AskDefine | Define expansionism

Dictionary Definition

expansionism n : the doctrine of expanding the territory or the economic influence of a country

User Contributed Dictionary



From expansion + -ism.




  1. The policy, of a nation, of expanding its territory or its economic influence

Related terms

Extensive Definition

In general, expansionism consists of expansionist policies. While some have linked the term to promoting economic growth (in contrast to no growth / sustainable policies), more commonly expansionism refers to the doctrine of a nation's expanding its territorial base (or economic influence) usually by means of military aggression. Compare empire-building and Lebensraum.
Irredentism, revanchism or reunification are sometimes used to justify and legitimize expansionism, but only when the explicit goal is to reconquer territories that have been lost, or even to take over ancestral lands. A simple territorial dispute, such as a border dispute, is not usually referred to as expansionism.

External links

expansionism in Spanish: Expansionismo
expansionism in Portuguese: Expansionismo
expansionism in Ukrainian: Експансіонізм
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