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Exploitation colonialism is the national economic policy of conquering a country to exploit its population as labour and its natural resources as raw material. The practice of exploitation colonialism contrasts with settler colonialism, the policy of conquering a country to establish a branch of the metropole (motherland). A reason for which a country might practice exploitation colonialism is the immediate financial gain produced by the low-cost extraction of raw materials by means of a native people, usually administered by a colonial government.
The geopolitics of an Imperialist power determine which of these colonial practices it will follow. In the example of the British Empire, colonists settled mainly in northern North America and in Australia, where the native populations declined due to disease and violence in the course of establishing a facsimile society of the metropole. Whereas the densely populated countries of the British Raj (1858–1947), in the Indian subcontinent, and the British occupation of Egypt and South Africa, as well as the island of Barbados, were ruled by a small populace of colonial administrators (colonial government) that redirected the local economies to exploitation management to supply the metropole with food, raw materials, and some finished goods.
Exploitation was often reinforced by colonial European geographers who implemented theories such as environmental determinism, which suggested warmer climates produced less civilized people. These theories were among the scholarly canon that helped legitimize colonial activity and expansion into overseas territories.
Geographers such as Friedrich Ratzel suggested that the survival of empire relied on its ability to expand its control and influence around the world. By implying a correlation between colonial expansion and national success, geographers were able to produce a sense of nationalism within many European nations. Their influence created a sense of pride that was able to reassure subjects that their nation’s activity abroad was beneficial to not only them, but that their presence was necessary within the territories being occupied.
Barbados was claimed for the English in 1625 by Captain John Powell, and by the 1660s the English had come to regard Barbados as being by far and away their most highly prized possession anywhere in the New World. The island's value to England, and the enormous wealth of a minority of its English inhabitants, hinged on the relationship that had been forged during the previous twenty years between sugar and slavery.
- Banana republic
- Dependency theory
- Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisation
- Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917)
- Political economy
- Settler colonialism
- Singer–Prebisch thesis
- The Accumulation of Capital: A Contribution to an Economic Explanation of Imperialism (1913)