Portal:Colonialism

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About colonialism

William Blake, Europe Supported By Africa and America, 1796

Colonialism is the process of expansion and dominance in which a metropole builds and maintains colonies in another territory. Although the form of colonies themselves are influenced by local features and histories, the metropole typically claims full ownership and sovereignty over the social structure, government and economics within the colony. This produces a set of unequal relationships between metropole and colony as well as between colonists and the indigenous population.

The most common use of the term refers to a historical period from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe established colonies in the Americas, Africa, Oceania, Asia. The process was typically violent and involved population displacement and the institution of race-based categories of rule. The types of expansion and overseas colonization took many forms, including exploitation colonies to gain natural resources, areas of European population settlement, and smaller maritime enclaves based around trade. Motives for colonialism were also diverse, and included the promise of monetary gain, the desire to expand the power and influence of the metropole, efforts to escape persecution, as well as the wish to spread religious and political philosophies. People, states, and societies that were displaced or destroyed resisted and accommodated the imposition of colonial rule in a variety of ways, ultimately leading to a wave of decolonization in the mid twentieth century through which most (although not all) colonies gained national independence.

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Inside Groß-Friedrichsburg, February 1884.

Brandenburg-Prussia is the historiographic denomination for the Early Modern realm of the Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns between 1618 and 1701. Based in the Electorate of Brandenburg, the main branch of the Hohenzollern intermarried with the branch ruling the Duchy of Prussia, and secured succession upon the latter's extinction in the male line in 1618. In July 1680, Elector Frederick William I issued orders, and two ships were selected to establish trade contacts with African tribes and explore places where colonies could be established. The ships reached Guinea in January 1681. To facilitate the colonial expeditions, the Brandenburg African Company was founded on 7 March 1682, initially with its headquarters in Berlin and its shipyards in Pillau, since 1683 in Emden. Overall, the colony of Brandenburger Gold Coast comprised roughly 50 kilometers of coastline, and did not extend into the hinterland. A second colony was established at the Arguin archipelago off the West African coast (now part of Mauritania). While Arguin did not reach the economic importance of Guinea, it temporarily advanced to the world's primary staple port for rubber. The African colonies enabled Brandenburg-Prussia to participate in the Triangular trade, yet it lacked its own trading post in the Caribbean Sea. In November 1685, a Brandenburg-Danish agreement was reached that allowed the Brandenburg African Company to rent part of Saint Thomas as a base for 30 years, while the sovereignty remained with Denmark and administration with the Danish West Indies and Guinean Company. In 1731, the Brandenburg-Prussian company on Saint Thomas (BAAC) became insolvent, and abandoned the island in 1735. Their last remains were sold by auction in 1738.

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Selassie restored.jpg
Credit: American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Dept., photographer.

Italy, upon invading Ethiopia, declared a new "Italian Empire". The League of Nations afforded Haile Selassie the opportunity to address the assembly, causing Italy to withdraw its League delegation, on 12 May 1936.

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Memorial stone in Oude Kerk indicating a burial date.

Kiliaen van Rensselaer (before 1596 – after 1642) was a Dutch diamond and pearl merchant from Amsterdam who was one of the founders and directors of the Dutch West India Company and was instrumental in the establishment of New Netherland. He became one of the first patroons and ended up being the only successful one, having founded the Manor of Rensselaerswyck in what is now mainly New York's Capital District. His estate lasted as a legal entity until the 1840s, having lived through Dutch and British colonial times, the American Revolution, and eventually coming to an end during the Anti-Rent War. Van Rensselaer was born in the province of Gelderland to a soldier and a homemaker. To keep him from risking his life in the army like his father, he apprenticed under his uncle, a successful Amsterdam jeweler. He too became a successful jeweler and was one of the first subscribers to the Dutch West India Company upon its conception. He may very well be the source of the idea of patroonships and was probably the leading proponent of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, the document that established the patroon system. His patroonship became the most successful to exist, with van Rensselaer making full use of his business tactics and advantages, such as his connection to the Director of New Netherland, his confidantes at the West India Company, and his extended family members that were more than happy to emigrate to a better place to farm. He was married twice and had at least eleven children, two of whom succeeded him as patroons of Rensselaerswyck. Van Rensselaer died sometime after 1642.

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Colonialism's rise and fall over the past 500 years.

Colonisation2.gif

This map shows Colonization's rise and fall over the past 500 years.

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