Colonialism and Imperialism
Imperialism refers to a policy of extending rule of a nation or empire over foreign nations and of
taking and holding foreign colonies.
Colonialism refers to the political, social, economic, and cultural domination of a territory and its
people by a foreign power for an extended period of time.
Imperialism is as old as the state.
Modern colonialism began with the "Age of Discovery," during which European nations founded
colonies throughout the New World.
The first phase of European colonialism ended in the early 19th century, as a result of rebellions
and independence wars in Latin America.
British expansion was led by a drive for profit.
At its peak about 1914, the British empire covered a fifth of the world's land surface and ruled a
fourth of its population.
The first phase of British colonialism was concentrated in the New World, west Africa, and India,
and came to a close with the American Revolution.
During its second period of colonialism, Britain eventually controlled most of India, Australia, New
Zealand, Canada, and large portions of eastern and southern Africa.
British imperialism was justified by what Rudyard Kipling called "the white man's burden"—a
paternalistic and racist doctrine asserting that native peoples in the empire were incapable of
governing themselves, and thus that British guidance was needed to civilize and Christianize them.
The British empire disintegrated after World War II, as a result of nationalist independence
In contrast to British expansion, French colonialism was driven more by the state, church, and
armed forced than by pure business interests.
The first phase of French colonialism was focused in Canada, the Louisiana territory, the
Caribbean, and parts of India.
During the second phase of French colonialism, the empire grew to include most of north and west
Africa as well as Indochina.