Talk:History of colonialism

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early comment[edit]

The article ignores Russian colonialism. Xx236 12:49, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

And Chinese and Maroccan. Ex-colonies invading countries. And sutuations as Gibraltar or Falklands. Lagoset (talk) 20:55, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Globalize Tag[edit]

One shouldn't carelessly add globalize tags to articles without explaining oneself on the talk page. I have removed it, because, as the article says, "the term colonialism is normally used with reference to European overseas empires rather than land-based empires, European or otherwise, which are better described by the term imperialism.". Gsd2000 12:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

French empire[edit]

Rather than deleting whole section under the strange pretext of "anachronism", maybe you could propose a rewrite of it, if you really don't like it? Cheers! Lapaz 17:58, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The reason it is anachronistic (your text, not the French Empire itself) is because this article is written in a timeline approach: now, thanks to you, suddenly, in between the interwar period and decolonialism sections, there is a section on "the French Colonial Empire" covering the mid-19th century to the mid-20th. That is why it's anachronistic. It's anachronistic in terms of its place in the article. Furthermore, it's once again a trademark Lapaz piece of writing, which goes into far too much detail for a sweeping article like this, and totally breaks up the flow of the article for the reader. Those two (ridiculously named) main articles ("First and Second COlonization Wave") were created by you - why don't you use them to go into detail, instead of adding back large chunks of your text to this article? Frankly, I find your style of contribution quite lazy: instead of working information into articles (which is a lot more effort), you insert large paragraphs entirely written by you, not caring if they break up the flow, or are not appropriate. Then your subsequent contributions are simply to add them back in a fit of pique if they get removed. Gsd2000 22:01, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

This article also ignores Arab, Mongol, Turkish and other non-European colonialism except for a brief mention in the fist paragraph. Planders 17:52, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

As the article says, "the term colonialism is normally used with reference to European overseas empires rather than land-based empires, European or otherwise, which are better described by the term imperialism." Gsd2000 00:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

US Alterant policies[edit]

  1. The Section is titled: "Decolonization (1945-1997)", not "US turning a blind eye to European colonialism"
  2. The paragraph is specifically about the US opposing colonisation, and then supporting colonisation ; especially in relation to Cold War fears. Your removal of new content about the US changing from anti to pro colonial stance over the West New Guinea (over US Cold War fears as further explained in the appropriate West New Guinea article) issue contradicts your edit notation.
  3. I very skillfully rescued the next paragraph out of respect for the other editors even though they were making a statement which is contradicted by relevent facts I had just improved the article with.

My good faith is shown by the care of my edits, I do not delete skillfull edits without due consideration which you have not given to me. 21:15, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Initially, I removed this sentence because it was completely out of place, and in the scheme of US interference in decolonization, a rather minor affair. In this case, the US wasn't turning a blind eye to European colonial empires, which is what this paragraph is about: it was in fact encouraging the transition from a European country to a state that had achieved independence from that same European country. To say that the US was operating a "pro colonial stance" here rests on the premise that Western New Guinea is a colony of Indonesia, which I note is a POV you have been pushing in various articles in Wikipedia. This is further reinforced by your own edit comment relating to my change: "genocide denial is ugly and has no place in Wikipedia". I am fully aware that you believe Western New Guinea to be a "colony" of Indonesia, and I respect the fact you hold that view, but it is by no stretch of the imagination a universally held view and you should not make changes to articles either subtly alluding to that notion as though it is a fact, or framing it as an outright fact (as you did in colony). Gsd2000 00:10, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
The paragraph starts with the words "Although the US had first opposed itself to colonial powers" which is the object of the paragraph, and the opening sentence ends with "Cold War concerns about Soviet influence in the Third World caused it to downplay its advocacy of popular sovereignty and decolonization." which is the subject of the sentence and paragraph.
Neither the Article, Section, or Paragraph are about "European colonial empires" - you thinking of some OTHER article. This is the History_of_colonialism article which is NOT restricted to one part of the world - which is 90% of the point about Empires and Colonialism being efforts to rule other parts and multiple parts of the world where the State has no empathy or genuine interest in the welfare of the people.
You state premise that Western New Guinea is a colony of Indonesia? I understand if you are not familiar with the subject of colonisation - it is a subject which few people pay attention to since the UN attempted to claim it had ended all colonisation several years ago shortly before it had to resume the next Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization.
However, BEFORE deleting or otherwise REVERTING article content, you SHOULD read about the subject. For example if the article is talking about the New York Agreement you should read that document - which states it is a Transfer of Administration of the colony ; further the Agreement admits the colony had not yet expressed Self-Determination - which if you read UN GA 1514 and 1541 you will see means the territory REMAINS a COLONY until there is an "Self-determination" complying with UN GA 1541.
US Congressmen agree with that, International Jurist agree with that, what is your qualification to claim the UN General Assembly or International Court of of Justice would say otherwise?
Secondly on the subject of status as a colony - irrespective of the Contract of sale that states West New Guinea is a colony, and UN GA Resolution 2504 which clearly does not claim any Self-determination took place or that the 'Act' organised by the Brig. General complied with terms of the New York Agreement under whose authority it was meant to be conducted -

UN GA 1541 Principle 4 clearly identifies West New Guinea prima facie as a COLONY, and with reports such as the US Dept. of State. human rights reports - Principle 5 is also clearly fulfilled. The fact is that the Republic of Indonesia signed a contract stating West New Guinea is a COLONY; the Netherlands had been submitting reports under Article 73e of the UN Charter because West New Guinea is a COLONY. UN GA Resolution 1541 says West New Guinea is a colony. That is a matter of fact. There has been no legal effort to dispute this. In fact, that is precisely what the letters Desmond Tutu and others supported last year were asking for - for the ICJ to give its opinion. Legally West New Guinea is still a colony until the ICJ says "Self-determination" as defined in UN GA 1541 has taken place. As the ICJ is the ONLY relevent authority that can say some territory is or is not a colony - your claim that it is not is speculation until the ICJ says otherwise to change West New Guinea's status from being a colony.

BTW: Getting back to the subject of the article, the history of the colony of West New Guinea which the US Dept. of State records of 1962 stating the issue revolved around a "pro-Indonesia group at the Whitehouse" claiming Cold War need to force the Netherlands to trade the colony to Indonesia is specifically central to an article about the history of colonialism; especially a colony being expoited by the world's largest gold mine. It is the classic definition of colonisation, a territory being denied sovereignty, and is current US policy as shown by Whitehouse statements - President Bush also re-emphasized the United States' strong support for Indonesia's national unity and territorial integrity, and opposition to secessionist movements in any part of Indonesia.' 06:20, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, I find it very hard to accept that you are acting in good faith and to converse with you on this talk page about the matter in hand, whilst you are simultaneously engaged in harassing me, by (a) filing RfCs on me [1] and then refiling when it was removed [2] and (b) trawling through my contributions to post messages on others' talk pages not about this article but about me [3] [4] [5]. Anyway, to rise above that nonsense, your arguments above are to me a classic case of Original Research and POV. I agree with you on one thing, that the US's encouragement for WNG to be transferred from the Netherlands to Indonesia was probably part of its Cold War strategy, but you are going too far in saying that it was adopting a pro-colonial stance here, in the same paragraph as discussion of France in Vietnam and Algeria. Gsd2000 13:43, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
From memory I believe the United States from 1946 began sending technical or similar advisors to assist the French effort to reinstate French rule in Vietnam; a policy some writers have attributed to a desire to maintain French relations for reconstruction work after the war (perhaps Marshal Plan thinking); if that is the case then the Truman administration was adopting a pro-colonial stance irrespective of its motives, it was willing to support colonalisation when advantageous.
Likewise, Kennedy in 1962 when presented with what he believed to be too great a geo political cost for supporting a non-colonial stance, decided to support the colonial claim.
I hope you agree with me that neither the US public nor Congress were consulted on these foreign policy decisions; and that the Presidents were not promoting colonialism as a desirable global policy. It is just that the Presidents believed they were being expeditious for the benefit of their nation. In 20/20 hind-sight we can see the long term costs those decisions lead to.
In the case of 1946 I would have to go to the local university library to look up what the US Dept. of State did publish about the issue. But, for the issue of 1962 I and any Wikipedia editor can read the online copy which the University of Illinois kindly published - and it is the US itself who states the US drafted the New York Agreement and got the Netherlands to sign it because of Cold War (Soviet) concerns. The Dept. of State even puts in writting a comment about a "pro-Indonesia group at the Whitehouse" who were promoting the pro-Jakarta idea to Kennedy against DoS opinion.
Not "Private Research" - but public record published in 1995.
I think you have been mistaken about deleting the subject. 15:07, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
The original research I am saying you are indulging in is your view that Western New Guinea is a "colony" of Indonesia. This is a POV, and not a widely held one. Your interpretations of the legality of the situation and the wording of UN charters are original research, which you are then feeding into the article in order to express one particular POV. I understand you have strong views on the subject, but WP is not the place to espouse them. This is an encyclopaedia. Gsd2000 16:10, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Why did Indonesian sign the New York Agreement stating West New Guinea is a colony? The United States government also states it is a colony and that it was traded because of Cold war concerns. It is not a matter of opinion or conjecture, UN GA 1541 clearly defines what a colony is, it took fifteen years for the UN General Assembly to gain universal agreement about this definition that was a necessity due to UN Charter Articles 1, 73, and 74. Global agreement for forty six years on the definition.
I'm sure you are not meaning to suggest Wikipedia should use a popularity test for information, instead of conception the Stalk theory could be more popular. During WW-II few people believed the rumours of death camps, Allied governments even denied such things existed; here is an Indonesian confirmation that East Timor was not a colony, here is a United Nations confirmation that East Timor was a colony of Portugal (although in recent years they have updated it with a notation that it came under Indonesian 'control'). Here is an United States summary confirming Clinton's 1998 support of "Indonesian national unity and territorial integrity"; sounding very much like today's Bush version.
Legal experts around the world agree West New Guinea is a colony, many also put their names to public letters stating this. Against this, can you offer one legal challenge by Indonesia or anyone?
What special level of 'proof' would you want? We have the UN definition, legal opinion, and a lack of any legal challenge. The fact is nothing in any encyclopedia nor which you or I believe is 100% certain/provable; just reasonably so. 17:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
You cite that the "United States government also states" Western New Guinea is a colony of Indonesia. Firstly, this page is not a statement of current United States policy. Secondly, I cannot even see anything purporting to be such a statement. I can see that WNG is referred to as a Dutch colony. I also see a statement about Dutch views of transfer to Indonesia as substituting "white for brown" colonialism, but I see nothing backing up your claim that "The United States government also states it is a colony" [of Indonesia]. Gsd2000 17:17, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
"white for brown" colonialism
Colonialism \Co*lo"ni*al*ism\, n.
1. The state or quality of, or the relationship involved in, being colonial.
2. A custom, idea, feature of government, or the like, characteristic of a colony.
3. The colonial system of political government or extension of territory, by which one nation exerts political control over another nation, territory, or people, maintaining the colony in a state of dependence, its inhabitants not having the same full rights as those of the colonial power. The controlling power is typically extended thus by military force or the threat of force.
4. the political or ideological system of beliefs advocating or justifying colonial control of one nation over another nation, territory, or people.
Obstinate \Ob"sti*nate\, a. [L. obstinatus, p. p. of obstinare to set about a thing with firmness, to persist in; ob (see Ob-) + a word from the root of stare to stand. See Stand, and cf. Destine.]
1. Pertinaciously adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course; persistent; not yielding to reason, arguments, or other means; stubborn; pertinacious; -- usually implying unreasonableness.
2. Not yielding; not easily subdued or removed; as, obstinate fever; obstinate obstructions.
Syn: Stubborn; inflexible; immovable; firm; pertinacious; persistent; headstrong; opinionated; unyielding; refractory; contumacious. See Stubborn.
Ob"sti*nate*ly, adv. -- Ob"sti*nate*ness, n.

Concerning current status of West New Guinea, what does that have to do with an article about the "History of colonialism"? Or about an entry talking about US colonial actions in 1962? But if you do want a debate on current status, I am willing, this just isn't the best place for it - and should not be used for excluding the content from this article. If you find any definitive statement by either Australia or the United States stating East Timor or West New Guinea are "not a colony" during Indonesian 'administration' - do let me know. The Archbidhop and Congressmen would LOVE to catch either government with foot in mouth; instead, both governments only say things along the lines of George Bush's policy "President Bush also re-emphasized the United States' strong support for Indonesia's national unity and territorial integrity, and opposition to secessionist movements in any part of Indonesia." - Just why would there be "secessionist movements"?

Why do you require a US or other government to insult Indonesia before allowing something into this Wikipedia article? Where were the US government statements about the mass slaughter of a half million Javanese during 1965/66 - do you think that was a secret? Where is the US coverage of the anti-US rallies and Jakarta mobs searching hotels for Americans after 9/11?
Could it be that the US government does not comment on such things because it would be un-diplomatic? In the real world we do not expect governments to list the faults of their trading partners, in fact they'll go to great lengths to avoid the subject. But that does not mean East Timor was not invaded in 1975, was not a colony of Indonesia from 1975-1999 even if the UN does not want to print that.

But if you are so so certain the US DoS records do not show West New Guinea was a colony being transfered to Indonesian administration , WHY DON'T YOU ASK FOR PEER REVIEW??? 02:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Japanese colonies[edit]

I deleted several sentences[6]. "Brutal" is NPOV expression. There were many Japanese comfort women, so it does not relate to colonialism. Nanjing was not a Japanese colony, so it does not relate to colonialism.--Mochi (talk) 11:56, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Britain and Hong Kong[edit]

Include British turnover of Hong Kong also in 1999 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:49, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Soviet imperialism[edit]

I wonder whether this section really fits into this article, since imperialism is not equal to colonialism, and USSR had no colonies, but only constituent republics and satellite states. We can't start bringing every historical empire with dependent territories (like Ottoman Empire, Habsburg Empire etc.) into the article about colonialism. I propose to remove this section from here. If there are any arguments against? Greyhood (talk) 06:36, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Agree with User:Greyhood to remove.----Look2See1 t a l k → 22:47, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, more than a week have passed since the section removal was proposed, and at least one person agreed with it. So I've deleted the section as irrelevant. Greyhood (talk) 20:06, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
  • However, imperialism is introduced as being a parallel (if not synonymous) idea in the very first paragraph of the article. In addition, while Soviet imperialism is distinguished from Russian imperialism (or colonialism), they are probably very similar in origin and nature. In fact, the Russians and later the Soviets, promote classical techniques of colony acquisition that were practiced by the Ancient Greeks as well as other populations. So to have removed the contents (which I have not reviewed yet) that pertain to this aspect is purely the removal of pertinent information from an otherwise necessary inclusion. Without having reviewed the information, I am saying that whomever of you removed this information has jumped the gun in doing so... Maybe, you were simply ignorant of Soviet and, prior to this, Russian behaviors to transplant populations in newly acquired territories or "satellites" as you refer to them. In either case, that is a pure colonial tactic, is it not? Stevenmitchell (talk) 00:48, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Opening needs to be rewritten[edit]

Honestly, I have no idea what fruitfly wrote the opening of this article but it needs to be brought up to at least high school standards... Someone please rewrite the article's introduction so that it is not offensive to mammalian life that also work on Wikipedia. Thank you so much in advance if you do... Stevenmitchell (talk) 00:31, 30 June 2013 (UTC)


What exactly happened in 1870 to begin a new era of colonialism? Franco-Prusian war? Anglo-Dutch Treatry meaning highest British imperialism?. Lagoset. Lagoset (talk) 18:57, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Exploring, I have found the mark in the explotation of the Suez Canal. Lagoset (talk) 20:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)


It strikes me while reading this article that, while it goes into great detail, it is almost entirely unsourced. This is a long article, divided into six main sections and numerous subsections, yet it only has 12 citations, 10 of which occur in the same section(the relatively small India (1858 onwards) section). As a matter of fact, in the three largest sections of the article (Portuguese and Spanish exploration and colonization, Independence in the Americas (1770–1820), and New Imperialism (1870–1914)) there is not a single citation. Considering the importance and delicacy of the subject matter, I would think this article could benefit immensely from extensive and accurate sourcing. This is especially important considering the fact that the bulk of the article is written as fact and in Wikipedia's voice, rather than as sourced and attributed statements, and as such there is no way of determining to what extent the material is WP:OR and what can be attributed to WP:RS. UnequivocalAmbivalence (talk) 10:44, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

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