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Colonization: Its Motivation and Development

Free «Colonization: Its Motivation and Development» Essay Sample


Colonization is an expansion and establishment of colonies on a definite territory initiated by the people from other lands. Colonialism is based on setting unequal relations between the indigenous nations and the colonists that lead to cross-cultural encounters that affect social life of the colonized nations. The paper focuses on identification of the essence of the phenomenon, motivation for its development, studies various positive and negative outcomes and cultural changes caused by the colonization process.

Motivation for Colonization Development

Colonization is a military invasion that implies domination of one country over certain lands. The term derived from the Latin word colere, which means “inhabitation” and closely relates migration with the aim to set colonies that will be further transformed into plantations or trading posts (Polk, 2007). Colonization includes dealing with organizational operations emphasizing more on ruling over the people who work and live on these territories.


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The spread of colonies was caused by many reasons. The European Colonization of the Americas started in 1492 and is considered to be one of the earliest efforts of colonization (Polk, 2007). The most common reasons for the colonies’ establishment were the discovery of new lands and economic motives. The other reasons were trade factors and development of agriculture (Polk, 2007). The aim of the numerous colonists was to find precious metals, especially gold. English colonists formed colonies with the aim to run the captured markets. The other motive was Protestant Reformation in England and an increase in the number of other religious movements that made numerous people escape in order to follow their own religion. For social and political motives, the lands were taken out of cultivation and converted into pastures for sheep, which resulted in the surplus of population because it was more profitable and increased the number of workplaces (Polk, 2007).

Positive and Negative Outcomes of Two Modern Period Colonizations

There are numerous examples of colonization all of which have both negative and positive aspects. The greatest number of positive factors was brought by the establishment of the European colonies in Africa during the end of 17th – the beginning of the 18th centuries (Stearns, 2001). Such events had a crucial impact on the economy of the continent and were called the Scramble for Africa. That period was famous for conflicts between European countries that intended to conquer more and more territories of the country during the New Imperialism Period. The positive aspect of that time was a significant improvement of African economy because of support of the dual economy (Stearns, 2001). On the contrary, the country experienced a serious deterioration in the social standards that negatively influenced the life of the Africans. The increased demand for African goods on the international markets significantly expanded the economy of the continent (Stearns, 2001). The negative result of the Scramble for Africa was the spread of civil wars that broke out all over Africa. Some of them last until today. The Scramble for Africa had a negative long-term effect on the continent. The representative of African Congress noticed that the problem was caused by the British colonialism which used armed force to acquire lands for settlers, and these weapons were further widely used by Africans (Stearns, 2001).  The other colonial period began in Virginia in 1607 when the first English representatives settled in Jameson (Stearns, 2001). This time is famous for the establishment of Commonwealth in Virginia. The negative issue of the Virginia City development was the use of slavery. Slaves were a cheap labor force that helped the owner to earn money (Stearns, 2001). The majority of the slaves originated from Africa and were used for work on the plantations. Some of them tried to find ways to get free and lied that they were Christians. However, by 1705, the General Assembly closed completely all paths to freedom and denied the right to vote even to free blacks (Stearns, 2001). The positive consequence of the establishment of the colony in Virginia was a significant economic development of the city. Such phenomenon caused growth of elite families and development of family business. The period was famous for the searching for new opportunities. One of the prominent examples is growing tobacco, which had a crucial effect on the development of the economy (Stearns, 2001).Cross-Cultural Encounters and Their Influence on the Society

African culture had unique features that differed significantly from those of other countries. The development of colonization caused cross-cultural encounters that influenced the society. Consequently, colonization of Africa by the Europeans induced building of churches, schools, and caused the spread of Christianity (Austin, 2010). The traditional African gods of bravery and war disappeared because Christianity taught them to refuse the aggressive assaults of warriors. Those Africans who became Christians stopped believing in such superhuman forces as sun and rain, and started to believe in one god (Austin, 2010). The cross-cultural encounter brought significant development of education to Africa (Austin, 2010). Europeans built mission schools that supported education of the Africans and developed their social standards.

Another cross-cultural encounter was the formation of American English. Language is the main representative factor of every nation. Therefore, the formation of a dialect is a significant aspect that reflects the influence of colonization on the society (Polk, 2006). A great number of Spanish words occurred after the settlement of Spanish colonists. The examples of such words are canyon, guitar, mustang, alligator, tornado, and many others. The presence of the French in Louisiana and in Canada contributed to acquiring numerous French loanwords such as depot, gopher, dime, and cent (Polk, 2006). However, numerous European countries also gained a number of U.S. words. Many Americanisms have been met with the certain amount of snobbery in Britain, and the British intelligentsia vilified many of them as inferior (Polk, 2006). For today, American spelling becomes common in Britain.

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