European Colonialism 15th C to ……?

European Colonialism 15th C to ……?

Most people link Colonialism to England and it’s crown. And in many places in the world that would be true. But colonialism wasn’t created by England’s model.

Same as most people consider Catholicism to be the major ‘church’ behind the crown, It was for France, Spain and Portugal. But not for Russia, Germany or England.

We do have to give some consideration for individual countries speaking for their experience, but it wasn’t that of the entire world. And sometimes we have to remember the common story.

And that often splits empires going out to make war and take over the people and land in the name of their gods. To command the country as imperialists, which has happened thru all of history. They enslaved the people. Yes some were killed.

And what colonialism is. Stanford’s definition To populate the world as their own lands were filling up. To displace those peoples who were already there. To assimilate those who would be and annihilate the rest to make room for their own people.

And that is the frame by which the discovery of new lands and new peoples led to. Entire peoples being lost to time, many forgotten. Languages and cultures lost. New peoples created as the old and new had relations and children were born.

And the world was changed. For power, money, goods, resources…. but mostly for land.

maps of colonies

1500-2000 – Princeton univ map
1500s to the 1960s – vox map

the colonial empires of Europe

  • Portugal
    ‘The Portuguese Colonial Empire was one of the longest-lived empires in European History. Starting in the beginning of the “Age of Discovery”, with the conquest of Ceuta in 1415, it lasted until 1999, with the transfer of Macau to China’
  • Spain
    ‘During the 15th and 16th centuries, Spain led Europe as a global explorer and a colonial force expanding its power worldwide, beginning with Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492. From this time up until the early 19th century, this nation held colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.’
  • the Dutch Republic
    ‘The Dutch colonized many parts of the world — from America to Asia and Africa to South America; they also occupied many African countries for years. From the 17th century onwards, the Dutch started to colonize many parts of Africa, including Ivory Coast, Ghana, South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Senegal.’
  • France
    ‘France had two colonial empires. The first one during the XVIth-XVIIIth Centuries was built by large Royal Trading Companies (such as Compagnie des Indes Occidentales). This empire included most of Northern America, some of the richest Caribbean Islands and a large part of India.
    The second colonial empire, constructed in the late 19th Century, began in earnest after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. This empire rivalled the British empire, and lasted until the 1960s. ‘
  • Kingdom of Prussia/mostly Germany
    ‘ During the early 1880s, Germany joined other European powers in the “Scramble for Africa.” ‘
  • Russia
    Mostly in Eurasia, but it did spread into North America; Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific Coast of North America as well.
  • and England
    ‘The British Empire began in its formative years in the sixteenth century and flourished and grew dramatically, lasting until the twentieth century.’

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