expansionism
   HOME

TheInfoList



In expansionism, states expand their territory through military
empire-building
empire-building
or
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose thei ...
. In the classical age of
conquest Conquest is the act of military subjugation of an enemy by force of Weapon, arms. Military history provides many examples of conquest: the Gallic Wars, Roman conquest of Gaul, the Maurya Empire, Mauryan conquest of Afghanistan and of vast areas ...
moral justification for territorial expansion at the direct expense of another established polity (who often faced displacement, subjugation, slavery, rape and execution) was often as unapologetic as "because we can" treading on the philosophical grounds of
might makes right Might makes right or Might is right is an aphorism on the origin of morality Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and Social actions, actions between those that are distinguished as proper (right) and those that ar ...
. As political conceptions of the
nation state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, ...
evolved, especially in reference to the inherent
rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people according to some legal system, social conventi ...
of the governed, more complex justifications arose. State-collapse anarchy,
reunification A political union is a type of state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily new ...
or
pan-nationalism Pan-nationalism (from gr, πᾶν, "all", and french: nationalisme, "nationalism") is a specific term, used mainly in social sciences as a designation for those forms of nationalism that are trying to transcend (overcome) traditional boundaries ...
are sometimes used to justify and legitimize expansionism when the explicit goal is to reconquer territories that have been lost or to take over ancestral lands. Lacking a viable historical claim of this nature, would-be expansionists may instead promote ideologies of promised lands (such as
manifest destiny Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th century in the United States, 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny: * T ...

manifest destiny
or a religious destiny in the form of a
Promised Land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litter ...
), perhaps tinged with a self-interested pragmatism that targeted lands will eventually belong to the potential invader anyway.


Theories

Ibn Khaldun Ibn Khaldun (; ar, أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي, ; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , ...
wrote that newly established dynasties, because they have
social cohesion Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar chara ...
or
Asabiyyah 'Asabiyyah or 'asabiyya ( ar, عصبيّة, 'group feeling' or 'social cohesion') is a concept of social solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of ...
, are able to seek "expansion to the limit." The Soviet economist
Nikolai Kondratiev Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kondratiev (; also Kondratieff; Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring ...
theorized that capitalism advances in 50-year expansion/stagnation cycles, driven by technological innovation. The UK, Germany, the US, Japan and now China have been at the forefront of successive waves.
Crane Brinton Clarence Crane Brinton ( Winsted, Connecticut, 1898 – Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area as a major su ...
in '' The Anatomy of Revolution'' saw the revolution as a driver of expansionism in, for example, Stalinist Russia, the United States and the Napoleonic Empire.
Christopher Booker Christopher John Penrice Booker (7 October 1937 – 3 July 2019) was an English journalist A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worth form and dissemin ...
believed that
wishful thinking Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs based on what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than on evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire. Methodologies to examine wishful thi ...

wishful thinking
can generate a "dream phase" of expansionism such as in the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million ...

European Union
, which is short-lived and unreliable.


Past examples

Every part of the world has experienced expansionism. The religious
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power Hard power is the use of military and economics, economic ...

imperialism
and
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose thei ...
of Islam started with the
early Muslim conquests The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad ) , birth_date ...
, was followed by the religious
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the '' ...
expansionisms, and ended with the
Partition of the Ottoman Empire The partition of the Ottoman Empire (30 October 19181 November 1922) was a geopolitical event that occurred after World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe t ...
. The militarist and nationalistic reign of Russian
Czar Nicholas I Nicholas I ( rus, Николай I Павлович, r=Nikolay I Pavlovich; – ) reigned as List of Russian rulers, Emperor of Russia, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland from 1825 until 1855. He was the third son of Paul I of Russia, Paul ...
(1825–1855) led to wars of conquest against Persia (1826–1828) and Turkey (1828–1829). Various rebel tribes in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven ...
region were crushed. A
Polish revolt
Polish revolt
in 1830 was ruthlessly crushed. Russian troops in 1848 crossed into
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a writte ...

Austria-Hungary
to put down the Hungarian Revolt.
Russification Russification or Russianization (russian: Русификация, ''Rusifikatsiya'') is a form of cultural assimilation process during which non- Russian communities (whether involuntarily or voluntarily) give up their culture and language in fav ...
policies were implemented to weaken minority ethnic groups. Pan-Slavist solidarity led to further war with Turkey (the
sick man of Europe "Sick man of Europe" is a label given to a nation which is located in some part of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any stri ...
) in 1853 provoked Britain and France into invading Crimea. After 1937,
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was t ...

Nazi Germany
under Hitler laid claim to
Sudetenland The Sudetenland (; ; Czech and sk, Sudety) is the historical German name for the northern, southern, and western areas of former Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918– ...

Sudetenland
, unification (''
Anschluss The ''Anschluss'' (, or ''Anschluß'' before the German orthography reform of 1996 The German orthography reform of 1996 (') was a change to German spelling and punctuation that was intended to simplify German orthography and thus to make i ...

Anschluss
'') with Austria in 1938 and the occupation of the whole of the Czech lands the following year. After war broke out, Hitler and Stalin divided Poland between Germany and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
. In a ''
Drang nach Osten (, "Drive to the East",Ulrich Best, ''Transgression as a Rule: German–Polish cross-border cooperation, border discourse and EU-enlargement'', 2008, p. 58, , "push eastward",Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, ''Historical Dicti ...
'' aimed at achieving ''
Lebensraum The German concept of (, "living space") comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, '' lso in:' became a geopolitical goal of German Emp ...

Lebensraum
'' for the German people, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.
Colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose thei ...

Colonialism
is a form of expansionism in which the policy of a nation seeks to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of developing or exploiting them to the benefit of the colonizing country. The European colonial period, from the 15th century to the mid-20th century, had several European powers establish colonies in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
, and
Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict crite ...

Asia
. Expansionist nationalism is an aggressive and radical form of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peop ...
that incorporates autonomous patriotic sentiments with a belief in expansionism. The term was coined during the late 19th century as European powers indulged in the
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
in the name of national glory, but it has been most associated with militarist governments during the 20th century including Fascist Italy,
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was t ...

Nazi Germany
, the
Japanese Empire The was a historical nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration The , referred to at the time as the , and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imp ...

Japanese Empire
, and the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
countries of
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is ...
(
Greater Albania Greater may refer to: *Greatness Greatness is a concept of a state of superior (hierarchy), superiority affecting a person or wikt:entity, object in a particular place or area. Greatness can also be attributed to individuals who possess a natura ...

Greater Albania
),
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It occupies the whole eastern part of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia ...
(
Greater Bulgaria , showing the boundaries of Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is ...
),
Croatia :* french: link=no, République de Croatie :* hu, Horvát Köztársaság :* it, Repubblica di Croazia :* rue, Републіка Хорватія :* sr, Република Хрватска :* sk, Chorvátska republika :* sl, Republika H ...
(Greater Croatia), Hungarian nationalism, Hungary (Hungarian irredentism, Greater Hungary), Romanian nationalism, Romania (Greater Romania) and Serbian nationalism, Serbia (Greater Serbia). In American politics after the War of 1812, Manifest destiny, Manifest Destiny was the ideological movement during America's expansion Westward Expansion, West. The movement incorporated expansionist nationalism with continentalism, with the Mexican–American War, Mexican War in 1846-1848 being attributed to it. Despite championing American settlers and traders as the people whom the government's military would be aiding, the Bent, St. Vrain and Company stated to be the most influential Indian trading company prior to the Mexican War, underwent a decline because of the and of traffic from American settlers by Beyreis. The company also lost the partner Charles Bent on January 19, 1847 to a riot caused by the Mexican War. Many in the Cheyennes, Comanches, Kiowas, and Pawnees tribes died from smallpox in 1839–1840, measles and whooping cough in 1845, and cholera in 1849, which had been brought by American settlers. The buffalo herds, sparse grasses, and rare waters were also depleted following the war as increased traffic by settlers moving to California during the Gold Rush.


21st century


China

The People's Republic of China is accused of expansionism through its operations and claims in the South China Sea, which are concurrently claimed by Vietnam.


Israel

Israel was established on reacquired lands under international law and a manifest of original ownership on May 14, 1948, after the end of World War II and the Holocaust. Its government has Israeli-occupied territories, occupied the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula during the Six-Day War.


Iran

Iran, the largest Shi'ite state, has extended its influence across the entire Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan by arming local militias.


Russia

Russia has had an aggressive posture since 2008, especially since 2014. Events associated with Russia are the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and Russia's Occupied territories of Georgia, occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; the Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present), Russian military intervention in Ukraine, which began in 2014 with the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Annexation of Crimea and the War in Donbass; and the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, military intervention in Syria.


Turkey

Turkey's foreign policy is characterized, especially since 2010s by an aggressive expansionism, irredentism, Interventionism (politics), interventionism in the Eastern Mediterranean and the neighboring Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, Syria, as well as in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
, including Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey has occupied foreign territories and stationed troops in them, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the Turkish occupation of northern Syria.


United States

The territorial evolution of the United States includes westward expansion, growing from the original Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast to a country spanning the entire width of North America to the Pacific Ocean. It accomplished this by war and agreements with Britain, American Indian Wars, Native American treaties, Indian Removal Act, moving Indians to reservations, invasion of Spanish Florida, annexation of the independent country of Texas, war with and purchase from Mexico, and purchases from France and Spain. Washington Alaska Purchase, purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. The independent Republic of Hawaii was annexation of Hawaii, annexed in 1898. The 1898 Spanish–American War resulted in the acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands, Philippine Islands. Cuba was temporarily occupied after the Spanish were expelled; it became independent in 1902. The Philippines became independent in 1946. The US took control of American Samoa in 1899. The Panama Canal Zone came under U.S. control 1903–1979. The United States Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark in 1917. Victory over Japan in 1945 resulted in the US administration of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Three Trust jurisdictions became independent countries in 1986 and 1994, each with a Compact of Free Association with the United States, but the Northern Mariana Islands became a federal territory of the United States. The US has made no territorial claims in Antarctica but reserves the right to do so. It participates in the Antarctic Treaty and operates research bases on international territory there. The Outer Space Treaty prohibits claiming territory on other solar system bodies, but the United States sent Apollo program, Apollo astronauts to the Moon and planted US flags there. The United States has been accused of neocolonialism with modern American imperialism taking the form of military and economic hegemony over the affairs of many countries and advancing American interests without annexation but with varying levels of coercion. For example, the US forced the opening of Japan in the 1850s. In the late 1800s and much of the 1900s, US corporations exercised outsized influence over several Central American countries, which became known as banana republics. They were occasionally aided by the American military, especially during the Banana Wars, from 1898 to 1934. The United States has invaded and occupied many other countries to advance its economic and security interests but has eventually returned those countries to sovereign domestic control. (For a complete list, see .) The US retains military bases in some of the sovereign countries that it once occupied on a notionally-voluntary basis, including in Germany, Italy, Japan, Greenland, Iceland, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is retained despite the protests of the Cuban government, and the US has military bases in various other countries with which it has allied.


Ideologies

In the 19th century, theories of racial unity evolved such as Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, and Pan-Turkism and the related Turanism. In each case, the dominant nation (respectively, Prussia; the Russian Empire;Orlando Figes, ''Crimea'', Penguin, 2011, p.89 and the Ottoman Empire, especially under Enver Pasha) used those theories to legitimise their expansionist policies.


In popular culture

George Orwell's satirical novel ''Animal Farm'' is a fictional depiction, based on Stalin's Soviet Union, of a new elite seizing power, establishing new rules and hierarchies, and expanding economically while they compromise their ideals. Robert Erskine Childers's novel ''The Riddle of the Sands'' portrays the threatening nature of the German Empire. Elspeth Huxley's novel ''Red Strangers'' shows the effects on local culture of colonial expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa.


See also

* American imperialism * British Empire * European colonization of the Americas * Expansionist nationalism *
Colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose thei ...

Colonialism
* Greater Israel * List of irredentist claims or disputes * Manifest Destiny, in western USA * Muslim conquests *
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
, late 19th century * Spread of Islam


References


Further reading

* Abernethy, David B. ''The dynamics of global dominance: European overseas empires, 1415-1980'' (Yale University Press, 2000). * Darwin, John. ''After Tamerlane: the global history of empire since 1405'' ( Bloomsbury, 2008). * Edwards, Zophia, and Julian Go. "The Forces of Imperialism: Internalist and Global Explanations of the Anglo-European Empires, 1750–1960." ''Sociological Quarterly'' 60.4 (2019): 628-653. * MacKenzie, John M. "Empires in world history: characteristics, concepts, and consequences." in ''The Encyclopedia of Empire'' (2016): 1-25. * Wade, Geoff, ed. ''Asian Expansions: The Historical Experiences of Polity Expansion in Asia'' (Routledge, 2014). ( Wesseling, Hendrik. ''The European Colonial Empires: 1815-1919'' (Routledge, 2015).


External links

{{wiktionary
"Expansionism / Imperialism"
from ProjectWorldview.org Political theories Political history