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The word imperialism comes from Roman times meaning that it has been around since time immemorial. Hence, Imperialism is defined as the unequal way by which one superior empire dominates over another weaker state’s economic political and cultural life for a certain period of time in which some cases, the period can be extended. Historically, it was a common practice whereby the dominating nations sought new sources of raw materials and markets to sell manufactured products in the weaker states.
Imperialism normally manifests itself in the form of an empire and it can be observed when economically powerful states dominate other states to exploit them for their wealth which may include raw materials which are used to further the economic dominance of the superior states. These states also exploit labor and markets of the conquered states which enrich the superior nations.
Imperialism can be traced back from the times of the ancient kingdoms which conquered vast areas for exploitation. The most recent example is the British Empire which dominated vast areas in the world from the 16th to the 20th century for its economic empowerment. Countries had to gain independence to free themselves from the rule of the British.
The Western countries have continued to dominate in all matters political and economic since the 19th and 20thcenturies and their exploitation of other nations can be described as Imperialism. The rapid industrialization of the Western Countries from the 18th Century can be associated with imperialism since most of these countries sourced raw materials from the countries they conquered.
Wars have occurred due to Imperialism. Empires that have practiced imperialism compete with each other for the wealth of the conquered territories thus this can agitate for wars as for the case of World War I. Currently, due to globalization; nations that practiced Imperialism have done away with it since the exploitation of other nations has been associated with bad morals.
In conclusion, Imperialism has been an integral part in the development of many nations. With its negative impact imperialism can also be attributed to positive changes including; technology transfer and intellect from advanced nations to the less developed, contribution of technical skills for advancement to the weaker nations by the dominant nation, social, political and social growth in the weaker nation. Lastly, there has been an expansion of the dominant territory putting more land in productive use leading to increase of production and wealth.
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