It may be noted that different imperialist powers adopted different methods to establish control over various areas. In the first instance certain areas were captured through military conquest viz. Britain, conquered Canada and France conquered Sri Lanka and South Africa from the Dutch. Secondly, some states made use of fraud to bring the innocent native leaders under their control.
Thus Stanley purchased large territory in Congo for the King of Belgium for a few pieces of gold. Thirdly, the imperialist powers made effective use of the instrument of trade and gradually established their political control over these territories.
For example the Britishers as well as other European power entered India as traders but in course of time established their rule over country. Finally, certain colonies fell in the hands of some European powers as a reward for their victory in war. Thus England was permitted to retain Malta and Mauritius which sue had captured during Napoleonic wars.