European colonialism

Topics: Colonialism, Europe, Africa Pages: 1 (313 words) Published: October 15, 2013
European colonialism
Colonialism is the control by one power over a dependent area or group of people. The purposes of colonialism include economic exploitation of the colony’s natural resources, creation of new markets for the colonizer, and extension of the colonizer’s way of life beyond its national borders. The most active practitioners were European countries; in the years 1500-1900, Europe colonized all of North and South America and Australia, most of Africa, and much of Asia by sending settlers to populate the land or by taking control of governments. The first colonies were established in the Western Hemisphere by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 15th-16th century. The Dutch colonized Indonesia in the 16th century and Britain colonized North America and India in the 17th-18th century. Later British settlers colonized Australia and New Zealand. European colonialism began with the Portuguese voyages of exploration along the coast of Africa in the 15th century. They were soon followed by the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish. These countries set up trading posts along the coast, but did not move inland to establish actual colonies. The one exception to this was in South Africa where Dutch settlers did establish farms. After the English took over Capetown in 1814, the Dutch moved inland to avoid English domination. The French had moved to establish colonies in North Africa in the mid 19th century. It was not until the 1870s, however, that the Europeans began to carve out colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. It was then that the “Scramble for Africa” began. European imperialism has been blamed, with considerable justification, for many of the problems of modern Africa. Colonization of Africa began in earnest in the 1880s, but by 1900 virtually the entire continent was controlled by Europe. The colonial era ended gradually after World War II; the only territories still governed as colonies today are small islands. \on’[
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