Imperialism Causes

Topics: Colonialism, British Empire, Imperialism Pages: 1 (397 words) Published: July 4, 2013
One of the most important causes of the rise of British empire is the Domination of the Spanish & Portuguese empires in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean trade this control of trade by Spain and Portugal led Britain to first hire buccaneers like Francis Drake to pillage Spanish ships returning from the new world laden with gold this allowed Britain to pay off its debts and build up its army & navy Nial Ferguson says in his book Empire “it should not be forgotten that this was how the British Empire began it was not conceived by self conscious imperialist , aiming to establish English rule over foreign lands”. From 1560’s there was growing support in Britain for colonization as source of wealth and important commodities it was also seen as an outlet for social & religious undesirables & surplus population Richard Hakluyt the propagandist said” there can be no greater glory handed down to conquer the barbarian, to recall the savage and pagan to civility, to draw the ignorant from the orbit of reason”.

The industrial revolution was reason Britain was able to conquer vast tracts of lands during the 18th & 19th century (the so called ‘Scramble for Africa’) this was because of technology such as the steam ships allowed for ships to travel to the inland of Africa in navigable rivers bringing soldiers and medicine another improvement of technology that allowed Britain to dominate Africa was the improvement of Guns especially the introduction of the maxim machine gun which allowed Europeans to wipe Africans battle after battle. Britain expansion due to the industrial revolution was not limited to Africa after the Opium wars when the Chinese signed the treaty of Nanjing the British gained Hong Kong and 5 other treaty ports as well as the equivalent of $2 billion dollars also china gave up sovereignty to European spheres of influence wherein Europeans where subject to their laws not Chinese laws. The reason Britain colonized so much of the world was the...
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