Colonialism in the 17th and 18th Centuries

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17th and 18th Century European exploration and settlement efforts

A large number of countries in Europe were interested in attempts to explore and colonize countries in the 17th and 18th centuries. Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, France, and England were the countries participating in the whole colonization process. The efforts for exploration and colonization is characterized by the need to achieve economic supremacy in the areas of trade, agriculture, research, technology and industrial development.

Comparison and Comparison of the 17th and 18th Century conquest and colonization attempts of Europe

By ensuring that they gained possession of farms, the European colonizers and settlers pursued agricultural supremacy in the 17th century. The French explorers, for instance, established the need for controling subsistence activities. However, entering the 18th century, the British took over the colonies initially dominated by the British. The colonization and exploration activities were mostly characterized by assimilation where those colonized had to adopt a new way of life.

European colonizers equally attempted to discover rich cities in the process of exploration. For example, Spain attempted to discover the Indian cities while at the same time protecting their colonies. Portugal, on the other hand, focused on the exploration of the New World. The 17th and 18th centuries defined the continued quest by European colonizers to gain dominance with regard to agricultural and economic activities (Cohen). Particularly, England that colonized countries such as the present United States focused on attaining wealth with a focus on sugar trade.

Imperialist Practices between 1870 and 1914

Imperialism was described as the domination of a country or group of people by others. The European society was initially shaped by industrial revolution and nationalism. However, this changed in the 19th century when imperialism began. Old imperialist activities were depicted where the European countries sought trade routes in places such as the Far East while at the same time establishing a settlement in North and South America (Steven, and Pomeranz). Vast empires have been created in Africa by the European states as a mark of New Imperialism. The quest for dominance specifically began in the year the 1870s as the countries took over Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Imperialist practices were defined by the need to show cast complete control of particular regions in the world. European countries set up the administrative centers in a bid to confirm their colonial powers. The creation of the Industrial Revolution would further see an increase in imperialist practices as the European countries sought to meet their economic needs by ensuring that they come up with an expansion policy. The period would later be defined as the “Second Industrial Revolution.” The period between 1870 and 1914 would witness countries focus on dominating each other in areas such as science, technology, and industrial development (Van der Linden).

Similarities and Differences

Despite the efforts by individual countries to attain dominance, there was a similar effort aimed at ensuring that each of the individual countries dominated the other when it came to the aspect of industrial growth. The focus was on ensuring that economic dominance was achieved. Various factors may be attributed to similarities and differences witnessed at the time. Particularly, some issues related to opportunities each of the European countries accessed. For example, some of the countries dominated regions in Africa that were endowed with attractive resources. The ability to access such opportunities was an advantage since it could advance efforts toward new imperialism. Consequently, firms lacking the same were unable to attain dominance and this is the reason behind the similarity and differences.

Works Cited

Cohen, S. I. "Dominance of Firm and State Subsystems in Western Economic History." (2016).

Topik, Steven, and Kenneth Pomeranz. The world that trade created: Society, culture and the world economy, 1400 to the present. Routledge, 2014.

Van der Linden, Mieke. "To Whom Belongs the Land? Territory, Sovereignty and Imperialism in the History of International Law." Browser Download This Paper (2016).

October 25, 2022




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World History

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