Colonialism Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Colonialism?
Colonialism has been a powerful force throughout the ages, leaving behind a lasting legacy in its wake. Colonialism is defined as the practice of establishing and maintaining political control over an area or people outside of one’s own homeland. This form of foreign domination usually involves economic exploitation, religious conversion, and cultural assimilation. The history of colonialism dates back thousands of years; however, it was especially prevalent during the Age of Exploration starting in the 15th century when European nations began colonizing lands across the world. The impact that colonialism had on different countries around the globe varied significantly depending on their existing conditions before colonization and how they were treated by their colonial rulers. In some cases, such as India and parts of Africa, colonies experienced large-scale destruction to their indigenous populations due to disease epidemics brought by Europeans as well as displacement from land taken for plantations or urban development projects. On other occasions like New England colonies in North America and Australia, settlers attempted to create more culturally similar societies with mixed results. Perhaps one of the most profound legacies left by colonialism is its influence on social structures around the world today. Many countries that were once part of empires are now independent nations but still bear evidence of colonial rule through language use (such as English being spoken widely even after independence), legal systems based on those established during imperial times, or education systems heavily influenced by Western ideals introduced under colonialism. Additionally, critiques about contemporary global power dynamics can often be traced back to issues rooted in colonial history such as unequal distribution of resources among states or racism against minority groups within postcolonial societies which can be attributed partially to attitudes developed under colonial rule. In conclusion, although many consider colonialism a dark period in human history marked by violence and oppression, its legacy continues to shape our present day society both directly through specific laws or institutions implemented during imperial times but also indirectly through modern debates about power dynamics between nations or marginalized communities within countries struggling with racial divide caused by past policies implemented under foreign rule centuries ago.