Introduction state controls the effective political sovereignty of another

Introduction

 

In this essay, I will be tackling the question has
imperialism done more to intensify difference or to enable interconnectedness?
To properly evaluate this I will start by defining imperialism and its
motivating factors because only by having a good understanding of the
motivational factors will we be able to properly argue whether imperialism has
done more to foster interconnectedness or the opposite.

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Imperialism and
its Motivating factors

 

 

The idea of imperialism developed in the nineteenth century
following the collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition
and suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist Industrial
Revolution. But yet what does this infamous word, mean.

 

imperialism quite simply means thinking about, settling on,
controlling land that you do not possess, that is distant, that is lived on and
owned by others. While others have defined imperialism to be the practice, the
theory, and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant
territory(colonialism).Perhaps the best way to understand imperialism is in the
words of Michael Doyle; he says: “Empire is a relationship, formal or
informal, in which one state controls the effective political sovereignty of
another political society. It can be achieved by force, by political
collaboration, by economic,• social, or cultural dependence. Imperialism is
simply the process or policy of establishing or maintaining an empire.

 

 

The significant explanations for imperialism can be grouped
into three general categories, first was economically which is pinned by the
internal characteristics of imperial states. Writing in 1902 (1965), for
instance, John Hobson grounded the motivation for overseas expansion laid in
the necessity to export their surplus capital.As a result by 1870, it became
necessary for European industrialised nations to look beyond their internal
European markets to sell products they could not otherwise sell in their
continent. Parallel to that, Europeans powers needed resources such as rubber,
oil, and manganese for steel. The need for these resources mandated that the
Europeans maintained firm control over their interest areas. Only by the
systematic control of their regions did it mean the industrial economy would
work efficiently because that area of their interest was to serve as the fuel
to their industrial markets.This is why Neo-Marxists later argued that the
military-industrial complex and other features of capitalist states actually
created a need for capital, leading nations to develop colonial and neocolonial
relations with developing regions to extract wealth.

 

 

 

 

The second is political which is strongly intertwined with
nationalism and realism. The Europeans were nationalistic in two ways. In a
broad and specific way, The broad sense is characterised by their perceived
superiority over non-Europeans whereas, in the particular sense they harboured
a more powerful intensity of nationalism towards their own countries. This
highlighted the struggle for survival and influence between great powers
creates a sense of rivalry which permeated the air between them which lead to
metropoles to seize territories to augment their resources and allows them to
compensate one another using peripheral regions to maintain an active balance
of power. The classic case of imperialism driven by systemic competition was
the so-called race for Africa in the late nineteenth century. Imperial colonies
were, therefore a sign of pride and empire supremacy. The points above are
experienced after the episode of the unification of Germany (1871) and Italy (a
longer process, but its capital relocated to Rome also in 1871) there was no
space left to acquire more for other empires to acquire more territories in
Europe. Britain, France and Germany were in a constant power struggle to
maintain their dominance, and an empire would secure it. Hence as the German
and Austria Hungarian grew in power, Britain sought to gain territories to
neutralise the playing field by acquiring Egypt and the control of the Suez
Canal as well as pursuing land in gold-rich southern Africa. Parallel to
Britain was the French, but perhaps for the French, the more critical reason
for subjugating Africa to imperialistic rule, was to restore pride to their
nation by waging a second war against the Germans again but this time with the
support of able bodies from their colonies

 

 

As for the third reason, it is social. Deeply rooted in
Darwin’s theory of evolution which proposed the idea that all life had come to
be over millions of years. To explain the long slow process of evolution,
Darwin concocts the theory of natural selection. He says that natural forces
strategically selected those with physical traits best suited for their environment.
Darwin never intended his theory to be a social one, but the process of natural
selection seemed like the perfect excuse to justify imperialism to the Western
minds. The Englishman Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) was the first to apply
“survival of the fittest” to human societies and nations. Social Darwinism
fostered imperialistic expansion by proposing that some people were more fit
(advanced) than others. The Europeans believed that they, as the white race,
were dominant and that it was only natural for them to conquer the “inferior”
people as nature’s way of improving mankind. Thus, the conquest of inferior
people was just, and the destruction of the weaker races was nature’s natural
law. Equally stemming from their believed superiority backed by Darwin’s theory
they thought it their obligation to spread their ideas and religions to the
inferior peoples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has imperialism done more to intensify difference or to enable
interconnectedness?

 

A very hard question in its nature but not so hard that its
unable to be answered, one could derive many conclusions from Europe’s colonial
past to prove either a for or a against (intensification of difference or interconnectedness)
argument but I will proceed to mention point for an against. First by
presenting points for interconnectedness and then for intensification of difference.
My first point lies in one of the drivers to imperialism. The very fact the Europeans
needed to new market to export their surplus capital to a new continent where
it could be traded is a testament to the argument for interconnectedness because
from the trade a connection was established and after the Europeans decided to colonise
their regions of interest a greater connectivity was established because now
the trading was not just between the colonised and their mother state but it
became part of a greater web, so goods would flow in from other colonised
states.

 

 

 

My second argument is due to the fact that much of the perceived
third world was under European rule, a level of connectivity arose from their grievances
as a people debased by imperialistic rule that caused them to be one we can see
such patterns of connectivity through the creation of liberal organisations who’s
main priorities are to solve deal with their internal disputes and external
enemies because the organisation or the creation of an organisation is better
suited to stand against a political enemy.such Liberal organisations are. The Arab
league who’s main mandate is to protect Arab interest and second the Muslim
world league which endeavours to protect Muslims interest furthermore the pan African
movements, we see Kwame Nkrumah having strong ties with Gamal Abdunnasir of Egypt
who in my humble opinion if not for the mutual struggle of colonialism there
would not be any connection between the two characters furthermore Libays Muammar
Gaddafi also a pan African who believed in the unification of tge African continent
is a dividend of that reactionary connection that stemmed from their struggle of
being colonised and trying to forma a formidable opposition to their
colonisers.

 

 

 

My third argument is the former law which allowed former
colonised peoples to freely enter their mother countries is another form of
connectivity because in doing so people from rural areas were able to delve
themselves into a new world and experience new things and most importantly
adopt new ideas, this is more evident in the practice of Europeans awarding  selected students from their colonies with
the opportunity to study at their prestigious institutions to come back to
their own home countries and serve as colonial administrators furthermore
similar tactics were aloes deployed for those who their main interest was to
spread the Christian faith

 

 

 

 

In contrast to the aforementioned points some pretty strong
points could be used against imperialism to say it did more to intensify
difference but I personally think the difference it created was in the idea of
the colonisers being different from the those they colonised this idea takes it
root with the colonisers themselves where they subjugate non-whites as not
fully evolved species who they needed to civilise. Moreover, from another
perspective this idea caused strong resentment for Europeans amongst the
colonised because as they thought themselves superior. The colonised saw them
as haughty arrogant and cunningly evil because of their efforts to achieve
their materialistic goals by any means necessary and indirectly forcing their
faith and ideologies on the colonised. In northern Nigeria, the British were
strongly hated so much so that a poem was conceived that called against accepting
anything from them for even if it seems good it is of greater harm to you.

 

 

In addition another strong argument that can be levied for
the intensification of difference, Is that it sometimes created a sense of
difference between the colonised states, people who were previously one began
to perceive themselves as different because they were colonised by a different
imperial master for instance the Sahrawi people were long known to live in
harmony with their neighbours and even were part of the united Maghreb but
because they fell to the Spanish and the greater Morocco fell to France they perceive
themselves as a total different people furthermore one could even argue the amalgamateonary
( the act of amalgamation) exercises the British practised intensified
difference between a people whom already had difference. For example the creation
of a one Sudan was an act of amalgamation that caused so much problems that
they had to split up because the north was home to the Muslims and south the Christians
likewise in Nigeria. The British amalgamated a number of people who had nothing
in common to a form a country and this act was the cause of many misunderstandings
that lead to violence.

 

 

In conclusion after
presenting both arguments for an against I am of the opinion If critically assessed
I would say imperialism did more to foster interconnectedness rather than
intensify difference, because much of the world we know today would’ve not been
discovered if it weren’t for the imperialistic mother states sending out
explorers to find new lands, this is not of course to say I am an advocate for imperialism
but the fact still lies that the imperialist found and connected people
directly and indirectly, Northern Nigeria a place far situated in the Sahel would’ve
not in a million years be able to trade with India which is in a total different
continent, but because both were colonised by Britain they both had a mutual
connection or even enemy.likeiwse for some Europeans imperialism was an episode
that broaden their horizons and lead to the fact that non-whites were also a
far civilised people this served as emancipation from the false stories propelled
in Europe of a savage people who needed to be civilised. The arguments levied
against interconnectedness are simply weak, tension between people are inevitable
regardless whether amalgamated or not. If a people who live in an area of close
proximity to each other it is almost evident that there will be problem