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Lecture 17

Lecture 17 Feb 5 08 Colonialism and Imperialism

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

of 3
Lecture #17 Colonialism and Imperialism Feb 5, 08
- The irony of fascism is that it produced the unexpected outcomes after WW2 where, there is liberal
democracy designed to prevent Nazism from happening again.
- Industrialization in Europe made the most powerful continent in the world.
- Europeans conquered 85% of the world.
- The process of conquering and the result of conquering: Colonialism and Imperialism
SLIDE #1: Definitions
- Colonialism is a practice of domination of one people over another. Involves transfer of people to
new territory, where new arrivals become permanent settlers while maintaining allegiance to country
of origin.
- Imperialism (from Latin:
) meaning to command. Draw out attention to the way one country
exercises power over another.
SLIDE #2: Outline
What did the West think it was doing?
- Spanish and Age of Discovery: Columbus
- Conquest of the Americas: brutal and rapid, small number of conquerors conquered the whole
- A religious discourse: civilizing mission to native peoples
People tend to establish vast rationale, Christian doctrines of natural laws (all humans have access to
reason), build well-ordered society, bring Christianity to save their souls.
- Debates: justification was ¯natural law°
- Habits of Native Americans ¯justified° their enslavement: primitive ways
SLIDE #3: Liberalism and Empire
- The age of high imperialism doesn¬t come until the mid-19th century, when European countries
conquer land.
- European powers were spread throughout the world.
- Grand paradox is that the height of liberalism at the end of 19th century was also a peak of
imperialism. Many of the great defenders of liberalism were also defenders of empire.
- justified on commercials ground
- Roles of stage theory: Paradox of Marx, ¯brings misery and modernization°.
Marx saw this as a form of economic exploitation. The impact of the modern west was to drive in to
the capitalism, by forcing the population and country.
SLIDE #4: Marx and Lenin
- Marx: Anticipates ¯globalization°: overproduction and search for new markets.
- Lenin: search for new markets among states would lead to war.
- Neo-Marxism: see the entire global system as a division of labour (between capitalist west and
proletarian south)
- Lenin argues that WW1 was the war of the imperial powers.
- Surplus is extracted by the wealth west from the poor east.
- Manufactured goods in the west and sold back the products to the poor countries, (poor stayed
- ¯It is all about exploitation not for the economic development° (Kopstein, Lecture #5, feb 5, 08)
SLIDE #5: Modern Theory
- Colonialism ends in c. 1960
- Neo-Colonialism and imperialism: domination is one of economic exploitation rather than direct
political domination.
- Is the U.S imperial?
- The U.S never considered to be an Empire
SLIDE #6: USA: A New Empire?
- One way of thinking about this is to look at what they think they are doing
- Stages: 1) Before 1945, one stage among many, spheres of influence, Monroe Doctrine: colonial
domain largely interior
- 2) 1945-1989 Cold War: Hegemon but non-colonial self-image
- 3) Post-cold war 1989-2001: neo-liberal world order (Capitalism and Democracy)
- 4) Post-post cold war (post 9/11): new imperial discourse but with a twist. Threat from middle east
- Significant area of the world where countries would not become democracies, crisis of
modernization, large number of people were excluded from the political process.
- Neo-conservatives believed that the world had become dangerous and global order faced new
significant challenges. (muslim extremist)
- ¯The world will be at peace when all the countries become democratic° (President Wilson)
SLIDE #7: Impact of Colonialism and Imperialism
- Features: Invidious (insulting), Instrumental, and Coercive
- Economic Impact: yes, development but heavy distortions.
- Political Impact: prevents nation-building and state-building
- Evaluation of neo-Marxism: something to it also things that can¬t be explained with it: 1) some poor
countries become rich 2) little evidence that poor countries ¯matter° in global division of labour
- Colonial world can only happen with superior force
- Population became educated
- Created a local psychology
- Colonialism was so insulting, created anger and the only way to recapturing dignity to the indigenous
population was violence.
- Colonialism served the interest of the metropolitan powers, extracting resources from colonies.
- All of the countries ruled by the conquerors were ethnically heterogeneous
- The act of colonialism prevented from happening ethnic cleansing
- Poor countries stay poor because they don¬t do international trade
SLIDE #8: Post-colonial state
- Nation-building
- State-building
- Relationship with metropol