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Imperialism is one nation attempting to control another people, typically because they want more land, power and control for their country. Imperialism is often criticized for its selfishness (see Nationalism), although in some aspects subject peoples have benefited.

Europeans used four patterns in their imperialism:

  1. Establish colonies, like the British colonies in America, whereby the European power had direct influence or control over the colonies.
  2. Establish protectorates, whereby the region has its own government and is an independent country, but is protected by a larger country. Puerto Rico and Guam today would be an example of that, as they are protected by the United States.
  3. An even less direct form of imperialism was “spheres of influence,” in which the European country had special trading privileges over the region.
  4. Finally, there was “economic imperialism,” whereby the outside influence was exerted not by a country but by a private business over a region.[1]

Imperialism grew in a period known as a period of "new" imperialism, which emerged in the 1800s, going on into the 1900s. This was in part fueled by international competition. This would also lead to economic protectionism.

During World War Two, Japan could be viewed as imperialistic.

See also