Century.» http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his312/lectures/19thcent.htm, January 1, 2010 (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Lenin, Vladimir. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Sydney: Resistance Books, 1999.
«The New Imperialism.»http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ping/pdf/TheNewImperialism.pdf, (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Olson-Raymer, Dr. Gayle. «The American Quest for Empire», http://users.humboldt.edu/ogayle/hist111/empire.html, (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Cain, P.J., and Mark Harrison. Imperialism: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. Vol. II. Taylor&Francis, 2001, 172.
Mokyr, Joel. «The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914.» http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~jmokyr/castronovo.pdf, August 1, 1998 (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Stuchtey, Benedikt. «Colonialism and Imperialism, 1450-1950-EGO.» http://ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/backgrounds/colonialism-and-imperialism/benedikt-stuchtey-colonialism-and-imperialism-1450-1950, January 24, 2011. (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Hobson, J.A. Imperialism: A Study. New York: Cosimo, 2006, 368.

Bibliography

Cain, P.J., and Mark Harrison. Imperialism: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. Vol. II. Taylor&Francis, 2001.
Halsall, Paul. «Modern History Sourcebook: The Benefits of British Rule, 1871.» http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1871britishrule.asp, January 1, 1998. (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Hobson, J.A. Imperialism: A Study. New York: Cosimo, 2006.
Jones, Jim. «Europe and Africa in the 19th Century.» http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his312/lectures/19thcent.htm, January 1, 2010 (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Lenin, Vladimir. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. Sydney: Resistance Books, 1999.
Mokyr, Joel. «The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914.» http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~jmokyr/castronovo.pdf, August 1, 1998 (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Olson-Raymer, Dr. Gayle. «The American Quest for Empire», http://users.humboldt.edu/ogayle/hist111/empire.html, (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
Stuchtey, Benedikt. «Colonialism and Imperialism, 1450-1950-EGO.» http://ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/backgrounds/colonialism-and-imperialism/benedikt-stuchtey-colonialism-and-imperialism-1450-1950, January 24, 2011. (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
«The Age of Imperialism». http://www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us/cms/lib07/PA01000119/Centricity/Domain/119/TheAgeofImperialism.pdf, (Accessed April 6, 2015.)
«The New Imperialism.»http://www.suu.edu/faculty/ping/pdf/TheNewImperialism.pdf, (Accessed April 6, 2015.)

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