How did economic and technological factors motivate colonialism in the 19th century?

Question by Mistermistermister: How did economic and technological factors motivate colonialism in the 19th century?
How did economic and technological factors motivate colonialism for Africa, India, China,
and Indochina/Vietnam in the nineteenth century?

Best answer:

Answer by Exco
The first steps European nations took to navigate the world (Age of Exploration), was a result of a desire to make potentially enormous amounts of profits from trade, by taking an oceanic route to the Far-East for spices, rather than the heavily taxed land route – the Silk Road.

The problem was, on many areas the Europeans touched upon, they found less-developed civilisations, and what had been a sense of simple trade became expansion, conquest, foreign lands, and the wealth associated with it. This rampant idea of imperialism wasn’t helped by Europe discovering the Industrial Revolution, instantly transforming European states into mega superpowers,

You would hear the occasional attempt at self-justification, that the Europeans were trying to “enlighten” the locals, or “lead the way”, the reality was the Europeans sailed up in giant battleships, forced open trade with locals, and if things didn’t go their way, they fire their rifles and cannons until they get what they want.

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