Colonialism is the subjugation of the people of one country by those of another through either direct military occupation or political force while neocolonialism exerts its influence through less direct means such as economic control or cultural dominance. Colonialism reached its peak in the 1800s as several European nations extended their influence and developed colonies throughout Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. The two world wars of the 20th century ended the major colonial empires of the previous century, but the influence of neocolonialism, sometimes referred to as neo-imperialism or hegemony, still persists in many developing nations.
The institutionalized practice of colonialism, or "empire-building," began to come under criticism as early as the 1700s by writers and thinkers such as Denis Diderot and Immanuel Kant. Although the degree of technological and societal progress in colonized areas was often recognized, the overall subjugation of one group of people by another was increasingly viewed as unjust. The "mission to civilize" was perceived by its critics as little more than a pretext for the acquisition of foreign resources and the enforced development of trade markets.
Colonialism largely disappeared by the end of World War II, but some former colonial powers managed to maintain a degree of indirect control over their previous colonies through the economic and cultural influence of multinational corporations. Neo-colonialism, a term believed to have been coined by Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah in 1963, soon came to be used to describe the post-war system by which developed nations can exert an influence over the affairs of newly-developing nations.Learn More
In his 1540 expedition to investigate claims of golden cities, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was sponsored by the viceroy of Mexico City, Antonio de Mendoza. This outside support was sought despite de Coronado's own family's great wealth since, being the younger son, he did not stand to inherit it.Full Answer >
Causes of Imperialism were the desire for economic gain and a belief that a country's values were superior and the desire to spread religion while the effects of Imperialism were increases in infrastructure in the countries being explored and a loss of identity for their citizens. Imperialism benefited the countries doing the colonizing, not the countries being colonized.Full Answer >
The man who explored the Mississippi River was Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. La Salle, the son of a wealthy merchant, came to the New World to set up trade with the Native Americans.Full Answer >
Some of the negative effects of the Age of Exploration were the huge death tolls suffered by Native American populations as a result of wars and transplanted European diseases, the destruction of pre-existing New World civilizations and the establishment of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Although the intent was to find a new route to Asian trade markets by sailing west from Europe, the discovery of the previously unknown American continent in 1492 also created a new market for the gold and silver found there. The Spanish conquistadors soon began a successful and often devastating campaign of conquest against indigenous civilizations , as they moved across the southern portion of the continent in search of the highly prized precious metals.Full Answer >