Imperialism is the modern political doctrine that justifies the domination of a people or State over others; as a rule through distinct types of colonialism, by the way of economic exploitation, strategic military presence, cultural subordination or other variants. Although closely related, the terms Imperialism and Colonialism are not strictly synonymous; however, they coincide in one concept: that of constituting a modern political doctrine.
The world knew empires during Ancient History, but the use of the term ‘Imperialism’ is associated with the European expansion beginning in the era of the discoveries, in the XV century and lasting during the Modern Age and the Contemporary Age until the decolonization process after the Second World War.
To be specific, the expression Era of Imperialism followed Colonialism, associated with this modern political doctrine and used by historians, refers to the period from 1871 to 1919 in which a real race was produced to construct colonial empires, mainly with the so-called division of Africa, where Colonialism split up almost the entire dark continent. Two of the most important documents that focused on the concept referred to this period: Imperialism, a Study by Hobson, and Imperialism, a Highest Stage of Capitalism, by Lenin.
The Marxist perspective essentially understands Imperialism not as a form of political domination, but as an international mechanism for dividing capital and work, for which the possession of capital, management, the highest qualified work and major part of the consumption are concentrated in the most economically and industrially developed countries, while the countries that provide the work of a lesser qualification and natural resources, suffer an unequal exchange that leads to exploitation and impoverishment, the nucleus of this modern political doctrine.
The nomenclature North-South is also employed these days in political science to condemn the way Imperialism interacts unfavorably with underdeveloped nations.