Consequence of Colonialism in Developing Countries

Essay Question: With reference to relevant theories and examples, critically analyse the social, political and economic consequences of colonialism on developing countries.
Word Count: 2310 words.
One of the most important consequences of the World War II was the emergence of a new process of decolonization, which created a unique moment of opportunity for many developing states to achieve sustainable socio-economic development. In this context, it was widely expected that achievement of formal political independence for the former colonies would enable these states to advance an overall national progress with greater efficiency (Fieldhouse 1999, Krishna 2009, Reynolds 2000). In practice, however, the process of development has been highly uneven, sometimes leading to landmark achievements in some regions (Ricklefs et al. 2010), but more often accompanied with multiple economic problems and socio-ethnic tensions (Fieldhouse 1999, Rodney 1981, Reid 2009). This paper aims to examine complex social, political and economic consequences, which process of colonialism had on developing states.

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Using a world systems theoretical approach, advanced in works of Wallerstein (1974, 1996), this essay argues that colonialism as a process had far reaching impact on developing states in several ways. Socially, the creation and imposition of new fixed identities and Western principles had reshaped the traditional social institutions of the colonial states, often resulting in growing tensions and conflicts between competing ethnical and religious groups. Politically, although in some cases the inherited from the colonial times had largely benefit newly independent states to enforce development programme at the national level, in most of the cases colonialism had negative consequences, often resulting in vacuum of power, civil disorder or abuse of state institutions by the new national elites. Economically, the trade structures originally designed by metropole empires were largely retained in post-colonial period, often leading to high financial dependence of the new independent states on their former colonial masters. Thus, a thorough examination of social, economic and political consequences of colonialism from a “world system approach” can explain the existing pattern of “underdevelopment”, which is common for many developing states.
This paper is structured as follows. The introductory section explains the world system approach. The main body analyses the social, economic and political consequences of colonialism process, using the above mentioned theoretical perspective. The concluding section summarizes the main arguments.

World Systems Theory: An intellectual background.

World system approach (WSA) can be understood as a theoretical sociological perspective, initially articulated by Wallerstein (1974; 1996) and further developed by other thinkers (Fenelon 2016), which aims to explain why patterns of underdevelopment persist in developing states once the states were able to achieve political independence. WSA is founded on the principle that in order to understand a phenomenon of underdevelopment it is necessary to examine wider global economic and political dynamics, rather than focus exclusively on each individual region and state (Wallerstein 1974, Mishra 2013).
From this perspective, global history has been deeply affected by the emergence and decline of a specific world systems, which reflect to the existing form of production relations dominant at the global level within given time period  (Hobden and Wyn Jones 2017: 133; Wallerstein 1974).  The global capitalism as a contemporary world system with fixed  “structures, member groups, rules of legitimation”(Wallerstein 2011:374)  is driven by the principle of persistent capital accumulation (Wallerstein 1983), founded on the existence of a global division of labour (Nau 2014), whereby international system is dominated by powerful “core” and “semi-periphery” states, whose stable political and economic structures allow them to systematically exploit less developed “periphery states” (Hobden and Wynn Jones 2017, Hall 2000, Mishra 2013, Wallerstein 2011). Although powerful core states no longer can exercise control over developing states by an exclusive reliance on military conquest due to global spread of democratic values and principle of self-determination (Reynolds 2000), they are willing to resort instead to a variety of cultural, political and economic mechanisms in order to maintain an overall stability of the capitalist world system (Hall 2000, Hobden and Wynn Jones 2017, Mishra 2013, Wallerstein 1974, Wallerstein 1996).
As a result, despite regular occurrences of certain crises and structural inconsistencies, the world system displays extraordinary capacity to expand and reproduce its continual dominance, as long as it is able to guarantee stable surplus extraction and domination of the capital over the working classes (Lee 2011, Wallerstein 1996).Having defined WSA, the next section of the essay will examine social, economic and political consequences of colonialism on developing states.

Economic  Consequences of colonialism

As noted earlier, the capitalist world system provided powerful core states with an opportunity to exploit less developed periphery countries through systematic through draining off the surplus production, often using raw materials and natural resources of the developing countries for personal capital accumulation at the expense indigenous population (Rodney 1981, Frank 1967, Headlee 2010:15, Wallerstein, 1983). In this context, the most immediate economic repercussion of the colonialism process was the need to radically transform the existing economic structures in order to allow greater national development once the colonizers left (Shillington 1989, Reid, 2009). The problem was compounded by the fact that basic economic and transport infrastructure in newly independent states was in a disastrous condition after decades of the prolonged use by colonizers (Shillington, 1995).
As a result, faced with strong electoral pressures and largely inefficient economic structures, national elites in the developing states were in effect forced to open their domestic markets to MNC’S in order to finance domestic financial reform programme (Shillington 1995, Rodney 1981, Frank 1967, Fieldhouse 1999).  Despite the fact that in some cases, like Hong Kong and Singapore, such policy was successful in creating sufficient structural conditions for these states to pursue sustainable economic growth (Ricklefs et. al. 2010, Manhubani 2009; Held  et. al. 1999, Mauze and Milne 2002), it is equally important to remember that in most cases it had multiple negative financial consequences, often reinforcing patterns of exploitation and dependence for the developing countries (Reid, 2009, Rodney 1981; Shillington, 1995; Frank, 1967).
For instance, once Ghana opened its economy to foreign capital, its key economic sectors were privatized by French and American corporations, making country politically and economically dependent on foreign investors. In this case, although formally independent, country’s national economy, natural resources and commodities are still being exploited by the same powerful core states (Shillington 1995). The same patterns of exploitation affected the majority of former French colonies, where the France still was displayed the ability to have a decisive say on the direction of national economic development through mixture of French currency Union and the growing role of MNC’S in newly independent states (McWilliams and Piotrowski 2009, Young 2013, Shillington 1985). According to Frank 1967: 290, such policy also affected South American states, where national economies were heavily dependent on foreign capital, which took over the essential sectors of originally nationalised industry sectors. Furthermore, the former metropole states were able to exploit the national economies of newly independent states through policy of tariff and price imposition, which severely restricted national development opportunities for the periphery countries. Rothermund (2006:259) provides the example of postcolonial India, where the trade relations heavily benefit British firm and producers, often at the expense of weakening the influence of newly established Indian producers. The post-colonial states, which had refused to follow such policy, preferring instead an independent development path, were openly sanctioned, as in case of Vietnam, whose economic growth was restricted due to the sanctions imposed by the US following the Vietnam War (Kwon 2008). Thus, although nominally independent, the majority of post-colonial states were still exploited by powerful core states, which had negative repercussions for the developing countries, including the emergence of political crises, economic instability, heavy reliance on foreign capital and fragmentation of national economies, preventing newly independent states from achieving sustainable national development (Reid, 2009, Rothermund 2006, Shillington 1995, Meredith 2005, Frank 1967).

Political Consequences of colonialism.

If colonialism had important economic consequences on the developing countries, then undoubtedly long-lasting political impact of colonialism process should also be thoroughly examined. However, the repercussions of the colonialism process for the newly independent states had differed depending on the methods of political control exercised by colonial control.
For instance, in case of Southeast Asian region, the colonialism had important positive impact on the developing states, since these states had inherited well-established bureaucracy and efficient administrative structures from colonial times. The classic example in this respect is case of Singapore where the governing elites   had benefited from powerful state apparatus, efficient administrative machinery and rule of law, which allowed the ruling elites to promote and enforce a comprehensive programme of socio-economic reform, transforming the country from one of the poorest, most underdeveloped and economically unstable nations of the world into the global investment hub (Ricklefs et. al. 2010, Mauzy and Milne 2002).
In contrast, the process of colonialism had different consequences on African region. The political control over these states during colonial times was exercised by a reliance on indirect strategies of political co-optation with “regional and local powerholders without transforming their bases of powers whose fate depended on that of the crown” (Tilly, 1992: 24).  Such political system was seriously discredited after former colonies were able to win their independence. This gave rise to a power vacuum in most African states, whereby new national elites, often with limited political experience, popular support and inefficient political structures, were required to exercise comprehensive administrative control over large territorial boundaries  with local populations “often mutually suspicious or antagonistic” (Deng 2008:65 as cited in George and Hilal 2013). As a result, it is possible to distinguish different political development dynamics within African states.  For instance, in countries like Egypt, Senegal and Tanzania, a generally peaceful economic transition and political stability was achieved, once charismatic and nationalist leaders were able to pursue a comprehensive programme of socio-economic reform often through a mixture of coercion restriction freedoms of political opponents groups (Reid, 2009; Osman, 2011; Hopwood, 1991; Shillington, 1989). In contrast,  the national elites in countries including Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea were unable to achieve sustainable political consensus, as their reform programmes was met by disobedience, fierce resistance and in some cases armed resistance from militant and guerrilla groups with an opposite ideological beliefs (Reid, 2009). In this context, political and social machinery of the state apparatus in generally is widely discredited in Africa, since political elites and existing institutions often are viewed as corrupt, inefficient and distant organizations with little interest in public affairs (Baker, 2009).

Socio-Cultural consequences of colonialism.

Having examined political and economic consequences of colonialism, it is now necessary to briefly outline the cultural repercussions of this process. During colonial times, metropole states had largely imposed their principles and traditions through policy of institutionalized racism, systematic violence and social exclusion (Cohen and Kennedy 2013) in order to convince local elites and populations that “their own well-being is wrapped up in the survival of the [capitalist] system as such” (Wallerstein 1974:404). For instance, Christian beliefs and ideals were imported to the African states to replace customary and tribal religion with an overall belief that “only the Christian-Catholic religion is capable of changing native mentality, of giving to our Africans a clear consciousness of their duties, of inspiring in them spirit of loyalty towards” colonial masters (Roelens 1930, as cited in Young, 2003: 419). Such policy had severely weakened the prospects of post-colonial unity or coalition building, as the parties and social movements originally developed in response to imposed identities. For instance, in case of Ghana, the political system was very unstable during first several decades after independence, since main political actors were organized around traditional social divisions and cleavages, imposed by British colonizers during colonial times, viewing their competitors with distrust and hatred (Reid 2009). Likewise, French colonizers had largely ignored fundamental cultural, historical and religious complexities in Algeria, advocating instead a simplified history of country’s development as an ongoing battle between civilized and progressive Berber population against violent, chaotic, radical and uncivilized Arab ethnic groups, which severely restricted the possibility of a comprehensive national unity during the first decades after the achievement of political independence (Brandt 2014, Pfostl  2014). The most vivid example in this regards is the case of Rwanda where the German and Belgian colonizers in an effort to maintain control over country’s political and economic development had created an unequitable power distribution with one ethnic group, Tutsi, enjoying extensive administrative, educational and political privileges by systematically violating the fundamental human rights of other ethnic communities (Melvern 2009, Prunier 1997). Such policy had long lasting impact on Rwandan society, resulting in an intensification of inter-ethnic tensions between competing ethnic communities, which culminated in mass genocide in 1994, when approximately 800, 000 Tutsi civilians were massacred in 100 days (Melvern 2006, Nichols 2008). These examples suggest that principles, stereotypes and identities imposed by colonizers had long-lasting impact on the social dynamics of newly independent society, often resulting in growing ethnic tensions, societal fragmentation and in some cases, organized violence against the members of particular ethnic or religious group.
To conclude, this paper relied on world-systems analysis, articulated by Wallerstein, in order to examine and distinguish several economic, political and socio-cultural consequences of colonialism process on the developing countries. Economically, the colonialism process had resulted in growing dependence and reliance of the developed countries on foreign capital and investment. Politically, although in some cases the inherited from the colonial times had largely benefit newly independent states to enforce development programme at the national level, in most of the cases colonialism had negative consequences, often resulting in vacuum of power, civil disorder or abuse of state institutions by the new national elites. Socially, the creation and imposition of new fixed identities and Western principles had reshaped the traditional social institutions of the colonial states, often resulting in growing tensions and conflicts between competing ethnical and religious groups. The combination of these factors suggests that although formally independent, many developing countries continue to experience problems in the above mentioned areas due to persistence and importance of negative repercussions of the colonialism process.
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High Imperialism and Colonialism in India

India’s volatile history with colonialism, dictated by predominantly imperialist European powers, and other manifestations of external intervention operated in a way that has contributed to instability in today’s context. The study of colonial rule in India depicts a situation wherein colonialism was used as a tool, by the British, as a means to extract resources, manipulate foreign industries and to consolidate power. The political and social structures that were put into place and enforced during British colonial rule continue to have lasting influence on the modern context of India. Through the implementation of their own Eurocentric ideals and perspectives into India’s societal framework, the British were able to enforce their cultural hegemony over the Indian population.

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In order to accurately characterize the nature of British colonialism in India, it is important to acknowledge Britain’s intentions and the historical process in which they asserted colonial dominance over India. Following the successful occupation of Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, by the Portuguese, various other European powers set out to acquire and claim their own trading posts within Asia. At first, the British were interested in the trading potential that would be brought about through colonisation, however over time, they became more invested in acquiring territory to add to their empire. Starting from 1600, Britain had developed trade relations with India, as they had trading points among the coast on the borders of the Mughal empire. However, during the 1750s, the British began waging war in an attempt to claim land in the affluent province of Bengal. The 18th century was a period of an internal power struggle within India, as the Mughal empire was slowly losing support and power. The British officials, within the East India Company, saw this period of weakened government as an opportunity to strengthen their grasp over Indian territory (Chatterjee, 2012, p.12). After the Battle of Plassey, in 1757, which pitted the British East India Company troops against the newly appointed Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud Daulah, and his unsuccessful troops, the British started to establish and consolidate their colonial rule over all Indian states. Previous to British rule, the East India Company’s only purpose was to trade in cotton, silk, tea and opium however following the Battle of Plassey, the company gained military authority in developing sections of India (Szczepanski, 2018). The imperialistic ideals of acquiring territory encompassed the notion of the ‘White Man’s Burden’, which is the justification of imperialism as an obligation and selfless attempt to provide guidance to ‘primitives’ cultures existing outside of Europe (Arendt, 1950, p. 306). This belief portrays the British as the only ‘politically mature people’ and therefore are ‘burdened with the welfare of the world’, (Arendt, 1950, p. 305) which feeds into the justification of European powers’ imperialist tendencies. The term, coined by Rudyard Kipling, describes the British colonisers’ belief in their supposed ‘duty’ to impart their superior ways of living, culture and government onto ‘inferior beings’ who are unable to formulate correct decisions on their own. This ideology plays into the colonial discourses of ‘lack’, wherein British imperialists argued that the Indian population lacked civilization, intellectual knowledge and rationality. This argument became the foundational reasoning for colonisers to pursue a ‘civilising mission’ that ultimately shaped the nature of British imperialism in India. The element of race is the crux of the ‘civilising mission’, as non-Europeans were perceived as ‘the Other’ due to racial differences therefore tying in notions of orientalism (Pekanan, 2016, pg.1). However, despite British imperialists’ emphasis on the various facets of Indian society that were seemingly lacking, it is important to acknowledge the commodities Britain was lacking during that time. Before colonizing India, under the guise of a ‘civilising mission’ to aid the Indian population, Britain was lacking in natural resources and raw materials, as well as indentured labour to provide such commodities. In addition to this, amidst the European pursuit for colonies in Asia, Britain needed to claim foreign territory in order to signify their status as a major key European power amongst the other nations in the world system. Thus, despite their true intentions of wanting to drain the resources and economic industries of other nations, the principle justification provided by the British, for their colonisation of India, was the ideological and technological superiority of the western world.

The consolidation of British colonial in India allowed the British Parliament to introduce and implement their government system, irretrievably affecting Indian society as a result.  Following the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal and his troops, the British began controlling the political and economic organisations within India in order to assert their own ideologies and way of life. Their initial consolidation of power started with the abolishment of the Mughal Dynasty, which had ruled India for more than three hundred years. Following this, control of India fell into the hands of a British Governor-General, who reported back to the British Parliament (Szczepanski, 2018). This allowed the British Parliament to efficiently introduce their own governmental system and enforce these laws. Through the newly introduced British political systems and economic policies, which helped consolidate their control over the country, India’s economic situation changed drastically. A major incentive for the British to occupy India, in the first place, was the opportunity to utilize India’s natural resources and raw materials for their own benefit. As they were able to assert political dominance over the nation, the British began a monopolization of trade with India. They monopolised the raw materials and resources market, allowing Britain to purchase these goods at low prices whilst the Indian majority would be over-charged. Various Indian handicraft products were taxed heavily when being exported however British, industrially-produced goods were allowed to be exported into India without tax. The main aim of this process was to convert India into a consumer of British, factory-made goods and as a result, various Indian handicraft industries struggled as they could not compete with Britain’s imports. This monopolization of Indian trade ultimately resulted in the destruction of Indian industry and their production capabilities (Maddison, 1971, pp. 13-17). In addition to this, the British implemented land revenue policies that monitored poor Indian farmers and to ensure the commercialisation of agriculture. This process involved governing agricultural patterns in accordance to commercial consideration. The British introduced commodities, such as raw cotton, tea, coffee, indigo and opium, that were to be grown for industries back in Britain (Lawrence, 2002, p. 383). They forced this process by growing cash crops, as opposed to food crops, since this method allowed the British to produce for sales and exports that solely benefitted them (Khan, 1982, p.7). However, this process ultimately led to a loss of self-sufficiency for the majority of the Indian population as they were forced to produce resources for British use rather than growing food crops. The combination of heavy taxation and the commercialization of agriculture, at the hands of British colonisers, India experienced a severe famine in the late 1800s (Maddison, 1971, p. 12). AS Britain continued to drain India’s resources through industry exploitation, between fifteen to thirty million Indians died as a result of starvation as they were unable to sustain themselves under rigid colonial rule (Tharoor, 2015). Thus, the colonial extraction of resources, commodities and land restructured India’s economic situation, for the purpose of benefitting the British colonisers and therefore established India as a periphery state.

As a result of British occupation, Indian society underwent various changes, in terms of religion, language and education, which instigated tensions between British imperialists and

Indian nationalists. British imperialism was originally motivated by economic ambitions, however as time went on, British officials sought to revolutionise Indian social institutions in an attempt to westernize India (Maddison, 1971, p. 4). The British introduced Western education systems into India as a means to create a class of educated Indians who would assist in ruling the expanding nation and bureaucracy, as well as strengthening the political legitimacy of the British. This tactical strategy was aimed at reducing the expenditure on administration, as hiring native Englishmen for clerk work was more expensive than hiring English-speaking Indians (Bejgam, 2015). Pioneering for the first imperial education policy in British India was Lord Thomas Macaulay, the first law member in the Governer General’s council. He proposed the concept of introducing a new group of Indians who would act as interpreters, “a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinion, morals and in intellect” (Bailey 1991, p.138). Macaulay regarded the existing education system as ‘oriental’ and inferior to western forms of education, depicting Edward Said’s notion of ‘orientalism’ where white Europeans viewed non-Europeans from the ‘orient’ as lesser and subordinate (Said, 1979, p.7). This idea of intellectual colonisation would ultimately work to diminish the Indian culture, language and social practices, through the use of an English-based education system. This process was used to train Indian natives to learn to obey white British colonisers rather than to educate them to question and critically reflect on issues.   However, despite the forceful imposition of a British education system, Indian society became influenced by ideas of liberty, freedom, democracy and equality. Due to the fount of philosophical ideas and knowledge, provided via education systems, various reformers were able to modify the unethical and morally incorrect social and religious practices of that time. Through the use of English as a universal medium of communication, Indian populations from different regions could now communicate which created a sense of unity and gave rise to a growing sense of nationalism. As a united front, educated Indians came to realise the hypocrisy of British colonial rule and power structures, thus starting a nationalist movement in pursuit of independence. Nationalist leaders of this movement included Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a prominent activist who employed nonviolent methods of civil disobedience to break away from British colonial rule (Nanada, 2018). Gandhi challenged the colonial discourse surrounding the Indian population’s innate ‘inferiority’ and adapted them into a political strategy of nonviolent resistance against British power structures.  This involved rejecting the British discourse that Indians were weak and inferior due to their geographical origins, which followed the idea that populations who live in hotter environments are considered weaker. Gandhi’s nationalist movement had challenged the ideals and justifications of British imperialism by encouraging the Indian population to turn away from British power structures set into place to enforce colonial authority. This included rejecting British products and goods, clothing, mannerisms and innately European concepts of civilisation, in order to start a campaign of civil disobedience and passive resistance (Trueman, 2015). However, despite their independence in 1950, India has maintained the use of British institutions such as democracy, parliamentary government and the rule of law through a judiciary system, into the modern context. Thus, the influence and presence of past British colonial rule continues to linger in India’s post-independent state and their political infrastructures.

Despite India’s independence from British colonial rule in 1950, the effects of colonial rule continue to permeate into India’s modern context through the political, economic and social facets of Indian society, resulting in their underdevelopment and periphery status as a nation in the world-system. As a consequence of the implementation of British political and education systems, the cultural identity of India’s population has become based on a euro-centric perspective of knowledge and ideology. This sense of divided identity pertains to the idea of ‘the Other’, a theory coined by Frantz Fanon to describe the divided self-perception of colonised subjects who have lost their native cultural identity and embraced the colonisers’ culture. As a direct consequence of imperialism, Fanon articulates that colonisers and the colonised are inextricably linked to relational process of racialization and subjectification (Fanon, 1967). He asserts that colonial subjugation is solely responsible for the feelings of self-division and the idea of double consciousness, a term describing the nature of colonised subjects and how they simultaneously embrace two different cultural identities. This concept of double consciousness manifested following the implementation an English-based education system in British India, as a large majority of Indians who started working with British officials as government clerks were painted as traitorous and disloyal to their own people. Throughout their rule, the British gradually eroded traditions as they started to define Indian communities based on what they perceived was their religious identity and political representation (Dalrymple, 2015). Scholars, such as Yasmin Khan, describes how the British ‘ruptured community evolution, distorted historical trajectories and forced state formations from societies that would otherwise have taken different and now unknowable paths’ (Khan, 2007, p. 128). The economic devastation that was brought about by the British, ultimately resulted in India’s current underdevelopment as well as their status as a periphery state. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, India’s share of the world economy stood at a substantial twenty-three percent, clearly indicating their worldly status as a flourishing and wealthy state. However, by the end of British colonial occupation, India’s share had decreased to less than four percent (Sahni, 2015). During the colonial period, British intervention in India’s trade and handicraft industries, ultimately resulted in economic exploitation, destruction of successful industries and the systematic political enforcement of placing restrictions on the Indian market, all in an attempt to gain profit for the British. Pre-colonial India’s prosperous economy was thriving through the trade of high quality manufactured products, made from materials such as silks and linens (Tharoor, 2017). However, Britain’s draining of resources from India and destruction of thriving industries continues to affect India in the modern context. After the British left India, the state still remains underdeveloped due to the economic hardships they faced during colonial occupation. Their status as a periphery state was established by the systematic British extraction of resources and raw materials, out of India, through unequal trade relations and the destruction of native industries. The exploitation of India’s resources, at the hands of the British, determined their course of underdevelopment as they were forcefully integrated into the world-system as a periphery state. Despite India’s current status as a key world power, they remain as a semi-periphery state due to their economic hardships that continued even after gaining independence, as a result of British colonial rule.

The impacts of British colonial rule affected the political, economic and social facets of Indian society, changing the nature of their future development. The implementation of British political power structures allowed colonisers to effectively further their imperialistic ideologies and plans of economic extraction. As a result, Indian industries, markets and farming habits were destroyed, all for the betterment of Britain’s trade market. The effects of British economic exploitation in India, during the colonial period, continue to contribute to India’s current status in the world system as a semi-periphery state and their continued underdevelopment despite their economic position. The social changes included the implementation of a British, English-based education system that aimed to educate Indians to create a class of English-speaking cheap clerks and civil servants. However, this essentially caused a sense of divided identity as English-speaking Indians were rejected by their own people but also deemed inferior to white British colonisers. A culmination of these effects ultimately irretrievably decelerated India’s development, as a state, resulting in continued instability in the modern context.

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An Overview of Neo Colonialism

What is “Neo-colonialism”? Discuss with reference to specific examples.
Neo-colonialism is the control of less-developed countries by developed countries through indirect means. The term neo-colonialism was first used after World War II to refer to the continuing dependence of former colonies on foreign countries, but its meaning soon broadened to apply, more generally, to places where the power of developed countries was used to produce a colonial -like exploitation-for instance, in Latin America, where direct foreign rule had ended in the early 19th century. (halperin, n.d.)

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When the Queen of Britain felt that her duty her duty is to extend the model of government and culture to other parts of the world. Hence, she started neo-colonizing while exploited the resources of all such colonies. This happened primarily not with the white colonies. These were usually self-governed colonies with large number of settlers. The main problem makers or rebellions were only brown colonies which were dealt with a divide and rule policy together with a string of home treaties with “sociable splinter groups” who had their hidden interest involved to gain much from continued British Rule; like the Indian maharajas.
Examples of neo-colonialism have been studied in most corners of the world since the end of the Second World War.
In fact, it’s difficult to find a place that scholars do not claim has been subject to cultural imperialism of some sort since 1945. From Egypt to Belize to India to Britain to the United States of Americaall of these countries have observed some sort of influence over their culture from another country (Reid 57; Everitt 42; Altbach 902; Cooper and Cooper 61). This is hardly a surprise; after all, globalization is no secret. Cultural imperialism and hegemony, however, are not concepts that can be described so simply as globalization. Neo-colonialism, the modern colonialism, has emerged as an influential force; used by powerful countries for a variety of reasons, it is continually shaping not only individual cultures, but the global culture.
There are two terms that most completely bring out the subtleties of neo-colonialism: cultural imperialism and cultural hegemony.
Cultural imperialism is best summarized as the way that “certain cultural products have attained a position of dominance in a foreign culture through a process of coercive imposition, usually through their ties to political or economic power” (Dunch 302). While imperialism is characteristically determined by military control, this is definitely not the case with cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism also differs slightly from the idea of cultural hegemony, which is an aspect of Marxist philosophy that calls attention to the promotion of one culture over another with the objective of that the ruling class’ worldview becomes the norm. This cultural assimilation is particularly useful in that it creates a situation ripe with potential for the economic benefit of the ruling class. By persuading the subordinate group that the profits from agreement outweigh the losses of not working together, the ruling culture is able to maintain their superior status (Schultz 275). It is the intertwining and collective definition of these related concepts -cultural imperialism and cultural hegemony that paint the ultimate picture of neo-colonialism and cross-cultural promotion in the interests of one country, often at the expense of another.
It exists the power exercising control is often the State which formerly ruled the territory in question, but this is not necessarily so. For example, in the case of South Vietnam the former imperial power was France, but neo-colonial control of the State has now gone to the United States. It is possible that neo-colonial control may be exercised by a consortium of financial interests which are not specifically identifiable with any particular State. The control of the Congo by great international financial concerns is a case in point.The means by which a country may impose an unequal cultural relationship on another are wide ranging, but economics is by far the most common tool used in neo-colonialism (Petra 139). By providing monetary support and forming economic partnerships, the financial institutions, governments, and particularly the multinational corporations of the colonizing power ingratiate themselves to their subjects and integrate them into their own capitalist system. There are two particular concepts that deeper explore this culturally hegemonic relationship. One is another Marxist theory, complimentary to cultural hegemony, which is understood as dependency theory. This theory declares that by the penetration of multinational corporations, economic sanctions, partnerships, and the like, developed countries intentionally foster and enforce a culture within developing countries that is economically dependent on their own. Dependency theory contends that the weaker nation is further impoverished to the benefit of the stronger country due to the subsequent capitalist use of the weaker country’s resources and labour. This practice continues because of the strong hegemony of the colonizing power. A concept that is similar, yet more functionalist than dependency theory is the world systems theory. This theory says that the world is divided into segments of a powerful core, a moderate semi-periphery, and weak periphery nations. The three categories of nations each engage in neo-colonialism with varying degrees of success on the other two kinds of nations. Essentially, world systems theory explains how the core can dominate and take control of the resources and labour supplied by the periphery for a profit. Just as in dependency theory, the core benefits because of these mechanics. Dissimilar to dependency theory, however, the periphery’s marginal benefits are acknowledged since they are provided with some economic gain. World systems theory can definitely be extended to the broader methods of neo-colonialism if we think of the cultures of the core and periphery in the same way we would otherwise think of their economies.
In the present era, we can also look to two key case studies of neo-colonialism: Sino-African relations and The United States of America as an economic power.
To this day, more than one million Chinese are African residents, and Chinese investment in Africa exceeds 40 billion dollars. They have spread their money and culture throughout the continent, and are now trading in excess of 166 billion dollars per year with Africa; securing 50 billion in minerals. Africa receives goods in return, and most of these goods support further resource extraction and industrial development. While this relationship was once seen as quite exploitive, views are changing as China fosters goodwill in these nations with more equitable agreements (Africa and China). Similar Chinese examples of economic neo-colonialism have been identified all over the world, from Canada to Ecuador (Kay; Scheneyer and Perez). The United States of America is another core country that is heavily invested in neo-colonial pursuits. One of the most astute concepts that illustrates the worldwide flow of American culture by mostly economic means is called “Coca-Colonization”. This concept calls attention to Coca-Cola’s global pervasiveness as a symbol for the Americanization of nearly every corner of the earth (Kuisel 98). Through huge multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola, American values and culture have been strongly infused all over the world. As one of the most influential countries in the world, there are certainly many other tools that America uses to engage in neo-colonialism, (including many of the ones already mentioned), but economics and multi-national corporations are by far the most commonly referenced (Petras 2070).

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These historical examples, and others like them, provide a solid basis for examining the exact motivations that nations might have for their neo-colonial pursuits.
This is because they show how core countries have benefitted from the cultural assimilation of the periphery, and identifying these benefits then exposes their motivations. Indeed, there are inherent economic benefits for powerful nations to realize as a result of their cultural imperialism: core countries can expand their business to the nations they’ve culturally assimilated and also make use of the low-cost resources and labour that they are able to obtain from the periphery. Often times, the subordinate culture becomes dependent (as described by dependency theory) on these foreign operations within their own borders; they rely on outside multinationals for jobs and goods. Because of this dependency, the core is able to set low wages and prices for raw goods and operate at a high profit. As such, these practices pay off financially for the multinational corporations and (by the extension of taxes) the governments of the colonizing power. It can be concluded that the substantial financial gain to be had as a result of neo-colonialism is definitely a motivating factor.
While financial profit is one of the most straightforward ways that a nation can benefit from neo-colonialism, there are more motivations that might cause a country to engage in these pursuits.
One of these is national security. Just as in the Cold War, nations have an interest in fostering goodwill and dependence in other parts of the world; creating allies and dependent states that would not go to war against them, or support them in the event of the war. Another motivating factor is to acquire resources. As the world’s population multiplies, valuable resources are being stretched thin. Growing countries such as China and India need to secure access to fuel and food to provide for their citizens, and neo-colonialism has been shown to allow them the influence to negotiate access to these resources. Diplomatic power also seems to be a reason to engage in neo-colonialism; countries that have similar cultures are likely to agree and vote identically on international issues. Even if they don’t agree, countries that are dependent on another nation may feel obligated to act in the wishes of their neo-colonizer, as a derogatively titled “puppet state”.
The new face of colonialism has shown itself in a wide variety of places around the world, and we can see that countries have benefited in various ways; exposing their motivations.
It is also important to look at future implications should these activities continue. Cultural homogenization (most commonly referred to as globalization) is perhaps the most powerful force affecting the global landscape today. For instance, estimates include a ninety percent reduction in the number of languages spoken around the world by the year 2100 while others clearly show that the number of speakers will be highly concentrated in a handful of languages by this time (Ryan; Graddol 27). Global trends such as these are directly related to the practice of neo-colonialism. While the future prevalence of some languages is due to rising populations, it is no surprise that the languages at the top of these lists also have homelands that are known for engaging in neo-colonialism in the past and present. So, while the term globalization seems to indicate that the result is a diverse global culture, the reality is that this ongoing homogenization of ethos is more composed of the cultures that are most aggressive in neo-colonial pursuits. The core nations’ culturally imperialistic practices reduce the influence of other cultures and strengthen the influence of their own, indeed leading to a global culture that is more comprised of the core than the periphery.
If neo-colonialism continues to be practiced, then the current situation of nations can be expected to expand.
Many will be quick to point out that the periphery nations benefit in the same way as the core; that they would be a lot worse off should they limit their relationship with the core, and that their loss of culture is not all that significant (Bowen 179). Still more point out that these benefits are marginal, and require that the periphery countries submit to the exploitive objectives of the core pointing primarily to the issue of human rights, they contend that the wages received and benefits incurred (cultural or otherwise) are not nearly enough to compensate for the capitulated resources, labour, autonomy and culture; especially when considering the relative profits of the core (Koshy 26). Most agree that relatively small cultures will eventually be washed out by the cultures of the most powerful nations; that human rights issues must continue to be questioned. If neo-colonialism continues to perpetuate itself in this way, there is little hope that conditions will change for these nationsthe core will remain at the core, and the periphery and semi-periphery will struggle to flourish. This school of thought is quite large, and has given most of the terms already discussed an overwhelmingly negative connotation. However, as already mentioned in the case of Sino-African relations, the core is beginning to realize their own dependency on the periphery which is slowly improving these human rights conditionsthough the general cultural assimilation remains.
The modern colonialism benefits countries that spread their culture throughout the world.
The tools employed by those countries to this end are varied, ranging from economics to education. As beneficiaries of the financial, military, diplomatic, and resource stability that comes from having nations culturally assimilated to them, there seems to be no reason for powerful core nations to cease in their neo-colonial activities. Illustrated by concepts such as dependency theory, world systems theory, and Coca-Colonization, the forces of cultural imperialism and cultural hegemony are contributing to the globalized world in a way that favours the most powerful of nationsfor better or for worse.

Impact of Colonialism on Indigenous People

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Observed on the second Monday of October every year, the federally recognized holiday celebrates the achievements of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. But because his arrival brought murder and slavery to indigenous peoples in the Americas, activists have attempted to rename this holiday to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Though Indigenous Peoples’ Day aims to reframe the heritage narrative in the United States, many indigenous people around the world are forgotten, including the people of K’iche’ in Guatemala who are on the verge of being pushed out of their homeland.
With roots as far back as 2000 BC, the K’iche’ were among the few Maya groups who survived after the decline of the great Mayan Empire. After the conquest by the Spaniards and Kaqchikel neighbors, who allied almost immediately with the Spaniards, in 800 AD, the fortunes of the K’iche’ changed virtually overnight. Their lands were seized and they were relegated to the status of laborers for their new, colonial landowners. Little has changed since that time.
In a country where, Mayan descents constitute roughly 51% of the national population, ethnic diversity makes Guatemala a nation of immense human richness having its own cultural identity. However, discrimination against indigenous population is undeniable in Guatemala.
As of today, 10% of total land is in Indigenous hands, which is not surprising where 85% of the nation’s land is owned by less than 2% of the population. In response, the Guatemalan government did provide about 5.2 million acres of concession areas for indigenous communities like the K’iche’ to take care of. However, areas controlled by the government undergo the most deforestation.
Nearly 40% of Guatemala is covered by forests, making illegal logging a widespread issue that threatens the livelihood of people who rely on forests for survival. Critics blame uneducated campesinos clearing land for agriculture as one of the prime culprits. Though this does represent a threat, there are bigger threats, including lumber companies, and organized crime. Nevertheless, the government does not seem to have the political will to eradicate the dilemma.

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Some K’iche’ members, living in the highland Ixil Maya municipality of Nebaj, are actively protesting logging companies exploiting lumber on private lands. While the Indigenous Authorities of Nebaj issued a statement asking the government to take action, they declined to act and simply issued a statement that they are planting new trees for every one that is cut down. Eliseo Gálvez, the deputy executive secretary of the government’s National Council of Protected Areas, testified that for years, judges and the forestry police, have failed to coordinate this complication. Or perhaps, this very reason could very well be that the Guatemalan Ministry of the Economy actively promotes the investment of companies interested in exploiting the country’s nearly 2 million acres of forests.
Timber companies aren’t the only ones contributing to the deforestation efforts. Drug traffickers have cleared large swaths of forests to lay down clandestine airplane landing strips and roads to haul through drugs. Galvez added, “Now it is even more complex because of the influence of illegal actors” who are using the park to move migrants and drugs north. In some parts of Guatemala, the narco-led deforestation annual rate was reported to be about 10 percent.
“In response to the crackdown in Mexico, drug traffickers began moving south into Central America around 2007 to find new routes through remote areas to move their drugs from South America and get them to the United States,” said Kendra McSweeney, an associate professor of geography at the Ohio State University.
But while bribes keep government officials looking the other way when it comes to deforestation activities, local activists and indigenous people pay the consequence when they speak up. As one of the highest homicide rates in Central America, kidnappings and extortion are not uncommon to indigenous people who may not have the economic ability to pay up, leaving parents to instead pay human smugglers to get their children to the United States, away from the crime. That in part helps to explain why large numbers of unaccompanied children began arriving in the United States starting in late 2013.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Colonialism

Colonialism is the setting up of or taking over, maintaining and expanding a territory by members of another territory. It is a practice of subjugation which involves enslavement of a people by another. Colonialism involves an outside force coming into a country, destroying or over throwing its government and forcing its norms and values on the people of the colony. Colonialism is referred to as a political-economic situation whereby European nations explored, conquered, settled and economically exploited large parts of the world. The concept of colonialism is one which has to do with making people strangers in their own lands. Governments are overthrown and organizational structures of lands are changed.

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Colonialism brings a completely new lifestyle to the colonies. Cultural which are alien to one another are brought together and forced to interact and coexist. The conquest of lands and forceful coexistence of peoples of different backgrounds (as a result of the conquest) with different beliefs and ideologies has brought about many changes, both negative and positive, especially in the colonies. A very good example of where such situation has caused many changes is Nigeria. Nigeria was colonized by Britain around the end of the 19th century well into the 20th century and this has had immense effects on the country.
Religion: colonialism has helped to spread religion especially the Christian religion. The European missionaries brought Christian religion to their colonies and taught the people of the colonies the religion very well. In the process of learning the religion the colonial masters also made the people acquire new skills. This brought about a development in the people as they were being liberated from the illiteracy which had kept them in the dark for many years.
The advent of the Christian religion brought many changes to the colonies. For example, in Southern Nigeria, Christianity helped stop the killing of twins as the religion preached equality and promoted education for all.
Modernization and technological advancement: colonialism brought modernization to underdeveloped areas. Advanced technological equipment and facilities necessary for improvements in medical and healthcare services, building of railroads and other developments in transportation, modern education etc. have helped in the development of the colonies to what they are today. These developments have improved the status of the colonies globally. The improvements in education have provided opportunities for competition in different disciplines like literature, mathematics, art and science. This is evident in Africa with people like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiongo and many others.
Discovery of natural resources: the discovery of natural resources was due to the provision of new technology which were made known to the colonies by their colonial masters. The use of new technology made exploration of natural resources easier and more efficient. This resulted in the development and growth of the colonies. There were jobs for the people to do, even though they were not well paying jobs, and this added to the experience of the people as they acquired knowledge and learned new skills which turned out to be useful to them. This meant cheap labour for the colonial masters.
Expansion of land: colonialism also brought about the expansion of land for their colonies. Before colonialism, there was no territory known as Nigeria. There were only towns and villages, which were more or less restricted to their areas, surviving on their own. The coming of colonial masters expanded the land for all ethnic groups, towns and villages. Members of any ethnic group can now move to and live in any part of the country and call the place home. The name Nigeria was also given to the territory around the Niger River by the colonial masters.
Language: the adoption of the language of the colonial masters by the colonies has fostered unity to an extent in most multilingual and multicultural nations. A clear example is seen in Nigeria which has well over five hundred languages. Since no language is considered superior to the other, it would be difficult for any of the native languages to be made the lingua franca. The adoption of English language has made things easier for Nigerians as the language is foreign and does not belong to any particular ethnic group or people in the country.
Unfamiliar system of government: the colonial masters brought new and alien systems of government which the natives were not familiar with. These systems of government gave less importance to, and had less regard for the systems of government of the colonies. The methods of ruling which were introduced to the colonies were completely different from what the natives were used to. The new systems of government imposed taxes on the natives and also came up with new, strange and harsh laws for the natives.
Loss and destruction of culture and land: colonialism contributed immensely to the loss and destruction of cultural norms and values. First of all the native languages of the colonies were made inferior to the languages of the colonial masters. The mode of dressing of the people changed. Natives of the colonies started to dress and speak like the colonial masters as they were made to believe that their colonial masters were superior human beings. Natives of the colonies lost some aspects of their culture and they were made second class citizens in their own land. The natives also started to have reduced respect for their traditions due to the changes which were forced on their native life. The colonial masters also took away the natives’ lands and used them for building churches, schools, houses, prisons etc. this left the natives with less land to farm on.
Dispersion, destitution and death: colonialism caused the dispersion of natives. Some of the natives who could not stand the suffering which they were being subjected to had to flee their lands to different lands in search of better lives. Others who remained in their land were made destitute. The colonialists had power over all the things in the colonies. They took over pieces of land which belonged to the natives and made them dependent on their masters. Due to this many natives were subjected to extreme need of a means of subsistence. Colonialism caused the death of a lot of natives. The harsh living conditions at that time drove many natives to flee from their homes and in the process sent them to their graves. Others died as a result of the hardship and destitution which they were subjected to by the colonial masters. The natives, who were free men, became slaves in their land.
Risk of disease: the colonial masters brought with them some diseases which were not known by the people of the colonies. Some of the diseases with which they came were communicable and some of the natives contracted them. In instances where the colonial masters had access to native women either forcefully or with the consent of the women, they were left with many sexually transmitted diseases which they in turn, spread. The colonial masters also contracted some diseases like malaria, typhoid, chicken pox and small pox from the natives. The risk of disease was fairly high during the colonial period.
Economic dependence: colonialism has made most colonies dependent on their colonial masters even after the colonies have gained independence. This is because the colonial masters tapped into and exploited the mineral and human resources of the colonies and this has left the former colonies somewhat underdeveloped or developing. Many countries fall back to their former colonial masters for help on how to boost their economy and so on. In Nigeria for example, there are so many mineral resources which are just lying around. The oil which is the major source of income to Nigeria is sold to other countries to be refined and then sold back to Nigerians for consumption. Nigeria is still very much dependent on Britain for many things. Even the clothing materials and other things are imported from Britain and other countries. This form of economic dependence is referred to as a type of neocolonialism.
Colonialism has had and still has its effects on the countries which have been colonized and the countries which colonized them. Today in almost all parts of the world cultures are mixed and people are able to tolerate and have respect for other people’s cultures and beliefs. It will be biased to say that colonialism has been beneficial all through and or not. Colonialism has both good effects and negative effects depending on what one’s beliefs are.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Colonialism

Colonialism has a lot of advantages and disadvantages which will be explored in this essay but before going to that let know what colonialism is a lot about. Colonialism is the total control or governing influence of nation over a dependent country or people or condition of being colonial. The colonized countries were mostly Africans because of the way they lived and behave so the colonizers were using the excuse of them not civilized and religious. But the colonial master’s aim was to exploit the colony economy and move them to their country making the colony depend on them. The disadvantages of colonialism is far more than its advantages, the main advantage is the civilization while the disadvantage is the economic dependent. But let talk of the advantages before its disadvantages.

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Advantages of Colonialism
However, the advantages are the stop of killing twins especially among the Igbo’s and the reason behind the killing of them was the beliefs which says is against nature and inherently evil just because it rare occurrence. So when the colonial masters came it was seen as an act of early age practice, which needed to be stopped because, is in human. Also the equality among the men and women in a public opinion with education for everyone in Christian theology and academic field. In particular the education because is the best aspect of the colonialism, most of early age people were not educated, dress themselves with leaves hunt food in forest and so on. Why education is important part of colonialism is that it brings about civilization because when the people are educated they will definitely be civilize and the country too because they both work together. Also the newborn and toddler deaths that were dealt with because the death of young children and infants were seriously occurring and the Africans do not know the cause of them more or less prevent or cure it because of lack of education, so the coming of the colonizers help the Africans to solve the problem.
Also, the way women were treated by sexism and violence was stopped, they were treated like property to the men, they were not allow to speak in public nor listen to their opinion and they were harass by the men. So when the colonial maters came they saw that as an act of immorality because both men and women are humans with equal rights and they stopped it too. Another advantage is the development from the colonizers such as infrastructure that is electricity, telecoms roads and water which impacted a lot to African people because all this were not in advanced in the country. And in the field of medicine is was very important because the infant’s death was cure through it, the African people now buy preserved food which are manufactured with development in agriculture, mining and manufacturing which stopped the hunting of food because they hunt before they can eat. All this happen with the help of modern farming methods and food security that were invented to the country. There was also development in politics bringing democracy system of government which is to make everyone vote and be voted for. There were trade opportunities making the African people to have access to external trade around the world which expose them to other ways of trading. There are advantages but some of the important ones were explored in the essay.
Disadvantages of Colonialism
Moreover, the disadvantage are far more than the advantages been through with the advantages let move on to the disadvantages. There was loss of culture because the colonial masters were trying to bring their ways of life, behave and culture making the African cultures to go down living their own ways. The African way was the loyalty to the royal rulers with members of parliament and followers among the ethnics groups but the coming of the colonial masters made them to have complete loss of culture. With that happening it brought about lack of respect for Africans traditions with submission to the colonizers ways and behavior. Another disadvantage is the lost of land which were forcefully collected from Africans with guns on their heads making them to have nothing on their own and some of them are with families to feed but for their lives they have to let go of the land which were given to the Europeans un Africa. On snatching those lands making them homeless and struggling to survive the colonial masters imposed tax on them which forced the Africa to work for some of the colonizers settling in Africa to enable them pay the taxes which made them loss ownership in general of their land. With that there were more and more settlers in Africa which was making them to be exposing to new diseases such as ablepsy, malarial fever, yellow fever, malnutrition and so on. Those diseases were also killing the Africans because they are yet to develop medically to know what those diseases are and to treat them. There was economic dependent; before the colonial masters came they were managing their economy and the recourses the way they came without having problem but when the colonizers came they started exploiting the recourses to their country.
Furthermore, the Africa’s economy was very good but they do not exploit what they cannot use, knowing this by the colonial masters they decided to come and exploit using the excuse of not civilize and religious on doing that it makes the Africans to depend on them when the land is owned by them. There was also the dominant class that is the ones to rule them with the aid of the rulers and also spy on Africans to know whether they are doing what they are asked which made them called the natives savages that is uncivilized people. At that time the living conditions in Africa changed a lot with the forced culture imposed on them bringing their own ways making the people to be westernized that are dressing, clothing, behavior and act of doing everything in their ways. There was also slave trading; Africans were carried from their homes to the colonial masters country to go and work for them and also fight in wars for them which when they will come back they will only given recommendation but if it is their countrymen they were treating them like they fought actively than the Africans while they know it was not so. Also lack of moral compass that is not been concern with rules of right conduct within the determined directions by colonial masters and paying allegiance to them.
Finally, some of this disadvantages are still in existing in Africa especially Nigeria because we are still paying the loyalty to the colonial masters. There are more disadvantages but the little of them was explored in the essay and as for the advantages it really has impacted a lot on African people. In medical field; the African people are trying their possible best to be like the colonizers, most of the diseases in Africa are from them such as measles, malaria and recently Hiv/Aids but both the colonizers and their colony are working on the treatment. In Nigeria colonialism ended when it got is independent which a lot has improved such areas are industries, mining, agriculture and so on but the first two are the one focused on making agriculture to go down which is not suppose to be so because Nigeria is a fertile land. So if agriculture is given attention too will also improve the economy of the country because there are both political and economical instability in the country so the only way is to improve in more aspect of the economy and they should also be a nationalist in whole Africa to make it a better continent. The advantages and disadvantages of colonialism is a very good aspect of history because it made someone to know what happened in the past and what is still happening in the country.

Colonialism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad explores the nature of colonialism in his work “Heart of Darkness”. He sarcastically shows the terror of colonialism. In order to accomplish this he uses numerous emblematic characters. The main one is Kurtz, indistinguishable and indefinable person, who is being described by Conrad as representative of all Europe (Conrad 127). The author shows us that the nature of colonialism hasn’t changed much since the Roman times, except the tools and weapons had became more developed, but the purpose and results remained the same. Conrad reveals the harms of colonialism, and the capitalistic approach of the Europeans through Marlow’s journey in Congo.

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One of the purposes of the colonialism is a control of native’s way of life and beliefs. Conrad focuses on what the Company clearly tells the public – that they are going into the Congo to civilize the natives. The Europeans, on first sight, seek to convert the people of the Congo region way of live to a European one. Marlow’s aunt believes he will take part in giving up those rude millions from their unpleasant ways (Conrad 77). She understands the traditional ways of life of the natives as “horrid.” She believes the European system is the only one which should be followed. The Europeans join in help of the natives to obtain ivory, and the natives leave their villages, seeing a better paid opportunity, and in the process they change their way of life. Marlow himself states that he “passed through several abandoned villages” (Conrad 87) and his foreman was a “boiler-maker by trade” (Conrad 99), which shows the Natives have given up their earlier way of life with hope to pursue a better life with the Europeans. While Marlow journeys up the river he hears the cries of the natives coming from behind a wall of solid plants, he had a “suspicion” that they are “inhuman” (Conrad 108). Kurtz also believes the natives need to be humanized, enhanced, and taught in the European way of life. The Europeans think the natives are ‘lower’ than them, and they need to be cultured. Despite the ambition of civilizing the natives, there is the true face of colonialism, after those people abandoned everything to live like Europeans. Conrad describes colonialism as brutal and savage process. The natives are calmed by a false sense of safety and then slaved by the European colonialists. The natives are important, if supply with ivory and other goods the Europeans. The working conditions and health of the natives are not important for the Europeans. Marlow makes a colorful observation of the cruelty the natives are exposed to, after they no longer can work. They are left to die slowly, starving, and unable to find food to eat. The people are beaten and hanged so they could be an object lesson for others. If a fire is going into the storehouse someone is beaten because “They said he caused the fire in some way” (Conrad 92). The manager’s explanation is that when you punish the native, even if he did nothing for the fire, was “the only way” to “prevent all conflagrations for the future” (Conrad 95). The Europeans who went to civilize the people of Africa were extremely cruel with the population. As a result of colonialism’s cruelty the natives felt a superior fear from the colonialists, so the Europeans used that in order to get what they wanted. “What can you expect? He came at them with thunder and lightning” – states the time when Kurtz showed up with weapons and scared them so bad that they gave him as much ivory as he wanted (Conrad 135).
Conrad finds the true purpose of colonialism – gaining control over all the natural wealth of the country for personal earnings. Civilizing the natives is not of that big importance for the Europeans as ivory is. In need to collect all the treasures they destroy the land – “To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe” (Conrad 107). According to Marlow, colonialism began because of the ivory, which the Europeans were ‘hungry’ for. Kurtz, the Europe’s personification, says: “my ivory, my station, my river, my” (Conrad 127). The real reason colonialism happened are ivory and other materials, which are of a big importance for the Europeans.
In conclusion, Conrad wants to inform the youthful and sightless society about the true character of colonialism, throughout his book “Heart of Darkness”. Joseph Conrad tells that colonialism is a cruel and savage process that seeks to remove all radical beliefs, conquer people, and has lots of contrasting countries and individuals fighting for more control, reputation and capitals. He reveals that colonialism is just a brutal fight for domination and power in a foreign territory where getting the top is the only thing that matters despite of the numeral bodies, which have to be forsaken by the ‘curb’. All the way through Marlow’s journey up the Congo and into the heart of darkness, the true purpose of colonialism and the European capitalist approach is uncovered.
Work Cited
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Edited by Robert Hampson and Owen Knowles, Penguin Classics, 2007.

Culture, Colonialism, and Mental Wellness


The idea of disability as an issue is not universal, but has been created and perpetrated by Western ideology and colonialization. Colonialism has been described as ‘a phenomenon with political, social, geographical, cultural and economic dimensions’ (Chakraborty, 1991). Colonialism brought in various forced policies such as education, religion, westernized medicine and institutionalization. As a result of colonialism, Indigenous people have been inappropriately pathologized by being erroneously diagnosed with mental illness based upon a psychiatrist’s lack of understanding of the situations and contexts that they have lived (Fernando, 2010). In the construction of psychological tests, since the beginning of psychiatry, Indigenous people have been excluded, under-represented, or not matched with those in Western cultures on relevant demographic variables (Fernando, 2010).

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Western culture has developed psychiatry by suppressing and policing the identity and knowledge of Indigenous peoples. Psychiatry is experienced differently by Indigenous peoples because of the forced repression of different societal and cultural views. Psychiatrists in the developing world, who are far away from any contact with research centres, have accepted a diagnostic framework developed by western medicine. This framework does not consider the diversity of behavioural patterns Indigenous people encounter (citation). Psychiatry is built on the assumptions of colonialism, and too often erases the different traditions and values of other cultures in order to diagnose, treat, and medicalize mental health and well-being.

The idea that the only correct way to live is by the standards of Western culture perpetuates colonialism. The policies of forced assimilation have had profound effects on Indigenous peoples at every level of experience from individual identity and mental health and to the structure and integrity of families and communities (citation). Specifically, psychiatry as a forced policy is a harmful and erasing component of colonialism that points to the loss of individual and collective self-esteem, to cultural disempowerment, and to the destruction of communities. In order to grow as a community that encourages mental wellness, society needs to look at alternative interventions to treat, prevent, and heal in a way that accepts both western and Indigenous traditions and values. 

Validity of Psychiatry

With the rise of mental health diagnoses comes a rise in treatment and intervention plans (citation).  Psychiatry is often dismissed as being biomedical, narrow, and irrelevant. People often state the ‘medical model’ of mental health and disability does not belong within public mental health and a ‘well-being’ focus would instead allow a focus on what ‘actually matters’ yet does so often without the any supporting evidence (citation).

Modern psychiatry is based on and shaped by scientific evidence, allowing it to prove the effectiveness of therapeutic measures by using evidence-based practices (citation). As a result of this, enormous gains have been made in patients experience, and psychiatric treatments can vastly improve the lives of people with mental illness. Psychiatrists evaluate evidence, consider the impact of a mental illness on overall health and provide some form of treatment plan to make the lives of individuals who seek out treatment better (citation).

Psychiatry is a diverse discipline. Psychiatrists play a vital leadership role within multidisciplinary teams. Many people who have mental disorders also need treatment for other medical issues. This can involve input from a range of other health professionals, such as GPs, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, or social workers (citation). Psychiatrists’ holistic understanding of the physical, mental, social, and behavioural aspects of mental health problems allows them to recognise and treat both the physical and emotional effects of mental disorders (citation). Effective mental health care requires collaboration between patients and a variety of health professionals. Teamwork provides continuity of care, an overview of the consumer’s networks and problems, a broad range of skills, mutual support and education.

Mental Illness and Indigenous Peoples

Colonial conceptions of mental illness frequently involve the medicalization of difference, or the creation of diagnoses based on departure from a norm. It can then be argued that Western society has no basis for defining mental illnesses other than departures from the norm. This way of defining mental illness is not inherently problematic, but it can lead to problems when different groups of people have different norms or standards, or different ways of defining illness. For example, in western society, Schizophrenia is seen as a major mental illness that needs to be treated with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and perhaps even group living environments that separate schizophrenics from “normal” people. In Indigenous communities, schizophrenics are seen as spiritual beings – individuals who live two separate but distinct lives, one in the real world, and one in the spiritual world (citation). Forcing medicine on Indigenous communities experiencing mental health in this way prevents them from exploring their cultural belief systems and explaining their mental illness in ways that contribute both the identity and the community, thus preventing the acceptance of tradition and values of Indigenous peoples in a Canadian medical model. 

 Indigenous people have, historically, not initiated or been involved in a large proportion of the mental health research involving their communities (citation). In addition, much of this research has been based on assumptions on the part of the researchers rather than on empirical evidence (citation). Many health problems in Indigenous communities may not be best understood as expressions of psychopathology or severe mental illness, but rather in terms of relatively high levels of social, mental, and emotional distress caused by colonialization and the suppression of Indigenous traditions. It is important to note that much of the research done on Indigenous mental health is rooted in the stereotypical views that western culture has of Indigenous peoples. Thus, psychiatry is rooted in the assimilation and discrimination of Indigenous peoples, setting up their values, traditions, and culture as deviating from the norm, putting the whole community into the category of ‘mentally ill’.

 Western culture has a major problem with labelling other societies as wrong, but not truly allowing them to integrate into Western culture when they want to. When Europeans colonized Indigenous peoples, they forced their beliefs on them, simply because there was an assumption that non-Europeans lacked a culture to learn about and integrate into western life (Fernando, 2010). Canadian colonialism introduced the term ‘mental health’, as a government with European origins imposed its ways of thinking on Indigenous peoples (citation). Today in Canada, the language and worldview that predominate in mental health still have foundations in colonial thought – thought which involves inequitable assumptions about colonized peoples, which inherently disadvantages Indigenous peoples who access mental health care. The idea of mental health makes social problems into medical problems, which diverts the blame for sickness and responsibility for healing to those who are suffering. In the case of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, this amounts to placing the burden of responsibility for health and social problems on people who are simultaneously denied the resources with which to adequately combat these problems.

Race and Psychiatry

Racism not only justified historic colonialization but compounds its contemporary effects, contributing to the obstruction of Indigenous self-determination and failure to recognize treaty lands, the lack of access to services and resources, and the over-surveillance by criminal justice and child welfare systems. The continued marginalization and criminalization experienced by Indigenous peoples and people of colour occurs in direct relationship to the continued societal and systematic privileging of white people in Canadian society. White-ness, then, refers to a set of assumptions, beliefs, and practices that place the interests and perspectives of white people at the centre of what is considered normal and every day.

Another critical way that race has been used in colonialism is that it is understood as biological categories. Psychiatry is in the business of finding deviations from the norm and pathologizing that. When you have people that deviate from the white norm, they run the risk of being pathologized by psychiatry from their “biological differences”. Western society has put people into different categories and has decided that there are biological differences between “us”, the colonizers, and them, Indigenous people, based on these characteristics that colonialism has decided to signify race. Race is socially constructed and racial difference is invented, perpetuated, and reinforced by society (citation) Western colonizers have taken and controlled whole populations with this need to dominate and treat people with biological differences as inferior. The fact that these biological categories have been chosen to demarcate people, categories that are socially constructed by colonizers that have chosen to take power, shows that there is a major disconnect between what people in Western cultures deem as correct, and what other cultures may do.

 Psychiatry sees these “biological differences” as something to be pathologized. People rush to the scientific model to justify the use of psychiatry in creating racial hierarchies. Fernando (2010) discusses this idea that people believed that Indigenous people that tried to escape residential schools were labelled as mentally ill. These people took real psychiatric diagnoses and used them to legitimize the destruction and erasure of Indigenous traditions, and yet North America still follows the psychiatric diagnoses of colonialism to label people today.

Alternative Interpretations of Mental Wellness

Indigenous communities do not believe that Western cultures hold a superior hierarchical position than Indigenous knowledge. Negative positioning is indicated by terms such as developing, underdeveloped, uncivilized, and savage, which are often used to describe Indigenous communities (citation).  For example, if the definition of the term developed is limited to technological development, then Indigenous communities may be disadvantaged; however, if the term is defined by natural democracy and diversity inclusion, Western cultures would be considered underdeveloped, placing Indigenous cultures in the hierarchical superior developed position.

Any approach to mental health promotion with Indigenous people must consider ongoing uses of tradition to assert cultural identity. Indigenous communities have a wide range of methods of healing are embedded in religious, spiritual and subsistence activities and that served to integrate the community and provide individuals with systems of meaning to make sense of suffering. These traditions were displaced and actively suppressed by successive generation of Euro-Canadian missionaries, governments and professionals (citation). More broadly, Kirmayer et al. (date) states that the recovery of tradition itself may be viewed as healing, both at individual and collective levels. Hence, efforts to restore language, religious and communal practices have been understood by contemporary Indigenous people as a fundamental act of healing.

Moving Forward

There exists no benefit in giving a diagnosis if it means nothing to the person being diagnosed (citation). As previously mentioned, Indigenous communities often do not view mental illnesses in the same light that the western world does, as a result of this, diagnosing those communities with labels that have no definition in the community does nothing to benefit either the medical model nor the Indigenous communities. It is a waste of resources on the part of the mental health system, and a waste of time on the part of Indigenous people seeking help in a western world. In order to fully benefit both parties, adopting Indigenous healing traditions and being familiar with more than one way of medicalizing and labelling behaviors will grow not only the population seeking help, but also the medical model’s understanding of mental health and behaviors. If we begin to use terms that did not originate in colonialism, we begin to view the world in a more open and intersectional manner.

In order to incorporate Indigenous healing in western medicine, understanding the consequences of Indigenous peoples’ history for mental health and wellbeing requires a model of the transgenerational impact of culture change, oppression, and structural violence. The social origins of prevailing mental health problems require social solutions. Although conventional psychiatric practice tends to focus on the isolated individual, the treatment of mental health problems as well as prevention and health promotion among not only Indigenous peoples, but western culture as well, must focus on the family and community as the primary locus of injury and the source of restoration and renewal.

Mental health promotion with Indigenous peoples must go beyond the focus on individuals to engage and empower communities. Indigenous identity itself can be a unique resource for mental health promotion and intervention. Knowledge of living on the land, community, connectedness, and historical consciousness all provide sources of resilience. At the same time, the knowledge and values held by Indigenous peoples can contribute an essential strand to the efforts of other peoples to find their way in the world.

No matter how open and unbiased practitioners try to be, they work against a backdrop of structural violence, racism, and marginalization. Only collaborative approaches that focus on the transfer of knowledge, skills, power, and authority can hope to transcend these limitations.


A crucial beginning in understanding colonialism and its current effect on Indigenous peoples’ health is acknowledging that there are gaps in our understanding and that Eurocentric dominance is a reality in the field of mental health and disability studies and this must be problematized. The ways in which mental health services are offered – and researched – in Canada have a foundation in one particular view of the world; that of the colonial powers who imposed their beliefs on Indigenous lands.

 A significant component in addressing global issues of disability discrimination requires the decolonization of concepts involving body and mind differences. Instead of attempting to eliminate disability issues within Indigenous cultures using Western tactics, traditional Indigenous knowledges and practices should be employed within these communities to regain the equality that existed prior to settlement. Additionally, by reasserting Indigenous knowledge, non-Indigenous cultures may be able to reorient the understanding of the discrimination within their own paradigms.

Indigenous peoples have not been silent or still on this issue. Researchers, psychiatrists, and policy makers should reflect on what is perceived as ‘real’ knowledge, and why such knowledge is perceived to be culture-free. All theories are ‘ethnotheories’; all human beings have culture. In fact, we all belong to several cultures simultaneously. Humility, respect, a willingness to question the status quo, and an openness to learning have the potential to create better well-being for everyone.



Allan, B., & Smylie, J. (2015). First Peoples, second class treatment: The role of racism in the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Wellesley Institute .

Czyzewski, K. (2011). Colonialism as a Broader Social Determinant of Health. The International Indigenous Policy Journal.

Kirmayer, L., Simpson, C., & Cargo, M. (2003). Healing traditions: culture, community, and mental health promotion with Candian Aboriginal peoples. Australasian Psychiatry.

Nelson, S. (2012). Challenging Hidden Assumptions: Colonial Norms as Determinants of Aborignal Mental Health. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Schiffer, J. J. (2016). Why Aboriginal Peoples can’t just “get over it”: understanding and addressing intergenerational trauma. Vision: BC Mental Health and Addictions Journal.


Archaeology: Imperialism, Colonialism and Nationalism

How does archaeology interact with Imperialism, Colonialism and Nationalism? Have they contributed to archaeology in any way? Discuss with examples.
When we look at the history of the archaeology, it can be said that the archaeology have always been a part of political activities however the most sensational and the conspicuous time of this interaction between archaeology and the politics can be dated after the French Revolution. With the French Revolution, the nationalism ideology raised and swiftly spread around the world with industrialization. At the first round, rising Nationalism awaken the curiosity of the people about their ethnicity. With this curiosity, people focused ethnicity researches to find out their origins and for this reason many archaeologist take a place in this quest. Governments started to support the archaeological excavations and many institutes started to be opened and many archaeology students started to be educated. In this manner, archaeologists’ interest began to turn form historic times to pre- historic times. With the emergence of Darwinian evolutionary theory, all these ethnicity research and the focus on the pre-historic excavations prepared foundation of Colonialism and Imperialism.

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Nationalism is defined by Trigger as “an all embracing sense of group identity and loyalty to a common homeland that is promoted by mass media, widespread literacy, and a comprehensive educational system.”(Trigger, 2007). As a result of Nationalism, in the 18th and 19th C. ,the ethnicity concept gained a significant role among the most European states and they started to courage pre- historic archaeologist to study the origins and early ethnic groups.
Although all the European states made archaeology which serves to the nationalistic ideology, for me the most striking and passionate studies are done by Germans who carried nationalism into the fascism level in the Word War II. With the establishment of German Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistoric Archaeology, Germans began to be professional in the pre-historic archaeology and they introduced culture-historical approach to the archaeology (Trigger, 2007). For the nationalistic archaeology, Kossina is the most striking name for that period in German archaeology. He claimed that the Germans are the noblest topic for the archaeological research and criticized the archaeologists who were studying classical and Egyptian archaeology (Trigger, 2007). He seeks for the origins of Germans and he wrote “Die Herkunft der Germanen”. He evaluated his archaeological data in a biased way and this evaluation encouraged “Germans to regard Slavs and other neighboring European peoples as inferior to themselves and which justified German aggression against these people” (Trigger, 2007). Although Kossina died in 1931, he continued to be effective on the nationalistic and racist actions of Germany. For example, Nazis supported their discourses by using the works of Kossina.
As a result of the nationalistic and ethnic researches, people became more aware of the different nationalities -such as the French, Germans, and English etc. It encouraged thinking that the people are biologically different from one another; therefore their behavior was determined by these racial differences as opposed to social or economic factor. This kind of thinking led people to think about “the inequality of the races”. Gobineau, who was a part royalist French family, claimed that “the fate of civilization was determined by their racial composition” (Trigger, 2007).
Also in this time, Darwin’s evolutionary thought started to interact with the ethnicity oriented and nationalistic archaeology. Darwin claimed that plants and animals pass on their characteristics to their offspring however different offspring vary from each other. He believed that some of these offspring suited to their environment than others. This idea was explaining tremendous variety and the complexity of the natural world. He published his ideas in “Origins of Species”. This book was highly effective on the Herbert Spencer who introduced the idea of “survival of the fittest” and applied this view into the archaeology to explain the human societies in uni-linear evolution concept. He claimed that all human societies move from simple to complex (Johnson, 2010). As a result of this interaction “inequality of races” idea had gained scientific credibility.
Additionally to these ideas, in 19th century Lubbock suggested that as a result of natural section human groups had become different from each other not only culturally but also in their biological capacities to utilize culture (Trigger, 2007). He regarded Europeans as the product of intensive cultural and biological evolution. His idea used to legitimize the British colonization and the establishment of political and economic control on their colonies. He also vindicates British and American colonialist from the moral responsibility for the rapid decline of native peoples in North America, Australia and the Pasific. This decline of these peoples was not because of what colonialists were doing them but because of the natural selection. This type of modality toward the native people increased the colonialism and the imperialism all over the world.
As a result of colonialism, “historians of archaeology have sometimes justified acts of colonialist usurpation in adopting ethnocentric viewpoints which presuppose that archaeological pieces are better conserved in Western museums.”(Abadía, 2006). For an example, the situation of Elgin marbles can be mentioned in this matter. Evans says, in 1816, Elgin Marbles were brought to the British Museum and all the drawings, excavation and the exhibition coast like £35,000 to the British government. In 1821, Greece separated from Ottoman Empire and it created an endless controversy about the propriety of the ‘marbles’. What is beyond all of this discussion most people think that they would have great damage if left in their original home (Abadía, 2006).
With the increasing industrialization, which is the period inventions and developments, created the ideas in diffusionism and the migration to explain the cultural differences in past cultures. Many of the researchers rejected the culture evolution theory. As result of this, the idea of psychic unity, which is introduced by Adolf Bastian, lost its importance. It made racism much more powerful because the belief that every culture has a potential to develop their culture is collapsed. The idea that indigenous people were viewed as biologically inferior to Europeans became much more solidified. Writers and social analysts claimed that human beings were not inherently inventive. If there is a development in culture it should be a reason of diffusionism or migration. Also they said that the change was naturally belong to the human nature and it was not beneficial to people. Therefore it is supported that unchanging societies are the most convenient to human being. In this manner, independent development idea in the cultural changes ignored and a belief emerged which is particular inventions were unlikely to be made more than once in human history. This kind of discourses solidified perceptions about the savage people inferiority.
In the United States, the ‘myth of the mound builders’ was aroused and it has been thought that these mounds could not have been built by the Native People of America, who were considered too savage. Instead, they were built by a ‘civilized’ race that disappeared a long time ago (Abadía, 2006). When the people see the mounds in Zimbawe and investigators claimed that this similarity is the proof pf prehistoric white colonization in Southern Africa (Trigger, 2007).
To sum up, the interaction between archaeology and Imperialism, Colonialism and Nationalism developed after the French Revolution. Archaeological studies and the scientific developments to answer the questions in the archaeology have been abused by the politicians. The archaeological studies which suit the politician were encouraged and supported financially. Although this mutuality helped the archaeological developments, the results that archaeology reached had been used to satisfy the nationalist, colonialist and imperialist actions.
Abadía, Moro O. 2006. The History of Archaeology as a ‘Colonial Discourse’.Bulletin of the History of Archaeology16(2):4-17
Johnson, Matthew. 2010. Archaeology Theory an Introduction.
Trigger, Bruce. 2007. A History of Archaeological Thought.