The basic motives for imperialism were political, economical, and cultural. Imperialists believed It was their duty to govern the colonized nations and develop their economies. They viewed themselves as racially and culturally superior. Larger, more modernized nations, such as the united States, Europe, France, and Germany, felt the need to spread civilization, usually by domination smaller, weaker nations. Political conquests and economic expansion were powerful motivators for imperialism, but the idea of one nation or culture being superior to another was a strong driving force for colonization as well.

Each motive tied Into the others and each was used as a Justification for imperialism. In Document 4, scholar Parker T. Moore describes Imperialism, outlining the motives for doing so. He explains the benefits of colonizing weaker nations on an economic level. Business owners profited from the markets they could open in the new colonies, expanding their industries and reducing foreign competition. He claims that in order to establish economic control, imperialists must also have political control of the colony.

To gain political control, military action would be replaced.

Military leaders believe strongly In extending the white man’s rule over the Inferior races. ” This statement corresponds with the cultural superiority motive. Parker T. Moore added that missionaries would go out and preach to the people of the colonies about the afterlife in hopes of converting them to their religion. Economic gain was a particularly large reason for imperialism. Many nations wanted to dominate specific areas to procure access to their natural resources, expand their Industries, and obtain more laborers, whom they could pay less to work more.

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What Are The Motives Of Imperialism

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany announces In his speech to the North German Regatta Association that they have “conquered a place for ourselves in the sun” in order to develop their industry and agriculture within the state. He claims that their future depends upon the colonization of the region (Doc 1). His statement shows how imperialists were mainly concerned about how colonization benefited themselves, more than they cared about how It would affect the colonized nation. The desire to expand Industries and develop lands was a major motivation for Imperialism.

Doing so was rarely beneficial to the native people of Imperialism region. A British scholar, J. A. Hobnobs, wrote “the normal state of such a country is one in which the most fertile lands and the mineral resources are owned by white aliens and worked by natives under their direction, primarily for their gain. ” His analysis shows how white men would wage war against these territories in order to gain access to their lands, forcing the natives to perform the labor while the “white rulers” reaped all of the benefits.

The Imperialists did not care about the best Interests of the people In that region. They considered themselves racially superior to the natives and treated them as parasites (Doc 2). Seeks Tour’s perspective on colonialism was much the same as Hobnobs. Tour believed imperialism took away [West Africans] right to self- government. The imperialist nations made the colonized people feel as though their civilization was “nothing less than savagery’. It caused the natives of the region to feel Irresponsible, stripped them of their Identity, and harmed their economy. Sources (Doc 6).

Scholar O. P. Austin did not agree with Hobnobs and Tour’s point of view on the negative effects and motivations for imperialism. In his opinion, imperialism benefited the native people by developing their lands and establishing a violation that they would have been incapable of creating themselves (Doc 3). Jules Ferry, the Prime Minister of France, had the same view of colonization as Austin did. In Document 5, he point out all of the benefits of imperialistic Tunisia, Saigon, Indochina, and Madagascar–economically, politically, and militarily.

He explained how France needed more outlets for exports and the colony people needed France’s military protection against naval warfare. He believed that these countries would benefit from the military aid, while France would benefit from the extra places to gain supplies, shelter, safe harbors, and provisions. France supported their need to imperialism these regions by arguing that there was a need to defend themselves and these colonies against foreign competition, warfare, and the need to develop the nations in order to accommodate the growing population.

John Stuart Mill viewed imperialism as beneficial to all involved. He claimed that colonization took in consideration the best interests of the colonized people and had positive impacts on the economy of the entire human race (Doc 8). Albert Beverage, U. S. Senator, defended imperialism, saying that, “the rule of liberty that all Just government rives its authority from the consent of the governed, applies only to those who are capable of self-government.

He, among others, believed these colonized nations were incapable of governing themselves, unable to handle the responsibility of overseeing their own affairs. Many imperialists believed they were doing the colonies a favor (Doc 7). Rudyard Kipling wrote “The White Man’s Burden”. In this poem, he expressed the point of view that white men took on the difficult task of colonizing weaker nations to help their people prosper. His writings show how white men insider themselves to be superior to all other races and the only ones capable of developing a successful government and economy (Doc 9).

The documents provided show many points of view from people who were involved in the process of imperialism, both as the imperialists and the colonized. It would be helpful to include more documents from recent scholarly analyses. Overall, the main reasons for imperialism included economic, political, and cultural development, each of which intertwined with the others. Usually, colonization benefited the imperialist nations more so than the colonized nations.

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Motives For Imperialism. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Motives For Imperialism
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