Causes Of British Imperialism

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In my opinion, the industrial revolution was more of a consequence of British imperialism, rather than the result. Whilst some historians believe that Britain expanded in the search of raw materials to fuel the industrial revolution, others such as J.R. Ward say that, due to Britain’s colonization, new markets became available to sell British products and this led to the inevitable expansive development of new technology and techniques to produce more goods at a faster rate than ever previously achieved in history. Furthermore, the idea of mercantilism proposes that Britain’s wish to be a trading nation was also enthused by their desire to be seen as a more powerful nation in a century of continuously growing European colonialism. I argue that …show more content…
Growing imperial power throughout Europe in the eighteenth century stimulated a sense of competition causing a great feeling of patriotism within Britain. British citizens saw the empire as a matter of pride and prestige within their role in the world and therefore they were in favour of not only defending the empire but of further expansion. English poet Hilaire Belloc wrote the line “Whatever happens we have got the Maxim gun and they have not” in one of his poems in 1898. The maxim gum was the first recoil-operated machine gun and it commonly associated with British imperial conquest. This sources shows the pride that the British people had in their empire at the time, which would encourage political leader of Britain to carry on expanding in an effort to remain in favour of the …show more content…
The government aimed to appease this, abolishing the slave trade in 1807 as well as slavery within its colonies in 1833. The term ‘Social Imperialism’ refers to the circumstances that political leaders, who are facing serious domestic struggle and tumultuous political change as the consequence of industrialisation, begin on a course of imperial expansion. This can be applied to the situation that the British government found themselves in; after the British public had made it clear that they supported the spreading of their Anglo-Saxon, Christian value to Africa, the government were politically motivated to expand throughout South Africa, justifying this as morally driven. J. Bentham’s Emancipate your colonies pamphlet that was published in 1830 shows the strong moral feeling of Britain at the time: he argued that emancipation was part of a process to reduce power conflict and promote international law which would therefore expand Britain’s foreign influence. Despite the pamphlet being published in 1830, it was written by Bentham in 1792-3 so this shows the ideology of social expansion was a deep-set ideology that had been around for a long time in Britain and so could suggest that British imperialism stemmed from British values and

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