Nationalism and Imperialism, <i>c</i>.1880–1940

John Darwin

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199209194
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Nationalism and             Imperialism, c.1880–1940

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Colonialism and Imperialism


Show Summary Details


The nature of European imperialism remains very contested. Much of the discussion revolves around notions of empire by rule and ignores both the wider context of Western expansion and the recourse to ‘informal’ influence in large areas of the non-Western world. Here the growth of imperial rivalries in the late nineteenth century is explained in terms of a far-reaching series of geopolitical crises, ignited by processes of political and economic transformation in non-Western states in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia. It is argued, nonetheless, that conventional accounts grossly exaggerate the ‘tooth and claw’ nature of imperialist competition before 1914, which was closely constrained by the requirements of Europe’s own politics. Until, that is, the onset of the Great Depression, and the rise of radical nationalist states in Germany and Japan, created the conditions for unrestricted imperialist warfare on a global scale, with catastrophic results.

Keywords: Imperialism; nationalism; imperial expansion; colonial empires; British Empire

Article.  9543 words. 

Subjects: History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Colonialism and Imperialism

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.