In politics and history , a COLONY is a territory under the immediate
political control of a state , distinct from the home territory of the
sovereign. 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
The METROPOLITAN STATE is the state that rules the colony. In Ancient
Greece , the city that founded a colony was known as 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 .
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 refer to a
country under the de facto control of another state, although this
term is often contentious.
* 1 Definitions
* 2 Ancient examples
* 3 Modern historical examples
* 4 Current colonies
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
The word "colony" comes from the Latin word colōnia. This in turn
derives from the word colōnus , which means colonist but also implies
a farmer .
Cologne is an example of a settlement preserving this
etymology. Other, less obvious settlements that began as Roman colonia
include cities from
York . A tell-tale sign of a
settlement once being a Roman
Colony is a city centre with a grid
pattern. The terminology is taken from architectural analogy, where a
column pillar is beneath the (often stylized) head capital , which is
also a biological analog of the body as subservient beneath the
controlling head (with 'capital' coming from the Latin word caput,
meaning 'head'). So colonies are not independently self-controlled,
but rather are controlled from a separate entity that serves the
Roman colonies first appeared when the Romans conquered neighbouring
Italic peoples . These were small farming settlements that appeared
when the Romans had subdued an enemy in war. A colony could take many
forms, as a trade outpost or a military base in enemy territory. Its
original definition as a settlement created by people migrating from a
central region to an outlying one became the modern definition.
Colonies in antiquity
Carthage formed as a Phoenician colony
Cadiz formed as a Phoenician colony
* Cyrene was a colony of the
Greeks of Thera
Sicily was a Phoenician colony
Durrës formed as a Greek colony
Sardinia was a Phoenician colony
Marseille formed as a Greek colony
Malta was a Phoenician colony
Cologne formed as a Roman colony, and its modern name refers to
the Latin term "Colonia".
Kandahar formed as a Greek colony during the Hellenistic era by
Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
MODERN HISTORICAL EXAMPLES
* ALASKA : a colony of Russia from the middle 18th century until
sold to the
United States in 1867. It became the 49th American state
* ANGOLA : a colony of
Portugal since the 16th century. Independent
* ARGENTINA gained its independence from Spain in 1810 and formed
the modern constitution in 1853.
* AUSTRALIA was formed as an independent country in 1901 from a
federation of six distinct British colonies which were founded between
1788 and 1829.
* BARBADOS : was a colony of
Great Britain important in the
Atlantic slave trade. It gained its independence in 1966.
* BRAZIL : a colony of
Portugal since the 16th century. Independent
* CANADA : colonized first by
France as New
then under British rule (1763–1867) , before achieving Dominion
* CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE : a colony of
Belgium from 1908
* FRENCH INDOCHINA was formed in October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin,
Cochinchina (which together form modern Vietnam) and the Kingdom of
Cambodia; Laos was added after the Franco-Siamese War in 1893. The
federation lasted until 1954. In the four protectorates, the French
formally left the local rulers in power, who were the Emperors of
Vietnam, Kings of Cambodia, and Kings of Luang Prabang, but in fact
gathered all powers in their hands, the local rulers acting only as
* GHANA : Contact between Europe and
Ghana (known as The Gold Coast
) began in the 15th century with the arrival of the Portuguese . This
soon led to the establishment of several colonies by European powers:
Portuguese Gold Coast (1482–1642),
Dutch Gold Coast (1598-1872),
Swedish Gold Coast (1650-1663),
Danish Gold Coast (1658-1850),
Brandenburger and Prussian Gold Coast (1685-1721) and British Gold
Coast (1821-1957). In 1957,
Ghana was the first African colony south
of the Sahara to become independent.
* GREENLAND was a colony of
Denmark-Norway from 1721 and was a
Denmark from 1814 to 1953. In 1953
Greenland was made an
equal part of the Danish Kingdom. Home rule was granted in 1979 and
extended to self-rule in 2009. See also Danish colonization of the
* GUINEA-BISSAU : a colony of
Portugal since the 15th century.
Independent since 1974.
* HONG KONG was a British colony from 1841 to 1997. Is now a
Special Administrative Region of China.
* INDIA Major parts of
India were under the direct control of the
government of the
United Kingdom between 1858 and 1947. After 1947,
India was split into
Pakistan . See also Crown
colony . However Britain was not the only colonial power in India.
From the 15th century until 1961, parts of modern
India belonged to
Portugal and were collectively known as PORTUGUESE INDIA . Other parts
(the town of
Serampore and the
Nicobar Islands )
Denmark from 1620 to 1869 and were known as Danish
* INDONESIA was a Dutch colony for 350 years, from 1600 to 1949.
World War II
World War II , it was occupied by the Japanese military from
1942 to 1945.
* JAMAICA was part of the
Spanish West Indies in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. It became a British colony in 1655, then gained
its independence in 1962.
* LIBERIA was the only African nation on the African continent that
was a colony for the
United States of America and a protectorate from
1821 until the Liberian Declaration of
Independence from the American
Colonization Society on July 26, 1847.
Liberia is Africa's oldest
republic nation and the second oldest black republic in the world
Liberia was founded, colonized, established and
controlled by the
American Colonization Society , a private
organization who sent freed slaves from America and the Caribbean to
Liberia as colonists to settle. Due to its backing and support from
the United States,
Liberia remained legally independent during the
* SOUTH AFRICA consisted of territories and colonies by various
different African and European powers, including the Dutch, the
British, and the Nguni. The territory consisting the modern nation was
ruled directly by the British from 1806-1910, at which point power
gradually devolved from London until all remaining legal ties were
formally severed in 1961.
* MACAU was a Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999. In 1999, two
Hong Kong , it became a
Special Administrative Region of
* MALTA was a British protectorate and later a colony from the
French Revolutionary Wars in 1800 to independence in 1964.
* MOZAMBIQUE : a colony of
Portugal since the 15th century.
Independent since 1975.
* PHILIPPINES , previously a colony of Spain from 1521 to 1898 as
part of the
Spanish East Indies , was a colony of the United States
from 1898 to 1946. Achieved self-governing
Commonwealth status in
World War II
World War II between 1942 and 1945, it was occupied by
the Japanese forces. Its independence was recognized in 1946.
* SOMALIA , was a colony of
Italy and Britain from the late 1800s
to 1960. On July 6, 1960, the
Trust Territory of Somaliland
Trust Territory of Somaliland (former
Italian Somaliland ) united as planned with the former British
Somaliland to form the
Somali Republic (Somalia).
* SRI LANKA a British colony from 1815 to 1948. Known as
British Dominion until 1972.
* TAIWAN had a Dutch colony (1624–1662) centered on present-day
Tainan; shortly afterwards, a Spanish colony (1626–1642) was
established concurrently in northern Taiwan, not far from present-day
Taipei. Chinese colonial rule was established when Han Chinese forces
loyal to the Ming Dynasty defeated the Dutch in 1662. The Ming
loyalists later surrendered
Taiwan to the Qing Dynasty, which annexed
Taiwan into Chinese territory, making it part of Fujian province, and
later making it a province in its own right. Qing dynasty rule ended
First Sino-Japanese War when the Qing ceded
Taiwan to Japan,
Taiwan under Japanese control (1895-1945). After the defeat of
World War II
World War II ,
Taiwan was given to the Republic of China ,
becoming its base after its defeat in the
Chinese civil war
Chinese civil war .
* The UNITED STATES was formed from a union of thirteen distinct
English/British colonies in
British America . The
Colony of Virginia
was the first of the thirteen colonies. All thirteen declared
independence in July 1776 and expelled the British governors.
Special Committee on Decolonization maintains the United Nations
list of Non-Self-Governing Territories , which identifies areas the
United Nations (though not without controversy) believes are colonies.
Given that dependent territories have varying degrees of autonomy and
political power in the affairs of the controlling state, there is
disagreement over the classification of "colony".
United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
British Overseas Territories (formerly
Crown colony )
* ^ Constitutional Rights Foundation. Archived June 10, 2009, at
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Sharon Ann Navarro, and Armando Xavier Mejia, LATINO AMERICANS
AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO)
2004. p. 106. ISBN 1-85109-523-3 .
* ^ PUERTO RICO:THE TRIALS OF THE OLDEST COLONY IN THE WORLD. By
Jose Trias Monge. Yale University Press. 1997.
* ^ James S. Jeffers (1999). The Greco-Roman world of the New
Testament era: exploring the background of early Christianity.
InterVarsity Press. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-8308-1589-0 .
* ^ De Lario, Damaso; de Lario Ramírez, Dámaso (2008). "Philip II
and the "Philippine Referendum" of 1599". Re-shaping the world: Philip
II of Spain and his time. Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN
Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippine Islands for Spain in
1521, but it can be argued that Spain's legitimate sovereignty over
the islands commenced following a popular referendum in 1599.
* ^ A B Tonio Andrade, How
Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish,
Colonization in the Seventeenth Century, Columbia University