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 successful, in part, because of the various ways in which colonists affected 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 native ecosystems made recovery difficult. Colonial powers created a global infrastructure that encouraged the extraction of ...

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