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Merits and Demerits of Imperialism in Political Science

Though today we consider imperialism altogether an evil phenomenon, yet it has had certain supporters from time to time, who were convinced of its advantages.

The theories of Fichte, Hegel and Darwin encouraged imperialism. Thinkers like Glossritz, Bernhard, Nietzsche and Treitschke have been the supporters of imperialism.

Treitschke said, “The state is the supreme in human society. The right and wrong can only be decided by war”.

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Overlord countries are benefited the most in imperialism because they exploit the countries under them and make themselves and markets for the disposal of finished goods. They also solve the problem of inhabiting their additional population. They also solve the problem of inhabiting their additional population.

They also enhance their influence in diplomacy because their economic and military means increase manifold. In war also only those states become victorious who have economic and military resources in abundance. The British could become victorious in the First and the Second World War because they ruled over a vast empire.

Benefits which dependent countries derive:

(1) The imperialists argue that the dependent countries are benefited by imperialism because people of different cultures, races arid nationalities are united under one banner and they become politically conscious. It is said in the case of India that political unity was the result of imperialism.

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(2) In a vast empire different races get opportunity of mutual contacts and thus their outlook is broadened.

(3) When many countries become a part and parcel of a vast empire, they get trading facilities.

(4) When backward races get into touch with the developed nations, they make a tremendous progress.

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(5) The aggressiveness of the dependent countries is destroyed and a new awakening and strength is infused into them.

Demerits of Imperialism:

The following are the disadvantages to imperialist countries:

(1) The imperialist countries indulge in luxurious way of life and thus they are unable to face the warrior nations.

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(2) Because of the spirit of autocracy, they lose many advantages.

Disadvantage to dependent countries:

The dependent countries are to face many hardships due to imperialism.

The disadvantages to dependent countries are as under:

(1) Because of imperialism there is a continuous exploitation of the dependent nations. The dependent countries become the main source of supply of raw material and consumers of finished goods of imperialist countries.

(2) The imperialist countries continuously try to expand their language and culture in dependent countries and they offer jobs only to those persons who possess a good knowledge of their language. Consequently, the natives forget their own language, literature and history and they start thinking that the foreign language, literature and history are better than theirs. It dampens their passion for freedom.

(3) The imperialist countries encourage communal feelings among the people of dependent countries to check the feeling of nationalism. It poisons the whole life stream of those countries. The British employed these tactics in India.

(4) Because of imperialism, the all-round development of dependent countries is retarded.

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(5) The imperialist countries destroy the local-self institutions of dependent countries.

(6) Imperialism gives birth to wars. The imperialist countries first of all fight with those countries that they want to conquer. Later on the wage wars against each other, because their interests clash. This was the reason for the start of the First and Second World Wars. It resulted in a large-scale destruction of men and material.

(7) The imperialist countries adopt repressive policies and commit atrocities on a large scale on the dependent people. They terrorise and demoralise the people and thus the people of dependent countries have to face many hardships.

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