The study and theory of postcolonialism investigates history: the origins of colonialism during the age of discovery and exploration; the ensuing political, economic, and cultural struggles between colonizers and colonized peoples through the twentieth century; and the enduring effects of colonialism upon relationships between individuals, societies, and nations.

Whereas imperialism describes the expansion of a state from the center through economic and cultural domination and military force, the two major forces behind colonialism are economic exploitation and trade and settlement. Colonialism and imperialism have common features and differences. While they both are terms that imply subjugation of one group of people by another, imperialism works under the initiative of overt exploitation and extraction of wealth. Neocolonialism (i.e., new colonialism) contrasts with postcolonialism in that the postcolonial ...

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