Stages Of Colonization Essay Samples
PERSONAL REFLECTION: COLONIZATION AND DECOLONIZATION
Australia is one of the countries that was colonized by the Spanish and British empires. As such, their indigenous people had their share of the stages of colonization. From here, it was evident that when an indigenous nation or tribe is colonized, everything that they lived and worked hard for disappears.
The colonization history of Australia has always been marked with violence and conflict. Before the British came, the land has been occupied by the indigenous Aborigines that came from Africa and through South East Asia. They spoke many languages and dialects (Alfred n.d.). Due to this, they created a rich and diverse culture throughout the land. In 1788, under the leadership of Captain Arthur Philip, the British colonized Australia and imposed themselves as the new owners of the country and the land. They removed the Aborigines from their land and tried to erase the Aboriginal culture.
Just like any country that was colonized, Australia experienced an “intrinsically genocidal” colonization, which consists of two ways, the first being the destruction of the indigenous population's way of life; and second, the newcomers’ imposition of their way of life on the minority group. The Aborigines have also experienced the five stages of colonization, which will be enumerated below.
Some Stages of Colonization
The thing about colonization is that everything starts smoothly at first. It then gradually worsens and hostility happens when the colonizers suddenly become rash and want to invade the land of the indigenous people. This is what happened with the Australian Aboriginals when in 1791, “George Vancouver claimed the Albany region in Western Australia in the name of King George III (Skwirk n.d.); hence, marking the beginning of the process of British colonisation. This may be where the first stage of colonization comes in, which is called the denial and withdrawal stage.
Denial and Withdrawal
Here, the colonizers became friendly with the Aboriginal people, and Governor Philip even encouraged the fair treatment of the indigenous. Each group traded items such as axes and cloth with the Aborigines in exchange for food and water. In other words, everyone was friendly with each other. Since both were friendly, the indigenous people probably did not notice that the settlers are slowly trying to invade their land and taking advantage of their hospitality. In this regard, everything was going smoothly, and it was possible that the Aborigines were also doing what the colonizers told them to do, even if it destroyed their culture.
According to Laenui, this second stage of colonization is where the colonists take bolder action by “physically destroying and attempting to eradicate all physical representations of the symbols of indigenous cultures” (Laenui 2006). This is where the hostility starts and this is what happened in Australia.
In Australia, the relationship became hostile and chaotic when the Aborigines realized that the colonizers were slowly disturbing their lives by taking away their land, natural food resources, and the order of a nomadic life. Soon, colonizers civilized them by replacing their way of living with European ways, such as sending the kids to school and teaching them farming techniques. While there were those who followed, most of the Aborigines still did not follow the colonizers and the British made laws to place them under the British control. Under these laws, it was permitted to shoot the Aboriginal people if they resisted.
After the Resistance and Conflicts
After everything that happened, it was never peaceful between the Aborigines and the British colony. There were more and more conflicts between them, which resulted in a massacre. Even if it is peaceful now, we now know that it was never peaceful from the start.
Practical and Conceptual Challenges in Implementing the Different Stages of Decolonization
One of the things that the writer realized after reading Laenui’s article is that the stages of decolonization always goes back to number one or to any stage, especially when talking about the future of the nation or land that was colonized. And when it comes to decolonization, there will always be challenges and obstacles.
For instance, in the rediscovery and recovery stage, the colonized nation already uses everything that the colonizers implemented, and the indigenous people are already used to this. Once decolonization takes place, it will be hard for them to rediscover their old and traditional culture because they would see that in the perspective of a foreigner. They will see it as evil or improper in the present culture such that they will abuse their own culture. This poses a danger for the indigenous people who have decided to still stay in their original culture.
For the second stage, mourning, the challenge is that one does not know how long the indigenous people will mourn for what happened to their homeland. It will actually depend on the circumstances and how bad the colonization was. For the Aborigines, it took them a long time to recover from the British colonization because many of their people died and there was the genocide of children where their children were taken away from them. It would certainly not easy to recover from that kind of tragedy---especially when violence, massacre, and chaos were used. The worse part about this stage is if they continue mourning and entrenching then they may just do more harm than good for their land.
It is evident that colonization has had a huge impact in Australian society as well as in other colonized countries. Due to this, it is very hard for the indigenous people to recover such that even until now, they believe that the colonizers took their land illegally and that it should be given back to them. It is still an ongoing battle where the future remains uncertain.
Alfred, C., n.d. Creating theatre in a post-colonial Australia. [online] Available at: < http://www.academia.edu/3092499/Creating_Theatre_in_a_Post_Colonial_Australia> [Accessed 21 March 2015]
Laenui, P., 2006. Processed of decolonization. [online] Available at: < http://www.sjsu.edu/people/marcos.pizzaro/maestors/Laenui.pdf> [Accessed 21 March 2015]
Skwirk Online Education, n.d. Consequences of British colonisation for Aborginal people. [online] Available at: <http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-17_u-504_t-1361_c-5239/qld/sose/colonisation-resources-power-and-exploration/british-colonisation-of-australia/consequences-of-british-colonisation-for-aboriginal-people> [Accessed 21 March 2015]
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