Colonialism vs Neocolonialism
Since both terms carry the word colonialism, one may think that they carry the same meaning, but there is a definite difference between colonialism and neocolonialism. So, what is that difference between Colonialism and Neocolonialism? Here, we will look into the difference between these two terms, colonialism and neocolonialism in detail. The colonial period started somewhere in 1450s and it goes until 1970s. During this period, the stronger nations started to take over the weaker nations. The countries like Spain, Britain, France and Portugal established their colonies in Asia, Africa and some other regions. These stronger nations exploited the natural and human resources in the subjugated countries. After several years of attempts, the dominated countries got independence and became free nations. Then comes the Neocolonialism. This is a post-colonial experience where developed and stronger countries involve in the economic, social and cultural aspects in former colonized and underdeveloped countries.
What is Colonialism?
As mentioned above, during the colonial era, most Asian and African regions were dominated and the stronger countries had the sole control over these subjugated nations. Under colonialism, one stronger nation acquires power and authority over a weaker nation and the dominions expand and establish their command throughout the dominated region. Thus, it becomes a colony of the colonial country. The colonial country uses the natural and human resources of the colony for the benefit of their own country. It is, usually, a process of exploitation and always there is an unequal relationship between the colonial country and the colony in terms of profit distribution. The dominion country did not use the profit gained from the colony’s resources for the colony’s development. Instead, they took the earnings to their own country to enrich their strength and power.
Under colonialism, there was not only economic exploitation but there were influences over social and cultural aspects also. Mostly, the colonial countries spread their religions, beliefs, clothing patterns, food patterns and so many other things over the subjugated countries. In order to have a better position in the society, people had to embrace these new colonial concepts. However, at the end of 1970s, almost all colonies got independence putting an end to the colonialism.
What is Neocolonialism?
Neocolonialism appeared in the post-colonial era. This is also known as the use of economic or political pressure by powerful countries to control or influence over other countries. Here, the former colonial countries further exploited the former colonies using their economic and political power. As mentioned above, in the colonial era, the dominion rulers did not develop the dominated party. Thus, even after the independence, the former colonies had to depend on the stronger countries for their needs. Most social scientists believed that after gaining independence, the colonies will develop themselves, in terms of economic and political powers. However, that did not happen. The reason was obvious. For example, most of the colonies were agrarian whose main exports were agricultural products. The stronger nations paid fewer amounts for these imports and in turn they exported electronic equipment that were expensive. The colonies did not have enough capital and resources to produce these things in their own countries and, therefore, they were unable to industrialize their economies. Hence, they became more dependent and this is called as the process of “Neocolonialism.”
What is the difference between Colonialism and Neocolonialism?
- Under colonialism, one stronger nation acquires power and authority over a weaker nation and the dominions expand and establish their command throughout the dominated region.
- Neocolonialism is developed and stronger countries involve in the economic, social and cultural aspects in former colonized and underdeveloped countries.
When we analyse both terms, we see some similarities as well as differences. In both cases, there is an unequal relationship between both parties. Always, one country becomes a dominion whereas the other country becomes the dominated party. Colonialism is a direct control over a subjugated nation whereas neocolonialism is an indirect involvement. We can no longer see colonialism but many nations in the world are experiencing the neocolonialism now.