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Imperialism by Mind Map: Imperialism

1. Definition

1.1. A system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to get power over them

2. Characteristics

2.1. 1) The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life

2.2. 2) The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this ‘finance capital’, of a financial oligarchy

2.3. 3) The export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance

2.4. 4) The formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves

2.5. 5) The territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.

3. Five Theories Used to Justify Imperialistic Expansion

3.1. Conservative Economic Theory

3.1.1. The better-developed nation sees imperialism as a means of maintaining its already successful economy and stable social order. By securing new captive markets for its exported goods, the dominant nation is able to sustain its employment rate and redirect any social disputes of its urban populations into its colonial territories. Historically, this rationale embodies an assumption of ideological and racial superiority within the dominant nation.

3.2. Liberal Economic Theory

3.2.1. Growing wealth and capitalism in the dominant nation results in the production of more goods than its population can consume. Its leaders see imperialist expansion as a way to reduce its expenses while increasing its profits by balancing production and consumption. As an alternative to imperialism, the wealthier nation sometimes chooses to solve its under-consumption problem internally through liberal legislative means such as wage control.

3.3. Marxist-Leninist Economic Theory

3.3.1. Socialist leaders like Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin rejected liberal legislative strategies dealing with under-consumption because they would inevitably take money away from the dominant state’s middle class and result in a world divided into wealthy and poor countries. Lenin cited capitalist-imperialist aspirations as the cause of World War I and called for the adoption of a Marxist form of imperialism instead.

3.4. Political Theory

3.4.1. Imperialism is no more than an inevitable result of the attempt of wealthy nations to maintain their positions in the world’s balance of power. This theory holds that the actual purpose of imperialism is to minimize a nation’s military and political vulnerability.

3.5. The Warrior Class Theory

3.5.1. Imperialism actually serves no real economic or political purpose. Instead, it is a pointless manifestation of the age-old behavior of nations whose political processes have become dominated by a “warrior” class. Originally created to satisfy an actual need for national defense, the warrior class eventually manufactures crises that can only be dealt with through imperialism in order to perpetuate its existence.

4. The Age of Imperialism

4.1. The Age of Imperialism spanned the year 1500 all the way to 1914. During the early 15th to the late 17th century, European powers such as England, Spain, France, Portugal, and Holland acquired vast colonial empires. During this period of “Old Imperialism,” the European nations explored the New World seeking trade routes to the Far East and—often violently—establishing settlements in North and South America as well as in Southeast Asia.

5. The Age of New Imperialism

5.1. While the European empires established footholds on the coasts of Africa and China following the first wave of imperialism, their influence over local leaders was limited. Not until the “Age of New Imperialism” had started in the 1870s did the European states begin to establish their vast empires—mainly in Africa, but also in Asia and the Middle East.