Environmental Colonialism

Environmental colonialism refers to the diverse ways in which colonial practices have affected the natural environments of indigenous peoples. Colonialism concerns the exploitation of native peoples through European expansion over the past 400 years. Although many peoples engaged in expansionist practices prior to this time, the magnitude of European expansion was unprecedented. Alfred Crosby has argued that European colonists were so successful partly because of the diverse ways in which they affected the native ecosystems. Colonizers introduced the pressures of foreign markets and political powers along with exotic invasive species and diseases. This two-pronged attack undermined the ability of indigenous peoples to ward off colonial invaders. The resulting damage to the native ecosystems made recovery more difficult. The colonial powers created a global infrastructure that ...

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