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A cartoon depicting British imperial rule over Africa.
The white man's burden
Icon imperialism.svg
The empires strike back
Veni, vidi, vici
Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate.
Edward SaidWikipedia
Take up the White Man's burden—

Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need.
Rudyard Kipling,Wikipedia "The White Man's Burden"Wikipedia

Imperialism is the policy or goal of extending a nation's influence over foreign countries by means of force, economics, political influence, or colonialism.[1] Imperialism is just as old as humanity itself, beginning with clans and warbands competing with and dominating each other, and continuing through eras of national warfare and colonial exploitation.[2] Imperialism has been a central component of human history, as seen through the activities of empires like the Roman Empire and Persia, and modern states, including France, Germany, Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union. Unfortunately the subjugated nations and peoples tend to suffer imperial domination due to the imperial power's neglect or outright hostility towards their interests.[citation NOT needed] Although international law and organizations like the United Nations and the International Criminal Court seek to restrain imperialism, bodies such as they are often used by powerful nations as bludgeons against weaker ones, and are still mostly controlled by the old imperial powers.[3] China had long reigned as a powerful empire in Asia, but rather fell victim to Western imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, but returned to empire ("Chinese imperialism") in the 21st century.

The cultural aspect of imperialism is, surprise, surprise, known as "cultural imperialism". It concerns the promoting and/or imposing a dominant nation's culture over a weaker one, an end often achieved by the creation and maintenance of unequal relations between nations.[4] Cultural imperialism is alive and well today, and the term is most often used in reference to the United States export of its own culture abroad, expedited by its considerable economic and military might.[5][6][7]

Types of empires[edit]

There are three kinds of political empires, all of which commonly involve the spread of militaristic and cultural supremacy, especially if conquest is a primary goal. They are not necessarily exclusive of one another, and an empire may exist as all three. The term itself derives from the Latin word imperator, a military and political role that translates roughly to "commander-in-chief", and imperium, which refers to a specific domain under the military's influence. Historically, empires were ruled by "emperors", a term that was introduced in the middle ages to describe a ruler who was both the king of his country and the ruler of all other lands that fell under the state's dominion. In the geopolitical sense, an empire does not need to be ruled by a monarchy or an oligarchy, and in the case of modern empires the term "emperor" has been abandoned. The word "empire" is generally seen as having a negative connotation in the 21st century due to the controversial and exploitive tactics that defined the colonial empires of the 19th century. The modern geopolitical term "superpower" is essentially a stand-in and is often invoked as a means to imply empire.

Territorial empire[edit]

A territorial empire focuses primarily on military expansion and direct occupation of a conquered nation. Sometimes the local peoples are assimilated and cultural imperialism is employed, but not necessarily. Sometimes military occupation would only be provisional, as a means to transition a conquered region into an official province of some sort. The territorial approach to imperialism was often the earliest form employed by world empires. The Roman, Chinese, Ottoman, and French empires would be valid examples of a territorial empire.

Colonial empire[edit]

Colonial empires, which popularized the notion of imperialism, practiced colonialism. Colonialism was often based on settlement as opposed to intentional conquest, although conquest was often a factor in the case of indigenous civilizations. The criteria an empire must meet to be classified as a colonial empire is that it must control territory overseas, these regions often directly settled and inhabited. These territories, or colonies, are generally more autonomous than those in territorial empires. The primary motivation for colonialism is less military dominance and more economic supremacy. While officially under the directorate of the central state, or "mother country", colonies, due to the vast distance between old and new worlds, generally operate with semi-autonomy, although the colonists generally have fewer political rights than those of the nation-state. The former British Empire, the German Empire, the Belgian Empire, and the modern "American Empire" would be valid examples of Colonial Empires. Geopolitically speaking, the latter would be the sole colonial empire in existence.

Hegemonic empire[edit]

Hegemonic Empires refer to a collection of countries that are often linked culturally and politically. While not technically "empires" in the same way that the previous two are, hegemonies nonetheless function in the same manner. The countries upon which hegemony is enacted, while not directly ruled by a dominant nation, fall under the direct influence of a powerful central state in the region, known as a hegemon. This is often done through the installment of economic supremacy, cultural imperialism, or amassing mass political influence. Sometimes this involves the establishment of puppet states. That being said, despite independent governments existing in those nations under hegemony, their governments are almost completely under the unofficial directorate of the hegemon, to the point where their survival is dependent upon the success of the dominant state. Hegemony is sometimes official policy, but often times, in recent years, it is unofficial. Territorial and colonial empires can also have hegemonies that exist outside of the state's direct control. The United States and, to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, are examples of hegemons, holding influence in countries all over the world. Other examples would include the Greater German Reich, the U.S.S.R. & countries of the Eastern Bloc under the Warsaw Pact, the Roman Republic, and the medieval Caliphate. Additionally, the European Union — its expansion an outgrowth of decolonization[8]:76-77,119 — have come to be highly dependent upon the German economy, and, in turn, Germany holds substantial political influence and power over most other countries in the European Union. That being said, it can be argued that Germany is exercising unofficial hegemony over the rest of Europe.

Fake empires[edit]

Some kingdoms, federations, and rump states would call themselves "empires" despite the fact that they hold little geopolitical similarities to empire. A lot of the time, this was simply because the state used to be an empire and still refers to itself as such, like the Western Roman Empire after Constantine's death. Throughout history, some leaders proclaimed themselves "emperor", despite not ruling a kingdom large enough to be considered as such. One such example was the Holy Roman Empire, which was more of a confederation led by an elected emperor and under quasi-papal hegemony. Another was the "Central African Empire" (i.e., the Central African Republic), which was established by a dictator with a chip on his shoulder named Jean-Bédel Bokassa and lasted all of 3 years before he was overthrown.

Common traits[edit]


Tonkinese villagers forced to bow to French soldiers.

Colonialism is the act of one country taking over some other area (farms, mines, ports, provinces or entire states) and settling it or ruling over it. It is very similar to imperialism, although colonists can be invited by the receiving country.[note 1]

Colonialism has been around since at least the Classical World: the Phoenicians and the Greeks colonized much of the fringes of Northern Africa, the Black Sea, Sicily, Iberia, etc. The Viking Norsemen may hold the all-time championship for colonization: they colonized Ruthenia, Iceland, Greenland, the British Isles and Normandy; their descendants in Normandy in turn colonized Sicily and England; England in turn colonized large chunks of Asia, Africa and North America; The United States (a part of North America) in turn colonized places like Hawaii and the Philippines...

Usually, when speaking of modern colonialism, people refer to European colonialism, although Japanese colonialism is also frequently discussed as a result of World War II. European countries — most notably Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and later on Germany, Belgium, and Italy — engaged in large amounts of colonialism. After a false start with the Kingdom of JerusalemWikipedia (1099-1291), which saw settlers from Western Europe encouraged to migrate to Palestine and other parts of OutremerWikipedia, serious systematic European colonization started in the 15th century (in Africa) and mostly ended in the 20th. Much of the world's land surface comprises former European colonies. For example, all of the Americas and Australia, and almost all of Africa and Asia were colonized at some point. Some states, such as France and Great Britain, still have overseas colonies/dependencies/overseas-territories. However, the largest and furthest-flung colonial empire was that of Great Britain, which ruled much of Africa and the Middle East, along with (for example) India, parts of China, Australia, New Zealand and a large part of North America.

Colonialism as a acceptable worldwide system began to fade after World War II (1939-1945) due to a multitude of causes. Many of the colonial powers suffered heavily from the war, and maintaining direct control over their colonies was becoming increasingly untenable. At the same time, great advances started to take place in "asymmetric warfare",[9] as evidenced by the ability of the poorly-equipped Vietnamese forces to fight off both France and the United States of America. Still, many colonial powers have not fully left their former colonies behind, and colonial debt is a major reason why many of the newly freed countries are still largely dependent on their old colonial overlords.

These days, accusations of colonialism are most often leveled at the United States, Israel, China, and Russia. A particular branch of study, "postcolonialism", has arisen to study the effects and aftermaths of colonialism on different parts of the world, from the point of view of the former colonies. It particularly focuses on differences in colonial structures and their results. In addition, neocolonialismWikipedia has risen after much of the world has been officially decolonized. Neocolonialism often involves subjugation by economic means rather than direct control. Examples of neocolonialism include richer countries putting poorer countries into debt in order to force dependence, unequal deals that result in richer countries being able to take resources from poorer countries, and propping up regimes that are friendly to the richer state. A couple of notable examples of neocolonialism include FrançafriqueWikipedia and China's Belt and Road InitiativeWikipedia.


See the main article on this topic: Racism

Empires based on racism and exploitation are of more recent origin — Britain being the largest colonial power. Even in colonialist empires, attitudes on race varied from "White Man's Burden" type "We have to lift up those savages" rationalizations (like in India) to outright extermination of "lower races" in the Imperial Japanese and Nazi German colonization attempts (like in Rhodesia). Some Empires relied on local allies for administrative and military purposes and either overlooked their race or employed a "hierarchy" with certain local groups destined to rule over others, which was one of the origins of the hatred and divide between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda.

Puppet states[edit]

A puppet, client or satellite state is an example of indirect imperialism, in which a country's government is outwardly independent but is controlled by a foreign power. Historically, the governor of a client state was referred to as a satrap and their state as a satrapy. Modern incarnations of client states started with Revolutionary France and its "sister Republics" that were created via "Revolution Export". Later on, Napoleon put his family and other rulers to his liking in control of most of Europe, creating puppet states in the process. The most famous examples come from WWII, when the Nazis pulled the strings of the Vichy French government and the Japanese set up the puppet government of Manchukuo (now Manchuria) in Northern China. After that war, it occurred on an even larger scale during the Cold War in which the Soviet Union dominated its satellites in the Eastern Bloc.[note 2] The US during the Cold War also propped up puppet states in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.[note 3] Another example includes Transnistria; it is an unrecognized nation and de jure portion of Moldova in which Russia maintains heavy political, financial and military influence over the region.

One example, important in the development of Christianity and its mythology, was the Herodian kingdomWikipedia which was a Roman client state whose rulers figure in several events of the New Testament.[note 4]



See the main article on this topic: Belgian Congo

The king of Belgium took over what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and fucked shit over mightily. And the cruelty under the reign of Leopold II once shocked Europe for some moments as it was revealed that about 10 to 12 million Congolese died of the mass enslavement and massacres committed by the Belgian colonial authority.


See the main article on this topic: British Empire

The British Empire was a massive Juggernaut that spanned across the world. Starting with the colonization of the Americas, it continues to exist in a much reduced form. At the height of the Empire, its image was that of mustachioed men wearing silly white helmets and sipping tea while the dark-skinned people did all the hard work.


See the main article on this topic: Imperial China

China has been an imperial state throughout most of the last 2,000 years, with the Silk Road in particular being where China devoted a lot of its military effort at times when it was powerful due to its profitability. Historically, China considered itself to be the "Middle Kingdom" and the center of civilization, with outlying areas being more barbaric the further away you get. China engaged in a form of proto-cultural imperialism for this reason, with them promoting their culture to any groups they came in contact with; Korea and Japan were influenced significantly by this, while other places like Vietnam notably resisted. Chinese colonialism would ramp up considerably during the Qing Dynasty,Wikipedia when they took over areas like Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia. However, they would later be on the receiving end of imperialism, with a loss to Britain during the Opium WarWikipedia leading to the so-called Century of Humiliation,Wikipedia and later two wars with Japan.

After the Chinese Communist Party took over, China resumed its colonial efforts, only in the name of socialism. Currently, places like Tibet and Xinjiang are euphemistically called "autonomous zones", but in reality they are targets of the Chinese government to forcibly assimilate their groups into modern Chinese culture, which is state atheist and thus is not much into freedom of religion. The Uyghur genocide is the most extreme example of this, with Uyghurs, especially those who are religiously devout and live in remote areas, being suspected of Islamic extremism, and thus held in re-education camps, having their language, religion, and culture suppressed, with many of the detainees being subject to violations, all while Han Chinese migrants are settling the area. This is not helped by the fact that Tibetans and Uyghurs face disproportionate rates of poverty compared to their Han Chinese compatriots.

The PRC has been engaging in other forms of colonialism as well. One example is the nine-dash line,Wikipedia which involves China building artificial islands in the South China sea so that it can have full economic and military domination over the area, drawing them closer to conflict with other smaller nations in the region. Another example is the Belt and Road Initiative, which involves China supporting infrastructure projects in many developing nations, a practice critics argue could allow the Chinese government to put smaller nations into debt and unduly influence these governments due to its less-than-transparent lending rules.[13] Wolf Warrior 2,Wikipedia which was the most successful film of all time in China (until another propaganda film, The Battle at Lake Changjin,Wikipedia beat it), is a piece of government-sponsored propaganda that whitewashes China's involvement in places like Africa, which led to the coining of the term Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.Wikipedia This is not helped by the fact their expansionism drew the attention of the United States, which obviously seeks to maintain its global dominance, and critics fear that the confrontation between the two powers would bring forth a new Cold War and arms race.[14]


See the main article on this topic: French colonial empire

France extensively colonized Africa and Indochina, and still held many of its colonies until the 1970s and still retains real estate all over the globe as former colonies have been incorporated as overseas territories.[note 5] Another remnant of France's empire is the French parallel to the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie,Wikipedia an international organization of French-speaking states. France is still very active in promoting its language abroad[15][note 6] and has intervened various times in former colonies, deposing or installing governments at will. The Quebec sovereignty movement was also backed and boosted by Charles de Gaulle[note 7] and later French leaders, creating a major headache in Canadian politics. Another remnant of french colonialism is the CFA franc, the name of two currencies: the West African CFA franc, used by the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) and the Central Africa CFA franc used by the CEMAC (Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa). CFA's value is pegged to the euro (whose monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank). The CEMAC, the UEMOA and their central banks can't make decisions without agreement from the French Central Bank.


The Holy Roman Empire over time, with modern political boundaries in outline

Holy Roman Empire[edit]

The Pope is ready to make some more emperors. Of the "Roman Empire". The Holy Roman Empire. It's actually Germany but don't worry about it.
—bill wurtz[16]

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, but it did last some 900 years in varying forms, occasionally acquiring territories only to lose others. It never directly engaged in overseas imperial conquest. This may have been due to its generally questionable ability to effectively exert central control over the plethora of independent prince-electors, bishops, free cities and merchant republics, not to mention its failure to control external threats from France and curtail the Protestant Reformation.

However, during the reign of Emperor Charles V (1519-1556), he found himself in control of a blossoming global empire. In Europe, Charles V inherited Austrian territories from the Habsburg dynasty, Netherlands from the House of Valois-Burgundy, and Castile and Aragon (now Spain) from the Trastámara dynasties. This last inheritance not only gave him Aragon's considerable colonies and territories in the Mediterranean, but Castile's American and Asian possessions too. By sheer luck, Charles V found himself ruling half of Europe, Spanish Mexico, the Spanish Philippines, the Spanish West Indies, and enclaves along the coast of Northern Africa at the same time. Thus, he is said to be the first monarch to rule over an empire "on which the sun never sets", despite never engaging directly in overseas discoveries or colonization.

Second and Third Reichs[edit]

See the main articles on this topic: German Empire and Nazi Germany
German colonial empire in 1914.

The German Empire didn't last long: from unification in 1871 to collapse after the Great War was a mere 47 years. There is an argument to be made that the Third Reich was an imperial project, but an even briefer one, lasting all of 12 years, 3 months and 8 days from start to finish. Germany got into the overseas empire game late, getting only some bits of Africa,[note 8] a small colonyWikipedia in China, and some Pacific islands.[note 9]

Hitler was ambiguous on the colonial question, first endorsing a desire to regain colonies but later reneging it and ultimately his main focus was on conquering Eastern Europe, enslaving or exterminating everything "un-German" that lived there and building a large-scale land empire on the ashes. However, Nazi Germany was still heavily involved in North Africa during the war, largely due to their allies of fascist Italy and Vichy France having imperial ambitions over the area.


The modern state of Israel was first established when the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) partitioned the then-British-controlled Palestine. From the very beginning, this resulted in war erupting between the two groups, and ultimately many Palestinians were forced out of their homes and many of their settlements were destroyed in an event known as the Nakba.Wikipedia Today, Palestine is still nominally independent, but its borders have shrunk since the partition and in practice, Israel calls most of the shots. The Gaza Strip is subject to an Israeli blockade that prevents basic supplies like clean water and electricity from reaching the Palestinians, resulting in the Gaza Strip having one of the lowest standards of living in the world.[17] Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Palestinians are still being forced out of their homes and are prevented from leaving their houses as Israeli settlers keep moving in.[18] There's also their occupation of the Golan Heights, which is illegal under international law, but that doesn't prevent Israel from settling there.[19] Israel is probably the most well-known modern example of settler colonialism,Wikipedia which is when one country colonizes another by displacing the original inhabitants and replacing them with their own citizens.


All the World under one Boot Roof

Japan joined the empire game relatively late, but nonetheless managed to acquire a sizable one. Initially an absolute monarchy, then a constitutional monarchy, it eventually spiraled into a fascist system which, though it kept up a façade of elections and party politics, was effectively run by a military-industrial complex. The Japanese also invented a wonderful Newspeak title for their empire (the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere),Wikipedia thus being Orwellian before the term was even coined.[note 10] Like the Russian Empire, the Empire of Japan had the emperor play a spiritual role. Unlike the Russians however, the Emperor was actively worshipped. This caused some trouble later. The pre-World War II colonies of Japan included what is now Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, and Micronesia.


Russian conquest of Samarkand.
"Autocracy, Orthodoxy, and Nationality"
—Maxim of Alexander III[note 11]

Tsarist Russia had ambitions in Asia, it being literally next door and Africa already having been taken. The Russians attempted to gain control of Manchuria and Korea, but unfortunately for them, they came in conflict with the Empire of Japan. Russia suffered a humiliating defeat, losing much of its navy while the successful Japanese assault on the Russian stronghold of Port Arthur gave some European observers some unfortunate ideas about the effectiveness of massed infantry attacks against entrenchments, machine guns and modern artillery. The Russian Empire was an autocracy with a sizable theocratic element. Unlike the aforementioned Empire of Japan, the Tsar was "merely" head of the church and answered only to God rather than being worshipped himself. It didn't end well.

At the time of the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks were hotly debating "the national question", with Lenin in favour of keeping a tight grip on the Finnish, Georgian, and Polish possessions, while Stalin (himself a Georgian), favouring more self-determination and even an eventual path to independence. Lenin saw the independence of the Tsar's possessions to be a 'betrayal of internationalist principles', and when Stalin sensed which way the wind was blowing, he switched to Lenin's side on the issue for good. Lenin also favoured turning Russia's participation in World War I into a revolutionary struggle, with the aim of making Europe's population so enraged by the war that they would rise up as he and his party had done. Ironically, this had imperialist overtones, and when Lenin grasped how unpopular the war had become in Russia, he dropped the idea.

The Bolsheviks certainly didn't want to adopt anything like a theocratic Russian autocracy—well, not theocratic[note 12] at least. Although the Soviet Union never reached the size of the Tsarist empire, Uncle Joe thought that the red gospel was so fantastic that the Eastern half of Europe couldn't possibly live without it. However, when his successors tried to convince the Afghans, things ended about as well as could be expected given the history of Afghanistan.

The modern Russian Federation is one of the only countries to still practice the old-school "conquer other territories with military might and fully subjugate them" style of colonialism. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has acted militarily to destabilize some of their neighboring countries and install pro-Russian puppet states in them, with Transnistria in Moldova as well as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. In 2014, they took it a step further by annexing Crimea in Ukraine, as well as starting a proxy war in the Donbas region. Russia also exerts considerable influence over its neighbors through the Collective Security Treaty Organization.Wikipedia In 2022, Russia's colonization efforts ramped up significantly, first by invading Kazakhstan to suppress a protest movement, and much more infamously by launching an effort to conquer the entirety of Ukraine in what is the most blatant war of conquest in the twenty-first century, and has additionally been renewing its efforts to formally annex South Ossetia. Because of this, Russia is probably the most notorious colonizer state of this day.


Spain was one of the first to really get into the game of modern colonialism, starting when Christopher Columbus "discovered" the New World and subsequently enslaved the native populations. Spanish colonialism would be a huge influence on future colonial projects, with their genocide of the native populations, introduction of African slaves to replace the native ones, and establishment of many of the modern ideas of race through limpieza de sangreWikipedia all inspiring other colonial powers and having long-lasting effects to this day. Despite its immense profitability, the Spanish Empire would not last as long as the empires of its neighbors, with the Napoleonic Wars resulting in most of Spain's colonies in the Americas gaining independence and the U.S. picking off the rest of their colonies during the Spanish-American War. Their sole contribution to colonialism in the twentieth century is Western Sahara (as well as part of Morocco), which was one of the last places in Africa to officially be decolonized and resulted in a clusterfuck that still goes on to this day due to Spain's incompetence when leaving the territory.

United States of America[edit]

Western territories and Indian reservations can be hard to recognize as colonial spaces because they don't conform to the stereotypical image of empire: Asian and African societies ruled by mustachioed white men in pith helmets.

Yet the familiar model isn't the only form empire can take. What the United States did in North America — annexing adjacent land, violently driving Indigenous peoples off it, and flooding it with settlers — was different from installing a small unelected cadre to rule large colonized populations, but it was still a kind of empire. Scholars call it settler colonialism to distinguish it from the administrative colonialism typified by European powers in Asia and Africa.[20]:88-89

US annexation of Hawaiʻi.

The Treaty of Paris in 1783 left the United States of America with an imperial scale even if the United States decisively rejected any concept of hereditary rule. Other than the establishment of Liberia as a colony for freed slaves it didn't want and its involvement in the slave trade, America stayed out of Africa, though they did engage in imperialist behavior elsewhere. The United States did however engage in a sort of internal imperialism, with large numbers of Native Americans and African Americans not having full citizenship during much of its history due to disenfranchisement.[8]:69

The colonialism of the post-civil-war period still persists today in the American state of Hawaii. A precursor of the Spanish American War, the United States troops invaded the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi on January 16, 1893, an unprovoked attack which led to a conditional surrender. Hawaii was eventually subsumed into the American nation as the 50th state on August 21, 1959. Some even argue that today almost all native Hawaiians favor independence.[21] The 49th state, Alaska, was purchased from Russia without the consent of indigenous Alaskans.

The Spanish-American War, a splendid little conflict that resulted in a crushing American victory, enabled the U.S. to exert power over the Caribbean (most significantly, Puerto Rico), the Philippines, and Guam. Shortly afterward, imperialist interpretations of the Monroe Doctrine resulted in the U.S. intervening in many Latin American countries and as a result having a lot of influence in the region. While many Americans at the time were isolationist, the US engaged in such actions as the Open Door policy, as well as sending the Great White Fleet around the world as a show of power (December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909). The procession was intended to demonstrate American military strength. The U.S., by that time, had lost interest in colonial conquests.

Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands still exist as quasi-colonial states where citizens living in those territories have no real representation on the Federal level, but as United States citizens are free to move to the mainland where they would be automatically eligible to vote in Federal elections. American Samoans on the other hand are not automatically citizens, having the peculiar status of 'non-citizen national', and are hence totally disenfranchised from representation.

In all, the United States today has five inhabited territories that contain more than 3.6 million people. These people cannot vote for president, have not voting representatives in Congress, late full constitutional protection, and suffer the predictable effects. All five territories are poorer, per capita, than the poorest US state.[20]:91

Ex-colony colonialism[edit]

The behavior of some former colonies could be interpreted as colonialism. For example:

  • Ancient Rome established colonies, ran client states and conquered free and independent barbarian polities from Mesopotamia to Britain. But Rome itself, in one view, had suffered colonisation at the hands of the Etruscans;[22][23] and it certainly underwent cultural colonisation at the hands of the Hellenistic Greeks.
  • In 1835, as the British increasingly exercised their colonial influence in New Zealand, a Maori expedition commandeered a British ship, sailed to the Chatham Islands and commenced the colonisation of the Moriori people there.[24]
  • British colonists in Queensland annexed Papua in 1883.
  • The former Spanish colony of Chile annexed Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in 1887.
  • The Konfrontasi during Sukarno's presidency in Indonesia resulted in ineffective invasions of neighboring Malaysia and Brunei, and the effective annexation of Irian Jaya (later Papua Province). President Suharto later annexed Timor-Leste in a bloody invasion shortly after it declared independence from Portugal. Several revolts against "Javanese Imperialism"Wikipedia have taken place within Indonesia in attempts to break away from the state: the Molucca (or Maluku) islands (1950, unsuccessful), Aceh Province (limited autonomy in 2002), Timor-Leste (full independence in 2002), and West Papua (ongoing). The imperialist aspect is expressed not just by the subjugation of various independence movements, but also by government and military control resting largely in the hands of ethnic Javanese as well as ongoing transmigration (transmigrasi) of (mostly) Javanese to far-flung provinces for what is effectively colonization.[25]
  • The complete subjugation by Morocco (a former French/Spanish colony) of the Western Sahara region.

See also[edit]


  1. Note the legend of the Britons inviting Hengist and HorsaWikipedia into Britain and triggering the Anglo-Saxon takeover, the legend of the Bohemians inviting the Frankish merchant SamoWikipedia to rule over them and found their first kingdom (Samo's EmpireWikipedia), and the legend of the Eastern Slavs inviting RurikWikipedia to restore order in proto-Russia. Later the Maori would invite the Anglo-Saxons to colonize New Zealand (1840), whereas King George XII of GeorgiaWikipedia and Chairman of the Presidium of the Revolutionary Council of Afghanistan Hafizullah AminWikipedia would allegedly invite the Russians/Soviets to restore order in Georgia (1800) and in Afghanistan (1979) respectively.
  2. In the Eastern Bloc, the term 'homunculus' has referred to attempts to remold people to be "without sexual, high intellectual or high emotional 'centres'".[10]:178[11] Daniel Kalder has used homunculus to refer primarily to the heads of puppet states who felt compelled to follow the party line while at the same time not showing any innovation from the party canon.[12] Stalinist examples include Khorloogiin ChoibalsanWikipedia of Mongolia, Georgi DimitrovWikipedia of Bulgaria, Klement GottwaldWikipedia of Czechoslovakia, Enver Hoxha of Albania, Kim Il Sung of North Korea, and Konstantin ChernenkoWikipedia of the Soviet Union.[12]:212,216,242,252,279
  3. Examples include the Duvalier dynasty in Haiti, the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua, Augusto Pinochet's free-market but not free-society in Chile, Apartheid South Africa, and South Korea under Park-Rhee, among many others.
  4. Most (in)famously the almost certainly fictitious Massacre of the InnocentsWikipedia in Matthew 2:16-18
  5. E.g. French GuianaWikipedia in South America, MartiniqueWikipedia in the Caribbean, and RéunionWikipedia in the Indian Ocean, as well as the slightly looser affiliated French PolynesiaWikipedia and New CaledoniaWikipedia in the Pacific.
  6. The state backed Alliance Française has over 800 locations in 136 countries, all offering French classes — this is much more than comparable institutes of other countries
  7. See the Wikipedia article on Vive le Québec libre. for a controversial speech he gave
  8. What is today Namibia, Tanzania and parts of Cameroon, Ghana and Togo
  9. Specifically, what is today Samoa, most of Papua New Guinea, along with parts of the Solomon Islands, Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands, as well the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.
  10. Whether George Orwell had Japan's euphemistic title for its empire in mind when he invented such entities as the "Ministry of Truth" for Nineteen Eighty-Four is anyone's guess.
  11. The content of "Nationality" ("Narodnost") was the problem: Did it refer to Russian nationalism? Love of the empire? The people? While usually translated as "nationality", other possible translationsWikipedia are something like the "spiritual identity of the people", or even "populism"
  12. Although communism has more than a little whiff of religious and messianic fervor about it.


  1. Imperialism ""
  2. Imperialism New World Encyclopedia.
  3. Imperialism didn't end. These days it's known as international law The Guardian
  4. See the Wikipedia article on Cultural imperialism.
  5. America is the acceptable face of cultural imperialism The Telegraph
  6. America: A Modern Imperialist Huffington Post
  7. American Multiculturalism as Cultural Imperialism British Association for American Studies.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder (2018) Tim Duggan Books. ISBN 0525574468.
  9. See the Wikipedia article on asymmetric warfare.
  10. Literature in Post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe: The Russian, Czech and Slovak Fiction of the Changes 1988-1998 by Rajendra Anand Chitnis (2004) Routledge. ISBN 0415355575.
  11. Чапаев: Место рождение - Рига. In: Цыганский роман by Андрей Левкин (2000). Амфора.
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy by Daniel Kalder (2018) Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 1627793429.
  13. Experts dispel claims of China debt-trap diplomacy in Pacific but risks remain Ben Doherty. The Guardian. October 21, 2019
  14. The US and China re-engage on arms control. What may come next Daryl G. Kimball. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. November 15, 2023
  15. See the Wikipedia article on Francization.
  16. history of the entire world, i guess
  17. Water in Gaza: Scarce, polluted and mostly unfit for use, B'Tselem 17 August 2020
  18. Israel settlement expansion ‘tramples’ on human rights law, experts contend, UN News 3 November 2021
  19. Israel greenlights illegal ‘Trump’ settlement in Golan Heights, Al Jazeera 14 June 2020
  20. 20.0 20.1 "The United States Is an Empire" by Daniel Immerwahr. In: Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past, edited by Kevin M. Kruse & Julian E. Zelizer (2022) Basic Books. ISBN 1541601394. Pages 85-97.
  22. Rome and the Colonial City: Rethinking the Grid. Impact of the ancient city, volume 3. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 2022. p. 345. ISBN 9781789257823. Retrieved 30 June 2024. "As Cerda told it, 'Rome in effect, looking past the fabulous origins attributed to it by her sycophants and those of Augustus, let us repeat, was nothing more than a small Etruscan city'." 
  23. Dyck, Ludwig Heinrich (30 November 2015). The Roman Barbarian Wars: The Era of Roman Conquest. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473877887. Retrieved 30 June 2024. "[...] the Latins continued to resent being ruled by foreigners and around 510 [BCE] the Romans cast out the last Etruscan king in an allegedly bloodless revolution." 
  24. Gillen, Paul; Ghosh, Devleena (2007). "Industry and Imperialism 1780-1914: Non-European Colonialism". Colonialism & Modernity. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780868407357. Retrieved 30 June 2024. "Maori attacked, enslaved and cannibalised the Moriori of the Chatham Islands in 1835, five years before the British annexed New Zealand." 
  25. West Irian and Jakarta Imperialism by Kees Lagerberg (1980) Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0312863225.