In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception. The metropolitan state is the state that owns the colony. In Ancient Greece, the city that founded a colony was called the metropolis. Mother country is a reference to the metropolitan state from the point of view of citizens who live in its colony. There is a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
The term informal colony is used by some historians to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.
The word Colony comes from the Latin word colōnia. This in turn derives from the word colōnus, which means colonist but also implies a farmer. Cologne is an example of a settlement preserving this etymology. Other, less obvious settlements that began as Roman colonia include cities from Belgrade to York. A tell-tale sign of a settlement once being a Roman Colony is a city centre with a grid pattern.4 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 caput, meaning 'head'). So colonies are not independently self-controlled, but rather are controlled from a separate entity that serves the capital function.
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. A colony could take many forms, as a trade outpost or a military base in enemy territory, but its original definition as a settlement created by people migrating from a home territory became the modern definition.
- Alexandria formed as a Greek colony
- Carthage was a Phoenician colony
- Cyrene was a colony of the Greeks of Thera
- Durrës formed as a Greek colony
- Marseille formed as a Greek colony
- Cologne formed as a Roman colony, and its modern name refers to the Latin term "Colonia".
- Alaska: a colony of Russia from the middle 18th century until sold to the United States in 1867. Became the 49th state in 1959.
- Angola: a colony of Portugal since the 15th century. Independent since 1975.
- Australia: In 1770 some of the eastern coastline of Australia is claimed as British territory by the British explorer, Lieutenant James Cook. The First Fleet was sent to Australia to start a penal colony in 1788. Eventually, Australia became a Federation in 1901.
- Brazil: a colony of Portugal since the 15th century. Independent since 1822.
- Canada: colonised by first France, as New France (1534-1763), then under British rule (1763–1867), before achieving Dominion status.
- Guinea: a colony of Portugal since the 15th century. Independent since 1974.
- Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1997. Is now a Special Administrative Regions of China.
- India since the 15th century until 1961, parts of modern India belonged to Portugal and were collectively known as Portuguese India. Parts of India were also under the direct control of the government of the United Kingdom between 1858 and 1947. See also Crown colony.
- Indonesia was a Dutch colony for 350 years, from 1600 to 1945/49, occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945.
- Korea was a colony of Imperial Japan for thirty-five years from 1910 to 1945.5
- Macau was a Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999. Together with Hong Kong, became a Special Administrative Regions of China.
- Mozambique: a colony of Portugal since the 15th century. Independent since 1975.
- Philippines, previously a colony of Spain from 15217 to 1898, was a colony of the United States from 1898 to 1946. During World War II between 1942 and 1945, it was occupied by the Japanese forces.
- Taiwan was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples closely related linguistically, culturally and genetically to the Filipino people and more distantly to the Polynesians. In the 13th century, people from China's Song Dynasty had been migrating to Taiwan - however, the migration was small due to the island's harsh terrain and hostile local tribes. In the 17th century, most of southern Taiwan was a Dutch colony for 37 years before Koxinga, an anti-Manchu and Ming loyalist controlled the island by defeating the Dutch. In 1683, the Qing Dynasty defeated Koxinga's descendants and ruled over the island, and was made part of Fujian Province till 1885, when it was elevated to become a province in its own right. In 1895, the Qing Dynasty ceded Taiwan to the Empire of Japan following its defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, Taiwan has been administered by the Republic of China, which has been based there following its retreat from mainland China after losing a civil war to the communists in 1949.
- The United States, originally thirteen distinct English (or British, if founded after the Acts of Union of 1707) colonies in British America. The Colony of Virginia, later to become the U.S. states of Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia, was the first of the thirteen colonies and was under English and then British rule from 1607 until 1783, at least nominally. The United States also founded their own colonies in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions, such as Madisonville on the island of Nuku Hiva in 1813 and Monrovia in 1821.
Few colonies in the traditional sense of the term remain, with exceptions listed below. However, the Channel Islands are not UK colonies but a remnant of the Duchy of Normandy. Some of the former colonies have been integrated as dependent areas or have closer integration with the country.
- Of Chile
- Easter Island is a special territory incorporated to Chile. Today, natives have full rights as Chilean citizens.
- Of France
- French Polynesia
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Wallis and Futuna
- New Caledonia
- Of Morocco
- Río de Oro/Western Sahara is considered by many to be a colony of Morocco, and the last colony on the African continent.8
- Of Norway
- Of the United Kingdom
- The British Overseas Territories - such as the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands - are Crown Colonies. Many of the larger, populated territories, have their own political systems but are still under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and are managed by Governors.
- Of the United States
- Similar to Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States Virgin Islands are considered by some to have a colonial relationship with the United States because their citizens are subject to the laws of the United States Congress passed without their consent.citation needed These territories, along with Puerto Rico, are known as unincorporated territories.
- Puerto Rico's subjection to US sovereignty is considered by many countries9 to constitute a colonial imposition because Puerto Ricans are subject to laws passed by the United States Congress without their consent, due to constitutional exclusion from electoral participation in elections of the officials that hold ultimate sovereignty over their national government, however in 1917, the US Congress passed the Jones-Shafroth Act, popularly called the Jones Act, which granted Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship.10 According to the US President's Task Force Report on the Political Status of Puerto Rico11 the US may dispose of Puerto Rico by transferring it to another sovereign country as a mere disposition of property.1213 In a 2007 letter addressed to then-United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the then-governor of Puerto Rico, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, accused the US of having deceived the United Nations and the international community in 1953, when it succeeded in having the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recognized as a provisional decolonized status subject to continued monitoring; Acevedo Vilá stated that it was ironic that this is the position taken by the Government of Iran and that the Governor of Puerto Rico will soon feel forced to support Iran's claims regarding the US government's alleged-hypocritical actions with regards to Puerto Rico's "colonial" status.1415 On June 15, 2009, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization approved a draft resolution calling on the Government of the United States to expedite a process that would allow the Puerto Rican people to exercise fully their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.16 Subsequent actions by the governments of the United States and Puerto Rico paved the way for the Puerto Rican status referendum, 2012, which was held on November 6, 2012.17dated info See Puerto Rico Recent developments for more information.
- Of New Zealand
- United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
- Space colonization
- Settler colonialism
- British Overseas Territories
- Proprietary colony
- Constitutional Rights Foundation.
- Sharon Ann Navarro, and Armando Xavier Mejia, Latino Americans and Political Participation (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO) 2004. p. 106. ISBN 1-85109-523-3.
- Puerto Rico:The Trials of the Oldest Colony in the World. By Jose Trias Monge. Yale University Press. 1997.
- 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.
- Binghui Liao; Dewei Wang (2006). Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945: History, Culture, Memory. Columbia University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-231-13798-0. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- 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.
- Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippine Islands for Spain in 1521, but it can be argued that Spain's legitimate sovereignty over the islands commenced following a popular referendum in 1599.6
- Harter, Pascale (2003-10-21). "'Africa's last colony'". BBC News.
- Special Committee on Decolonization Approves Text Calling on the U.S. to Expedite Self-determination Process for Puerto Rico. On Session June 15, 2009. Special Committee on GA/COL/3193 Decolonization. UN Department of Public Information, News and Media Division. New York. Retrieved November 5, 2009. The list of countries includes at least the following: Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Iran, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, and Venezuela.
- Levinson, Sanford; Sparrow, Bartholomew H. (2005). The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion: 1803–1898. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 166, 178. "U.S. citizenship was extended to residents of Puerto Rico by virtue of the Jones Act, chap. 190, 39 Stat. 951 (1971)(codified at 48 U.S.C. § 731 (1987)"
- "Appendix A Presidential Documents" (PDF). December 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- "While the approval of the commonwealth constitution marked a historic change in the civil government for the islands, neither it, nor the public laws approved by Congress in 1950 and 1952, revoked statutory provisions concerning the legal relationship of Puerto Rico to the United States. This relationship is based on the Territorial Clause of the US Constitution", further, in a footnote, "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State." US Const., Art. IV, Sec. 3, cl. 2.", Bea, Keith (2005-05-25). "Political Status of Puerto Rico: Background, Options, and Issues in the 109th Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- "Special committee on decolonization approves text calling on United States to expedite Puerto Rican self-determination process" (Press release). Department of Public Information, United Nations General Assembly. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Prensa Latina, Nestor Rosa-Marbrell, November 20, 2007; last verified on December 1st, 2007
- El Gobernador pide a Rice que enmiende el informe sobre el estatus político de P.Rico; Yahoo News; November 19, 2007 - Last verified, October 22, 2011. (archived from the original on 2008-01-12)
- Members Hear Petitioners Speak up for Independence, Statehood, Free Association. General Assembly of the United Nations. June 15, 2009.
- Ley Numero 283 del 28 de diciembre de 2011. Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Non-Self-Governing Territories Listed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002
- Non-Self-Governing Territories Listed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012
- Siberia : History (covers Siberia as Russian colony)