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Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is a process whereby sovereignty over the colony is claimed by the metropole and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by colonists - people from the metropole. Colonialism is a set of unequal relationships: between the metropole and the colony; between the colonists and the indigenous population.

The term colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the late 15th to the 20th century when European nation states established colonies on other continents. In this period, the justifications for colonialism included various factors such as the profits to be made, the expansion of the power of the metropole and various religious and political beliefs.

Colonialism and imperialism were ideologically linked with mercantilism.[1]



Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as "the policy of acquiring and maintaining colonies, especially for exploitation".[2]

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