Difference Between Imperialism and Colonialism

Main difference

Colonialism and imperialism are the two political or social movements that refer to the conquest of political and economic power through domination of the weakest countries. The strongest countries adopt these measures to ensure that they have more power and strength. Imperialism is seen as the idea or policy, while colonialism is seen as the execution of that idea. Imperialism is about expanding power by displaying the sovereignty of neighboring states, region or weaker countries. This gain in power can be done through military force or diplomacy. Colonialism is more about action than the practice of control over the occupied territory. It can be done by making colonies in the occupied territory and then exploiting them economically by controlling natural resources and markets.

Comparison chart

Imperialism Colonialism
Definition A policy of extending the power and influence of a country through diplomacy or military force. The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.
Source Latin word ‘imperium’ meaning ‘command’ or ‘supreme power’. Latin word ‘colonus’ meaning ‘farmers’.
Example United States in Afghanistan. Britain is entering the Indian subcontinent for the sake of trade.

What is imperialism?

Imperialism is the policy of expansion of an empire or the strength of the country by exhibiting the sovereignty of the neighboring country, the region or any of the weaker countries. This gain in power can be achieved both through the use of military forces and through colonization. The country or region that seeks to expand or gain dominance in other areas has a stable economy and a well-structured political system. The invading country or the ruling country over the country does not need to form any significant colonies or settlements in order to gain a particular territory. Most of the time, the countries that govern the power of the countries have the sole purpose of exercising power and giving the strong message of their strength to the world, and it is not for economic gain. Even they have no plan to settle in the conquered land in the future. The main characteristics of this policy are to gain power and influence other countries in the world. As the control realized can be through direct acquisitions or indirect control, it can have control over the political and economic life of the settlers. In modern times, the idea of ​​imperialism directly refers to denying foreign policy and the sovereignty of the territory or the country. The best example of imperialism in modern times is the strong support of the United States in Afghanistan, to exert power and eradicate terrorism. They were also immediately in control of Afghanistan’s economy, but remain more interested in flexing their political might and military might.What is colonialism?

Colonialism is the time of action, which is subjected to imperialism. It is the practice of gaining full or partial control of the conquered country or region. The purposes behind this acquisition may benefit both the economy and the political powers of the capture. Control in this way is gained by foreigners who settle alongside settlers and form a colony. The conqueror injects the settlers with their culture, practices and profession that remain longer in that specific territory, even when the colonization comes to an end. Colonialism directly affects the social structure and economy of the country. The people of the conqueror’s country even reside in the conquered country in large numbers for further economic and social benefits. Europe is seen as the introducer of the concept of colonialism, since they form colonies in various parts of the world by entering theirs just for the sake of trade. One of the most prominent examples of such colonialism is the British control of the Indian subcontinent in the first place simply by entering there for commercial purposes. The term ‘colonialism’ is derived from the Latin word ‘colonus’ which means ‘farmers’.

Key differences

  1. Imperialism is the extension of power by the country by denying the country’s foreign policy and controlling it through military force or diplomacy. On the other hand, the control of the country to obtain political and economic benefits with the establishment of colonies is known as colonialism.
  2. The conquests are installed in the area conquered in colonialism, while in imperialism it does not happen very often.
  3. Imperialism focuses more on political power and military strength gains, while imperialism revolves around social stature and economic gains.

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