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In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule.Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropolitan state (or "mother country"). This administrative colonial separation makes colonies neither incorporated territories, nor client states. Some colonies have been organized either as dependent territories that are not sufficiently self-governed, or as self-governed colonies controlled by colonial settlers.
The concept of a colony is derived from the ancient Roman colonia , which in turn was based on the apoikia (Ancient Greek : ἀποικία, lit. 'home away from home'), referring originally to territories (usually relatively small urban areas) settled by ancient Greek city-states. The city that founded such a colony became known as its metropolis ("mother-city"). Since early-modern times historians, administrators and political scientists generally use the term "colony" to refer mainly to the many different overseas territories of particularly European states between the 15th and 20th century CE, with colonialism and decolonization as corresponding phenomena.
While colonies often developed from trading outposts or territorial claims, such areas do not need to be a product of colonization, nor become colonially organized territories.
Some historians use the term informal colony to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.
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The word "colony" comes from the Latin word colōnia , used as concept for Roman military bases and eventually cities. This in turn derives from the word colōnus , which was a Roman tenant farmer.
The terminology is taken from architectural analogy, where a column pillar is beneath the (often stylized) head capital, which is also a biological analog of the body as subservient beneath the controlling head (with 'capital' coming from the Latin word caput, meaning 'head'). So colonies are not independently self-controlled, but rather are controlled from a separate entity that serves the capital function.[ citation needed ]
Roman colonies first appeared when the Romans conquered neighbouring Italic peoples. These were small farming settlements that appeared when the Romans had subdued an enemy in war. Though a colony could take many forms, as a trade outpost or a military base in enemy territory, such have not been inherently colonies. Its original definition as a settlement created by people migrating from a central region to an outlying one became the modern definition.[ citation needed ]
Settlements that began as Roman colonia include cities from Cologne (which retains this history in its name), Belgrade to York. A tell-tale sign of a settlement within the Roman sphere of influence once being a Roman colony is a city centre with a grid pattern.
The Special Committee on Decolonization maintains the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, which identifies areas the United Nations (though not without controversy) believes are colonies. Given that dependent territories have varying degrees of autonomy and political power in the affairs of the controlling state, there is disagreement over the classification of "colony".
Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose their religion, language, economics, and other cultural practices. The foreign administrators rule the territory in pursuit of their interests, seeking to benefit from the colonised region's people and resources. It is associated but distinct from imperialism.
Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending the rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power, especially military force, but also soft power. While related to the concepts of colonialism and empire, imperialism is a distinct concept that can apply to other forms of expansion and many forms of government.
Western imperialism in Asia refers to the influence of Western Europe and associated states in Asian territories. It originated in the 15th-century search for trade routes to India and Southeast Asia that led directly to the Age of Discovery, and additionally the introduction of early modern warfare into what Europeans first called the East Indies and later the Far East. By the early 16th century, the Age of Sail greatly expanded Western European influence and development of the spice trade under colonialism. European-style colonial empires and imperialism operated in Asia throughout six centuries of colonialism, formally ending with the independence of the Portuguese Empire's last colony East Timor in 2002. The empires introduced Western concepts of nation and the multinational state. This article attempts to outline the consequent development of the Western concept of the nation state.
The British colonization of the Americas was the history of establishment of control, settlement, and colonization of the continents of the Americas by England, Scotland and Great Britain. Colonization efforts began in the 17th century with failed attempts by England to establish permanent colonies in the North. The first permanent British colony was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Over the next several centuries more colonies were established in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Though most British colonies in the Americas eventually gained independence, some colonies have opted to remain under Britain's jurisdiction as British Overseas Territories.
The French Colonial Empire comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Colonial Empire," that existed until 1814, by which time most of it had been lost or sold, and the "Second French Colonial Empire", which began with the conquest of Algiers in 1830. At its apex, the Second French colonial empire was one of the largest empires in history. Including metropolitan France, the total amount of land under French sovereignty reached 11,500,000 km2 (4,400,000 sq mi) in 1920, with a population of 110 million people in 1936.
The Portuguese Empire, also known as the Portuguese Overseas or the Portuguese Colonial Empire, was composed of the overseas colonies and territories governed by Portugal. One of the longest-lived empires in world history, it existed for almost six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Portuguese Macau to China in 1999. The empire began in the 15th century, and from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America, Africa, and various regions of Asia and Oceania.
Decolonization or decolonisation is the undoing of colonialism, the latter being the process whereby a nation establishes and maintains its domination of foreign territories. The concept particularly applies to the dismantlement, during the second half of the 20th century, of the colonial empires established prior to World War I throughout the world. Some scholars of decolonization focus especially on the movements in the colonies demanding independence, such as Creole nationalism.
Colonies in antiquity were post-Iron Age city-states founded from a mother-city, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms during the period of classical antiquity. Generally, colonies founded by the ancient Phoenicians, Carthage, Rome, Alexander the Great and his successors remained tied to their metropolis, but Greek colonies of the Archaic and Classical eras were sovereign and self-governing from their inception. While Greek colonies were often founded to solve social unrest in the mother-city, by expelling a part of the population, Hellenistic, Roman, Carthaginian, and Han Chinese colonies were used for expansion and empire-building.
Colonial India was the part of the Indian subcontinent that was under the jurisdiction of European colonial powers during the Age of Discovery. European power was exerted both by conquest and trade, especially in spices. The search for the wealth and prosperity of India led to the colonization of the Americas after their discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Only a few years later, near the end of the 15th century, Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama became the first European to re-establish direct trade links with India since Roman times by being the first to arrive by circumnavigating Africa. Having arrived in Calicut, which by then was one of the major trading ports of the eastern world, he obtained permission to trade in the city from Saamoothiri Rajah. The next to arrive were the Dutch, with their main base in Ceylon. Their expansion into India was halted, after their defeat in the Battle of Colachel by the Kingdom of Travancore, during the Travancore-Dutch War.
The territorial evolution of the British Empire is considered to have begun with the foundation of the English colonial empire in the late 16th century. Since then, many territories around the world have been under the control of the United Kingdom or its predecessor states. When the Kingdom of Great Britain was formed in 1707 by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland with the Kingdom of England, the latter country's colonial possessions passed to the new state. Similarly, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801 to form the United Kingdom, control over its colonial possessions passed to the latter state. Collectively, these territories are referred to as the British Empire. Upon much of Ireland gaining independence in 1922 as the Irish Free State, the other territories of the Empire remained under the control of the United Kingdom.
The decolonisation of Africa took place in the mid-to-late 1950s to 1975, with sudden and radical regime changes on the continent as colonial governments made the transition to independent states. The process was often quite disorganised, and marred with violence, political turmoil, widespread unrest, and organised revolts in both northern and sub-Saharan countries including the Algerian War in French Algeria, the Angolan War of Independence in Portuguese Angola, the Congo Crisis in the Belgian Congo, the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya, and the Nigerian Civil War in the secessionist state of Biafra.
Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter refers to a non-self-governing territory (NSGT) as a territory “whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government.” In practice, a NSGT is a territory deemed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to be "non-self-governing". Chapter XI of the UN Charter also includes a "Declaration on Non-Self-Governing Territories" that the interests of the occupants of dependent territories are paramount and requires member states of the United Nations in control of such territories to submit annual information reports concerning the development of those territories. Since 1946, the UNGA has maintained a list of non-self governing territories under member states' control. Since its inception, dozens of territories have been removed from the list, typically when they attained independence or internal self-government, while other territories have been added as new administering countries joined the United Nations or the General Assembly reassessed the status of certain territories.
A colonial empire is a collective of territories, either contiguous with the imperial center or located overseas, settled by the population of a certain state and governed by that state. Example:- Mughal Empire, British Empire.
This is a non-exhaustive chronology of colonialism-related events, which may reflect political events, cultural events, and important global events that have influenced colonization and decolonization. See also Timeline of imperialism.
Scandinavian colonialism is a subdivision within broader colonial studies that discusses the role of Scandinavian nations in achieving economic benefits from outside of their own cultural sphere. The field ranges from studying the Sami in relation to the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish states, to activities of the Danish Colonial Empire and Swedish Empire in Africa and on Caribbean islands such as St. Thomas and Saint-Barthélemy.
The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the crusaders, among others. Colonialism in the modern sense began with the "Age of Discovery", led by Portuguese, and then by the Spanish exploration of the Americas, the coasts of Africa, Southwest Asia which is also known as the Middle East, India, and East Asia. The Portuguese and Spanish empires were the first global empires because they were the first to stretch across different continents, covering vast territories around the globe. Between 1580 and 1640, the two empires were both ruled by the Spanish monarchs in personal union. During the late 16th and 17th centuries, England, France and the Dutch Republic also established their own overseas empires, in direct competition with one another.
The history of external colonisation of Africa can be dated from ancient, medieval, or modern history, depending on how the term colonisation is defined. In popular parlance, discussions of colonialism in Africa usually focus on the European conquests of the New Imperialism and the Scramble for Africa (1884-1914) era, followed by gradual decolonisation. The principal powers involved in the modern colonisation of Africa are Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy. In nearly all African countries today, the language used in government and media is the one imposed by a recent colonial power, though most people speak their native African languages.
French Dahomey was a French colony and part of French West Africa from 1894 to 1958. After World War II, by the establishment of the French Fourth Republic in 1947, Dahomey became part of the French Union with an increased autonomy. On 11 December 1958, the French Fifth Republic was established and the French Union became the French Community. The colony became the self-governing Republic of Dahomey within the Community, and two years later on 1 August 1960, it gained full independence.
The decolonization of Asia was the gradual growth of independence movements in Asia, leading ultimately to the retreat of foreign powers and the creation of a number of nation-states in the region. A number of events were catalysts for this shift, most importantly the Second World War. Prior to World War II, some countries had already proclaimed independence.
This Timeline of European imperialism covers episodes of imperialism by western nations since 1400 but does not take into account imperialism by other nations such as the Inca, the Chinese Empire or Japanese Imperialism, to give only a few of many examples. As such, readers may wish to treat it with some caution if using it as a resource to understand the complete phenomena of imperialism and colonialism.
1. [...] a country or an area that is governed by people from another, more powerful, country
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