Ques: Neo-Colonialism of 19th century was the product of a nationalistic phenomenon but not an economic one. comment
Ans: In the progress of neo-colonialism or imperialism during the second half of 19th century, nationalism definitely worked as a major catalyst particularly in context of those nations which were much advanced from the perspective of imperialist expansion but not equally advanced from that of industrialization. In spite of that, the role of economic factor should not be denied.
It is true that some nations like France, could achieve uncommon progress in land-grabbing particularly in African continent inspite of the fact that France lagged behind others on the front of industrialization. So, it seems that in context of France, nationalism worked as a major variable. Not simply France but almost all imperialist powers were guided, at least partially, by a sense of national glory. A British declared that there is no sunset in our empire. In a reply, there appeared welt politics in Germany and its counter slogan stated that German race had to prevail in the world. In this way nationalism added fuel to the fire of imperialism.
But at the same time it was industrial revolution which added a strong material motive to new-colonialism. Industrial revolution intensified the demand for market for industrial products and the source for new materials. Therefore, major industrial powers moved to the colonies.
Therefore, neo-colonialism should be explained in context of nationalistic and economic factor both.