Settler colonialism

Settler colonialism

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This map of the world in 1898 shows the large colonial empires that European nations established in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific

Settler colonialism is a specific colonial formation whereby foreign family units move into a region and reproduce. Land is thus the key resource in settler colonies, whereas natural (e.g. spices, cotton, oil) and human (e.g. labour, existing trade networks, convertible souls) resources are the main motivation behind other forms of colonialism. Colonialism typically ends, whereas settler colonialism lasts forever, except in the rare event of complete evacuation, or settler decolonization. The historian of race and settler colonialism Patrick Wolfe writes "settler colonialism destroys to replace", and insists that "invasion", in settler colonial contexts, is "a structure, not an event".[1]

This definition, by contrast, comes from the Settler Colonial Studies website [2]:

Settler colonialism is a global and transnational phenomenon, and as much a thing of the past as a thing of the present. There is no such thing as neo-settler colonialism or post-settler colonialism because settler colonialism is a resilient formation that rarely ends. Not all migrants are settlers: settlers come to stay, and are founders of political orders who carry with them a distinct sovereign capacity. And settler colonialism is not colonialism: settlers want Indigenous people to vanish (but can make use of their labour before they are made to disappear). Sometimes settler colonial forms operate within colonial ones, sometimes they subvert them, sometimes they replace them. But even if colonialism and settler colonialism interpenetrate and overlap, they remain separate as they co-define each other.



[edit] Who settled where?

Map of the first (light blue) and second (dark blue — plain and hachured) French colonial empires

Since the 15th century, settlers, mostly Europeans in origin, have traveled from European nation-states to comparatively underdeveloped territories with the aim of living there permanently. (Note though the movement of Han Chinese settlers to Manchuria and Central Asia.) In the process they often displaced the indigenous population and imposed social structures of their own making. Many of the home countries gained greatly from their colonized territories, including in particular the British and Spanish Empires. While some territories gained independence and the indigenous people gained some freedoms, rarely did those liberties reach the point in which a full participation in important affairs was possible. Examples of countries of origin and settler colonies includes:

While some of these countries retain control over their colonial settlements, many of the territories once subject to the power of some other nation have now gained de jure independence. In spite of this, one might argue that de facto independence remains unachieved, as some ties of dependence remain unsevered. In other cases, while those independent territories may have shaken off some of the former external influence, the population of those territories still experiences considerable turmoil derived from economical disparity (see Gini coefficient) and poor living conditions derived from the past rule of a colonial power, population explosion and rampant corruption.

[edit] In the ancient world

Settler colonialism has occurred extensively throughout human history, including in the ancient world.

[edit] Hellenes

Greek settlers cloned their city-states through much of the coastlines of the Mediterranean. Under the Macedonian Empire, the Hellenistic pattern of settler colonies extended deep into Asia.

[edit] Rome

The Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire commonly established settler colonies in newly conquered regions. The colonists in these colonies were often veterans of the Roman army, who received agricultural land to develop. These agricultural communities provided bastions of loyal citizens in often hostile areas of the Empire, and often accelerated the process of Romanisation among the nearby conquered peoples. For examples of such colonies: near the city of Damascus in present-day Syria, the contemporary settlements of Mezze and Deraya can trace their origins back to villages opened for settlement by the Romans during the third century CE. Philip the Arab, the Roman Emperor from 244 to 249 designated this area around Damascus a colonia, and encouraged settlement by veterans of the VI Ferrata legion, as commemorated by coins minted in the city around this time.[3]

[edit] In early modern and modern times

During the early modern period, some European nation-states and their agents adopted policies of colonialism, competing with each other to establish colonies outside of Europe, at first in the Americas, and later in Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

[edit] Settler colonialism in Africa

Due to the cohesive and integrated character of white settlers in countries such as French Algeria, South Africa and Rhodesia, a new and complicated set of conditions developed that lead to exploitation of the indigenous people by white minorities. The elite of such countries came to control most (if not all) of the relevant aspects of the political and economic life of the country. South Africa under apartheid furnishes an example of such domination.

[edit] Settler colonialism in Oceania

Australia exemplifies a settler society. Europeans came and settled in Australia, in many cases displacing Indigenous Australians. The Indigenous Australian population, estimated at about 350,000 at the time of European settlement,[4] declined steeply for 150 years following settlement from 1788, mainly because of infectious disease combined with forced re-settlement and cultural disintegration. The removal of children, that historians and Indigenous Australians have portrayed as genocide,[5] may have made a contribution to the decline in the indigenous population. Such interpretations of Aboriginal history are disputed by some, such as Keith Windshuttle, as being exaggerated or fabricated for political or ideological reasons.[6] This debate is known within Australia as the History Wars. Following the 1967 referendum, the Federal government gained the power to implement policies and make laws with respect to Aborigines. Traditional ownership of land — native title — in Australia first gained legal recognition in 1992, when the High Court case Mabo v Queensland (No 2) overturned the notion of Australia as terra nullius at the time of European occupation.

[edit] Settler colonialism in Asia

[edit] China

Han settlement of Manchuria proceeded apace in the late 19th century.

Since its establishment in 1949 the People's Republic of China has encouraged settlers to migrate to its sparsely populated border territories, specifically in Tibet, East Turkestan and Inner Mongolia. This process has received much state assistance, for example through organisations such as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. The indigenous populations of these areas, who differ ethnically (and sometimes religiously) from the majority Han Chinese, often resent the influx of immigrants, which can cause great changes in the demographics of the regions. For example, the original Mongol inhabitants as of 2009[update] have become a minority in Inner Mongolia, and ethnic Tibetans and Uyghurs find themselves outnumbered in most of their cities. This resentment has often led to violence,notably during the 2008 Tibetan unrest. The fear of being made minorities in their own countries within their lifetimes provides a strong spur to the Tibetan and Uyghur separatist movements.

[edit] Israel

Jews have lived in Palestine as a minority population continuously since ancient times, particularly in the Four Holy Cities: Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron.[7] Nevertheless, founders of Zionism such as Theodore Herzl and Ahad Ha'am envisaged colonising from the outset. In 1967 the French historian Maxime Rodinson wrote an article later translated and published in English as Israel: A Colonial Settler-State?[8] Academics such as the Australian Lorenzo Veracini treat Israel's colonial nature as a given and point out that Jewish settlers could expel the British in 1948 only because they had their own colonial relationships inside and outside Israel's new borders.[9] Veracini believes the possibility of an Israeli disengagement is always latent and this relationship could be severed, through an "accommodation of a Palestinian Israeli autonomy within the institutions of the Israeli state" (Veracini 2006)[10] Other scholars, such as Daiva Stasiulis and Nira Yuval-Davis[11], and Joseph Massad in the "Post Colonial Colony: time, space and bodies in Palestine/ Israel in the persistence of the Palestinian Question".[12] have included Israel in their global analysis of settler societies.

Some Palestinians express similar opinions - writer and sociologist Jamil Hilal, member of the Palestinian National Council lives in what he describes as "the heavily-colonised West Bank", and drew parallels in 1976 between South African and Israeli settler colonialism, noting that "as in Southern Africa, stretches of land were acquired by the Zionist settlers [...] and their Arab tenants thrown out". Hilal also argues that the defence industries of the two nations collaborated against the sanctions on South Africa, especially on their respective nuclear programs in the 1980s.[13] Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Nasser al-Qidwa opposes the policy of Israeli settlements and has described those efforts as colonialism.[14]

Ambassador Rastam Mohd Isa, former permanent representative of Malaysia to the United Nations, speaking on behalf of the non-aligned movement (NAM) in 2003 expressed grave concern about "the continuing and escalating Israeli military campaign ... excessive and indiscriminate use of force, and continuing settler colonial activities"[15]

[edit] Siberia

[edit] Settler colonialism in the Americas

Territories in the Americas colonized by a European great power in 1750

[edit] Mexico

In the case of Mexico, criollos who wanted to seize the power from the Spanish settlers initiated the Mexican independence movement. Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla y Gallaga Mondarte Villaseñor[3] ( 8 May 1753 – 30 July 1811), more commonly known as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo, was a Mexican priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence.

In 1810 Hidalgo led a group of indigenous and mestizo peasants in a revolt against the dominant peninsulares under the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Hidalgo was captured on 21 March 1811, and executed on 30 July.[5]

Hidalgo's rebellion was the beginning of what would become the Mexican War of Independence. Although he was unsuccessful in his original aim, Hidalgo's efforts were followed by those of José María Morelos and Agustín de Iturbide who brought down the colonial governments of Spain in Mexico. Hidalgo is considered the Father of the Nation of Mexico.[1] It is falsely claimed that he advanced a drive for a new local criollo elite to control Mexico, although following the Independence this was the end result. Nonetheless Mexico remains a predominantly indigenous and mestizo nation, with a European-descended minority elite.

[edit] Quebec

[edit] European diasporas

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

[edit] References

  1. ^ Patrick Wolfe, "Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native", Journal of Genocide Research, 2006.
  2. ^ Settler Colonial Studies
  3. ^ Burns, Ross. Damascus: a history. Routledge. pp. 76, 85. ISBN 0415271053, 9780415271059. 
  4. ^ Smith, L. (1980), The Aboriginal Population of Australia, Australian National University Press, Canberra
  5. ^ Tatz, C. (1999). Genocide in Australia, AIATSIS Research Discussion Papers No 8, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra
  6. ^ Windschuttle, K. (2001). The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, The New Criterion Vol. 20, No. 1, September 20
  7. ^ The Old Yishuv dwelled mainly in the Four Holy Cities: Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. The Jerusalem Cathedra "Building the Land: Stages in First Aliya Colonization (1882-1904)" Yad Izhak Ben Zvi & Wayne State University Press, No. 3, 1983.
  8. ^ Rodinson, Maxime. "Israel, fait colonial?" Les Temps Moderne, 1967. Republished in English as Israel: A Colonial Settler-State?, New York, Monad Press, 1973.
  9. ^ "Israel could celebrate its anticolonial/anti-British struggle exactly because it was able to establish a number of colonial relationships within and without the borders of 1948." Lorenzo Veracini, Borderlands, vol 6 No 2, 2007.
  10. ^ Veracini, Lorenzo, "Israel and Settler Society", London: Pluto Press. 2006.
  11. ^ Unsettling Settler Societies: Articulations of Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Class, Vol. 11, Nira Yuval-Davis (Editor), Daiva K Stasiulis (Editor), Paperback 352pp, ISBN-13: 9780803986947, August 1995 SAGE Publications.
  12. ^ "Post Colonial Colony: time, space and bodies in Palestine/ Israel in the persistence of the Palestinian Question", Routledge, NY, (2006) and "The Pre-Occupation of Post-Colonial Studies" ed. Fawzia Afzal-Khan and Kalpana Rahita Seshadri. (Durham: Duke University Press)
  13. ^ "IMPERIALISM AND SETTLER-COLONIALISM IN WEST ASIA: ISRAEL AND THE ARAB PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE." Jamil Hilal, UTAFITI journal of the arts and social sciences, University of Dar Es Salaam. 1976.
  14. ^ "a classical colonialist phenomenon" Speech: Dr. Nasser al-Qidwa, former Palestinian Foreign Minister, Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre, November 2006.
  15. ^ "... Israeli military campaign ... excessive and indiscriminate use of force, and continuing settler colonial activities" STATEMENT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, Situation in the Middle East - Palestine, Malaysian Permanent Representative Rastam Mohd Isa speaking to the UN on behalf of the non-aligned movement 2003.

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