18th Century Imperialism

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Eighteenth Century Imperialism In the late nineteenth century, world powers scrambled to colonize and influence regions outside their borders with unprecedented commitment. Their efforts to empirically expand were imperialist efforts. Imperialism can be defined as a nation’s use of territorial acquisition and political and economic leverage to influence other areas and grow as an empire. While direct military colonization is the trademark image of imperialism, imperialism also manifests itself more subtly when a powerful nation impacts the cultural, economic or political state of a less powerful nation. Formal Imperialism is essentially characterized by military intervention, as it serves to establish the political rule of a nation over its…show more content…
They used those territories primarily defend themselves against enemies, and made conscious decisions about who, among the new population, would be forced to assimilate to Russian norms, and who would not. As Tsar Alexander II, who reigned at that time, saw other countries like Britain extending their reach towards its borders, the Russians were compelled to expand, trying to protect their domain. In 1853, at the risk of inciting Britain and France, the Russians invaded Moldavia (present-day Moldova), which was the territory of the Ottomans at the time, and Walachia (present day Romania) (Worlds Together Worlds Apart, 659). Next, they overtook the Caucasus Mountains, Persia (present day Iran), and Afghanistan. After a 20 year battle, they prevailed over China and acquired the Amur River basin in East Asia, north of Manchuria, a sparsely populated and resource rich region. This land gave them access to the Pacific ocean where they built a successful port. In order to link the disparate parts which now comprised their nation, the Russians began constructing the Trans-Siberian Railroad, which traveled between Russia’s capital in Moscow, its western region and its East Asian acquisition (Worlds Together Worlds Apart, 660). However, the sense of unity afforded by the railroad did not wholly incorporate the nation. Few Russians moved to the new regions, which were scattered across the globe, therefore many of the Russian Tsar’s subjects were not culturally and religiously Russian. In the newly expanded nation’s first census, ethnographers counted 104 distinct nationalities and 146 languages and dialects spoken across the Russian population. The heterogeneity made political integration very complicated (Worlds Together Worlds Apart, 660-661). Thus, the Tsar forced his subjects with certain nationalities to assimilate to Russian religious and cultural norms.
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