Agree or Disagree: The Age of Imperialism Improved the Human Condition Imperialism is the policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force. This policy was practiced by the Western Europeans throughout the 18th and 1 9th century. When they were colonizing what they classified as weaker nations, the colonizer and the colonized viewed the experience of imperialism in very different ways. The conquered nations of Africa, India, Middle East, and Indochina experienced the takeover by the Europeans but the effect of this was on the negative side.
Based on the colonized countries, the Age of Imperialism did not Improve the human condition. During the sass, the Agricultural Revolution took place in England. Wealthy landowners started to buy a large amount of the small farms that dominated the land of England where the village farmers had once worked. As an aftermath, the landowners dramatically Improved farming methods by creating Inventions that made farming more efficient. These innovations forced the start to an agricultural revolution. However, as inventions started to increase, it affected workers.
Many workers had lost their Jobs and had to move to the city to become factory workers. Arbitration occurred making the cities boom up with factories, new transportation methods, and the population shifted from rural areas to urban. This was the start of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution had made its mark on Western Europe between the late 18th and 19th century. It had started in England and it signified the shift from making goods by hand to making them by machine. England had all the right conditions for the Industrial Revolution to occur.
It had a large population of workers, extensive amount of natural resources, an expanding economy, and political stability. However, abundant raw materials were needed in order to sustain an Industrialized economy because raw materials Like cotton could be transformed into products Like textiles. This Influenced the search for raw materials in other nations. Nationalism also played a big role factor during the rise of imperialism. Taking over foreign land can be a country’s accomplishment that it’s citizens were proud of. The advancement in technology from the Industrial
Revolution gave them this opportunity to explore. As nationalism led to competition between European nations, the idea of imperialism would preserve the balance of power in Europe. Each foreign land the European countries colonized, they viewed the culture of the foreign nations to be inferior to their own. As imperialism began, so did the race to find raw materials, cheap labor, and new land to be colonized. However, Africa, Indochina, India, and the Middle East had no say in any of this. When the nations of Africa were colonized by the Europeans, it stunted the social regress of the Africans.
During the arrival of the Europeans In the African nations, the Europeans started using the Africans to their advantage. One African recalled a “conqueror’s voice [saying] ‘Boll A chair, a napkin, a drink” (Dip). Not only did the 1 OFF indicates that Imperialism did not benefit the Africans in any way at all, instead making them felt like prisoners in their own home, not improving the human condition. During the economic exploitation of Africans by the colonizers, natural human rights were “denied to Africans through the activities of Imperialists” (All-
African People’s Conference). They were rejected the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of worship, and the freedom to live a full and abundant life. This meant that the Africans had all of these rights before the arrival of the Europeans, but became euthanized through the actions of Imperialists. It was only through the hindrance of other countries that the European nations benefited themselves. The British imperialism in Egypt and the Middle East indicated that the British did not want to help other nations, but only to benefit themselves.
Great Britain did not low any other European powers to control Egypt, which made them the only power because it was “accordance with British interests” (Cramer). When Egypt desperately needed foreign occupation, the French and Italian cooperation couldn’t be secured so the British immediately took it as opportunity to improve their power. In accordance to British interests meant that they didn’t acknowledge the needs of the colonized people, yet only recognized the greed to fulfill their own selfish desires.
The attitude towards the colonization of Egypt by the British indicates that “[they didn’t] ally want the damned place but if [the British] didn’t, someone else will grab it and the whole balance of power will mucked up” (Cramer). This is an example of political imperialism because British wanted to colonize Egypt because it wanted to maintain it’s power if it controlled a country that no one else had power over. This implied that Britain did not want to colonize Egypt to help the nation and it’s people, but only to better it’s political position, showing that they are self indulgent and greedy.
Because of the selfishness of European powers, it caused the colonized countries to collapse. The economic structures of India crumbled as it became an agricultural colony of Industrial England. When England used India for its agricultural needs, “the standard of living [in India] fell to terribly low levels” (Nehru). Indian industries like shipbuilding, metalwork, glass, and etc were broken up and it stopped the economic development of India and started to supply raw materials and markets for England’s industrial goods. Because of the destruction of industry, the unemployment rate drastically increased to high levels and poverty grew.
The English imperialism in India gave “[India] no responsibility for [their] own government” (Ghanaian). During the colonization of India, British occupied almost all the higher places in every government department and the natives were purposely kept out of the social institutions that made by the Europeans. In effect, this gave the natives of India no responsibility of their own to help rule their own country because the English took it upon themselves to do everything, which made it virtually impossible for India to separate itself from Britain.
Even though the colonized nations were impacted actively, there were also some benefits of imperialism. Colonized civilizations. During the colonization of India, the English “framed wise laws and [had] established courts of Justice” (Romeos Duty). From this, the English gave India peace because of the stability in the government. However, this took away Indian’s independence to self rule. This is ironic because the British was going through a nationalism stage were the citizens had an immense amount of pride in their country, but they basically denied the same right to the Indians when they took over he government.
During the colonization of China by the British, China became a “rich and flourishing kingdom” (Commissioner Line). However, during the commercial intercourse, the Britain snuck in opium and permeated the drug throughout the colonized nation. However, opium was prohibited in Britain. This goes to show that the people of Britain used China for their own selfish needs, to indulge their addiction to opium. The colonizers might have brought some benefits to the developing nations but in the end, the negative overpowered the positive in the social aspects of the colonized citizens.
The effects of Imperialism were long term. Industrialization and civilization were almost nonexistent to Africa during the Imperialist stage. When Africa did gain independence, the governments were unstable and many wars were started throughout the continent. In China, it caused the start of the Opium Wars where Britain forced the Chinese to permit them to sell Opium to Chinese citizens in order for the British to make money. Imperialism continued causing trouble, showing that Imperialism did not improve the human condition.