Settler colonialism is a policy of conquering a land to send settlers in order to shape its demographic similarly as in the metropole. This practice contrasts with exploitation colonialism, a policy of conquering distant lands not with the intention to supplant its population, but rather to exploit its natural and human resources. A motherland might pursue the first goal in order to lighten the pressure its growing population apply to its home territory, and shape other parts of the world according to its image, thus extending its territorial continuity and preserving it indefinitely. The reasons that push a country to choose the second option are to attain more immediate benefits, extracting cheap raw materials and enslaving directly or indirectly its inhabitants.
Imperialist powers may opt for one type or the other, or both at the same time. Perhaps the most clear example of this difference is the British Empire, whose white population settled mainly North America and Oceania, exterminating in the process the native population and building modern infrastructures, and disregarded the Indian subcontinent and Africa, already densely populated. Those areas, instead, were ruled by a small colonial population, and their economies were oriented exclusively around agriculture and extraction aimed at export to the United Kingdom.
Mostly Europeans in origin, the settlers are those who traveled from European nation-states to comparatively underdeveloped territories with the aim of living there permanently, displacing the indigenous population and imposing social structures of their own making. Many of the home countries gained greatly from their colonized territories, including in particular the British and Spanish empires. While some territories gained independence and the indigenous people gained some freedoms, rarely did those liberties reach the point in which a full participation in important affairs was possible. Examples of countries of origin and settler colonies are as follows:
While some of these countries still have control over their colonial settlements, many of the territories that were once subject to the power of some other nation have now gained de jure independence. In spite of this, it might be argued that de facto independence is yet to be achieved, as ties of dependence are yet to be severed. In other cases, while those independent territories are not subject to external influence to the extent that they were before, the population of those territories still experiences considerable turmoil derived from economical disparity (see Gini coefficient) and poor living conditions derived from the past rule of a colonial power, population explosion and rampant corruption.
Racism often pervaded the settlers of new territories, which in many cases resulted in the destruction, or in the best cases, complete assimilation, of the culture of the original inhabitants of the original peoples of the colonised territories.
See also: White Australia policy
Since its establishment, the People's Republic of China has encouraged settlers to live in its sparsely populated border territory, specifically in Tibet, East Turkestan and Inner Mongolia. This has been accomplished with much state assistance, for example through organisation such as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. The indigenous populations of these areas, who are ethnically (and sometimes religiously) distinct from the majority Han Chinese often resent the influx of immigrants which is causing great changes in the demographics of the regions. For example, the original Mongol inhabitants are now very much in the minority in Inner Mongolia, and ethnic Tibetans and Uyghurs are already minorities in most of their cities. This resentment has often led to violence, most recently during the 2008 Tibetan unrest. The fear of being made minorities in their own countries within their lifetimes is a strong spur to the Tibetan and Uyghur separatist movements.
Israel was described as "a colonial settler-state" by Maxime Rodinson, a French Marxist historian, in a 1967 article. Jamil Hilal, a Palestinian sociologist, writer and member of the Palestinian National Council who lives in the West Bank, draws parallels between the South African settler colonialism and Israel, arguing that "as in Southern Africa, stretches of land were acquired by the Zionist settlers [...] and their Arab tenants thrown out. He also argues that the Israeli case has in common with South Africa a dispossession of the indigenous population of their land by Europeans. Lorenzo Veracini, an Australian scholar from the National University in Canberra argues that Israel could celebrate its anti-colonial and anti-British struggle exactly because it was able to establish a number of colonial relationships within and without the borders of 1948. However, Veracini states that "the remaining possibilities remain potentially available [i.e. the prospect of a future evacuation of settlers from areas of the West Bank, and accommodation of a Palestinian Israeli autonomy within the institutions of the Israeli state]".
Ambassador Rastam Mohd Isa, former permanent representative of Malaysia to the United Nations has condemned "the continuing and escalating Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people, in particular the wilful killing of civilians, including extrajudicial executions; demolition of homes and paralyzing closures; excessive and indiscriminate use of force, and continuing settler colonial activities
In the case of Mexico, the Mexican independence movement was initiated by criollos who wanted to seize the power from the Spanish settlers. Miguel Hidalgo used banners with the slogans which included "Long live Fernando VII!, Long live the Americas and death to the corrupt government!".
Thus, the independence movement was not so much aimed at breaking off Mexico's ties to Spain as it was to seize power from a corrupt elite to claim it for a new elite in Mexico. Many years later a popular uprising would be triggered by the past existence of the castas system, a very concentrated land ownership, an economical system in which majority of the population lived in extreme poverty, and deep social unrest.
A result of the cultural heritage of the Spanish in Mexico was a deeply troubled history starting with Mexico's independence. After that, it resulted in a dominant party system, in which a single political party controlled all affairs in a ruthless and irresponsible manner for 70 years.
Unpacking Settler Colonialism's Urban Strategies: Indigenous Peoples in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Transition to a Settler-Colonial City
Mar 22, 2010; This article uses settler colonialism as a specific analytic frame through which to understand the historical forces in the...