Images of America

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Colonialism is the act of establishing a colony in one territory by a political power in order to maintain and exploit it. It has come to be identified that colonialism affect people of different race inhabiting the lands separated by the salt water from the imperial center. This signified direct political control by the European states. European colonization to the America started in 1492, after they were granted freedom in the Great Britain. They started settling in countries such as north and south Virginia and New England, where they found different resources that they could use to survive in the new world. The Europeans saw the wonderful things in the new world as strange and wild yet so beautiful and full of green plantations such as fruits and vegetables and animals they considered to be the best meals in the world. However, they produced many writing and were filled with people with no professional knowledge but had means to survive in the wilderness and make homes in a civil society in which they had sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

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Today, many people view America as a land full of opportunities and wealth. The growing powers competed for the land in America so as to become the leading and the most powerful country. Since America was overseas from Europe, the land of opportunity was heavily restricted by the European countries making it impossible for the monarch to directly supervise the lands. During the colonial era, many colonies were established based on social and religious concerns. Economic concerns had a great effect on the Britain North America than the religious concerns did. Although some of the Europeans had established their colonies around religious freedom, as time went by, money started becoming an issue and this thought led to the idea of making money. European colonialism in the national economic policy of conquering their subordinate countries was intended to exploit their natural resources and the native society.

Settlers colonialism was pursued by the colonialist power in order to relieve over-population pressure upon the economy and the national territory of the motherland and to extend its territory by reproducing its society in other parts of the world. This became a reason for the country to practice exploitation colonialism in the financial gain produced by the low-cost extraction of raw material by means of slavery of the native people, administered by a colonial government.

Exploitation was often reinforced by colonial European geographers such as Friedrich Ratzel, who implemented theories such as environmental determinism, which suggests that warmer climates produce less civilized people. He also suggested that the survival of empire relied on its ability to expand its control and influence around the world (Painter & Jeffrey, 2009). Lumber as a natural resource was discovered by the European colonialists in America. The eradication of timber on the British territory, the rapid growth of forests in the new world, posed an attractive alternative to importing timber. The availability of timber proved an incredible resource to early settlers, with domestic consumptions and overseas trade fuelling demand resulting to a rapidly expansion industries as Americans logged their way across the country. Natural resources such as whales, fish, trees and furs attracted the colonists to settle in England. Europeans settled in places with good climate conditions in order to prevent the spread of life threatening diseases because poor climate seasons like winters claimed many of the colonists lives. They considered natural resources to be more valuable than agricultural crops due to poor, rocky soil and the short growing season. Nevertheless, many colonists died due to the moist climates during the warmer climates because they carried air-borne diseases (James, 2012). The environmental factors impacted the economys agriculture which in return influenced trade between the colonists in different countries.

Debate about the perceived positive and negative aspects of colonialism has taken place for many centuries amongst both colonizers and the colonized up to today. There was net transfer of wealth led by colonialism to the colonizer and inhibits the success of the economic development. According to Frantz Fanons The Wretched of The Earth, argues that colonialism does political, physiological and moral damage to the colonized as well. Colonialism also led to automatic economic expansion of capitalism so as to find new resources and markets. Moreover, throughout the years, development has been taking place wiping out any sign leading to the process of underdevelopment. In todays economy, there have been changes in the climatic factors due to industrialization. Many of the themes of environmental history keenly examine the circumstances that produced the environmental problems of today. These problems include population, consumerism and materialism, climate change, waste disposal, deforestation and depletion of natural resources. It is now clear that the change we make in the environment may later affect and reduce the environment usefulness to humans hence any change should be made with great care. Richard Grove points out that States will act to prevent environmental degradations only when their economic interests are threatened.


James, E. (2012). History of the Lumber Industry of America. Vol. 2. Chicago: American Lumberman. printPainter & Jeffrey. (2009). Political Geography. New York: Sage Publication. print

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