Ars Bellica


The term "imperialism", after a brief appearance in France's Second Empire, began to be used in the 70s of the XIX century to connote the colonial and expansionist policy of Britain's Queen Victoria and Benjamin Disraeli. For years, we can see, even in response to the difficulties produced by the great economic depression of the years 1873-96, at a second industrial revolution (dominated by steel, electricity and chemistry), at the impetuous development of financial capitalism, the feverish search for new markets and old materials, at the old power politics, at the collusion between the state and the economy, and, at the same time, at the antagonistic growth of the organized labor movement, especially since the early 80s of the century, after the tragic experience of the Paris Commune (1871) and after the dissolution of the International Workers Association (1864-72).
We could also looked at the intermingling, both on the physical as on the cultural point of view, between the internationalization of the industrial system and the dogged persistence of social elites linked to the pre-industrial world and open to the military as the solution for political conflicts. The Imperialism was the effect of contamination between what was modern with what was traditional, but still vital, in European societies. It was, in other words, the final clash between the aggressiveness economic expansion (that proceeded geometrically in extension than in depth) and the primacy of social and national mentality, assigned to rank, caste pride, honor, prestige on manhood and warrior on the white man's civilizing mission. Colonialism practiced by European powers, and by the United States in the years from 1870 to the First World War is still the most visible manifestation of imperialism.



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