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American Imperialism

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American Imperialism

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Below are three primary sources about motives for imperialism. In order, these three sources concern economic, political and ideological motivations. The primary sources do involve other nations, but the motives for imperialism are the same for the United States. Imperialism: Economic Motives Sir Frederick Lugard (1893): Governor of Hong Kong and Nigeria for the British Empire It is enough to say again that, as long as our policy is one of unhindered trade, we must seek new markets. The old markets are being closed by tariffs (tax placed on imported goods) and places that used to purchase our goods have become rivals in trade. It is unavoidable that a great commercial power like this one move forward and avoid losing wealth. To allow other nations to develop new markets and then refuse to do the same thing would be unacceptable. It is our duty that we build upon the existing trade that has brought so much pride. If our economic enterprise does not expand now and is neglected, then the opportunity will never happen again. If any expenses occur at the beginning, the ultimate economic gain will be far greater. Imperialism: Political Motives Freidrich Fabri: Does Germany Need Colonies? Participating in imperialism will strengthen our military and nation. Our steam powered naval vessels require coal to operate. Colonies spread throughout Africa would provide all of our ships with a place to find coal and supplies. Pursuing imperialism would limit the power of our British and French competitors. We can prevent territory from falling into their hands and halt further expansion. Germany would weaken their trade and keep profits from finding Britain and France. Lastly, pursuing imperialism would increase national pride in Germany. If we successfully obtain colonies, we will show the world that Germany is strong. By obtaining colonies, Germany could be the most important and powerful nation in Europe. Imperialism: Ideological Motivation British Journalist Henry Stanley: 1882 Quote The Congo is an empty and unproductive wasteland, a desolate area with almost no use. It has been our purpose to fill up this empty area with life and redeem this vast wasteland. It has been our purpose to plant and harvest what the savage inhabitant may gather for us and enliven these wild lands that have been long forgotten by Europe. May a curse fall upon any person who would foolishly interfere with our mission and cause all of our hard work to not produce results, thereby forcing us to abandon Africa to helplessness and savagery.

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