DBQ European imperialism Essay

The European imperialism came into world view between 1870 and 1920, much due in part to political, economic, and social forces. The European nations were able to control many of these countries because of the imperialism structure that the Europeans had. The Europeans economic forces such as survival of the fittest and the much ever growing political forces and governments were the most responsible for the new imperialism. As the European governments were expanding so was their economy. The most prevalent economic strategy was survival of the fittest.

As William l. Langer explains in Document 5, “But the economic side… must not be allowed to obscure [hide] the other factors. Psychologically speaking,… evolutionary teaching [about the “survival of the fittest”] was perhaps most crucial. It not only justified competition and struggle but introduced an element of ruthlessness1.”

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What Langer is trying to say, is that if you want to succeed you must come out on top. The only way to do this is to take over and control as much land as possible.

Along with the huge expansion of the European economy, the European government was growing ever so rapidly as well. Looking at Document 9 one can see that most European colonies had taken over much of Africa. It was clear that European imperialism was slowly taking over much of the world. This also gave strength to the European economy and social structure. Lastly the European imperialism had a large social structure, focusing mainly on racism. Document 4 explains the ramifications of how the Europeans executed this, and the mind set of many European peoples, Cecil Rhodes explains, “ I contend that we Britons are the finest race in the world, and the more we inhabit, the better it is for the human race… It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human, most honorable race the world possesses2.”

This statement clearly shows the intentions of the European nations. Now they were on a full steam ahed course of imperialism. These three social, political, and economic ways brought the Europeans imperialism. By taking over the trading routes of Africa and having the mental mind set that that they were the best race in the world the had succeeded.

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