New Imperialism In Europe Essay

Japan successfully fought against China (1894/95) and Russia (1904/05).As a regional Great Power, Japan established colonies in Korea and in the Pacific Ocean.However, the extent to which European imperialism was responsible for the outbreak of World War I is both an open and a controversial question.In broaching this issue, this article aims not to give an overview of the history of imperialism and colonialism, but rather to focus on the aspects that might have worsened the relations between the Great Powers and have led to the Great War.Even if imperialism was one of the crucial factors that led to the Great War, by 1914 nearly all colonial disputes between Germany and Britain had been solved.

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Between the early 1880s and 1914 the map of the world was redrawn, especially in Africa.However, the concept often had racist overtones, especially if non-white or non-European civilizations were competing with the European imperial powers.This fact might explain the popularity of the concept: imperialists and nationalists from rather different political camps could agree on the need for expansion.The Social Darwinist cultures of imperialism were rooted in different national and social traditions.Pro-colonial movements used a variety of arguments to promote national expansion.This article focuses on the extent to which imperialism contributed to the outbreak of the First World War.The first part describes the emergence of specific imperialist cultures and attitudes in Europe.The second part deals with economic rivalries, showing that financial imperialism was not identical with formal political expansion.The third part concentrates on the classical field of diplomatic history and the question how much the so-called “concert of Europe” was influenced by imperialist tensions on the periphery.The article distinguishes between several levels of analysis.The first part deals with European imperialist cultures and attitudes before the First World War; the second part takes a deeper look at economic and financial imperialism, focusing on Anglo-German relations, which were crucial in the pre-war era; and the third part analyzes the diplomacy of the European Great Powers with reference to imperialist concepts and ideas.

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