- from Nationalism
In the 1800s, nationalism helped lead to imperialism. That is a word for “empire-building.” Here’s how it usually works. A country claims other lands as its own. It sends people there to set up colonies. It rules those lands from far away.
Many thought having bigger empires made their countries stronger. Powerful European nations began grabbing land in faraway places like Africa and South Asia. This stirred up feelings of nationalism in those countries.
In Africa, European landowners told local farmers what to grow. They wanted them to raise crops that Europeans could take and sell. This left the farmers less time and land to grow food for themselves. Europeans did make some good changes in Africa. Those were usually for their own benefit. In 1869, French engineers and Egyptian workers finished the Suez Canal. This was like a new, man-made river. It linked the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It made travel easier between Europe and Asia. In 1875, the British bought the canal. It let them travel more quickly to their most valuable colony, India.