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Theories of Imperalism

6). This is the State Oriented theory of Imperialism and its main connection is with the territory and it is connected with the British patriotism. The whole idea of this imperialism was that British people had to acquire more and more territories in unsuspecting and underdeveloped countries to show their patriotism towards the country and Crown. The expansion of territory went on unabatedly for at least two centuries, till Britain owned one third of the world, arrogantly claiming that Sun never set in British Empire.
The original meaning of Imperialism was simply one powerful ruler ruling over many territories and regions either inside European continent, or anywhere else in the world. It meant the all-powerful British crown making policies for colonies in the distant East and West of the globe. He says this position at home strengthened the situation of Conservative party of England.
Classic political theory of Imperialism developed in the other half of the nineteenth century. German scholars like Heinrich Friedjung are at the helm of this theory. The colonial expansion ambitions of Napoleon III, no doubt ended in total disaster; but it gave credence to the grandeur of imperialism, the legitimate and magnificent rule of a mighty ruler over lesser mortals.

Mommsen says that Friedjung did tremendous amount of work to establish the classical theory of imperialism by combining the nationalistic ideology working for the domination of far-flung areas for the sole purpose of national gratification. The days were conducive and any victory over the natives of colonies was regarded as a national victory and such heroes were respected and their service to the crown was acknowledged. Imperialism was institutionalised in Europe and other countries were competing with each other to follow the example set by Britain in becoming a prosperous greater power through a mighty empire. "The object of acquiring a colonial empire was usually to enhance the prestige of one's own state, and ideally to raise it to the status of a world power," (p. 5). This was the reigning theory of state oriented imperialism that suited excellently to the prevailing European mood. "The nationalist variant of the political idea of imperialism was of extreme importance in legitimising imperialist policies in all the major European countries," (p. 7). Walther Sulzback connected imperialism with nationalism. There are many more racial and biological versions of this theory, which look irrelevant today and this theory of imperialism belongs to the earlier centuries.

Classic Economic Theories

Theodor Barth said, 'Imperialism consists of influencing world economic processes, more or less violently, from the standpoint of the development of national power,' (p.10). This perhaps was the first attempt to give economic colour to Imperialism which had remained purely a political ideology before. Connection between economic advancement and imperial gains was widely known. It was taken for granted, but nobody voiced it, perhaps due to the fear that the ...Show more

Summary

Mommsen says that the original meaning of 'imperialism' was 'the personal sovereignty of a powerful ruler over numerous territories, whether in Europe or overseas.' He mentions Disraeli's famous Crystal Palace speech of 1872, regarding a plan of tremendous and unprecedented expansion of Imperialistic activities…
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