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  colonialism --

  • military, economic, cultural oppression/domination of one country over another.
  • e.g. European invasion of Africa, Asia and the Americas since the 16 century onwards.

  • e.g. pre-capitalistcolonialism: Before it, the Crusades in the 2nd century; Genghis Khan's invasion of Middle East as well as China in the 13th century. (from Postcolonialism page in Literary Criticism Databank)



also called Commonwealth Of Nations, formerly (1931–46) British Commonwealth Of
Nations, a free association of sovereign states comprising Great Britain and a
number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation and who acknowledge the British monarch as symbolic head of their association.

Historically, the Commonwealth was an evolutionary outgrowth of the British Empire. The traditional British policy of allowing considerable self-government in its colonies led to the existence by the 19th century of several dependent states, which were populated to a significant degree by Europeans accustomed to the forms of parliamentary rule and which possessed large degrees of sovereignty. By 1931 they
were recognized as having special status within the empire by the Statute of Westminster, which referred specifically to a “British Commonwealth of Nations.”
The adjective British was dropped from official use in 1946. 

(source: "Commonwealth" Encyclopædia Britannica
[Accessed September 8, 2002].  )