Online College Courses for Credit




Learning Objectives: Students should be able to answer the following questions

  • What is Imperialism? 
  • What are the 3 eras of Imperialism? 
  • What is different about the Modern version? 
  • What are the key countries? 
  • What are the major motivations? 
  • What are the main types of colonies and what are some examples? 
  • Case study: Subequatorial Africa

This comprehensive tutorial exams Imperialism as a historical phenomenon including the various eras, types, motivations and uses some specific examples to illustrate the impact of empire building. 

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

29 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

314 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 27 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


What is Imperialism?

A general overview of the concept of Imperialism.

The Three Era's of Empire Building

Ancient: Example,  the Phoenician and Roman Empires

Colonial: Example, Exploration and Colonization of the "New World" 

Modern: 19th Century Industrial Imperialism

Question: What are the main difference between era 2 and 3? Brainstorm some answers. 

What are the main differences in the 2 eras?

What changed from the Colonial to the Modern period of Empire building?

Did you get all 8?

Let's see how you did? 

1. Nationalism or Prestige

2. Region: Missionaries spreading the faith, usually Christianity

3. Scientific: new animals, plants, peoples

4. Military: new ports fro your navy or places to protect your other colonies

5. Economic: raw materials, new markets, new opportunities to make money or get land

6. Adventure: go where no other white men have gone

7. Health: there is an upsurge of emigration to the colonies every time there is an outbreak of Typhoid, etc in big European cities

8. Duty to Civilize: the so called "White Man's Burden" to civilize the uncivilized masses

More on this next! 

Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden (1899)

Born in British India in 1865, Rudyard Kipling was educated in England before returning to India in 1882, where his father was a museum director and authority on Indian arts and crafts. Thus Kipling was thoroughly immersed in Indian culture: by 1890 he had published in English about 80 stories and ballads previously unknown outside India. As a result of financial misfortune, from 1892-96 he and his wife, the daughter of an American publisher, lived in Vermont, where he wrote the two Jungle Books. After returning to England, he published "The White Man's Burden" in 1899, an appeal to the United States to assume the task of developing the Philippines, recently won in the Spanish-American War. As a writer, Kipling perhaps lived too long: by the time of his death in 1936, he had come to be reviled as the poet of British imperialism, though being regarded as a beloved children's book author. Today he might yet gain appreciation as a transmitter of Indian culture to the West.

What is it today's reader finds so repugnant about Kipling's poem? If you were a citizen of a colonized territory, how would you respond to Kipling?

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke (1) your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel, (2)
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

(1) Cloak, cover.
(2) Since the days of Classical Greece, a laurel wreath has been a symbolic victory prize.

White Man's Burden Assignment

Will be turned in as an assignment grade


Types of Colonial Experiences and Africa

A brief look at the types of colonies and examples of each as well as the case study of sub-equatorial Africa