imperialism


imperialism
imperialism
This word is first attested in the 19c, when it reflected the British politics of the time and denoted what was seen as the benevolent spirit or principle of empire. In the 20c, it came to be used disparagingly, first by the Communist bloc with reference to the US and the Western powers generally, and then conversely to refer to the imperial system or policies of the USSR in the countries over which it held sway. Imperialism is now a largely historical concept, although the word is still used in political writing of the continuing or potential imperial policies of certain countries, predominantly the US but also the West generally in the context of Middle Eastern politics. Cultural imperialism is the attempt to impose social or cultural characteristics, such as language, on other nations, typically to further the political and commercial interests of the imposer:

• A list in which Anglo-American films so outnumber the rest of the world is, in my opinion, a list based on arrogant cultural imperialism: believing English-language culture far superior to all others is the real elitism —Guardian, 2007.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • imperialism — ► NOUN ▪ a policy of extending a country s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means. DERIVATIVES imperialist noun & adjective imperialistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

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  • Imperialism — For the computer game, see Imperialism (video game). Territories that are or were once part of the British Empire Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and… …   Wikipedia

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