Four Types of Imperialism- Know More On It!

We can not talk of types imperialism without referring to the total dominance of the developed  “metro pole” over the third world “peripheral” countries; it’s characterized by economic, political, sphere of influence, and colonial dominance.

Four types of Imperialism

These four can’t separate each other from entangling. Before we mentioned the four kinds of imperialism, let’s define it 

What is imperialism?

Imperialism can be seen as the subordination of a country by another country to hold a relationship of unequal exchange.

 meaning,  it is the outward drive of certain persons or countries to build empires, formal colonies, and advantaged positions in the market and protect sources of materials, and extended opportunities for gainful employment of labor.

Imperialism happens even in our homes, amongst friends. The privileged one trying to dominate the other, it could be his wealth, his skills that he’s using to dominate in exchange to be served, and worshiped by others without totally giving the less privileged one the power to get what he has gotten for himself.

Even though so many aspects of imperialism have emerged, we will just mention the four types which are,

  • Colonialism 
  • Political
  • Sphere of influence and 
  • Economic

Imperialism has been defined as a relationship of unequal exchange, it will be aligned with the four definitions or types, this is because 

one can not be clear if not tangling together.

This definition does not only mean the inequality of the big or the small, Rich and the Poor, trading partners but the inequality of political and economic dependency of the developed countries,


The colonialism that took place during the colonial period had some methods by which it acquired territories, especially in Africa.

Method of acquiring territory

1. Discovery is the oldest and most important method of acquiring territory.

2. Occupation, they came, occupied, and turned the state of the territory into a national territory even though the natives of such settlements live, cultivates, fish, and do their activities in such land and have not abandoned it yet.

3. Accretion, is the gradual deposit of soil by a river flowing past a shore. Soil added to a river bank represents an additional territory of the riparian state.

4. Voluntary Cession, conveying a lawful title to the new owner.

5. Involuntary Cession by Conquest.

This can be accomplished commonly through military conquest.

These are the methods by which the European powers invaded territories and established colonies. But the colonial conquest of the European powers had to be declared illegal as well as declined.

Imperialism in politics 

While these superpowers are involved in every activity of other weaker or dominated counties, they still control the political systems they choose who should rule in these countries with an interest, and if they don’t succeed, they plan a coup or destabilize the country’s economy through war and unrest. So many countries have witnessed these situations. That resulted in terrorism by some groups of citizens, telling their government and the superpowers to stop interference in their politics.

The Economic aspects

This inequality becomes clearer in the economic aspects. This is so because it determines what happens in the superstructure, which covers all other activities, be it politics, Religions, or social relations.

While the Outward drive definition of imperialism.

  • Is the economic factor, such as the need of privilege positions in the markets
  • Sources of raw materials
  • Opportunities for profits etc.

The main imperialism subordination, manifested substantially at the center level, in other words, it’s the superstructure level of direct control of the political and religious life of the Third World with distorting effects on their social life.

Imperialism on the economic aspect and problems of capitalism

The imperialism on the economic aspects is the offshoot problems of capitalism, the direct response to the domestic needs or requirements for living, it is this need that geared up the drive outside.

The domestic needs did not just arise on their own, it is a result of the pressure and dynamism of the capital mode of production that brought the hunger for dominance.  And the factor that has affected development is what has been described as imperialism.

Because imperialism reflects and charts the systematic and progressive evolution of capitalism.

Capitalism and sphere of influence

Capitalism is the major influence that hinges on the Third World under development.

Imperialism in capitalism is the totality of dependency on foreign production and resources for development. It’s this stage of focus that gave room to monopolies, which have played a decisive role in economic life.

The role of capitalism

  • It brought about banks’ capital with industrial capital, which resulted in financial Oligarchy.
  • The formation of an international monopolist Capitalist association that revolves around the world amongst themselves.

These capitalist groups have been characterized as the “Metropole” while the dependent is the “periphery”

The metropole, are refers to the industrialized countries and their citizens while 

The periphery refers to the poor, the developing countries, and their people. This brings about 


Exploration is a systematic liquidation of the periphery in all areas of life by the metropole.

They achieve this through totally siphoning of raw materials and capital from the not strong economies to the stronger economy, the capitalist centers using their superbly linked networks.


The above-mentioned methods or types of imperialism, by and large, are characterized by mindless competition and some kind of anarchy in production and implemented by the zeal for superprofits and the desire to control domestic and international markets. It is the competition for profit in league with other known contradictions of the capitalist system that constitutes the urge that transformed capitalism into imperialism.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who are the superpowers?.

Answer: They are the top word countries that have every resource be it ammunition and all sorts at their disposal,  Examples are, the USA, Russia, Germany, and many others.

What are their operations like?

Answer: As has been mentioned above,

They offer to assist you with an interest, if your country doesn’t have anything to offer they won’t intervene even in war.

Four Types of Imperialism- Know More On It!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top