The politics of the global imperial era are having real-world environmental consequences globally, especially in the former colonies. Indifferent administration by overseas imperial powers transparently sought to enrich their home country with little to no thought about the long term environmental or political consequences for the colony. One of the main objectives of global imperialism, from the first Spanish colonies to the last of the British and Portuguese colonies, was the enhanced profitable extraction of resources. The industrial revolution fueled the need for colonial resource extraction. Industrialization and imperialism formed a positive feedback loop, in which one created a greater need for the other. As the dance between industrialization and imperialism grew faster less care was paid toward environmental concerns. This cycle played out until global power was consolidated by a few global empires on a scale unprecedented in human history, by the early 20th century. Then the massive geo-political traumas of the 21st century caused these global empires to collapse and created many “experienced-distant” countries. These countries were based off arbitrarily drawn zones of administration, causing them to be plagued with internal political and sovereignty issues. These destabilizing forces have left many post-colonial governments unable to properly manage the environmental scars left by global imperialism, and often these scars would be made deeper as a result of the geopolitical chess of the Cold-War and as well as decades following.
Vernon Domingo (Thesis Director)
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Wood, Lawrence. (2015). The Environmental Impacts of Colonialism. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 119. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/119
Copyright © 2015 Lawrence Wood