Why did European Imperialism grow in the late 1800s? Make sure to mention the countries that are involved in the act of imperialism.

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There were a number of factors that led to the growth of imperialism by European powers in the late nineteenth century. Here we will discuss four of the leading changes that led to this shift: nationalistic motivations; economic motivations; religion; and technological advances.

  • Nationalism was a driving force in the growth of European imperialism. Many powers, but especially Great Britain, France, and Germany (which had only recently been unified in 1871) felt that acquiring colonies indicated a nation's greatness. As such, a race to colonize more lands began towards the end of the nineteenth century. As colonization increased, it became necessary for the European powers to grow their navies in order to safeguard their holdings. This created a sort of feedback loop in which European countries (and the USA too) began acquiring more colonies in order to establish shipping routes, refueling stations, and harbors to aid their navies in protecting their colonial holdings.
  • Economics was also a driving force of colonialization. The industrialization of the period meant that sources of raw materials and cheap labor were necessary for the growing economies. For Great Britain, India was a huge source of capital wealth. France looked to West Africa and Southeast Asia. Germany, Belgium, and Portugal also began colonizing parts of Africa for this purpose.
  • Religious superiority likewise drove many Europeans in their expansion of imperialism. Missionaries from nearly every European country traveled the world in order to spread the Christian faith. While missionary-driven imperialism was nothing new to the period, the idea that "heathens" needed to be "civilized" gained a lot of traction in the latter part of the century.
  • Technology greatly aided the cause of imperialism. The telegraph and steamboat allowed travel and communication to happen over long distances faster than ever before. Medical advances, such as quinine to prevent malaria, meant that Europeans could move into previously "off limits" regions in the tropics. Advanced firearms also meant that non-European armies were no match in combat and could be easily quelled.
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Eurpoean Imperialism, where a country extends its influence and culture through trade, diplomacy, and military, had been steadily growing since the late 1400's, when countries started to acquire colonies. Colonies eventually became part of empires, Britain's being the largest and most affluent in the 1800's.  Before empires were built, however, the forces of Nationalism within various European states caused them to attempt to expand borders and commerce at the expense of their neighbors.  The rise of the British Empire in the mid 1800's and earlier, the expansion of France under Napoleon in the late 1700's, induced other European powers, notably Germany and Italy, to consolidate and develop their own brand of Nationalism, then acquire their own colonies as their own form of Imperialism. This competition among the major European Powers, inside and outside of Europe, finally resulted in major conflict in 1914 causing the First World War.  See more at the link:

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