Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 12th Board Exam
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Colonialism

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notes

Colonialism:

Europeans reached all over the world with various intentions such as the urge for adventures, to earn name, to discover unknown lands, to search for gold mines, etc. Later, trade and commerce increased to a great extent and the European countries began to compete with each other.

Wherever the Europeans went, they established their colonies. There was a competition to gain economic, social and political supremacy among them. Extreme nationalism, the feeling of racial superiority, industrialisation, aggressive approach, etc. are some of the factors that led to the growth of colonialism. Europeans went to America, Australia, New Zealand.

The invasion of the North American continent and its peoples began with the Spanish in 1565 at St. Augustine, Florida, then British in 1587 when the Plymouth Company established a settlement that they dubbed Roanoke in present-day Virginia.  From there, the French founded Quebec in 1608, then the Dutch started a colony in 1609 in present-day New York. While Native Americans resisted European efforts to amass land and power during this period, they struggled to do so while also fighting new diseases introduced by the Europeans and the slave trade.

They found the climate of these regions favourable for them. However, it was not easy for them to adapt to the climate of Asia. Despite the climatic conditions, favourable or unfavourable, Europeans displaced the indigenous people in their own lands. The British, the Dutch, the Portuguese and the French, all devised several ways for demoralising the indigenous people.

Europeans needed to capture newer marketplaces for selling their surplus goods, which were increasingly accumulating as the result of mass production, caused by the industrial revolution. Besides, they also needed additional sources that would provide ample raw material. In the latter half of the 19th century, England had built a very flourishing trade as a result of the industrial revolution. The British with the help of their naval forces had established supremacy in Asian and African countries. Earning surplus profits, investing surplus profits, increasing trade with the colonies for a good investment, profit on the investments – this was an unending chain. France, Belgium, Italy and Germany were the countries, who, like England strove to establish colonies.

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