Effects of Colonization
Posted on August 23rd, 2015

By Sandra Marker

November 2003

“All the new nations faced severe problems, for political independence did not automatically bring them prosperity and happiness…they were seldom free of external influences. They were still bound to…structures developed earlier by the colonial powers.” —Thomas H. Greer. FromA Brief History of the Western World, 5th edition. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1987, p. 536-37.

Around the world today, intractable conflict is found in many areas that were once colonized or controlled by Western European or Soviet powers (i.e., Africa, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America). The source of many of these protracted conflicts, in large part, lies in past colonial or Soviet policies, and especially those regarding territorial boundaries, the treatment of indigenous populations, the privileging of some groups over others, the uneven distribution of wealth, local governmental infrastructures, and the formation of non-democratic or non-participatory governmental systems. It is therefore essential, if one wants to understand intractable conflict and its causes, to examine not only the issues and problems of the moment, but also influential historical factors — most notably, past colonial and Soviet policies — and their lingering effects.

Colonial and Soviet Expansionism

Western colonial expansion began during the 15th century when Spanish and Portuguese explorers conquered “new” lands in the West Indies and the Americas. It continued for over 400 years, and ended with the start of the first World War. By that time western powers such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Spain, spurred on by their competitive desire to acquire new lands and resources, had colonized the whole of Africa and the areas that we know today as the Americas, Oceania, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and many parts of Asia.

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One Response to “Effects of Colonization”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lanka & India paying severely for Colonisation.

    It is a must to know the effects of Colonisation worldwide – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly side effects left behind by colonists. If we have ratios along these headers, it may go something like : 1:2:3, with the Ugly side having the most effect. Th worst part is that it appears intractable.

    Our present Sicko Trio seem to have fallen into the Ugly ratio. Otherwise why spit on Mother Lanka riding rough shod over her Laws, delivering crushing insults to those who won the war etc. Whom are they trying to please ? The damage done seems vast and intractable …. may all the powers that be help Lanka come out of this mess, with some self respect intact.

    Best have an English stream in the Sinhala/Buddhist larger schools, as well as IT computer studies classes. The Sinhala village folk have earned this aspect in education as it was their efforts and enormous sacrifices that helped win the war against terrorism.

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