Imperialism refers to the practice of extending a nation’s dominion or power directly or indirectly to acquire territory. In the eighteenth century, imperialism was at its height as European countries started seizing areas even in America which was driven by economic, political and strategic goals such as the industrial revolution.

European imperialism changes after the industrial revolution emergence

The industrial revolution made expansionism more necessary as it led to improved medical knowledge, and superior technology helped foster domination. In Europe, it helped gain economic muscle which would later be translated to the increase in political power. This fuelled the necessity to expand their markets globally (Petras & Veltmeyer, 2017).

The industrial revolution also spurred changes and growth in science, industries, and technology leading to more improved transportation through shipbuilding. This led to improved transport which promoted western superiority (Petras & Veltmeyer, 2017).

Whether the rush to gain territories was a strategic and an economic goal

The rush to gain territories was both as a result of economic gain and also as a strategy. Economically, the rush to get territories helped the European countries acquire labor by using slaves from the Dark Continent. Gaining territories was much driven by economic gains as there was increased competition in the sale of goods due to the industrial revolution. The regions were also believed to be rich in natural resources and this powers wanted to exploit this niche.

It was also a strategy to push for their doctrines and western superiority as they termed their territories uncivilized. Creation of spheres of influences was a strategic and economic approach. Having more colonies was also a sign of prestige to the imperial nations and this strategy was used to intimidate rival nations.


Petras, J., & Veltmeyer, H. (2017). Imperialism, Capitalism and Development. The Essential

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