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Thread: Colonialism: Good or Bad

  1. #1

    Colonialism: Good or Bad

    Colonialism is the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labor, and markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimize or promote this system, especially the belief that the mores of the colonizer are superior to those of the colonized.

    Advocates of colonialism argue that colonial rule benefits the colonized by developing the economic and political infrastructure necessary for modernization and democracy. They point to such former colonies as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore as examples of post-colonial success. These nations do not, however, represent the normal course of colonialism in that they are either settler societies, or tradepost cities.

    Dependency theorists such as Andre Gunder Frank, on the other hand, argue that colonialism actually leads to the net transfer of wealth from the colonized to the colonizer, and inhibits successful economic development.

    Critics of colonialism such as Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire argue that colonialism does political, psychological, and moral damage to the colonized as well.

    More critically, Indian writer and political activist Arundhati Roy said that debating the pros and cons of colonialism/imperialism "is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape".

    Critics of the alleged abuses of economic and political advantages accruing to developed nations via globalised capitalism have referred to them as neocolonialism, and see them as a continuation of the domination and exploitation of ex-colonial countries, merely utilizing different means.


    Good or bad?

    I say bad!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Yeah, this goes in Cosmos.
    Any mods here?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Well i voted bad. I would have to say as a broad overall statement i don't like colonialism, but there are cases when i could see this benefiting the colonized.
    \"He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.\"
    Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    AO Guinness Monster MURACU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Of all your examples of succesfull colonies None of them were successfull for the original inhabitants. Ask the americain indians if they think colonisation was good for them?
    Ireland is about the only countries in europe that has a negative demographic trend over the last 150 years. In 1800 the population of Ireland was 8.5 million today north and south combine it is about 5.5 mil.
    Yeah rapier57 you are right this does fit in Cosmos.
    \"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.\"
    \"The reason we are so pleased to find other people\'s secrets is that it distracts public attention from our own.\"
    Oscar Wilde(1854-1900)

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Colonialism is irrelevant, it happened and has gone................it is history. Even the concept of economic colonialism is very much overrated as World Trade is mostly in private hands (apart from weapons).

    What is of interest is the legacy of colonialism. Major points being:


    1. Political and administrative infrastructure.
    2. Physical infrastructure (transport, healthcare, schools, airports, seaports)
    3. You get to speak English


    1. Grouping different peoples together causes civil wars etc.
    2. Monocultural "plantation" agriculture causes vulnerability to market fluctuations.
    3. Unnatural economy that was a satellite of the colonial power's (Even Northern Ireland and East Germany demonstrate this problem as both were heavily dependent on the armaments industry )
    4. Infrastucture designed to meet the needs of the colonisers, not the colonised.
    5. You get to take liberties with the English Language

    Well just a few ideas to be going on with

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    If there were a happy medium, where the larger, more progressive civilization could leverage their power, economy and technology to assist the smaller, poorer and less developed country to the benefit of both entities ...

    'Course, that would have to assume that the larger country isn't motivated by greed, plain and simple.

    Phrases that strike terror into the hearts of reservation inhabitants throughout the US:

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."
    "You can live here as long as the grass grows and the streams flow."
    "I'm an expert in this area and I know what's good for you."

  7. #7
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Also let's not forget, that most colonisation happened as a result of something other then settlers running off to that golden rainbow.

    North America's first colonisation funny enough just hit the silver screen, it was a disaster, wasn't until the pilgrims escaping England that North America started to be settled and it was mostly those running away from their old countries due to persecution or starvation....

    Australia/New Zealand were mostly colonised in the beginning by convicts,(and retired military types who were offered land for services rendered) not people looking for a nice place to settle down...

    India, was because of economics and the trade routes for most things going east and west

    Caribbean, mostly ex-pirates (Capt'n Morgan) who when they became official "privateers" went clean and settled in the islands, also for the sugar as it was the main export along with tobacco...(and slaves)....

    Most of the places in Africa, were due to economic reasons as well....Gold/Diamonds/Ivory/Oil

    Also it was a race between Spanish/Porteguese/English/Dutch/German/French to control the varied sea routes and trade between other countries, that really set the tone for settlement and colonisation, whoever controlled these trade routes would reap the rewards, one of the main reasons they were always at war with one another....
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  8. #8
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Colonialism and imperialism were tied to the economic theory
    called mercantilism. In a nutshell, mercantilism taught that all
    trade is inherently exploitation, and, other things being equal,
    it is better for you to exploit them than for them to
    exploit you.

    Adam Smith and capitalism displaced mercantilism with the
    idea that free trade benefits both participants.
    It also became apparent that maintaining an empire is
    more expensive than it is worth.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    central il
    dalek: While I agree with you on colonialism please stop spreading the lies abotu the pilgrams. They where fleeing holland because there was not enough oppreshion for their taste.
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

  10. #10
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Originally posted here by bballad
    dalek: While I agree with you on colonialism please stop spreading the lies abotu the pilgrams. They where fleeing holland because there was not enough oppreshion for their taste.
    Say what??? Holland......methinks they were fleeing England first.....

    The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded (1620) Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years. In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil err autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden. After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. The term Pilgrim was first used by William Bradford to describe the Leiden Separatists who were leaving Holland. The Mayflower's passengers were first described as the Pilgrim Fathers in 1799.

    err...what part of this is a lie......so they went east to Holland for 12 years, (still fleeing) they then decided to flee Holland, it's the same group of people who made it to America, and it was the English who called themselves Pilgrims...see above...
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
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