Post colonialism is an intellectual discourse that has been in existence since the middle of the20thcentury. It is a term that came about after the end of the traditional form of colonialism, this term broadly refers to the way aspects of society such as culture, race, ethnicity and human identity are represented after the end of colonialism. This new era was created after former colonies became independent. The term post colonialism can be broadly used to describe all the cultural and culture products that have been influenced by colonialism from the time colonialism started to the present day. In today’s modern world, aspects of post colonialism can be seen in major aspects of the life in society from the literatures and politics to the sciences concerning the history as well.
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Colonialism is a term that is used to refer the political ideology that was dominant from the 17th century up to around the last quarter of the twentieth century. This was an ideology that propelled and justified the invasion exploitation and forceful occupation of lands by military powers primarily from the west. For the inhabitants, this meant forceful adaptation of the alien rules, forced manpower, one sided lucrative trade and parasitization of local resources by the colonizers, though at the beginning, some missionaries may have had legitimate intentions of spreading their religions.
Immediately after the independence of most of the former colonies, post-colonialismstudiesabout the former colonies have increasingly become objects of scientific studies. Post-colonialwith respect to land may refer to a land that is no longer ‘colonized’ meaning that the particular area or country has gained independence i.e. post-colonial Africa. In respect to this description, post colonialism will refer to features such as social, political and economic situations that constitute these countries after the exit of colonial powers. This term although may also refer to the colonizers themselves in respect to the way their societies responded after the loss of the colonies and the reduction in revenues that camefrom them, this may impact the economies and their culture of the colonial powers to some extent though not extensively. A major aspect of post colonialization is a clash of culture between the between the former colonial power and the colonized country. This clash has wide spread consequences. The main reason being that the colonizers came and found the natives with their own cultures and societies, but saw their own cultures as being superior and decided to force theirs to the natives, as soon as the colonies attained their independence, they sought to purge themselves off the colonial mentality and culture that was deeply rooted in their culturesand traditions at the time of independence.
Post colonialism in a different school of thought can be viewed as to‘decolonize’ what was once colonized. This is usually an attempt to regain what was once lost, be it power, identity, natural resources or national resources such as artifacts that give a people a sense of identity and heritage. For the natives, they have to tread in unfamiliar grounds, new found freedom; they have to deal with the mental shackles of colonialism and rediscover their identity and heritage. For the colonizers, they had to deal with the loss of power, prestige and one sided lucrative trade that they derived from their foreign colonies. Both sides now have to deal with their past as the suppressor and the suppressed.
This complex present relationship emanated from the way the colonial powers viewed themselves. They had a superiority complex and saw it fit to impose their beliefs, values and religion on the natives. Most of the time the colonizers were often criticized as being brutal, ignorant and arrogant and way too naive to effectively manage the colonies. In the end this resulted in failure. What followed was process of decolonization, some of it was peaceful, others were rather emotional, bloody and tense with a direct proportionality with the way the colonizers handled the colonies.
Post colonialism also deals with the far reaching effects of cultural, identity and belonging. Colonial powers went to foreign countries and imposed their cultures; this destroyed an important part of the culture and identity of the natives.Some generations were born under the reign of colonial powers. These generations adopted the Western cultures and traditions, after independence, nations were found with identity crises,were they to abolish the Western way of life and create a totally new one.
For the purpose of decolonization, language is the primary means, far much superior thanmilitary might in comparison. Through language, intellects can communicate and reflect about the effects of post colonialism and how to counter them. Most of the colonial powers integrated their languages in the colonies and some of their. This is one of the few aspects that might be viewed as a positive impact of colonialization form some quarters yet from other quarters others say that it contributed to the watering down of the natives culture and traditions. This has aided in the solving of issues pertaining to post colonialism between both parties.
In conclusion, one can confidently say the post colonialism is primarily a discussion about what happened between the suppressor and the suppressed, the economic, cultural and social consequences that are visible long after independence. Although the term post colonialism is primarily used to refer to the issues affecting the colonized countries, it partly also refers to the colonizers since they too bear the consequences of their colonies gaining independence.