European control and power over other nations was not a new ideal prior to 1870; in fact the process was in place as early as the 14th century. Disease and geography are only two of the factors that prevented European colonisation until the 19th century. Many factors led to the massive rise in imperialism after 1870, both internal and external. European imperialism stems from the capitalistic greed for cheap raw materials, advantageous markets, and good investments. These ideas motivated the search for new markets because Imperialists would rather invest in new markets rather than raise wages of domestic workers.
Not only was the cheap production of goods a motivating factor, but the quest for markets to sell manufactured goods contributed as well. Going along with this greed was the drive to expand authority by land acquisition or economic and political control over other nations. The quest for economic domination and advantage Europeans often denied the capitalistic greed as a factor in the cause of imperialism and had other ways of defining the motivation. Many stated that Imperialism was the natural effect of the idea of survival of the fittest.
This is best represented by Rudyard Kipling in the book White Mans Burden, which describes the notion that European Imperialism was simply the natural way that stronger nations gained power and those unable to keep up would be taken over. The Industrial Revolution also played a huge role in European imperialism. European nations had ease dominating non-Europeans due, in part, to the power retained from industrialisation. The Industrial Revolution provided tools such as guns, railway systems, steamships, and others, making it easier to overcome nations with less technology.
The new technology caused overseas transportation to be greatly improved, and masses of Europeans began to immigrate to other parts of the world. The combination of the increase in European population with improved overseas transportation led to the greatest migration up to that time. This transportation led to the need for strategic passages, such as the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal. Imperialism seemed the obvious strategy to obtain these passages.