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Imperialism is the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. It was applied years ago and had both positive and negative impacts on the survival and well-being of the people. The European exertions to develop societies gave rise to upgraded hygiene and learning. The native colonial peoples, conversely, lost control of their property and freedom as they were under the unswerving regulation of the imperial powers. Imperialism, therefore, had a great impact on the lives of the people, and several developments are attributable to this policy.
Imperialism had several effects on the native colonial people. Firstly, cultural expansion led to the spread of positive values, including democracy and human rights. Next, the colonial powers established schools and proper infrastructure (Davies, 2015). This promoted trade thus contributing to the changes in the welfare of the native people, whose living standards were greatly impacted. However, imperialism led to exploitation, misery, poverty and racial segregation among the natives, who, in addition, created many political problems for the colonial powers. European nations disrupted many traditional political units of the native tribes. They also united rivals under single governments that tried to impose stability where local conflicts had existed for years. Tribal clashes that happened after had their origin in these imperial colonies. As a result, imperialism brought about the demise of many indigenous cultures and languages as an implication of colonialism.
Imperialism also had effects on the imperial powers. First and foremost, a spirit of nationalism was established, and it promoted the idea of national superiority. Imperialists felt that they had the right to take control over the nations they viewed as weaker. Second, countries like Britain obtained economic benefits of raw materials taken from the colonies. The larger nations gave the colonies the blessing of their civilization by making them parts of heir culture and improving their living standards. However, imperialism contributed to tension among the western powers (Davies, 2015). For instance, the rivalry between France and Britain over Sudan is among the hostile conditions that led to the Second World War.
To some extent, imperialism was advantageous to the native people as well as the imperial powers. First of all, the illiteracy rate decreased considerably in the colonies. It was due to the establishment of learning institutions by the colonial masters. Next, the regular life expectation augmented substantively since welfare services were made accessible to the inhabitants. Further, peace and harmony were brought to the societies since the foreign rulers brought about some governmental steadiness. The extent of indigenous conflicts was lowered significantly due to the regulation of the political regime in the colonies. Finally, economic expansion was evident due to the development of industries. More employment opportunities were created for the local people thus improving their living standards (Davies, 2015). The colonial products also became obtainable on the global market thus paving the way for colonies to become successful.
Imperialism did benefit the imperial powers. It concerns their national pride as well as economic and strategic gains. Firstly, ruling nations were able to take natural resources of the colonized lands since they had control over them. For instance, England gained access to cotton and silk from India. Moreover, the colonies were also an invaluable source of cheap labor, agricultural land, and trading ports. Secondly, imperial nations could be able to project their military power over long distances. They controlled the native inhabitants as well as dealt with uprisings and scared off their imperial rivals (Jadhav, 2015). Thirdly, the countries were able to create large corporations. Their close association with banks strengthened the influence of financiers on imperial economy and politics.
There were several disadvantages of imperialism both to the natives and imperial powers. First of all, the native peoples no longer had control of their property and liberation. Time and again, local citizens tussled with imperial rulers to preserve their mode of living. Many peoples were lost due to fighting back the imperial powers. Secondly, numerous natives died because of new ailments that were brought by the rules. That happened since colonial peoples had no resistance to these sicknesses. Thirdly, traditional values and beliefs lost their meaning when the former chiefs lost their control. Natives no longer were pride of their cultural beliefs and practices. Traditional values and principles were replaced with that of the Europeans through the learning structure initiating customs to become neglected (Jadhav, 2015). Following are some more factors that impacted negatively the native population. Houses and possessions had to be owned by the colonial masters, and the inhabitants needed a permission to live there. Men were required to leave from their communities to keep their people. They had no chances for having well-paid jobs since the imperial masters occupied them. There was a high demand for cash crops that instigated a scarcity of food leading to a food crisis among the natives.
The imperial power experienced some shortcomings, too. Firstly, by the Second World War, these countries were forced to choose between fighting expensive wars and giving up their colonies. They fought to retain the restrictions formed by previous imperialist regimes. This issue created political instability in their countries, too, and most of them chose to grant independence peacefully. Next, there was an uneven allocation of assets. Preferring one cultural group over others in the foreign society helped to endorse inter-group oppositions. The favored groups had admittance to significant resources that permitted them to develop their supporters. The result was that the countries’ wealth was distributed to specific areas only. Lastly, they lacked governmental skills and experience to rule their states without colonies’ support since they were exploitive and dictatorial in nature.
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