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Colonization and the Present Day Impact, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1385

Research Paper

The theme under the study is “Colonization and the present day impact” and in the research it is analyzed the term “colonization” itself, the reasons of this phenomenon appearance, its development and its impact on the modern countries. Colonization as a term should be observed as a “the policy of acquiring and maintaining colonies, especially for exploitation” (Collins English Dictionary), so it is a creation, maintenance and gaining of colonies in one land or territory by men of another one and is usually explained as an establishment of non-equal relations between the colony and the metropole and between indigenous population and the colonists.

It can be seen from the colonization’s definition itself that this phenomena proves to be negative because of imposition of the enslavement by one nation over the other. It is known that every phenomenon has consequences, so does the colonization. In present day countries that formed colonies are free and try to develop independently, but the fact that for a long time they were unable to develop on their own and stayed under the complete control and oppression from the part of other countries has led to the present-day situation which is characterized by the existence of different socio-economic, political and ethnic problems. Further the process of the colonization and the situation inside the colonies is observed and this investigation leads to the explanation of the present-day issues.

The history of colonization began in the Middle Ages, as it affirms James Chiriyankandath “European colonialism overseas was proclaimed in 1493, a year after Christopher Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of America” (Chiriyankandath). During the next four centuries the influence of the Europe was exerted over the whole of the Americas, much of South and Southeast Asia, Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand), Africa, and the Arab Middle East. European states colonized the territories in diverse periods: the firsts were Spain and Portugal, then, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – Holland, England and France, and finally, during the nineteenth century – Belgium, Germany and Italy. According to the research of Arhan S. Ertan and Louis Putterman, “the set of countries that were colonized and their dates of colonization were not random, but can be explained by such factor as state of development of pre-colonized counties, defined by state history, first agriculture and population density” (Arhan S. Ertan and Louis Putterman). Among the other reasons can be named the desire to gain new territories and thereby extend the sphere of influence, to acquire new resources, that was of great importance because of the rapid development of the trade for what countries needed great amounts of lands and labour.

As James Chiriyankandath affirms the colonial state was “coercive and extractive” (James Chiriyankandath), and it was a general characteristic for all colonies. The main feature of rule of Britain and France consisted in the fact that they didn’t fulfill their promise of liberal state ideology, as an example there can be mentioned a fact that the rule of law in British India was despotic and had far-reaching effects that consisted in the development of colonial system of knowledge that outlived even decolonization.  It is also notable that some differences between colonies nevertheless can be observed. “While the British colonial state represented an autocratic government in both India and Africa, in India the constitutional self-government at the provincial level can be observed” (James Chiriyankandath). The other difference can be found at the level of the organization of colonial establishments under the rule of Britain and Spain. The Spanish mostly organized colonial institutions in the areas that were “most populous and most politically and economically developed at the beginning of the colonial epoch”, while the British “pursued comparatively limited settlement and institutional transformation in the more populous and more politically and economically developed precolonial areas” (Matthew Lange, James Mahoney, Matthias vom Hau). The economic models existing in the Spanish and British colonies also were different: Spanish colonies were characterized by mercantilist economic model, while British ones were defined by a liberal economic model. These facts were tightly connected with process of colonization and the level of colonialism. According to Matthew Lange, James Mahoney and Matthias vom Hau, there were four levels of colonialism in British colonies: settler colonialism, where “permanent residents transplanted a broad range of institutions from Britain into the colonies without preserving pre-colonial arrangements”,  indirect colonialism, that allowed pre-colonial leaders “maintain political and legal power over their subjects, while requiring them to report and pay taxes to the colonial administration”, direct colonialism and hybrid colonialism, that represented the conditions between the extremes of settler colonialism and indirect colonialism. The colonial regiment of France can be defined as “direct rule” comparing it with the British regiment: the leaders of pre-colonial territories were ignored. The main concept of the colonial policy of France can be defined as the association and assimilation that implied the superiority of French culture and meant the spreading of the French language, customs and law over the colonies. Italian colonial policy resembled the other colonial regiments.

An essential feature of the colonial policy, that was common for all territories, was the development of Negro slavery and slavery trade. The reasons for the wide use of slave consisted primarily in the need of cheap labor force. According to   G. Nash “slavery was not a new social phenomenon for either Europeans or Africans” (Nash), because Africans had been involved into overland slave trade for centuries. According to Peter Hinks, the status of slaves in the colonies was terrible, and he confirms it saying that in West India (British colony) “the cracking of the whip and the screams of the enslaved never stopped” (Hinks).

It is also mentioned that there were cases of open resistance and “many slaves ran away from their owners in order to be released from this predicament and gain independence.” The situation was getting worse because as the quantity of slaves increased the number of different legal codes to control them increased. G. Nash noted that step by step these codes reduced the slave “from a human being to piece of chattel property” (Nash).

By the second half of the XX century the most part of Western colonies gain independence. However, they didn’t gain independence from the impact of the centuries of colonial regiment. Colonial influence was still present in the attempts of new governments to preserve the limitations existed during colonization, to continue the inhuman policy towards against black people and the representatives of the minority populations. An important feature of the post-colonial situation consisted in the fact that new governments was short of governmental institutions and did not posses required governance skills. The countries freed from the colonial rule gain the name “countries of the Third world”. In the early post-colonial period the developed Western countries were far superior to Third World countries in the economic and political spheres. Some of the Third World countries still serve as sources of raw materials that allows them to provide the necessary level of welfare which is comparable and in some cases, surpassing the level of the European standard. The low level of salary makes them source of cheap labor, which allows multinational corporations to minimize their costs by moving them into their production in the first place – consumer goods. The elimination of the colonial system did not always have positive consequences, since the location of the mixed administration officials in the face of its own bureaucracy and the metropolis, that during many years conducted the management policy came weak regimes of the Third World, that are unable to achieve adequate price relations in the domestic markets, to ensure control over the return of foreign currency earnings and to increase the assemblability of taxes for the development of its educational and scientific spheres. The debts of many developing countries are permanently increasing.

Works Cited:

Arhan S. Ertan and Louis Putterman. ‘Determinants and economic consequences of colonization: a global analysis’. 13 Oct 2011. Available at  <https://www2.bc.edu/arhan-ertan/DOCs/Arhan_Ertan-Colonization.pdf>

Collins English Dictionary. 13 Oct 2011. Available at <http://www.collinslanguage.com/results.aspx?context=3&reversed=False&action=define&homonym=0&text=colonialism>

Chiriyankandath, James. ‘Colonialism and post-colonial development’ 13 Oct 2011. Available at <http://www.oup.com/uk/orc/bin/9780199296088/burnell_ch02.pdf>

Hinks, P. ‘Enslaved Africans in the Colony of Connecticut.’ 13 Oct 2011. Available at  <http://www.yale.edu/glc/citizens/stories/module1/documents/pdfs/mod_1_digging_deeper.pdf>

Lange, Matthew, James Mahoney, Matthias vom Hau. ‘Colonialism and Development: A Comparative Analysis of Spanish and British Colonies’. The University of Chicago, 2006.

Nash, G. Black people in a white people’s country. 13 Oct 2011. Available at  <http://www.eou.edu/~rdearinger/documents/BlackPeopleInAWhitePeoplesCountry.pdf>

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