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In the early 20th C Mackinder believed that there was a pivot in central Eurasia surrounded by a heartland and that whoever ruled this would rule the world.
Conversely he indicated that the further you were from the heartland the less influence you would have. He indicated that Russia’s position in the heartland and its natural resources made it the natural leader of the world.
However, the industrial revolution centred on Britain in the 19th C ensured that the original heartland was shifting westwards and that Britain, with its economic power and naval supremacy, was more likely to lead the world.
With colonialism came the call from the church to spread its message. Such evangelism was rooted in the myth that others were racially inferior and that spreading the Christian message was a divine call to civilise the inferior peoples of the world. In 1500 less than 5% were Christians in Africa; today the figure is 50%.
This view was coupled with the notion (from Darwin’s views of natural selection) that the strong would survive over the weak and therefore improve the gene pool.
Colonialism - the British Empire as the first great superpower
The 19th century British believed they were superior to other nations and set out to dominate other nations through colonialism.
They were invaded and British people were assigned key roles that ensured the dominance of those nations.
Ruling them gave the British power as well as resources required for industrial development.