The History of Imperialism

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Imperialism means “a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force.”

We see imperialism in our history books as we turn the pages. We see imperialism as we sift through websites for a project, but do you know the true origins and history. You need to go back to find the real origins of it. It has a complex history that you can study for months, years, maybe even when you are near the end of your lifetime you will still be studying the complex history.

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries. It has diced up whole continents while oppressing the native people and obliterating entire civilizations. An example of imperialism is intra-European imperialism which was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of Jewish people.



The earliest victims of Western European imperialism were other Europeans. About 800 years ago, Ireland became the first colony of what later became known as the British empire. A part of Ireland still remains under British occupation. Other early Caucasian victims included the Eastern Europeans.

A big example of victims of imperialism is India, because of the British involvement during the 18th century. In the first half of the century, the British were a trading presence at certain points along the coast; from the 1750s they began to wage war on land in Eastern and South-Eastern India. At the beginning of the 18th-century, English commerce with India was nearly a hundred years old. Soon India was transacted by the British East India Company, which had been given a monopoly of all English trade to Asia with the permission of the royal family leaders. India ended up fighting the British to take back the territory.

The second greatest imperial power has to have been the Ottoman Empire

Before the Ottoman Empire rose to power most of the territory in that area was owned by the Byzantine Empire. They recently had been having some struggles because of a new group of thoroughly trained soldiers. They were losing land to this large group of soldiers. For their time, the Ottoman Empire army was extremely skilled and had some of the best weapons of their time. Undoubtedly, the Byzantines were pushed all the way into their capital of Constantinople. The capital was conquered quickly by the Ottomans and it was soon renamed as Istanbul. The founder who led the Ottomans to their glory was nicknamed “Ottoman”. But a big blow came when they sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary for World War 1. They had never industrialized so that meant their weapons were useless against the tanks and guns. They ended up losing all of their lands to Western Europe who were now better than ever at taking over land. The last remaining population of the Ottomans had an uprising and they made way for what is now Turkey.

As you can see imperialism has been a crucial part of our history. It has caused many conflicts that still affect us today.

How do you define imperialism?

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