range of period in Imperialism’s scholarship –
Mommsen offers his interpretation of many of thevarious primary sources presented by Conklin and Fletcher. These theories tend to emphasizethe rise of ideologies, particularly nationalism, free market liberalism and scientific racism. Agreat deal of time and thought is given to whether Imperialism is a necessary consequence (orstage) of capitalism, and if so, whether it is an acceptable consequence for the political andeconomic health of a nation.Retra
cting from the ideological approach, “Tools of the Empire –
European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century” and “Ecological Imperialism –
The BiologicalExpansion of Europe 900-
both aim for more empirical and practical cause and effects of European expansionism. Though these authors differ in spans of time covered, their approachesto understanding Imperialism focus on the means of change, both controlled (e.g. weapons,horses, etc.) and uncontrollable (e.g. diseases, weeds, etc.). Even by looking only at the
supposedly “controlled” types of means which were products of the Industrial Revolution, both
of these perspectives bring the ideologies down to the ground by throwing into question howmuch choice was involved as humans played out developing drama of evolution.
Focusing on the people directly impacted by colonialism, “The European Colonial
1919” and “Colonial Encounters in the Age of High Imperialism”
shine lightupon the local politics and cultural transfusions and transmutations of specific colonial locations.These books focus on the desire for resources driving colonialism, but specifically on the humandimensions of mass migrations and slavery as experienced by the colonizers, indigenous peoplesand the enslaved. These views into our economic and political histories explain the roots of somuch of our global strife, economic inequalities, and geographical tensions which we are thebearers of today.