Colonialism Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Colonialism.
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Attention to the aims and ends of imperialism is a repeating theme of colonialist literature. As a political term, imperialism refers to the policy of an outside power acquiring colonies—whether settled or not—for its own political and economic advantage. Though Europeans had participated in imperialist activity for centuries, in the late nineteenth century imperial powers, including England, France, Belgium, and Germany, began competing fiercely to increase their colonies, resulting in a high level of aggressiveness and a greater degree of intrusion into previously independent areas. In addition to economic motives, imperialism was fueled by a widely held, selfjustifying belief that the "superior" white race of Europe should bring civilization to the "less developed" peoples of color living on other continents. Colonialist literature both affirms and critiques this belief, often at the same time, in keeping with the ambivalence of even the most sympathetic Europeans...

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This section contains 928 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Colonialism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.