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Distinguish Between Colonialism And Neocolonialism Cultural Studies Essay

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The term settlement comes from the Latin word colonus, intending husbandman. This root reminds us that the pattern of colonialism normally involved the transportation of population to a new district, where the reachings lived as lasting colonists while keeping political commitment to their state of beginning.

Colonialism is a pattern of domination, which involves the subjection of one people to another. One of the troubles in specifying colonialism is that it is non easy to separate it from neocolonialism. Frequently the two constructs are treated as equivalent word.

Like colonialism, neocolonialism besides involves political and economic control over a dependent district. The etymology of the two footings, nevertheless, provides some hints about how they differ.

Harmonizing to Longman Contemporary English Dictionary ‘colonialism ‘ is when a powerful state regulations a weaker one and establishes its ain trade and society at that place.


Before the abolishment of the slave trade by Denmark in 1802 and Britain in 1807. The full West African Coast witnessed trade in slaves which were demand for the plantations of the so Industrialized new universe.

The states involved were France, Britain, Denmark, Portugal and Germany.

About forty old ages subsequently the trade changed to that of colonialism – conquering and business by Europeans. The Berlin West African Conference of 1884 – 1885 gave international acknowledgment to a state of affairs that was already in being. 1945 – 1960 witnessed a reversal of the procedure of colonisation – decolonisation while 1960 boulder clay day of the month is witnessing a reincarnation and a Resurrection of colonialism – neocolonialism.

Below shows a chronology of day of the months and the sequence of events from colonialism to neocolonialism and the present twenty-four hours ongoing procedure of neocolonialism.

1880 – 1885 – Proto-Colonial period

1885 – 1945 – Colonial Era


1884 – 1885 – Berlin Conference ( the scuffle for Africa )

1885 – 1900 – Time period of Conquest and business

1900 – 1919 – Time period of Penetration

1919 – 1939 – Time period of Colonial Rule

1939 – 1945 – Decline of colonial regulation

1945 – 1960 – Time period of decolonisation

1960 – Till day of the month – Time period of Neocolonialism.


The term “ neocolonialism ” was foremost coined by Kwame Nkrumah, the first post-independence president of Ghana, and has been discussed by a figure of 20th century bookmans and philosophers, including Jean-Paul Sartre and Noam Chomsky

Neocolonialism is the pattern of utilizing capitalist economy, globalisation, and cultural forces to command a state ( normally former European settlements in Africa or Asia ) in stead of direct military or political control. Such control can be economic, cultural, or lingual, by advancing one ‘s ain civilization, linguistic communication or media in the settlement, corporations embedded in that civilization can so do greater headroom in opening the markets in those states. Therefore, neocolonialism would be the consequence of concern involvements taking to hurtful cultural effects.

Neocolonialism as defined by Longman ‘s modern-day English Dictionary is “ when a powerful state uses its economic and political influence to command another state ” .


Though colonialism and neocolonialism are two sides of a coin. There are a figure of differences that distinguishes the two.



It is non modern ( between 1880 – 1960s

It involves physical or territorial business by the colonisers

It has ended

It is the early province of capitalist economy or imperialism

It varies harmonizing to state e.g. Indirect Rule, ( British ) and policy of assimilation association by the Gallic.

It was led by France and Britain.

It is a modern phenomenon

It is non affect direct or physical presence of the coloniser any more

It is ongoing i.e it is a uninterrupted procedure

It is the highest phase of Imperialism

Neo-colonialism uses one methodological analysis – agents of Globalization

It is now led by USA

Probably nil has become as controversial a topic as the impact of Colonialism on Africa among bookmans of history and political scientific discipline. Scholars such as Gann, Duignan, Perham and PC Lloyd see colonialism and neocolonialism as a approval instead than a expletive while other bookmans such as Kwame Nkrumah, Che Guevara, Walter Rodney, MHY Kaniki A.E. Afigbo, A. Adu, Boahen, Ali Mazrai etc. sees it as a expletive instead than a approval. To buttress this farther Che Guevara ‘s says.

“ Equally long as imperialism exists it will by definition exert its domination over other states. Today that domination is called neocolonialism.

Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionist 1965

In position of this, the impact of Neo-colonialism therefore is non a lesser undertaking to measure peculiarly from societal, economic and political positions in Nigeria. To be blunt, though there were positive effects but every greater were the negative 1s.

Below is my appraisal of the impact of neocolonialism on the societal, economic and political life of Nigeria.


( 1 ) Provision of a lingua franca.

This is a positive impact of Neo-colonialism in Nigeria. The proviso of a lingua franca ( official linguistic communication ) for Nigeria can now be seen as a approval due to the matrimony of incommodiousness which brought the legion lingual groups that constitutes the state to easy follow a impersonal linguistic communication. Neo-colonialism through globalisation has farther consolidated the usage of English linguistic communication as the concern and official linguistic communication non merely Nigeria but across the Anglophone states.

( 2 ) Cultural Dominance

Harmonizing to Ali-Mazrui: “ African are non needfully the most brutalized of peoples, but they are about surely the most broken. ”

Using the agents of a globalisation e.g. the Mass Media, Internet Western Movies etc. Nigerian civilization like other African states is obviously being subjugated and dominated by the western civilization. Many Nigerians today seem to hold imbibed the European manner of life at the disbursal of our rich African civilization ( colonial outlook ) . This is bit by bit prima to a loss of cultural individuality.

( 3 ) Western Education

This is an indispensable consequence that Neo-colonialism has besides used as a tool for Nigerian uninterrupted trust on the West for unequal, lopsided and wrongly oriented instruction which was bequeathed by colonialism and consolidated by Neo-colonialism. This is apparent from the fact that our acquisition of western instruction has helped in a disregard of technological and industrial instruction instead than that of a technological promotion.

( 4 ) Environment Degradation

Oil spillages due to the development of oil by some transnational companies such as Shell, Exxon Mobil etc. has to a big extent polluted Nigeria ‘s H2O and land resources peculiarly in the oil bring forthing countries of the Niger Delta. Consequently this has affected the eco-system, the home ground and the cultural business of the people of that country.


Positively Nigeria as a state has profiting economically from Neo-colonialism. However the negative economic impacts seem to outweigh the positive impacts. One out of the negative economic impacts includes:

( 1 ) Economic Dependence

International Organizations accused of take parting in neo-colonialism are the World Bank, World Trade Organizations, the Group of Eight the Paris Club, the World economic forum, IMF etc. have been used by the first universe states to subject Nigeria into some structural accommodations which will increase instead than relieve poorness. These Organizations are neocolonial agents used to guarantee a ageless economic failure and dependance of Nigeria as evident in the high rate of underdevelopment, poorness, debt load etc. which has characterized our economic system.

( 2 ) Economic Subjugation by Multi-national Corporations

Critics of neocolonialism has besides argued that investing by transnational corporations enriches few in under-developed states and causes human-centered, environmental and ecological desolation to the population which inhabits the settlements. These corporations such as Shell, Exxon Mobil etc. are responsible for a uninterrupted flow of natural resources ( oil ) which unduly benefits the neo-colonial provinces.

( 3 ) Economic Brain Drain

Today modern bondage exists through visa lotteries used to syphon non merely Nigeria ‘s but finally the human resources of the developing states. This is an economic encephalon drain scheme to subject the 3rd universe into a uninterrupted technological surety.


( 1 ) Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria

Though Nigeria ‘s political history has been characterized by the Military versus the Civilians. Recently democracy seems to hold been to the full entrenched in Nigeria through neo-colonial agent, such as the U.N. and other similar organisations.

( 2 ) Political Dependence

Nigeria ‘s rank of the United Nations and the Commonwealth which sit joined instantly after Independence provided grounds why we have ever been politically dependent on neo-colonial provinces like the USA and Britain. Consequently, Nigeria rank Pan-African Movement like, NEPAD, the Non-Aligned Motions, the African Union, the ECOWAS have non liberated as from this ageless political clasp of dependence.

( 3 ) Political Instability and Regime Change

Apparently, authorities either Military or Civilian which poses no menace to the neo-colonial provinces in Nigeria seem to last longer than the ‘unfriendly ‘ 1s. In my sentiment, no other ground can be tendered as why the Murtala Seven Months Regime ( July 1975 – February 1976 ) and the Buhari government ( December 1983 – August 1985 ) were really short lived. Nigerian leaders who refuse to be flunkies or marionettes of the neo-colonial powers are normally forcefully removed.

( 4 ) Loss of Independence and Sovereignty

Neo-colonialism, as a continuance of colonialism have of class eroded the independency or sovereignty which Nigeria like many 3rd universe states claimed to hold gotten.

( 5 ) New – Colonialism

Finally, neo-colonialism is the tool which has helped the neo-colonial provinces to go on the colonial procedure which started around 1880 and obstructed by decolonisation or “ Independence ” of Nigeria in 1960

In decision, whatever colonialism and neo-colonialism did or is making for Africans in Africa or Nigeria, given its chances, it resources and the power and influence it is exerting till day of the month it could and should hold done far more than it has done. It is exactly because the neo-colonial provinces non merely did non see the development of Africans as their first precedence but did non see it as a precedence at all that they stand criticized. The uninterrupted being of the tools of neo-colonialism therefore poses an experiential menace to the development of Nigeria and Africa.

Cite this essay

Distinguish Between Colonialism And Neocolonialism Cultural Studies Essay. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/distinguish-between-colonialism-and-neocolonialism-cultural-studies-new-essay

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