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Imperialism

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  Imperialism For other uses, see Imperialism (disambiguation). Imperialism  is a type of advocacy of empire. Its name Cecil Rhodes  and the Cape-Cairo railway project. Rhodes   founded the De Beers Mining Company , owned the British South Africa Company and had his name given to what became thestate of  Rhodesia. He liked to “paint the map British red” and  declared: “all of these stars ... these vast worlds that remain out of reach. If I could, I would annex other planets”. [1] srcinated from the Latin word    imperium   , which meansto rule over large territories. Imperialism is “a policy ofextending a country’s power and influence through col-onization, use of military force, or other means”. [2][3] Ithas also allowed for the rapid spread of technologies andideas. The term imperialism has been applied to West-ern (and Japanese) political and economic dominance es-pecially in Asia and Africa in the 19th and 20th cen-turies. Its precise meaning continues to be debated byscholars. Some writers, such as Edward Said, use theterm more broadly to describe any system of dominationand subordination organised with an imperial center anda periphery. [4] Imperialism is defined as “A policy of extending a coun-try’s power and influence through diplomacy or militaryforce.” [5] Imperialism is particularly focused on the con-trol that one group, often a state power, has on anothergroup of people. [6] This is often through various forms of“othering” (see other) based on racial, religious, or cul-tural stereotypes. There are “formal” or “informal” im-perialisms. “Formal imperialism” is defined as “physicalcontrol or full-fledged colonial rule”. [6] “Informal impe-rialism” is less direct; however, it is still a powerful formof dominance. [6] The definition of imperialism has not been finalized forcenturies and was confusedly seen to represent the poli-cies of major powers, or simply, general-purpose aggres-siveness. Further on, some writers used the term imperi-alism, in slightly more discriminating fashion, to meanall kinds of domination or control by a group of peo-ple over another. To clear out this confusion about thedefinition of imperialism one could speak of “formal”and “informal” imperialism, the first meaning physicalcontrol or “full-fledged colonial rule” while the secondimplied less direct rule though still containing perceiv-able kinds of dominance. [6] Informal rule is generallyless costly than taking over territories formally. This isbecause, with informal rule, the control is spread moresubtly through technological superiority, enforcing landofficials into large debts that cannot be repaid, owner-ship of private industries thus expanding the controlledarea, or having countries agree to uneven trade agree-ments forcefully. [7] It is mostly accepted that modern-day colonialism is anexpression of imperialism and cannot exist without thelatter. The extent to which “informal” imperialism withno formal colonies is properly described remains a con-troversial topic among historians. [8] Both colonizationand imperialism have been described by Tom Nairn andPaul James as early forms of globalization: Even if a particular empire does not have a“global reach” as we would define it today, em-pires by their nature still tend to contribute toprocesses of globalization because of the waythat imperial power tends to generate counter-power at its edge-lands and send out reverber-ations far beyond the territories of their imme-diate control. [9] The word imperialism became common in Great Britainduring the 1870s and was used with a negativeconnotation. [10] In Britain, the word had until then mostlybeen used to refer to the politics of Napoleon III in ob-tainingfavorablepublicopinioninFrancethroughforeignmilitary interventions. [10] 1  2  2 JUSTIFICATION  1 Colonialism vs Imperialism “The word ‘empire’ comes from the Latin word im-perium; for which the closest modern English equivalentwould perhaps be ‘sovereignty’, or simply ‘rule’ . [11] Thegreatest distinction of an empire is through the amount ofland that a nation has conquered and expanded. Politicalpower grew from conquering land, however cultural andeconomicaspectsflourishedthroughseaandtraderoutes.Adistinctionaboutempiresis“thatalthoughpoliticalem-pires were built mostly by expansion overland, economicand cultural influences spread at least as much by sea”. [12] Some of the main aspects of trade that went overseasconsisted of animals and plant products. European em-pires in Asia and Africa “have come to be seen as theclassic forms of imperialism: and indeed most books onthe subject confine themselves to the European seaborneempires”. [13] European expansion caused the world to bedivided by how developed and developing nation are por-trayed through the world systems theory. The two mainregions are the core and the periphery. The core consistsof high areas of income and profit; the periphery is onthe opposing side of the spectrum consisting of areas oflow income and profit. These critical theories of Geo-politics have led to increased discussion of the meaningand impact of imperialism on the modern post-colonialworld. The Russian leader Lenin suggested that “imperi-alism was the highest form of capitalism, claiming thatimperialism developed after colonialism, and was dis-tinguished from colonialism by monopoly capitalism”. [14] ThisideafromLeninstresseshowimportantnewpoliticalworld order has become in our modern era. Geopoliticsnow focuses on states becoming major economic playersin the market; some states today are viewed as empiresdue to their political and economic authority over othernations. Territories that were once part of the British Empire. The term “imperialism” is often conflated with colonialism , however many scholars have arguedthat each have their own distinct definition. Imperialismand colonialism have been used in order to describe one’ssuperiority, domination and influence upon a personor group of people. Robert Young writes that whileimperialism operates from the center, is a state policyand is developed for ideological as well as financialreasons, colonialism is simply the development forsettlement or commercial intentions. Colonialism inmodern usage also tends to imply a degree of geographicseparation between the colony and the imperial power.Particularly, Edward Said distinguishes the differencebetween imperialism and colonialism by stating; “impe-rialism involved 'the practice, the theory and the attitudesof a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distantterritory', while colonialism refers to the 'implanting ofsettlements on a distant territory.' [15] Contiguous landempires such as the Russian or Ottoman are generallyexcluded from discussions of colonialism. [16]:116 Thusit can be said that imperialism includes some form ofcolonialism, but colonialism itself does not automaticallyimply imperialism, as it lacks a political focus.Imperialismandcolonialismbothdictatethepoliticalandeconomic advantage over a land and the indigenous pop-ulations they control, yet scholars sometimes find it dif-ficult to illustrate the difference between the two. [17] Al-thoughimperialismandcolonialismfocusonthesuppres-sion of  an other  , if colonialism refers to the process ofa country taking physical control of another, imperial-ism refers to the political and monetary dominance, ei-ther formally or informally. Colonialism is seen to be thearchitect deciding how to start dominating areas and thenimperialism can be seen as creating the idea behind con-quest cooperating with colonialism. Colonialism is whenthe imperial nation begins a conquest over an area andthen eventually is able to rule over the areas the previ-ous nation had controlled. Colonialism’s core meaningis the exploitation of the valuable assets and supplies ofthe nation that was conquered and the conquering nationthen gaining the benefits from the spoils of the war. [18] The meaning of imperialism is to create an empire, byconquering the other state’s lands and therefore increas-ing its own dominance. Colonialism is the builder andpreserver of the colonial possessions in an area by a pop-ulation coming from a foreign region. [19] Colonialism cancompletely change the existing social structure, physicalstructure and economics of an area; it is not unusual thatthe characteristics of the conquering peoples are inher-ited by the conquered indigenous populations. [20] 2 Justification A controversial aspect of imperialism is the defense andjustificationofempire-buildingbasedonseeminglyratio-nal grounds. J. A. Hobson identifies this justification ongeneral grounds as: “It is desirable that the earth shouldbe peopled, governed, and developed, as far as possi-ble, by the races which can do this work best, i.e. bythe races of highest 'social efficiency' . [21] Many othersargued that imperialism is justified for several differentreasons. Friedrich Ratzel believed that in order for a stateto survive, imperialism was needed. Halford Mackinderfelt that Great Britain needed to be one of the greatestimperialists and therefore justified imperialism. [22] The  2.2 Cartography  3purportedlyscientificnatureof SocialDarwinism andatheory of races formed a supposedly rational justificationfor imperialism. The rhetoric of colonizers being raciallysuperior appears to have achieved its purpose, for exam-ple throughout Latin America “whiteness” is still prizedtoday and various forms of blanqueamiento (whitening)are common.The Royal Geographical Society of London and other ge-ographical societies in Europe had great influence andwere able to fund travelers who would come back withtalesoftheirdiscoveries. [23] Thesesocietiesalsoservedasaspacefortravellerstosharethesestories. [23] Politicalge-ographers such as Friedrich Ratzel of Germany and Hal-fordMackinderofBritainalsosupportedimperialism. [24] Ratzel believed expansion was necessary for a state’s sur-vival while Mackinder supported Britain’s imperial ex-pansion; these two arguments dominated the disciplinefor decades. [25] Geographical theories such as environmental determin-ism also suggested that tropical environments created un-civilized people in need of European guidance. [23] Forinstance, American geographer Ellen Churchill Sempleargued that even though human beings srcinated in thetropics they were only able to become fully human in thetemperatezone. [26] TropicalitycanbeparalleledwithEd-ward Said’s Orientalism as the west’s construction of theeast as the “other”. [27] According to Siad, orientalism al-lowed Europe to establish itself as the superior and thenorm, which justified its dominance over the essential-ized Orient. [28] Technology and economic efficiency were often im- proved in territories subjected to imperialism through thebuildingofroads, otherinfrastructureandintroductionofnew technologies.The principles of imperialism are often generalizable tothe policies and practices of the British Empire “duringthe last generation, and proceeds rather by diagnosis thanby historical description”. [29] British imperialism oftenused the concept of Terra nullius (Latin expression whichstemsfromRomanlawmeaning'emptyland'). Thecoun-tryofAustraliaservesasacasestudyinrelationtoBritishsettlement and colonial rule of the continent in the eigh-teenth century, as it was premised on  terra nullius  , andits settlers considered it unused by its sparse Absrcinalinhabitants. 2.1 Imaginative Geographies and Orien-talism Imperial control, both territorial and non-territorial, isjustified through discourses that shape our understandingof different spaces. [30] The concept of imaginative ge-ographies explains how this understanding is limited byour attitudes and ideas which work to obscure the realityof these spaces. [30] Orientalism, as theorized by Edward Said, refers to how the West developed an imaginative geography ofthe East. [31] This imaginative geography relies on anessentializing discourse that represents neither the di-versity nor the social reality of the East. [32] Rather, byessentializing the East, this discourse uses the idea ofplace-based identities to create difference and distancebetween “we” the West and “them” the East, or “here” inthe West and “there” in the East. [33] This difference wasparticularly apparent in textual and visual works of earlyEuropean studies of the Orient that positioned the Eastas irrational and backward in opposition to the rationaland progressive West. [30][34] Defining the East as a nega-tive vision of itself, as its inferior, not only increased theWest’s sense of self, but also was a way of ordering theEast and making it known to the West so that it could bedominated and controlled. [35][36] The discourse of Orien-talism therefore served as an ideological justification ofearly Western imperialism, as it formed a body of knowl-edge and ideas that rationalized social, cultural, political,and economic control of other territories. [33][37] 2.2 Cartography See also: Cartographic propagandaOne of the main tools used by imperialists was cartog-raphy. Cartography is “the art, science and technologyof making maps” [38] but this definition is problematic.It implies that maps are objective representations of theworld when in reality they serve very political means. [38] ForHarley,mapsserveasanexampleofFoucault’spowerand knowledge concept.To better illustrate this idea, Bassett focuses his anal-ysis of the role of nineteenth-century maps during the scramble for Africa . [39] He states that maps “con-tributed to empire by promoting, assisting, and legitimiz-ing the extension of French and British power into WestAfrica”. [39] Duringhisanalysisofnineteenth-centurycar-tographictechniques, hehighlightstheuseofblankspaceto denote unknown or unexplored territory. [39] This pro-vided incentives for imperial and colonial powers to ob-tain “information to fill in blank spaces on contemporarymaps”. [39] Although cartographic processes advanced through im-perialism, further analysis of their progress revealsmany biases linked to eurocentrism. According toBassett, [n]ineteenth-century explorers commonly re-quested Africans to sketch maps of unknown areas on theground. Many of those maps were highly regarded fortheir accuracy” [39] but were not printed in Europe unlessEuropeans verified them.  4  3 HISTORY  Ottoman wars in Europe 3 History Imperialism has played an important role in the historiesof Japan, Korea, India, China, Assyria, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Em- pire,thePersianEmpire,theOttomanEmpire,theBritish Empire, and many other empires. Imperialism was a ba-sic component to the conquests of Genghis Khan dur-ing the Mongol Empire, and of other war-lords. Histori-cally recognized Muslim empires number in the dozens.Sub-Saharan Africa has also featured dozens of empiresthat predate the European colonial era, for example theEthiopianEmpire,OyoEmpire,AsanteUnion,LubaEm- pire, Lunda Empire, and Mutapa Empire. The Americas duringthepre-Columbianeraalsohadlargeempiressuchas the Aztec Empire and the Incan Empire. Although normally used to imply forcible imposition of aforeigngovernment’scontroloveranothercountryoroverconquered territory that was previously without a unifiedgovernment, “imperialism”issometimesusedtodescribeloose or indirect political or economic influence on weakstates by more powerful ones. [40] Cultural imperialism is when a country’s influence is feltin social and cultural circles, i.e. its soft power, such thatit changes the moral, cultural and societal worldview ofanother. This is more than just “foreign” music, televi-sionorfilmbecomingpopularwithyoungpeople,butthatpopular culture changing their own expectations of lifeand their desire for their own country to become morelike the foreign country depicted. For example, depic-tions of opulent American lifestyles in the soap operaDallas during the Cold War changed the expectations ofRomanians; a more recent example is the influence ofsmuggled South Korean drama series in North Korea. The importance of soft power is not lost on authoritar-ian regimes, fighting such influence with bans on foreignpopular culture, control of the internet and unauthorisedsatellite dishes etc. Nor is such a usage of culture recent,as part of Roman imperialism local elites would be ex-posed to the benefits and luxuries of Roman culture andlifestyle, with the aim that they would then become will-ing participants.Imperialism has been subject to moral or immoral cen-sure by its critics, and thus the term is frequently used ininternational propaganda as a pejorative for expansionistand aggressive foreign policy. [40] 3.1 Age of Imperialism The Age of Imperialism, a time period beginning around1700, saw (generally European) industrializing nations,engaging in the process of colonizing, influencing, andannexing other parts of the world in order to gain politi-calpower. Althoughimperialistpracticeshaveexistedforthousandsofyears, theterm“AgeofImperialism” gener-ally refers to the activities of European powers from theearly 18th century through to the middle of the 20th cen-tury,forexample,the TheGreatGame inPersianlands,the Scramble for Africa and the Open Door Policy in China. [41] Africa , divided into colonies under multiple empires, circa 1913
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