Define basic features of colonialism. How is it different from imperialism?

The basic feature of colonialism:

  • Colonies were always as a subordinate part of mother country.
  • Metropolis consider the colonies as a market of their produced goods and supplier of raw materials and during this exchange the balance of economy became always against the colonies.
  • During this economic exchange colonies were attached to world economic system but the internal economic infrastructure were always dis-articulated.
  • Drain of wealth took place through unrequited exports and state expenditure on armed forces and civil services.
  • Foreign political domination i.e. Political control by the colonizers.

Colonialism came into existence after the industrial revolution. Actually colonialism describes the difference between traditional economy and modern capitalist economy. Colonialism was a not a single process but it is a well structured whole.

In this new phenomenon, a new kind of social formation came into existence where the control over economy and society was in the hands of a foreign capitalist class. However, with the historical development of capitalism the structure and forms of colonialism has changed accordingly.

There are several views to understand the structure of colonialism. It was not merely the imposition of foreign political domination on a traditional economy, nor it was the result of better armed people’s adventures effort, nor was Empires were transnational organizations that were created to mobilize the resources of the world as described by Hopkins. Neither had it developed the colony into a full blown capitalist economy.

Even it was not understood by the arrested growth of colonies. Many defender of colonialism such as Morris D. Morris tried to show that it was a process under which modernization, economic development and transplantation of capitalism had flourished and it was the right step to restrict the role of tradition in the colonies.

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