There is no other country than England that is so associated with colonization. Even though other countries like France, Spain, and even the United States have colonized countries, it is England who stands out because of the longevity of their practice of it. According to Merriam Webster, colonization means to make a colony which is a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state b: the territory inhabited by such a body. (Merriam Webster) The three most prominent acts of colonization of Great Britain are America, India, and Australia.
During its peak, the British Empire was the largest in the world. There were many reasons for colonization and many of them were monetary reasons, but there were spiritual ones as well. One thing is certain and that is the effects of England on the countries she colonized will always be there. The effects run from the language spoken to the reproduction of the government. The reasons that England colonized the United States, Australia, and India were different for each country. The United States was referred to as America when England first colonized it.
The main reason for the colonization was to obtain riches that would help England fight the Spanish Navy. The riches were not in abundance as the British hoped, but the natural resources that the “new world” offered would bring financial gain. Tobacco, indigo, rice, and cotton were the most prominent cash crops that were produced in the fertile ground of America. The only reason that the British colonized India was for trade. Raw materials and spices could be obtained in India and were a huge asset for the empire. The British dominated trade through protectionist measures that required Indian exports to be transported on British ships.
The British focused on consolidating their sovereignty, acquiring lands by military conquest and by exploiting divisions among Indian states and religious groups. (The Story of India) The settlement of Australia was for trade and riches, but it was also for control and to have a base in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific. Initially, relations between the explorers and the Aboriginal inhabitants were generally hospitable and based on understanding the terms of trading for food, water, axes, cloth and artifacts, a relationship encouraged by Governor Phillip.
These relations became hostile as Aborigines realized that the land and resources upon which they depended and the order of their life were seriously disrupted by the on-going presence of the colonizers. ( European Discovery and Colonization of Australia) The effects of England’s colonization of the United States are still seen today. America desired independence from Great Britain, but still modeled her society on the mother country. The predominant language spoken is English and the predominant religion is Christianity as it is in Great Britain.
At one time England was the most capitalistic country in the world and now the title belongs to the United States. In fact the economic system in the US is a mirror image of that in Great Britain. The US does not have a monarchy, yet Congress and Parliament are quite similar and the Prime Minister is similar to the position of president. The court system is also quite like that of the one in America. There is also a since of kinship between the United States and Great Britain. During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, they have been the closest ally of the other.
From fashion, movies, and music, these two countries mirror and rely on the other to compliment the endeavors of the other. The United States might have separated from Great Britain after the Revolution as far as the formation of a new government, but they have remained joined in all other aspects. The continent of Australia is now a dominion of Great Britain. They too share the same type of government and language as England. Besides these two effects, Australia has also been negatively affected by colonization.
When the major cities were developed by the British, much of the surrounding native wilderness was destroyed by those who desired to clear the land for building and agricultural purposes. This clearing, destroyed the natural habitat of many plants and animals that were indigenous to the continent. So because of the British colonization, Australia’s natural resources are now different. The major effect of colonization of England on India was the modernization of the country. Great Britain brought many technological advances to the country and was instrumental in the transportation system of India.
British spread new technologies such as the telegraph, railroad, and steam transportation throughout the region. This transportation network continues to flourish and grow to this day. (The Story of India) India is also affected by the language of Great Britain. Religion was a secondary reason for colonization in Australia and America. America was sparsely populated with different tribes of Native Americans. The Church of England felt that it should be its mission to make Christian out of these “savages” who lived in the new world. Since the tribes were not united, it was easier to infiltrate and push the religion on the natives.
The same was true in Australia. The continent was thinly populated and the Aborigines were the only true natives of the island. This also made it easier for the Church of England to do the mission work that it intended to do. However, India was quite a different story. It was a country that was densely populated and the people were not as diversified as the tribes in America. Hinduism was an established religion that was difficult to penetrate the ideas of Christianity. The native Indians had such an established culture that the British made the least impression on them than the other two countries.
Some ideas of modern society have infiltrated the Indian culture, but the majority of the culture is the same. The Native Americans were mistreated by the English colonist and this thought carried through the next few generations to the point that they were pushed back by the British settlers. They were eventually stripped of their land and now the majority of the Native Americans live on reservations. The Aborigines, the native Australians, are presently in a transformation of acceptance by the English settler’s decedents.
For years they were extremely prejudiced against and even had their children stolen from them in the mid twentieth century. The children were taken to orphanages and then farmed out to white families in an attempt to allow them to mingle and eventually breed the native Aborigines bloodline out of them. The effect of British colonization was not kind to the original inhabitants of any of the countries that were the target of this empire. The sun finally sets on the British Empire because Great Britain is no longer the largest empire in the world. When it was, they affected many nations and cultures.
In the world we live in today and with the help of the United Nations, it is unlikely that there will ever be an empire as that of the British ever again.
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” NMM. UK. Retrieved December 27, 2008 from http://www. nmm. ac. uk/explore/sea-and-ships/in-depth/elizabeth/elizabeth’s-adventurers/colonizing-america “European Discovery and the Colonization of Australia. ” Australian Government. Retrieved December 27, 2008 from http://www. cultureandrecreation. gov. au/articles/australianhistory/ Robinson, Simon. “How India Colonized Britain. ” Time. Retrieved December 27, 2008 from http://www. time. com/time/world/article/0,8599,1730172,00. html “The Story of India. ” PBS. Retrieved December 27, 2008 from http://www. pbs. org/thestoryofindia/gallery/photos/21. html
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