IMPACT OF COLONIALISM ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD
Colonialism exists long before it was documented. Colonialism, according to historians and political scientists, has long-term negative and, perhaps positive, consequences. Such might include the possible inability of former colonies to transition themselves towards self-development and possible effects of resource extraction (as cited in Feyrer and Sacerdote, 2007, p. 4).
The causality of colonialism impacts largely the developing world – Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Such effects are manifested on political, economic, social, technological, spiritual, demographical and physical constructs.
II. Impact of Colonialism
II. A. On Self-Image and Identity
The cultural impact of colonialism is evident on languages, religions and traditions (PolSci 215). When the Great Britain colonized India, the English language rapidly penetrated the country and the indigenous languages of the natives were wiped-out gradually. The traditional culture was altered and the Indians were forced to adapt the European customs, belief and practices. Many roads, railways and harbours were built under the British regime. In addition, a telegraph system was imposed (Colonialism.htm).
II. B. On Decision-Making Structures and Leadership
Generally, the prevailing impact of colonialism points towards the weakness of decision-makers and leaders. The leadership fails to increase, or even retain, the physical legacies of colonialism. A controversial issue arises: aid relief impinges on the ability of developing nations to establishing decent services and linking the government and its people. In effect, the accountability and trust between the government and the governed is compromised (BBC, 2005).
In effect, aid and debt relief are fostering a culture of complete dependency and irresponsibility. Thus, the tribal leadership system in Africa and other legal entities in the developing countries are increasingly being futile (BBC, 2005).
II. C. On Responsibility-taking and Sense of Entitlement
During the British rule, the Indians were forced to do labor on the construction of road infrastructures and yet, the Indians were kept from benefiting from such. Regarded as the second class citizens, the Indians were banned from government positions, had little rights, often received lower wages and little compensation for their education (Colonialism.htm).
II. D. On Sense of Community and Community Mortality
Colonial rule has a long-term impact on boundaries, inclusion and division of cultural groups (PolSci 215). The impact of colonialism on demography is evidenced by the degree of ethnic heterogeneity in different countries. In connection, the political culture of the ruled triggers the 'subject' culture. Members of the community or the natives are treated as subjects and not participants. Thus, many race, individuals and countries are detached from the real world.
II. E. On Nation's Wealth and Resources
Between 1600 and 1810, 22, 000 tons of silver and 185 tons of gold were transported from South America to Spain and in 1585 a quarter of Spain's total revenue came from American colonies. In relation, the British colony extracted £100 million from India. Still, land was immensely acquired through extraction (Chandra, 1992).
First, colonialism nurtures underdevelopment and encourages the culture of dependency. The excessive exploitation of colonies, the draining of resources and the growth of dependency are all evidences that colonization harnesses the struggle of developing nations into self-progress. Ex-colonies countries are extremely poor today. In return, poor countries relied on developed nations regarding loans, technology, military support, markets and culture (PolSci 215).
Second, colonialism weakens the legal and educational systems of the colonized country. Many argued that the political crisis in Africa were product of imposing alien rules. In meeting administrative and economic needs, the colonizers educated some Africans to assist them in running the colonies (Obadina, 2000). Practically, the Africans were honed to take orders and obey and not to think. Thus, literacy and independence still suffers within the continent.
Third, colonialism exploits the natural resources within the colonized country and shaped the modern trade. The colonies were deprived of own valuable mineral, agricultural and other resources (Chandra, 1992). In connection, the colonizers have established linkages in the world system which enables them to manipulate trading and markets. Since it is possible for the rulers to produce at their comparative advantage, colonialism gave them the power to specialize in production and dispose surpluses at the expense of the colonized nation and its people. Moreover, the introduction of the physical infrastructures also enables them to manage the movement of primary products and imported goods. The colonizers also seek and create new markets wherein they can sell the produce.
Fourth, colonialism led to the dispersion of the people and the blurring of communal identity. The colonial rule engaged in widespread forced transplantation of people specifically Africans. Because of this, the sense of community had increasingly become obsolete. The subsequent result of such was the sense of inferiority of the natives and a sense of confidence on the colonizers (Chandra, 1992).
More than the economic and political impact of colonialism, colonialism has affected the tradition and sense of identity of the colonized countries more specifically the developing nations. The struggle of eliminating brutal effects and maintaining the positive legacies of colonialism is evident in these countries. Many argued that amongst the colonized, Africa has the most damaged to fix and the next would be India.
Irregardless of which country it is, the causative factors of colonialism covers both the internal and external aspects of a specific country. Internally, there are language disparities and diversities in cultures, traditions and religions. The communal ownership of the people of their own resources, customs and beliefs is also being sacrificed. And that the government cannot do something about it because they are either under the power of certain rulers or they do not possess the qualities of a true leader.
Colonialism gave way to dependency and underdevelopment. While the colonizers are maximizing the use of natural resources at their advantage, they are gradually creating an environment that they will solely benefit including the production and illiteracy.
At large, colonialism benefits only those who have power and make weaker nations inferior through imperial dominion and power control beyond national borders. The colonizers imposed different rules on their comparative advantage which could be the reason why developing nations are still struggling into development.
V. Reference List
Analysis examines the impact of colonialism on Africa's modern day problems, 2005, BBC.
Chandra, R 1992, Industrialization and Development in the Third World, Routledge.
Feyrer, J & Sacerdote, B 2007, Colonialism and Modern Income – Islands as Natrural Experiments.
Impacts of Colonialism, PolSci 215, Temple University.
Impact of Colonialism on the Colonized People and their Institutions, retrieved on 15 October 2007 from www.ucalgary.ca/~ponting/475ImpactColonialismOnColonized.ppt.
Nineteenth Century Colonialism in India, retrieved on 15 October 2007 from Colonialism.htm.
Obadina, T 2000, The myth of neo-colonialism, African Economic Analysis.
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