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
It's policy was "survival of the fittest" and was ground for the elimination of many people of lower classes who were not wealthy and could not survive on their own. The idea of neo-mercantilism began, which condensed a mercantilist philosophy, but had the same initial ideas. Another idea that developed during the "old" imperialistic time was the idea of mercantilism. 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. 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. The White Man's Burden, which was a poem expressing England and Frances attempts to civilize the African people in the 19th century was just one example of countries and their racism towards certain nations and peoples during that time. Parallel to the ideas of mercantilism in earlier times, a new free-trade system developed later on in the 19th century. Parallel to these conquests, during the nineteenth century, all nations began to search vigorously for new lands, especially in the African region. During both time periods, expansion was a key factor that led to the rapid development of these nations. Also, technological advances developed during the Industrial Revolution aided in national expansion. Lastly, there were many strong racial elements, which impacted the "new" imperial period more so than the "old" one. 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. Social Darwinism, a major policy of the industrial revolution, was a competitive struggle for existence.