Comparative Development in International Perspective - Lecture_3_Notes

Comparative Development in International Perspective - Lecture_3_Notes

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LECTURE 3: Colonialism and Neocolonialism I. Motives for Colonialism II. Legacies of Colonialism III. Colonialism and Development IV. Neocolonialism and MNCs V. Key Points _______________________________________________________________________ _ I. Motives for Colonialism Colonialism: the political control of peoples and territories by foreign states sometimes accompanied by permanent settlement. The goal of colonialism is perhaps best summed up using the words of one of Britain’s most famous advocates of colonialism, Cecil Rhodes, who in the 1890s declared: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.” With that objective, Europeans set out to colonize the rest of the world. The largest colonizing forces were Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal. Lesser colonial powers included the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the United States. By 1921, for example, Britain controlled more than 25% of the land and population of the earth. The motivations for colonialism were more than simply economic in nature. In fact, some observers have argued that it made no economic sense to colonize a country. A hands-off free-trade approach similar to the organization of the international system today would have been much more profitable. Of course, such an approach fails to see the multiple reasons underlying the colonial drive. For instance, colonialism took on nationalist and religious tones as well as economic ones. a) Religious and Cultural Motives The desire to spread the Christian faith was part of the colonizing drive. For Spain and Portugal, in particular, the introduction of Catholicism was almost as important as the accumulation of resources in their early colonies. Today, centuries after the conquest, Latin America’s Roman Catholic population is second in size only to Europe’s. 1
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The cultural motivation of colonialism was also important. Europeans believed that the highest gifts they could bestow were their language, culture and religion. This cultural “gift” was part of colonial policy. The emphasis on the importation of culture meant that the indigenous culture of the colonies was not considered worthy enough to be maintained, and in some place native culture virtually died out. Where it did not, it was imbued with a sense of inferiority to Western values. Western countries rationalized that colonialism was a beneficial process that would help to bring so-called “backward” societies into the light of the modern age. b) Economic Motives
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POL B91 taught by Professor Rice during the Fall '08 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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Comparative Development in International Perspective - Lecture_3_Notes

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