Colonialism

Colonialism

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See colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 and colonization for examples of colonialism that do not refer to Western colonialism. Also see Colonization (disambiguation)
Colonization (disambiguation)
Colonization can indicate several things:* Colonization of an area by a foreign entity* Colonization , a trilogy of books by Harry Turtledove*A set of video games produced by Sid Meier...



Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole
Metropole
The metropole, from the Greek Metropolis 'mother city' was the name given to the British metropolitan centre of the British Empire, i.e. the United Kingdom itself...

 claims sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 over the colony and the social structure
Social structure
Social structure is a term used in the social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. The usage of the term "social structure" has changed over time and may reflect the various levels of analysis...

, government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, and economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 of the colony are changed by colonizers from the metropole. Colonialism is a set of unequal relationships between the metropole and the colony and between the colonists and the indigenous population
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

.

The colonial period normally refers to the late 15th to the 20th century, when Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

s established colonies on other continents. During this time, the justifications for colonialism included various factors such as Christian missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 work, the profits
Profit (economics)
In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total opportunity costs of a venture to an entrepreneur or investor, whilst economic profit In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total...

 to be made, the expansion of the power
Power in international relations
Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Political scientists, historians, and practitioners of international relations have used the following concepts of political power:...

 of the metropole and various religious and political beliefs.

Colonialism and imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 are ideologically linked with mercantilism
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

.

Definitions


Collins English Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary
The Collins English Dictionary is an important printed dictionary of English. It is published by HarperCollins.The first edition of the Collins English Dictionary with Patrick Hanks as editor and Lawrence Urdang as editorial director, was a milestone in British dictionary making as it was the...

 defines colonialism as "the policy of acquiring and maintaining colonies, especially for exploitation." The Merriam-Webster
Merriam-Webster
Merriam–Webster, which was originally the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is an American company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language .Merriam-Webster Inc. has been a...

 Dictionary offers four definitions, including "something characteristic of a colony" and "control by one power over a dependent area or people."

The 2006 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a freely-accessible online encyclopedia of philosophy maintained by Stanford University. Each entry is written and maintained by an expert in the field, including professors from over 65 academic institutions worldwide...

 "uses the term 'colonialism' to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world, including Americas, Australia, and parts of Africa and Asia." It discusses the distinction between colonialism and imperialism and states that "[g]iven the difficulty of consistently distinguishing between the two terms, this entry will use colonialism as a broad concept that refers to the project of European political domination from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries that ended with the national liberation movements of the 1960s."

In his preface to Jürgen Osterhammel
Jürgen Osterhammel
Jürgen Osterhammel is a German historian.-Academia:Osterhammel started his academic career as a research fee student at the London School of Economics in 1976/77 and studied and worked there under Professor Ian Nish. In 1980 he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kassel in Modern History...

's Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview, Roger Tignor says, "For Osterhammel, the essence of colonialism is the existence of colonies, which are by definition governed differently from other territories such as protectorates or informal spheres of influence." In the book, Osterhammel asks, "How can 'colonialism' be defined independently from 'colony?'" He settles on a three-sentence definition:

Types of colonialism


Historians often distinguish between two forms of colonialism, yet the two are not mutually exclusive:
  • Settler colonialism
    Settler colonialism
    Settler colonialism is a specific colonial formation whereby foreign family units move into a region and reproduce. Land is thus the key resource in settler colonies, whereas natural and human resources are the main motivation behind other forms of colonialism...

     involves large scale emigration
    Emigration
    Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

     often motivated by religious, political, or economic reasons.
  • Exploitation colonialism
    Exploitation colonialism
    Exploitation colonialism is the national economic policy of conquering a country to exploit its natural resources and its native population. The practice of exploitation colonialism contrasts with settler colonialism, the policy of conquering a country to establish a branch of the metropole , and...

     involves fewer colonists where the focus is access to resources for export, typically to the metropole
    Metropole
    The metropole, from the Greek Metropolis 'mother city' was the name given to the British metropolitan centre of the British Empire, i.e. the United Kingdom itself...

    . This category includes trading posts as well as larger colonies where colonists would constitute much of the political and economic administration; but rely on indigenous resources for labour and material. When indigenous labour was unavailable, slaves
    Slavery
    Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

     were often imported prior to the end of the slave trade and widespread abolition
    Abolitionism
    Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

    .


Plantation colonies
Plantation (settlement or colony)
Plantation was an early method of colonization in which settlers were "planted" abroad in order to establish a permanent or semi-permanent colonial base. Such plantations were also frequently intended to promote Western culture and Christianity among nearby indigenous peoples, as can be seen in the...

 would be considered exploitation colonialism; but colonizing powers would utilize either type for different territories depending on various social and economic factors as well as climate and geographic conditions.

Colonialism often took place in pre-populated areas. This gave rise to culturally and ethnically mixed populations such as the mestizo
Mestizo
Mestizo is a term traditionally used in Latin America, Philippines and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent...

s of the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

), as well as racially divided populations as found in French Algeria
French Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

 or Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

.

History



Activity that could be called colonialism has a long history. The Egyptians
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns, Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 all built colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city—its "metropolis"—, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms...

. The word "metropole" comes from the Greek metropolis [Greek: "μητρόπολις"]—"mother city". The word "colony" comes from the Latin colonia—"a place for agriculture". Between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Vietnamese
Vietnamese people
The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam...

 established military colonies south of their original territory and absorbed the territory, in a process known as nam tiến.

Modern colonialism started with the Age of Discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

. Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 discovered new lands across the oceans and built trading posts. For some people, it is this building of colonies across oceans that differentiates colonialism from other types of expansionism
Expansionism
In general, expansionism consists of expansionist policies of governments and states. While some have linked the term to promoting economic growth , more commonly expansionism refers to the doctrine of a state expanding its territorial base usually, though not necessarily, by means of military...

. These new lands were divided between the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 and Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, first by the papal bull Inter caetera
Inter caetera
Inter caetera was a papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI on , which granted to Spain all lands to the "west and south" of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde Islands.It remains unclear to the present whether the pope was issuing a...

 and then by the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

 and the Treaty of Zaragoza (1529)
Treaty of Zaragoza (1529)
The Treaty of Zaragoza, also referred to as the capitulation of Zaragoza was a peace treaty between Spain and Portugal signed on 22 April of 1529 by King John III and the Emperor Charles V, in the city of Zaragoza...

.

This period is also associated with the Commercial Revolution
Commercial Revolution
The Commercial Revolution was a period of European economic expansion, colonialism, and mercantilism which lasted from approximately the 16th century until the early 18th century. It was succeeded in the mid-18th century by the Industrial Revolution. Beginning with the Crusades, Europeans...

. The late Middle Ages saw reforms in accountancy and banking in Italy and the eastern Mediterranean. These ideas were adopted and adapted in western Europe to the high risks and rewards associated with colonial ventures.

The 17th century saw the creation of the French colonial empire
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 and the Dutch Empire
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

, as well as the English colonial empire, which later became the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. It also saw the establishment of some Swedish overseas colonies and a Danish colonial empire.

The spread of colonial empires was reduced in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and the Latin American wars of independence. However, many new colonies were established after this time, including the German colonial empire
German colonial empire
The German colonial empire was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany's colonial efforts began in 1884...

 and Belgian colonial empire
Belgian colonial empire
The Belgian colonial empire consisted of three colonies possessed by Belgium between 1901 and 1962: Belgian Congo , Rwanda and Burundi...

. In the late 19th century, many European powers were involved in the Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914...

.

The Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and Austrian Empire
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 existed at the same time as the above empires, but did not expand over oceans. Rather, these empires expanded through the more traditional route of conquest of neighbouring territories. There was, though, some Russian colonization of the Americas
Russian colonization of the Americas
The Russian colonization of the Americas covers the period, from 1732 to 1867, when the Tsarist Imperial Russian Empire laid claim to northern Pacific Coast territories in the Americas...

 across the Bering Strait. The Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 modelled itself on European colonial empires. The United States of America gained overseas territories after the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 for which the term "American Empire" was coined.

After the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the victorious allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 divided up the German colonial empire and much of the Ottoman Empire between themselves as League of Nations mandate
League of Nations mandate
A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administering the territory on behalf of the League...

s. These territories were divided into three classes according to how quickly it was deemed that they would be ready for independence. However, decolonisation outside the Americas lagged until after the Second World War. In 1962 the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 set up a Special Committee on Decolonization
Special Committee on Decolonization
The Special Committee on Decolonization was created in 1961 by the General Assembly of the United Nations with the purpose of monitoring implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples...

, often called the Committee of 24, to encourage this process.

Further, dozens of independence movements and global political solidarity projects such as the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 were instrumental in the decolonization efforts of former colonies.

Neocolonialism


The term neocolonialism
Neocolonialism
Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country in lieu of direct military or political control...

 has been used to refer to a variety of contexts since decolonization that took place after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Generally it does not refer to a type of direct colonization, rather, colonialism by other means. Specifically, neocolonialism refers to the theory that former or existing economic relationships, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was negotiated during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization . GATT was signed in 1947 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World...

 and the Central American Free Trade Agreement, created by former colonial powers were or are used to maintain control of their former colonies and dependencies after the colonial independence movements of the post–World War II period.

Colonialism and the history of thought



Colonialism and geography


Settlers acted as the link between the natives and the imperial hegemony, bridging the geographical, ideological and commercial gap between the colonisers and colonised. Painter, J. and Jeffrey, A. affirm that certain advances aided the expansion of European states. With tools such as cartography, shipbuilding, navigation, mining and agricultural productivity colonisers had an upper hand. Their awareness of the Earth's surface and abundance of practical skills provided colonisers with a knowledge that, in turn, created power.

Painter and Jeffrey argue that geography as a discipline was not and is not an objective science, rather it is based on assumptions about the physical world. Whereas it may have given “The West” an advantage when it came to exploration, it also created zones of racial inferiority. Geographical beliefs such as environmental determinism, the view that some parts of the world are underdeveloped, legitimised colonialism and created notions of skewed evolution. These are now seen as elementary concepts. Political geographers maintain that colonial behavior was reinforced by the physical mapping of the world, visually separating “them” and “us”. Geographers are primarily focused on the spaces of colonialism and imperialism, more specifically, the material and symbolic appropriation of space enabling colonialism.

Colonialism and imperialism


A colony is part of an empire and so colonialism is closely related to imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

. Assumptions are that colonialism and imperialism are interchangeable, however Robert Young suggests that imperialism is the concept while colonialism is the practice. Colonialism is based on an imperial outlook, thereby creating a consequential relationship. Through an empire, colonialism is established and capitalism is expanded, on the other hand a capitalist economy naturally enforces an empire. In the next section Marxists make a case for this mutually reinforcing relationship.

Marxist view of colonialism


Marxism views colonialism as a form of capitalism, enforcing exploitation and social change. Marx thought that working within the global capitalist system, colonialism is closely associated with uneven development. It is an “instrument of wholesale destruction, dependency and systematic exploitation producing distorted economies, socio-psychological disorientation, massive poverty and neocolonial dependency.” Colonies are constructed into modes of production. The search for raw materials and the current search for new investment opportunities is a result of inter-capitalist rivalry for capital accumulation
Capital accumulation
The accumulation of capital refers to the gathering or amassing of objects of value; the increase in wealth through concentration; or the creation of wealth. Capital is money or a financial asset invested for the purpose of making more money...

. Lenin regarded colonialism as the root cause of imperialism, as imperialism was distinguished by monopoly capitalism via colonialism and as Lyal S. Sunga
Lyal S. Sunga
Professor Lyal S. Sunga is an internationally renowned specialist on international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.-Career:...

 explains: "Vladimir Lenin advocated forcefully the principle of self-determination of peoples in his "Theses on the Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination" as an integral plank in the programme of socialist internationalism" and he quotes Lenin who contended that "The right of nations to self-determination implies exclusively the right to independence in the political sense, the right to free political separation from the oppressor nation. Specifically, this demand for political democracy implies complete freedom to agitate for secession and for a referendum on secession by the seceding nation."

Liberalism, capitalism and colonialism


Classical liberals generally opposed colonialism and imperialism, including Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

, Frederik Bastiat, Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden
Richard Cobden was a British manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with John Bright in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League as well as with the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty...

, John Bright, Henry Richard, Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

, H. R. Fox Bourne, Edward Morel, Josephine Butler, W. J. Fox and William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

. Moreover, American revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 was the first anti-colonial rebellion, inspiring others.

Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 wrote in Wealth of Nations that Britain should liberate all of its colonies and also noted that it would be economically beneficial for British people in the average, although the merchants having mercantilist privileges would lose out.

Post-colonialism


Post-colonialism (or post-colonial theory) can refer to a set of theories in philosophy and literature that grapple with the legacy of colonial rule. In this sense, postcolonial literature may be considered a branch of postmodern literature
Postmodern literature
The term Postmodern literature is used to describe certain characteristics of post–World War II literature and a reaction against Enlightenment ideas implicit in Modernist literature.Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, is hard to define and there is little agreement on the exact...

 concerned with the political and cultural independence of peoples formerly subjugated in colonial empires. Many practitioners take Edward Saïd
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

's book Orientalism
Orientalism (book)
Orientalism is a book published in 1978 by Edward Said that has been highly influential and controversial in postcolonial studies and other fields. In the book, Said effectively redefined the term "Orientalism" to mean a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the...

 (1978) as the theory's founding work (although French theorists such as Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire
Aimé Fernand David Césaire was a French poet, author and politician from Martinique. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature".-Student, educator, and poet:...

 and Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon was a Martiniquo-Algerian psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose work is influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism...

 made similar claims decades before Said).

Saïd analysed the works of Balzac
Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon....

, Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 and Lautréamont, exploring how they both absorbed and helped to shape a societal fantasy of European racial superiority. Writers of post-colonial fiction interact with the traditional colonial discourse
Discourse
Discourse generally refers to "written or spoken communication". The following are three more specific definitions:...

, but modify or subvert it; for instance by retelling a familiar story from the perspective of an oppressed minor character in the story. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is an Indian literary critic, theorist and a University Professor at Columbia University. She is best known for the essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?", considered a founding text of postcolonialism, and for her translation of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology. She...

's Can the Subaltern Speak?
Subaltern (post-colonialism)
In postcolonialism and related fields, subaltern refers to persons socially, politically, and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure.- History :...

 (1998) gave its name to Subaltern Studies
Subaltern Studies
The Subaltern Studies Group or Subaltern Studies Collective are a group of South Asian scholars interested in the postcolonial and post-imperial societies of South Asia in particular and the developing world in general. The term Subaltern Studies is sometimes also applied more broadly to others...

.

In A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999), Spivak explored how major works of European metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 (such as those of Kant
KANT
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

 and Hegel) not only tend to exclude the subaltern from their discussions, but actively prevent non-Europeans from occupying positions as fully human subjects
Subject (philosophy)
In philosophy, a subject is a being that has subjective experiences, subjective consciousness or a relationship with another entity . A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed...

. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Phenomenology of Spirit
Phänomenologie des Geistes is one of G.W.F. Hegel's most important philosophical works. It is translated as The Phenomenology of Spirit or The Phenomenology of Mind due to the dual meaning in the German word Geist. The book's working title, which also appeared in the first edition, was Science of...

 (1807), famous for its explicit ethnocentrism, considers Western civilization
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 as the most accomplished of all, while Kant also allowed some traces of racialism
Racialism
Racialism is an emphasis on race or racial considerations. Currently, racialism entails a belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, but not necessarily that any absolute hierarchy between the races has been demonstrated by a rigorous and comprehensive scientific process...

 to enter his work.

Impact of colonialism and colonization


The impacts of colonization are immense and pervasive. Various effects, both immediate and protracted, include the spread of virulent diseases
Pandemic
A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic...

, the establishment of unequal social relations
Oppression
Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, and...

, exploitation, enslavement, medical advances, the creation of new institutions, and technological progress.

Impact on health


Encounters between explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced new diseases, which sometimes caused local epidemics of extraordinary virulence. For example, smallpox, measles, malaria, yellow fever, and others were unknown in pre-Columbian America.

Disease killed the entire native (Guanches
Guanches
Guanches is the name given to the aboriginal Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands. It is believed that they migrated to the archipelago sometime between 1000 BCE and 100 BCE or perhaps earlier...

) population of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 in the 16th century. Half the native population of Hispaniola
Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

 in 1518 was killed by smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

. Smallpox also ravaged Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 in the 1520s, killing 150,000 in Tenochtitlan alone, including the emperor, and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 in the 1530s, aiding the European conquerors. Measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

 killed a further two million Mexican natives in the 17th century. In 1618–1619, smallpox wiped out 90% of the Massachusetts Bay
Massachusetts Bay
The Massachusetts Bay, also called Mass Bay, is one of the largest bays of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the distinctive shape of the coastline of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Its waters extend 65 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts Bay includes the Boston Harbor, Dorchester Bay,...

 Native Americans. Smallpox epidemics in 1780–1782 and 1837–1838
1837-38 smallpox epidemic
The smallpox epidemic that ravaged the people of the Great Plains in 1837 and 1838 was believed to have begun in spring of 1837 when a deckhand became ill aboard an American Fur Company steamboat, the S.S. St. Peter. The steamboat traveling up the Missouri River to Fort Union from St. Louis, docked...

 brought devastation and drastic depopulation among the Plains Indians
Plains Indians
The Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains of North America. Their colorful equestrian culture and resistance to White domination have made the Plains Indians an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.Plains...

. Some believe that the death of up to 95% of the Native American population
Population history of American indigenous peoples
The population figures for Indigenous peoples in the Americas before the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus have proven difficult to establish and rely on archaeological data and written records from European settlers...

 of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 was caused by Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 diseases. Over the centuries, the Europeans had developed high degrees of immunity
Immunity (medical)
Immunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide...

 to these diseases, while the indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 had no time to build no such immunity.

Smallpox decimated the native population of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, killing around 50% of indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 in the early years of British colonisation. It also killed many New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 Māori. As late as 1848–49, as many as 40,000 out of 150,000 Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

ans are estimated to have died of measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

, whooping cough and influenza
Influenza
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae , that affects birds and mammals...

. Introduced diseases, notably smallpox, nearly wiped out the native population of Easter Island
Easter Island
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people...

. In 1875, measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

 killed over 40,000 Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

ans, approximately one-third of the population. The Ainu
Ainu people
The , also called Aynu, Aino , and in historical texts Ezo , are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin...

 population decreased drastically in the 19th century, due in large part
to infectious diseases brought by Japanese settlers pouring into Hokkaido
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

.

Conversely, researchers concluded that syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

 was carried from the New World to Europe after Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

's voyages. The findings suggested Europeans could have carried the nonvenereal tropical bacteria home, where the organisms may have mutated into a more deadly form in the different conditions of Europe. The disease was more frequently fatal than it is today; syphilis was a major killer in Europe during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. The first cholera pandemic
First cholera pandemic
The first cholera pandemic, also known as the first Asiatic cholera pandemic or Asiatic cholera, lasted from 1817 to 1824. While cholera had spread across India many times previously, this outbreak went further; it reached as far as China and the Caspian Sea before receding...

 began in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, then spread across India by 1820. Ten thousand British troops and countless Indians died during this pandemic
Pandemic
A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic...

. Between 1736 and 1834 only some 10% of East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

's officers survived to take the final voyage home. Waldemar Haffkine
Waldemar Haffkine
Waldemar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine, CIE was a Russian Jewish bacteriologist, whose career was blighted in Russia because "he refused to convert to Russian Orthodoxy." He emigrated and worked at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where he developed an anti-cholera vaccine that he tried out successfully...

, who mainly worked in India, who developed and used vaccine
Vaccine
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its toxins...

s against cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 and bubonic plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

 in the 1890s, is considered the first microbiologist
Microbiologist
A microbiologist is a scientist who works in the field of microbiology. Microbiologists study organisms called microbes. Microbes can take the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protists...

.

Countering disease


As early as 1803, the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 Crown organised a mission (the Balmis expedition
Balmis Expedition
The Balmis Expedition was a three year mission to the Americas led by Dr Francisco Javier de Balmis with the aim of giving thousands the smallpox vaccine. He set off from La Coruña on 30 November 1803...

) to transport the smallpox vaccine to the Spanish colonies
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, and establish mass vaccination programs there. By 1832, the federal government of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 established a smallpox vaccination
Smallpox vaccine
The smallpox vaccine was the first successful vaccine to be developed. The process of vaccination was discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, who acted upon his observation that milkmaids who caught the cowpox virus did not catch smallpox...

 program for Native Americans. Under the direction of Mountstuart Elphinstone
Mountstuart Elphinstone
Mountstuart Elphinstone was a Scottish statesman and historian, associated with the government of British India. He later became the Governor of Bombay where he is credited with the opening of several educational institutions accessible to the Indian population...

 a program was launched to propagate smallpox vaccination in India. From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, the elimination or control of disease in tropical countries became a driving force for all colonial powers. The sleeping sickness epidemic in Africa was arrested due to mobile teams systematically screening millions of people at risk. In the 20th century, the world saw the biggest increase in its population in human history due to lessening of the mortality rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

 in many countries due to medical advances. The world population
World population
The world population is the total number of living humans on the planet Earth. As of today, it is estimated to be  billion by the United States Census Bureau...

 has grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to an estimated 6.975 billion today.

Some believe that discussion of how diseases were spread has been scuttled by descendants of colonialists to conceal actual origins of how indigenous populations were purposefully infected with these new diseases. An argument here is that once European colonists discovered indigenous populations were not immune to certain diseases, they deliberately spread diseases to gain military advantages and subjugate local peoples. The most infamous case involves suggestions by Lord Jeffery Amherst, British commander in chief for America during the so-called French and Indian Wars between 1754 to 1763, although history is mute on whether his barbaric suggestions were carried out. Many scholars have argued that evidence that supports this practice as having been executed on a larger scale across North America is weak. Yet, growing evidence is showing that other indigenous communities were purposefully infected, citing oral history from the descendants of said peoples. It has been regarded as one of the first instances of bio-terrorism or use of biological weapons in the history of warfare. There is, however, only one documented case of germ warfare, involving British commander Jeffrey Amherst. It is uncertain whether this documented British attempt successfully infected the Native Americans.

See also



  • African independence movements
    African independence movements
    The African Independence Movements took place in the 20th century, when a wave of struggles for independence in European-ruled African territories were witnessed....

  • Age of discovery
    Age of Discovery
    The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

  • American Empire
  • Anticolonialism
    Anti-imperialism
    Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

  • Austria-Hungary
    Austria-Hungary
    Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

  • Belgian colonial empire
    Belgian colonial empire
    The Belgian colonial empire consisted of three colonies possessed by Belgium between 1901 and 1962: Belgian Congo , Rwanda and Burundi...

  • British Empire
    British Empire
    The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

  • Bulgarian Empire
    Bulgarian Empire
    Bulgarian Empire is a term used to describe two periods in the medieval history of Bulgaria, during which it acted as a key regional power in Europe in general and in Southeastern Europe in particular, rivalling Byzantium...

  • Chartered companies
  • Christianity and colonialism
    Christianity and colonialism
    Christianity and colonialism are often closely associated because Catholicism and Protestantism were the religions of the European colonial powers and acted in many ways as the "religious arm" of those powers. According to Edward Andrews, Christian missionaries were initially portrayed as "visible...

  • Civilising mission
  • Cold War
    Cold War
    The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

  • Colonial cinema
    Colonial cinema
    Colonial cinema is the cinema Europeans produced in and about their colonies. It usually had little to do with the social reality in the colonized countries. It tends to be escapist and/or apologetic and overtly racist...

  • Colonial Empire
    Colonial empire
    The Colonial empires were a product of the European Age of Exploration that began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, in the 15th century...

  • Colonial wars
  • Colonies in antiquity
    Colonies in antiquity
    Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city—its "metropolis"—, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms...

  • Colonial India
    Colonial India
    Colonial India refers to areas of the Indian Subcontinent under the control of European colonial powers, through trade and conquest. The first European power to arrive in India was the army of Alexander the Great in 327–326 BC. The satraps he established in the north west of the subcontinent...

  • Colony
    Colony
    In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

  • Concession (territory)
    Concession (territory)
    In international law, a concession is a territory within a country that is administered by an entity other than the state which holds sovereignty over it. This is usually a colonizing power, or at least mandated by one, as in the case of colonial chartered companies.Usually, it is conceded, that...

  • Danish overseas colonies
  • Dutch Empire
    Dutch Empire
    The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

  • Empire of Liberty
    Empire of Liberty
    The Empire of Liberty is a theme developed first by Thomas Jefferson to identify America's world responsibility to spread freedom across the globe. Jefferson saw America's mission in terms of setting an example, expansion into the west, and by intervention abroad...


  • European colonization of the Americas
    European colonization of the Americas
    The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

  • Exploration
    Exploration
    Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

  • French colonial empire
    French colonial empire
    The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

  • German colonial empire
    German colonial empire
    The German colonial empire was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany's colonial efforts began in 1884...

  • German eastward expansion
  • Global Empire
  • Historical migration
    Historical migration
    It is thought that pre-historical migration of human populations began with the movement of Homo erectus out of Africa across Eurasia about a million years ago. Homo sapiens appears to have colonized all of Africa about 150 millennia ago, moved out of Africa some 80 millennia ago, and spread...

  • Historiography of the British Empire
    Historiography of the British Empire
    The historiography of the British Empire refers to the studies, sources, critical methods and interpretations used by scholars to study the history of the British Empire. Scholars have long studied the Empire, looking at the causes for its formation, its relations to the French and other empires,...

  • Imperialism in Asia
    Imperialism in Asia
    Imperialism in Asia traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade...

  • Imperialism
    Imperialism
    Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

  • Inca Empire
    Inca Empire
    The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

  • Italian Empire
    Italian Empire
    The Italian Empire was created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "scramble for Africa". Modern Italy as a unified state only existed from 1861. By this time France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and the Netherlands, had already carved...

  • Japanese Empire
  • Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. It was used by Democrat-Republicans in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid-19th century.Advocates of...

  • Mexican Empire
    Mexican Empire
    The Mexican Empire or rarely Gran Mexico was the name of modern Mexico on two brief occasions in the 19th century when it was ruled by an emperor. With the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from Spain in 1821, Mexico became an independent monarchy, but was soon replaced with the...

  • Mongol Empire
    Mongol Empire
    The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

  • Mongol invasions
    Mongol invasions
    Mongol invasions progressed throughout the 13th century, resulting in the vast Mongol Empire which covered much of Asia and Eastern Europe by 1300....

  • Mughal Empire
    Mughal Empire
    The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

  • Muslim conquests
    Muslim conquests
    Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

  • Ottoman Empire
    Ottoman Empire
    The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

  • Ottoman wars in Europe
    Ottoman wars in Europe
    The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe are also sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Wars or as Turkish Wars, particularly in older, European texts.- Rise :...


  • Persian Empire
  • Portuguese Empire
    Portuguese Empire
    The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

  • Postcolonialism
    Postcolonialism
    Post-colonialism is a specifically post-modern intellectual discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural legacy of colonialism...

  • Protectorate
    Protectorate
    In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

  • Right to exist
    Right to exist
    The right to exist is said to be an attribute of nations. According to an essay by the nineteenth century French philosopher Ernest Renan, a state has the right to exist when individuals are willing to sacrifice their own interests for the community it represents. Unlike self-determination, the...

  • Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

  • Settler colonialism
    Settler colonialism
    Settler colonialism is a specific colonial formation whereby foreign family units move into a region and reproduce. Land is thus the key resource in settler colonies, whereas natural and human resources are the main motivation behind other forms of colonialism...

  • Sino-African relations
    Sino-African relations
    Sino-African relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between China and the African continent.Little is known about ancient relations though there is some evidence for early trade operations...

  • Soviet Empire
    Soviet Empire
    During the Cold War, the informal term "Soviet Empire" referred to the Soviet Union's influence over a number of smaller nations who were nominally independent but subject to direct military force if they tried to leave the Soviet system; see Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and Prague Spring.Though...

  • Soviet occupations
    Soviet occupations
    Soviet occupations is a term used for military occupations by the Soviet Union from the prelude to the aftermath of World War II. The term is typically used for occupations of Eastern European countries...

  • Spanish Empire
    Spanish Empire
    The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

  • Special Committee on Decolonization
    Special Committee on Decolonization
    The Special Committee on Decolonization was created in 1961 by the General Assembly of the United Nations with the purpose of monitoring implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples...

  • Stranger King (Concept)
  • Swedish overseas colonies
  • Transmigration program
    Transmigration program
    The transmigration program was an initiative of the Dutch colonial government, and later continued by Indonesian government to move landless people from densely populated areas of Indonesia to less populous areas of the country...

  • Tropical geography
    Tropical geography
    Tropical geography refers to the study of places and people in the tropics. When it first emerged as a discipline, tropical geography was closely associated with imperialism and colonial expansion of the European empires as contributing scholars tended to portray the tropical places as "primitive"...

  • Turkic migration
    Turkic migration
    The Turkic migration as defined in this article was the expansion of the Turkic peoples across most of Central Asia into Europe and the Middle East between the 6th and 11th centuries AD . Tribes less certainly identified as Turkic began their expansion centuries earlier as the predominant element...

  • United Nations list of non-self-governing territories
    United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
    The United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories is a list of countries that, according to the United Nations, are non-decolonized. The list was initially prepared in 1946 pursuant to Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter, and has been updated by the General Assembly on recommendation...

  • French colonial flags
    French colonial flags
    Some of the colonies, protectorates and mandates of the French Colonial Empire used distinctive colonial flags. These most commonly had a French Tricolour in the canton....

  • List of French possessions and colonies
  • List of Muslim empires and dynasties


Primary sources

  • Conrad, Joseph
    Joseph Conrad
    Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, although he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties...

    , Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad. Before its 1903 publication, it appeared as a three-part series in Blackwood's Magazine. It was classified by the Modern Library website editors as one of the "100 best novels" and part of the Western canon.The story centres on Charles...

    , 1899
  • Fanon, Frantz
    Frantz Fanon
    Frantz Fanon was a Martiniquo-Algerian psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose work is influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism...

    , The Wretched of the Earth
    The Wretched of the Earth
    The Wretched of the Earth is Frantz Fanon's most famous work, written during and regarding the Algerian struggle for independence from colonial rule...

    , Pref. by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

    . Translated by Constance Farrington. London : Penguin Book, 2001
  • Kipling, Rudyard
    Rudyard Kipling
    Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

    , The White Man's Burden
    The White Man's Burden
    "The White Man's Burden" is a poem by the English poet Rudyard Kipling. It was originally published in the popular magazine McClure's in 1899, with the subtitle The United States and the Philippine Islands...

    , 1899
  • Las Casas, Bartolomé de
    Bartolomé de Las Casas
    Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

    , A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
    A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
    A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies is an account written by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in 1542 about the mistreatment of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in colonial times and sent to then Prince Philip II of Spain.One of the stated purposes for writing...

     (1542, published in 1552)
  • LeCour Grandmaison, Olivier
    Olivier LeCour Grandmaison
    Olivier LeCour Grandmaison is a French historian. He is a professor of political science at the Evry-Val d'Essonne University and also teach at the Collège International de Philosophie, and mainly works on colonialism issues...

    , Coloniser, Exterminer - Sur la guerre et l'Etat colonial, Fayard, 2005, ISBN 2-213-62316-3
  • Lindqvist, Sven
    Sven Lindqvist
    Sven Lindqvist is a Swedish author, whose works include A History of Bombing.-Works in English:*China in Crisis *The Myth of Wu Tao-tzu...

    , Exterminate All The Brutes, 1992, New Press; Reprint edition (June 1997), ISBN 978-1-56584-359-2
  • Maria Petringa, Brazza, A life for Africa (2006), ISBN 978-1-4259-1198-0
  • Jürgen Osterhammel, Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview, Princeton, NJ: M. Wiener, 1997.
  • Said, Edward
    Edward Said
    Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

    , Orientalism
    Orientalism (book)
    Orientalism is a book published in 1978 by Edward Said that has been highly influential and controversial in postcolonial studies and other fields. In the book, Said effectively redefined the term "Orientalism" to mean a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the...

    , 1978; 25th-anniversary edition 2003 ISBN 978-0-394-74067-6

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