The policies of a State that tends to place foreign populations and states under its political, economic, or military control. In this sense, political annexation is the clearest case of i. Around 1880 there began a period of uninterrupted acquisition of colonies in Africa by certain European powers, and in the Orient by Japan. This stage can be categorized as neo-colonialism (*). Due to their later unification or industrialization, Germany, Italy and Japan did not succeed in obtaining colonies until the beginning of the twentieth century, and in addition to their neo-colonial behavior, they threw themselves into wars of conquest and annexation, thus setting in motion contemporary i. At the end of the Second World War, superpowers with global ambitions emerged, giving further impetus to the imperialist practice of annexation, military intervention, and political and economic domination, as exemplified by the capitalist imperialism of the United States and by Stalinist social-imperialism. Today, North American i. continues to advance, even though, in its internal political structure, the United States still maintains the form of a federal republic and formal democracy, which prevents it being labeled an “empire” in a structural sense. In reality, after the fifteenth century, what have been called “empires” have been in fact metropolitan structures which developed more or less extensive colonial activities. (*Colonialism).