Imperialism Questions and Answers

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What were the arguments for and against imperialism?  

The arguments for imperialism included the US and Europe's desire to find new sources of raw materials, establish new markets for trade, spread Christianity and Western ideas, and create strategic military bases. The arguments against imperialism included the idea that imperialism was un-American and a fear of immigration to the US from colonized areas.

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Let's take a look at the Scramble for Africa. If we look at imperialism in Africa, we can identify nine major motivations or reasons for colonization:

New sources for raw materials

New markets for finished goods

Nationalism, or the expansion of European culture

Missionary activity, or the expansion of Christianity

Strategic military and naval bases

A place for excess population to migrate

Social and economic opportunities

Humanitarian reasons

The "White Man's Burden" (today regarded as thinly veiled racism)

Let's explore them in more detail.

1 - Sources for raw materials. Initially, Spain, France, England and Portugal set up mercantile colonies in the "New World" for this reason. It was a source of new raw materials and natural resources, which could be harvested by implementing a labor system (African or native American slavery, the encomienda tribute system, the mita labor lottery, etc.). Thanks to explorers like David Livingstone traveling through the heart of Africa and reporting on his...

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