European colonialism

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Meria Mata

Elder Statesman
#1
European colonialism conquered every country in the world but these five

It's no secret that European colonialism was a vast, and often devastating, project that over several centuries put nearly the entire world under control of one European power or another. But just how vast can be difficult to fully appreciate.

Here, to give you a small sense of European colonialism's massive scale, is a map showing every country put under partial or total European control during the colonial era, which ran roughly from the 1500s to the 1960s. Only five countries, in orange, were spared:



As you can see, just about every corner of the globe was colonized outright or was dominated under various designations like "protectorate" or "mandate," all of which are indicated in green. This includes the entirety of the Americas (French Guiana is incorrectly labeled as part of Europe due a technical issue, but make no mistake, it was colonized) and all of Africa save for little Liberia. More on Liberia later. The Middle East and Asia were divided up as well.

ALMOST EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE CAME UNDER EUROPEAN CONTROL

Some countries instead fell under "spheres of influence," marked in yellow, in which a European power would declare that country or some part of it subject to their influence, which was a step removed from but in practice not all that distinct from conquering it outright. Iran, for example, was divided between British and Russian sphere of influence, which meant that the European powers owned exclusive rights to Iranian oil and gas in their areas, among other things.

Most of the areas under spheres of influence on this map were politically dominated by the British, who ruled through proxies: Afghanistan (which also endured Russian influence), Bhutan, and Nepal. Mongolia was effectively a proxy state of the Soviet Union for much of the Cold War.

Something similar happened in China, where European powers established parts of coastal cities or trade ports as "concessions," which they occupied and controlled. Some, such as Shanghai, were divided into multiple European concessions. Others, like British-controlled Hong Kong, were fully absorbed into the European empires. This is why China is labelled as partially dominated by Europe.

Modern-day Saudi Arabia came under partial domination; in the early 1900s, most of the Arabian peninsula transitioned from the Ottoman Empire to the British Empire, though the British left much of the peninsula's vast interior relatively untouched. Parts of modern-day Turkey itself were divided among World War One's European victors, though Turkish nationalists successfully expelled them almost immediately in a war for independence that established modern-day Turkey.


A French pith helmet used in colonial service in Madagascar under the Second French Empire (Rama)

There are only four countries that escaped European colonialism completely. Japan and Korea successfully staved off European domination, in part due to their strength and diplomacy, their isolationist policies, and perhaps their distance. Thailand was spared when the British and French Empires decided to let it remained independent as a buffer between British-controlled Burma and French Indochina. Japan, however, colonized both Korea and Thailand itself during its early-20th-century imperial period.

Then there is Liberia, which European powers spared because the United States backed the Liberian state, which was established in the early 1800s by freed American slaves who had decided to move to Africa. The Liberian project was fraught — the Americans who moved there ruled as a privileged minority, and the US and European powers shipped former slaves there rather than actually account for their enslavement — but it escaped European domination.

There is also debate as to whether Ethiopia could be considered the sixth country never subjugated by European colonialism. Italy colonized neighboring countries, and Ethiopia ceded several territories to Italian colonization as part of an 1889 treaty. The treaty was also intended to force Ethiopia to cede its foreign affairs to Italy — a hallmark of colonial subjugation — but the Amharic version of the treaty excluded this fact due to a mistranslation, leading to a war that Italy lost. Later, Italy conquered Ethiopia in 1935 and annexed it the next year, but this lasted only until 1941. While some consider this period of Italian rule to be a function of colonialism, others argue that it's better understood as part of World War Two and thus no more Italian colonization than the Nazi conquest of Poland was German colonization — although it could be certainly be argued that these fascist expansions were in fact a form of colonialism, as many eastern Europeans might.

The colonial period began its end after World War Two, when the devastated nations of Western Europe could no longer afford to exert such global influence and as global norms shifted against them. The turning point is sometimes considered the 1956 Suez Crisis, in which the US and Soviet Union pressured British and French troops to withdraw after invading Egypt to seize the Suez Canal with Israeli help. But it took a couple of decades for the European colonialism to fully collapse; France was fighting for Algeria until 1962 and Portugal did not abandon its African colonies until 1974. So this map, of a European-dominated world, is not as distant as it may feel for many Americans.


 

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Ice_Cube

Village Chief
#4
hehe I bet it wouldn't be kenyatalk either, I think this weekend will try to read about civilizations, would we have been better off without being colonized? I always wonder what we were doing when guyz were building ships and travelling and making guns for them to come and "civilize" us
 

Electronics4u

Village Elder
Staff member
#5
I always wonder what we were doing when guyz were building ships and travelling and making guns for them to come and "civilize" us
We would still be doing what we were doing best some 200 years ago. Yes..and that is NOT a compliment!
Africans then were living in a comfort zone where foods and traditional medicines (game meat, livestock meat, indigenous fruits, leaves and roots) were in abundance. Rivers and streams flowed freely and unpolluted. Sex was always available (polygamy was very much allowed)..and Money was unheard of. Thus there was no this 'necessity is the mother of invention' thing'i
We would still be fighting with the neighboring tribes and stealing each others livestock. We would still be as primitive and our lives would very much be prone to numerous external threats.

I think the human race requires technology in order to survive. So its a good thing the colonizers passed by. It was a good thing.
 

fishmonger

Village Elder
#6
The truth is...wazungus helped us develop. we admire South Africa's development today because much of it was accomplished by their colonisers. Ironically, even more than 50 years down the line, independent African states still struggle to develop.
 

Ice_Cube

Village Chief
#7
The truth is...wazungus helped us develop. we admire South Africa's development today because much of it was accomplished by their colonisers. Ironically, even more than 50 years down the line, independent African states still struggle to develop.

Ngoja the "Patriotic brigade" wakusikie. But the question is why is that the case? is it the genes? can we blame it on our larger than average dicks (as we are made to believe) ? iko shida
 

Ingia

Village Elder
#8
If we hadnt been colonized, we would be a very small population. We still are a small population as africans(China beat us squarely as well as india). When you consider sub-saharan africa alone, we are even a smaller population. All this is due to backwardness. Whe colonisers came, we had vast unexpolited resources, and we still have vast unexploited resources and unoccupied land. The only thing is that pressure hasnt mounted in other places enough so that they take risk to come calling with guns, rockets and warplanes. Right now things are cool because there isnt much pressure.
 

Ingia

Village Elder
#9
Ngoja the "Patriotic brigade" wakusikie. But the question is why is that the case? is it the genes? can we blame it on our larger than average dicks (as we are made to believe) ? iko shida
hahah....Ati larger than average dicks. I think our women have such large asses and p*ssies that you must have a good pipe kufikisha ile maji. Enyewe ata mimi I wonder why of the about 50 african states, none has achieved any progress worth mentioning. Only south african white arpartheid government has managed something appreciable.
 

Meria Mata

Elder Statesman
#10
hehe I bet it wouldn't be kenyatalk either, I think this weekend will try to read about civilizations, would we have been better off without being colonized? I always wonder what we were doing when guyz were building ships and travelling and making guns for them to come and "civilize" us
its the bible that got us not the gun
 
#11
the "Patriotic brigade" blame our woes on poor leadership and western influence on our governments. However, the poor leadership is made up of Africans. why should we be manipulated as Africans, can't we manipulate a white person. I propose we vote in white presidents and cabinet officials in all african countries and we might see a difference. The reason our talented African players thrive under white coaches and even the talented black american basketball players always need often need a white coach to prosper. our own talented athletes use white coaches and do very well. The truth must be told!
 

Meria Mata

Elder Statesman
#12
the "Patriotic brigade" blame our woes on poor leadership and western influence on our governments. However, the poor leadership is made up of Africans. why should we be manipulated as Africans, can't we manipulate a white person. I propose we vote in white presidents and cabinet officials in all african countries and we might see a difference. The reason our talented African players thrive under white coaches and even the talented black american basketball players always need often need a white coach to prosper. our own talented athletes use white coaches and do very well. The truth must be told!
i beg to differ, the white man wont let us thrive while he just sits down and watches, he is afraid of our potential and thats why he has put for us lots of unscalable hurdles but we somehow survive, he gave us political independence but economically we are tied to him for the next 200 years
 

Saka

Village Elder
#13
Africans allowed mzungu to corrupt them so that he continued his colonisation exploiting our resources as if he was just here.
 

aviator

Village Elder
#14
I think the human race requires technology in order to survive. So its a good thing the colonizers passed by. It was a good thing.
Bullchieth of the first kind. How long had African humanity survived with their primitive technology? The fact that we have fridges which we didn't have then doesn't make us live longer than our grandpas. Civilization has just brought problems which we hustle every day with technology to try n overcome.
 

Saka

Village Elder
#15
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i beg to differ, the white man wont let us thrive while he just sits down and watches, he is afraid of our potential and thats why he has put for us lots of unscalable hurdles but we somehow survive, he gave us political independence but economically we are tied to him for the next 200 years
Mzungu is not afraid of Africans.
How could you be afraid of a dead lion.
African leadership is pathetic and problem lies squarely there.
 
D

Deorro

Guest
#16
The truth is...wazungus helped us develop. we admire South Africa's development today because much of it was accomplished by their colonisers. Ironically, even more than 50 years down the line, independent African states still struggle to develop.
Which colonisers helped to develop south Africa? Do you know when they gained independence? Ama nyinyi ndio hudhani walipata independence 1994? Soma history tena halafu urudi ukaongee mbele ya watu
 

Saka

Village Elder
#17
Which colonisers helped to develop south Africa? Do you know when they gained independence? Ama nyinyi ndio hudhani walipata independence 1994? Soma history tena halafu urudi ukaongee mbele ya watu
They got independence in 1910 under minority rule.
The minority were Boers(whites).
 
#19
the african man was too friendly when he welcomed the slave traders and the colonists...maybe its something to do with his religion and the fear of God....the current african has awoken to how unforgiving and competitive the world survival is so the next century, we can rest assured that the game will surely change...
 

Ingia

Village Elder
#20
i beg to differ, the white man wont let us thrive while he just sits down and watches, he is afraid of our potential and thats why he has put for us lots of unscalable hurdles but we somehow survive, he gave us political independence but economically we are tied to him for the next 200 years
What would happpen if South korea and China said the same of Japan to excuse themselves? I think everyone keeps fighting for power as a nation. Thats why China and Russia are constantly fending off the US or they will find themselves enslaved. Similarly, a country like greece is fending off the stronger European Union powers.
 
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