Sample Term Paper

The spread of colonialism during the eighteenth and nineteenth century did not only significantly alter the economic and political structures of the lands that it invaded, but also left lasting impressions on their social and cultural milieu.

While the local system of governance and its accompanying economic infrastructure was rapidly replaced by the Western-inspired structures of administration geared towards securing the occupying power’s economic objectives, the changes that were sought in the social and cultural fabric of each society were inspired by both a misplaced messianic zeal and a view to ensure stability of the empire.        

The uprooting of local customs and norms and their replacement by western-inspired ones left lasting scars on the societies that were part of this social experiment resulting in conflicts and deep-seated contradictions in the relationship between the state and the society it governed, as well as the society and its various members different from one another in terms of ethnicity, gender, language or religion etcetera.  While much has been written about the continuing insidious effects of colonialism on the political and economic landscape ofAsiaandAfrica, and evenAustralia, most of the societies hence affected are only beginning to realize the dualism afflicting their very fabric as a result of the changes that were forced on their social and cultural evolution.  The resultant sense of a loss is resulting in changes in social behavior as extreme as nationalism, bordering on xenophobia, or as benign as cultural and political movements seeking rehabilitation of the pre-colonial traditions and practices – either in whole or in part.

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