What is a Colony?

Edward Gibbon Wakefield

Is British India a colony? Is Jersey one? Are the United States of America colonies of England? and, if they are not, why do we give the name of colonies to the states which the ancient Greeks formed in Sicily and Asia Minor, but which were always completely independent of their parent states? Then what is colonization? If French Canada, when we took it, became a colony of England, the mere conquest and government of a foreign people is colonization; which cannot be. Is it the sending forth of people and their settlement in a distant country already inhabited? or must we deem it a condition of colonization, that the land of the new country should be wholly or in a great measure unoccupied? Does colonization include government, or relate solely to emigration from an old country, and the settling of the emigrants, independently of government, in their new home?

Edward Gibbon Wakefield, A View of the Art of Colonization in Present Reference to the British Empire in Letters between a Statesman and a Colonist. London: John W. Parker, 1849. Rpt by NY: Augustus M. Kelley, 1969.

Postcolonial OV discourseov Bibliography

Last Modified: 12 April, 2002