What is the relationship of colonialism to contemporary world cities

For over four centuries, the colonial city served as interface between the has established for the contemporary global city - both as the market and formal and informal relations between ethnic communities; patterns of. Urbanization is reaching a new peak in the contemporary world with the rise of globalisation processes understood in relation to globalised capitalism, is it and the weberian model of integration Week #3: Colonial and post colonial cities . Although the subject is ubiquitous in the contemporary fields of anthropology, of colonialism on the modern world (whatever that may be) can be measured in ways . Which descriptive patterns and causal relationships warrant attention?.

The essence of mercantilism was that it projected current metropolitan preoccupations into the colonies and assumed that dependencies existed solely to serve these particular interests. There was still some diffusion of aims, but the primary considerations were now economic advantage and the value of colonial trade for supporting an artificially large merchant marine. The economic possibilities of colonies were categorized. As producers of raw materials they served their owners by freeing them from dependence on European supplies, which might be cut off during war and for which monopoly prices were often charged.

Colonial products could, moreover, be paid for in exported manufactures, saving foreign exchangeand could be re-exported to Europe to help the balance of trade. Conversely, colonies provided uniquely favorable markets for European exports, since they were monopolies, and thus helped to maintain employment in metropolitan industries.

Since they were subordinate, they could be prevented from building competing industries, and their economies could be made entirely complementary. These arguments, based on observation of established practices, were the staple of pamphleteers and statesmen from the second quarter of the seventeenth into the early nineteenth century: Attacks on these principles became significant only in the mid-eighteenth century, led by the French physiocrats and Encyclopedists; the first because they disapproved of overemphasis on industrial production for the colonies, the second because they disliked all monopoly [see Economic thought ].

But it was Adam Smithnormally taken to be the first academic economist, who first attacked mercantilism root and branch and provided an alternative theory of colonial economics. He did this by applying his theory of the division of labor to colonial production and trade.

The value to Europe of colonies in America he largely ignored possessions elsewhere was merely that they provided new articles for international trade and extended the market for European manufactures.

Such advantages were in-dependent of any colonial system and were diminished to the extent that any state tried to monopolize its colonial trade. In addition, the higher profits allegedly made by European merchants on the monopoly trade of the colonies had to be set against the costs of imperial government and defense, which were paid by the general taxpayer.

Hence a better colonial system would be one in which there was no monopoly and in which common costs were shared between colonies and metropolis. Better still, all colonies should be liberated, for once their trade was open to the world, the principle of the division of labor could be fully applied, and Europe would no longer bear the unrewarding cost of imperial organization.


For half a century his arguments convinced only the minority, and no colony was liberated voluntarily, for there were always enough traditionalists to argue that the benefits of colonialism were real and to run against colonial monopoly and therefore purely economic rewards. But the trend of economic theory, as expounded in England by men like David Ricardo and the Benthamites, continued to run against colonial monopoly and therefore against colonies, for the two were still assumed to be inseparable.

In any case the question had become almost academic by the s, for once the United States, Spanish America, and Brazil were independent the British alone retained a substantial empire, compensating by gains in India for what they had lost in America.

But in the s, the British, as they moved toward international free trade, were also losing interest in their colonies, which were increasingly criticized as fields of government expenditure unrequited by economic advantages.

India and trading bases in the East were generally accepted, because they were economically self-supporting and were an increasingly valuable market for British manufactures; but settlement colonies were falling into disrepute.

In the century after two distinct theories were developed to justify or rationalize colonies as economic phenomena under the new conditions. The first theory applied only to colonies of white settlement in North AmericaSouth Africa, and Australasia and concerned only the British. Against those who denounced such possessions, E.

Wakefield, in a series of publications starting with his Letter From Sydney in and culminating in his Art of Colonization in argued that suitable colonies were valuable to the parent state, even under free trade conditions, provided they were correctly organized.

Denying the precepts of Ricardo, he argued that an industrialized state could generate surplus capital which it was unprofitable to invest at home either in agriculture because of the declining profitability of marginal lands or in industry because foreign markets did not expand fast enough to absorb its products.

How cities took over the world: a history of globalisation spanning 4,000 years

Provided ample labor was made available by emigration, capital would be more productive in these new lands and at the same time would expand the market for British manufactures and increase the supply of cheap foodstuffs and industrial raw materials. Colonies would provide these advantages better than independent states because colonies could be forced to be free-trading, and the new settlements would remain primary producers for the indefinite future. The vast majority of new European colonies in the period after were tropical territories in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific that did not fit his formula.

By the last quarter of the century new theories were necessary to justify these acquisitions to the mass electorates of Europe. Thus the second main theory of colonialism in the modern period was specially adapted to the facts of tropical dependencies. Theory followed the fact of new colonies and had to justify them. As a secondary point it was held that industrial states needed guaranteed sources of cheap industrial raw materials and food and that colonies ensured that any one country could not be made to pay monopoly prices for them.

In addition, some argued that Europe had surplus capital that was best invested in tropical plantations, mines, and communications. Thus, in general, such colonies provided the solution to most of the economic and social problems of industrial Europe under conditions of protectionism. By the early twentieth century these arguments were widely accepted, even to the extent that many believed tropical colonies actually did provide these projected advantages and that they had been deliberately acquired for these functions.

Seldom were any of these assumptions true: Critics had been vocal throughout the later nineteenth century, mostly on financial or humanitarian grounds. After about they divided into two groups: Europe had to export surplus capital or allow capitalism itself to stagnate.

Ultimately the nations would compete for the limited supply of colonies, and the resulting wars for imperial redivision would inaugurate the socialist revolution and the end of capitalism.

This was the basic argument propounded by V. Lenin in his influential pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism Others, like Rosa Luxemburgproduced variants on the same theme.

The rival school of critics was led by J. A Study stated the case against the profitability of tropical colonization. Hobson was wrong in thinking that the bulk of the exported capital had gone to the new dependencies: He thus brought the debate over colonization back to the position taken by Adam Smith.

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During the remaining half century of European colonialism no one satisfactorily demonstrated that tropical empire was either necessary or profitable to the Western powers. In each period imperial arrangements closely followed contemporary practices in the parent states and owed very little to theory.

During the first period—the era of mercantilism—the pattern was set by Spain and Portugal as the pioneers of overseas colonization. They in turn instinctively applied the protectionist and monopolistic practices current in sixteenth-century Europe to their new possessions. There were practices common to all: Spain and Portugal went further than others by insisting, until late in the eighteenth century, that American trade should be carried only in annual convoys and be restricted to a single metropolitan port.

Spain also banned most intercolonial trade in America and restricted the Pacific trade from Mexico to the Philippines. By these means it was hoped that each metropolis would have a monopoly of colonial bullion and raw materials and a guaranteed colonial market for manufactures; that metropolitan merchants would be ensured a middleman profit on trade passing through the parent state; and that the colonies would be preserved as primary producers, ideal markets for industrial Europe.

In addition, production of the most wanted colonial products was encouraged by complex systems of bounties and preferential tariffs in the home markets. Trade with Africa and the East was dealt with rather differently. Until after Portugal excluded even her own nationals from dealing in the more valuable Eastern commodities, leaving a monopoly to the crown.

England, France, and Holland also imposed monopolies on their Eastern trade but granted them to privileged chartered companies with full administrative powers. This is practically impossible to estimate quantitatively but almost certainly existed, at least to the extent that colonists had to pay a higher price for their imports and received lower returns for their exports than under a free trading system.

This metropolitan profit varied inversely with the economic capacity of the parent state, favoring economically uncompetitive countries like Spain, who would otherwise have had little share in the trade of their own colonies, more than a country like Britain, which, by the eighteenth century, possessed the greater economic potential. But in addition to such commercial profits, Spain and Portugal made substantial fiscal profits from their American colonies by transferring surplus revenue to the metropolitan exchequer.

No other colonial power used this device. The French subsidized their colonies. The British conceded the principle of fiscal autonomy until after and then attempted to impose taxes on the colonies, not to make a profit but to offset the cost of colonial defense and administration. This attempt failed, although it had considerable importance in the course of events leading to American independence.

Nineteenth-century trend to free trade. The first and longest era of colonialism ended effectively during the first half of the nineteenth century— more because the colonies that had made it meaningful were now independent than because colonial theory had changed. The British, who possessed the only large empire, gradually adopted free-trade practices at home and extended them to the colonies.

British colonies were virtually open to the world by and by the last vestiges of shipping controls and preferences on colonial products had gone. Other colonial powers slowly followed suit. France preserved the colonial shipping monopoly together with preferences and certain exclusive regulations until the s but had abolished them by Spain and Portugal never completely removed mercantile controls but largely liberalized them for their few dependencies.

By the era of mercantilism seemed over, in that no imperial power then obtained economic advantages from its dependencies that were not available to the world. Resurgence of limited protectionism.

The period of colonial free trade was very short-lived. The revival of protectionism in most parts of Europe in the last quarter of the century led naturally to its extension to the new tropical empires.

France adopted a strongly protectionist domestic tariff in and extended it to all her colonies except West Africa, the Congo, and the Pacific, which had to have separate tariff systems because of international treaties or local economic conditions. Even so all colonies gave and received preferences.

The Russians enclosed their new possessions in central Asia and the Far East within their metropolitan tariffs and gave bounties and preferences on selected colonial products. The United States incorporated most new dependencies in the Caribbean and Pacific within the metropolitan tariff, leaving only the Panama canal zone and Samoa open to international trade on the open-door principle.

Portugal, Spain, and Italy either assimilated their colonies to the metropolis or imposed preferences. But not all states reverted to mercantile concepts. The Dutch abolished their semimonopoly of Indonesia in the s and maintained an open door, although using quotas on imports in the s.

Germany before and Belgium also preserved the open door with moderate tariffs in their colonies. Britain resisted demands from pressure groups at home and from some settlement colonies and did not drop free trade untilthough the self-governing colonies indulged in protection and, aftergave Britain limited preferences.

Some preferences were given to colonial products in the British market during and after World War i. Britain reverted to protection inand the Ottawa agreements of that year led to a preferential system throughout the empire, coupled with quotas on some products and financial control by means of the sterling area.

During the last phase of European colonialism, therefore, most colonial powers adopted some form of preferential system: Yet it never approximated in its severity the mercantilism of the first period. No power excluded foreign ships or goods from its colonies, forced colonial trade to pass through metropolitan ports, forbade colonial manufactures that might compete with its own or, with the sole exception of Holland between andtransferred colonial revenues to the metropolitan treasury.

Significance of colonial trade. Moreover, few colonial powers obtained anything approaching a monopoly of the overseas trade of their dependencies or found their chief market or source of imports in their empires. Russia and the United States took most of the exports and supplied most of the imports of their possessions; but for both colonial trade was of marginal importance.

Belgian territories in central Africa took 51 per cent of their imports from Belgium in and 46 per cent in But the Congo played a very small part in Belgian overseas trade, supplying 2. The trade of the Netherlands Indies was not monopolized by Holland and played a minor part in Dutch overseas trade. In only 5. In the former year 8.

Indonesian exports to Holland declined from Although not comprehensive, these figures point to a firm conclusion about modern colonialism on its commercial side. Most colonial powers took a large proportion of the overseas trade of their colonies; but with the sole exception of Britain, whose empire was far larger and provided uniquely favorable markets and varied sources of raw materials, the colonies were of small importance to the world trade of their owners.

Artificial factors, such as tariffs, preferences, and currency systems, probably affected the pattern of colonial trade to some extent, but never as much as mercantile controls had done before The old pacte colonial was indeed revived, but it was no longer exclusive and was reasonably two-sided in its benefits. Advantage of colonial investments.

There remains the question of metropolitan advantage from capital investment in the colonies. The question is too complex to unravel briefly; but two points are reasonably certain. First, the great bulk of European investment in colonies was in government bonds or in fixed interest debentures in public utility companies. On both, the interest paid was only very slightly higher than that from comparable stocks in Europe or America, so that colonies were not forced to provide artificially high returns to metropolitan investors.

Second, the return on some risk stocks—equities—was often high, and probably higher than could be obtained at most times on industrial equities in Europe or the United States.

But this was due less to the fact of colonial subordination than to the intense world demand for certain products possessed by some tropical colonies, for example, metals and rubber; and the return on capital invested in such ventures was not evidently different from that invested in independent countries of similar economic type that lacked the capacity to develop their own natural endowments, notably those in the Middle East and Latin America.

In short, the special profitability of capital investment attracted to the tropical colonies reflected the inherent advantages of the strong world demand at particular times for their particular types of product, the scarcity of capital there, and the strong bargaining position of Western countries when dealing with politically or economically weak societies. Colonial investments did not depend on formal imperial control to provide excess profits. This fact is the key to understanding the economic relations between the industrialized Western powers and the new ex-colonial countries in the period after decolonization in the s.

This could take the form of special commercial relations, such as exist between France and several ex-dependencies in west Africa and elsewhere; between Britain and many members of the sterling area; and between the United States and the Philippines or Puerto Rico. Facts are in any case more important than accusations. Most developing countries, like most earlier colonies, are primary economies, and depend heavily on more advanced states for markets, imported manufactures, capital, technical skills, and opportunities to train their own nationals.

In practice, however, the balance of advantage almost certainly lies with the receiving countries. This one-sided relationship will disappear only when the new states reach the position already achieved by Japan and become as powerful economically as the ex-colonial powers on whom they continue to depend.

Evidence provided by eastern Europe after does not suggest that the economic status of nominally independent countries associated with socialist Russia differs substantially from that alleged to exist between the ex-colonial territories of Africa and the East with their onetime masters.

Fieldhouse Bodelsen, Carl A. Studies in Capital Accumulation. The Cambridge History of the British Empire. Facts and Figures on Colonies. Emerson, Rupert From Empire to Nation: The late Middle Ages saw reforms in accountancy and banking in Italy and the eastern Mediterranean. These ideas were adopted and adapted in western Europe to the high risks and rewards associated with colonial ventures.

The 17th century saw the creation of the French colonial empire and the Dutch Empireas well as the English overseas possessionswhich later became the British Empire. It also saw the establishment of a Danish colonial empire and some Swedish overseas colonies.

The spread of colonial empires was reduced in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by the American Revolutionary War and the Latin American wars of independence. However, many new colonies were established after this time, including the German colonial empire and Belgian colonial empire.

In the late 19th century, many European powers were involved in the Scramble for Africa. The Russian EmpireOttoman Empire and Austrian Empire existed at the same time as the above empires but did not expand over oceans. Rather, these empires expanded through the more traditional route of the conquest of neighboring territories. There was, though, some Russian colonization of the Americas across the Bering Strait.

The Empire of Japan modeled itself on European colonial empires. Map of the British Empire as of After the First World Warthe victorious allies divided up the German colonial empire and much of the Ottoman Empire between themselves as League of Nations mandates.

These territories were divided into three classes according to how quickly it was deemed that they would be ready for independence. After World War II decolonization progressed rapidly.