In the late 19th and early 20th centuries
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American and European powers wanted to increase their power and did so by colonizing land in other parts of the world. Through imperialism, larger countries could gain more power; they felt that taking an empire would give them more naval bases, which would allow their already strong nation to become even more formidable. These powerful nations also wanted to control the international market by designating certain places for countries to sell goods and places in which to buy raw materials. America and Europe felt that they had superior civilizations and that they had an obligation to spread their religion and culture to other countries, which were thought of as savage and primitive. Through conquest and colonization of countries considered uncivilized, America and Europe spread their influence to the rest of the world. The imperialism affected each territory differently. For Asia, imperialism lead to Britain being the major colonial power though there had been trade for many years before. Imperialism in Africa broke down the original cultural and language groups that had previously existed into new European “countries” as a result of the Scramble for Africa. Nationalism rose within Britain as a result of imperialism and European powers continued to compete. Tensions rose higher and higher and affected the way people in higher power treated the people living in Africa.