How did imperialism change the modern world?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many ways in which we can say that imperialism changed the modern world.  Let us look at a few of them.

  • Imperialism helped make African countries poor and chaotic.  Imperial powers ran African countries for their own good, not that of the native people.  They created economies that focused on helping the Europeans’ economies.  They failed to educate Africans well.  They failed to train Africans to take part in government.  Thus, when they gave the African countries independence, the countries had weak economies and were not very likely to have strong and competent governments.
  • Imperialism helped make non-Westerners resent the west.  The West colonized many countries around the world.  The people of those countries often resent the West for having done this.  They feel that the West abused them and used them for the West’s own good.  Even countries like China, which are now strong, still resent many Western countries for not treating them with respect in the past.
  • Imperialism helped bring about two world wars.  The competition for empire between various European countries was one factor that helped cause WWI.  After WWI, Japan wanted an empire to match those of various European countries.  This helped cause WWII.  These two wars did much to shape the world we live in today.

All of these are important ways in which imperialism affected the world we live in today.