This is an extract from dissertation on decolonization:
During the last half millennium, the major European powers decided that it would be beneficial to their interests if they obtained colonies overseas to help with their economic expansion, among other things. They also wanted to develop capitalism and create a world market with an international division of labour. There were two main phases of colonial expansion (Chandra, 1992). The first of these was from 1450-1800, and the colonies were seen as places to trade with, but they didn’t produce raw materials and weren’t seen as markets. Colonialism meant conquest, plunder and small amounts of settlement. The second phase occurred after the industrial revolution when there was a great need for raw materials to be used in domestic factories. This period was from 1800-1945, and it was a phase of exploitation rather than a phase of expansion. The colonial leaders also saw the colonies as markets for the products that they produced at home, and they were often used against the interests of other competing colonial powers.
The implications of colonial rule on the colonies are considerable, and there was a large impact on local economics, culture and political systems. The manner in which decolonization took place also led to problems. Many geographers see a colonial past as probably the most important initial condition for underdevelopment. Although there is an obvious negative association between colonial rule and industrialisation, colonialism did give some benefits to the colonies. Continue reading