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What are some negative outcomes for colonial people from colonial conquest?The...

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM via web

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What are some negative outcomes for colonial people from colonial conquest?

The supporters of imperialism argued that an imperial power taking control of a non-western country was good for the inhabitants of that country; that imperial rule meant good government, infrastructure improvements, public health, education, religious advancement, and so on. What were some negative outcomes for colonial peoples of colonial conquest?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:57 PM (Answer #1)

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There are a number of negative impacts or outcomes of colonialism for the people who ended up getting colonized.  Let us look at three of them.

First, the colonialized peoples were deprived of their ability to rule themselves.  We in the West believe that people have the basic human right to pick their own rulers.  Colonialism denied people this right.  It would, in a sense, be the same as being a slave.  No matter how well you were treated, you were still not free to choose your own destiny.  This was a negative outcome for the colonized.

Second, the colonized people were often not treated well.  Different colonial empires, of course, were different in this way.  However, it was not uncommon for the colonizers to mistreat the colonized.  We can see this even on the part of a relatively enlightened colonial power.  The US, for example, was brutal in suppressing the Filipinos who fought for their independence.

Finally, the colonized people were often not treated in such a way as to prepare them for eventual independence.  Many colonists did not try to educate their subjects to the degree that would be needed if they were independent.  They ran colonial empires for their own sake, not as a way of building what could one day be an independent economy.  They would do things like playing ethnic groups off against one another rather than promoting “national” unity.  

All of these negative outcomes ended up harming the colonized people.  They are one set of factors that help explain why colonized countries are generally not well-off today as independent states.

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