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The qualifier "new" is used to differentiate modern
During this period, between the 1815
The erosion of British hegemony after the
This competition was sharpened by the
The main dominating powers of the conference were
In Britain, the age of new imperialism marked a time for significant economic changes. Because the country was the first to industrialize, Britain was technologically ahead of many other countries throughout the majority of the nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, however, other countries, chiefly Germany and the United States, began to challenge Britain's technological and economic power. After several decades of monopoly, the country was battling to maintain a dominant economic position while other powers became more involved in international markets. In 1870, Britain contained 31.8% of the world's manufacturing capacity while the United States contained 23.3% and Germany contained 13.2%. By 1910, Britain's manufacturing capacity had dropped to 14.7%, while that of the United States had risen to 35.3% and that of Germany to 15.9%. As countries like Germany and America became more economically successful, they began to become more involved with imperialism, resulting in the British struggling to maintain the volume of British trade and investment overseas.
Britain further faced strained international relations with three expansionist powers (Japan, Germany, and Italy) during the early twentieth century. Before 1939, these three powers never directly threatened Britain itself, but the indirect dangers to the Empire were clear. By the 1930s, Britain worried that Japan would threaten its holdings in the Far East as well as territories in India, Australia and New Zealand. Italy held an interest in North Africa, which threatened British Egypt, and German dominance of the European continent held some danger for Britain's security. Britain worried that the expansionist powers would cause the breakdown of international stability; as such, British foreign policy attempted to protect the stability in a rapidly changing world. With its stability and holdings threatened, Britain decided to adopt a policy of concession rather than resistance, a policy that became known as
In Britain, the era of new imperialism affected public attitudes toward the idea of imperialism itself. Most of the public believed that if imperialism was going to exist, it was best if Britain was the driving force behind it. The same people further thought that British imperialism was a force for good in the world. In 1940, the Fabian Colonial Research Bureau argued that Africa could be developed both economically and socially, but until this development could happen, Africa was best off remaining with the
Winds of the World, give answer! They are whimpering to and fro--
And what should they know of England who only England know?--
The poor little street-bred people that vapour and fume and brag,
They are lifting their heads in the stillness to yelp at the English Flag!
These lines show Kipling's belief that the British who actively took part in imperialism knew more about British national identity than the ones whose entire lives were spent solely in the imperial metropolis. While there were pockets of anti-imperialist opposition in Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, resistance to imperialism was nearly nonexistent in the country as a whole. In many ways, this new form of imperialism formed a part of the British identity until the end of the era of new imperialism around the Second World War.