20th Century European Empires

1592 Words7 Pages

Introduction Prior to the outbreak of War, Europe experienced a strong economic environment allowing the transformation of some powerful states to empires. However, there were already clear empires during this period. The conflicts of both World War one (WWI) and World War two (WW II) can be seen as similar in the sense that as powerful states underwent continued growth and modernisation, then begun imperialising in order to access more resources by annexing land, much like the British Empire during the 19th century. However, established powers endeavoured to halt the expansionism expressed by these states. As a result of complex alliances, all of empires (both emerging and established) were at war during the 20th century. Established Empires of the 20th Century While the definition of an empire is open to discussion, Lieven (1995 p. 609) explains an empire has a governing individual or body that benefits the people and is recognised by the majority of the population. While this is definition can be applied to a number of countries not experiencing civil unrest, in addition Thompson (2013 p. 196) explains, in order for a country to be an empire there needs to be a large population, access to resources and a strong economy able to generate a surplus of wealth in order to generate a military. Moreover, Thompson (2013 p. 196) explains in recent years …show more content…

393). Britain has historically been a major power as the empire had control over the ocean with its navy (Nye 2015 p. 393). Moreover, Britain had a strong economy and abundant resources which derived from ample land and a large population (Nye 2015 p. 393). However, Britain started to become fearful of its power once other countries too started gaining access to resources, population, modernised and subsequently started building military power (Palmer et al. 2002,

Show More
Open Document