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Top Group Discussion Topics

Imperialism and colonialism convey the same meaning about group discussion domination of one country by the other. Imperialism in earlier times meant forcible annexation of other countries for plunder or extraction of wealth in forms of tribute etc. Colonialism was an improvised system of exploitation which systematically transferred surplus the colony to the metropolis. While imperialism resulted in conquest of a country, colonialism resulted in drain of the wealth of the colony to the metropolis and destroying its indigenous economy. In fact both can be said to two sides of the same coin. Looked at from the metropolis, it is imperialism whereas in the colony it is colonialism. Colonialism is a relatively modern historical phenomenon which emerged with the growth of industrial capitalism in Britain. The two developed together for the benefit of the metropolis in such a way so as to provide raw materials for the industries and market for the finished goods manufactured in these industries of metropolis as well as provide venue for investment of capital. Colonialism functions in the colony through a dependent and subservient economic, social, political, and intellectual structure whose forms can vary with the changing conditions of the historical development of capitalism as a worldwide system. This is many a time discussed in the group discussion. The colony became an integral part of the world capitalist system but this integration did not lead to the development of a capitalist economy in the colony as integration was in subservient position; a position which was maintained by the metropolis through its influence. Many scholars believed that a colony would develop along capitalist lines. The belief was that capitalism being a world system compelled all nations to adopt the bourgeois system. However, colonies did not develop in the split image of the metropolis. They did not become capitalist in the way the metropolis did. Capitalism was introduced in the colonies but this did not bring capitalist development. The old structures were uprooted but the new ones, failed to encourage development. Instead, they proved to be regressive. The colony did not take part in the industrial revolution. Imperialism introduced capitalization of production in many spheres, but capitalist development did not take place. Factually, colonialism was a specific structure which was neither capitalist nor pre-capitalist. It does not strive to preserve the colonial modes of production. For example, agrarian relations that developed in India under colonial rule were not a carryover from the Mughal period. It was the result of revenue settlements aimed at extracting maximum revenue which could be sent to Britain and an attempt to develop capitalist agriculture for providing raw material to the industries of England. What emerged was a semi feudal semi colonial agriculture dominated by the colonial state, world capitalist market, landlords, merchants, moneylenders and having capitalist features; bourgeoisie property relations, commercialization and elements of capitalist agriculture. This at number of times has become the topic for group discussion.