Did imperialism have a positive or negative effect on the world? 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, you can argue this question either way.  I will provide you with some arguments for and against and you can say which you agree with.

Cons: Imperialism was a bad thing because it created countries that do not have good boundaries.  These are countries where the imperialists put all sorts of different ethnic groups together in one country, without regard as to whether they would get along.  Imperialism was bad because it did not help the native people become economically strong.  It ran the countries’ economies for the benefit of the imperial power, not for the benefit of the countries themselves.  Finally, it created animosity between various imperial powers who competed for empires and even engaged in wars over that issue.

Pros: Imperialism was actually a good thing.  It created more countries that are democratic.  For example, it is unlikely that India or Indonesia would be democratic if they had not been imperialized.  It also helped to build up the infrastructure of some countries as the imperial powers built roads and harbors. Finally, it introduced better health care an education to some countries, allowing them to be more developed now than they might have been if they had never been under imperial control.

Which of these arguments do you think is stronger?

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