What were the motives for 19th century European imperialism?
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There were a number of motives for this imperialism. The ones that are most commonly cited are:
- Economic gain. Countries wanted to gain empires so they could take resources from those empires and so that the empires could be captive markets for their goods.
- Military power. The larger the empire, the more the imperial country could project its power around the world.
- Imperial prestige. The larger the empire, the prouder the country could be. Having a large empire was seen as a sign that a country was a major power in the world.
- The "civilizing mission." European countries felt that they had a superior civilization and that they had an obligation to spread that civilization to other countries.
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