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Imperialism: The Most Influential Policy In Europe Toward Africa And Asia

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From the 1800s to the 2000s, many powerful countries in the European continent were in search of economic stability for their citizens. To fulfill these needs, their leaders understood they must engage in wars and trades to control the military capabilities as well as the administration and the resources of “weak” but rich countries in the African and Asian continents. They forged the imperialist policy. The imperialism policy provided the powerful European powerful countries with resource expansion and socio-political and economic prosperity over the conquered countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. European invaders could extract resources and gain cheap labor.

Imperialism encouraged European nations’ expansion of resources over the African continent. “Africa is one of the most diverse continents”. Africa had various resources stripped from them, which benefited the European colonial countries. Africa was best known for its resource of gold, spices (cinnamon, ginger, cumin, etc.), and salt. During the 1800s, Europeans created ties with Ghana and Mali. The Europeans wanted to create bridges with Asian and African countries due to the fact that they had access to spices, silk, slaves, and other luxury items. Imperializing Africa allowed Europeans to increase their economy by reselling the resources that were extracted.

Also, the imperial policy caused Europe to begin its industrial revolution. Some areas were ruled by the Dutch. The economy fell as they were settled at the edges of Africa; because of this, the Dutch began to move upwards of Africa. During the end of the 19th century, European countries such as Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, etc. attended the Berlin Conference called by Otto Von Bismarck of Germany. During this conference, there was no representation for the African countries. One effect of this was putting King Leopold of Belgium in charge of the Democratic Republic of Congo. With King Leopold being in charge of the Congo, he used this area to exploit the Congolese to look for items such as rubber to bring to him as tax payment to the government. If he was denied or if people refused, their hands would get severed. When the other colonies heard about this, King Leopold was stripped of his colony, the Congo.

In the 19th century, Western Europe’s policy set its domination on the territory of many countries in Africa and Asia. This was its opportunity to control the economic, military, and political landscape of the nations on those continents. Indeed, British Empire took over the Suez Canal. This canal was an important strategic area that allowed this empire to control the land, the harbors, and the sea in that region, and therefore secure its economy.

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In fact, it is mentioned that most of the Europeans had imperialized mainly the borders of Africa. As time progressed, Britain, Dutch, and France began to move closer to the inside of Africa. Britain occupied Egypt due to the creation of the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal is a sea-level waterway that is connected from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red sea. This was the route for trade from China and India to Europe. European countries started to explore Africa’s interior more due to industrialization. They wanted to find war resources such as rubber, copper, gold, etc. Additionally, this created a better economy for Europe because of the resources they found.

During the 1900s, Imperialism was impactful, also, because it allowed advancements to new technology medicine began to advance due to the European countries industrializing. After many different confrontations with other countries, the western powers had the most control. European countries were forced to industrialize and accept the new ways of doing everything. This caused the countries to recreate their cities. There was an increase in medicine such as vaccines, hygiene, etc. For example, Countries such as Britain couldn’t go far into places like Africa because of the diseases that they wouldn’t endure. These killed Europeans in outstanding numbers. The life expectancy increased as medicine and technology were created. Medicines such as Penicillin, CAT scans, Ultrasounds, et cetera. Since the Europeans weren’t able to exploit the other parts of Africa due to diseases such as smallpox, yellow fever, and Africa Horse Sickness. They created Steamboats to penetrate through Africa because their horses were not immune to some of the diseases such as malaria and AHS. They created a medicated type of tonic water which helped lower the effects of the diseases they were not immune to. Lastly, the creation of weapons helped the Europeans. Gun technology has improved since the 1600s. They had machine guns which allowed them to wipe out the Africans through war. Imperialism was impactful due to the fact that there was a great increase in technology and medicine. This will later help in future wars such as World War I. These weapons helped the men on the battlefield, created new defense mechanisms, and offensive techniques.

Between the 1900s and 2000s, Social Darwinism gave weight to the ideas of Imperialism. Social Darwinism is best known as natural selection. This was advocated for by Herbert Spencer. After his ideas were broadcast, they became more popularized in Western Europe by mainly the French and Portuguese. Social Darwinism supported the idea of “Survival of the Fittest”. Therefore, the European countries began to expand their military, overseas investments, making profits et cetera. Europeans believed that whites were superior and that they’re the great conquerors against others because they were considered inferior to them. The weaker race was to be obliterated because that was the law in its natural form.

In the twentieth century, the European continued to dominate a lot of countries in Africa and in Asia. For example, England exerted strong power over Congo, Egypt, and India. Such domination limited the power of those countries’ administrations. The local leaders served and protected the European economic interests. A historical document revealed, “By 1914, Great Britain controlled the largest number of colonies and the sun never sets on the British Empire”(Worldatlas). This document described then the vastness of the British‘s holdings and wealth gained in these aforementioned countries

Imperialism was the most influential policy in Europe toward African and Asian continents because it created a resource expansion over them. Not only did it promote and secure the invading European countries’ economic prosperity, but also it provided them with a standard of grandeur and superiority in various aspects: cultural, military, social, and religious. Social Darwinism established Caucasian superiority with the concept of fitness survival and European religion or Christianity reigned.

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Imperialism: The Most Influential Policy In Europe Toward Africa And Asia. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Imperialism: The Most Influential Policy In Europe Toward Africa And Asia.” Edubirdie, 26 Feb. 2022,
Imperialism: The Most Influential Policy In Europe Toward Africa And Asia. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Imperialism: The Most Influential Policy In Europe Toward Africa And Asia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 26 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
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