Theories Of Imperialism

Theories of Imperialism

In XIX century, changes have been so deep and unprecedented that they can hardly be clearly framed.


Different interpretations of the changes which took place in the XIX century:

European interpretations

  • Progress of human capabilities and self-improvement, a point of view shared by those who benefited the most of the events of this century. European power influence and/or dominance created the premises for a modern societal structure. Brutalities and violence were a cost to pay in order to make progress happen.
  • Socialists: industrialization supported and praised as a tool to improve the living standards of humanity, but a strongdenunciato the capitalist system
  • Conservative critics: an idealized view of the traditional society based on local hierarchies, which they believed to be the best way to allow every individual to find its place.

The most negative points of view shared the belief of an evolution of society towards self-destructiveness, which was proved to be somewhat true by the devastating events of the beginning of the XX century.


Eastern and southern interpretations


What is Empire, what is Imperialism.

If may make sense to distinguish empire from other forms of statehoods. It inglobes pre-existing structures and whole states, leaving the internal organization unchanged. Inclusive ideology. Not valid for Alexander empires. Categories and labels formed by occidental culture and occidental way of thinking. Empires existed also outside the European world.

Parallelism with Christianity: in XVIII century France was eager to extend its influence in East Asia, it then created private companies of missionaries

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