Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to colonialism: Postcolonialism, Neo colonialism


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 ?
In fact, the communist priests had described colonialism as the last stage or phase of imperialism.
The project of Colonialism informs us that the weak nations remained in the clutches of the strong nations at various times.
In the end, Zilie had to back down, in the Western Cape provincial parliament: "I apologise unreservedly for a tweet that may have come across as a defence of colonialism.
In fact, colonialism truly exists in our region, but with a new and modern face.
Therefore, one could speculate that there is a mutually constitutive role of colonialism and modern Europe which threatens to posit the racialized "non-Europe" outside history (Cole, 2017).
Colonialism takes resources from Indigenous communities and reallocates them to settler ones.
In a statement, he said: "This is not a video about colonialism but a love story on the set of a period film crew in Africa, 1950.
Recognizing that the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations, Convinced that the continued existence of colonialism prevents the development of international economic co-operation, impedes the social, cultural and economic development of dependent peoples and militates against the United Nations ideal of universal peace,
tutelage then splitting hairs over modifiers like accidental empire, informal empire, colonial modernity and "colonialism without colonies," means only that the category colonialism accommodates variety and extraterritorial law-making created an Empire.
Welfare colonialism posits that granting citizenship rights to fourth world peoples is debilitating because it perpetuates State dependence.
Grant's belief is addressed in this book among many issues concerning imperialism and colonialism and their relationship to Christians and Christian missions.
In light of direct colonialism in the United States' forced removal of indigenous people from the Pacific island of Diego Garcia in 1968, as well as the removal by the US military of residents of part of the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1940, Cook-Lynn rightly asserts that American colonialism continues.