Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. One of the difficulties in defining colonialism is that it is hard to distinguish it from imperialism.
The term colony comes from the Latin word colonus, meaning farmer. This root reminds us that the practice of colonialism usually involved the transfer of population to a new territory, where the arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to their country of origin. Imperialism, on the other hand, comes from the Latin term imperium, meaning to command. Thus, the term imperialism draws attention to the way that one country exercises power over another, whether through settlement, sovereignty, or indirect mechanisms of control.
The first commentators on colonialism were Marx and Engels who wrote on the colonial domination of Ireland. The first comprehensive critique of colonialism mainly at economic level came from the Indian nationalists of the late nineteenth century-Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadev Ranade. Romesh Chandra Dutt and others. The concept of drain of wealth was developed by them to highlight the transfer of wealth by the East India Company as plunder, home charges or the expenses incurred by the government and private transfer of capital.
The term imperialism means the practice of extending the power, control or rule by a country over the political and economic life of the areas outside its own borders.
Imperialism is simply a manifestation of the balance of power and is the process by which nations try to achieve a favorable change in the status quo. The purpose of imperialism is to decrease the economic, strategic and political vulnerability of a nation which they try to achieve by economic and political domination of other countries. During the 19th century and early 20th century, imperialism arose as a necessity for industrializing states to secure their own economic prosperity. Imperialism has been a major force in shaping the modern world.