What is the Difference Between Settler Colonialism and Colonialism

The main difference between colonialism and settler colonialism is that settler colonialism involves the displacement of the native population, whereas other forms of colonialism do not involve the displacement of the native population.

Colonialism is the practice of one country acquiring partial or full control over another country and exploiting it economically. Settler colonialism, on the other hand, is a form of colonialism where the indigenous population of a region is displaced by settlers who permanently form settlements.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Colonialism
     – Definition, Characteristics 
2. What is Settler Colonialism 
     – Definition, Characteristics 
3. Difference Between Settler Colonialism and Colonialism
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Settler Colonialism, Colonialism

Difference Between Settler Colonialism and Colonialism - Comparison Summary

What is Colonialism

Colonialism is the practice of one country acquiring partial or full control over another country and exploiting it economically. It results in a set of unequal relationships between the colonizers ( those who establish the colony) and the colonized (natives of the colony). Several European countries like Great Britain, France, Spain, Portuguese, and the Netherlands established colonies in regions like Asia, Africa, and the Americas during the period from the 16th century to the mid-20th century.

We can categorize colonies into two main types known as settler colonies and dependencies. In settler colonies, settlers moved into the colonies with the intention of permanently living there while displacing the native population (explained in detail in the next section of the article). Dependencies, on the other hand, are colonies where a small number of colonizers act as the administrators over the native population. Moreover, Egypt, the British Raj (where the British controlled India), and the Dutch East Indies (where the Netherlands controlled a part of the East Indies) are examples of dependencies.

Settler Colonialism vs Colonialism

Furthermore, colonialism has many negative impacts on the colonized. Economic exploitation of a country, creation of unequal social relations, enslavement and exploitation of the native population, spread of virulent diseases, as well as the endangerment and obliteration of culture, religions, and literature of native people are the most severe consequences of colonialism. However, colonialism also has some positive impacts, including technological progress, medical advances, improved infrastructure, and abolishment of oppressive cultural practices.

What is Settler Colonialism?

Settler colonialism is a type of colonialism where the indigenous population of a colonized region is displaced by settlers who permanently form a society in that region. In settler colonialism, the settlers come to stay in that region, unlike other colonial agents like soldiers, priests, and traders associated with other types of colonialism. Moreover, settler colonialism is a structure that continues to eliminate indigenous populations and their cultures and histories and assert state sovereignty and juridical control over the land. Moreover, some historians argue that settler colonialism is inherently genocidal. However, settlers taking control of a colony can involve violent depopulation of the native people as well as less violent methods like assimilation.

Compare Settler Colonialism and Colonialism - What's the difference?

For example, Australia, Canada, the United States, South Africa, and New Zealand were historically settler colonies. In these colonies, Europeans settled in the land, displacing the indigenous population of the land.

Difference Between Settler Colonialism and Colonialism

Definition

Colonialism is the practice of one country acquiring partial or full control over another country and exploiting it economically, while settler colonialism is a type of colonialism where the indigenous population of a colonized region is displaced by settlers who permanently form a society in that region.

Nature

In colonialism, one power dominates over the people or areas, often by establishing colonies, typically with the aim of economic dominance, whereas in settler colonialism, outsiders (colonizers) come to the land inhabited by indigenous people and claim it as their own in perpetuity.

Indigenous People

Settler colonialism involves the displacement of the native population, whereas other forms of colonialism do not involve the displacement of the native population.

Examples

Canada, Australia, and the United States are examples of settler colonies. But the British Raj (British controlling India) and Dutch East Indies (the Netherlands controlling a part of the East Indies) are examples of dependencies.

Conclusion

Settler colonialism is a form of colonialism. The main difference between colonialism and settler colonialism is that settler colonialism involves the displacement of the native population, whereas other forms of colonialism do not.

Reference:

1. “Settler Colonialism.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org.
2. Gilmartin, Mary. “Colonialism/Imperialism.” Key Concepts in Political Geography. Carolyn GallaherCarl T. Dahlman and Mary Gilmartin. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2009. 115-123. SAGE Knowledge. Web. Key Concepts in Human Geography. 15 Dec. 2016.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Colonial empires in 1800” By George Tsiagalakis – original public domain PNG design by Jluisrs (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Colonization of the Americas 1750” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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