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Lecture 5: Colonialism and the History of Development

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McGill University
International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

Lecture 5: Colonialism and the History of Development 12/16/12 9:22 AM European Colonialism General characteristics of pre-colonial societies • Range from small subsistence communities to hierarchical kingdoms and states • Physical boundaries were not territorially based à population control was priority • Ruling people was more important than ruling land • Boundaries were not clearly defined, states boundaries overlapped sometimes • Most boundaries today were created during the colonial time Colonialism • Colonies of Settlement: the land was taken from the native people, either by military, economic or legal power o Canada • Colonies of Rule: the colonial administrators reorganized and imposed their rule over the societies Ideologies of Justification • Development modeled after industrial revolution • Socially engineer societies • Endpoint of industrialization à helping them in the future • “White Man’s Burden”: responsibilities of the Europeans to “civilize” these countries o religion, government, creation of territories, reorganization of social things Impacts of Colonialism Displacement, marginalization and psychological impact Indirect Rule : local people/leaders were given privileges in the colonial state to reinforce the colonial rule, usually used by British colonizers Extraction à labour, resources, cultural treasures • Appropriation of land for cash crops • Depriving people of their rights Transformation of Local Agricultural Systems • Tradition to European farming systems à cash crops, monoculture, plantations o Resulted in starvation sometimes • New conceptions of property and land ownership • Social and ecological impacts • People considered not to be using the land productively à still happens today Transformation/undermining of local industries • Indian Textile Industry: well established during pre-colonial times o British imposed a huge tax and tariff on the textiles o Allowed cotton to be imported tax free o British textile industry undermined Indian textile o Supported British industrialization and halted Indian production o Intentional Colonial division of Labour • Colonial powers extracted resources from colonies, used them for production and sent them back to the colonies to buy • Extraction of natural resources • Un-equal exchange Global Diaspora: slave trade, beginnings of people moving continents, ongoing trend Decolonization Independenc
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