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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Colonization \Col`o*ni*za"tion\, n. [Cf. F. colonisation.] The act of colonizing, or the state of being colonized; the formation of a colony or colonies.

The wide continent of America invited colonization.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1766, noun of action from colonize.


alt. The process of establishing a colony. n. The process of establishing a colony.


n. the act of colonizing; the establishment of colonies; "the British colonization of America" [syn: colonisation, settlement]


Colonization (or colonisation) is an ongoing process of by which a central system of power dominates the surrounding land and its components (people).

The term is derived from the Latin word colere, which means "to inhabit". Also, colonization refers strictly to migration, for example, to settler colonies in America or Australia, trading posts, and plantations, while colonialism deals with this, along with ruling the existing indigenous peoples of styled "new territories".

Colonization was linked to the spread of tens of millions from Western European states all over the world. In many settled colonies, Western European settlers formed a large majority of the population. Examples include the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. These colonies were occasionally called 'neo-Europes'. In other places, Western European settlers formed minority groups, who were often dominant in their places of settlement.

When settlers from Western European nations started to settle land such as Australia, they regarded such landmasses as terra nullius. Terra nullius means 'empty land' in Latin. In other words, the settlers treated the land as uninhabited and a "clean slate" for colonization and colonial rule. However, these ideas were untrue, as such landmasses were often inhabited by indigenous populations. For example, it was estimated that there were 350,000 native people in Australia during the time when the British tried to conquer Australia. A similar process of appropriating land by colonizers can be observed in the late nineteenth century during the colonization of West Africa by the British and French. The accepted practice among cartographers at the time was to display unexplored landscapes as "blank spaces". Instead of interpreting "blank spaces" as limited geographical knowledge imperialists saw them as vacant spaces awaiting colonists. Public perception of "blank spaces" was consistent with that of the colonizers; the illusion of "blank spaces" proved to be a successful trick. Laws encouraging the colonization of the Americas, such as Mexico's General Colonization Law were implemented from the 1820s.

Colonization (series)

Colonization is a trilogy of alternate history books by American writer Harry Turtledove. It is a series continuation of the situation set up in the Worldwar tetralogy, projecting the situation between humanity and the Race (the bipedal lizardlike invaders and settlers from Worldwar) nearly twenty years forward into the mid-1960s.

The Race has settled and plans to colonize nearly half the surface of the Earth. This half includes Africa, Australia, China, southern Asia, Mexico, Central America, South America, Spain, Portugal, and Poland (consisting of the territory of prewar Poland and East Prussia). The United States, Canada, the Soviet Union, the Greater German Reich (Germany and the territories it occupied during World War II), the United Kingdom, and Japan are the only other powers when the Race's colonization fleet of eighty- to one hundred- million settlers arrives. Humanity and the Race still jockey for advantages over each other.

Colonization (disambiguation)

Colonization is the process of establishing a colony.

Colonization or colonisation may also refer to:

  • Colonisation (biology), process in biology by which a species spreads to new areas
  • Space colonization, human migration to other bodies in the Solar System
  • Colonization (series), a trilogy of books by Harry Turtledove
  • Sid Meier's Colonization, a computer game released by Microprose in 1994
  • Civilization IV: Colonization, a 2008 remake of the 1994 game

Usage examples of "colonization".

Colony 6 was a possible long-range problem, some day, because, despite its nearness to Flat territory, we were the ones to discover that nearby cluster of breakpoints into subspace, opening up promising routes for future colonization.

But it had complicated the lives of both males and females from the colonization fleet, especially those of the females.

The Olympus eden is a showcase microecology, a sample of what all Mars will be like eventually, and is not yet available for colonization.

It involved data from deep-space sky surveys, and modeling of certain colonization and trade routes, primarily into the Sagittarian arm in the direction of the galactic center.

Miranda is a Class-M world, without any indigenous sentients or hostile life-forms, which made it seem ideal for colonization.

After that, they would be placed on the tables and the viewscreen overhead would permit the Colonization Board on Slistia, as well as the Extermination Force Board, to learn the physical structure of the natives as Sesnar methodically vivisected them.

Phoenicians and directed by the wise men of Solomon, they head for the mouth of the Zambesi river looking for valuable metals, and proceed on their colonization of these regions.

Council had accepted a plan to allow colonization first for farmers, because our crying need is food.

They gave Gorlot the support he needed in Council when he needed it, in return for his extravagant promises of large grants when his colonization reforms went through.

All the solid bodies in a nation's territory, whether useful for colonization or not, can be exploited for mineral wealth and are thus guarded carefully.

They were using their surviving forces and the bridgeheads to begin colonization, continuing to create monsters that were a tough battle to destroy.

Only fringe outfits like Amspace, and a few visionaries who were prepared to back them, had continued pushing for a general commitment to broadening what the Kronians had pioneered, and were calling for the enterprise that advanced, long-range, spacegoing capability would open up: colonization.

It would appear probable that, while other races represent the conquests or colonizations of Atlantis, the Phœnicians succeeded to their arts, sciences, and especially their commercial supremacy.

And how could the Sanscrit writings have preserved maps of Ireland, England, and Spain, giving the shape and outline of their coasts, and their very names, and yet have preserved no memory of the expeditions or colonizations by which they acquired that knowledge?

Neither had he been here for the later colonizations of Aegis system by the Orions, or the Hatire's first seizure of Grith, or the settlements of Algemron system by the Thuldans and the Austrins.