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Chart of current  non-self-governing territories (as of June 2012[update]).
Chart of current non-self-governing territories (as of June 2012).

In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule.[1] Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropolitan state (or "mother country"). This administrative colonial separation makes colonies neither incorporated territories, nor client states. Some colonies have been organized either as dependent territories that are not sufficiently self-governed, or as self-governed colonies controlled by colonial settlers.

The term colony originates from the ancient Roman colonia, a type of Roman settlement. Derived from colon-us (farmer, cultivator, planter, or settler), it carries with it the sense of 'farm' and 'landed estate'.[2] Furthermore the term was used to refer to the older Greek apoikia (Ancient Greek: ἀποικία, lit.'home away from home'), which were overseas settlements by ancient Greek city-states. The city that founded such a settlement became known as its metropolis ("mother-city").

Since early-modern times, historians, administrators, and political scientists have generally used the term "colony" to refer mainly to the many different overseas territories of particularly European states between the 15th and 20th centuries CE, with colonialism and decolonization as corresponding phenomena. While colonies often developed from trading outposts or territorial claims, such areas do not need to be a product of colonization, nor become colonially organized territories.

Some historians use the term informal colony to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.

Etymology

The word "colony" comes from the Latin word colōnia, used as concept for Roman military bases and eventually cities. This in turn derives from the word colōnus, which was a Roman tenant farmer.

The terminology is taken from architectural analogy, where a column pillar is beneath the (often stylized) head capital, which is also a biological analog of the body as subservient beneath the controlling head (with 'capital' coming from the Latin word caput, meaning 'head'). So colonies are not independently self-controlled, but rather are controlled from a separate entity that serves the capital function.[citation needed]

Roman colonies first appeared when the Romans conquered neighbouring Italic peoples. These were small farming settlements that appeared when the Romans had subdued an enemy in war. Though a colony could take many forms, as a trade outpost or a military base in enemy territory, such have not been inherently colonies. Its original definition as a settlement created by people migrating from a central region to an outlying one became the modern definition.[citation needed]

Settlements that began as Roman colonia include cities from Cologne (which retains this history in its name), Belgrade to York. A tell-tale sign of a settlement within the Roman sphere of influence once being a Roman colony is a city centre with a grid pattern.[3]

Ancient examples

Further information: Colonies in antiquity

Modern historical examples

Puerto Rico, sometimes called the world's oldest colony.[4]
Puerto Rico, sometimes called the world's oldest colony.[4]

Current colonies

Dependent territories and their sovereign states. All territories are labeled according to ISO 3166-1[note 1] or with numbers.[note 2] Colored areas without labels are integral parts of their respective countries. Antarctica is shown as a condominium instead of individual claims.
Dependent territories and their sovereign states. All territories are labeled according to ISO 3166-1[note 1] or with numbers.[note 2] Colored areas without labels are integral parts of their respective countries. Antarctica is shown as a condominium instead of individual claims.

The Special Committee on Decolonization maintains the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, which identifies areas the United Nations (though not without controversy) believes are colonies. Given that dependent territories have varying degrees of autonomy and political power in the affairs of the controlling state, there is disagreement over the classification of "colony".

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Each territory in the United States Minor Outlying Islands is labeled UM- followed by the first letter of its name and another unique letter if needed.
  2. ^ The following territories do not have ISO 3166-1 codes:
    1: Akrotiri and Dhekelia
    2: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
    3: Coral Sea Islands

References

  1. ^ "colony". Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021. 1. [...] a country or an area that is governed by people from another, more powerful, country
  2. ^ Nayar, Pramod (2008). Postcolonial Literature – An Introduction. India: Pearson India. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9788131713730.
  3. ^ James S. Jeffers (1999). The Greco-Roman world of the New Testament era: exploring the background of early Christianity. InterVarsity Press. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-8308-1589-0.
  4. ^ Puerto Rico:The Trials of the Oldest Colony in the World. By Jose Trias Monge. Yale University Press. 1997.
  5. ^ Constitution of Argentina, 1860 amd., art. 35.
  6. ^ "Non-Self-Governing Territories | the United Nations and Decolonization".
  7. ^ "Timeline: Malaysia's history".
  8. ^ "Dutch in Malaysia".
  9. ^ De Lario, Damaso; de Lario Ramírez, Dámaso (2008). "Philip II and the "Philippine Referendum" of 1599". Re-shaping the world: Philip II of Spain and his time. Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 978-971-550-556-7.
  10. ^ In 1521, an expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan landed in the islands, and Ruy López de Villalobos named the islands Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Spain's Prince Philip (later to become Philip I of Castile). During a later expedition in 1564, Miguel López de Legazpi conquered the Philippines for Spain. However, it can be argued that Spain's legitimate sovereignty over the islands commenced following a popular referendum in 1599.[9]
  11. ^ Tonio Andrade, How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century, Columbia University Press.

Further reading

Quotations related to colony at Wikiquote