Imperialism can be defined as, "the political, social, and/or economic take over of one group of people, generally non-white, by another group of people, generally white. It is not surprising then to find that the three main causes for imperialism in the world can be found in the definition itself. One reason a people may take over another group of people is for economic reasons. Natural resources are often the cause for this. Another reason is politics. This involves a full military conquest of an area, followed by the installation of a modern government. Social reasons make up the third justification for imperialism. .
Money is one of, if not the most compelling item in the world. It is because of this that many countries decide to take over other countries in order to make money. The British conquered India during the 18th century in order to secure the spice and tea markets. Much of South East Asia was taken over in the same manner. Plantations were setup in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma.) From the East Indies, the Dutch sold spices, tea, and coffee, and wood from Burma. .
A country may take over another country and its people for political reasons. All countries that are victims of imperialism are controlled in one of three manners. These are either a direct rule, an in direct rule, or they are controlled by a protectorate. In India, the British enacted a direct rule over the Indians. They did this in order to expand the British Empire and for other economic reasons. In South East Asia, the Dutch created the Dutch East India Company to indirectly rule over the East Indies. The French however utilized both direct and indirect rule in their territories. They indirectly ruled over Northern Vietnam, while directly controlling Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. .
While the first two causes of imperialism deal generally with inanimate objects, mainly money and land, the third cause of imperialism deals directly with human beings.