Talk:Colonization

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From the article:[edit]

From the article: "invading and taking over the sovereignty of another area, which then becomes known as a colony" ... There's an interesting reluctance to label some events as colonizations, or areas as colonies. Perhaps the difference is whether there's an attempt to supplant the native population or eradicate its culture. For example, was not Algeria officially part of France? That sounds to us today like bunkum, since there were plenty of North Africans there to keep Islam and the rest of the culture in good shape - "of course it's colonization". The central Asian Khanates officially became part of Russia in the 19th century - strangely this isn't often called colonization. Is that because it's "expansion" into neighbouring "failed states"? (And Plains Indians and Israeli "settlements", well, let's leave them well alone...) -- Hotlorp

From my understanding, following World War II, Algeria was part of France officially (indeed, it was a department), but there was a relatively large population of white French people that ran the government and economy. See Algerian War of Independence for more information. The Muslim population wasn't really granted full status because it was felt that they were too different to really adapt French culture and ideals. To me, this looks very much like the English colonies in America from centuries earlier. As a side note, to show deeply Algeria was considered just a part of France, the official position at the time (and I don't know if it has ever officially changed) was to consider the involvment in Algeria not as a war, or a civil war, but effictively a large domestic policing operation. --Mr Minchin Canada 19:52, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


Hello. The whole article is rather messy, and a confusion of terms and definitions is evident. I think it should be subdivided into "colonization in nature" and "human colonization", since there is a huge distinction between the two. The author failed to mentioned extremely important usages of the word 'colonization' in plant biology. Plants colonized the earth, mycorrhizal fungi colonize the roots of plants, and so on...

AGREED!!!  :D


What about colonization in Europe in the Middle Ages, when large areas of forests were turned into fields? --Eleassar777 10:07, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

It seems that a good part of this article should be moved to the colonialism article. The

Headline text[edit]

biological colonialism.

I must disagree. Insects are incapable of an 'ism.' An ism is a belief system or conscious policy.
I also feel, in that regard, that although some of the history above is better dicussed under colonialism, there should absolutely be a separate page for colonization. Colonization is a broader category--one can argue that all colonialism involves colonization, but not all colonization is colonialism. Stancollins 19:23, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


==NPOV?== THIS YO!

I don't really find much evidence of NPOV here, other than that the topic bears a superficial resemblance to a controversial one. Apparently somebody has a problem, so I left the check on, but it's not like there's been huge POV debate here.

Also, I deleted the merge suggestion. Nobody really stepped up to defend it after the last discussion two months ago, and it seems a superfluous tag getting in the way of the text. Stancollins 02:30, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Unless someone has something to justify the NPOV tag, the tag should be removed. -Tjss 00:28, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Sure. The phrase

"Dominant social and cultural institutions contributed to facilitating the entry of indigenous peoples trapped in unsustainable subsistence economies into a more progressive socio-economic reality."

is merely opinative, lacks evidential backup and can be refuted with thousands of counter-examples like the ones given in this discussion page. The neutrality of this statement clearly needs to be checked.

"Dominant social and cultural institutions contributed to facilitating the entry of indigenous peoples trapped in unsustainable subsistence economies into a more progressive socio-economic reality."

Is this sentence stating that indigenous peoples' economies actually were "unstable subsistence economies", or that they are simply narrated that way in colonizer literature. This is ambiguous; please explain in article.

As an example, West Papua has been inhabited for some forty thousand years by a Melanesian people; does this count as "unsustainable subsistence" ? Since Indonesia sold a 30 year mining license to the American firm of Freeport McMoRan in 1967, they have bombed and committed a variety of genocide programs documented in the 2004 Yale Law School report to clear the people from the sacred mountains of the Amungme people for the company to mine; while between one and eight hundred thousand Papuans have been killed by the Indonesian military, over a million Javanese settlers have been shipped from Java to West Papua, funded by the World Bank and IMF as a economic program. Is this an example "the entry of indigenous peoples" to "a more progressive socio-economic reality" ? 211.30.84.166 17:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Modern colonisation[edit]

The current 'Modern colonisation' section trivializes colonization as if it no longer existed after WW-II; ask the Dayak people of Borneo if they don't feel colonized by the Javanese military and American companies pumping their country's oil; ask the people of Aceh and Christian cultures of western Sumatra if they don't feel colonized by the Javanese military; and ask the people of the Moluccas Islands and West Papua because they certainly feel colonized and say Indonesia is a "leach" that has attached itself to them. Unlike ancient colonization that only needed military power, the modern colonization like Indonesia needs political and media support such as the 'US Indonesia Society' in America provides to ensure the US government does not maintain sanctions against the TNI for its ethnic cleansing programs etc. It should be noted that George Bush Jnr. has been defying the US Senate & Congress wishes for five years to push his demands to resume U.S. funding of the Indonesian military despite its continued ethnic cleansing & known criminal business operations. Just Google for the newspaper reports, the Jakarta Post and others have published all about Bush's campaign to support Bechtel & Freeport executive's wishes and the Congress's bill and letter to stop the Indonesian abuses in West Papua and Aceh.211.30.84.166 18:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and/or Iraq be mentioned under modern colonisation?--85.49.234.93 22:57, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd be more inclined to say that throwing the word "colonization" around so as to mean "whenever anything bad happens to someone who can be construed as native" is what's trivializing. It seems like a colony ought to be involved somewhere. Seriously, asking people if they feel colonized? Would you write an article on industry based on asking people whether they felt industrialized? --24.34.136.101 01:12, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of colonisation[edit]

I'm pretty sure the description of the etymology of colonisation as 'ultimately deriving from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect," ' is wrong. I was under the impression the word colonisation was derived from the Sapnish word 'colonización.' This word is derived from the name given by the Spanish to Christopher Columbus, Colon, and the word is therefore meant to mean the process by which Colon aided the population of new areas - specifically those in Central and South America. I haven't yet found a source to confirm this yet though. Would anyone like to comment?

--Philthemancunian 09:20, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=colony Gsd2000 23:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems I stand corrected then.... --Philthemancunian 16:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Spelling mess[edit]

The page title is "Colonisation" but the first bolded word is "colonization" and the whole article uses both spellings without any coherence. The style manual says that the spelling should be uniform in an article. It also says to go with the style of first major contributor, but it's difficult to say exactly who that was.

I'd standardize the spelling myself, but I suspect that if I did it would be reverted and someone would probably put a nasty message on my talk page, regardless of which spelling I went with. Do we go with en-GB (colonisation) or en-GB-oed/en-US (colonization)? Despite my personal preference, it seems most reasonable to follow the page title and go with en-GB. CenozoicEra 01:26, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I'll be bold and put the spellings with the "-ise" endings. Celtic Emperor 23:33, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

From the American and British English spelling differences article:
"American spelling accepts only -ize endings in most cases, such as organize, recognize, and realize. British usage accepts both -ize and the more French-looking -ise (organise, recognise, realise). However, the -ize spelling is now rarely used in the UK in the mass media and newspapers, and is hence often incorrectly regarded as an Americanism,[1] despite being preferred by some authoritative British sources, including Fowler's Modern English Usage and the Oxford English Dictionary, which until recently did not list the -ise form of many individual words, even as an alternative. Indeed, it firmly deprecates this usage, stating, "[T]he suffix…, whatever the element to which it is added, is in its origin the Gr[eek] -ιζειν, L[atin] -izāre; and, as the pronunciation is also with z, there is no reason why in English the special French spelling in -iser should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic."[2] Noah Webster rejected -ise for the same reasons.[3]"
It would appear that the approach most in keeping with existing wikipedia policy would be to use the -ize ending as it was both the use in the original contributions and also because while colonisation is never used in the US, colonization is at least occasionally seen everywhere that English is written making it the more common and less regional variant. The article apparently is not stable as you have found the need to alter numerous edits to remove -ization.Zebulin 23:57, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

So, seeing as it's almost two years since this has been talked about, I decided that I would just do "ize" &c. on the four instances where "ise" &c. were. I would go through and change it all to the British spelling to make it consistent with the title, but the article was overwhelmingly in the American style, and it would be really tedious. Franzose (talk) 05:47, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


This article focuses too much on general history and less on technical issues[edit]

Too much WHATS and WHENS and too few HOWS on this article. I seek for information on HOW French, Dutch and English settlements were set up in North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. How much people were necessary to make a new-founded colony viable and defendeable, how much men were needed to secure the colony against the Indian attacks, what kind of houses they build for themselves, how much people/families an average ship could transport across the Ocean, how much and what kind of food they needed for the trip, how large were the tracts of land given to each family, etc. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 189.24.106.116 (talk) 03:03, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

I'd think such detailed information would be in articles like English colonisation of the Americas (or whatever it is called)--Josquius 19:40, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
ColonisationColonization — Since Wikipedia doesn't have a preference between American and British English spelling differences, this shouldn't be too big of an issue. The article should keep consistency with either one or the other, and as Franzose stated above at Talk:Colonisation#Spelling_mess, the article is already mostly (if not fully) compliant with American spelling. As it would be very tedious to change everything in the body to comply with the title, the title should be changed to comply with the body. -M.Nelson (talk) 22:54, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Usually it's a bad idea to move an article from one spelling variant to another without very good reason. However, this article has used the -ize spelling since the first revision, and it looks like it was originally at colonization and moved to colonisation here (please correct me if I'm wrong). The manual of style supports consistency in style and formatting, including spelling, within articles. For these reasons, I support. Jafeluv (talk) 06:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I also propose changing the article text to conform to whichever spelling is chosen in this discussion, and tagging the talk page with {{American English}} or {{British English}} to make it evident which spelling is supposed to be used in this article. We should strive for consistency in style within articles; the choice of spelling itself is of course a rather arbitrary one. Jafeluv (talk) 12:28, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Article already used American English for the title and the body of the article has also used American English for most of its existence. TJ Spyke 20:14, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The spirit, if not the word, of WP:ENGVAR is that these discussions are a complete waste of time, as both forms are universally understood. Knepflerle (talk) 23:17, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment doesn't the OED specify "z" ? 70.29.212.226 (talk) 06:18, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Is this an WP:ENGVAR issue since most colonisation (called thus) was carried out by British on countries that would come to use "Commonwealth" spelling? — AjaxSmack 03:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
    • It is an WP:ENGVAR issue, yes, but I don't think it's really a case of "strong national ties to a topic" that would force a certain spelling on the article. Jafeluv (talk) 05:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Heavy Vandalism Went Unnoticed for Months[edit]

This page, which is probably one often searched for by those currently in school or just those interested in this broad subject, has been under fairly steady attack by vandals. In particular, an entire section was blanked several months back, including several useful maps, and nobody seemed to have noticed this until I did.

This is absolutely unacceptable. We need to keep better track of this article, which is about a very fundamental concept that I imagine many people would want to search for frequently. I'm not a regular contributor to Wikipedia, so I couldn't possibly do this myself; however, the more tech-savvy or active among us here might want to consider giving this article some special attention. Nerevarine of Vvardenfell (talk) 21:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Change the map[edit]

The map features several insignificant countries such as Turkey, which should be removed and several more powerful countries such as china should be added --68.174.142.237 (talk) 00:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Germany and USSR in 1959 and 1974 maps, Singapore and Italy in 1974 map[edit]

Erm... is there a reason why Germany was not shown to be divided in the 1959 and 1974 maps? And that the borders between of the Soviet Socialist Republics was shown? And that Singapore was still shown to be a British colony in 1974? And that the Socialist People's Republic of Albania was shown to be part of Italy? :) KPUFFERFİSHĊ 14:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

see adjacent text
World empires and colonies 1959. 
World empires and colonies 1974 
An awful lot of maps need to be fixed in this article. GBozanko (talk) 17:32, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Empire vs. Colonies[edit]

The articles main picture, a map of "World empires and colonies 2007" should be changed. The term colonization can be used when;

  • A specific area is under the full or partial political control of another country, and occupied by the settlers from the said country;
  • A group of people of one nationalit or ethnic group living in a foreign city of country, and;
  • (Biology) A community of animals or plants of one kind living close together or forming a physically connected structure.

The term 'Empire' should be removed, as they no longer exist.

The maps contents should be harmonious with the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Nations such as Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Russia etc should be removed. The only nations that currently hold colonies are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand. I shall make a new map and present it to this talk page to discuss the issue. GBozanko (talk) 17:18, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

I have made the following map, of the UN List of Non-Self Governing Territories for the benifit of this article. GBozanko (talk) 21:01, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Non-Self-Governing.png

Unbalanced historical examples or viewpoints[edit]

This article fails to address the colonization of places by other peoples/cultures and prehistoric peoples, such as the Austronesian/Polynesian peoples colonizing the islands in the Pacific and also the island of Madagascar. This is most likely because of systemic bias, but it should be fixed. - M0rphzone (talk) 01:46, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Are spellings like 'privatize' and 'organize' Americanisms?". AskOxford.com. 2006. 
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, -ize.
  3. ^ Hargraves, p. 22.