Colonialism is the foundation, establishment, maintenance, acquisition, expansion, and the development of colonies in one part of the world by another country from another part of the world. It is a process whereby the nation claims control over the colony and its lands; and with it, the social structure, government, and economics of the colony. They are changed as the colony expands and develops. Colonialism also is the different relationships between the mother country and the colony, but also between the colonists and the native population. It is also linked to the two nationalist beliefs that drive countries to colonialism: mercantilism and imperialism.
The control of a colony is often exercised by a governor chosen by either the home or colonial government, to which he is loyal to. Many colonies have either been under complete national control (which was the majority of colonies during the colonial era) or self-rule (which grew as many colonies became self-sufficient and more populated). Some colonies have gained independence due to patriotic ideals, which often led to independence (such as America during the Revolutionary War).
The idea of colonialism began during the 15th century, the same time the Age of Discovery was going on. Since the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus, many European nations have colonized this area nicknamed the “New World”. Many other explorers followed, who explored new places under the name of the countries they served under. The continents got their name from explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered that the land was not Asia as Columbus thought, but a “New World”. The main goals of this included: increasing wealth, increasing the nation’s power, and to spread Christianity.
Europeans eventually found out that there were natives on the land. However, they were subjected under European rule due to superior technology, leading to the fall of the Incan and Aztec Empires and the conquest of many Amerindian tribes. However, some were integrated into society and intermarried as well, leading to the existence of the mesitzos, a half-white half-Amerindian race.
The Portuguese and Spanish were the first nations to establish colonies overseas, mainly the Americas. A few centuries later, Britain, France, and the Netherlands joined the colonial race. By the middle of the 18th Century, most of the Americas have been colonized by Europeans, with Spain control of most of South America (except the Portuguese colony of Brazil, Cuba, eastern Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, , Central America, Mexico, and parts of North America, while Portugal held Brazil, France held Western Hispaniola, Britain held eastern North America, and Russia held Alaska. However, certain places in the coast of Africa, the Indian coast, and the East Indies have also been colonized by European powers.
Since the Revolutionary War, European control declined in the region, especially British and Spanish. During this time, the 13 Colonies gained independence from Britain during the Revolutionary War while many people under Spanish rule fought for their independence during the War of Spanish-American Indpendence. After the Napoleonic Wars, Brazil was declared independence by the Portuguese Royal Family after Portugal was divided and weakened. After the War of 1812, Canada fell under American hands, while the new nation of Quebec has been proclaimed.
During the mid-19th Century, the focus of imperialism has shifted to the Pacific, Asia, and Africa. France led Europe into the race for the domination of Africa, the Pacific, and Asia. By the start of the 21st Century, France was in control of the most territory in Africa: North Africa, West Africa (except Liberia), Congo, Madagascar, Djibouti, the Comorros, the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Tanzania while America was in control of Liberia while Ethiosomalia (formerly a Greek colony) and South Africa (formerly a British colony) were the only independent countries. In the Pacific, France had control of Polynesia (except Hawaii and New Zealand) while America had control of Micronesia, Hawaii, and a part of Melanesia while Greece had the rest of Melanesia. Australia and New Zealand were one country called Austalia, formerly under British rule. In Asia, France and Russia split important regions to themselves. France had the Southern Arabian Peninsula (Yemen, Oman, and the Trucial States), Kuwait, and Southeast Asia (except Thailand). Russia had Central Asia, Eastern Turkestan, the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, and Russian Anatolia. The only independent countries are the Asian Union (consisting of China, Japan, and Korea), Perso-Arabia, India, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
Since the end of Great War III, because of the rise of France's aggression and colonial desires, Russia, America, and several other nations declared colonialsm illegal in international law. Over time, France eventually gave up its spirit for colonialsm. Since them, imperialism has been seen has menacing and condemned internationally.
See this for the history of colonialism before the 19th Century.
War of Spanish-American Independence
Since the days of Christopher Columbus, the New World (aka the Americas) has been a world stage for conquest and war. All of the nations who have taken pieces of this land, the Spanish manage to get the best. By 1763, the Spanish held most of Latin America and the Louisiana Territory. However, their reign on this land would not last forever.
Over time, the colonials have been increasingly discontent over their rulers. All colonial governors had to originate from the Spanish homeland, hence they were named peninsulares. The colonials were known as the creoles, who were unfortunate to suffer discrimination. Since the American Revolution, the spark was there to start another war of independence.
In 1808, after the union of the French and Spanish thrones, a group of wealthy creoles known as the Congress of the Americas sent a list of demands for Napoleon, demanding self-rule and the end of discrimination between the peninsulares and the creoles.