Imperialism: A Study

Imperialism: A Study

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Imperialism: A Study

Imperialism: A Study

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Excerpt

So momentous have been the occurrences in world history during the past thirty years, so numerous the changes in national policies and sentiments that it may seem an act of impertinence to republish a book dealing with these issues as they presented themselves at the opening of the century. Nevertheless it may be worth while showing that the chief perils and disturbances associated with the aggressive nationalism of to-day, though visibly inflamed and accelerated by the Great War and the Bad Peace, were all latent and discernible in the world of a generation ago, and find their economic, political and moral roots in the foreign policy of the governments of the advanced industrial nations. Recent events have, indeed, done much to clarify the respective parts played in modern Imperialism by the interactions and conjunctions of the different theories, interests and emotions that inspire aggressive national activities.

Before proceeding to make good this statement it may be convenient here to rehearse in bare terms the main argument of this book, and then to discuss such changes and modifications of the earlier argument as the current of recent history appears to demand.

That argument was to the effect that whereas various real and powerful motives of pride, prestige and pugnacity, together with the more altruistic professions of a civilising mission, figured as causes of imperial expansion, the dominant directive motive was the demand for markets and for profitable investment by the exporting and financial classes . . .

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