Colonialism: Structures, Administration and Legacies in Nigeria

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 345

Words: 2327

Pages: 10

Category: World History

Date Submitted: 10/31/2012 02:09 AM

Report This Essay



Colonialism as a concept has enjoyed wide patronage from scholars, commentators and thought leaders in old and recent times. In fact, in the delineation of what many designate as the “Nigerian Problem”, many writers believe colonialism to be the root cause. Therefore it is hard to distance the discourse of the concept from any meaningful quest to finding the truth about Nigeria.

In defining colonialism, it must be noted that there are no particular generally accepted definition. Authors of diversified philosophical and political allegiance have managed to furnish wide-ranging sketch of their understanding of the subject. Some distortions borne out of loyalty to racial biases have also contributed to the obfuscation of the basic principles of colonialism.

Colonialism can be defined as a situation where a particular country by means of superior military strength or manipulation conquers and establishes political, social and economic authority over another country for the benefit of the former. It may involve the movement of people to the newly ‘acquired’ territory where they may reside as permanent settlers but still maintain allegiance to the mother country. It involves the wanton exploitation and profiteering by the invading country on subjected territories.

One challenge one may encounter is the interchangeable use of colonialism and imperialism which often – erroneously, suggest both possess the same meaning. However, no matter the similarities that exist between both, there is a clear demarcation. Imperialism refers to political or economic control, either formally or informally and colonialism is where one nation assumes control over the other. In simple words, imperialism is the idea driving the practice of colonialism.


Colonialism in Nigeria did not begin on 1 January 1914 when the amalgamation took place. The road to...