Nationalism and imperialism in the industrial revolution

7 July 2016

By definition, nationalism is the love, devotion, and loyalty to ones country or ones cultural group. Imperialism is the domination of other areas by imposing political, social, and economic policies to improve their own country. The Industrial revolution was the change from the use of human and animal power to the use of mechanical power in order to produce goods.

Nationalism developed when conservatives, liberals, and radicals argued about issues of government in the first half of the 1800’s. The movement would blur the lines that separated the three political theories. An example of nationalism is the self-governing Greeks, who for centuries had been a part of the Ottoman Empire. Since they had the nationalistic spirit, they demanded independence and rebelled against the Ottoman Turks in 1821.

Nationalism and imperialism in the industrial revolution Essay Example

What was driving Imperialism was the economic, political, and social forces that lead to land being taken over in all parts of the globe. In particular, the Industrial Revolution gave the European countries a reason to add lands to their control. Since European nations industrialized, they searched for new markets and raw materials to improve their economy. The race for colonies also expanded out of a strong sense of nationalism.

During European imperialism, around the 1870’s, European countries, such as Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, thought that nationalism would make them better and stronger countries of the world. Africa and parts of Asia were points of interest among these countries. Nationalism in the Europeans was what fueled the expanding machine called imperialism. So with nationalism in mind, they began imperializing other countries, thinking that they were actually helping these countries develop and prosper. However, the opposite was truly happening. The countries that had been imperialized usually ended up in a worse state than they were before.

One can say that imperialism is overseas nationalism. The equation, however, (nationalism=imperialism) can work vice versa. The countries that are under the rule of a controlling country would most likely want their freedom back. So they turn to nationalism and revolt against the imperialists. In conclusion, while nationalism leads to imperialism, the opposite is also true.

With a plethora of land and colonies under the rule of one nation, the Industrial Revolution was born around the 1750’s in order to effectively and quickly manage their resources. One very evident example is railroads; throughout Russia, Britain, and the Netherlands, railroads became such an important factor to an ever growing empire. Industrialization instigated with the idea to improve and ameliorate ones own country, which by definition is Nationalism. In summary, due to imperialism, which is directly proportional to nationalism, industrialism originated to keep order and manage the colonies, land, and resources.

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