Neo-imperialism is not considered just a resurgent of imperialism but is considered as separate and distinct subject.
To understand neo-imperialism, it is essential to valuate its validity as either a political or economic phenomenon. Many of the activities and strategies employed in neo-imperialism resulted to or were caused by political measures to preserve influence and power in the home regions of the nation involved. Marxist and socialist critics point out the underlying economic motivation driving imperialistic movements. Regardless of the stated and actual motivations, neo-imperialism both has political and economic rationales. This paper aims to evaluate whether neo-imperialism is a political or economic phenomenon by evaluating its origins and consequences. In doing so, the paper will provide not only an understanding of neo-imperialism as a phenomenon but also provide insight into its current influence in the global arena.
Imperialism refers to the political domination by one group of another through. The term was coined to denote the expansion activities to claim the territories of the new world: predominantly of European countries into the Americas, Asia and Africa. It thrives between 1450-1650 but went into decline during the Age of Metternich1 and resurged again to give rise to neo-imperialism (Henry, 2006).
According to Vladimir ...
There were varied motivations for imperialism, aside from exploration: it became a symbol of status among European countries to be able to "discover" foreign lands signifying political, economic and cultural strength.
In both instances, there were political and economic motivations expressed to give good reason for the imperial activities. In imperialism, the need to discover and develop new trade routes to supply the growing economic demands of European markets for raw materials and products, particularly spices encouraged the explorations ("Imperialism", 2006). Though there were existent land routes, they were often hampered by local wars and politics. In the case of neo-imperialism, industrialization, effects of the long depression in Europe, inflation explosion and the triumph of industrial capitalists over finance capitalists in Europe and existing colonies was the reason for the expansion to discover new markets and resources ("New Imperialism", 2006; Henry, 2006).
Politically, participation into imperialism also aimed to maintain whatever status quo of power existing in Europe ("Imperialism", 2006). According to Latourre (1997) one can take for this as an example is the competition that rose between of Portugal and Spain in the early 1500's. Both were motivated in their explorations to claim land to advance Christianity to further their amity with the Papacy and to maintain their stature in the Iberian Peninsula. In neo-imperialism, the expansions were seen as a means of reinforcing dominance and power not just between traditional political rivals in Europe but also against emerging world leaders such as the Untied States and Japan (Porter, 1994).