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Colonialism; YAY OR NAY

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,234 times Debate No: 11157
Debate Rounds (4)
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To start my point off, I would like to start off with the meanings of Colonialism and Exploration:ex⋅plo⋅ra⋅tion
  Show Spelled Pronunciation [ek-spluh-rey-shuh n]
–noun act or instance of exploring or investigating; examination.
2.the investigation of unknown regions.
  Show Spelled Pronunciation [kuh-loh-nee-uh-liz-uh m]
1.the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
2.the system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence.
3.the state or condition of being colonial. idea, custom, or practice peculiar to a colony.

Colonialism is the building and maintaining of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is a process whereby sovereignty over the colony is claimed by the metropolis and social structure, government and economics within the territory of the colony are changed by the colonists. Colonialism is a certain set of unequal relationships, between metropolis and colony and between colonists and the indigenous population.

Colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe established colonies on other continents. The reasons for the practice of colonialism at this time include:
•The profits to be made.
•To expand the power of the metropolis.
•To escape persecution in the metropolis.
•To convert the religion of the conquered forcefully into the conquerors.
So as you can see, exploration goals are meant to be forceful not willing and caring. Many people - even up to today - including the natives that still roam their unfair and tiny reserves - which are shrinking as we speak – have been relegated to the minimal space because the explorers who barged into the aboriginals' land converted everything they did. Up to today - not only in Canada - people are being taken away from their parents and being brainwashed of all their past and what they live for.
Today people all agree that racism and the pigmentocracy were both strong symbols of racism. The name pigmentocracy is given to a group-based social hierarchy based largely on colourism. Also, labelled as colourism, which is more discussed than others, is the phenomenon of lighter-skinned people discriminating against darker tones within the same ethnic group. Some colonists also felt they were helping the indigenous population by bringing them Christianity and civilization. However, the reality was often subjugation, displacement or death.
Colonialism and imperialism were ideologically linked with state-led mercantilism and neomercantilism, the main opponents of economic liberalism and free trade. So there many forms of non-liberalism accounted for in the form of exploration. I will let my opponent open his/her statement.


i would first and foremost like to wish you luck, and may the best arguments win

your arguments:
1."exploration goals are meant to be forceful not willing and caring."
2. you start to elaborate about pigmentocracy and colourism

For the first argument, I would disagree with you, regarding the implication that all colonized lands were attained through force and oppression. For example, During world war 2, many countries in the east were in shambles due to the oppressive surge of the Nazi's and Japanese. After the successful invasions of the allied powers into the occupied lands of the axis powers to thwart the Axis of their world domination endeavor, it was apparent that the states involved; like: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, etc.. were limping on an economic and structural rebound without the help of a stronger country. Hong Kong which is ranked top 5 economies in the world today, was overlooked by the Chinese, subsequently, ruled by the British since late 1800's. Without the help of the Allied Powers to retake Hong Kong from the Japanese and revitalize its infrastructure and economy; China's economy today, without recently, the retention of Hong Kong, wouldn't be as prolific.

Where I do agree with you that, colonization in earlier times, did subsequently result from oppression and greed; I think that in relevance to the proliferation of the Christian religion, even tho i don't agree with how it came about, you can't denounce the entirety of it. I myself am Atheist and I despise the crusades, and wars fought just to convert or to defends ones religion. The campaign of Constantine to eradicate any contradiction of what he believes the bible should be, made me into the unbeliever that I am today. Subsequently, I do have a high disregard for the church; despise growing up a christian myself, I understand of what good it has come today. Even tho I do want to point out all the evil that was contributed by the church, I refrain myself, because in recent times, the integrity can not be disregarded.

Moving onto the second argument; you started elaborating about color and discrimination with relevance to colonization. I think it is an inevitable problem, when you mix 2 unaccustomed societies together in an area; especially if the people do not look alike, but, I disagree that it is the main motive of colonization. True, usually colonization is an attempt to expand an economy, but skin color has nothing to do with discriminating how colonizing the land would produce more revenue.

Regarding, the Native Americans, how can you complain about receiving a check every month just for being who you are, free medical care, free health care, etc.? And you stated that they are secluded in a small area to reside in? For your information, some Native tribes have flourished building multi-billion dollar gambling institutions because of those so called unwilling reserves. I am an American, when was the last time something got reserved for me? I don't even have health care because I can't afford it. So, to conclude my argument; to say, there is nothing good that comes out of colonization is undermining the bigger picture.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to start off by saying thank you for accepting this endless debate and may the best debater win.

I would like to comment on how you highlighted the world wars in great depth, however you talked about Nazi colonization; if Hitler had not conquered and explored the Holocaust would not have occurred, agreed? "many countries in the east were in shambles due to the oppressive surge of the Nazi's and Japanese" is what you said but you did not highlight concentration camps, and they did fight in order to attain others land. We do both agree that converted religions did occur. It has been proven that NO native tribes have flourished except a couple. Native Americans are dying as we speak because they are on little reserves, it is not leisure for them nor a pleasure. Colonization has betrayed and ruined us of the best we could have flourished to be.
Another con of exploration was the large amount of slavery produced by the reigning country. The colonized usually worked for the reigning country. Slavery was torture for the previous and rightful owners of the land. Countries would use the slaves as value and would sell and buy them. Families would get torn apart and had a 0.00021% chance of getting back to each other. Slavery has existed to varying extents, forms and periods in almost all cultures and continents. Between the 7th and 20th centuries, Arab slave trade (also known as slavery in the East) took approximately 18 million slaves from Africa via trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean routes. Between the 15th and the 19th centuries, the Atlantic slave trade took up to 12 million slaves to the New World.
From 1654 until 1865, slavery for life was legal within the boundaries of the present United States. According to the 1860 U.S. census, nearly four million slaves were held in a total population of just over 12 million in the 15 states in which slavery was legal. Of all 1,515,605 families in the 15 slave states, 393,967 held slaves (roughly one in four), amounting to 8% of all American families.
In 1807, the United Kingdom became one of the first nations to end its own participation in the slave trade. Furthermore, between 1808 and 1860, the British West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard. This was done "to sweep the African and American Seas of the atrocious Commerce with which they are now infested". Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers. In 1827, Britain declared the slave trade piracy, punishable by death.
Activity which could be called colonialism has a long history. Colonies in antiquity were built by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. The word metropole comes from the Greek metropolis - mother city. The word colony comes from the Latin colonia – a place for agriculture.
Modern colonialism started with the Age of Discovery. Portugal and Spain discovered new lands across the oceans and built trading posts. For some people, it is this building of colonies across oceans that differentiate colonialism from other types of expansionism. These new lands were divided between the Portuguese Empire and Spanish Empire, first by the papal bull Inter caetera and then by the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Treaty of Zaragoza (1529).
The seventeenth century saw the creation of the British Empire, the French colonial empire and the Dutch Empire. It also saw the establishment of some Swedish overseas colonies and a Danish colonial empire.
The spread of colonial empires was reduced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by the American Revolutionary War and the Hispanic American wars of independence. However, many new colonies were established after this time, including for the German colonial empire and Belgian colonial empire. In the late nineteenth century, many European powers were involved in the Scramble for Africa.
The Russian Empire and Ottoman Empire existed at the same time as the above empires, but these are often not considered colonial because they did not expand over oceans. Rather, these Empires expanded through the more traditional route of conquest of neighbouring territories. However, Russia did at times in its history have overseas colonies in the form of territories in North America such as Alaska. The Empire of Japan modelled itself on European colonial Empires. The United States of America gained overseas territories after the Spanish-American War and the term American Empire was coined.

One thing I will agree with you slightly on is the tribute shown to Natives at events, we are slowly growing to show the appreciation for them. The opening ceremony, if you watched showed a great tribute to Natives, but we could still do much better, Thank You


Before I start my argument, I think that you are getting the misconception that I am denying that any oppression in colonizing existed. I would like to point out that the detailed history lesson of how slavery came about was excessive and unnecessary. From your initial argument, you asserted how bad it is, and I argued that its not always bad. So, re-asserting yourself by claiming the existence of it, is back tracking, when we already agreed it did happen, indirectly. Moving onto my argument. I would like to start with the Native Americans. The indigenous tribes were at war with each other, hundreds if not thousands of years before the Spanish arrived. They conquered each other through intimidation and oppression, by cutting out their enemies heads or hearts. I am stating this fact, to emphasize how every culture has their oppressive ways. People in general are still very barbaric if it is not for check and balances.
Oppressive governments that has been toppled, consequently, a lots of lives had to g with it. The revolutionized country were susceptible to new ideologies and laws. I feel, the revolution is another form of colonizing- less the infiltration of another land. So to say that, taking lives in order to save lives is unethical, is by all means a cowards state of thinking. Colonization is inevitable, human nature is greed. But, without the education and civilization that is past on by the western world, many countries like Africa and India would not be as contemporary as it is today. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today and disregarding the responsibility of Britain in that outcome is negligence.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for stating his profound points.
My ideas do not doubt that colonialism did not exist however as I mentioned before, WARS were started through Colonialism and LIVES were lost not dolls. You mention that the First Nations people were at war. However, you and show false information on how the indigenous people went to war with each other; First Nations people ( as you should address them as) seldom went to war and their method of trade and living was not the slightest barbaric and that is, in fact, stereotyping. The Spanish had started a war with the indigenous people, not the First Nations people. Today, you say that if it weren't for Colonialism, countries would not have been as contemporary as they are now, I disagree, Countries today are still governed by the classes of wealth, and a great example is Africa-which you mentioned. The colonized are commonly at the bottom in class. You also mentioned-when you were finishing your argument-India; India was becoming poor as the British had rule over India and did not thrive in any positive ways. Only few countries has been shown to thrive through colonialism. After the First World War, the German colonial empire and much of the Ottoman Empire were divided between the victorious allies as League of Nations mandates. These territories were divided into three classes according to how quickly it was deemed that they would be ready for independence. However, decolonisation did not really get going until after the Second World War. In 1962, the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization, often called the Committee of 24, was set up to encourage this process.
Everything in the human world of Earth has to be a race. In the Scramble for Africa all the countries felt the need and greed to conquer more. Exploration and conquering causes severe wars; in fact the majority of the Early Wars were instigated by the conquering and exploring frenzies. Exploration has done bad to us, thus we could be living better in the present. The Aboriginals were doing better without us so why do we even try?
Encounters between European explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced local epidemics of extraordinary virulence. Disease killed the entire native (Guanches) population of the Canary Islands in the 16th century. Half the native population of Hispaniola in 1518 was killed by smallpox. Smallpox also ravaged Mexico in the 1520s, killing 150,000 in Tenochtitl´┐Żn alone, including the emperor, and Peru in the 1530s, aiding the European conquerors. Measles killed a further two million Mexican natives in the 1600s. In 1618–1619, smallpox wiped out 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans. Smallpox epidemics in 1780–1782 and 1837–1838 brought devastation and drastic depopulation among the Plains Indians. Some believe that the death of up to 95% of the Native American population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases. Over the centuries, the Europeans had developed high degrees of immunity to these diseases, while the indigenous peoples had no such immunity.
Smallpox decimated the native population of Australia, killing around 50% of Indigenous Australians in the early years of British colonisation. It also killed many New Zealand Māori. As late as 1848–49, as many as 40,000 out of 150,000 Hawaiians are estimated to have died of measles, whooping cough and influenza. Introduced diseases, notably smallpox, nearly wiped out the native population of Easter Island. In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. Ainu population decreased drastically in the 19th century, due in large part to infectious diseases brought by Japanese settlers pouring into Hokkaido.
Researchers concluded that syphilis was carried from the New World to Europe after Columbus's voyages. The findings suggested Europeans could have carried the nonvenereal tropical bacteria home, where the organisms may have mutated into a more deadly form in the different conditions of Europe. The disease was more frequently fatal than it is today. Syphilis was a major killer in Europe during the Renaissance. The first cholera pandemic began in Bengal, and then spread across India by 1820. 10,000 British troops and countless Indians died during this pandemic. Between 1736 and 1834 only some 10% of East India Company's officers survived to take the final voyage home. Waldemar Haffkine, who mainly worked in India, was the first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague.
A discussion on the nature of how diseases were spread has often been scuttled by descendants of colonialists in order to conceal the actual origins of the how certain indigenous populations were inoculated with these new diseases. The argument here is that once European colonists discovered that indigenous populations were not immune to certain diseases, they attempted to further the spread of diseases in order to gain military advantages and subjugate local peoples. The most famous is that of Jeffery Amherst. Many scholars have argued that the body of evidence which sees this practice as having been executed on a larger scale across North America is weak. Yet growing evidence is showing that other indigenous communities were purposefully inoculated citing oral history from the descendants of said peoples. It has been regarded as one of the first instances of bio-terrorism or use of biological weapons in the history of warfare.
This concludes my statements for the 2nd round and I wish the best of luck.


Very interesting points, pointed out by my counterpart. I want to thank him for his in-dept arguments, but I would like to point out flaws in his assertions. He asserts that the First Nation's seldom went to war with other tribes. I would like to contend to that notion by first addressing that the French,British,and Spanish, American-Native conflicts were closely pertinent to the five nations rather than that of the First Nation's. First Nations actually originated more in the Canadian area. In terms of our thesis, we would be referring to the Five Nations or in another term, the "League of Peace and Power". But, A "League of peace and power" is what they seldom were. The five Nations collaborated by predominantly Iroquois, in the 1200s, had pushed tribes of the Ohio River valley, such as the Quapaw (Akansea) and Ofo (Mosopelea) out of the region in a migration west of the Mississippi River. The constituents of the Five nations actually fought against each other by splitting support to either the British or the French. The Osage warred with native Caddo-speaking Native Americans, displacing them in turn by the mid-18th century and dominating their new historical territories. So, to depict the Native Americans as a flawless amicable society is in due part, ignorance. You state that they are dying in the reservations as we speak, and in diligence, I researched that the contemporary health problems of natives include: poverty, alcoholism, heart disease, diabetes and New World Syndrome. If common sense serves me correctly, I think those are problems of all Americans, if not, the whole entire human population.You seem to reiterate the idea that they are dying by the dozens, well, statistics show that along with the 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives, over 5 million Americans indicated on their Census forms that they were of Indian descent. If even a quarter of these 5 million people decide to reclaim their Indian heritage in the next Census (in the year 2000), there could be an astonishing growth in population figures for Native Americans. You state the Native Americans are not contemporary with Americans because we are still governed by the class. I think every country is governed by class. Some people work hard some people don't. Some people are smart and some people aren't. So, to use that as an argument to stigmatize a government as exercising an immoral practice, is also ignorance. You stated that the Aboriginals were doing better without us so why do we even try? To your disappointment, there has been a major increase in college attendance, indicated by the increase in the numbers of Natives taking the SAT--from 2,662 in 1976 to 18,000 in 1989. Of the 103,000 Natives who were in college in 1990, about half were in two-year colleges and half in four-year. The states with highest enrollments are California with 21,000 native students; Oklahoma with 9,600; Arizona with 8,800; and New Mexico with 4,500. Remember, California was part of Mexico; after the acquisition by the American government, California has an economy equal to a whole nation, and it is providing adept college education for Native Americans. You stated that the British had rule over India and did not thrive in any positive ways. Remember an insignificant guy named Ghandi??? Well, this insignificant was of an Indian descent but was a lawyer residing in Britain, thanks to the relations of the Britain-India colonial era. He returned home to be the catalyst of that revolution. I am pretty sure, without the education and customs of the British, he would have never achieved what he had. The last assertion, you stated that only few countries has been shown to thrive through colonialism. This is an assertion of a non-educated opinion and not facts. India's GDP is US$1.237 trillion, which makes it the twelfth-largest economy in the world[112] or fourth largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. India's nominal per capita income US$1,068 is ranked 128th in the world. In the late 2000s, India's economic growth has averaged 7´┐Ż% a year, which will double the average income in a decade. Lets not forget about the colonies of the U.S. states, Hong Kong, Philippines, ancient Alexandria, Romans. It is natural that subordinates do not understand the bigger picture of governing, so, before people start to point fingers, they should learn how hard it is to be responsible for a big organization.

Thank you---
Debate Round No. 3


To conclude I shall not rebutt any information but only bring in some new info.
Colonialism is the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labour, and markets. The term also refers to a set of beliefs used to legitimize or promote this system, especially the belief that the mores of the colonizer are superior to those of the colonized.
Advocates of colonialism argue that colonial rule benefits the colonized by developing the economic and political infrastructure necessary for modernization and democracy. They point to such former colonies as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore as examples of post-colonial success. These nations do not, however, represent the normal course of colonialism in that they are either settler societies, or trade post cities.

Dependency theorists such as Andre Gunder Frank, on the other hand, argue that colonialism actually leads to the net transfer of wealth from the colonized to the colonizer, and inhibits successful economic development.

Critics of colonialism such as Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire argue that colonialism does political, psychological, and moral damage to the colonized as well.

More critically, Indian writer and political activist Arundhati Roy said that debating the pros and cons of colonialism/imperialism "is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape".

Critics of the alleged abuses of economic and political advantages accruing to developed nations via globalised capitalism have referred to them as neocolonialism, and see them as a continuation of the domination and exploitation of ex-colonial countries, merely utilizing different means.
To conclude,
Just as a man would not cherish living in a body other than his own, so do nations not like to live under other nations, however noble and great the latter may be. Mohandas K. Gandhi
I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I refuse to live in other people's houses as an interloper, a beggar or a slave. Mohandas K. Gandhi
A State in the grip of neo-colonialism is not master of its own destiny. It is this factor which makes neo-colonialism such a serious threat to world peace. Kwame Nkrumah
These 3 quotes do not support the idea of colonialism (which has torn apart lives and religions nation by nation). Do we have to exceed our boundaries to make others crack apart into smithereens? Colonialism and exploration are both beyond terrible. Why do we have to break into another forest because we tore apart our own? Is it really their fault that plagues and diseases are going around; no but it is 100% ours. People may say that we received diseases from the people that we conquered but would we have received them if we hadn't come here? Today resources are valuable but we would have had an abundance if we had not come to the countries. Today, one of the burdens that drive our society is global warming and pollution; studies show that Canada would be the cleanest country in the world if we had not intruded into the aboriginal society. So we come to a conclusion where fire meets fire: It was our fault that we are not living in the best society we could!

Thank You--


I want to begin by thanking my opponent for a very well argued debate.

I want to begin my last argument by pointing out his assertion that: "America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore are examples of post-colonial success. These nations do not, however, represent the normal course of colonialism and that they are either settler societies, or trade post cities." I want to argue that, in fact, reputable historians and economists label all those countries as, at one point, a colony. in definition, a reputable source states that a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1997. Macau was a Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999.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. East Timor was a colony of Indonesia from 1975 to 1999. Yes, they were settler societies, trade post cities, and also a territory under the immediate political control of a state.

You stated that theorists such as Andre Gunder Frank, argue that colonialism actually leads to the net transfer of wealth from the colonized to the colonizer, and inhibits successful economic development. It may be fact that he said that, but it is a relative judgment and also only an opinion. That is also true regarding your other assertion that; critics of colonialism such as Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire argue that colonialism does political, psychological, and moral damage to the colonized as well. Some have failed, and some have flourished; there are many intricacies in colonizing, so the outcome isn't always foreseeable, but, to say the international society hasn't improved, despite how communication, trade, and transportation has greatly inter-connected all the nations together, is not factual statement.

You said that Indian writer and political activist Arundhati Roy said that debating the pros and cons of colonialism/imperialism "is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape". One can not compare rape with colonialism. Rape has no potential of good in it while colonialism have in fact, lead to very prosperous independent countries today.

You stated that colonialism and exploration are both beyond terrible and again, that is an opinion and not fact.

You also claimed that studies show that Canada would be the cleanest country in the world if we had not intruded into the aboriginal society. That might have been a study, but does not mean the study is accurate. The duration involved is too vast to foresee something like that, and there are too many contingencies involved to consider that claim as legitimate.

Lastly, I want to point out how you said, it was our fault that we are not living in the best society we could! I feel that is a pessimistic way of thinking. I am grateful to be alive and I take nothing for granted. Yes, it might be true that the world might be a lot different if things didn't happen the way they did, but that is so in every aspect of life. With less than a thousand dollars, I can fly all the way to the other side of the globe. I can pay for something I bought, that is in another country 5000 miles away, and have it sent to the exact address. Countries that were at war in the past are major constituents of the Unite Nations. I want to conclude this debate by saying, let's not always complain what we don't have and how things could have been and complain about how we can utilize what he have now and make it better.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by tBoonePickens 8 years ago
Colonialism shoulda lasted longer! That way we would all get along a lot better!
Posted by kenhaupt 8 years ago
yah good job to u too
Posted by belle 8 years ago
i see that chuck norris is still plagiarizing arguments...

Posted by Cherymenthol 8 years ago
Mercantilism epic win.
Posted by chuck_norris 8 years ago
Good job kenhaupt
Posted by chuck_norris 8 years ago
I Cannot Believe Nobody Else Has Posted Any Comments Other Than Us!
Posted by kenhaupt 8 years ago
same to you sir
Posted by chuck_norris 8 years ago
Kenhaupt You are a really advanced Debater, Good Job
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