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Colonialism and Imperialism

Colonialism and imperialism are often mistaken to be the same. But there are differences between the two. To know each and every point in detail, read this article.

When most people hear the word “colonialism,” they might think of Christopher Columbus sailing to the Americas in 1492. But colonialism is a lot older than that. The practice of colonialism can be traced all the way back to ancient times when one group of people conquered another group and took control over their land and resources. So what is the difference between colonialism and imperialism? In this article, we will explore the difference between these two terms and discuss how they have shaped our world today.

What is Colonialism?

Colonialism is a system where one country dominates another economically, politically and socially. The first country established settlements or colonies in the other country in order to carry out its domination. The purpose of colonialism is to extract natural resources, labour and wealth from the colonies to benefit the colonists.

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What is Imperialism?

Imperialism, as defined as “the policy, practice, or promotion of extending power and dominion of a nation by acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.” In other words, imperialism is the act of a stronger power occupying or controlling weaker territories. Imperialism can be accomplished through military force, economic means, or a combination of the two.

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Difference between Colonialism and Imperialism?

Colonialism and Imperialism can be divided between the definition of the basic process, origin, settlement and Eco-political aspects.


Colonialism is the policy and practice of a power in extending its control over weaker or dependent territories or peoples, generally with the aim of acquiring raw materials or exploiting other natural resources, populating the area with settlers, and/or extending or consolidating political power.

Imperialism is the policy, practise, or advocacy of extending dominion and power of a nation especially by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas or by direct territorial acquisitions; broadly: the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence.

Basic Process

Colonialism is a process that begins with the establishment of a colony in unoccupied territory.

Imperialism is a process that begins with the domination of one country over another.


Colonialism has its origins in the Age of Discovery when European powers began to establish colonies in other parts of the world.

Imperialism has its origins in the ancient world when empires such as Rome and Greece dominated other countries.


In colonialism, the settlers came to live in the colony.

In imperialism, the settlers do not necessarily come to live in the country they are dominating.

Eco-political aspects

In colonialism, the native people and their way of life are often destroyed.

In imperialism, the native people are usually allowed to keep their own way of life.

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So, colonialism and imperialism are two different things. Colonialism is the establishment of a colony in a foreign land, while imperialism is one country taking over another country or region by force or coercion. There are many examples of colonialism throughout history, but modern-day imperialism is much less common. However, it’s still important to understand the differences between these two terms so that we can better understand world events and how they have shaped our current society.


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Answer: There are a few key differences between colonialism and imperialism. First, colonialism is typically...Read full

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Answer: Some well-known examples of colonialism include the British colonisation of North America, Australia...Read full

What are some examples of imperialism?

Answer: Some well-known examples of imperialism include the British Empire, the French Empire, the ...Read full

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Answer: The effects of colonialism can be both positive and negative. On the positive side, colonialism can ...Read full

What are some of the effects of imperialism?

Answer: The effects of imperialism can also be both positive and negative. On the positive side, imperialism...Read full