Positive Effects of Colonialism

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Colonialism is a system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries; or a system of rule which assumes the right of one people to impose their will upon another. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rich, powerful states, including Britain and other European countries, owned third world colonies. ‘Third world’ originally referred to countries that did not belong to the democratic, industrialized countries of the West (the First World) or the state-socialist, industrializing, Soviet Bloc countries (the Second World). This paper uses specific third world examples to summarize the main positive impacts of nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism, when colonial powers reached their peak. It focuses on European colonialism in Africa.

One view of development is that, at the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well being, which European colonial powers achieved through economic growth, by exploiting the natural and human resources of their colonies.


In Africa this is considered to be one of the positive impacts of colonization and that was beneficial to both the Europeans and the Africans in general. It was meant to enlighten Africans so that they would be able to work efficiently under the Europeans regime without any difficulties. Mostly the 3Rs method of learning was used i.e. Reading, writing and Arithmetic’s. E.g. in Kenya they were schools set aside for European kids in the white Kenyan Highlands and for Africans in the other areas. Example; Lenana School (Duke of York 1949) and Nairobi School (Prince of Wales 1910) etc.


Colonialism was beneficial because it provided infrastructure for economic development and some social services. They were to enable transport of people, goods and services with the aim of improving the Economy of the African...
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