France and Great Britain were the major imperialist powers. Other European countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Russia joined them as well as United States and Japan.

There were different forms of colonial rule:

  1. Concessions were commercial advantages (use of ports, lower taxation) given by independent countries to the imperialist powers. This was the case of China divided into areas of influence among the imperialist powers.
  2. Protectorates had local governments but the colonial power controlled foreign policy, the army and the exploitation of resources. India and Egypt were examples of protectorates.
  3. Colonies were territories directly controlled by the metropole. There were different cases:
  • Position as they granted the control of strategic paces such as British Cape colony in South Africa.
  • Settler colonialism was based on setting population from the metropole and were self-administrated. Examples of these were Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa controlled by the British.
  • Exploitation colonialism when the colonies were administrated by the metropole which had exclusive right to exploit its resources. This was the case of Belgian colony of Congo

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