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Imperialism is when one nation exerts control over another through primarily economic or military means, usually for financial gain. Many European nations engaged in imperialist policies in the 18th and 19th centuries, continuing into the 20th century, and the United States began an imperialist period in the late 19th and...

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Imperialism is when one nation exerts control over another through primarily economic or military means, usually for financial gain. Many European nations engaged in imperialist policies in the 18th and 19th centuries, continuing into the 20th century, and the United States began an imperialist period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many scholars point to Theodore Roosevelt as the first imperialist U.S. president. Examples of imperialism include British control of India from 1858 to 1947; Belgian colonization of what is now the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda after King Leopold II came to power in the mid 19th century; and American occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898. The impact of imperialism can have long-lasting consequences for the target nation, even after the imperialist nation has retreated from direct control of a region. This can happen because the nation has had its valuable resources extracted or reduced by the imperialist forces; it has not had the opportunity to develop its internal systems and infrastructure, and its own citizens were not put in the position to govern their own affairs and thus lack governing and organizational experience; and the country has become culturally deficient because it was forced to acclimate and live under a foreign culture. Additionally, imperialist nations often drew arbitrary geographical boundaries that ignored traditional boundaries and grouped sometimes opposing forces into one nation. It is not difficult today to see the legacy of imperialism in news across the world, in the form of civil unrest, poverty, and violence in affected nations. One example would be the current fears that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will slide back into civil unrest after years of civil war.

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