Colonization happens when a nation or territory is taken over by another and ruled by its government instead of the one it had before.
There was a time when British monarch George III was in charge of the colonial American colonies, even though indigenous peoples had lived in North America for thousands of years before Europeans arrived.
Colonizing another nation or territory frequently results in exploiting the country or territory for financial benefit. To honor the end of colonial control, several nations have a national Independence Day.
Colonization or colonization by power has occurred in almost every nation on the planet at some point in time (in fact, some countries have been both). Moreover, most of the nations that have not been colonized have had to fight back against efforts to colonize them.
Several failed attempts have been made to colonize Afghanistan due to the country’s harsh terrain and tribalism, for example. Anglo-Nepal War of 1814-1816 saw the British attempt to annex Nepal but was thwarted by the country’s rugged topography.
The British claimed a portion of Nepal’s land, but their efforts to make the nation a British colony were unsuccessful.
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Those countries that have never been colonized.
Colonialization has a variety of meanings for various individuals. As a result of this discrepancy, different sources provide wildly different lists of nations that have never been colonized.
As a result, many lists concentrate on nations not colonized by European countries, which misrepresents those colonized by an Asian or African country. Only one country in the world has never been colonized: Japan.
Several additional nations cut several rankings. According to certain definitions, there are events in their history that define their colonies.
The following countries are often referred to as “never-colonized,” yet in fact, were colonized:
|Afghanistan||Never colonized, but occupied and controlled by U.S. 2001-2021.|
|Bhutan||Ceded territory to Britain in 1865, became British protectorate in 1866 and British-controlled “princely state” in 1910.|
|China||Conquered by Mongols in 1200s, who established Yuan dynasty and ruled until 1368 A.D.; Opium wars entrenched U.K. influence and gave U.K. control over Hong Kong from 1841-1997; portions annexed by Japan during WWII.|
|Ethiopia||Avoided becoming Italian colony due to a treaty mistranslation, but annexed by Italy 1939-1944.|
|Iran||Conquered by Greece in fourth century B.C., parts occupied by or ceded to Russia during Russo-Persian Wars, oil rights owned by U.K. for many years.|
|Liberia||Never forcibly colonized, but began as a colony: Founded in 1822 by the American Colonization Society to return freed slaves to their homeland. Recognized as independent in 1862.|
|Mongolia||Absorbed by China’s Qing dynasty in 1600s, ruled by China until 1921, then because satellite state of Soviet Union until 1924.|
|Nepal||Avoided outright colonization by Brits, but ceded significant territory and became British protectorate in 1815. Arguably functioned as British puppet state for some time.|
|North Korea||Never colonized by European country, but arguably colonized by Japan during WWII.|
|Saudi Arabia||Varying but significant areas controlled by Ottoman empire from early 1500s-early 1900s.|
|South Korea||Never colonized by European country, but arguably colonized by Japan during WWII.|
|Thailand||Never colonized by European country, but arguably colonized by Japan during WWII.|
|Tonga||British protected state 1900-1970, giving Britain preferential trade terms and control over foreign affairs.|
The several definitions of colonization.
The term colony refers to countries colonized by a foreign force. For example, some historians argue that the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan from 2001 until 2021 constitutes colonialism.
The Kingdom of Siam (then known as Thailand) was bordered by French Indochina (modern-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) and British Burma (then known as Burma).
To save his country from being wholly colonized, the Siamese monarch embraced numerous pro-European habits and built close ties with the British.
According to some historians, Japan’s control of Thailand and other Asian countries during World War II constitutes colonialism rather than occupation. Several nations were conquered during World War II, including Italy’s annexation of Ethiopia and the invasion by Germans of Poland.
Like the facto colonialism, many nations have seen their territory and people exploited for financial advantage by a colonizing power without the colonizing power establishing its government in that country.
Also See: Countries in the UN 2022
For example, the United Kingdom controlled almost all of Iran’s oil reserves for much of the twentieth century.
Iran’s policies and operations were heavily influenced by the British government’s ownership of the country’s most precious resource.
Like other colonial nations, China was never officially colonized, but the Opium Wars of 1839-1842 and 1856-1860 were waged to provide British opium traders access to Chinese markets.
Colonization’s impacts may be seen everywhere, from how many Africans speak English or French as their first language to the traditions they practice and the goods they export.
|Papua New Guinea||10142.6190|
|United Arab Emirates||9441.1290|
|Republic of the Congo||5970.4240|
|Central African Republic||5579.1440|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3233.5260|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1531.0440|
|Sao Tome and Principe||227.3800|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||103.9480|
|United States Virgin Islands||99.4650|
|Antigua and Barbuda||93.7630|
|Isle of Man||84.5190|
|Northern Mariana Islands||49.5510|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||47.6570|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||45.7030|
|British Virgin Islands||31.3050|
|Wallis and Futuna||11.5720|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||5.8620|