The causes of imperial expansion: The main factors which led to imperial expansion were the emergence of finance capitalism and the rapid industrial development which the colonial powers were experiencing in this period.
-Colonies provided industrialized countries with cheap raw materials.
-Colonies also provided new markets where industrialized countries could sell the manufactured goods which they produced at home.
For the imperial powers, colonies were also a symbol of international prestige. In addition, imperial expansion could make a country more powerful in the international terms. As the result, the colonial powers completed with one another for control of strategic locations around the world. Colonies were also an attractive destination for European emigrants. Europe´s population had been growing steadily and machines were replacing many workers in factories, so many working-class people emigrated to the colonies to look for work and better living standard. Some governments encouraged emigration to reduce social conflict.
The consequences of imperialism: Imperialism had important consequences that still affect the world today.
-Colonies were controlled by a minority that imposed European culture. Native people had second-class status and racial segregation was common.
-Rivality between the imperial powers was one of the causes of the First World War.
-The world economy became extremely imbalanced because the wealthy nations controlled industry and trade, and exploited less developed countries