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In Search of Natural Resources: Stealing Is Cheaper than Dealing



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In Search of Natural Resources: Stealing Is Cheaper than Dealing

The factories of the Industrial Revolution created useful products, but to do so they required natural resources. Europe had its share of coal and iron ore used to provide power and make equipment for the factories, but raw materials such as cotton and rubber had to be imported because they didn't grow in the climates of Western Europe.

Industrial nations amassed incredible wealth by colonizing regions with natural resources, and then taking those resources without compensating the natives. The resources were sent back to Eu­rope, where they were made into finished products. Then, the industrial nations sent the finished products back to the colonies, where the colonists had to purchase them because the colonial powers wouldn't let the colonies trade with anyone else. In short, the colonial powers became rich at the expense of the colonies. The more colonies a nation had, the richer it became.

Soon, Europe colonized nations on every other continent in the world. Europe became a clear­inghouse for raw materials from around the globe while the rest of the world increasingly became exposed to Europe and European ideas. What's more, the need for raw materials transformed the landscape of the conquered regions. Limited raw materials depleted faster than at any time in human history. The Industrial Revolution, in addition to creating pollution, began to have an impact on the environment by gobbling natural resources.






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