The western countries depended upon African and Asian countries for raw material and colonization was a means to access and exploit the rare and precious commodities of the colonies. Apart from this, for some imperialists, the motive behind imperialism was to spread Christianity, or Western ethics, laws and culture around the world. for others, it was the precious commodities of Asian and African countries and golden chances for investment. For some, it was merely for personal or national glory or a strategic advancement. 1
“In short, British and French motives were characteristic of the medley of motives that constituted late nineteenth- and early twentieth century European imperialism.” (Fieldhouse 341) The three leading imperialists: Great Britain, France and Germany had their respective motives and interests in establishing their imperialism.
Germany wished to defeat the rising socialism in the country and to prove that it was equal to the British by acquiring its own empire. Great Britain had the most advanced maritime technology that enabled it to expand its empire. France, having defeated by Germany in 1871 needed to restore its international standing, which was achieved by imperial expansion in Africa and Southeast Asia.2
In February 1885, the main European powers who were actively vying for control of large parts of Africa signed the Berlin Act which formalized the process for the partition of Africa. France, Germany, Britain and Portugal all had interests in West Africa and the Act provided the guidelines by which each then proceeded to define their territories.3
Thus western new imperialism was greatly facilitated by the technological advancement in the development of machinery, railways, roads, steam-ships, factories and global trade. The weak political structures and their internal conflicts in Asian and African countries made them vulnerable to the new imperialism.