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Portal:Colonialism

Introduction

The pith helmet, an icon of colonialism in tropical lands. This one was used during the Second French colonial empire.

Colonialism is the policy of a foreign polity seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonizing country seeks to benefit from the colonized country or land mass. In the process, colonizers imposed their religion, economics, and medicinal practices on the natives. Some argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while other scholars refute this theory as being biased and Eurocentric, noting that modernization is a concept introduced by Europeans. Colonialism is largely regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders where the latter rule in pursuit of its interests.

Early records of colonization go as far back as Phoenecians, an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC and later the Greeks and Persians continued on this line of setting up colonies. Although these early European migration characteristics are recorded or documented as colonization, these examples wouldn't be the first time and certainly would not be the last. The Romans would soon follow, setting up colonies throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and Western Asia. In the 9th century a new wave of Mediterranean colonization had begun between competing states such as the Islamic Ottomans and the Venetians, Genovese and Amalfians, invading the wealthy previously Byzantine or Eastern Roman islands and lands. Venice began with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with the declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire.

Later, in the 15th century some European states established their own empires during the European colonial period. The Belgian, British, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish empires established colonies across large areas. Imperial Japan, the Ottoman Empire and the United States also acquired colonies, as did imperialist China and finally in the late 19th century the German and the Italian.

Selected article

Indonesian flag raised on 17 August 1945.

The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire, and an internal social revolution. It took place between Indonesia's declaration of independence in 1945 and the Netherlands' recognition of Indonesia's independence in 1949.

One of the largest revolutions of the twentieth century, the struggle lasted for over four years and involved sporadic but bloody armed conflict, internal Indonesian political and communal upheavals, and two major international diplomatic interventions. Dutch forces were not able to prevail over the Indonesians, but were strong enough to resist being expelled. Although Dutch forces could control the towns and cities in Republican heartlands on Java and Sumatra, they could not control villages and the countryside. Thus, the Republic of Indonesia ultimately prevailed as much through international diplomacy as it did through Indonesian determination in the armed conflicts on Java and other islands.

The revolution destroyed a colonial administration ruled from the other side of the world, and dismantled with it the raja, by many seen as obsolete and powerless. Also, it relaxed the rigid racial and social categorisations of colonial Indonesia. Tremendous energies and aspirations were created amongst Indonesians; a new creative surge was seen in writing and art, as was a great demand for education and modernisation. It did not, however, significantly improve the economic or political fortune of the population’s poverty-stricken peasant majority; only a few Indonesians were able to gain a larger role in commerce.

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Selected biography

Dr. Hendrik P. N. Muller

Hendrik Pieter Nicolaas Muller (2 April 1859 in Rotterdam - 11 August 1941 in The Hague, Netherlands) was a Dutch businessman, diplomat, world traveller, publicist, and philanthropist. Muller started his career as a businessman, trading with East and West Africa. In his mid-twenties he travelled to Zanzibar, Mozambique, and South Africa for business purposes, but showed himself a keen ethnographer as well, collecting ethnographic artifacts and writing reports about the societies and people he encountered on his way. In 1890, Muller retired from business for personal reasons, and went to Germany to study ethnography and geography. He graduated with a Ph.D. dissertation four years later. In 1896 he was first appointed consul and later consul general for the Orange Free State. Muller held this position all through the Second Boer War and his high-profiled performance as European representative for this Boer republic won him considerable fame and notoriety, which lasted all his life. After the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed in 1902 Muller retired to a life of travelling and writing for some years, making Muller a household name with his travelbooks. In 1919 the Dutch government appointed him envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Romania, and later to Czechoslovakia, where he retired in 1932. Muller was a prolific writer. Over the course of his life he published well over two hundred articles, brochures, and books about his travels through the world, about South Africa and the Boers, and about Dutch foreign policy and diplomacy, apart from a range of other subjects. Muller gathered a large fortune with well appointed private investments. He bequeathed his considerable wealth to a private fund in support of academic research and cultural heritage.

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All Saints Church

Selected images

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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