How did colonization affect the colonizers?  

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The answer to this question depends on which country is doing the colonizing. In most cases, colonies benefited the nations who colonized them because they brought new sources of wealth to the mother country. England was able to dump its debtors and religious dissidents in the New World, removing potential...

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The answer to this question depends on which country is doing the colonizing. In most cases, colonies benefited the nations who colonized them because they brought new sources of wealth to the mother country. England was able to dump its debtors and religious dissidents in the New World, removing potential troublemakers and gaining raw materials in the process. Many nations colonies also provide a ready market for purchasing finished products from the mother country. This relationship often continues well after the colony gains independence.

Colonization also has some downsides. The need to defend one's colonies can become quite expensive. Decades of war over holdings in the New World helped to bankrupt France, thus leading to revolution in 1789. Britain maintained a massive navy partially in order to defend its colonies. Britain also maintained a large well-trained army in order to put down colonial revolts—this was quite common during the nineteenth century as the British army fought in Africa and Asia in order to put down native revolts. Colonization can also change the social mores of a nation.

Belgium committed multiple atrocities in the Congo that Belgians would never do against Europeans. The US war in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War was fierce enough to cause protests from anti-imperialists. During the sixteenth century, Spain stopped at nothing in order to subdue the Native Americans it encountered. Though colonization can be an economic good for the mother country, there are also military and moral implications that countries must consider before expansion.

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Overall, the main point of colonization is to provide economic benefits to the colonizers. This means more natural resources, consumer goods, and cheap labor is available for the colonizers which they can use to enrich themselves. It also often places colonizers in direct and indirect competition with each other as they endeavor to control more and more territory and populations. This has led to the growth of powerful empires (e.g., the British Empire), but it also has led to the decline of other empires that could not keep up with the competition (e.g., the Ottoman Empire).

In addition to this, there is an important consideration to keep in mind. Being a colonizer typically puts the colonizer in a position of power and privilege over the people being colonized. On a psychological level, this compels the colonizers to believe that their identity and beliefs are superior to those of the colonized. Throughout history, we have seen this mindset lead to mistreatment of native populations, ranging from neglect to genocide. Throughout it all, there have been countless colonizers who have made this possible, often while constructing creative and troubling rationalizations. Consequently, this erosion of humanitarianism and empathy is a frequent effect of colonization on the colonizers.

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In general, as the other answer indicates, colonization made the colonizers wealthier, often vastly so, and usually made the colonizing country stronger, at least temporarily, because of the wealth flowing into its coffers. Great Britain was able to use its colonial wealth relatively wisely for many years, maintaining superpower status, while Spain quickly squandered wealth garnered from early colonies in the Americas.

Nevertheless, as more than one writer has outlined, colonization could also have a debilitating effect on the colonizers. Greater military might or simply a sense of cultural superiority often led to colonizers holding the native population in contempt. Therefore, colonizers sometimes missed valuable information or wisdom from the indigenous population that could have helped them survive. As Jared Diamond points out in his book Collapse, for example, the Scandinavians who colonized Greenland could have survived had they been willing to adapt to the Native American ways, such as by learning to fish in kayaks, but they persisted in unsustainable European versions of agriculture.

Writers like George Orwell also illustrate colonialism's ill effects. He describes how harmful British colonization was to the colonizers in Burma, who got locked into an irrational system of domination that led to decisions based more on saving face than having any concrete value.

In other words, colonization came with a price. Conrad's fictionalized account of colonial intrusions into Africa in his Heart of Darkness is just one of many accounts of the shattering effects of colonization on an individual.

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Colonization affected the colonizers in several ways. The countries that created colonies benefited from them economically. They were able to get resources cheaper from the colonies than they could if they bought the resources from other countries. They also were able to sell the finished products from their factories to the people who lived in the colonies.

The colonizing country was affected politically. They were able to become stronger as a nation by controlling the colonies. They were able to develop military bases around the world to protect their trade. These bases could be used in case of war. Sometimes, the colonizing country had to put down rebellions that occurred in the colonies. There were times when the colonies gained their freedom by fighting for their independence. There were times that running a colony became very expensive.

Colonizing countries were able to spread their way of life. Missionaries would come and convert people to Christianity. The colonizing country could show the people who lived in the colony how to develop a political and an educational system, how to build a strong economy, and how to live a productive life. This allowed the colonizers to spread their way of living.

The colonizers were impacted in several ways by having colonies.

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