Reasons for colonization

  • Requirements of Raw Material: It is necessary to maintain low costs of production compared to competing nations in the market. The desire to create a monopoly in the market and the need to procure raw material at cheaper rates were two major factors, which made it essential for the European nations to establish clear supremacy.
  • Investing Surplus Capital: The Industrial revolution added to the wealth of the European capitalists, who were already rich. They started searching for secure markets to invest their surplus funds. The markets in the less developed countries were quite secure from this point of view. Thus, the availability of surplus capital facilitated the rise of colonialism.
  • Sources of Minerals: The countries in Asia and Africa had rich sources of minerals like gold, diamonds, silver, and coal etc. This attracted the European merchants to various regions of Asia and Africa.
  • Geographic Importance: European nations had realised that the geographic location of some regions in Asia and Africa are advantageous for trade. Malta, Gibraltar, Aden, Singapore, Andaman, and Nicobar were some such regions, where the British established their hold.
  • Availability of Labour: European merchants needed a large number of labourers at a very cheap rate. The colonies fulfilled this need. Later, it contributed to the boom in the slave trade.
  • Religious Reasons: Protestant groups, like the Pilgrims and Puritans, came to the Americas to establish their own communities, where they could worship God in their own way. Catholics, Quakers, and Jews later came to the colonies seeking freedom of worship.