Imperialism, in definition, is the domination by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or region in order to increase its own wealth and power. Imperialism during the period following the Age of Exploration, when European countries acquired colonies to support mental power, can be called "old imperialism." In the nineteenth century, a new era of imperialism began; this time followed the Industrial Revolution. The Imperial powers used economic ways to reorganize important regions and bring them into the economy as suppliers of food and raw materials and as consumers of industrialized products. .
Political reasons led to imperialism such as feelings of nationalism intensifying throughout Europe during the nineteenth century. Nationalism began the idea of national superiority. Industrialized countries therefore felt they had the right to take control of weaker areas. Countries also tried to increase their power through the control of more land and people.
Economic causes also led to imperialism. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, countries needed colonies for raw materials to feed the increasing number of factories, markets for finished products, places to invest surplus capital, and places to send surplus population. .
Social causes were also a primary factor that led to imperialism. Many people believed the words of Rudyard Kipling, who said it was the white mans burden to educate the people of the underdeveloped world, spread the customs of what they saw as a superior western culture, and to convert people to Christianity, since it was believed that the souls of the non-believers would not be saved.
The new era of imperialism brought important and far-reaching effects. Through the creation of global empires, the imperial powers helped spread the Industrial Revolution and the capitalist system around the world. Christianity, western European languages, and Imperialism benefited underdeveloped regions through improved transportation, education, and medical care.