European Colonialism Essay

This essay deals with European colonialism and its impact on the ethnic population. It first briefly describes the history of colonies, and then makes a brief mention of the types of colonies. Finally, the impact on the ethnic population is discussed. History Portugal’s conquest of Ceuta marked the beginning of colonialism in the 15th century. It was pioneered by Portugal and Spanish exploration of the sea routes to Africa, Middle east, India and East Asia. America was an accidental discovery.

It was only in the 17th century that England, France, and the Netherlands successfully established their own empires also. The Spanish and the Portuguese colonies were weakened in the later 18th century with America gaining freedom. Britain, France and the Netherlands remained strong in Africa, India and South east Asia. Colonialism was at its peak in 19th century. As an aftermath of World war I , colonies of losers were distributed amongst the victors. True decolonization took lace only after the world war II. ( colonialism ) Types of colonies Colonies can be categorized into many types. The Settler colonies were those where large number of people moved from their mother country to the new land. The natives or aboriginals were thus displaced to remote lands or exterminated. USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are examples of this type. The other type was dependencies, where the colonizers arrived as administrators, over existing, sizeable native population.

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India, Egypt, East Indies are examples. Plantation colonies like Jamaica and Barbados constitute of one more type where agriculture was the main aim of the colonizers. Trading posts like Singapore, fall into one more type where the primary purpose was trade. (colonialism ) Impact on ethnic population Denial of freedom as human beings or as natives of a nation by the colonizers to the colonized natives was the common impact on all the native population of all the colonies, irrespective of its type.

Slavery, by and large occurred due to plantation colonies. Several million native Africans died due to this menace. The settler colonies displaced many native aboriginals to poor quality of remote land. This often led to permanent detriment of local population. Since territories were forcibly taken away by the colonizers, without the consent of colonized, the ethnic population always received a harsh and third grade treatment from the colonizers. They were at times exterminated also, by the olonizers. Racism, exploitation and extermination were the main negative attributes of the colonialism. The positive impact of colonization was that it became instrumental in bringing the western thoughts to these countries. Development of infra structure, telecommunications, spread of education, and removal of inhuman social rituals within the ethnic society, are some of the examples of benefits to the ethnic population. Mahatma Gandhi was a student of Law at University in London.

The British were pioneers of new infra structure development like railways in India. Today, the Indian railways has become the second largest railway network on this globe. ( Impact) Conclusion The European colonialism started in the 15th century and came to an end in the 20th century, after reaching its peak in the 19th century. While Portugal and Spain were the pioneers, Britain, France and the Netherlands were the beneficiaries also. There were many types of colonies. The impact on the ethnic population was both positive and negative.


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