Colonialism versus imperialism
Difference between imperialism and colonialism
Though both the words underline suppression of the other, Colonialism is where one nation assumes control over the other and Imperialism refers to political or economic control, either formally or informally. In simple words, colonialism can be thought to be a practice and imperialism as the idea driving the practice. Colonialism is a term where a country conquers and rules over other regions. It means exploiting the resources of the conquered country for the benefit of the conqueror. Imperialism means crea ting an empire, expanding into the neighbouring regions and expanding its dominance far.
Imperialism = imperium = to command
Colonialism = colonus = farmer
As an excuse for colonialism: the argument known as the ‘civilizing mission’, meaning that a temporary period of political dependence or tutelage was necessary in order for ‘uncivilized’ societies to advance to the point where they were capable of sustaining liberal institutions and self-government.
Colonialism is not restricted to a specific time or place. Colonialism is used in this reader to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world. The term is frequently used to describe the settlement of places that were controlled by a large population of permanent European residents. Imperialism (traditional understanding) was a system of military domination and sovereignty over territories. Leninist/Marxist analysis: A system oriented towards economic exploitation. Imperialism was the necessary and inevitable result of the logic of accumulation in late capitalism.
Natural Law and the Age of Discovery
The Spanish justified their activities in the Americas in terms of a religious mission to bring Christianity to the native people. But this Spanish conquest took place during a period of reform when humanist scholars within the Church were increasingly influenced by the Natural Law theories of theologians such as Thomas Aquinas: A system of law that is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal . Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyse human nature. Every human is capable of reason and self-government: The basis Enlightenment principle (argument why the excuse of ‘civilizing mission’ is invalid) Diderot didn’t assume that non-Western societies were primitive, nor did he assume that more complex forms of social organization were necessarily superior. He challenged the view that indigenous people benefit from European civilization. He claimed that culture helps to inculcate morality and reinforces norm s of respect, but these norms tend to dissipate when the individual is far from his country of origin ( when colonists were far away they became the uncivilized ones)
Montesquieu developed the theory of separation of powers in the 18th century; trias politica. Scottish Enlightenment: four-stages thesis; all society were naturally moving from hunting to herding, to farming, to commerce savagery, barbarism, civilization. Civilization was not just a marker of mat erial improvement, but also a normative judgment about the moral progress of society.
The Unconscious Changing of a Culture
Benefits for natives in colonized country: stimulation of the economy through trade, advanced medicine, improved infrastructure
Harm: Loss of traditional culture, beliefs and values
Issues of colonization:
- The struggle of native people to adjust to a new culture
- The suppression, and oftentimes overt annihilation of the native people’s former lives and culture that comes with the presence of an Other who believes his culture is superior = colonizer. The word post-colonialism is a tool of examining, most often through literature, what happens when two cultures clash, based upon one of the culture’s assumptions of his superiority. Stephen Slemon cites it as “the need, in nations...
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