What are some examples of imperialism?

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Imperialism is the domination of a land and its people by an external power. It is the antithesis of self-determination. It is closely tied to colonialism, although scholars often distinguish between imperialism, in which the ruling power remains external to the dominated people, and colonialism, in which the ruling power sends its people to settle and rule from the conquered colony. Others treat imperialism as the ideology of expansion through use of force and see colonialism as one way imperialism looks in practice.

History is, unfortunately, full of examples of imperialism. The British empire engaged in major imperialist endeavors in Ireland, India, the lands that are now known as the United States and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the Caribbean. We can distinguish between cases such as India, in which indigenous people were subjugated by a small, ruling British minority (which was eventually repelled), and cases such as the United States, in which the indigenous people were exterminated to the extent that they became a small minority in their lands.

We should be careful to distinguish between European settlers seeking independence from the states that founded their countries (as happened in the revolutionary war) and the struggle between indigenous people and imperial powers seeking to dominate them. While conditions for poor British settlers in the colonies that are now the United States may have included mistreatment and poverty, it would be a mistake to call this an imperial relationship, as a crucial part of imperialism is that one power is dominating another people, their land, and their resources.

Centering the power struggle between European settlers and Britain obscures the fact that both were committed to the extermination and/or subjugation of the indigenous people of North America in order to gain access to their land and extract its resources. Such instances can be understood as examples of settler colonialism, in which a core function of colonies is to provide a place for members of the ruling colonial power to settler. Settler colonies often experience conflict between settlers and the colonial power, with both sides competing to wield imperialist power over the indigenous people of the land where the colonies exist.

While the specifics of imperialism vary the history of world powers is the history of imperialism: from the Roman Empire to the Ottoman Empire, European colonial powers, Japan, the United States, and the USSR. States wielding their power to subjugate others has been nearly omnipresent over the course of recorded history.

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Imperialism has been present throughout much of world history. The Roman Empire might be the most famous example. Over hundreds of years, the Roman Empire expanded, taking over large territories across Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. While the empire was stable for a long time, eventually in-fighting and the division of the empire lead to its collapse.

The Japanese also formed an empire that lasted between 1868 and 1947. During the Meiji Restoration period of the late nineteenth century, Japan underwent massive industrialization and militarization which helped make it a world power. Led on by a rise in nationalistic feeling, Japan took territories in Korea, the Philippines, and China as part of its empire. World War II played a large role in the empire's eventual dissolution.

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There are many examples of imperialism. Imperialism is when a country controls another country politically and/or economically, often against the will of the people of the country. One example of imperialism is when the British established colonies in North America. The British established thirteen colonies in what is now the United States. The British established these colonies for the benefit of Great Britain. The colonies provided British industries with raw materials and resources. The British industries could then sell the finished products to the colonies. The British also made rules, laws, and policies for the operation of the colonies. By having colonies, Britain was able to have more power in the world. Eventually, the colonists didn’t want to be ruled by Great Britain and had to fight for their freedom.

Another example of imperialism is when the United States fought Spain in the Spanish-American War. The United States was looking to become a world power. We wanted to get colonies that we could control. As a result of the Spanish-American War, we got control over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. The people of the Philippines wanted to become independent and weren’t happy when we took them over. We were able to use these colonies as places where our navy could stop and dock in order to get supplies and fuel. We also were able to trade with our colonies.

Other countries like Spain, France, and the Netherlands had colonies throughout the world. Spain controlled much of Central and South America for reasons similar to those of Britain. Spain benefited economically, politically, and militarily by having colonies in Central and South America. The French had colonies in North America and Africa. The Dutch had colonies in Africa and Asia. Countries established colonies for their benefit, even if the people didn’t want to be colonized by these countries.

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