According to Western powers, imperialism was necessary for the industrial revolution because of the increased need for raw materials and market expansion. The countries needed to expand their territories in order to increase the resources available for the industries. The empires expanded into far-flung regions in Asia and Africa. The raw materials required by the imperialist countries included cotton, coal, and iron ore. Cheap labor provided by natives in the conquered territories was also used to extract the raw materials, which were transported to the industries.
1. Imperialism is when a powerful nation-state seizes territories outside its own borders, transforming and governing them as colonies.
2. Several European nations had empires in the late 19th century, though the British Empire was by far the largest of these.
3. This period saw a race to acquire the last territories open for colonisation. Much of this occurred in Africa, where Britain, France and Germany all competed for new colonial possessions.
4. This ‘scramble for empire’ fuelled rivalry and led to several diplomatic incidents, such as two ‘Moroccan crises’ that were largely precipitated by the German kaiser.
5. The deterioration of another imperial power, the Ottoman Empire, attracted the attention of European powers, who sought territory, influence or access in the Balkans and eastern Europe.