It was the British Empire that really started off with a proper schemed out plan to bring the already existing colonialism a step further by making it more organized in the early 1800s.
It was more of shifting the status of colonialism from being enforced to ‘tinted acceptable’ and at some places to the manipulative extent of almost ‘legal’. Their break through and hub for such an activity became the south-east Asia where they spurted initially as the East India Company that later evolved into ruling the region for over a century and became the largest empire in the history.
It did not take very long for another phenomenon to develop soon in around 1870, imperialism, a younger twin for colonialism. It was defined as ‘relatively developed nations taking over less developed areas, colonizing them, or influencing them in order to expand their own power’.
It is said that imperialism did exist since thousands of years but the “Age of Imperialism” has been referred to as activities of nations such as UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the Unites States in the mid 19th century through the mid 20th centuries such as The Great Game in Persian lands, the Scramble for Africa and the Open Door Policy in China.
The literal theorist Edward Said suggests that imperialism involved “the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant territory’”. He goes on to say colonialism refers to the “implanting of settlements on a distant territory”.
In support to what Edward Said said Robert Young says that the activity operates from the centre, if it is a state policy, and is developed for ideological as well as financial reasons whereas colonialism is nothing more than development for settlement or commercial intentions.
Have said this, is it very difficult for us to realize that what the British Empire started off with is now being injected by the US too? Just the strategies are different to give it the colour of ‘war on terrorism’ and being the one responsible for the welfare of the rest.