- from Nationalism
In the 1800s, nationalism helped lead to imperialism. Imperialism is a word for “empire-building.” A country claims other lands, sets up colonies there, and rules those lands.
Many thought their countries gained more power from having bigger empires. Powerful European nations started grabbing land in faraway places like Africa and South Asia. This stirred up feelings of nationalism in the people of those countries.
In Africa, European landowners made local farmers, who had always grown crops for their own use, start growing crops that Europeans could sell for a profit. This meant the farmers had less time and less land to grow their own food. Europeans did make some improvements in Africa. Usually, that was for their own benefit. In 1869, French engineers and Egyptian workers finished building the Suez Canal. This waterway connected the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The new route sped up travel between Europe and Asia. In 1875, the British bought the canal. It shortened the travel time to their most valuable colony, India.