What Were The Causes Of Imperialism In The 19th Century

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Towards the close of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth century, European imperialist governments in their quest to expand their territories for various reasons aggressively scrambled and invaded the African continent. Initially, the gullible African societies, most of which were decentralized, welcomed the foreigners but after realizing the stakes some mounted resistance (Johnston,43). As expected, the more sophisticated imperialist governments prevailed in most of the colonies and subdued the natives. The effects of the foreign presence were monumental, and it would take more than half a century for these colonies to free themselves from the oppressive rule and become independent governments. Until the late 1800’s, European traders had been occasional visitors at the coastal regions of most the African continent. Several factors motivated the earlier visitors. First, some were missionaries spreading Christianity and these were the first groups to make inroads into the interior of the continent. Others traders having discovered lucrative trade avenues in the east and preferred…show more content…
Many historians agree it is the economic factors that fueled the imperial expansion into the African continent. The unexplored land provided many raw materials like rubber, cotton, and minerals for the booming industries. Inasmuch as the African labor was cheap, and even with the abolition of slavery, Africans served as a good source of manpower and toiled in plantations and domestic chores (Anderson, 98). Although economic reasons have been the major cited reasons for European aggression, some historians have faulted this argument since some colonizers did not incur more costs in the invasion than the benefit accrued from such conquests. For example, the Italians and Germans were not as successful enough to maintain a protracted presence in their

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