The term colony originates from the ancient Romancolonia, a type of Roman settlement. Derived from colon-us (farmer, cultivator, planter, or settler), it carries with it the sense of 'farm' and 'landed estate'.
Furthermore the term was used to refer to the older Greek apoikia (Ancient Greek: ἀποικία, lit. 'home away from home'), which were overseas settlements by ancient Greek city-states. The city that founded such a settlement became known as its metropolis ("mother-city").
Since early-modern times, historians, administrators, and political scientists have generally used the term "colony" to refer mainly to the many different overseas territories of particularly European states between the 15th and 20th centuries CE, with colonialism and decolonization as corresponding phenomena. While colonies often developed from trading outposts or territorial claims, such areas do not need to be a product of colonization, nor become colonially organized territories.
Some historians use the term informal colony to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.
Look up colony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The word "colony" comes from the Latin word colōnia, used as concept for Roman military bases and eventually cities. This in turn derives from the word colōnus, which was a Roman tenant farmer.
The terminology is taken from architectural analogy, where a column pillar is beneath the (often stylized) head capital, which is also a biological analog of the body as subservient beneath the controlling head (with 'capital' coming from the Latin word caput, meaning 'head'). So colonies are not independently self-controlled, but rather are controlled from a separate entity that serves the capital function.
Roman colonies first appeared when the Romans conquered neighbouring Italic peoples. These were small farming settlements that appeared when the Romans had subdued an enemy in war. Though a colony could take many forms, as a trade outpost or a military base in enemy territory, such have not been inherently colonies. Its original definition as a settlement created by people migrating from a central region to an outlying one became the modern definition.
Settlements that began as Roman colonia include cities from Cologne (which retains this history in its name), Belgrade to York. A tell-tale sign of a settlement within the Roman sphere of influence once being a Roman colony is a city centre with a grid pattern.
French Indochina was formed in October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin, Cochinchina (which together form modern Vietnam) and the Kingdom of Cambodia; Laos was added after the Franco-Siamese War in 1893. The federation lasted until 1954. In the four protectorates, the French formally left the local rulers in power, who were the Emperors of Vietnam, Kings of Cambodia, and Kings of Luang Prabang, but in fact gathered all powers in their hands, the local rulers acting only as figureheads.
Macau was a Portuguese colony (from 1976 a "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration") from 1557 to 1999. In 1999, two years after Hong Kong, it became a Special Administrative Region of China.
Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain from 1493 to 1898, when it passed to be a colonial possession of the United States, classified by the United States as "an unincorporated territory". In 1914, the Puerto Rican House of Delegates voted unanimously in favor of independence from the United States, but this was rejected by the U.S. Congress as "unconstitutional" and in violation of the U.S. 1900 Foraker Act. In 1952, after the US Congress approved Puerto Rico's constitution, its formal name became "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico", but its new name "did not change Puerto Rico's political, social, and economic relationship to the United States." That year, the United States advised the United Nations (UN) that the island was a self-governing territory.[a] The United States has been "unwilling to play in public the imperial role...apparently it has no appetite for acknowledging in a public way the contradictions implicit in frankly colonial rule."[b] The island has been called a colony by many, including US Federal judges, US Congresspeople, the Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, and numerous scholars.[c]
South Africa consisted of territories and colonies by various different African and European powers, including the Dutch, the British, and the Nguni. The territory consisting the modern nation was ruled directly by the British from 1806 to 1910; became self-governing dominion of Union of South Africa in 1910.
The United States was formed from a union of thirteen British colonies. The Colony of Virginia was the first of the thirteen colonies. All thirteen declared independence in July 1776 and expelled the British governors.
Dependent territories and their sovereign states. All territories are labeled according to ISO 3166-1[d] or with numbers.[e] Colored areas without labels are integral parts of their respective countries. Antarctica is shown as a condominium instead of individual claims.
The Special Committee on Decolonization maintains the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, which identifies areas the United Nations (though not without controversy) believes are colonies. Given that dependent territories have varying degrees of autonomy and political power in the affairs of the controlling state, there is disagreement over the classification of "colony".
Human outpost – Human habitats located in environments inhospitable for humans
^During its 8th session, the United Nations General Assembly recognized Puerto Rico's self-government on November 27, 1953, with Resolution 748 (VIII). (UN Resolution "748 (VIII)", adopted on November 27, 1953, during its 459th Plenary Meeting.) This removed Puerto Rico's classification as a non-self-governing territory (under article 73(e) of the Charter of the United Nations). The resolution passed, garnering a favorable vote from some 40% of the General Assembly, with over 60% abstaining or voting against it (20 to 16, plus 18 abstentions). Today, however, the UN "still debates whether Puerto Rico is a colony" or not.
^ Sidney Mintz's quote goes on to state, "Something in our own history makes the idea of our ruling other people very difficult to deal with. Puerto Rico's political status certainly has evolved in its century inside the North American 'family.' But the permanent interim political status of which Tomas Blanco wrote still has not ended."
^For additional references to Puerto Rico's current (2021) colonial status under U.S. rule, see Nicole Narea, Amy Goodman and Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, David S. Cohen and Sidney W. Mintz.
^De Lario, Damaso; de Lario Ramírez, Dámaso (2008). "Philip II and the "Philippine Referendum" of 1599". Re-shaping the world: Philip II of Spain and his time. Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 978-971-550-556-7.
^In 1521, an expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan landed in the islands, and Ruy López de Villalobos named the islands Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Spain's Prince Philip (later to become Philip I of Castile). During a later expedition in 1564, Miguel López de Legazpi conquered the Philippines for Spain. However, it can be argued that Spain's legitimate sovereignty over the islands commenced following a popular referendum in 1599.
^The Recolonization of Puerto Rico, Part 1. The Voluntown Peace Trust. 22 July 2021. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^Colonialism in Puerto Rico. Pedro Caban. SUNY-Albany. Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies Faculty. 2015. p. 516. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^C.D. Burnett, et al., Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution. Duke University Press. 2001. ISBN 9780822326984
^Definitions of Insular Area Political Organizations. U.S. Department of the Interior. Office of Insular Affairs. 2021. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^Juan Gonzalez. Harvest of Empire Penguin Press. 2001. pp.60–63.ISBN 978-0-14-311928-9
^"7 FAM 1120 Acquisition of U.S. Nationality in U.S. Territories and Possessions". U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 - Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State. 3 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
^"Let Puerto Rico Decide How to end its Colony Status: True Nationhood Stands on the Pillar of Independence." Rosalinda de Jesus. The Allentown Morning Call. Republished by The Puerto Rico Herald. July 21, 2002. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
^"Puerto Rico - The debate over political status". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
^Resolution 748 (VIII). [Note: To access the text of the UN document, scroll down the list that appears until Resolution "748 (VIII)", dated "November 27, 1953", is found. Click on the link "748 (VIII)" to view the text of the Resolution. Important: This is a UN document database query server; documents are served on-the-fly. Saving the link that appears when the document opens will not provide access in the future.] Retrieved 13 September 2021.
^"Puerto Rico: Commonwealth, Statehood, or Independence? Constitutional Rights Foundation". Archived from the original on 10 June 2009.
^Sidney W. Mintz. Three Ancient Colonies. Harvard University Press. 2010. pp. 135-136.
^"Why Puerto Rico has debated U.S. statehood since its colonization". History. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
^Juan Torruella, Groundbreaking U.S. Appeals Judge, Dies at 87. Sam Roberts. The New York Times. 28 October 2020. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^Can't We Just Sell the World's Oldest Colony and Solve Puerto Rico's Political Status? Luis Martínez-Fernández. 16 July 2020. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^Hopes for DC, Puerto Rico statehood rise. Marty Johnson and Rafael Bernal. The Hill. 24 September 2020. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^José Trías Monge. Puerto Rico: The trials of the oldest colony in the world. Yale University Press. 1997. p.3. ISBN 9780300076189
^Angel Collado-Schwarz. Decolonization Models for America's Last Colony: Puerto Rico. Syracuse University Press. 2012. ISBN 0815651082
^Live results for Puerto Rico's statehood referendum. Nicole Narea. MSN Microsoft News. 5 November 2020. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^Puerto Ricans Vote to Narrowly Approve Controversial Statehood Referendum & Elect 4 LGBTQ Candidates. Amy Goodman and Ana Irma Rivera Lassén. Democracy Now! 6 November 2020. Accessed 13 September 2021.
^The Political Travesty of Puerto Rico: Like all U.S. territories, Puerto Rico has no real representation in its own national government. David S. Cohen. RollingStone. 26 September 2017. Accessed 15 December 2020.
^Sidney W. Mintz. Three Ancient Colonies: Caribbean Themes and Variations. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 2010. p. 134.
^Tonio Andrade. "How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century". Columbia University Press.
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Quotations related to colony at Wikiquote
Non-Self-Governing Territories Listed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002
Non-Self-Governing Territories Listed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012
Siberia : History (covers Siberia as Russian colony)