Overpopulation, economic distress, social unrest, and religious persecution in the home country may be factors that cause colonization, but imperialism, more or less aggressive humanitarianism, and a desire for adventure or individual improvement are also causes. Colonization may be state policy, or it may be a private project sponsored by chartered corporations or by associations and individuals. Before colonization can be effected, the indigenous population must be subdued and assimilated or converted to the culture of the colonists; otherwise, a modus vivendi must be established by the imposition of a treaty or an alliance.
Sections in this article:
- Early Colonization
- The Portuguese and Spanish
- The English, Dutch, and French
- The Germans and Japanese
- Decline of Colonization
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Political Science: Terms and Concepts