Proponents of colonization anywhere usually cite the fact that the colonizer in the end bequeaths to the colonized cultural, political and economic development as a means of validating colonization. However, colonization rarely brings about any development that would otherwise not have been realized even without colonization. It is possible for a superior country to engage in meaningful cultural, economic and political exchanges with a relatively less powerful country without necessarily colonizing the inferior country.
In all instances where a more powerful nation colonizes the less powerful one – as was the case with the British colonization of the American colonies – the intention is usually for the powerful country to benefit at the expense of the ‘lesser’ country. Therefore, on this strength only, colonization should not be justifiable. When Britain colonized the American colonies, some of the supposed benefits for the colonies were increased security under the protection of the British Empire, and a ready market in Britain and Europe for American products such as tea (Allen, 2011, p.60) . However, Britain stood to benefit more from these engagements, and the Americans were taxed exorbitant amounts without even being given a say on the taxation mechanisms decreed from across the Atlantic (Allen, 2011, p.61). Additionally, such economic and military relations between the American colonies and the British Empire could still have been realized without Britain playing boss over America. In the end, the American colonies had to fight the British Empire in the Revolutionary War, leading to unnecessary loss of lives and property to both sides.
Colonization in the end bears no fruit because in all cases, the colonized organize some form of revolution or insurrection against the colonizer. Revolutionary wars lead to unnecessary loss of lives and property. The American Revolutionary war lasted for nearly eight years, leading to loss of lives, property, infrastructure and monuments within the American nation. Britain too suffered. Such a war could have been avoided had the British sought to engage with the Americans on a mutually beneficial basis without the strict dictatorial provisions of colonialism and imperialism.
The downsides to colonialism far outweigh any supposed benefits that might be accrued or placed on the colonized. It is much better for a powerful country to engage less powerful ones in a fair, just and progressive manner for the lasting benefit of both parties.