The Expansion Of Imperialism

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The expansion of imperialism

Hobsbawm indicates that the term nationalism began to be used in France at the end of the 19th century, to refer to right -wing ideologues. These groups took strength in Europe between 1875 and 1914 until they became mass movements that opted for the self-determination of their peoples and the repudiation of foreigners. Over the years, these feelings were mixed with state nationalism, originating that the masses conceived that the cause of the State was its same cause.

For this author, the correlation of nationalism with the industrial revolution is in the fact that it was driven by the bourgeois society that grew together with industrial development because it could be used to favor national integration, which led to the appearance of astandardized working mass that could serve capital under the discourse that it was actually being useful to the progress of its nation. He also explained it from the French Revolution, of this inherited the conception of giving the nation a modern political sense, becoming subject to sovereignty. According to the author, nationalism goes through three stages. The first is a hegemonic nationalism, the second: it is influenced by romanticism and the third: it takes a turn to the right. Becomes primary and xenóbaba.

At the end of the 19th century, national identities arise, which are creations that arise from the ruling class, and imposed on the rest of the population under the objective of homogenizing a diverse society and gaining loyalty towards the institutions that claim to be guarantors of the sovereignty of saidnation. On the other hand, the traditions used as cohesive elements of the imagined community had an important role as means to homogenize society and implement a single national identity.

In this the imperialism was supported to cement its bases. This was how between 1880 and 1914 much of the world was divided into territories that remained under the government or informal political domain of a series of states, United Kingdom, France, Germany Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and the United States. In Latin America, political and economic domination was carried out without a formal conquest. This economic expansion and exploitation of the world were escontial for capitalist countries.

The engine of imperialism was economical since we can see that the fact that a series of developed economies simultaneously experienced the need to find new markets as of place. They needed an open door in the markets of the underdeveloped world, placing their companies in a monopoly position, or if not by force.. The consequence of this policy was the distribution of the unusual areas of the Third World. As can see imperialism, it is the natural consequence of an international economy based on the rivalry of several competing industrial economies. This division of the world did not occur in America, due to the existence of Monroe doctrine, which prevented it.

Hobson thought that imperialism was a perversion of nationalism, it attacked the freedom of the weakest races, causing in them a nationalism full of resentment towards imperialism, whose only goal was industrial, territorial and financial expansion at the expense of others.

Lenin said that imperialism was the last stage of capitalism. For this, monopoly capital has to do with a logic of capitalism, the characteristic is the end of free concurrence, free market, and the beginning of monopolies., Thus begins market control by large monopolies, price control, investments, etc. Ordering the economy around your needs. Capital export acquires great importance in this period, thus beginning the world’s cast for international trusts.

The expansionist career of the imperialist powers began to generate great tensions between them. This was accompanied by a growth of naval armies and armed. The sources of tension to the prelude to World War I were numerous. But as Procacci wrote "there is a broad agreement to reduce the common denominator to the term" imperialism "to the set of contradictions and contrasts that undermined the stability of Europe and the pre -world world".


  • Hobsbawm, Eric, the era of the Empire (1874-1914)
  • Hobsbawm, Eric, the Age of the Revolution (1789-1848), Cap 7: PP nationalism. 126- 137.
  • Hobsbawm, Eric, the era of capitalism (1848-1875) Cap. 5: "The manufacture of nations", pp. 82-9
  • Principle of the form
  • Hobson J A "Imperialism"
  • Lenin V "Imperialism upper stage of capitalism"
  • Smith Anthony: National History and Popular Will

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