- The Task of World History
- Theories of World History since the Enlightenment
- World Environmental History
- Nomadic pastoralism
- States, State Transformation, and War
- Religions and World History
- Technology, Engineering, and Science
- Advanced Agriculture
- Trade across Eurasia to about 1750
- Biological Exchanges in World History
- Cultural Exchanges in World History
- Pre-modern Empires
- Modern Imperialism
- East Asia and Central Eurasia
- South Asia and Southeast Asia
- The Middle East in World History
- Africa in World History: The Long, Long View
- Europe and Russia in World History
- Mediterranean History
- The Americas, 1450–2000
- The Atlantic Ocean Basin
- Oceania and Australasia
- The pacific Ocean Basin to 1850
Abstract and Keywords
The renewed interest in imperialism after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has re-cast a vexed problem regarding the delimitation of the scope of the term imperialism. The urge to distinguish ‘imperialism’ from ‘empire’ has surfaced as some scholars seek to dissociate the United States' actions from the term imperialism and affiliate it with the less negative, if not positive, vision of empire. In that light, this article describes empire and imperialism in history; the historiography of imperialism; principal developments in modern imperialism; and the mid-nineteenth century transformation of imperialism or ‘new imperialism’. Imperialist competition in the first half of the twentieth century was catalyzed by a particular configuration of capitalism and nationalism. The nationalist foundations of modern imperialism have made it very difficult for the imperialist nation, whether Japan in Manchukuo or the United States in Iraq, to transition to a federated polity or cooperative economic entities or even ‘empire’.
Prasenjit Duara is Raffles Professor of Humanities and Director of Humanities and Social Science Research at the National University of Singapore.
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