During the “Age of Imperialism” in the 19th and early 20th century, the United States and Europe were expanding their empires. These acts are known as imperialism, meaning that in most cases a European country or the United States would take control of a weaker land. Countries typically justified imperialism in three ways: civilizing the uncivilized, competing with rival countries, and economics. I find economics to be the most persuasive justification.
The first justification for imperialism is to civilize the uncivilized. Both the United States and European countries wanted to spread Christianity throughout the world. Most people in Europe and the U.S. thought that as whites, they were the “superior” race and that they must therefore spread their culture and way of life around the world. Many European countries spread their empires into Africa, and tried to “Christianize” the natives, often being very cruel to them. It is very wrong that these countries came into Africa and were unkind to the natives for being a different race and forced them to convert to Christianity.
Competition with rival countries is another justification for imperialism. The United States wanted to expand military options in the late nineteenth century, especially on large harbors. This led to the United States and Germany taking control of a weaker country, Samoa, which had exactly what the U.S. wanted: an excellent harbor. Also, many European countries were competing with each other, including France, Spain, Germany, the UK, and Austria-Hungary. All these countries felt that they needed to grow to be stronger and more powerful than the others, which led to the “Scramble for Africa;” when these European powerhouses expanded their empires into Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The most persuasive justification for imperialism is economics. Empires wanted to expand their natural resources and create better economy. Some weak countries had better natural resources than...