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Imperialism

One of the most influential economic, political and social events in history was established by European imperialism. Many of the implications of European Imperialism are still seen today and are the root of how much of the world is set up today.

                Although in general Imperialism has been in effect in many different historical scenarios, European Imperialism has had some of the most lasting and important effects on todays culture and will be the focus of this post. As the 20th century came around, many of the wealthiest and powerful countries in Europe demanded higher marginal production of capital and resources. At the time, much of the world including Africa and the Americas were still inhabited by indigenous people and was seen by powerful European countries as open land open for their own use.

                The industrialized countries of Europe sought out new places to both export goods and obtain mass amounts of unutilized resources. There was no better place than the continent of Africa to expand political and economic power. Although trade had been established between the European countries and African regions prior to the 1800’s, the late 19th century saw a boom of exploration and exploitation of Africa. Some of the more wealthy countries like France, Britain, and Spain claimed massive amounts of the continent for their own economic use and reaped the gains from the resource rich continent. The continent was divided between the countries and by the 1910’s almost all of the land in Africa had been claimed by European nations. The countries set up trading posts and colonies that exploited both the land and human capital of the African regions to the great benefit of some of the wealthiest European countries. The Americas also experienced massive changes due to European imperialism as most of the coast was claimed by European settlers and their own colonies.

                The implications of imperialism have left much of Africa deprived of natural resources and in economic turmoil. Although many of the south American countries that had been invaded are now beginning to experience growing economies, the continent was also left in shambles for a very long time after the designated European countries lost interest. Culturally the implications may be ever lasting as much of the south American continent is still Spanish speaking, and much of the world now practices religions imposed by the Europeans. European Imperialism also led to the international slave trade in which the native people of Africa were relocated to the Americas. This seems to have ever lasting effects as much of the United States is considered “African America” and have migratory roots from the time of Imperialism. 

Sources

“1750-1914 – Imperialism in Africa.” New Canaan Public Schools – NCPS Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2013. <http://www2.newcanaan.k12.ct.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=5501&gt;.

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