Colonialism, liberty, and imperialism are among the essential components





Imperialism, Colonialism, and Liberty

Colonialism, liberty, and imperialism are among the essential components of the world’s history as it influenced many nations during the late 19th century and early 20th century. At this period they were the forces at work where the American Imperialism was significantly felt as well as many African nations experiencing direct colonization from the European superpowers. At this era, slavery has been abolished in Great Britain and its powers following the influence of the Anglican Low Church around the mid19th century. Therefore, the superpowers were in a rush to acquire many colonies as a measure of getting market to their industrial products, exploitation of raw materials for the advancing industries as well as maintaining their national superiority. Regarding their advantage, the Europeans superpowers were faced by some opposition from the inferior nations which lead to the emergence of the resistance movements. The imperialism and colonization also met China by the British which significantly led to the beginning of the Opium wars as the local rulers opposed the colonial rule and domination. In this discussion, the critical analysis of imperialism, colonialism, and liberty is elaborated in a profound extend in comparison of their effects in South and Central America, Africa, and China.

In understanding the meaning of imperialism, it is state of the superpowers having an economic, cultural and military influence on the other nations in the world. The late nineteenth century is significantly referred as the Age of Imperialism as it is the time that many word’s superpowers expanded their territorial possessions the United States of America is among them. The primary motivating notions towards imperialism were obtaining natural resources, wealth accumulation, subduing their enemies as well as winning power and glory. The motives were similar among all the European controls, and it is during this time they spread their territories across the borders. The combination of centralized governments, industrialized economies and sea powers made the European nations capable of setting empires all across the world. Their production determined the primary drive of was getting raw materials for their industries as the good they exchanged. In comparing our nations of interest in this discussion, the South and Central America were different from Africa and China as they acquired liberty at this period and they were part of the nations the enhanced imperialism to other countries.

In Africa and China in the early twentieth century were subjected towards imperialism as the European superpowers exploited large industrial products from the natural resources available. They were made market spheres where the European nations could take their finished industrial products in exchange for other goods adverse in their motherland. The different types of imperialism evident during this period include economic, colonial, social-cultural and political hegemony. Colonial imperialism involves the colonial powers having complete control of the region with domination of the social-cultural, economic and political sectors. Africa is an excellent example of the nations that experience this kind of imperialism where the conquered area had no independence and lived for the beneficiary of the imperialists. Economic hegemony is the kind of rule where the subjugated had the freedom to run their government, but the imperialist had complete control of the businesses and other trading activities. The imperialist had significantly prohibited the rights of their subjects to trade with other nations, and the imperialist companies have the power of exploiting the natural resources. China is an excellent example of the country that experienced this kind of imperialism especially when it came to Opium trading.

Furthermore, political imperialism involved the conquered nation having a government with the local leaders on the top positions, but they ruled according to the imperialist country’s ways. The local government was at sometimes wholly overpowered as it was the case with the Qing China at the late ruling and at some nations temporal as it was evident in the Dominican Republic that was under United States imperialism. Finally, social-cultural hegemony involved the dominant countries intentionally trying to change the religious beliefs, traditional customs, and languages in the conquered lands. For instance, in Africa, the British ensured that English was taught in school and the western cultures were put place. The imperialist nations significantly assumed that their perceptions were superior and they at instance bring developments in the society. The imperialism in Africa and China significantly lead to the development even though the Imperialists were the ones who much benefited.

In the nineteenth century, the America imperialism significantly developed as a result of the American exceptionalism that suggested that the United States imperialism was unique from other superpowers in that it had the mission of spreading liberty and democracy to the inferior nations all over the world. The American imperialism significantly refers to the cultural, economic and military effect of the United States to other countries in the World. During this period, industrialization had adequately developed in America, and the people involved in business sector had a diversification aim of establishing a market in other nations across the borders. Furthermore, the social Darwinism spreading in land that led to the belief that America had the inherent responsibility of bringing impressions regarding Christianity, democracy, and industrialization to the developing societies in the world. This concepts among other notions towards getting the market to sell their product and acquire sources of raw materials for their industries made American nations get motivated towards imperialism.

Among the nations that America exerted the social, political and economic control during the age imperialism include Cuba, Philippines, Korea, Japan, and Austria. Among the most separate instances of American imperialism during this era was the seizure of Hawaii during the year 1898. It effectively allowed the United States to own and be in power of all ports, military equipment, buildings, public property and harbors that was legally owned by the Hawaiian Islands government. The imperialism of America was significantly faced by the opposition in 1898 by the American Anti-Imperialist League that was established in the United States. The debate was against the Americans imperialism as they believed that it was the primary factor that led to the start of the Spanish-American war as well as violating the doctrine of republicanism. They were not against the expansion of the American territories to other nations, the spread of Christianity, commercial development as well as other actions on the humanitarian ground. Therefore it is distinct that during the late nineteenth century the South and Central America were a step ahead of Africa and China as they had the liberty and struggled to diversify their territories to other nations through imperialism.

Looking China into an in-depth extent as a nation during the turn towards the twentieth century, it was among the countries that struggle to curb imperialism and colonialism among its territories. The Europeans have weakened the Qing dynasty to the extent that economic and political hegemony was apparently evident in the region. The British had been fighting for the legalization of the Opium trade in the nation with considerable opposition from the government. However, the Chinese government was forced into agreements during the Opium wars that significantly granted the British power to conducted business into other local parts of the country apart from Canton port where their empire was based (Hevia, 2003), 174-179. The first Opium War was held between China, Britain, and France. The Chines government had taken action against Britain Opium commerce where they captured their ship, lowered the Britain flag and restrained the Chinese squad members who were later released. The act stimulated Britain’s acted of bombarding the Canton port and other territories in China as a way of avenging. The French supported Britain into the claim that their missionary had been intentionally killed in China.

The second Opium War started after the act of Chinese government demanding to prosecute the Britain people who had killed a Chinese at the Canton Port. The British government protected its citizens from being punished by the Chinese government and significantly sent its military to deal with the allies. To curb the wars China was forced to sign treaties that significantly offered the Britain rights towards commerce in the country, allowed Christianity missionaries and the Europeans were added other territories in Hong Kong as well as give the right to trade into the local regions. From there, Britain freely sells Opium among other products with Chinese, and the local people were adequately addicted to the drug leading to cultural and economic degradation. Also, the Qing dynasty was significantly weakened by the Taiping rebellion led by Hong Xiuquan, which was based on fighting for women equal rights and was made of the peasant farmers among other people who were against the charismatic rule. The European took advantage of the china’s sphere separation hence their capacity to dominate the region economically. Comparing the imperialism in China and Africa was to some extent different as in Africa the European portrayed colonial imperialism while in China they majored in economic hegemony.

In consideration of the above discussion, during the late nineteenth century, these nations had different impacts regarding colonization, liberty, and imperialism where the American countries gained freedom while most of the African nations were significantly colonized and faced by European nations’ imperialism. China was subjected to imperialism by the British government as well as the marginalization of its government ruling. Apart from the America getting liberation it significantly spread its unique imperialism to other nations in the world which were a democracy and industrial base. The United States emerged as the new superpower in the world during the late nineteenth century and significantly gained territorial expansion. On the other hand, even after the end of slavery the Africa nation and China continued to undergo through the superpowers’ suppression through colonization and imperialism. The scramble and partition of Africa led to their loss of independence through colonialization as well as overexploitation the natural resources, but it significantly led to industrialization and technology advancement in the nation. The turn towards the twentieth century is essential to the history of the word and will be vital in the education sector to the present and future generation. Additionally, it plays a vital role in understanding the nations’ diversity during this period as well as the civilization of America, China, and Africa.


Hevia, J. L. (2003). English Lessons. The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth Century China, 174-79.