Imperialism is the domination of the political, economic, and cultural life of one country or region by another country. Imperialism was a self-sufficient way of living. European's wanted a self-reliant way of living and gained control of smaller countries and regions to spread influence throughout the world. These extensions of control over non-European territories has involved, in varying proportions, trading, settlement, loot, national pride, conquests, and wars between rival powers. Although imperialism has helped countries in Asia and Africa, the European powers were the ones who benefited the most from it. .
France, Britain, and Germany were the three main imperialist powers in Africa during the late eighteen hundreds. The French secured them economically by using military means of obtaining territory. The French, rather harsh in their administration and their attempts to increase their economic footholds, used forced labor, taxation, and imprisonment of Africans to maintain and expand their interests. Britain's imperialistic activities in Africa had different motives. Britain wanted to colonize, find new markets and materials, attain world prestige, convert natives to Christianity, and spread the English style of orderly government. The British wanted control over the Suez Canal because it gave them financial superiority and comfort. Germany had its own reasons for involvement in the scramble for Africa. Germany knew that France and Britain would not waste their time, resources, and energy on something that was not profitable. Germany thought that if they obtained colonies in Africa, then they would also dominate.
British control of India began in the seventeenth century. The British East India Company established themselves as the economic rulers of India. Once the British gained formal control of India, its importance began to increase. India became the British center of operations in Asia, and was the staging point for military excursions into Afghanistan, Burma, and other nearby territories.