the expression colonialism (v. lat.: colonia address, settlement) calls the policy of some European powers in the modern times, directed toward acquisition and development of colonies , political key word [1 ]. A goal of this politics was the economical, military and power-politicsUse of the controlled areas by the motherland. The population of the colonies was excluded thereby from the political will formation and exploited economically. It partly came also to the complete extermination of the original population.

Table of contents

term history

the term of the colonialism is by definition to distinguish from the general term of the Kolonisation, that the appropriation of a culture, Ethnieor a state by others designates. By colonialism in particular the imperialism which can be assigned a policy is understood, which however already began before the age of the imperialism. The demarcation of the colonialism in overseas the colonialism becomes adjacent on the central area of the colonizingPower Binnenkolonialismus transmission consciousness (Christian Missionierung) a large role.

In accordance with the sample of the colonialism European states proceeded with conquest and exploitation of other continents such as Africa, Asia, America and Australia. The European states carried raw materials (z. B. Rohrzucker, gold, diamond) from the kolonialisierten countries into the homelands, without offering for it an appropriate exchange unit. The age of the colonialism was also coined/shaped by force and suppression opposite the “natives” (Indigene of peoples) of these continents.

Alsoit came increased to slavery, v.a. from Africa into the new colonies in America.

The era of the colonialism strictly speaking went in the decades to the Second World War to end, as nearly all former colonies into those Independence to dismiss became. Due to the definition of borders on the drawing board by the former Kolonisatoren in Africa and in again and again wars resulted the Near East, since these fixing of the boundaries had hardly considered cultural connections. Many states of the third worldwere also after their independence in a condition of economic dependence on their former Kolonisatoren.

With the fall of the Soviet Union end 20. Century became for the first time also Russian colonies into independence to dismiss.

To manufacture colonialistic Mach structures one designates newer effortsas Neokolonialismus. Aspects of the today's culture and politics of former colonies, which are connected with their past as colony, are summarized under the term post office colonialism.

An advancement of the ideology of the colonialism was the imperialism (1880 - 1914).

Whether that Zionismus among the colonialism to be ranked knows, is one most disputed and politically loaded question, which arises again and again in the surrounding field of the Middle East conflict.

All non-European and also some European countries (z. B. Malta, Cyprus) are in the process of historyColony or half colony (z. B.Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Thailand, China, Japan) European colonial power been.

The last completion of colonial rule in an important colony were of Hong Kong the 1997 and of Macao 1999.


19. Century

before the First World War was followed Great Britain the by far largest colonial power of Russia in second place, France, German Reich the United States and Japan as well as further states. England, Russia andWent to France already promptly as colonial powers into action.

Colonial possession of the great powers
colonies colonies Metropolen* altogether
1876 1914 1914 1914
million km 2 millions Einw. Million km 2 millions Einw. Million km 2 millions Einw. Million km 2 millions Einw.
England 22,5 251.9 33.5 395.5 0.3 46.5 33.8 440.0
Russia 17.0 15.9 17.4 33.2 5.4 136.2 22.8 169.4
France 0.9 ,6.0 10.6 55.5 0.5 39.6 11.1 95.1
Germany - - 2.9 12.3 0.5 69.4 3.4 77.2
United States - - 0,3 9,7 ,9.4 97.0 9.7 106.7
Japan - - of 0.3 19.2 0.4 53.0 0.7 72.2
6 great powers together 40.4 273.8 65.0 523.4 16.5 437.2 81.5 960.2
colonial possession of the remaining States of (Belgium, the Netherlands etc.) 9.9 45.3
half colonies (Persia, China, Japan etc.) of 14.5 361.2
remaining countries 28.0 289.9
the whole globe 133.9 1,657, 0
source: Lenin, “ the imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism[2]
* metropolis is to be understood in the sense of the motherland or the colonial power

colonial powers

half colonial powers

half colonies

remaining “colonies”


  • Aimé Césaire, over the colonialism, Berlin: Car brook 1968
  • Frantz Fanon, the condemned ones of this earth, Frankfurt toMain 1981
  • refuge founder, a history of the European expansion, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8062-1757-2
  • refuge founder, history of the German colonies, Schöningh, 5. Edition 2004, ISBN 3-8252-1332-3
  • Jürgen Osterhammel, colonialism: History, forms, consequences, Beck: Munich: Beck1995, 142 S., ISBN 3-406-39002-1
  • Ulrich van the Heyden, Joachim Zeller (Hg.) „… Power and portion of the world domination. “Berlin and the German colonialism. Unrast publishing house. Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-024-2
  • Udo Scholze/Detlev Carpenter/Günther fox, under lily banners and Trikolore: To historythe French colonial empire. Representation and documents, Leipzig 2001, 289 S., ISBN 3-934565-96-4
  • Jürgen carpenter, Joachim Zeller (Hg.), genocide in German southwest Africa. The colonial war (1904-1908) in Namibia and its consequences, Berlin: Christoph on the left of publishing house 2003, ISBN 3-86153-303-0
  • Timm, Uwe: GermanColonies, Cologne 1986

Web on the left of


  1. colonialismin: Encyclopedia of history Bd. 2, Gütersloh: Bertelsmann 1978, S.15f.
  2. Vladimir Iljitsch Lenin: Works. Given change by Institut for marxism Leninism with the ZK of the SED. Volume 22, 3. Edition, unchanged reproduction of the 1. Edition 1960, Berlin/GDR. S. 189-309. Produced on 20.02.1999.2. Correction of 29.10.2000

  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)