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129 British Empire Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

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The British Empire, spanning over centuries and vast territories, has left an indelible mark on the world’s history and global affairs. Exploring this complex and multifaceted empire can provide a rich ground for essay writing. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply intrigued by the impact of colonialism, here are 129 essay topic ideas and examples that can help you delve into the fascinating history of the British Empire.

  • The origins of the British Empire: Analyzing the factors that led to its establishment.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the Industrial Revolution.
  • The British Empire's role in the spread of the English language worldwide.
  • The British Empire's influence on the development of parliamentary democracy.
  • Comparing the British Empire to other colonial powers of the time.
  • The economic motives behind British colonial expansion.
  • The consequences of British imperialism on indigenous cultures.
  • The impact of the British Empire on global trade and commerce.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to governance in its colonies.
  • The role of religion in the British Empire's colonial policies.
  • The effects of the British Empire on the development of modern education systems.
  • The British Empire's role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of transportation infrastructure.
  • The British Empire's involvement in the Opium Wars and its consequences.
  • Examining the British Empire's policies towards indigenous land rights.
  • The role of the British Empire in the partition of Africa.
  • The British Empire's approach to law and justice in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's impact on the political structure of its colonies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's role in the Scramble for Africa.
  • The British Empire's role in the creation of modern boundaries in the Middle East.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of cricket as a global sport.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Christianity.
  • The role of women in the British Empire's colonial administration.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the Indian caste system.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous healthcare systems.
  • The British Empire's approach to natural resource exploitation in its colonies.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of architecture and urban planning.
  • The British Empire's influence on the formation of modern Commonwealth countries.
  • The British Empire's role in the creation of modern borders and conflicts in the Middle East.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of the tea trade.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous languages.
  • The British Empire's role in the development of global maritime trade.
  • The effects of the British Empire on the development of scientific knowledge.
  • The British Empire's impact on the formation of ethnic identities in its colonies.
  • The role of the British Empire in the spread of Western education.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to nationalist movements in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern legal systems in its colonies.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of modern banking systems.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of democratic values worldwide.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the development of healthcare systems in its colonies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous art and cultural heritage.
  • The British Empire's role in the development of modern transportation systems.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern diaspora communities.
  • The British Empire's approach to scientific exploration and discovery.
  • The role of the British Empire in the spread of Western literature and literary traditions.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous religions.
  • The British Empire's impact on the development of global telecommunications.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern political parties in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of modern agricultural practices.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern military strategies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to interracial relationships in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international organizations.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of modern sports.
  • The British Empire's policies towards indigenous wildlife and environmental conservation.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern healthcare professions in its colonies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's role in the development of modern telecommunications infrastructure.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western fashion and clothing styles.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern agricultural technologies.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern urban planning theories.
  • The British Empire's approach to cultural assimilation in its colonies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous economic systems.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international legal frameworks.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the development of modern financial systems in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western music and musical traditions.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern environmental conservation efforts.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to gender equality in its colonies.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern healthcare infrastructure.
  • The British Empire's policies towards indigenous cultural practices and traditions.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the development of modern transportation technologies in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international trade agreements.
  • The influence of the British Empire on the spread of Western philosophical ideas.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's role in the development of modern media and communication systems.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern educational institutions.
  • The British Empire's approach to indigenous land management and conservation.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern legal professions in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western artistic styles and movements.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern agricultural policies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous healthcare practices.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international political alliances.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of modern urban design.
  • The British Empire's approach to cultural preservation in its colonies.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern educational curricula in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western culinary traditions.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern environmental policies.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's role in the development of modern transportation infrastructure.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern healthcare policies.
  • The British Empire's policies towards indigenous cultural heritage preservation.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the development of modern communication technologies in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international economic systems.
  • The influence of the British Empire on the spread of Western scientific ideas.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to indigenous economic development.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern educational philosophies.
  • The British Empire's approach to indigenous land rights and ownership.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern healthcare regulations in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western film and cinema.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern environmental sustainability practices.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous education systems.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international security alliances.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the development of modern architectural styles.
  • The British Empire's approach to cultural assimilation and identity formation in its colonies.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern transportation regulations in its colonies.
  • The influence of the British Empire on the spread of Western literary movements.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's role in the development of modern media and entertainment industries.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern educational standards.
  • The British Empire's policies towards indigenous environmental conservation practices.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the development of modern communication regulations in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's role in the formation of modern international development policies.
  • The influence of the British Empire on the spread of Western artistic movements.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's approach to indigenous economic empowerment.
  • The impact of the British Empire on the formation of modern educational assessment methods.
  • The British Empire's approach to indigenous land reclamation and restoration.
  • The effects of British imperialism on the formation of modern healthcare financing systems in its colonies.
  • The British Empire's influence on the spread of Western theater and performing arts.
  • The role of the British Empire in the development of modern environmental awareness campaigns.
  • Analyzing the British Empire's policies towards indigenous cultural exchange and collaboration.

These essay topic ideas and examples provide a wide range of possibilities for exploring the vast history and impact of the British Empire. Whether you focus on specific regions, industries, or social aspects, studying the British Empire will undoubtedly provide a deeper understanding of the world we live in today.

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139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples

🔥 top imperialism topics, 🏆 best imperialism essay examples & topics, 👍 good imperialism essay topics, 💡 most interesting imperialism topics to write about, ❓ imperialism essay questions.

To write a high-quality imperialism essay, you will need to get a good topic and conduct thorough research. Our experts have gathered some original titles and examples to facilitate this task for you.

  • The Drawbacks of Interventionism.
  • American Imperialism: Causes & Effects.
  • Driving Force Behind Isolationism.
  • 20-Century Political Cartoons.
  • The History of European Imperialism.
  • Real Goals of Progressivism.
  • Foreign Policies of the British Empire.
  • Manifest Destiny & Its Significance.
  • The Consequences of Imperialism in Africa.
  • Motives for Nineteenth-Century Imperialism.
  • English Imperialism in the Caribbean and Africa Many nations were influenced by the colonizers by the use of the English language through which they were forced to believe and act according to the will of their colonizers.
  • Imperialism and Globalization In spite of the fact that Haiti is already past the threatening state of affairs that it experienced at the times of imperialism, it still survives the aftereffects left by the reign of the latter.
  • The Impacts of British Imperialism in India: Research Paper In order to ease the transportation of raw material from the remote areas to the ports and finished goods from the ports to various destinations in India, the British government started the railway network.
  • 19th Century American Imperialism Due to the inexperience of America in the concept of global domination, there were great challenges occasioned by the nation’s inability to decide whether or not to use the military to secure the interest of […]
  • Imperialism in India By 1858, the British regained control and immediately passed the Government of India Act, which allowed the British Crown administrators to run the country instead of the British East India Company.
  • Imperialism or National Protection: What is the Definition of the United States of America? Truman’s speech points to one of the core tenets of the self image of the United States; colloquially, the United States defines itself as the world’s dad, in the traditional sense.
  • American Imperialism America wanted an efficient and easier access of its navy to the Pacific and the Caribbean oceans. The Panamanians were to be given their independence only if they accepted the treaty, but they refused to […]
  • The Influence of American Imperialism on Our Economy and American Society since the End of the 19th Century The United States of America was not involved in the scramble, the American imperialism only started later in 1898 during the Spanish American war where the United States of America saw the opportunity to gain […]
  • American Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century From the early years of 19th century up to the civil war, Northern American boarders were to be expanded according to the plan and debates.
  • Western Imperialism Dynamics This is a stereotype that Puccini had created in the eyes of the Western world in reference to women from the Far East.
  • Imperialism or National Protection: Is it Part of the Definition of the United States of America? The purpose of the Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf was threefold: one, to announce the commencement of military actions against Iraq following the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam […]
  • American Cultural Imperialism in the Film Industry Is Beneficial to the Canadian Society Cultural imperialism on the other hand is considered as the situation where the western countries dominate the media worldwide and in the process exert a lot of influences on the cultures of the developing nations […]
  • White Man and British Imperialism: “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell In the essay, Orwell realizes that he must shoot the elephant because as a representative of the British imperialism in the small town, not doing so would have shown the British Empire to be a […]
  • Importance of American Imperialism to the Economy and Society The economic influence of USA is primarily necessitated by the internationalization of systems of production, circulation and investment, the interpenetration of private capital and the structure of the nation.
  • Imperialism in Shooting an Elephant: Symbolism & Themes The story captures the violent reality of colonialism as the narrator unfolds the events of the actual shooting and the description of the slow and painful death of the elephant that seemed peaceful in hands […]
  • Understanding the Influence of Imperialism on World Cultures through Literature and Arts As Spaniards continued expanding their territory in the Latin American countries, they influenced the natives’ way of life leading to most of the Latin Americans abandoning their culture and adopting the Hispanic culture.
  • History of the Imperialism Era in 1848 to 1914 In this paper, however, the term imperialism is used to refer to the era from the year 1848 to 1914 when the power of Europe was extended over several nations of the world.
  • Influence of imperialism on world cultures A depiction of the dangers of these extremes was the central character of the fictional novel “The Death of Artemio Cruz”.
  • Relationship Between Modern Imperialism and Economic Globalization Modern imperialism also relates to economic globalization in that the European and Western powers emphasized on civilization, as they spread in most parts of the world; this ultimately led to economic globalization. Modern imperialism led […]
  • Marx’s Anticipation of the Nationalism and Imperialism of the Second Half of the 19th Century The process of civilization is nothing other than a typical and complete adoption or duplication of the injurious culture of the west.
  • Imperialism in the Interaction of World Cultures With all the colonization that the European nations such as Germany, Portugal and Spain associated themselves with in the region, came the synchronization of their cultures.
  • Why were some countries more successful in responding to the challenge of European imperialism than others? Despite the high imperialism of the European nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, some nations in the three regions were successful in evading colonial imperialism due to their well established systems and strategies.
  • The Perils of Imperialism: Through the Lens of History To start with, it is essential to keep in mind that the imperialist tendencies especially in the Western globalized environment, affects a state on not only political, but also economical and socio-cultural levels, therefore, changing […]
  • US Imperialism in Afghanistan S-Afghanistan war; the cause of the Al-Qaida attacks on the U. S and its allies and motive of the subsequent military intervention by the U.S.in Afghanistan.
  • Imperialism and modernization The skills learnt in farming were of great help to the colonies since they applied them in their farms after independence and this accelerated their modernization process.
  • History of American Imperialism The dichotomy in the politics of America, which involves way in which the nation operate has greatly influenced other nations. In addition, American was involved in operational factors which were seen as crucial on the […]
  • Imperialism in the “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad Throughout his entire voyage he is exposed to the brutality of the European attitudes and the rules of colonialism. The colonial activities are given a harsh image by the author of the novella.
  • To What Extent Are Liberal Theories of Humanitarian Intervention Complicit With Imperialism? In this, traditional theories such as Liberal Internationalism, which forms the basis of discussion in this essay, have also undergone a revival; particularly since the end of the Cold War, when with the failure of […]
  • How New Imperialism Was Shaped In 1994, Rwandan population was made up of three ethnic group namely the Hutus who were the majority, the Tutsi who were relatively few and the Twa who were insignificant due to their number, the […]
  • Lenin on Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism Lenin, in his analysis on imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, stated that the integration of bank capital with the industrial capital facilitates the creation of financial oligarchy.
  • Imperialism Effect on the Nations Others define it as the spread of the western economy to the rest of the world. The civilized states in the west took it to themselves to spread the civilization to the rest of the […]
  • Ecological Imperialism This work can be improved upon by ensuring that human development is not relegated to the sidelines as Crosby has argued.
  • Imperialism History and Legacy Moreover, the scramble for Africa by colonial masters began, and this led to the Berlin Conference of 1888. Consequently, massive migration from the colonies into Europe occurred, and this was a key factor to the […]
  • Critical Analysis of Dissertation: “Imperialism and the modern world – wars and revolutions or democratic peace?” Moreover, it explores the changing world systems after the Second World War and the interest on the concept of democratic peace as captured in the abstract.
  • Contribution of Marxism and Imperialism in Shaping the Modern International Political System Therefore, the postulated concepts of class struggles, materialism, and the surfacing of a capitalistic world market incredibly provide a point of alignment of the Marxism concepts and theories of international relations.
  • New Imperialism and Politics 1850 and 1914 One of the characteristics of the new imperialism was that Britain was no longer a major economic and political power in the world politics due to the emergence of other powers such as the United […]
  • Imperialism and Racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness He lauds “the book’s anti-imperialist theme…a stinging indictment of the callous and genocidal treatment of the Africans, and other nationals, at the hands of the British and the European imperial powers,” and also details the […]
  • Japan and Imperialism 1853-1945 by James Huffman The main topic in the reading is imperialism, which the author believes motivated Japan to economic and political development. The author applies a variety of data to present the concept of imperialism in Japan’s history.
  • Relationship Between Neoliberalism and Imperialism As the western world, led by the United States, later attained the control of the world long after the Second World War, the idea of putting the state at the centre of the economic functionality […]
  • History: Imperialism Impacts in Spain It also strengthened the relationship between America and many European countries, which led to the development of more political, economic and military influence in these regions compared to other parts of the globe.
  • Imperialism in King Leopold II Document The charges laid against the government explicitly defines all the cruelties and unfairness done to the natives which is opposite of the expectations.
  • Imperialism’ Impacts on Africa, Latin America and India The industrial revolution in Europe forced powerful states in the continent to acquire colonies in Africa with the aim of securing raw materials and cheap human labor.
  • Social Darwinism in European Imperialism Darwinism, in general, is a biological theory describing the appearance of new species and extinction of the existing ones defining species through the process of natural selection1 that is the core of Darwin’s theory and […]
  • New Imperialism’ Role in the World History On balance, it is possible to note that the new imperialism was concerned with the desire to get access to resources and new markets.
  • Imperialism and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa However, the level and speed of change of culture in Sub-Saharan societies increased massively after development of imperialism and settlement of Europeans in Sub-Saharan regions.
  • Holocaust and Nazi’s Racial Imperialism The scholar argues that the event was a result of the racial imperialism championed by the Nazi Party in the country.
  • Media Imperialism Debate: Arguments and Theories Apart from assisting in the imperialistic culture exportation of the Western values to manipulate the underdeveloped and developing nations, the Western media unfairly displaced the local media and dominated the telecommunication industry in the developing […]
  • Imperialism and Revolutions in East Asia However, the US opposed the idea of spheres of influence in 1899 and advocated the open market system, where every Western power had the right to the Chinese market.
  • Why Imperialism is Advantageous to the United States? Availability of resources and new markets will boost the development of the US economy. The US imperialism is one of the most efficient ways to solve this issue.
  • The United States and Imperialist Power The relevant assumption is typically applied to the example of the USA that is certainly one of the most powerful countries in the current civilization.
  • Politics and Western Imperialism in the Middle East At the height of the scramble for the Middle East countries, the Western powers first studied the region and also watched each other’s activities in the area.
  • Japanese Imperialist Expansion and Its Drivers The expansion of the Japanese empire in the Asian continent took place in the same period when the Western countries were actively invading China.
  • American Imperialism and Global Identity The entry of America into imperialism was orchestrated through the military and economic approach. This implies that imperialism was a remedy for the lawlessness happening around the world.
  • Pop Culture as a New Tool of Imperialism From the first standpoint, most of the experts agree upon the point that the effectiveness of pop culture as one of the instruments of the so-called “soft power” is unquestioned.
  • The Far East Nations: Isolation and Imperialism Consequently, Japan and China were unable to resist the imperialism of the Western nations such as the United States and Britain.
  • Sports Role in the Imperialism and Nationalism Development In that case, it is an indication of certain developments within the nation’s country that promote the ideas of inequality and superiority, such as the ideas of imperialism and nationalism.
  • “New Imperialism” in the Late 19th Century The need for new markets and raw materials, missionary work, new military conflicts, and new ideology were the main reasons for the new imperialism.
  • Western Imperialism and Asian Response This defeat elevated the status of Japan as a military power, and it also led to the annexation of Korea by Japan.
  • Ecological Imperialism in World History Therefore, the impact of the conquest of America is that it led to the introduction of new diseases to different countries.
  • Imperialism and the Life of Manly Courage The poem justifies the decision by the Europeans to enter Africa and mentions that it was a way of helping the Africans.
  • World Civilizations and Imperialism The article discusses two theories explaining imperialism: the economic theory of imperialism advanced by Hobson and Lenin and the realists’ explanation promoted by Morgenthau, Niebuhr, and Aron.
  • Global Culture and Cultural Imperialism in the United States The influence of the Indian culture in the UAE is visible through the acceptance of Indian cultural values in the UAE social scene.
  • Imperialist Global Order After World War I Thus, the general trend of the after-war years was the dismantling of multiethnic empires and the establishment of new nation-states. However, World War I also created new challenges to the existing hierarchies of wealth and […]
  • Processes of the Political Decentralization of the Middle East and European Imperialism in the Middle East: Connection Although it would be wrong to attribute the political decentralization of The Middle East to a single factor, there is a direct connection between the early 20th-century European Imperialism and the dissipation of the political […]
  • Imperialism vs. Anti-Imperialism in American History This is the first meaning of this word and the second is the development of the country as to be means of expanding its territory.
  • Motives for British Imperialism in Africa By the stroke of the eighteen thirties the Boers who were by then the majority in South Africa, embarked on what has been called the Great Trek in order to run away from the colonial […]
  • Western Feminist Critics and Cultural Imperialism To be able to fulfill the above-provided task, it would be necessary to discuss and analyze the issues of race, gender, sexuality, the oppression of multiculturalism, cultural relativism, the attitude of the feminists toward the […]
  • The Practice of Wearing the Veil and Cultural Imperialism The questions that are raised by recent research in this context are whether banning headscarves is not cultural imperialism because it means the death of another culture.
  • American Imperialism and Democracy It comes with increased control as well as the subjection of the conquered to the rules and the demands of the conqueror.
  • Industrialization and Imperialism in America The post-war era became a period of the tremendous growth of industries and modern businesses; giving the nation a new economic and political power both locally and abroad.
  • American Imperialism in the 19th century The term can also be used to refer to the extension of practice, to acquire dominion, control by to the distant or closer union of territory/ nation.
  • H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” and British Imperialism Though the British Empire was the complex of colonies, dominions, mandates, protectorates, and other territories ruled by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the people of the Empire lived in fear on […]
  • Imperialism: A Study by John A. Hobson The author of this literature was found to be George Allen & Unwin, eminent economists, who appealed to the economists in the country against the school of imperialism opted by Great Britain in the early […]
  • Imperialism in Joseph Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness” Heart of Darkness reflects the paradoxes of imperialism in the late 19th century through exposing the exploitation of foreign lands and people, Africa and the Africans in particular; the novel uses its characters and their […]
  • Was Christopher Columbus an Imperialist? The travel narratives of Christopher Columbus were given in the Letter and Journal of Columbus. The Letter by Columbus was addressed to his mentors namely Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, is not just a narrative […]
  • American Empire and Cultural Imperialism So we can say that America has become imperialistic and the reason for it becoming one was in order to take the control of the market in order to sell its products and also to […]
  • American History of Imperialism: Cultural and Economic Processes Cultural imperialism on the other hand is the subordination of the culture, traditions, and ideologies of the subordinate territory by those of the imperial state.
  • Imperialism and Its Peoples: Facing Imperialism The European states occupied the whole of Africa and were competing amongst themselves for control of the territory. The European states that were economically stable and had stronger military occupied most of the regions.
  • How Imperialism Offered Great Opportunities to Elite Women These women more often interacted with native women and were moved by the plight of women in the remote regions they voyaged.
  • European Imperialism Impact in Ibo Society Prior to the arrival of white men in Umuofia, the society was heavily dependent on agriculture. For instance, the Igbo would kill children given to the community as prisoners of war but this phenomenon was […]
  • Why Manifest Destiny Is Another Form of Imperialism For the American society, the two have been seen and politicized as the fight for democracy and concern for the rights of the weak and the downtrodden, with the unique insight of strengthening the model […]
  • Globalization and Imperialism in the Third World In the face of globalization, communication as in the use of language and style in music, speech and art form the primary material for intercultural transmission in various forms of the media.
  • Imperialism as a Policy and an Ideology From a political point of view, Hobson argues that a genuine nationalism characterized by possession of a national history and collective pride by the European nations in the19th century marked the passage from traditional nationalism […]
  • The Industrial Revolution & Imperialism The revolution began in the 18th century in England and subsequently spread to other parts of the world. The revolution has played a major role in the expansion of the global economy in the sense […]
  • Imperialism and Its Negative Consequences The article was written in 1917 when Lenin gave his explanation of why the World War One broke out stating the ‘predatory’ essence of the powerful states to take over each other economically and politically.
  • Imperialism and Its Effect on the World He firmly believes that the western influence has been and is currently the cause of underdevelopment in the Third world countries.
  • Imperialism: Politics and Differences of Empires Therefore, the Ancient Roman army combined the peaceful mentality of protecting the land from invaders and the notion of the conquest of other states.
  • Cultural Imperialism in the United States However, with the recent protests and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, more and more people start to believe that discrimination exists.
  • The State of Arab Science: Role of Imperialism The interviews revealed that there are people who are unaware of the role Arabs played in the development of science, while others believe that their contributions are marginalized today. Similarly, Arab contribution to science is […]
  • “When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism” by Teju Cole Photography, in this case, is a tool, which can be used in a wide variety of ways, and condemning it rather than the practices it allows to document is strange. This photograph is a striking […]
  • American Imperialism: Past or Present? The sequence of historical events, including the conflicts with Native Americans, the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican-American War, raised the question of American imperialism, taking into consideration the rapid growth of the country.
  • Imperialism and Nationalism in Middle Eastern Politics Thus, in order to understand the political situation in the region, one needs proper knowledge of its history and the driving forces that led to the emergence of its contemporary countries.
  • How Did Cold War and Post-Cold War U.S. Imperialism Affect African Societies? During the Cold War, both the socialist motives of the USSR and the imperialist nature of the United States affected African nations and their changing political states.
  • Imperialism, Colonialism, and Nationalism The concepts of imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism were particularly prominent and essential in the 19th and 20th centuries. In conclusion, imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism played a key role in the course of the 19th and […]
  • Architecture in Colonialism and Imperialism The aim was to mark the cities of Algiers and Casablanca as French territories by displaying sufficient architectural design that would also convince the conquered of the power of the conqueror8.
  • Modern Western Imperialism: Causes and Impacts From the 18th to the early 20th century, most of the populated territories in the world came to be dominated by just a handful of powers from Europe of North America.
  • The Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League The aggravation of the social contradictions of the imperialist era at the end of the 19th century gave rise to democratic movements. The league was formed in 1898 to fight the annexation of the Philippines.
  • The Concept of English Imperialism Settlers that had financial or other influences had also partaken in the moves to the Americas in order to escape the control of the royal family and the current government.
  • Imperialism: Historical Background and Modern Perspective As a consequence of being denied a say in the creation of the laws and policies of the other country, its people are reduced to second-class citizens.
  • Why Did the US Become Imperialistic?
  • What Were the Effects of Roman Imperialism?
  • Why Did Korea Fall Victim to Japanese Imperialism?
  • Why Was Imperialism Inevitable in the United States?
  • Does Imperialism Work?
  • What Is the Primary Purpose of Imperialism?
  • How Important Was the Boer War in Changing Attitudes in Britain to Imperialism?
  • How Did Imperialism Cause World War I?
  • What Are Three Examples of Imperialism?
  • What Are Some Examples of Imperialism Today?
  • What Was the Most Important Cause of War, Imperialism, or Nationalism?
  • How Western and Japanese Imperialism Affected China Happened?
  • Was Imperialism Good for Europe?
  • How Did Imperialism Affect China?
  • Was American Imperialism Morally Justifiable?
  • How Important Was President Theodore Roosevelt to the Development of American Imperialism?
  • How Western Imperialism Affects China and Japan?
  • What Attracted European Imperialism to Africa & Asia in the Late Nineteenth Century?
  • What Were the Three Reasons for Imperialism?
  • How Did Industrialization Lead To Imperialism?
  • Why Was Imperialism Effective?
  • How Far Was Imperialism the Cause of the First Opium Wars in China?
  • How Popular Was the Policy of Imperialism in England?
  • What Is Imperialism Called Today?
  • What Do Women Want When Women Want Imperialism?
  • How British Imperialism Led to the Rebellion in India?
  • Was the Mexican American War an Exercise in American Imperialism?
  • Why Was Imperialism Good for America?
  • What Was the Impact of Imperialism on Subject Populations?
  • What Was the Driving Force Behind European Imperialism?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2023, September 26). 139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/imperialism-essay-topics/

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IvyPanda . (2023) '139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples'. 26 September.

IvyPanda . 2023. "139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples." September 26, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/imperialism-essay-topics/.

1. IvyPanda . "139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples." September 26, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/imperialism-essay-topics/.

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IvyPanda . "139 Imperialism Essay Topics & Examples." September 26, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/imperialism-essay-topics/.

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essay questions on british imperialism

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Colonialism and imperialism: Understanding the British Empire's quest for global dominance

British houses of parliament and Big Ben

British colonialism and imperialism were some of the most powerful forces in world history.

In this article, we will provide an overview of British colonialism and imperialism, from the early explorations of the 15th century to its height in the 20th century.

We will discuss the motivations behind British colonial expansion, as well as the effects that imperialism had on both colonised and colonising nations.

What is colonisation and imperialism?

Colonisation is the process of taking ownership of someone's land for another country's own use.

Whereas imperialism is the use of political, economic, and military power to extend a nation's authority by establishing control over other territories.

The two concepts are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions.

Colonisation is different to imperialism in that it generally refers to the physical occupation of a territory, whereas imperialism can refer to both occupation and economic domination.

A number of different European nations relied upon imperialism and colonisation to expand their empires in the early modern period.

Such countries included France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Portugal.  By the start of the 20th century, most of Africa and Asia was controlled by a small number of European empires. 

The British Empire was one of the largest empires in world history. At its peak in the 19th century, it controlled a quarter of the world's population and a third of its land surface. 

British colonialism began in the late 15th century with the explorations of John Cabot. However, England did not establish a permanent colony until the early 17th century with the founding of Jamestown in 1607.

These early voyages were primarily motivated by a desire for wealth and prestige. However, as the British Empire expanded, other motivations came into play, such as the desire to spread Christianity or to gain a strategic advantage over rival European powers.

The imperial experience had a profound effect on both colonized and colonizing nations. In the colonies, indigenous peoples were often displaced, exploited, and discriminated against.

In Britain, the imperial experience led to a sense of national superiority and a belief in the right to rule over other peoples.

Why did European powers expand?

Britain's early explorations were motivated by a desire for wealth and power. The British crown was specifically interested in commodities and cash crops like tobacco, sugar, and spices.

These commodities were then sold in European markets for a profit.

The British also established control over strategic trade routes, like the Spice Route, and through the use of entities like the East India Trade Company. 

Imperialism also had an impact on economic development. Colonies provided raw materials and markets for British goods, helping to fuel the Industrial Revolution .

Therefore, the desire to make money drove much of early European expansion. Not only did the acquisition of new territories mean the discovery of new trade goods, but the more regions that a country controlled meant that they had more people to sell their products to.

As a result, the larger an empire became, the more its wealth increased.

However, critics argue that imperialism led to exploitation and underdevelopment in the colonies.

They point to the high taxes that colonized peoples were required to pay, as well as the damaging effects of economic competition between colonial powers.

In addition to economic motivations, British colonialism was also driven by political and social factors. 

The establishment of representative democracy in Britain since the 17th century led the British to believe that it was the best form of government.

They claimed that if they could spread democracy around the world, that every nation would benefit.

In a similar way, British society believed that their morals (what they believed to be 'right' and 'wrong') was superior to any other social system in the rest of the world.

Therefore, they thought that all of humanity would benefit from adopting British culture.  

The expectation of spreading this culture on all other people was known as the 'White Man's Burden' among the British people.

Then, in the 19th century, Social Darwinism, a belief in the superiority of some races over others, also played a role in British imperialism.

This ideology justified Britain's right to rule over other peoples, on the grounds that they were 'racially inferior'.

During the era of British colonialism and imperialism, slavery was an important part of the economy.

Early colonisers had hoped to use the local peoples of their colonies as a form of cheap labour on farms and in mines.

However, diseases like smallpox and constant warfare made this impractical.

As a result, the British turned to Africa as a source of slaves. Slaves were brought from Africa to work on plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean.

They were also used in other parts of the world, including India and Southeast Asia. 

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, an estimated 12 million Africans were taken from their homes and sold into slavery.

The slave trade was extremely profitable for British ship owners and merchants. It is estimated that between 1750 and 1830, the British slave trade generated an estimated profit of £100 million.

Eventually, the slave trade was abolished in 1807, but slavery itself continued to exist in British colonies until it was finally made illegal in 1833.

Marble map of the world

Industrial Revolution

The wealth and natural resources gained by Britain from its colonies were some of the crucial factors which led to the Industrial Revolution .

The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century and spread to other parts of the world in the 19th century. 

This period of rapid economic growth was fuelled by the development of new technologies, like the steam engine and the Spinning Jenny.

The Industrial Revolution led to a dramatic increase in the production of goods, which helped fuel the growth of the British Empire.

It also had a profound impact on social and economic life, transforming Britain from a primarily agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse.

As a result of the increased production of food and luxury goods, the Industrial Revolution caused a rapid increase in Britain's population and wealth.

It also had a profound effect on British society, as people began to move from rural areas into cities to work in factories.

Major British colonies

The British colonisation of North America began in the 16th century, when England established colonies in Virginia and Newfoundland.

Colonisation continued in the 17th century, as the British founded New England, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

In the 18th century, Britain's thirteen American colonies became a prosperous and populous part of the empire. 

In Canada, French colonisation began in the 16th century, but British domination began with the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763).

After this conflict, Britain gained control of all French territory in North America east of Louisiana.

In the 19th century, British colonists began to settle in the western part of Canada, creating the provinces of Manitoba (1870) and British Columbia (1871).

In Australia, colonisation began in 1788 with the establishment of a British penal colony in New South Wales.

This was followed by the founding of other colonies, including Tasmania (1803), Western Australia (1829), and Victoria (1851). In 1901, these colonies were federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

In India, British colonisation began in the 18th century with the establishment of trading posts along the coast.

In 1757, the British gained control of Bengal after defeating the local rulers at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. This victory marked the beginning of British rule in India. 

American War of Independence

The process of colonisation and imperialism created regions of social and military tensions in different parts of the world.

Not only were the First Nations peoples willing to fight to retain their independence from European domination, but many of the European settlers also started to resist control.

In North America, Native American tribes fought against European settlers in a series of wars, the most famous of which was the French and Indian War of 1754-63.

Likewise, in Australia, the  First Nations people resisted British attempts to take over their land during the Frontier Wars. In New Zealand, the Maori people fought against British colonisation in the Maori Wars between 1845 and 1872.

The British Empire faced a significant crisis in 1776, when the European colonists that occupied the 13 North American colonies declared their independence from Britain.

These colonies were wealthy and expanding, but they were also subject to strict imperial controls.

This led to tension between the colonists and the British government, which came to a head with the American War of Independence, which lasted from 1775 to 1783.

With significant economic and military support from France, the American colonies successfully repelled British attempts to bring them back under submission, and as a result, they were able to force the British to accept their independence. 

After eight years of fighting, the colonists were victorious, and the United States of America was born.

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Criticism of British colonialism and imperialism

The effects of British colonialism were far-reaching. In the colonised nations, it led to the displacement of indigenous peoples, the introduction of new technologies and religions, and changes in economic and political structures.

British colonialism and imperialism have been criticised for their negative effects on indigenous peoples and on the development of colonised countries.

Critics argue that colonialism led to exploitation, racism, and underdevelopment in the colonies.

They also point to the negative impact of British cultural imperialism, which imposed Western values and ideas on colonised peoples.

In the colonising nations, such as Britain, it often resulted in the growth of a wealthy elite, while the majority of the population remained poor.

The increasing gap between the rich and poor in Europe was exacerbated by the Industrial Revolution.

The British Empire finally came to an end in the mid-20th century. India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947, while Sri Lanka became independent in 1948.

Ghana and Kenya gained independence later, in 1957 and 1963, respectively.  The Empire was dismantled, and the process of decolonisation began.

The legacy of British colonialism and imperialism is still evident today. In many parts of the world, British colonial boundaries were used to create modern nation-states.

This has led to conflict in some regions, as different groups compete for control over territory.

In addition, the legacy of British imperialism can also be seen in the language, culture, and institutions of many former colonies.

Even after the decline of the British Empire, the English language remains one of the most important international languages in trade and business.

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130 Imperialism Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on imperialism, 👍 good imperialism research topics & essay examples, 🎓 most interesting imperialism research titles, 💡 simple imperialism essay ideas, ❓ imperialism essay questions.

  • Themes of Oppression and Imperialism in Literature
  • Sir Frederick Lugard’s Arguments for Imperialism
  • The Gold Coast: The Impact of British Imperialism
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of the Theories of Capitalist Imperialism Proposed by Hobson-Lenin
  • Jules Ferry: A Defense of French Imperialism and Colonialism
  • American Imperialism: Negative and Positive Sides
  • Marx’s vs. Lenin’s Imperialism Theories
  • European Imperialism in Africa: The Main Causes It is critical to focus on the various factors that contributed to the colonization of Africa by the different European nations.
  • World War I: Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism This paper analyzes how nationalism, imperialism, and militarism irrevocably led to World War I, and how the alliance system contributed to the ultimate outbreak of war.
  • Modern Imperialism and Economic Globalization This paper discusses how does the study of modern imperialism help us to understand why some former colonies fear economic globalization today.
  • Artificial Intelligence as a Part of Imperialism: Challenges and Solutions Artificial intelligence is part of the process of imperialism, its offshoot, which is commonly called information imperialism.
  • British Imperialism in India: Literature Review The paper reviews the literature on British Imperialism in India and how British rule instilled positive reinforcement and led to inhumane laws and social divisions.
  • Imperialism and Racism During the Colonial Period This analysis of primary sources aims to demonstrate how various historical actors interpreted imperialism during different periods.
  • Reconstruction and the Age of American Imperialism After the Civil War, the nineteenth century was a challenging time for the country that tried to shape its political, economic, and social life.
  • Jules Ferry and the Renaissance of French Imperialism The primary goal of the paper is to understand Jules Ferry’s rationale for the urgency of the colonial expansion while considering offering non-economic arguments in favor of imperialism.
  • Benefits of Imperialism from a Manufacturer’s Perspective: “The White Man’s Burden” Poem “The white man’s burden” is an example of a justified imperialism argument to liberate the countries that lagged in economic, social, and political development in the 19th century.
  • American Imperialism in the Late 1800s In the late 19th century, the United States, the former colony of the British Empire, became the colonizer with the annexation of Spanish territories.
  • Aspects of European Imperialism During European imperialism, East African cultures lost their cultures and tradition due to the introduction of Christianity and Western culture.
  • Industrial Imperialism: China and Japan It is important to note that Asia has always hosted one of the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful empires throughout history. However, the industrial revolution was the key turning point when Europe was able to supersede Asia and subjugate its nations. The given analysis will focus on the comparative analysis…
  • Patrice Lumumba and Imperialism in Congo The life of Patrice Lumumba is connected with the history of imperialism in Congo. In the late 1950s, Africa was referred to in the world press as a “raging continent.”
  • Cultural Democracy and Internet Imperialism The source helps draw a connection between the conscious domination of cultural niches and its impact on global biases within media.
  • Imperialism in the Context of World History Several civilizations, mainly European nations, championed imperialism. It allowed civilized nations to dominate and exploit vulnerable countries across the globe.
  • American Imperialism and Its Effects Despite the moral ambiguity, American imperialism has played a vital part in forming the superpower nation it is today.
  • Imperialism During the 19th Century in the US In the 19th century, the concepts of imperialism spread among the American people and shaped the fundamental principles of foreign and domestic policies for the next decades.
  • Imperialism Consequences on the Life of People The emergence of imperialism was the development of new technologies, and an increase in the population, which led to a rise in taxation and a ban on the import of products.
  • European Imperialism and Its Effects on Colonies The effects of European imperialism have been truly devastating, causing multiple smaller ethnic communities to deteriorate, as well as sending ripples through centuries.
  • European Imperialism and Global Economic Situation European imperialism is a crucial moment in history, as it has markedly influenced the current global economic situation, the current way of life, and the views of the people.
  • U.S. History: Reconstruction, American Imperialism, Immigration This paper discusses defined episodes of the history of the United States: Reconstruction, the Yellow Peril Movement, American imperialism, immigration and immigration laws.
  • Teju Cole’s: Colonialism and Imperialism Ideologies An African-American writer Mr. Cole reveals factors emanate from the western cultural ideology that is rigid with colonialism and imperialism phenomenon.
  • The History of American Imperialism At the beginning of the 1890s, the United States rapidly started to be interested in the imperialistic experiences of the European countries.
  • European Supremacy, European Thought, and Imperialism Kagan et al. divided an expansion of European imperialism into several periods. The first period has finished by the end of the seventeenth century.
  • America and the Great War, Nationalism, Imperialism, and Militarism The USA did not become a member of the League, although the state did cooperate with it; in the mid-1920s, the USA was more concerned with the economy.
  • Christopher Columbus and 16th-Century Imperialism Imperialism refers to the process by which powerful nations control weaker nations by influencing or controlling their culture, politics and economy
  • British in Hong Kong and the French in Vietnam: Empire and Imperialism The paper will mainly focus on the British Empire in Hong Kong while drawing comparisons from the French in Vietnam to understand the causal mechanism of the empires’ involvement.
  • The History of Imperialism and Exploitation In the modern context of globalization, it would be both incorrect and inappropriate to express that a less developed country or culture is uncivilized.
  • Great War: Nationalism, Imperialism, Militarism This paper addresses the role of nationalism, imperialism, and militarism as contributing factors to the start of World War I.
  • Industrialization, Legal System, and Imperialism Discussing the relationship between industrialization and imperialism, it is important to note that the development of industries led to promoting the ideals of imperialism.
  • Imperialism and Exploitation by Europeans Today in communities that are considered tolerant ones, there are signs of discrimination and inappropriate attitude to some categories of people.
  • Imperialism in Nicholson’s and Pilger’s Studies The main feature of imperialism was rapid territorial expansion. The boundaries within which the emperor ruled were much larger than the domestic population.
  • Western Imperialism in the Early 20th Century This study discusses the importance of studying history to research, and analyzes the imperialism in the early twentieth century on the West.
  • The Great War Outbreak: Nationalism, Militarism, and Imperialism The First World War was one of the most bloody and large-scale conflicts in human history. It began July 28, 1914, and ended November 11, 1918.
  • American Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century The paper reviews reasons for adopting American imperialism, major events during this period and affected countries, and aftermath of anti-imperialism in the 20th century.
  • Modern Imperialism and Former Colonies Modern imperialism has intertwined with economic dominance forcing countries to fear economic globalization in the current century.
  • Imperialism and Alaska and Puerto Rico
  • Athenian Imperialism and Democracy
  • Economic Stages and Anti-imperialism in Theory and Practice
  • Japans Imperialism and Militarism
  • European Imperialism and Its Effect on India
  • Britain and France’s Imperialism and Competition in Egypt
  • Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe
  • European Colonialism and Imperialism
  • Industrialization and Imperialism 1750-1900
  • Anthropology and Economic Imperialism: The Battlefield of Culture
  • Libya and Europe: Imperialism, Crisis, and Migration
  • Positive and Negative Effects of British Imperialism on India
  • Differences Between 16th and 19th Century Imperialism
  • How Western and Japanese Imperialism Affected China Happened
  • American Imperialism After 1898
  • Imperialism and Its Effects on Humanity Creative Writing
  • African Societies and European Imperialism’s Effects
  • Africa and European Imperialism
  • European Imperialism Severe Actions During Their Domination
  • Cultural Imperialism and the Olympics
  • Difference Between Formal and Informal Imperialism
  • Old Imperialism vs. New Imperialism
  • Imperialism, Militarism, and Alliances in World War I
  • Globalization, Imperialism, and Regulation
  • 19th Century American Imperialism
  • Imperialism, Fascism, and National Populism
  • Japanese War and Japanese Imperialism
  • Imperialism and the Human Rights Movement
  • American Imperialism During the Civil War
  • Racism and Social Darwinism in Regards to Imperialism
  • British Imperialism and the Boer War
  • Economics Imperialism Versus Multidisciplinarity
  • Europeans’ Driving Force Leading To Imperialism of Africa
  • Russian Imperialism and the Warsaw Pact
  • China and Japan During the Age of Imperialism
  • British Imperialism and Its Impact on India
  • American Expansionism and Imperialism in the Late Nineteenth
  • International Relations and Imperialism
  • Imperialism and the Price of Human Life
  • Geopolitics, Imperialism & the New World War on Iraq
  • British Colonialism and the Impact of British Imperialism
  • European Imperialism and Its Effects on the World
  • Marxist Theory: Nationalism, Legitimacy, Imperialism
  • Imperialism, the Cold War, and Japan’s Occupation During WWII
  • Motives for Europe’s Embarkation of Imperialism
  • Native Imperialism and Its Implications on Aboriginal
  • American Imperialism and the Colonization of the Philippines
  • Reasons for the U.S. Turning To Imperialism at the End of the 19th Century
  • British Imperialism During the British Colonization of India
  • Athenian Imperialism and Her Changing Relations With Allies
  • African Women During European Imperialism
  • Capitalism and Regressive Imperialism
  • Contemporary Imperialism and the Agrarian Question
  • British Imperialism and the Crisis in Sudan
  • European Imperialism and Africa During the Age of Industry
  • Imperialism and Its Human Nature
  • American Politics and Imperialism
  • European Colonialism, Imperialism, and Cultural Superiority
  • Japanese Imperialism: War and Depression
  • Identify the Issues Raised by Imperialism in Africa in the 19th Century
  • What Issues Were Raised by Imperialism in Africa in the 19th Century?
  • How Important Was the Boer War in Changing Attitudes in Britain to Imperialism?
  • What Are the Reasons for the European Imperialism in the Late Nineteenth Century?
  • What Are the Republican and Federalist Roots of American Imperialism?
  • What Are the Similarities Between Imperialism and Post Colonialism?
  • What Is the History Behind Lumumba’s Struggle Against Belgian Imperialism?
  • How New Imperialism and Western Expansion in Asia and Africa Are Connceted?
  • What Is a Structural Theory of Imperialism?
  • Does Imperialism Still Exist in the Twenty-First Century?
  • How Post Napoleonic Europe’s Rise of Imperialism Can Be Explained?
  • What Are The Economic Factors Contributing to American Imperialism of 19th Century?
  • What Effect Did Imperialism Have on the Policies and Governance of America?
  • Wha Are the Emergence and Impact of Imperialism in Europe in the Early 20th Century?
  • Why the Theory of Ancient Economic Imperialism Were So Quickly Forgotten?
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of Imperialism in the United States of America?
  • What Were the Beginnings of English Imperialism?
  • In What Ways Is “The New Imperialism” Really New?
  • What Are the Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperialism in America in 1492-1810?
  • Why English Is One of the Instruments of Cultural Imperialism?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Eastern and Western Imperialism?
  • What Are the Three Major Factors That Started the American Imperialism?
  • Were Economic Factors Primarily Responsible for British Imperialism?
  • What Women Really Want When Women Want Imperialism?
  • How Did Imperialism Affect Hong Kong’s Globalization?
  • Was the Mexican War an Exercise in American Imperialism?
  • Why Was Imperialism Effective Against Other Political Philosophies?
  • Where Does Imperialism Help the Country to Grow Stronger and Be Better?

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    Imperialism is like a kingpin putting his hardest working, most experienced partners in a territory that they have sole control over, with the main job of making the money to bring back to the kingpin, getting their "cut" thereafter. It was the same for the British. Imperialism was vastly growing in the new British Empire.

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