What were the important desires, needs, or attitudes that supported the concept of imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries?

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European imperialism during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was supported by a strong desire for a stable flow of both finished products and raw materials from other regions of the world. It was buttressed by an ideology that increasingly characterized people in other, non-white parts of the world as inferior and in need of European guidance and control.

To take a case in point, in the eighteenth century, Europeans were hungry for goods from China, from tea to Chinese porcelains to silks. Yet trading partnerships were not working well from the European perspective. The Europeans had nothing the Chinese wanted in trade for these products, leading European nations to deplete their supplies of gold to buy these items. They solved this problem—and ensured a steady supply of goods—by getting the Chinese people addicted to opium, which they could then use to trade for other goods. However, as the Chinese government became aware of the problems of nation of drug addicts, they tried...

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