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Imperialism, or empire building, is where a more powerful country dominates a weaker, either by economic, political, and/or religious means. Global expansion in Europe initially began in the fifteenth century, but the process greatly accelerated in the mid-to late nineteenth century. European civilization experienced a period of unprecedented development around the globe during this time. These nation-states had become very powerful at this point because of industrialization and because of the organizational efficiency of the governments, which distinguishes the "new" from the "old" imperialism. Yet there are also similarities. During both time periods, expansion was a key factor that led to the rapid development of these nations. Explorations which took place during "old" imperialistic times made by explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, a Spanish explorer on a voyage that eventually led him to America and Hernando Cortez, another Spanish explorer and conqueror of the Aztec Empire of Mexico, showed each countries desire to explore and expand their borders. Parallel to these conquests, during the nineteenth century, all nations began to search vigorously for new lands, especially in the African region. Another idea that developed during the "old" imperialistic time was the idea of mercantilism. Under this policy, governmental control was exercised over industry and trade in accordance with the theory that national strength is increased by an occurrence of exports over imports. Parallel to the ideas of mercantilism in earlier times, a new free-trade system developed later on in the 19th century. The idea of neo-mercantilism began, which condensed a mercantilist philosophy, but had the same initial ideas. Some other differences include the fact that the 19th century government was more powerful and systematic than any government in Europe at any earlier date. Also, technological advances developed during the Industrial Revolut...

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Imperialism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:15, February 06, 2016, from