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the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas


the political rule, either directly or indirectly, of one society, country or nation over another.

Colonialism, however, involves more than just political rule. In the 20th century it has been particularly associated with one ETHNIC GROUP dominating another within the dominated group's territory Thus, in this century, colonialism has been associated with European, white, Christian, wealthy rulers who have attempted to impose cultural values over the ruled by either devaluing or attempting to eradicate the colonized groups’ religions, languages, customary laws and economic activities. Colonialism has therefore been seen by many sociologists as closely associated with the development of RACISM. Also in this century colonization has been associated with the dominance of the colony's economy by the colonizer, and it is this that is one of the key differences which Marxist writers see as distinguishing 20th-century colonization from earlier forms. See IMPERIALISM, NEO-COLONIALISM.

Various forms of colonial rule have existed in history, but one important distinction is between direct and indirect rule. In this century, the British in Africa often relied on indirect rule, nominating indigenous people or institutions as representatives of the British crown, whilst the French imposed direct rule from Paris through French officials. See also ORIENTALISM, POST-COLONIAL THEORY.



the political, economic, and ideological subjugation of countries that are, as a rule, poorly developed socially and economically, by the ruling classes of exploiter states. This concept is usually applied to the age of monopoly capitalism, when a territorial partition of the world has been completed and the colonial system of imperialism has taken shape. The term “colonialism” is also used to mean “colonial system.”

References in periodicals archive ?
The death was the first for a Portuguese soldier in Africa since the collapse of its colonial empire. The two soldiers were part of an EU peacekeeping operation and were enjoying some rest and relaxation at the time of the attack.
Today there are no colonial empires. Today the world is not under the sway of a handful of Western European nations jockeying for dominance in Europe or a warlike Japan jockeying for domination in Asia.
Their presence in France, coupled with the intense desire to integrate into mainstream society, serve as painful reminders of the trauma of the Algerian War and the disintegration of the French colonial empire.
What is needed is a better understanding of the many ways in which colonial empires are legitimized and continue to legitimize their actions.
(10) Perceptions, literary as well as scholarly, of ethnic groupings and state policy claiming privileged ethnographic knowledge of colonial peoples were defining traits of the modern colonial empires. (11) The Russian empire belonged among their ranks.
Elsewhere, in Europe, abolition quickly gave rise to colonialism, and then neo-colonialism, an implicit extension of servitude whereby Africans were expected and cajoled into continuing to produce for, and serve the colonial empires.
But the Europeans were more intent on preserving, and even expanding, their colonial empires, and they wanted access to oil, which was starting to be discovered in large quantities in the Mideast.
The Italian cities set off the great expansion of the West, which in time underwrote colonial empires that carved up the rest of the world.
We are also indebted to Kiernan for producing the best single work on empire and colonial militarism, Colonial Empires and Armies, which was published in the early 1980s.
France once controlled one of Europe's largest colonial empires. By the early 20th century, its holdings in Africa were 20 times larger than France itself..
As the sun set on military and colonial empires, western leaders again changed tailors.
The final chapter, which analyzes how the antebellum United States forged alliances with other colonial empires "in relation to (and against) the Islamic Orient" (174), is especially valuable in this regard.

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