How is it that a handful of countries like the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the U.S. could conquer much of the rest of the world in just a few decades after 1860?

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There are reasons why countries like France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United States could conquer much of the world by 1900.  One reason was because these governments actively pursued these policies. These countries wanted to spread their influence worldwide.  Some countries like Britain and France had already established many colonies around the world. Other countries began to realize there were many benefits in controlling other lands.  Some of these benefits were economic and political in nature. As a result, all of these governments began to build up their army and navy in the late 1800s. They also developed a strong sense of nationalism and believed they could defeat any country in order to gain land.  These governments also believed their way of life was better than any other country’s way of life. Thus, they wanted to spread their way of life worldwide believing it was their duty to do so.  By pursuing policies of expansion, these countries either began to or continued to conquer and control other lands.  There were many reasons why these countries were viewed (or were beginning to be viewed) as a world power by 1900. 

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