colonialism, colony, coloniser, colonised

There is more than one definition of colonialism. They differ in terms of perspective, criteria or context. Here are four definitions. When we use the term to describe periods in Namibia’s past, we should carefully examine which criteria apply.

“Colonialism is the practice by which a powerful country directly controls less powerful countries and uses their resources to increase its own power and wealth.”
• Source: Collins Dictionary (checked in November 2023)

“Colonialism is a practice by which a one group of people, social construct, or nation state controls, directs, or imposes taxes or tribute on other people or areas, often by establishing colonies, generally for strategic and economic advancement of the colonizing group or construct. There is no clear definition of colonialism; definitions may vary depending on the use and context.”
• Source: Wikipedia (checked in November 2023)

“Colonialism is defined as “control by one power over a dependent area or people.” It occurs when one nation subjugates another, conquering its population and exploiting it, often while forcing its own language and cultural values upon its people.”
• Source: Article “What is colonialism?” on National Geographic (published October 2023; checked in November 2023)

“Colonialism is not a modern phenomenon. World history is full of examples of one society gradually expanding by incorporating adjacent territory and settling its people on newly conquered territory. In the sixteenth century, colonialism changed decisively because of technological developments in navigation that began to connect more remote parts of the world. The modern European colonial project emerged when it became possible to move large numbers of people across the ocean and to maintain political control in spite of geographical dispersion. This entry uses the term colonialism to describe the process of European settlement, violent dispossession and political domination over the rest of the world, including the Americas, Australia, and parts of Africa and Asia.”
• Source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (published May 2006, revised January 2023; checked in November 2023)

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