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1. Grabbing the Land -- The colonizing country grabbed the resources (including land and labor) from the people who lived there. The native people were expected to make the colonists and the so-called “mother country” rich by contributing free, or almost-free, labor. Which is also known as land grab.


2. Growing for Europe – The colonizing country forced the people to grow a single crop for export… and to stop growing their own indigenous crops. Busy growing the sugar, tobacco, or cotton to be sent to the “mother country”, the native people could no longer feed themselves.


3. Developing Europe – The minerals and crops produced in the colonies were loaded on ships for “home”. The riches of the Americas were used to develop Europe.


4. Consuming Colonially – In addition to providing raw materials, the purpose of colonies was to buy the products manufactured in the “mother country” (at a high price, of course). The native people were forbidden to make their own goods.


5. Hatching Hierarchies – The whole system in the colonies depended on a small number of rich colonists at the top, and large masses of poor native people and African slaves on the bottom. The rich ate off silver plates, while the poor were lucky to eat at all.


6. Killing Cultures – Although the conquerors were few, they made everyone learn their language, converted everyone (with threats) to their religion, and outlawed native culture and traditions.


7. Exploiting the land – The native people whom the conquistadors “discovered” felt themselves connected to the land and to other creatures in a spiritual sense. The native people did not regard the land as “property” or “exploitable resources”, but as a fertile source of life. The colonizers, on the other hand, had a grab-&-exploit attitude.


adapted from Colonialism in the Americas: A Critical Look

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