Scramble for Colonies
The aim of capitalistic industry was to produce more and more. The surplus wealth thus produced was used to build more factories, railways, steamships and other such undertakings. Revolution in the means of communication and transportation in the latter half of the nineteenth century facilitated the process of European expansion in Africa and other places.
A striking feature of nineteenth century was that Europe emerged as the dominant power while Asia and Africa were colonized and exploited. Within Europe, England held a pre-eminent position as the world leader of capitalism. An ever-growing demand for markets and raw materials made the capitalist powers race around the world for expanding their empire for exploitation.
After 1870, the alliance of industry and finance seeking profits in markets for goods and capital, which was an essential characteristic of imperialism, became evident in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The old ideas of free trade collapsed. There were trusts in the USA and cartels in Germany.
A trust is an industrial organisation engaged in the production or distribution of any commodity. The trust would possess adequate control over the supply and price of that commodity to its own advantage.
Capitalism inevitably led to imperialism. According to Lenin, imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. Besides being a market for surplus goods, colonies served another purpose. Imperialism was not just about colonies. It became a total system, the logic of which was total militarisation and total war.