Colonialism Through the Four Lenses

Colonialism from the Humanities Perspective
In the United States, Americans took solid control over the natives when the European settlement initially occurred. More conflict became predominant as the Europeans increased their focus on colonizing other countries. Colonization placed new, increased demands on the natives. For example, they were expected to convert to some form of Christianity and not only comprehend, but merge themselves into European culture and language for any chance of income, employment, or success. Various institutions like religion and schooling began to change for the natives, forcing them to become part of a culture that was alien to them. The prospect of European colonization continued throughout the seventeenth century, as many natives that still had control of their lands fought valiantly to preserve their culture.

Other social issues occurred as a result of European colonialism. One of the most important changes has to do with the impact of European goods and how those goods altered the society of the natives. During the 1500s, the Europeans introduced some new objects to the natives, including metal utensils and copper kettles. These items were so useful that the natives adopted them into their culture. So, cooking styles also began to change among the natives, as the natives did enjoy the introduction of these modern products, which altered their society gradually (Environmental Colonialism, 2020).

Native communities became more entrenched into European society as the European settlements expanded over the next few centuries. As that happened, more European goods became commonplace in native communities. Natives quickly adapted to using these new items, just like the Europeans, and abandoned their old ways. For instance, the natives stopped wearing animal-skin clothing and started donning European textile clothing (Fitzpatrick, 2018). The first steps toward globalization can be easily seen through this type of colonialism, as cultures began to merge and become more alike. However, unfortunately, that also swallowed up some of the old native cultures, creating distance from these older societies and allowing them to be swallowed up by European colonialism.

This is a free sample essay on colonialism you cannot use as your own paper. If you want a professional academic writer help write your essays on colonialism topics, please check to know more.

Colonialism from the Natural Sciences Perspective
The presence of Europeans in the Americas created several different changes to the natural environment. This European impact created issues for both the native people as well as the animals that were common to the area. For example, beaver-trimmed hats in Europe were very popular. The natives were attracted to European weaponry, which resulted in overhunting for beaver in the Northeast (How Our Colonial Past, 2018). Because of the process, beavers eventually became extinct in New York and much of New England. Once the beavers were gone, beaver ponds were no longer being created in the area, so the habitat for the fish began to change. That, in turn, affected the habitats of other animals that were dependent on the fish and the water sources created by the beaver, including moose, deer, and other creatures.

The Europeans also brought pigs and introduced them to the Americas. The pigs began to forage in forests and started eating much of the food that other species, like deer, required. Thus, much of the game the natives were used to hunting died off as a result of the European colonization.
However, the most massive negative impact of colonization on the area was how the Europeans exploited natural resources. The exploitation of those natural resources did nothing to help the local communities and only helped the colonizers. Obtaining access to the natural resources required serious landscaping, which wound up destroying the traditional lifestyle of the natives. For example, many forests were cleared so that timber could be used to build ships and homes in Europe. Trees were also used as firewood to help energize steam engine trains (Learning, 2018).

The cutting of trees not only impacted the Americas, but it also affected the African colonies massively. Because so many trees were cut, widespread soil erosion occurred in Africa. That created siltation in rivers, which harmed the ability of the natives to fish. Thus, many communities that relied on fishing suffered severe repercussions, including starvation. The cutting down of these trees also reduced how much rainfall Africa usually received. That created a widespread seasonal impact (Wengraf, 2009).

Nowadays, the science behind global warming provides some hopeful assistance for preventing any ongoing destruction to the planet. However, not much can be done to bring back the forests that were previously lost. By focusing more on global warming issues, hopefully, some environments can begin to recover.

Colonialism from the Social Sciences Perspective
Colonists tend to impose their styles of leadership on the people they were working with and select their leaders to rule over the natives. That created several subdivisions in land ownership, which resulted in individuals owning a piece of land for production or farming (Post-Colonial States and the Struggle for Identity in the Middle East since World War Two, 2016). So, the natives were introduced to the concept of private land ownership, since previously their concept of land was communal.

Colonization also brought capitalism to places that had never experienced that system before. For example, in Africa, after independence occurred in the 1960s, many of the same leaders that had been forced upon the natives stayed in power. These individuals were still viewed as foreigners, and these foreigners used their power to amass more wealth. That eventually led to several changes in leadership and destabilized much of the political realm of Africa for many decades. Today, Africa still struggles to retain its culture and deal with the widescale changes first introduced by the Europeans.

Colonialism from the History Perspective
Back in 1885, when Africa was divided up by the European powers, several artificial boundaries were created that the Africans did not view as natural (Schilling, 2019). The boundaries formed were decided on by the colonists, and the locals were never consulted for any advice. That meant that a boundary could run right through a shared community and force several communities with different cultures and languages to be a part of the same nation.

Many nations and leaders in Africa, therefore, experienced a complete loss of sovereignty and the ability to control their fate as well as manage their resources. Unfortunately, the locals continued to be ignored as these boundaries were established, leading to a complete meltdown of diplomacy for the African people. Eventually, the boundaries created by the Europeans resulted in the several independent states we see today in Africa. However, the lasting effects that were created by the Europeans that divided the boundaries of Africa can still be seen today in Africa. Africa continues to experience all matter of internal conflict between the different cultures and communities found there. At times, this has resulted in coups and sometimes even genocide. For example, the Rwanda genocide that occurred in 1994 still has repercussions today (Scientific Electronic Library Online, 2019).

The enforcement of the repression state and the boundaries created in Africa destroyed the leadership and culture that had previously existed in Africa. That resulted in local societies becoming unstable and having to form their systems of government, as well as restructuring their cultural institutions as well.

Environmental Colonialism. (2020, February 17). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Fitzpatrick, K. (2018). Surgery, Imperial Rule and Colonial Societies (1800–1930): Technical, Institutional and Social Histories. Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
How our colonial past altered the ecobalance of an entire planet. (2018, June 10). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Learning, L. (2018). US History I (OS Collection). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Post-Colonial States and the Struggle for Identity in the Middle East since World War Two. (2016, April 28). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Schilling, B. (2019, March 18). German Colonialism in Africa. Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Scientific Electronic Library Online. (2019). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from
Wengraf, L. (2009, March 01). Legacies of colonialism in Africa. Retrieved July 26, 2020, from