Talk:Colonialism/Archive 3

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So cute[edit]

I read this article and a felt that colonisation is the best thing that could happened to natives. A group settles, profit is made, everybody are happy. What about "natives don't have soul and don't deserve being treated as humans"? Pox just happened to kill natives. Then what about the pox blankets? The "Neutral Point of View" is badly biased towards the victorors in this article, makeing this article useless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

So presumably "Some colonists also felt they were helping the indigenous population by bringing them Christianity and civilization. However, the reality was often subjugation, displacement or death" just doesn't cut it with you. I agree that ideas such as natives not having souls should have a mention. This is why I have suggested a section called "colonialism and the history of thought". I don't think such ideas actually explain why anyone bothered with colonialism, they are more something that people came up with afterwards so they didn’t feel so bad about killing and enslaving people. Yaris678 (talk) 12:56, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Southwestern USA[edit]

Increasingly by the political left, the Southwest USA is regarded as a colony by white Europeans, but Anglo-Americans over Latin Americans and Mexicans or the original Hispanic settlers alike. These political critics and revisionist historians, along with activist members of the Aztlan, Chicano and La Raza causes viewed the development of Texas by the wave of Anglo-American settlers and the Republic of Texas from 1836-45 later joined the U.S. and the results of the Mexican-American war was the U.S. annexation of formerly Mexican lands of California, Arizona and New Mexico. These political critics and revisionist historians call it an aggressive action to bring forth colonialization of the Southwestern U.S., but was it colonialism in a manner for the purpose of the United States to asserts its' power and wealth over Latin American nations, such as Mexico in the 19th century? The Anglo-American settlers in the California Gold Rush of 1848-51 overwhelmed the original Spanish-speaking Californios whom soon lost their land grants (ranchos), and became second-class citizens, even treated as a "race" apart from the newly-established "white" Anglo majority in the turn of the 20th century does speak of the typical explotiation of aboriginal and/or defeated inhabitants of conquered lands associated with colonialism. + Mike D 26 (talk) 13:45, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

You are, of course, ignoring the aboriginal inhabitants of the Southwestern United States, who predated the so-called "original" Spanish settlers and were in turn oppressed by them. Please research the California Mission Indians and their treatment by the Californios you claim are the "original" settlers of their land grants. What makes your erasure of these indigenous peoples even more offensive is the fact that their descendants are still very much in existence today. -- (talk) 23:44, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup of article[edit]

I am trying to modify the article so that:

  • It is more coherent.
  • It gives a better description of colonialism
  • It is less attractive to vandals

The last aim may be forlorn, but I am hoping that by sticking to what most people would agree with in the first sections and then moving on to the more controversial areas later this can be achieved. In addition, when we a using the word colonialism to describe something that isn't always thought of that way this should be made clear. Yaris678 (talk) 19:08, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

To be more specific, I guess it isn't just outright vandalism that I think this page has been prone too. I think it is also prone to people having an argument in the form of an article. Editors thowing in random examples to prove their point, without regard for the overall flow of the article. I am hoping that by structuring the article in the way I am working toward, such arguments will be less common. I also think it is a better structure!Yaris678 (talk) 12:19, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Initial paragraph[edit]

The first sentence starts by talking about colonialism as extending sovereignty over territories. I would associate this with imperialism. I would say colonialism is chiefly about building colonies. I think we need to say the term normally means European people in other parts of the world in the 15th to the 20th century but it can be applied wider. We also need more about the economic and social reasons why people bothered with colonialism and the economic, social, politial and technological reasons why it was so successful for Europeans in this period. Yaris678 (talk) 13:51, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Types of colonies[edit]

I've just redone the initial paragraphs so now I am looking at the first sub section. It strikes me that about 90% of what is written here doesn't belong in this section. Some of it could go into the section on History of colonialism.Yaris678 (talk) 23:47, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

This is what I am thinking now:
  • Most of the examples given in Types of colonies should be moved to a separate section, perhaps called non-canonical colonialism. They are interesting examples but not really relevant at that point in the article. They are also badly written, but hopefully we can tidy that up later.
  • Types of colonies should perhaps be called Types of colonialism and give exploitation colonialism and settler colonialism as the two chief types. I think a plantation colony would come under exploitation colonialism because a relatively small proportion of the population would be settlers - the majority being imported or indigenous slaves or other indigenous workers.
The Types of colonialism section should also make clear that this is a distinction made by historians, rather than people at the time, and that there is a certain amount of grey area between the two - perhaps South Africa would serve as a good example of the grey area.Yaris678 (talk) 15:06, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm fairly happy with the first two sections. Next, I would like to jump straight to the section on neocolonialism. I think this section is far to large for a page that is supposedly about colonialism. I think a brief section, with a link and a description of what it is and how it relates to colonialism, will suffice.Yaris678 (talk) 07:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

DoneYaris678 (talk) 12:19, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Soviet Imperialism[edit]

I think this whole section can go. Maybe it deserves a small mention in "Non-canonical colonialism"Yaris678 (talk) 12:19, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

DoneYaris678 (talk) 16:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Where now?[edit]

I think the most glaring faults with the article have been corrected. I think it should now be developed as below, in no particular order:

  • Some editing is required for History of Colonialism
  • New section on After colonialism. On the different things that can happen to a territory, e.g. revolutionary independence, gradual independence, incorportion into the metropole.
  • New section on Colonialism and the history of thought. It could give theories about colonialism that were developed at the time and after. It could also give ideas that flowed from these theories. It would include some of the present section on Post-colonialism and some of Impact of colonialism and colonisation
  • New section on Practical effects of colonialism. This would include the remainder of Impact of colonialism and colonisation
  • Major changes to Non-canonical colonialism. Possibly including:
    • New name
    • Separate article
    • Discussion of why labeling something as colonialism can be controversial

Yaris678 (talk) 16:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I also think much of this talk page should be archived. These is some valuable points in there, but there is also lots of stuff that refers to things that are no longer on the page. Yaris678 (talk) 11:34, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. Yaris678 (talk) 12:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Now I am thinking that there should be a section fairly near the begining discussing the fact that different people would include different things in colonialism, and giving some of the reasons for this. Yaris678 (talk) 12:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Now I am thinking that something on the Practical effects of colonialism should go in the lead. Hmmm... maybe we should write that section first though. Yaris678 (talk) 15:47, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

History of Colonialism[edit]

This section was massively overblown. I think it had basically suffered from people thinking their pet issue was so important that it deserved a mention in that section. I have re-written it. My version could probably do with expanding in a couple of areas but it is a vast improvement. Kintetsubuffalo, I don't know about these misspellings you refer to, but you could change those without reverting the whole edit. Yaris678 (talk) 18:16, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

It is not in fact a vast improvement-your gutting is still full of poor English, misspellings, removal of links... so much needs to be done or undone that a simple correction of spelling and English usage won't cut it. Your prose is clunky and pedantic, not at all encyclopedic. Discuss what you want to do here, then we'll see. Or, do it by baby steps, then each edit can be kept or discarded on its merits. Chris (クリス • フィッチュ) (talk) 09:23, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I reject your analysis. Taking each point:
  • Misspellings - I have run it through a spell checker and it is fine. Is this just a preference you have for American English? The article is mostly in British English at the moment. e.g. Labour not labor in the section on Types of Colonialism.
  • Removal of links - the whole point is that I was removing various pet topics that had been included, this will obviously necessitate the removal of some links. My version has links to each of the major empires, plus key historical events such as the Latin American wars of independence.
  • Clunky and pedantic prose - the bit on Cueta and so on could probably bit cut down a bit. But I don't think that applies to most of it. Have you seen the alternative? The first paragraph is one massive sentence!
  • Not at all encyclopedic - What is that supposed to mean?
You say discuss what I want to do here. What I want to do is seriously reduce the amount of text in that section. As I said above, it had become over run with pet issues. For example:
  • There is a massive amount of stuff about the United States. The relationship between colonialism and US foreign policy is an interesting one on which many essays have been written but it doesn't deserve so much exposure here when we are supposed to be talking about the history of colonialism in general.
  • All the stuff about Incas and Hittites and so on misses the point. They had empires but they weren't really colonial. There is a separate article on colonies in antiquity which I linked to and provides a much better background than was previously provided.
My version is not intended to be the finished thing, but it is a lot better starting point than the current alternative. It could be improved, for example by mentioning the scramble for Africa and editing the pedantry around Cueta. It would be difficult to know where to begin with improving the other one because it is such a mess. Yaris678 (talk) 20:18, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

There has been quite a few changes to this article recently and I'd like to provoke a discussion about them here. I think I can see what is being aimed for in some cases but I would do it differently. If the editors doing the changes would like to explain that would be really helpful. I notice that there has been a few reverts and people can get cheesed off if they find there work keeps getting reverted without decent communication.

Two things which strike me about the recent changes are:

  • Describing some common characteristics of colonialism in the lead - I think this is a good idea although I would probably write something different. I can see that generally different people would want to put different things here. Perhaps the best approach is to put it in as neutral a language as possible. Hopefully that will avoid edit waring.
  • New sections - Colonialism and geography, Colonialism and imperialism, Marxist view of colonialism - Again a good idea but I would probably write something different. I would also probably put these sections elsewhere in the article. Possibly as part of a Colonialism and the history of thought section that I have been meaning to create for a while. The section would be somewhere after the History of colonialism section.

Yaris678 (talk) 21:38, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Proof of profit?[edit]

In the intro to the article it states "The profits to be made" as a reason for colonialism. Is there any evidence that any of the colonies were profitable? Were most of them profitable, or only a few? This really needs to be cleared up to give proper historical perspective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Its not talking about profits for colonies as such, more the profits for individuals and joint stock companies. Often individuals and JSC went bust, but there was the chance of becoming fabulously rich, which encouraged people to invest in such ventures. Yaris678 (talk) 09:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

True Definition of Colonialism[edit]

I have replaced the definition of colonialism that was in the article with one that is actually provided in the citation already there. The cited reference not only defines colonialism as it is now stated after my edit, but such (new) definition also happens to be the first and opening statement in the cited article.
It is beyond me, why the previous definition statement was in the article. Regards, Mercy11 (talk) 18:30, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree on one thing. The cited article (from SEP) does not define Colonialism in the same way as the Wikipedia article did. However, it does not define it in the way your quote does either. The start of the SEP article is clearly not intended as a definition (just because Wikipedia has that convention it doesn't mean everyone else does). If you refer to section 1 of the article (called "Definition") you will see it says:

Given the difficulty of consistently distinguishing between the two terms [colonialism and imperialism], this entry will use colonialism as a broad concept that refers to the project of European political domination from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries that ended with the national liberation movements of the 1960s. Post-colonialism will be used to describe the political and theoretical struggles of societies that experienced the transition from political dependence to sovereignty. This entry will use imperialism as a broad term that refers to economic, military, political domination that is achieved without significant permanent European settlement.

The Wikipedia article says something similar when it says

Colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe built colonies on other continents.

However, I don't think we want to use this as the definition in our article. We should start with a broad definition, which is where the building and maintenance of colonies comes in. Perhaps the SEP article could be used as a citation for the 15th to 20th century statement. However,

  • The SEP starts at the 16th century, not the 15th. Not sure how valid this is. Portugal explored the coast of West Africa from 1415. Not much settlement occurred until the 16th century, but if you look at our section on types of colonialism, we are explicitly including trading posts.
  • Our article says normally refers to, when the SEP article is only defining the term for its purpose.

I think the second issue could be overlooked given that the statement is probably not contentions. However, add the first issue and it becomes more problematic.

I will revert to the previous text for now but remove the citation of SEP.

Yaris678 (talk) 08:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

One problem with the definition as it stands is that uses the root term ("colonial") in an attempt to achieve the definition of the derived word proper. The article would carry more punch if it just said what colonialism is using simpler terms instead. At a time when the article is tagged low in citations, we would want to add more citations - not remove them. So here are some examples:

I would stay away from the use of "building and maintaining" as that phrase is not found in any of the citations, including SEP. Providing an actual, quoted, cited definition from a reliable and verifiable source, will stand on its own.

A second problem I see is that the intro treats colonialism as something from a now by-gone era only. After 47 years of work at the UN, there still remains 16 colonies ( in the world today. While it is true that "the most active practitioners" of colonialism were indeed the Europeans in the 1500s-1900s, colonialism in its complete meaning exists throughout the world today, and this is why the Committee of 24 exists. However, the introduction fails to establish that colonialism is a phenomenon as real today as it was in the past. The intro needs to strike a better balance between the extremes as it is currently slanted towards 15/16-20th century colonialism only.

Regards, Mercy11 (talk) 17:38, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Those definitions could all apply equally to a vassal state, which is different from a colony. Having vassal states is not colonialism. As far as I can see, the two important things about colonialism are:
  • A claim of sovereignty
  • A load of colonists turn up and start doing things in the colony.
This is made clear in the first paragraph of the current lead. Perhaps we should add something about the exercise of power over the colony by the metropole. Perhaps referring to the claim of sovereignty and the changing of the government is too vague. However, I don't think we can define colonialism purely in terms of the exercise of power.
I agree that colonialism is not a phenomenon restricted to the period from the 15th to the 20th century. This is why the article says “normally refers to” rather than “is”. This is also why this period does not get a mention until the second paragraph. It should be mentioned fairly early on because this is what a lot of people mean when they talk about colonialism.
At one time this article did have lots of examples of colonialism from other times and by other people. Unfortunately they were all thrown into the article higgledy piggledy. I think some editors had been throwing in examples to try to make a point, rather than considering the flow of the article. I collected the examples together in the section called “Non-canonical colonialism”. They weren't terribly well written when I found them and they still aren't. I've been meaning to do something with it but its such a mess a don't really know where to start. It's all still there if you want to have a look.
I wouldn't take the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories as very informative on colonies. For example, it excludes Tibet, which is ruled by China and has people moving to it from China. Most of the places on the UN list have some kind of local democracy, even if they are dependent on the metropole for some important things. They don't have many colonists moving there from the metropole.
Yaris678 (talk) 19:57, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Vassal states do not come into the picture here at all. It's a vintage term that presumes the existence of a kingdom, not today's republican or constitutional monarchies colonial powers.

Adding something regarding the exercise of power by the colonising power on the colonised people is a necessary element for a fair definition as evidenced from virtually any other existing definition of colonialism -- even SEP states that (

The China-Tibet relation would ordinarilly be classified as colonial, but the UN definition states that for a colonial relationship to exist the colony must be "geographically separate", which Tibet is not. (See I suspect once all colonies are gone, the UN will then start working in gray-area cases like Tibet.

One more thing, while the claim of sovereignty is always made by the colonising power, there is nothing about "a load of colonists turn up and start doing things in the colony," (which I take you to mean a substantial physical presence by subjects loyal to the colonial power) that is required -- See, for example: Osterhammel, Jurgen. Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview. pp 16-17.

Note that there is nothing there about certain centurial timeframes either. You can check this for yourself in other current literature, which do not limit colonialism to "normally referes to" the 15 thru 20th century holding of colonies, nor to the physical presence of colonists. (See also: New World Encyclopedia Today's colonialism is not set on appropiating lands for farming and the like, but rather on securing strategic locations and on exploiting financial markets (See

Perhaps, as this author states, the thing to do in the introduction is to state that no globally acceptable definition of colonialism exists, that controversy exists as to its definition, and then make an attempt to draw out a definition (including various diverging sources as citations) that covers the broadest situations possible. I personally would discourage use of the SEP "definition" as a source; it is not straight-forward, as I and - as you indicated - you have found out.

Regards, Mercy11 (talk) 01:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The book by Jürgen Osterhammel is interesting. The preface (by Roger Tignor) states
For Osterhammel, the essence of colonialism is the existence of colonies, which are by definition governed differently from other territories such as protectorates or informal spheres of influence.
This fits perfectly with the current Wikipedia article. However, in the book itself, Osterhammel seems convinced that this isn’t good enough and states that he is going to define colonialism independently of colony. This ultimately leads to the bizarre conclusion that the colonies of New England were examples of colonies without colonialism.
I think the stuff about the colonists' belief in their superiority is important. It is implied in the current Wikipedia article by the sentence
Some colonists also felt they were helping the indigenous population by bringing them Christianity and civilization.
I definitely think it should be expanded upon. Perhaps the section on Colonialism and the history of thought should have a section called Colonialism and racism.
I agree that it is difficult to define colonialism. That is why I think it is good that the article starts with the most non-controversial meaning - the association with colonies. Perhaps there should be a section called Definitions, immediately after the lead. This works quite well in the article on animal welfare. If you look at talk:animal welfare you will see there was a massive disagreement about what the definition was but including the Definitions section allowed different definitions to be expressed. Putting all these definitions at the start of the lead would make the article difficult to get into. In the case of colonialism, we can also mention the fact that definition is difficult and controversial.
By the way. What is the New World Encyclopedia? It looks remarkably similar to Wikipedia.
Yaris678 (talk) 13:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I've just had a thought! I've tried starting the article by stating three different definitions. What do you think? I think it works quite well because it get across the idea that it means slightly different tings to different people, but at the same time the three definitions are not mutually exclusive. I don't go into a massive amount of explanation about the definitions, but we can give more thorough definitions in the "Definitions" section. Yaris678 (talk) 20:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Definitions section added[edit]

Finally got round to adding a definitions section!

I would like to add something on what definition the UN Special Committee on Decolonization uses, but so far I can't find any decent sources. The important document seems to be resolution 1541 of the UN general assembly, since it talks about geographical separateness, which is why, for example, Western Sahara never gets a mention on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. However, the all-important Principle IV talks about "an obligation to transmit information". Analysis of the sources reveals this to mean the working definition of a "territory of the colonial type", but that isn't really allowed in Wikipedia. What we need is, say, an academic paper that says that this is the definition used by the UN.

Yaris678 (talk) 21:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Correction - It appears that Western Sahara is on the list, just in a non-standard way.[1]
You can't expect to find an academic paper on every subject under the sky. Oftentimes the best you can do with is something less-- and oftentimes much less-- than an academic paper. A bit of wp:reasonableness and common sense go a long way. Above all, there has to be wp:npov and equal and objective treatment of all sides. Good luck, Mercy11 (talk) 01:27, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Number of Deaths associated with imperialism[edit]

I think some Figures on the many millions who lost there lives during the Western Colonial culture i.e. how many africans died on the way to americas and how many indians (from india) died due to the british empires food storage policy (talk) 17:21, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

If you can find good reliable sources for these figures, go ahead and add it, in an appropriate place. Probably in the "Impact of colonialism" section. Yaris678 (talk) 21:19, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, one more thing: Try to phrase whatever you add in terms of colonialism. Imperialism is a different article. Yaris678 (talk) 06:29, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Impact of Colonialism[edit]

The following paragraph is poorly structured and seems to contain a lot of unsourced POV statements:

A discussion on the nature of how diseases were spread has often been scuttled by descendants of colonialists in order to conceal the actual origins of the how certain indigenous populations[unsourced; sounds POV] were inoculated[?? infected??] with these new diseases. The argument here is that once European colonists discovered that indigenous populations were not immune to certain diseases, they attempted to further the spread of diseases in order to gain military advantages and subjugate local peoples. The most famous is that of Jeffery Amherst.[1][there doesn't seem to be any author for this source so it's reliability is questionable] Many scholars[who?] have argued that the body of evidence which sees this practice as having been executed on a larger scale across north America is weak.sources?? Yet growing evidence is showing that other indigenous communities were purposefully inoculated citing oral history[citation needed] from the descendants of said[ouch] peoples. It has been regarded as one of the first instances of bio-terrorism or use of biological weapons in the history of warfare.[I think bioterrorism goes back a lot farther than this, at least to the Romans] For further information see[2] and [3] There is, however, only one documented case of germ warfare, involving British commander Jeffrey['Jeffery' is the correct spelling, I think] Amherst.

This is obviously an important issue, and an the author(s) of this paragraph are trying to make an important point that needs to be raised, so I don't want to just eviscerate the paragraph without having a discussion about how it can be improved. My suggestion would be the following, filling in the citations to appropriate reference material:

There is some evidence suggesting that when European colonizers in the Americas became aware of the low resistance of the indigenous people to disease that they may have engaged in actions to deliberately spread disease.[references here, including scholarly or reliable reference to the review of oral traditions] Such actions would have constituted an early form of bioterrorism. The one documented case of such deliberate actions is associated with British commander Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst during the 1763 siege of Fort Pitt during Pontiac's Rebellion whose writings indicate a willingness to try a strategy of providing smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans.references here]. Corlyon (talk) 17:59, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Hello. You are right about that particular passage. This article as a whole could do with much re-wording, to improve readability and neutrality. I had been working my way down slowly from the top, getting as far as Neocololonialism. The passage you highlight is so bad that perhaps it should be addressed sooner.
I agree with your new words, at least in the short term, with the possible exception of the sentence about bioterrorism. Obviously it is biological warfare on a civilian population, but there are possible reasons why someone might not use the term bioterrorism. Was the intention to cause terror or to kill? (obviously debates on the definition of terrorism continue.) Does it count as terrorism if the boundaries between civilian and military are blurred? Who was the primary target anyway? Blah blah blah.
Perhaps the best thing to do would be to add the text, without the bioterrorism sentence, and with a citation needed tag in a couple of places. I would say the two most questionable facts are the first sentence (as you indicated) and that Jeffrey Amhurst was the only documented case.
I have not read the references that are provided with the current text. Are they any good?
Yaris678 (talk) 02:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


Currently, the colonization of the North pole could be considered neocolonialism, since indiginous people exist in this area. Please add to article. (talk) 17:23, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Recent changes to the lead[edit]

I have reverted the lead to an old version. There has been a number of problematic edits in this area recently.

Firstly these additions by Siuyinh. They have a number of problems including lack of referencing (a general problem for the article) lack of clarity, use of the article as a soap box and general position within the article. Some of the stuff might be appropriate for including later in the article, if phrased a bit more neutrally and without editorialising terms such as “It must not be overlooked that.”

Secondly, these edits. Why were links to government, economy and social structure removed? Why has the escaping of religious persecution been removed? The point about surplus energies sounds like something that people might use to explain it at the time but is it a real reason? Why was the statement about the reality of colonialism removed? Although it is very difficult to talk about the reality of colonialism in the lead, because it was such a diverse phenomenon, the fact that a lot of people died or were subjugated needs a mention. It may well have been the fact that there was no statement on that subject that prompted the later soapboxing by Siuyinh.

I think the best way to improve the lead is actually to improve the rest of the article. Once we have a better picture of what reliable sources say about colonialism we will be in a better position to summarise that picture in the lead.

Yaris678 (talk) 16:25, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Inline cleanup tags in "History of Colonialism"[edit]

I notice that parts of the “History of Colonialism” section have been given inline clean-up tags. This is my thoughts on it:

This whole thing seems like someone’s original, idiosyncratic and not particularly well-written interpretation of history and I would be happy to see it deleted. We could also delete the last sentence of the previous paragraph at the same time. “European [sic] have engaged in colonialism in two main historical periods:”

Good question. This is related to an issue I had when I was writing the section on definitions (See #Definitions section added). As I said then, the important document seems to be resolution 1541 of the UN general assembly, since it talks about geographical separateness. Of course, this is all very well, but can we find a source that says this geographical separateness rules out the Russian and Ottoman empires from being colonial? So far I have not found any decent sources on the geographical separateness issue and yet it seems to be at the heart of what makes an empire colonial. All quite annoting.

The answer to that one is quite complicated but it is attempted quite successfully in the lead of the article linked to if you click on the term American Empire. I don’t think we need to regurgitate the argument here.

The statement seems to be supported by this article of I don’t know anything about but a quick search shows that it has been cited by 236 Wikipedia articles.

Yaris678 (talk) 12:53, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Since there has been no response to this discussion, I have modified the page in a way that I think addresses the issues raised. The only tag I have left in is the one referring to the Russian and Ottoman empires. That issue may require further thought. Yaris678 (talk) 12:57, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I have now removed the bit that had that tag. I don't think it added that much to the article anyway. What we really need is a source that explains the UN's definition of colonialism, without all the jargon... but that would go in a different part of the article anyway. Yaris678 (talk) 18:15, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Map for 1800 needs amendment[edit]

The map for 1800 needs ammendment. In 1800 all Britain had in Australia was a penal colony at Sydney. This should be represented by no more than a pink dot, as absolutely nothing was known about the interior at the time, beyond the Blue Mountains, a short distance behind Sydney and it would be more than half a century before a good, if still incomplete, understanding of the interior was achieved by explorers and only in the late decades of the 1800s before any control and settlement was attempted in much of the interior. As for New Zealand, British settlement and claims to the area only began in the 1840s, so it should be left uncoloured on this map. These changes are needed as this map is about actual control/influence on the ground, not just the claims made back in European capitals.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Provocateur (talkcontribs)

unless there is a good counter argument of which I am not yet aware, I tend to agree with above comment. Indeed, for the Indonesian archipelago on the 1800 map, actual control of the Dutch East Indies is what is shown. And appropriately so - not just the Dutch claim to the whole archipelago. Control over all territories of DEI was not achieved until the early 20th century. --Merbabu (talk) 22:37, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Christianity and colonialism[edit]

I was surprised to find that there is no section in this article on the role of Christian missionaries.

I have started a new article titled Christianity and colonialism. It's intended to be about the debate as to whether Christian missionaries was a force for good, helping the indigenous peoples and moderating the excesses of the colonial powers or if Christian missionaries were just the "religious arm" of the colonial powers, abetting their agenda and having a negative impact on the indigenous peoples.

If you can help improve this new article, your assistance will be much appreciated.

--Richard S (talk) 04:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ [2]
  2. ^ Ann F. Ramenofsky, Vectors of Death: The Archaeology of European Contact (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1987):
  3. ^ Robert L. O'Connell, Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons, and Aggression (NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)