Colony: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about a type of political territory. For other uses see Colony (disambiguation).

In politics and in history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception. The metropolitan state is the state that owns the colony. In Ancient Greece, the city that founded a colony was called the metropolis. Mother country is a reference to the metropolitan state from the point of view of citizens who live in its colony. There is a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

A colony is mostly ruled by another state or can be run independently. Unlike a puppet state or satellite state, a colony has no independent international representation, and its top-level administration is under direct control of the metropolitan state.

The term "informal colony" is used by some historians to describe a country which is under the de facto control of another state, although this description is often contentious.



In the modern usage, colony is generally distinguished from overseas possession. In the former case, the local population, or at least the part of it not coming from the "metropolitan" (controlling) country, does not enjoy full citizenship rights. The political process is generally restricted, especially excluding questions of independence. In this case, there are settlers from a dominating foreign country, or countries, and often the property of indigenous peoples is seized, to provide the settlers with land. Foreign mores, religions and/or legal systems are imposed. In some cases, the local population has been held for unfree labour, submitted to brutal force, or even subjected to policies of genocide.

By contrast, in the case of overseas possessions, citizens are formally equal, regardless of origin and it is possible for legal independence movements to form; should they gain a majority in the oversea possession, the question of independence may be brought, for instance

Colonies in ancient civilizations (examples)

See Colonies in antiquity.

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Modern colonies (examples)

  • East Timor was a colony of Indonesia from 1975 to 1999.
  • Indonesia was a Dutch colony for 350 years, from 1600 to 1945/49, occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945.
  • Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1997, and Macau was a Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999. Both are now Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China.
  • Parts of India were under the direct control of the government of the United Kingdom between 1858 and 1947. See also Crown colony.
  • Taiwan was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples closely related linguistically, culturally and genetically to the Filipino people and more distantly to the Polynesians. In the 1200s, people from Song Dynasty been migrating to Taiwan - however, the migration was small due to the island's harsh terrain and hostile local tribes. From 1895 to 1945 Taiwan was a colony of Japan. For a brief period prior to that, the Eastern half of Taiwan was a county and, a province of the Ming Dynasty and later the Qing Dynasty, and previously part of the Fujian Province for two centuries from the 1680s. Before Chinese Republicans settled on Taiwan in 1947, Mao Tse Tung encouraged Taiwanese to seek independence in order to undermine the power of the government of Republic of China led by Chiang Kai Shek. In the 17th Century Taiwan was a Dutch colony for 37 years before the Southern Ming Dynasty assumed authority of rule by defeating the Dutch. Since 1949 Taiwan has been settled by the Republic of China.
  • The Philippines, previously a colony of Spain, was a colony of the United States from 1898 to 1946. During World War II between 1942 and 1945, it was occupied by the Japanese forces.
  • The United States of America, originally thirteen distinct English (or British, if founded after the Acts of Union of 1707) colonies in British North America. The Colony of Virginia, later to become the US states of Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia, was the first of the thirteen colonies and was under English and then British rule from 1607 until 1783, at least nominally.

Today, the colonizing European and North American powers hold few colonies in the traditional sense of the term, with exceptions in the case of the US (including Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, The Northern Marianas and arguably Hawaii - see next section), France and the UK (including the Falkland Islands and the British Virgin Islands). However, the Channel Islands are not colonies but a remnant of the Duchy of Normandy. Some of the former colonies have been integrated as dependent areas or have closer integration with the country.

Current colonies (examples)

  • Puerto Rico's subjection to US sovereignty is considered by many countries (including Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Iran, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, and Venezuela [2]) to constitute a colonial imposition because Puerto Ricans are subject to laws passed by the US Congress without their consent and they are excluded from electoral participation in elections of the officials that hold ultimate sovereignty over their national government. According to the US President's Task Force Report on the Political Status of Puerto Rico[3] the US may dispose of Puerto Rico by transferring it to another sovereign country as a mere disposition of property.[4][5] In a recent letter addressed to then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the then-governor of Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, accused the US of having deceived the United Nations and the international community in 1953, when it succeeded in having the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recognized as a provisional decolonized status subject to continued monitoring; Acevedo-Vila stated that it was ironic that this is the position taken by the Government of Iran and that the Governor of Puerto Rico will soon feel forced to support Iran's claims regarding the US government's alleged-hypocritical actions with regards to Puerto Rico's "colonial" status.[6][7] In 2006, The UN General Assembly Special Committee on decolonization approved a draft resolution that calls on the US to expedite the process to allow Puerto Ricans to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.[5] H.R. 1230, The Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2007, introduced in the US Congress on February 28, 2007, would recognize the right of the People of Puerto Rico to call a Constitutional Convention through which the people would exercise their natural right to self-determination, and it would establish a mechanism for congressional consideration of such decision.[8]
  • Easter Island is a special territory incorporated to Chile. Although today natives have full rights as Chilean Citizens, there were many abuses in the early stages of Chilean colonization.

See also


  1. ^ Pascale Harter (October 21, 2003). "'Africa's last colony'". BBC News. 
  2. ^ Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Text Calling on the U.S. to Expedite Self-determination Process for Puerto Rico. On Session June 15, 2009. Special Committee on GA/COL/3193 Decolonization. UN Department of Public Information, News and Media Division. New York. Retrieved November 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "Appendix A Presidential Documents" (PDF). December 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  4. ^ "While the approval of the commonwealth constitution marked a historic change in the civil government for the islands, neither it, nor the public laws approved by Congress in 1950 and 1952, revoked statutory provisions concerning the legal relationship of Puerto Rico to the United States. This relationship is based on the Territorial Clause of the US Constitution", further, in a footnote, "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.” US Const., Art. IV, Sec. 3, cl. 2.", Keith Bea (May 25, 2005). "Political Status of Puerto Rico: Background, Options, and Issues in the 109th Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  5. ^ a b Department of Public Information, United Nations General Assembly (13 June 2006). "Special committee on decolonization approves text calling on United States to expedite Puerto Rican self-determination process". Press release. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ Prensa Latina, Nestor Rosa-Marbrell, November 20, 2007; last verified on December 1st, 2007
  7. ^ El Gobernador pide a Rice que enmiende el informe sobre el estatus político de P.Rico; Yahoo News; November 19, 2007 - Last verified, December 1st, 2007.
  8. ^ H.R. 1230, The Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2007,,, retrieved 2008-12-04 
    ^ H.R. 1230: Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2007,,, retrieved 2008-12-04 

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

COLONY (Lat. colonia, from colones, a cultivator), a term most commonly used to denote a settlement of the subjects of a sovereign state in lands beyond its boundaries, owning no allegiance to any foreign power, and retaining a greater or less degree of dependence on the mother country. The founding and the growth of such communities furnish matter for an interesting chapter in the history as well of ancient as of modern civilization; and the regulation of the relations between the parent state and its dependencies abroad gives rise to important problems alike in national policy and in international economics.

It was mainly the spirit of commercial enterprise that led the Phoenicians to plant their colonies upon the islands and along the southern coast of the Mediterranean; and even beyond the Pillars of Hercules this earliest great colonizing race left enduring traces of its maritime supremacy. Carthage, indeed, chief of the Phoenician settlements, sent forth colonies to defend her conquests and strengthen her military power; and these subcolonies naturally remained in strict subjection to her power, whereas the other young Phoenician states assumed and asserted entire independence.

In this latter respect the Greek colonies resembled those of the Phoenicians. From a very early period the little civic communities of Greece had sent forth numerous colonizing streams. At points so far asunder as the Tauric Chersonese, Cyrene and Massilia were found prosperous centres of Greek commercial energy; but the regions most thickly peopled by settlers of Greek descent were the western seaboard of Asia Minor, Sicily and the southern parts of the Italian peninsula. Nor were the least prosperous communities those which were sprung from earlier colonies. The causes that led to the foundation of the Greek colonies were very various. As in Phoenicia, pressure created by the narrow limits of the home country coincided with an adventurous desire to seek new sources of wealth beyond seas; but very many Greek emigrations were caused by the expulsion of the inhabitants of conquered cities, or by the intolerable domination of a hated but triumphant faction within the native state. The polity of the new community, often founded in defiance of the home authorities, might either be a copy of that just left behind or be its direct political antithesis. But wherever they went, and whether, as apparently in Asia Minor, Greek blood was kept free from barbaric mixture, or whether, as in Magna Graecia and Sicily, it was mingled with that of the aboriginal races, the Greek emigrants carried with them the Hellenic spirit and the Hellenic tongue; and the colonies fostered, not infrequently more rapidly and more brilliantly than at home, Greek literature, Greek art and Greek speculation. The relation to be preserved towards the mother states was seldom or never definitely arranged. But filial feeling and established custom secured a measure of kindly sympathy, shown by precedence yielded at public games, and by the almost invariable abstinence of the colony from a hostile share in wars in which the mother city was engaged.

The relation of Rome to her colonies was altogether different. No Roman colony started without the sanction and direction of the public authority; and while the Colonia Romana differed from the Colonia Latina in that the former permitted its members to retain their political rights intact, the colony, whether planted within the bounds of Italy or in provinces such as Gaul or Britain, remained an integral part of the Roman state. In the earlier colonies, the state allotted to proposing emigrants from amongst the needy or discontented class of citizens portions of such lands as, on the subjection of a hostile people, the state took into its possession as public property. At a later time, especially after the days of Sulla, the distribution of the territories of a vanquished Roman party was employed by the victorious generals as an easy means of satisfying the claims of the soldiery by whose help they had triumphed. The Roman colonies were thus not merely valuable as propugnacula of the state, as permanent supports to Roman garrisons and armies, but they proved a most effective means of extending over wide bounds the language and the laws of Rome, and of inoculating the inhabitants of the provinces with more than the rudiments of Roman civilization.

The occupation of the fairest provinces of the Roman empire by the northern barbarians had little in common with colonization. The Germanic invaders came from no settled state; they maintained loosely, and but for a short while, any form of brotherhood with the allied tribes. A nearer parallel to Greek colonization may be found in Iceland, whither the adherents of the old Norse polity fled from the usurpation of Harold Haarfager; and the early history of the English pale in Ireland shows, though not in orderliness and prosperity, several points of resemblance to the Roman colonial system.

Though both Genoese and Venetians in their day of power planted numerous trading posts on various portions of the Mediterranean shores, of which some almost deserve the name of colonies, the history of modern colonization on a great scale opens with the Spanish conquests in America. The first Spanish adventurers came, not to colonize, but to satisfy as rapidly as possible and by the labour of the enslaved aborigines, their thirst for silver and gold. Their conquests were rapid, but the extension of their permanent settlements was gradual and slow. The terrible cruelty at first exercised on the natives was restrained, not merely by the zeal of the missionaries, but by effective official measures; and ultimately home-born Spaniards and Creoles lived on terms of comparative fairness with the Indians and with the half-breed population. Till the general and successful revolt of her American colonies, Spain maintained and employed the latter directly and solely for what she conceived to be her own advantage. Her commercial policy was one of most irrational and intolerable restriction and repression; and till the end of Spanish rule on the American continent, the whole political power was retained by the court at Madrid, and administered in the colonies by an oligarchy of home-bred Spaniards.

The Portuguese colonization in America, in most respects resembling that of Spain, is remarkable for the development there given to an institution sadly prominent in the history of the European colonies. The nearness of Brazil to the coast of Africa made it easy for the Portuguese to supply the growing lack of native labour by the wholesale importation of purchased or kidnapped Africans.

Of the French it is admitted that in their colonial possessions they displayed an unusual faculty for conciliating the prejudices of native races, and even for assimilating themselves to the latter. But neither this nor the genius of successive governors and commanders succeeded in preserving for France her once extensive colonies in Canada or her great influence in India. In Algeria and West Africa the French government has not merely found practical training schools for her own soldiers, but by opening a recruiting field amongst the native tribes it has added an available contingent to the French army.

The Dutch took early a leading share in the carrying trade of the various European colonies. They have still extensive colonies in the East Indian Archipelago, as well as possessions in the West Indies. The Danish dependencies in the Antilles are but trifling in extent or importance.

It is the English-speaking race, however, that has shown the most remarkable energy and capacity for colonization. The English settlements in Virginia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia had, between the first decade of the 17th and the seventh decade of the 18th century, developed into a new nation, the United States of America. It is unnecessary here to deal with the development of what have since been the two great independent branches of the English-speaking people - those of the United States (q.v.) and of the British Empire, as their history is given elsewhere. But the colonizing genius which, with the British Isles as centre, has taken up the "white man's burden" in all quarters of the globe, is universally recognized. In the problems of government raised by the organization of the British dominions beyond the seas the system of colonization has been developed to an extent unknown under any other national flag.

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

The city of Philippi was a Roman colony (Acts 16:12), i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers and citizens, planted there to keep in subjection a newly-conquered district. A colony was Rome in miniature, under Roman municipal law, but governed by military officers (praetors and lictors), not by proconsuls. It had an independent internal government, the jus Italicum; i.e., the privileges of Italian citizens.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English


A colony is a place controlled by another country. The metropolitan state is the country that owns the colony. A country which has many colonies is often called an empire. A colonist is a person from the metropolitan state who lives in a colony.

Colonial means having to do with a colony. Colonial land is land that belongs to the colony. A colonist is sometimes called a colonial. The philosophy of having colonies is called colonialism. There must be many people to start a colony. There are many colonies, or countries that were once colonies, in the world. Countries that were once colonies of Britain are often part of the British Commonwealth.

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