a political-economic phenomenon beginning about the year 1500 whereby various European nations discovered, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world. Colonialism commenced with the emerging European nation-states: England, France, Portugal, Spain, and the Low Countries. After the opening of a sea route around southern Africa in 1488 and the discovery of America in 1492, voyages of colonization and conquest were sent out by most nations of Atlantic Europe. Portugal led the way in discovery. The Portuguese expanded westward to Brazil and eastward to the Indian Ocean, where they traded without competition until other nations began to move in on their monopoly. After Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba, the Bahamas, and Hispaniola for Spain in 1492, other Spanish voyagers staked claims to Brazil and the Isthmus of Panama. Spanish conquest of the Americas began with the occupation of the larger West Indian islands. Later, encouraged by the occupation of Aztec Mexico by Hernn Corts, which yielded much gold and silver, the Spanish established an American empire stretching from Chile in the south to Mexico and California in the north and including present-day Florida. Early in the 16th century the Dutch became the leading European naval and commercial power, with an Asian empire that developed rapidly after the chartering of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 and the company's founding of Batavia (now Jakarta), Java, as the centre of trade with China, Japan, India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and Persia. France, beset by problems on the European continent, was a weak administrator of its overseas empire. The French New World settlements began after Giovanni da Verrazano's trip in 1524 and the exploration of the St. Lawrence River. Samuel de Champlain went to New France (Canada) in 1603 and founded Quebec in 1608, but, despite the status of royal province granted in 1663, the colony grew slowly, numbering by 1754 only some 55,000. England's East India Company (chartered in 1600) led the acquisition of India, an achievement largely due to Robert Clive. The 13 colonies that England founded (16071732) on the Eastern Seaboard of North America became the nucleus of the future United States. Further British gains in North America resulted from the colonial wars of the 18th century. By Queen Anne's War with Spain, ending in 1713, England won Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and part of northern Canada. The successful conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763 gained for Britain all of North America east of the Mississippi River. The first great colonial era ended with the British Empire as the most wealthy of all European colonial systems. British sea power propelled the empire to the South Pacific, East Asia, the South Atlantic, and the African coast. The loss of the American colonies in 1783 was a blow, although offset by the consolidation of India after the defeat of the Maratha opposition in 1803 and by settlement of Australia and the Caribbean. In contrast, Spain's and Portugal's colonial growth suffered during the Napoleonic Wars. French occupation of the Iberian Peninsula in 1807 led to estrangement between South American colonies and their mother countries, both of which were too preoccupied to intervene effectively in nationalistic movements, civil wars, and revolutions. By 1825 Brazil had freed itself from Portugal, and Spain had lost all its colonies but Cuba and Puerto Rico. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries new expansionist powers emerged: Germany, the United States, Belgium, Italy, and Japan. Russia, another new colonial power, expanded overland (as did the United States), absorbing and displacing indigenous cultures. Russia penetrated Siberia, the Caucasus region, and East Asia as far south as the Korean peninsula but was stopped by the Russo-Japanese War (1905). Western Europe began the partitioning of China with the Opium Wars, waged by Britain to protect British merchants who were exporting opium from India to China. After the Treaty of Nanking (1842), France, the United States, and Russia secured similar treaties of entry. Africa was another stage for the new wave of imperialism. Before 1880 there were very few colonial possessions in Africa, but by 1900 the continent was almost wholly controlled by European powers. From a beginning in French Algeria and the French building of the Suez Canal and the subsequent British takeover of Egypt, the expansion into sub-Saharan Africa produced such colonial entities as the Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, Tanganyika (German East Africa), and South Africa, where Britain gained sovereignty over the Transvaal and the Orange Free State after the South African (Boer) War (18991902). After World War I, Britain and France took control of Middle Eastern countries formerly held by the Ottoman Empire. Between World War I and World War II, most colonial systems, while in geographic extent at their zenith, were politically strained or on the verge of revolt. The Russian Revolution and various nationalistic movements contributed to the political instability. In addition, the process of economic modernization helped to erode the old military and paternalistic dominance of the colonial powers. By the end of World War II, European colonial rule in Asia, sharply challenged by an expansionist Japan, had been fatally crippled. From 1945 decolonization accelerated rapidly. Great Britain, in particular, set about disassembling its empire. India and Pakistan were granted independence in 1947 and were followed by Britain's black African colonies after 1956; Cyprus and Malta were freed in the 1960s. Britain pulled out of the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the Royal Navy left Singapore in the same year, virtually ending the British military presence in the Far East. France's decolonization process was less peaceful, marked by wars in French Indochina, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Belgium, Portugal, and The Netherlands all divested themselves of most of their overseas possessions during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world. The age of modern colonialism began about 1500, following the European discoveries of a sea route around Africa's southern coast (1488) and of America (1492). With these events sea power shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and to the emerging nation-states of Portugal, Spain, the Dutch Republic, France, and England. By discovery, conquest, and settlement, these nations expanded and colonized throughout the world, spreading European institutions and culture. Additional reading General works Theories of imperialism are discussed in J.A. Hobson, Imperialism, 3rd. ed. (1938, reissued 1988); V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, new, rev. trans. (1939, reissued 1988; originally published in Russian, 1917); Joseph A. Schumpeter, Imperialism and Social Classes, ed. by Paul M. Sweezy (1951, reissued 1991; originally published in German, 1919); A.P. Thornton, Imperialism in the Twentieth Century (1977); and Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Theories of Imperialism (1980; originally published in German, 2nd ed., 1979). Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System (1974 ), sketches the development of the capitalist world economy in a broadly neo-Marxist fashion. European expansion before 1763 Otto Berkelbach van der Sprenkel et al., Die berseeische Welt und ihre Erschliessung (1959), is a collaborative work by specialists covering all areas and subjects included here. Romola Anderson and Roger C. Anderson, The Sailing Ship, 2nd ed. (1948, reissued 1980), offers a concise account of sailing technology until the advent of steam. Wilbur Cortez Abbott, The Expansion of Europe, 2nd rev. ed., 2 vol. (1938), covers colonialism to 1815, with much attention to European backgrounds. J.H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance, 2nd ed. (1966, reissued 1981), a history of discovery and conquest to 1650, offers a good scientific and maritime survey.G.V. Scammell, The First Imperial Age: European Overseas Expansion, c. 14001715 (1989), is probably the best one-volume survey of the topic from a European perspective. Louis Hartz, The Founding of New Societies (1964), presents a highly original series of essays on the colonization of Spanish and British America, Canada, and South Africa. Angus Calder, Revolutionary Empire: The Rise of the English-Speaking Empires from the Fifteenth Century to the 1780s (1981), is an excellent source of information and has a first-rate bibliography. K.R. Andrews, N.P. Canny, and P.E.H. Hair (eds.), The Westward Enterprise: English Activities in Ireland, the Atlantic, and America, 14801650 (1978), collects essays on a variety of topics that give a good idea of how the rest of the world was perceived by England. Edgar Prestage, The Portuguese Pioneers (1933, reprinted 1967), is a good work in English on Portuguese voyages. C.R. Boxer, The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 14151825, 2nd ed. (1991), covers the older Portuguese empire. Roger Bigelow Merriman, The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New, 4 vol. (191834, reissued 1962), follows Spain in America to the death of Philip II. J.H. Parry, The Discovery of South America (1979), is a good general work on the process of discovery by Spanish, English, and Dutch explorers.Beatriz Pastor Bodmer, The Armature of Conquest: Spanish Accounts of the Discovery of America, 14921589 (1992; originally published in Spanish, 1983), analyzes the rhetorical strategies used by the Spanish in order to take responsibility for what they believed were the positive aspects, and to distance themselves from the violent aspects, of contact with indigenous peoples. Anthony Pagden, European Encounters with the New World: From Renaissance to Romanticism (1993), describes the interaction of Europeans with the peoples encountered in their explorations. Shepard B. Clough and Richard T. Rapp, European Economic History, 3rd ed. (1975), is especially good for the effects of the discoveries on Europe. Donald F. Lach and Edwin J. Van Kley, Asia in the Making of Europe (1965 ), comprehensively surveys Europe's information about Asia and its cultural effects. Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 9001900 (1986, reissued 1993), argues that the European colonial successes in the Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa owed more to ecological factors than military or political ones.Holden Furber, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 16001800 (1976), is one of the best surveys of the Dutch and English merchant empires and the conflicts between them. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, vol. 4, The Economy of Expanding Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. by E.E. Rich and C.H. Wilson (1967), covers the economies of the early Dutch, French, and English empires. George Masselman, The Cradle of Colonialism (1963), describes the Dutch early activities in the East, providing a good European background. C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 16001800 (1965, reprinted 1990), is a major work on the great age of Dutch imperialism. Eli F. Heckscher, Mercantilism, rev. 2nd ed., 2 vol. (1955, reprinted 1983; originally published in Swedish, 1931), is an acknowledged standard work on theoretical and historical mercantilism. James D. Tracy (ed.), The Rise of Merchant Empires: Long-Distance Trade in the Early Modern World, 13501750 (1990), and The Political Economy of Merchant Empires (1991), collects reflective essays that summarize and compare the major themes of the voluminous recent research on the European commercial empires and their eventual domination of the globe. Michael Roberts, The Swedish Imperial Experience, 15601718 (1979, reissued 1984), argues that Swedish imperialism was essentially a defense against other European powers. Herbert Ingram Priestley, France Overseas (1938, reprinted 1966), presents a fairly good, if somewhat disjointed, account of early French overseas activity.Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1944, reissued 1983); and Frank J. Klingberg, The Anti-Slavery Movement in England (1926, reissued 1968), have chapters on the early slave trade. A.T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 16601783, 5th ed. (1894, reissued 1987); and Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire Before the American Revolution, 15 vol. (193670), describe the colonial wars in detail. European expansion since 1763 William Woodruff, Impact of Western Man: A Study of Europe's Role in the World Economy, 17501960 (1967, reprinted 1982), remains a good introduction. E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire, 18751914 (1987), is a highly readable account of rising European nationalism and the resultant focus on empire as a reaction to the dramatic changes undergone in European economies and social structures at the turn of the century. V.G. Kiernan, From Conquest to Collapse: European Empires from 1815 to 1960 (1982), describes the many bloody wars that comprised the conquests involved in European expansion. Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (1987), is an interesting though narrowly materialist account of the rise and fall of empires. D.K. Fieldhouse, The Colonial Empires, 2nd ed. (1982), and Colonialism, 18701945 (1981), are useful general surveys of the growth and decline of empires from the 18th and 19th centuries. Daniel R. Headrick, The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (1981), and The Tentacles of Progress: Technology Transfer in the Age of Imperialism, 18501940 (1988), study technological innovations and their role in maintaining European dominance.The Cambridge History of the British Empire, especially vol. 2, The Growth of the New Empire, 17831870 (1961), and vol. 3, The Empire-Commonwealth, 18701919 (1959, reissued 1967), is the best source on the British Empire. A view which suggests that, in England, economic pressure groups did not have much impact is presented in Ronald Hyam, Britain's Imperial Century, 18151914, 2nd ed. (1993). Lance E. Davis and Robert A. Huttenback, Mammon and the Pursuit of Empire: The Political Economy of British Imperialism, 18601912 (1986), shows that empire dramatically benefited a few but was not an unequivocal economic advantage for Britain. Henri Brunschwig, French Colonialism, 18711914 (1966; originally published in French, 1960), presents the case against the economic interpretation of French colonialism. Winfried Baumgart, Imperialism: The Idea and Reality of British and French Colonial Expansion, 18801914, rev. ed. (1982; originally published in German, 1975), discusses the different perspectives used to explain European expansion. Christopher M. Andrew and A.S. Kanya-Forstner, The Climax of French Imperial Expansion, 19141924 (1981), gives an example of the political machinations that paved the way for home governments to accept expansionism. William Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 19451951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (1984), is a diplomatic history of Britain's failed attempt to maintain informal empire in the Middle East after World War II. On the growth of empire in East Asia, Michael Edwardes, Asia in the European Age, 14981955 (1962), should be consulted; this history is examined by an Asian in K.M. Panikkar, Asia and Western Dominance, new ed. (1959, reissued 1969). David Gillard, The Struggle for Asia, 18281961: A Study in British and Russian Imperialism (1977), describes the Anglo-Russian rivalry for control of Asia. An illuminating comparative study of colonial policies is contained in J.S. Furnivall, Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India (1948, reissued 1956). Imran Ali, The Punjab Under Imperialism, 18851947 (1988), a case study, looks at the ways in which Britain redefined the nature of the local authority through which they maintained informal empire.Jean Suret-Canale, French Colonialism in Tropical Africa, 19001945 (1971; originally published in French, 1964), is a sociological study of how French colonialism operated. Prosser Gifford and William Roger Louis (eds.), Britain and Germany in Africa (1967), and France and Britain in Africa (1971), contain useful collections of essays on British, German, and French colonialism. The scramble for Africa viewed as part of Britain's striving for security in the Mediterranean and the East is forcefully argued in Ronald Robinson, John Gallagher, and Alice Denny, Africa and the Victorians, 2nd ed. (1981). Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa: White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912 (1991), gives a good overview of the sudden European rivalry over the control of Africa. Charles Van Onselen, Studies in the Social and Economic History of the Witwatersrand, 18861914, 2 vol. (1982), is an excellent analysis of the Afrikaners, a distinct group resulting from European expansion in southern Africa.A Marxist view of the impact of colonialism as related to the problems of economic development of the former colonies is found in Paul A. Baran, The Political Economy of Growth, 2nd ed. (1962). Herbert Feis, Europe, the World's Banker, 18701914 (1930, reprinted 1974), is a useful reference work on the connection between world finance and diplomacy before World War I. Marcello De Cecco, Money and Empire: The International Gold Standard, 18901914 (1974), is an excellent discussion of how Britain's monetary system collapsed under the weight of changes in the European economy, especially those resulting from overseas expansion. A standard, detailed diplomatic history of the new imperialism is found in William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 18901902, 2nd ed. (1951, reissued 1972).The psychological impact of colonialism is explored from an African perspective in Frantz Fanon, The Damned (1963; also published as The Wretched of the Earth, 1963, reissued 1991; originally published in French, 1961). Donald Denoon, Settler Capitalism: The Dynamics of Dependent Development in the Southern Hemisphere (1983), is an economic analysis of the backwardness resulting from European expansion and control. The case against the continuation of Western domination in the period of decolonization is found in Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism (1965, reissued 1973). Jrg Fisch, Die europische Expansion und das Vlkerrecht: Die Auseinandersetzungen um den Status der berseeischen Gebiete vom 15. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (1984), argues that international law was developed in Europe, was imposed on the rest of the world, and has continued functioning since decolonization. Roy MacLeod and Milton Lewis (eds.), Disease, Medicine, and Empire: Perspectives on Western Medicine and the Experience of European Expansion (1988), is a collection of essays on the impact of European medical sciences on the colonies. An impassioned view of the ills that energy-hungry Europe imposed on world culture is found in Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy (1990). Geoffrey Stoakes, Hitler and the Quest for World Dominion (1986); and Woodruff D. Smith, The Ideological Origins of Nazi Imperialism (1986), examine the reasoning and casuistry of Hitler's geopolitical designs. A. Glenn Mower, Jr., The European Community and Latin America: A Case Study in Global Role Expansion (1982), contains information on contemporary strategies for economic expansion by the European Economic Community. Lewis Feuer, Imperialism and the Anti-Imperialist Mind (1986), argues that modern empires retreated when the creative impulse to build civilizations was eclipsed by the realization that neither egalitarian relations with the colonies nor aggressive domination were acceptable to the home nations. European expansion since 1763 Penetration of the West in Asia and Africa Russia's eastward expansion European nations and Japan at the end of the 19th century spread their influence and control throughout the continent of Asia. Russia, because of its geographic position, was the only occupying power whose Asian conquests were overland. In that respect there is some similarity between Russia and the United States in the forcible outward push of their continental frontiers. But there is a significant difference: the United States advance displaced the indigenous population, with the remaining Indians becoming wards of the state. On the other hand, the Russian march across Asia resulted in the incorporation of alien cultures and societies as virtual colonies of the Russian Empire, while providing room for the absorption of Russian settlers. Although the conquest of Siberia and the drive to the Pacific had been periodically absorbing Russia's military energies since the 16th century, the acquisition of additional Asian territory and the economic integration of previously acquired territory took a new turn in the 19th century. Previously, Russian influence in its occupied territory was quite limited, without marked alteration of the social and economic structure of the conquered peoples. Aside from looting and exacting tribute from subject tribes, the major objects of interest were the fur trade, increased commerce with China and in the Pacific, and land. But changes in 19th-century Russian society, especially those coming after the Crimean War (185356), signaled a new departure. First, Russia's resounding defeat in that war temporarily frustrated its aspirations in the Balkans and the Near East; but, because its dynastic and military ambitions were in no way diminished, its expansionist energies turned with increased vigour to its Asian frontiers. Second, the emancipation of the serfs (1861), which eased the feudal restrictions on the landless peasants, led to large waves of migration by Russians and Ukrainiansfirst to Siberia and later to Central Asia. Third, the surge of industrialization, foreign trade, and railway building in the post-Crimean War decades paved the way for the integration of Russian Asia, which formerly, for all practical purposes, had been composed of separate dependencies, and for a new type of subjugation for many of these areas, especially in Central Asia, in which the conquered societies were colonized to suit the political and economic needs of the conqueror. This process of acquisition and consolidation in Asia spread out in four directions: Siberia, the Far East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. This pursuit of tsarist ambitions for empire and for warm-water ports involved numerous clashes and conflicts along the way. Russian expansion was ultimately limited not by the fierce opposition of the native population, which was at times a stumbling block, but by the counterpressure of competitive empire builders, such as Great Britain and Japan. Great Britain and Russia were mutually alarmed as the distances between the expanding frontiers of Russia and India shortened. One point of conflict was finally resolved when both powers agreed on the delimitation of the northern border of Afghanistan. A second major area of conflict in Central Asia was settled by an Anglo-Russian treaty (1907) to divide Persia into two separate spheres of influence, leaving a nominally independent Persian nation. As in the case of Afghanistan and Persia, penetration of Chinese territory produced clashes with both the native government and other imperialist powers. At times China's preoccupation with its struggle against other invading powers eased the way for Russia's penetration. Thus, in 1860, when Anglo-French soldiers had entered Peking, Russia was able to wrest from China the Amur Province and special privileges in Manchuria (Northeast Provinces) south of the Amur River. With this as a stepping-stone, Russia took over the seacoast north of Korea and founded the town of Vladivostok. But, because the Vladivostok harbour is icebound for some four months of the year, the Russians began to pay more attention to getting control of the Korean coastline, where many good year-round harbours could be found. Attempts to acquire a share of Korea, as well as all of Manchuria, met with the resistance of Britain and Japan. Further thrusts into China beyond the Amur and maritime provinces were finally thwarted by defeat in 1905 in the Russo-Japanese War. The partitioning of China The evolution of the penetration of Asia was naturally influenced by a multiplicity of factorseconomic and political conditions in the expanding nations, the strategy of the military officials of the latter nations, the problems facing colonial rulers in each locality, pressures arising from white settlers and businessmen in the colonies, as well as the constraints imposed by the always limited economic and military resources of the imperialist powers. All these elements were present to a greater or lesser extent at each stage of the forward push of the colonial frontiers by the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), and the British in Malaya, Burma, and Borneo. Yet, despite the variety of influences at work, three general types of penetration stand out. One of these is expansion designed to overcome resistance to foreign rule. Resistance, which assumed many forms ranging from outright rebellion to sabotage of colonial political and economic domination, was often strongest in the border areas farthest removed from the centres of colonial power. The consequent extension of military control to the border regions tended to arouse the fears and opposition of neighbouring states or tribal societies and thus led to the further extension of control. Hence, attempts to achieve military security prompted the addition of border areas and neighbouring nations to the original colony. A second type of expansion was a response to the economic opportunities offered by exploitation of the colonial interiors. Traditional trade and the free play of market forces in Asia did not produce huge supplies of raw materials and food or the enlarged export markets sought by the industrializing colonial powers. For this, entrepreneurs and capital from abroad were needed, mines and plantations had to be organized, labour supplies mobilized, and money economies created. All these alien intrusions functioned best under the firm security of an accommodating alien law and order. The third type of expansion was the result of rivalry among colonial powers. When possible, new territory was acquired or old possessions extended in order either to preclude occupation by rivals or to serve as buffers for military security against the expansions of nearby colonial powers. Where the crosscurrents of these rivalries prevented any one power from obtaining exclusive control, various substitute arrangements were arrived at: parts of a country were chipped off and occupied by one or more of the powers; spheres of influence were partitioned; unequal commercial treaties were imposedwhile the countries subjected to such treatment remained nominally independent. The penetration of China is the outstanding example of this type of expansion. In the early 19th century the middle part of eastern Asia (Japan, Korea, and China), containing about half the Asian population, was still little affected by Western penetration. By the end of the century, Korea was on the way to becoming annexed by Japan, which had itself become a leading imperialist power. China remained independent politically, though it was already extensively dominated by outside powers. Undoubtedly, the intense rivalry of the foreign powers helped save China from being taken over outright (as India had been). China was pressed on all sides by competing powers anxious for its trade and territory: Russia from the north, Great Britain (via India and Burma) from the south and west, France (via Indochina) from the south, and Japan and the United States (in part, via the Philippines) from the east. European expansion since 1763 The global expansion of western Europe between the 1760s and the 1870s differed in several important ways from the expansionism and colonialism of previous centuries. Along with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, which economic historians generally trace to the 1760s, and the continuing spread of industrialization in the empire-building countries came a shift in the strategy of trade with the colonial world. Instead of being primarily buyers of colonial products (and frequently under strain to offer sufficient salable goods to balance the exchange), as in the past, the industrializing nations increasingly became sellers in search of markets for the growing volume of their machine-produced goods. Furthermore, over the years there occurred a decided shift in the composition of demand for goods produced in the colonial areas. Spices, sugar, and slaves became relatively less important with the advance of industrialization, concomitant with a rising demand for raw materials for industry (e.g., cotton, wool, vegetable oils, jute, dyestuffs) and food for the swelling industrial areas (wheat, tea, coffee, cocoa, meat, butter). This shift in trading patterns entailed in the long run changes in colonial policy and practice as well as in the nature of colonial acquisitions. The urgency to create markets and the incessant pressure for new materials and food were eventually reflected in colonial practices, which sought to adapt the colonial areas to the new priorities of the industrializing nations. Such adaptation involved major disruptions of existing social systems over wide areas of the globe. Before the impact of the Industrial Revolution, European activities in the rest of the world were largely confined to: (1) occupying areas that supplied precious metals, slaves, and tropical products then in large demand; (2) establishing white-settler colonies along the coast of North America; and (3) setting up trading posts and forts and applying superior military strength to achieve the transfer to European merchants of as much existing world trade as was feasible. However disruptive these changes may have been to the societies of Africa, South America, and the isolated plantation and white-settler colonies, the social systems over most of the Earth outside Europe nevertheless remained much the same as they had been for centuries (in some places for millennia). These societies, with their largely self-sufficient small communities based on subsistence agriculture and home industry, provided poor markets for the mass-produced goods flowing from the factories of the technologically advancing countries; nor were the existing social systems flexible enough to introduce and rapidly expand the commercial agriculture (and, later, mineral extraction) required to supply the food and raw material needs of the empire builders. The adaptation of the nonindustrialized parts of the world to become more profitable adjuncts of the industrializing nations embraced, among other things: (1) overhaul of existing land and property arrangements, including the introduction of private property in land where it did not previously exist, as well as the expropriation of land for use by white settlers or for plantation agriculture; (2) creation of a labour supply for commercial agriculture and mining by means of direct forced labour and indirect measures aimed at generating a body of wage-seeking labourers; (3) spread of the use of money and exchange of commodities by imposing money payments for taxes and land rent and by inducing a decline of home industry; and (4) where the precolonial society already had a developed industry, curtailment of production and exports by native producers. The classic illustration of this last policy is found in India. For centuries India had been an exporter of cotton goods, to such an extent that Great Britain for a long period imposed stiff tariff duties to protect its domestic manufacturers from Indian competition. Yet, by the middle of the 19th century, India was receiving one-fourth of all British exports of cotton piece goods and had lost its own export markets. Clearly, such significant transformations could not get very far in the absence of appropriate political changes, such as the development of a sufficiently cooperative local elite, effective administrative techniques, and peace-keeping instruments that would assure social stability and environments conducive to the radical social changes imposed by a foreign power. Consistent with these purposes was the installation of new, or amendments of old, legal systems that would facilitate the operation of a money, business, and private land economy. Tying it all together was the imposition of the culture and language of the dominant power. The changing nature of the relations between centres of empire and their colonies, under the impact of the unfolding Industrial Revolution, was also reflected in new trends in colonial acquisitions. While in preceding centuries colonies, trading posts, and settlements were in the main, except for South America, located along the coastline or on smaller islands, the expansions of the late 18th century and especially of the 19th century were distinguished by the spread of the colonizing powers, or of their emigrants, into the interior of continents. Such continental extensions, in general, took one of two forms, or some combination of the two: (1) the removal of the indigenous peoples by killing them off or forcing them into specially reserved areas, thus providing room for settlers from western Europe who then developed the agriculture and industry of these lands under the social system imported from the mother countries, or (2) the conquest of the indigenous peoples and the transformation of their existing societies to suit the changing needs of the more powerful militarily and technically advanced nations. At the heart of Western expansionism was the growing disparity in technologies between those of the leading European nations and those of the rest of the world. Differences between the level of technology in Europe and some of the regions on other continents were not especially great in the early part of the 18th century. In fact, some of the crucial technical knowledge used in Europe at that time came originally from Asia. During the 18th century, however, and at an accelerating pace in the 19th and 20th centuries, the gap between the technologically advanced countries and technologically backward regions kept on increasing despite the diffusion of modern technology by the colonial powers. The most important aspect of this disparity was the technical superiority of Western armaments, for this superiority enabled the West to impose its will on the much larger colonial populations. Advances in communication and transportation, notably railroads, also became important tools for consolidating foreign rule over extensive territories. And along with the enormous technical superiority and the colonizing experience itself came important psychological instruments of minority rule by foreigners: racism and arrogance on the part of the colonizers and a resulting spirit of inferiority among the colonized. Naturally, the above description and summary telescope events that transpired over many decades and the incidence of the changes varied from territory to territory and from time to time, influenced by the special conditions in each area, by what took place in the process of conquest, by the circumstances at the time when economic exploitation of the possessions became desirable and feasible, and by the varying political considerations of the several occupying powers. Moreover, it should be emphasized that expansion policies and practices, while far from haphazard, were rarely the result of long-range and integrated planning. The drive for expansion was persistent, as were the pressures to get the greatest advantage possible out of the resulting opportunities. But the expansions arose in the midst of intense rivalry among major powers that were concerned with the distribution of power on the continent of Europe itself as well as with ownership of overseas territories. Thus, the issues of national power, national wealth, and military strength shifted more and more to the world stage as commerce and territorial acquisitions spread over larger segments of the globe. In fact, colonies were themselves often levers of military powersources of military supplies and of military manpower and bases for navies and merchant marines. What appears, then, in tracing the concrete course of empire is an intertwining of the struggle for hegemony between competing national powers, the manoeuvring for preponderance of military strength, and the search for greatest advantage practically obtainable from the world's resources. European colonial activity (1763c. 1875) Stages of history rarely, if ever, come in neat packages: the roots of new historical periods begin to form in earlier eras, while many aspects of an older phase linger on and help shape the new. Nonetheless, there was a convergence of developments in the early 1760s, which, despite many qualifications, delineates a new stage in European expansionism and especially in that of the most successful empire builder, Great Britain. It is not only the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain that can be traced to this period but also the consequences of England's decisive victory over France in the Seven Years' War and the beginnings of what turned out to be the second British Empire. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, France lost nearly all of its colonial empire, while Britain became, except for Spain, the largest colonial power in the world.
Meaning of COLONIALISM in English
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