Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and often between the colonists and the indigenous population.
The European colonial period was the era from the 16th century to the mid-20th century when several European powers (particularly, but not exclusively, Portugal, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and France) established colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. At first the countries followed mercantilist policies designed to strengthen the home economy at the expense of rivals, so the colonies were usually allowed to trade only with the mother country. By the mid-19th century, however, the powerful British Empire gave up mercantilism and trade restrictions and introduced the principle of free trade, with few restrictions or tariffs.
The impacts of colonization are immense and pervasive. Various effects, both immediate and protracted, include the spread of virulent diseases, unequal social relations, exploitation, enslavement, medical advances, the creation of new institutions, abolitionism, improved infrastructure, and technological progress. Colonial practices also spur the spread of languages, literature and cultural institutions. The native cultures of the colonized peoples can also have a powerful influence on the imperial country.
British colonies and protectorates:
British East Africa
British Hong Kong
Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Trinidad and Tobago
Curaçao and Dependencies
Dutch East Indies
French Equatorial Africa
French India (Pondichéry, Chandernagor, Karikal, Mahé and Yanaon)
French Southern and Antarctic Lands
French West Africa
Shanghai French Concession (similar concessions in Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, Tientsin, Hankéou)
German Empire colonies:
German New Guinea
German East Africa
German South West Africa
Italian Aegean Islands
Italian Concession of Tientsin
Portuguese Cape Verde
Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe
Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá