Template talk:Colonial empires

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Many thise "empires" such as Austria- Hungary,Coureland and sweden only had a few colonies I ddont't think thart they can be counted as colonial empires


I believe it would be beneficial to add the Courland colonization to this template but for that to happen, this flag needs to be uploaded, [1]. My computer has issues uploading images.(I really don't understand why I can download stuff and everything). Falphin 23:25, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

United States Addition[edit]

I added the US because they are included and discussed in the article. There is no reason not to include the US in the template. The argument "the US never had colonies or engaged in imperialism" is not valid nor true, see discussion pages of relevant article.--David Barba (talk) 01:10, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

- If you add the United States, add every nation that ever had colonies, like the Ottoman Empire, Persia, China, etc. The US should not be on the list because it was not imperialistic, since it is a democracy and lacks ever having an imperial government. (talk) 17:55, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for using the discussion board. One, the United States was an imperial power during the classic "Age of Imperialism", late 19th century- check your history of the Philippines. Second, the US has at times acted imperialistic- check your history on US relations with Latin America. Thi--David Barba (talk) 20:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)rd, beginning a "democracy" does not qualify or disqualify a nation from being a colonial power- check your history of France.--David Barba (talk) 19:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I agree with The template was without the USA for many months prior to you readding it. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 19:49, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The difference with the US is, 1. while expanding, it was not an "imperial power." It set the Philippines up for independence, if you recall, even though it had the chance to keep it. 2. It didn't act imperialistic, it protected its economic interests. It never annexed any parts of Central America. Is a bank that intervenes on a business that can't repay its loans imperialistic? 3. Every other nation on the colonial template had a monarchy during its imperialistic expansions, with few exceptions. And the French, unlike the US, moved in and tried to permanently annex areas. If you want the US in the Template, include China, Persia, the Ottomans, and others that are more deserving of the title "Imperialistic". (talk) 20:50, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
What makes the United States an interesting case of colonialism is its paradoxical nature, born from a country founded on an anticolonial movement. This paradox is not a disqualification, but an interesting historical dynamic- stilling living with us in the United States.
  1. The United States only fully captured the Philippines after a bloody and decade long war against the Philippine armed independence movement. They weren't exactly welcomed and nor were their promises of granting independence trusted. The Philippines were only granted independence after WWII and a Japanese occupation that reemboldening local armed organization and demands for independence from the United States. Additionally the Philippines is only one example, we haven't yet discussed the history of Puerto Rico, or Hawaii (Hawaii was annex after a coup against the independent Hawaiian Monarchy by US businessmen). All European colonial powers framed their colonial adventures on the premise of some noble good (ex. spreading civilization, ending slavery), the US premise of spreading civilization and democracy was no different. The "White Man's Burden" was written by Kipling for Americans, to convince them (despite some of their anticolonial history and national mythos) to embark on an colonial project in the Philippines. What is important here is not rhetoric (of the powerful over the powerless I'll add) but practice, and by all measures the United States was a classic western colonial power.
  2. Huh? Yes, invading and occupying a country to protect private American business interests forcibly against the interests of a local government and population is the very core of imperialism. Please review your history of the Roosevelt Corollary, United States occupation of Haiti, the United States occupation of Nicaragua, occupation of the Dominican Republic, and the Panama Canal.
  3. Your argument here is contradictory. Nowhere in any dictionary or encyclopedia is the term colonialism dependent on the existence of a monarchy. You admit yourself that there are exceptions to your own rule. During the "Age of Imperialism" most imperial powers were representative democracies (constitutional Monarchies were the monarch only held nominal power). Yes, the French Republic tried to permanently annex territories and its inhabitants, and so did the United States (much more successfully), ex. Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam. Many within the United States, many powerful politicians wanted to permanently annex the Philippines as well. Its eventual (date unspecified)independence was not assured until the 1930s. The same debate ragged over Cuba after the Spanish-American war, and over Mexico immediately after the Mexican-American War. -This debate is not about the Ottoman Empire, China, or Persia. Make your arguments for or against them elsewhere and you may find me arguing on your side, depending the case.
  4. Most importantly, the United States is accepted as a historical imperialist power in textbooks [2], encyclopedias [3], and scholarly work [4]. Other references: "Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism" by Greg Grandin, "Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire" by Niall Ferguson, "The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, 1895-1902" by PS Foner, "Dollar Diplomacy: A Study in American Imperialism" by S Nearing, J Freeman, Short Essay: "Imperialism Superpower dominance, malignant and benign" By Christopher Hitchens [5].

I'll wait for your response before reverting the edit. Please use references, not just personal assertions, POVs. Thanks--David Barba (talk) 23:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Very well put. I do think however that the link should go under "American" since all the other links go under that form (eg: British, French, Italian, Swedish). ChrisDHDR 15:21, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I am in favor of "United States" because it is more "PC" (America is a continent not just a country) but if the majority are in favor of "American", that's fine. For me, its just a preference issue, not a factual issue. --David Barba (talk) 21:17, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I can find textbooks that say that Africans are an inferior race. Just because it is in a textbook doesn't make it true. Leftist these days have a way of redefining words when situations won't make things fit. If you look at the definition of racism pre-1960s it requires a belief in the superiority of one race over another as a qualifier. Today, this seems to have strangely changed. Prejudice has been redefined to Racist. Remember when they tried to push prejudice is bad but it went nowhere? They redefined it to racist because that goes somewhere fast. Remember the ozone thing that went no where? Now they talk of global warming? It is all the same game to them. (talk) 20:01, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


This template seems to be incomplete. Their needs to be a section on Belgium, Japan, Russia, and the United States. 19:42, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

  • The Dutch and German versions are more complete, [6]. They also have Norwegian colonialism. 19:44, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


The flags are too modern. At least the German one should be the flag of the German Empire, not the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The flag of Italy should be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Italy_flag_1861.png, but I see that the other flags are ".svg". Is it a problem to change it, anyway?


In agreement with Falphin, above I believe Courland should be included. Sweden at its height had at most two colonies at at time. Courland had two has well. Besides, every other european colonial power is up there. Will revert once, but if revereted then we will continue on with a discussion. 23:51, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Should an article be written on Austrian Imperialism or Colonialism? Austria did make one attempt at a colony and was involved in the Boxer Rebellion. This is apparently some odd movie or something, about a sort of "What if?" [7] 00:19, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Source that calls it the Courlandean empire. [8]
Whilst an article on Courland's colonial antics is fair enough, I completely and utterly disagree that Courland should be added to this template. If this is added, then we are heading down a slippery slope - should we have "Castillian Colonialism" (given that Spain's possessions belonged to the Kingdom of Castile), "Venetian Colonialism", "English Colonialism", "Scottish Colonialism" etc? Gsd2000 14:46, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Why not???? The point of the template is to be informative. including all the colonial powers would give a better perspective on colonialism. that said, it is not justified to include english(because that is best included in brittain) scotland maybe. venetia, definately, castilian no. Castille is already covered under the Spanish just like Brandenburgh is covered under German. 03:40, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Courland can hardly be called a "colonial power" and was certainly not a nation state in the same way that the other colonial powers in this template are. If you say Castillian Colonialism should be included under Spanish Colonialism, then why not subsume Courland Colonialism under Lithuanian Colonialism? That would be silly, but it's the logical conclusion of your argument. Gsd2000 15:20, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
It depended on Lithuania as a protection state/poland. techinically it could be considered under such, except it was courlanders that initated the colonialism. Castille is the predecessor to Spain, which is why it belongs under that. Courland had no colonial sucessor state. Courland was enough of a power to have its colonies attacked by the Dutch so they apparently considered them a minor threat to trade interests, sort of like how Britain twice attempted to destroy the Danish fleet during the Napoleonic Wars to eliminate any competing trade empire. I'm not understanding your objection to Courland I guess.(probably why my arguements seem a bit random)
My main objection is that Courland simply didn't make enough of a mark on history to be included in this template. I'm not suggesting that Wikipedia should have no mention of Courland, just that this template, which appears in quite a few places, should not include it. Gsd2000 03:03, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, so you arguement is solely based on signficance? I would disagree because Courland was signficant during its brief career it was of similar status to say Denmark in 1700's. (Keep in mind at the time there were very few large colonies but numerous small ones). Courland's career of course came to end due to poor leaders after Jacob and continual attacks by the Dutch. My main arguement is however that the point of the template is to be informative. And there weren't that many other colonial powers besides these during that era except austria(attempted), and Australia, and possibly NZ. So there aren't that many other countries to include even if we included them all, so i don't see the problem. 02:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I think that you subscribe to the "trainspotter" view of Wikipedia. I don't mean that to be an insult, but rather the view that each article should contain an exhaustive list and description of everything that could possibly fall under it. For example - someone has added territories administered by the British military in the aftermath of WW2 to the British Empire page. Technically you can argue that, yes, the British ran these territories, but no serious discussion of the British Empire per se would include the German and Austrian occupation zones. In another case, someone has started a "famous residents" section of the article of a town I know well. It's now growing to include a lot of minor celebrities who are the pet favourites of the people that added them. Technically these people do live in that town, so they would argue that it is informative, but would the average reader care? Sometimes writing for Wikipedia is an exercise in knowing what not to add. Otherwise, the inescapable end point is that Wikipedia should contain every single piece of knowledge known to mankind. That's not what encyclopaedias are meant to do. Gsd2000 13:30, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
The only reason I'm arguing from that POV is because there aren't many other nations left. We've pretty much covered them all, and so adding one is going to do any harm. I don't agree with the comments like having what every celebrity has pet. Perhaps i lean or possibly even strongly lean that way however my point on courland is that there weren't that many colonial powers and so it is a much smaller topic area so getting into the lesser known areas might be beneficial to the encyclopedia to expand it. If there were 30 nations involved in colonialism and courland was one of the smaller ones I would suggest keeping only keeping the most notable however in europe there were a mere handful of colonial powers. I hope my points aren't too jumbled, I haven't had much time to write this. Sorry.
There are lots of nations left. As you said: Austria, Australia, New Zealand. But what about the Vikings and Normandy? What about Carthage, Venice, Genoa? The Greeks, the Romans, the Persians? The Ptolemaics? The Byzantines, the Arab Caliphates, the Ottomans? Gsd2000 13:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I was about to barge in and say that the way I learned it in Austria was that we never had any colonies, but it turns out we briefly occupied the Nicobars after the Danes didn't want them any longer... Curious. —Nightstallion (?) 16:16, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
That would be distracting from the purpose. This template that we have here is refering to the age of exploration to the age of imperialism 1600's-1990's. Another probelm is that Phoenecian colonies were a lot different than European because they were basically settlements that had a common culture. Which is quite a bit different than European colonialism. The Vikings are most similar but once again from a far earlier period and for another purpose. And to Night STallian, yeah Austria never really had colonies although they were invovled in the Boxer rebellion so they had interest in China and probably other east asian places other than the Nicobars but they could be included for those reasons. Of course all of this is just our opinions, hopefully others could join in so we could have consensus. I may be wrong about the inclusion but I would like others to agree on that first. 03:14, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
The "age of exploration" began in the 1400s, actually, with the the Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator, although that is beside the point. Your arguments are arbitrary. You are choosing to decide that "colonialism" began in 1600 (or 1400 if you agree with my correction). You are choosing to decide that the definition of colonialism is that settlements should not have a common culture (which incidentally would exclude English/British "white" colonies as parts of colonial empires). Indeed, I see no reference anywhere to the fact that this template refers to "the age of exploration to the age of imperialism ". But let us for the sake of argument accept your arbitrary definitions - shouldn't we then include the Ottoman Empire? Gsd2000 13:51, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Sorry 1600's was a typo. thanks for the correction. Britain would not be excluded because its empire's origins are with the white settlers but it later lead the charge for imperialistic ambitions. The template implies it, with its emphasis on that time period. Otherwise, we would exclude Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, etc, and instead include major ancient colonial empires. 22:13, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
oh, and on the Ottomans. If you have reference referring to them as a colonial power, well then yes. But from my understanding that were a "multi-ethinic" empire like Austro-Hungary and never really had colonies. 22:29, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
  • it may be also worth noting that other languages include courland. 03:41, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
That would be a circular argument to use that to justify anything. Gsd2000 15:20, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
No, I'm just showing other wikipedias believed it noteworthy enough. 02:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
But what if they were added to other wikipedias because the English version considered it noteworthy enough?! Gsd2000 02:58, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
That wasn't the case though. I'm not suggesting that this is reason to keep it, just that users on other languages consider it noteworthy enough. 02:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
How do you know that wasn't the case? How do you know there isn't someone from France poised to remove Courland from the French page? The only conclusion you can draw from Courland's presence on other language templates is that at least one reader considers it noteworthy enough to list, but we already know that, because we are having this discussion, and you have espoused that view. Gsd2000 13:34, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
you can look above where it was there previously, and while i can't know someone is getting ready to remove it it has been there a while(look at history). and there are at least three users because i can't speak dutch or any language but english and a little spanish and italian and then there is another user supporting above. i can't know if someone is getting ready to remove, but i was just showing that others have supported the inclusion of courland. 04:07, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I noticed too that Courland is missing from the list. It should be added again for completeness. The Duchy of Courland was offcially a Polish-Lithuanian vassal, but behaved pretty much like an independent state, and Warsaw had little say in the area. The colonial attempts should most likely be seen in this context. BTW, why is the Romanov flag used instead of the Russian flag? --Valentinian (talk) 13:22, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
"Completeness"? So tell me why you aren't proposing to add the numerous "states" that I mention above? Gsd2000 13:30, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
The Romanov flag I think is used because that was the flag during that time period. 22:14, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Possible solution[edit]

I don't know how we would go about this but we could create a list of colonial nations page, and link it at the bottom of the template. The issue, is we would have to come up with enough countries and then write articles on them. But Courland, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, etc could be included. 22:31, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Flag of Portugal[edit]

The current flag has only been in use since 1910. While the Portugal had colonies until 1999, I'm would prefer to use one of the older flags. I personally like the usage of the flag from 1485-1495 [10] because it easy to see, and it was during Portugal's height. The disadvantage is that it was only used for 10 years. 02:00, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

    • It might also be preferable to use the 45 or 48 star Flag of the United States. 45 star being during and after the Spanish-American War and the 48 being a lengthy period before the acession of Hawaii and Alaska, which pretty much ended the height of American colonialism. 02:06, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Russian colonial empire[edit]

Any chance anyone could write an article on this? 02:23, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Flag of Japan[edit]

The current flag Naval Ensign of Japan.svg is not the state flag but the naval flag. I think the state flag should be used in this template. --Park-j 09:46, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

A valid point, I suppose, but I think I can tolerate a small lapse in rock-solid accuracy, given that the War Ensign is the flag most commonly associated with Japanese imperial expansion. Albrecht 14:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. If it is the list of the powers, the flag should be of the state, I think. But it is a template for the end of pages. --Park-j 18:16, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Austrian empire[edit]

I have added the austrian empire to the template. If any one has any questions please go ahead. T.Hall

The Austrian Empire might be appropriate to add on. Just because it didn't have any oversea areas, dosn't mean that Bosnia, Venice, and Poland wern't colonies. Casey14 03:51, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

This is nonsense. Bosnia, Poland, Venice etc had very similar legal and economical status as the hereditary Habsburk countries (Bohemia, Moravia, Austria, Slovenia). Please do not dilute the meaning of the word. TIA Pavel Vozenilek 00:03, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The Ottoman Empire?[edit]

Should Ottoman Empire to be included into the template? Zaparojdik 20:58, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. I believe it should be. I would add it but I don't know how to make the flag. Casey14 03:50, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a difference between a colonial empire and an empire. The Ottoman Empire was certainly an empire, but it was not colonial by any means. Thats my perspective at least...If the Ottoman Empire can be added, couldn't all empires be added? We must first define colonial empire and then decide. Thats just my two cents, I dont know why Austria Hungary is up there either.
Let me clarify. I believe the definition of a colonial empire is an empire that is able to project itself through colonization of far away areas, such as the British, German, French, Spanish, etc...empires and holdings in the America's, Asia, Africa, etc...correct?
Austria Hungary and the Ottoman Empire were merely land empires, of the likes of China, Rome, Persia, Byzantium, Mughal India, etc...
Frankly, I dont see what Austria Hungary and the Ottoman Empire have to do with any of the other empires listed.
Hope this helps!Azerbaijani 21:32, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Colonialism means to have power over other ethnic groups. Read the full page on colonialism. It states the reason why Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire are colonial powers. The Ottoman Empire is usually always cited as a colonial power in most textbooks.Casey14
No, that's expanding the meaning of the word to include almost every historical state. It is certainly invalid for Austria and quick searching through Google scholar for Ottomans fails to spot any label of "colonial empire" being attached to them (I do not claim expertise for Ottomans, though).
I strongly recommend to remove all the "colonial empires" invented here. Danish and especially Swedish colonial adventures were minuscule compared to other powers and had minimal impact on whatever in the mother countries - hence they do fit with the common understanding of the word "empire" (that Wikipedia has articles named "Danish colonial empire" and "Swedish colonial empire" shows very weak quality control here). Pavel Vozenilek 00:34, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
British India is usually not labeled as "colonial empire" even when it was its government (not London) who controlled Burma and Aden - large, distant, populous and ethnically very different regions not tied historically to India. Pavel Vozenilek 00:40, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Calling a religious state such as the Ottoman Empire a "colonial empire" compared to the likes of France, Spain and England is just amateurism. WP:POLICY states that other wp articles cannot be used as sources, for fairly obvious reasons. I've never seen the Ottoman Empire being cited as a colonial state, this would contradict a great deal of western historiography principles (it would consider Egypt a colonised state for starters). Can you back up this claim with sources? Thanks. I agree largely with Pavel here, quality control is very weak. Miskin 21:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I actually have to agree that this template should be renamed or include a lot more. According to princeton.edu, a colony is a geographical area politically controlled by a distant country. As such, we have to define distant. Shouldn't we include the Roman empire, or the Huns? It might not be distant by our standards, but it was to them (the Huns moved all the way to Europe). The Evil Spartan 16:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
There is a common view in Balkan, Norhern Africa and Middle Eastern states that Ottoman empire was a colonial empire and even it gives in Bulgarian history books as "Turkish slavery" they think that they were slaves which forced to work in Turkey. Filibeli 14:30, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Considering things like the Blood tax and Angaria, this is not a surprising view. Kostja (talk) 16:13, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

ain't USSR a colonial empire?[edit]

toward the eastern europe states same for nazi germany with vichy france and croatia as its colonies? Paris By Night 20:38, 23 June 2007 (UTC)


The Ottoman Empire and the United states have no part in the "colonial empires" list. They don't fit there under any definition of the term, especially the Ottoman Empire which was an Islamic state where citizenship was determined by religion. I'm not sure if Russia and Japan do fit the definition but I think not. As you probably know colonialism has a very specific meaning and it's not as abstract as some editors tend to think. I think those inaccuracies should be corrected on the "colonial empires" template. Miskin 21:45, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

The United States does fit. -MichiganCharms 20:33, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

- practice of ruling nations as colonies: a policy in which a country rules other nations and develops trade for its own benefit [12]
- The control of one nation by “transplanted” people of another nation — often a geographically distant nation that has a different culture and dominant racial or ethnic group.
- the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
- the system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence.

The United States was a colonial empire(if for a short time-considering your point of view), the Philippines was acquired during the Spanish American War. In an age of Imperialism - Americans such as President William Mckinley felt they needed join the European powers in colonial adventures in order for the United States to be taken more seriously as a power, however they were opposed by anti-imperialists by Mark Twain. The Americans fought the Filipinos during the Philippine-American War, the Philippines gained self rule in 1916, became a commonwealth in 1935 and gained full independence in 1946.

The Ottoman Empire was a colonial Empire, it ruled over Egypt and exercised influence over the barbary states of North Africa.(see Hayreddin Barbarossa, Barbary Coast, History of Ottoman Egypt, Ottoman Empire) Many Ottoman Turks settled in Europe, together with local conversions to Islam and the intermixing with local population this established the present-day Islamic population of Europe.

The Russia and the Japan were colonial empires they both exerted influence over China (see, Relations between the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire). European Russians settled in Siberia, Central Asia, the Russians also established protectorates over the Khanate of Khiva, Emirate of Bukhara and political influence over Persia.(see Russian Empire, Vladivostok, Russian conquest of Siberia)
Japan annexed Korea in 1910 and Japanese colonists were present in Korea, Manchuria, China and former German Pacific Mandates right up till the end of World War II. (see Japanese people in North Korea, South Pacific Mandate, Imperial Japanese colonialism in Manchukuo, Japanese strategic planning for the Pacific (1905-1940), Manchukuo#Japanese population) - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:47, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

How is a Russia a colonial empire, while Austria-Hungary and Ottoman arn't?[edit]

Basically, I just stated it. Russia never had any overseas colonies. The Ottomans and Austrians are supposedly not on this list because of that reason.Casey14 04:18, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Was not Alaska considered "overseas"? That-Vela-Fella 22:05, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Russia a colonial empire - Russia's Steppe Frontier: The Making Of A Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (Indiana-Michigan Series in Russian and East European Studies) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Austria {again} and heres why[edit]

O.k so iv'e added Austria again. I decided that Austria needed to be included and here are 9 reasons why: -1.Austria's contribution to colonialism was no smaller then Sweden or Courland,who never posessed a great deal of colonies either.

-2.Austria was invited to the Berlin convention of 1885 to decide on the carving up of Africa surely a colonial meating?

-3.Austria was one of the great powers from 1815 until 1918 and was generally treated as such by other powers.

-4.Austria was ruled by an Emperor under the name of empire.

-5.Austria may have not planted thousands of it's people across the world or controlled oceans or trade routes but this does not disqualify it's claim to colonialism.

-6.Austria's miserable lack of colonies came from it being bullied and outperformed by powers better placed to exploit the sea and not from lack of interest.

-7.Austria's navey was still a force to be reconed with,as the so called "colonial power", Italy found out at the battle of Lissa (1866).

-8.Austria's weakness was merely geographic,it was just as politically, economically and socially advanced as the "western" colonial powers.And just as geared towards expansionism.

-9.If Courland, a small baltic duchy,that was little more then a dependancy of Poland, can be included as a colonial power for possesing a few carribean isles, then surely one of the great powers o Europe can be included for owning an indian archipeligo,some frozen islands and a cluster of chinese and indian trading post?

-T.Hall —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thomas Hall (talkcontribs) 12:32, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

All original research, I'm afraid. I removed both Courland and Austria. To call either's overseas antics an "empire" is absurd, but more importantly, these terms ("Courlandish Empire", "Austrian Colonial Empire") have been invented here at Wikipeda and therefore constitute original research. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 23:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)


What's up with all these changes going on for? Was there a memo I missed that allows a person to arbitrarily do these? Wasn't places like Russia agreed to be kept in it? That-Vela-Fella 06:24, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

A memo? Would you like an appointment to be arranged with your secretary to discuss changes in future? The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 11:30, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
  1. Please be WP:CIVIL.
  2. Please clean up after yourself after you rename a template. You left a double redirect on all articles that used Template:Colonial Empires. I've fixed that instance, but please avoid that kind of recklessness in the future.
Thanks, Andrwsc 15:17, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
It was done very messily & with no rhyme nor reason as to why it's just limited to the European nations while excluding others that had colonies.

The way it stands now is libel to get further edits unless a consensus is made. As for the memo bit, that was a rhetorical question, but seems it went over Red's head. :/ That-Vela-Fella 19:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I was also being rhetorical. As for rhyme and reason, there is plenty of reason. The nations listed now (a) were all European and engaged in the same form of overseas colonialism ultimately stemming from the Age of Discovery (Russian land-based imperialism was not the same historical phenomenon as European seaborne colonialism) and (b) made a non-trivial mark on history ("Courlandish Empire" and "Austrian Colonial Empire" indeed - Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information WP:NOT#IINFO). For if we include Russia, why not the Ottoman Empire or China or indeed the Romans or the Carthiginians or the Aztecs? If we include Japan why not the United States? If we include Courland and Austria why not Australia and New Zealand? What is a colonial empire anyway? How big does something have to be to be an "empire"? One has to draw a line somewhere, and limiting it to the major European states engaged in serious colonialism is as good as any. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 22:18, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Ok, based on that "reasoning", then places like Germany & Belgium should not be included also since they were way after the 'Age of Discovery' period. I'm a bit surprised to see that Russia didn't go by sea to get to Alaska in 1741 & colonize the area too. See Russian colonization of the Americas.That-Vela-Fella 11:45, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Japan and Russia[edit]

- The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945 By Ramon Hawley Myers, Mark R. Peattie
- Becoming Japanese: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation (Paperback)
- Taiwan: A New History By Murray A. Rubinstein

- Russian Central Asia, 1867-1917: A Study in Colonial Rule By Richard A. Pierce
- Imperial Russia's African Colony
- Russian Colonialism
- Russian Colonialism, War Bounty, and Looting Colonized Peoples —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:13, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


I renamed the Unites States link American but some one reverted it. Why? It makes sense.Asterix77 11:45, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I like it the way it currently is, since it's better defined rather than American (which looks more of a general continental description). That-Vela-Fella (talk) 20:32, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

United States as an imperialist/colonialist nation[edit]

I've read the discussion, David Barba, and I see that there's no consensus. Is there, actually? SamEV (talk) 20:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

This argument is about factual history, not POV. If you can dispute my argument, and the facts and sources I used, please do so. Wikipedia is a public encyclopedia. History doesn't just get erased because a few desire it.--David Barba (talk) 22:54, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I dispute whether there is consensus for including the US. All you have to do is convince me there is and we're done. SamEV (talk) 01:22, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
So are you guys going to let this stand? Patrick, do you agree with David Barba? Do you agree there's scholarly consensus for the view he's pushing? SamEV (talk) 00:05, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Can't see what the debate is really about, since the US did/does have colonial territories overseas. I haven't seen anything different as to what occurred as factual. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 03:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

USSR Add[edit]

I have added USSR, because it can be concidered as an empire; and also there is an article in Wikipedia about USSR empire, so link to it shoulsd be added in template. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

USSR is better understood as an extension of colonial policies under the Russian czars rather than unique case, no need to double up.--David Barba (talk) 23:15, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Russia' Removal[edit]

Why?--David Barba (talk) 20:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

  • the same question. no point to remove it. explain otherwise --redSUNRISING 01:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
    • moreover there is enough explanations and links on this talk page to accept this --redSUNRISING 01:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Russian Colonial Empire[edit]

The Russian Empire right now more so concentrates on Europe, so I think it would be best to start and article called the Russian Colonial Empire. It could contain information about their attempts so colonize in Northern Asia, in Alaska and other parts of North America. Red4tribe (talk) 19:49, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The current article is fine. This proposal would ignore Russia's historic domination and settler projects in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia, and eastern Europe. Colonialism does not have to be specifically Europeans on Non-europeans, take the case of Ireland.--David Barba (talk) 20:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Flags used in the Template[edit]

Consistency. as long as you keep changing the Portuguese flag there is non.--SelfQ (talk) 15:29, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

I suppose this is an attempt to start discussion on the talk page. The flags should be the latest flag for the country when it still had colonies. There is no reason to use an obscure historical flag when it does not help the reader in any way. Taking the Portuguese flag, it was adopted in 1911 and the Portuguese empire existed until 1975, 1999 if Macau is included. Similarly, the latest incarnation of the Union flag was adopted in 1801 - there is no reason to use the 1707 version. The British Empire was already in existence at this point. The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 17:00, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. The flag used should be the one the most emblematic of the empire, generally the one that was in use during the empire's greatest extent or the one in use the longest during the empire's existence. Also, most people find it more logical to use a former flag for former empires. If we used these two criterias for our flag choices, then we would definitely make the best choices. ChrisDHDR 17:42, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
This template looks a lot better without the flags. As above there are also historical issues with these flags. The template purpose is to link related articles not decorate the end of the page Gnevin (talk) 12:43, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
The flags are not there to decorate the template but to ease navigation: the flag was the most important symbol of colonialism. ChrisDHDR 20:35, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I see no problem with the current flags being used there now & it's not taking a lot of space, considering there are only a dozen of them & are symbolic to the involved nations extent. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 13:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


Should it be here or not? I think not. Filper01 (Chat, My contribs) 19:30, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

United States[edit]

Shouldn't these read "American", because all other nations in the template are listed by demonym. --T.M.M. Dowd (talk) 09:16, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

After looking at it, you are correct in that sense. But some may get the wrong impression of it, as had been mentioned before & even as far as within the article under the American Empire. So as to not have any confusion (& I hope others will also agree), I would put it as American(U.S.), thus giving it consistency with the others & clarity as to it's reference. It will also be place in the proper alpha order too. That-Vela-Fella (talk) 17:59, 14 June 2009 (UTC)


I am working on Colonies of Poland. I am not sure if it should be added to the template, since it is either planned colonies or those owned by its vassal state (and already linked as the Courland colonization). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:30, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Done. Alinor (talk) 08:49, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Scots and Mongols[edit]

There is a much earlier discussion above about whether to include things like the Scottish colonization of the Americas. Since Courland is a slippery slope, after all.
The Russian equivalent of this template includes Venice and the Mongols.
Varlaam (talk) 17:54, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

China, Austria-Hungary[edit]

Should we include Chinese and Austria-Hungary/Habsburg Monarchy (see their colonial possessions list)? What about Ottoman Empire possessions of the same time period in Northern African and the Arabian peninsula?

I think at least Austria-Hungary should be included as its case is not very different from Sweden, Denmark, Courland, etc. "small empires". Alinor (talk) 15:43, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

But Ottoman and China are also similar to already included countries - Japan and Russia. Alinor (talk) 15:44, 5 October 2010 (UTC) If Turkey and China are included then others like Mongolia or Mughals should also be included . So I have included India but please someone include Mongolia as I have lack of time . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

China shouldn't included.Gz deleted (talk) 01:53, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

New Zealand, Austrailia and South Africa[edit]

I think they should be removed. They weren't really colonizers, they just inherited land from Britain really and unlike Russia, China, Ottoman etc. They weren't really world powers that had really big empires that could be considered as colonies.kuceez (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:22, 21 January 2012 (UTC).

Yes, they inherited the "rights" and replaced Britain in its administrative and institutional position in relation to the status of the colonies - that's why they are included. Many others of the included also weren't "big" or "really world powers", but still had some small or medium colonies. Japinderum (talk) 10:00, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

New Zealand, Austrailia and South Africa were all still part of the British Empire and technically they were League of Nations mandates. (talk) 12:06, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

You really don't need to protest against their inclusion. If Ottomans and the US can be included Australia need not be left out. Practically they were independent dominions ruling themselves just with a few British symbols on their flag and the royal anthem and by annexing islands and erecting colonies, the Aussies were just making the crown proud.

P.S. = That is why I included British India as a colonial power because it controlled the Aden Settlement and issued its currency there.


What about ancient Greek and Roman colonists? See Colonies in antiquity. Timbouctou (talk) 19:25, 21 September 2014 (UTC)


Since there have been a couple of reverts, i figured it be best to explain here. Norway had two periods of possession of colonies. The first began when it absorbed various Viking settlements in Greenland, Iceland, the Fareo islands ect in the 1200's. These areas remained colonial possessions of Norway all the way up to the treaty of Kiel in 1814, when they were ceded to Denmark. A second wave of colony building was attempted in the late 1920's and 1930's, when Norway made territorial claims over Svalbard, Eastern Greenland, Jan Mayan, Peter Island, Bouvet Island, a portion of antarctica, and the Sverdrup Islands. The claims to Eastern Greenland were dropped after international arbitration, and the claim to the Sverdrup Islands was defacto ceded to Canada after the British and Canadians recognized Norweigan soveriegnty over Jan Mayen.XavierGreen (talk) 17:37, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

  • There were by definition no colonial empires before the end of the 15th century, and a couple of arctic/antarctic islands and a few frivolous claims that led to nothing does not make Norway a colonial empire. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 18:15, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
As i stated before, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands were colonial possesions of the Kingdom of Norway up to the treaty of Keil in 1814. In Greenland, the original Norse colonists had died out by 1500 AD, there was a recolonization effort in the mid 1700's that led eventually to the situation today. Ruling over an inhabited colony such as big as greenland is enough in itself to qualify for inclusion.XavierGreen (talk) 21:17, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
@XavierGreen: And as I have stated before you're totally wrong, they were self-governing entities, with their own laws and legislative assemblies, classified as dependencies of Norway, Denmark-Norway and Denmark (in that order), not colonies (take a good look at Iceland, there's absolutely no mention of it ever having been a colony there, just a dependency, the same goes for the Faroe Islands, and Greenland didn't become a colony until 1814, and then under Denmark, not Norway...). Noone ever saw them as Norwegian colonies, until modern-day Norwegian nationalists started to claim that Norway had been not only an empire (Kingdom of Norway (872–1397) was originally created under the title Norwegian Empire, written like a Norwegian nationalists wet dream...) but a also a colonial empire... - Tom | Thomas.W talk 21:59, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
A dependency is another word for colony. And if you believe that Greenland in 1740 was self governing you are mistaken. Iceland itself didn't become self governing until well after its cession to Denmark.XavierGreen (talk) 23:57, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
@XavierGreen: That's a load of cr*p, showing that you know nothing about what a colony is, or about the history of those areas. Iceland was independent until 1262AD, when it entered into a union with Norway, and has never been a colony, not of any country, and a claim like "Iceland didn't become self governing until well after its cession to Denmark" is laughable considering that the Althing is the oldest still existing parliament in the world, established around 930AD. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 04:11, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
The Icelandic Althing was disbanded by royal decree in 1800, and for a great many years prior to that it had no legislative function and only judicial duties.XavierGreen (talk) 22:47, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
@XavierGreen: The rules here on en-WP are very clear: the burden of proof is on you, since you're the one adding/re-adding it, so unless you can find one or more reliable sources that explicitly state that Norway was a colonial empire, Norway will be removed from the template, whether you like it or not. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 07:53, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
@Thomas.W: @XavierGreen: I found a few sources that refer to a colonial empire:
  • Gjerset (1915). History of the Norwegian People, p. 142 (referring to King Harald Fairhair's reign): "Norway had become not only a united kingdom, but, in fact, an empire with extensive colonial possessions, including, besides the island groups mentioned, also Finmarken and Iceland ; and later the Hebrides, Greenland, and Jaemtland were also added"; p. 424 (referring to King Haakon IV's reign): "The Norse colonial empire, which had been founded in the Viking Age, was still intact. The colonies in Ireland and Normandy, as well as the settlements along the coast of Scotland, Wales, and northern England, were no longer Norse communities; but Man and the Hebrides, the Orkneys, the Faroe Islands, and the Shetland Islands were still Norse colonies ; and Greenland and Iceland, though politically independent, were tied to the mother country as closely as ever before."
  • Larsen (1948). A History of Norway, p. 169: "It was to be expected that at a time when the national state was being centralized, the colonial empire should also be consolidated"; p. 171: "Norway was mistress of the most far-flung colonial empire and the greatest sea power of the North"; p. 571: "1261-62 Greenland and Iceland formally incorporated into Norway's colonial empire."
  • Orfield (1953). The Growth of Scandinavian Law, p. 129: "Harald not only had unified Norway, but had established a colonial empire, not as yet including Jamtland, the Hebrides and Greenland."
  • Hudson (2005). Viking Pirates and Christian Princes: Dynasty, Religion, and Empire in the North Atlantic, p. 198: "...the location in Ulster, rather than the expected Isles, could reflect confusion about the precise extent of the Norwegian colonial empire."
Goustien (talk) 22:54, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • @Goustien: By modern-day common definition colonial empires didn't exist during the time period, from the Viking Age until the end of the 14th century, when Norway had overseas possessions other than Iceland ("The colonial empires began with a race of exploration between the then most advanced maritime powers, Portugal and Spain, during the 15th century"), and Iceland wasn't a colony, but a self-governing entity in personal union with Norway. Like Norway later was in a personal union with first Denmark and then Sweden, and you wouldn't refer to Norway as a colony, would you? - Tom | Thomas.W talk 23:19, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
@Thomas.W: I think we need to find a standard definition of "colonial empire"--see the discussion at Talk:Colonial empire#Pre European Colonial Empires? I notice the article on colonial empire lists borderline examples of colonial powers, such as Norway, Siam, Morocco, Muscat and Oman, Australia, and New Zealand. Gjerset (1915) apparently considers the Shetlands, Orkneys, and Faroes as colonies of Norway, while describing Greenland and Iceland as politically independent. When were the Shetlands and Orkneys transferred from Norway to Scotland, and when were the Faroes transferred to Denmark? Goustien (talk) 02:18, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Goustien: Since this template is directly connected to Colonial empire we should go by the definition used there, not create a separate definition for the template, and what was said more than a hundred years ago is outdated today. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 10:38, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Thomas.W: I agree that this template and the article Colonial empire should be consistent. Can those borderline examples be removed from the article, or put in a separate list within the article? And where can I find a reliable modern source to define "colonial empire"? Goustien (talk) 15:17, 20 August 2017 (UTC)