Tag Archive | imperialism

Outsourcing : New faces of imperialism

Outsourcing refers to the handling of a particular function, of an enterprise, to a third party, that specializes in such function. Generally, outsourcing is done by huge MNCs, for the functions of customer services and feedback management. Outsourcing has emerged as a major component of the functioning of the big companies in the developed nations. Due to high cost of living and high standards of work culture and management, these countries choose to outsource their functions to countries where the requirements of quality and work culture are not high. Thus, there has been an increase inflow of capital and investment in the developing countries, in the form of outsourcing services. This has also caused a short term boom in the economies of the developing economies. However, it often comes with volatility of the capital, as these services are highly sensitive to the domestic and international demand and supply of labour and capital.

Japanese Imperialism

In 1850s, US sent warships under Commodore Perry, and forced the Japanese to open their country for the American shipping and trade. This was known as Gun-boat Diplomacy. Later Japan had similar agreements with Britain, Holland, France and Russia. However, Japan itself emerged as an Imperialist country after the Meiji Restoration.

Japan imperialism

Meiji Restoration

It was a political revolution under which the erstwhile Tokugawa Shogunate, which was a feudal-military government, was replaced with a new imperial government under the Emperor Meiji. Japan adopted the slogan- ‘Wealthy country and strong arms’ and sought to create a nation-state capable of standing equal among western powers. The government took a number of reforms:

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Colonization of Africa

Slave Trade

Europeans started exploring Africa by late 15th century. These contacts were tragic and disastrous for the Africans due to the slave trade. Europeans needed slaves, as labors to work in their American colonies. In North America, slaves were used for plantation of tobacco, rice, indigo and cotton; while in South America, they were needed for sugar cultivation.

The native people of Americas were not suitable as they could escape from work, and were intolerant towards the European diseases, like smallpox, mums and measles. Whereas, African laborers were suitable as they had a developed immunity towards tropical diseases, could survive in harsh conditions, could not escape, and were readily available to the Europeans. European traders bought adult male labourers from Africa to America to work on plantation fields.

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[Part 3 Industrial Revolution] The Age of Machines and Capitalism


The desire to produce more and at low cost to make higher profits led to the Industrial Revolution, and further growth of capitalism. The Industrial Revolution began in England in about 1750. It was from then that machines began to replace the work of men and animals. Thus, industrial revolution was also referred to as the Machine age.

The first stage of the industrial revolution lasted from the middle of the 18th century to the mid-19th century, and included mechanization of only one consumer industry- cotton industry- and that of certain core and heavy industries like mining and metallurgy, and the development of steam engine.

The second stage of the industrial revolution commenced from second half of the 19th century. It is characterized by the more direct application of science to industry and by the development of the mass production techniques. Read More…