British Colonial Legacies & Political Development Assignment Sample

Complex Dynamics of British Colonialism: Political Development and Cultural Changes

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Introduction of British Colonial Legacies & Political Development Assignment 

The British colonialism's legacies have a notable impact on all over the world. Several studies have researched the possible effect of colonialism on deep-rooted developmental courses over the last few years. The colonial ventures put a significant and critical impact on the society from the past half century. The colonialism is categorized into two vast parts such as settlement and extractive by the authors Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2001, 2002) whose works on cross-national as well as numerical analyses influence very much. The settlement colonies were constructed in the comparatively healthy territories where the native population was not so large. On the other hand, extractive colonies were established through destruction or pushing away native people in order to acquire resources.

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British Colonial Legacies and Political Development


In the case of British colonialism, most of the population significantly has non-European origin. For the different timespan, they ruled by indirect as well as direct lawful administrative organizations (Olsson, 2009). Their measurement factors on relationships are effectiveness of bureaucracy, legal rules, stability in politics, burden of state administration, democratization and the deficiency in the corruption of government. The legacy of British colonialism depends on indirect and direct rule. Direct rule supplied a governmental structure on the basis of official rules against the decisions of individuals.

According to Olson logic, 18 century constituents and their legislation deals with rise of colonial assembly is dealt with first 3 quarter. It also gives knowledge for American politics origin on configuration of republic roots (Acemoglu, Johnson, & Robinson, 2001).

Apart from that, it had a consolidated legal-governmental structure along with an official commanding chain that connected various states to the core colonial government. Indirect rule provided chiefs with huge organizational powers by which they can operate “customary law”. Due to the deficiency of validation, this law could be easily molded and manipulated for individual advantages. Along with that, this law permitted the operation over public lands as well as chiefdom police in order to be in charge of the local natives.

Main focus

The credit of this rule goes to Lord Lugard. All the empires of Britain and Great Britain depended on both the direct and indirect rules in order to expand colonies and to dominate their natives. A statistical analysis revealed that the 33 ex-British colonies had more than 1 lakh natives during freedom, had not faced the huge-scale settlement of Europe, did not combine with the non-British provinces after freedom and faced more than 30 years of British colonial rule. This affects the political field of these ex-British colonies as the influence of the British still remains in these provinces. Their colonial influences helped in the social reestablishment like the care for the poor increased, termination of slavery as well as the initiation of women’s enfranchisement movement. They transferred the idea of equality, liberty, human rights and freedom of the women to all the colonized provinces in order to increase awareness. [Appendix 1: Multivariate analysis of state governance among former British colonies]

Cultural changes due to colonialism

Due to British colonization British country fetched with their own cultural values, laws, religious, which does not prefer indigenous peoples. As an explanation British indigenous peoples are more dependent on British colonization’s (Lange, 2004). Different religion’s people are mostly impacted in their practices and it will make them to convert in Christianity. Extension to colonial state activities are shown in media and education too.

Variation in British colonialism rule

The paper of Lange, 2004 is a descriptive paper along with the statistical data related to the colonial legacies. The paper analyzes various case studies related to direct and indirect colonial rule and the development of post-colonial politics. A statistical data of 33 ex-British colonies on the basis of the governance rights and its effect have been provided to establish the validity of the descriptive analysis. On the other hand, the paper of Ola, 2009 is a descriptive paper with qualitative as well as quantitative analysis. The paper analyzes the democracy legacy of colonialism. On the basis of 143 observations, the paper suggests that heterogeneous colonial period divides into early mercantilist and later imperialist waves. The observations are stated that the British colonial rule has a great impact on the democracy of the colonies.

Statistical analysis

Most of the provinces that came under British colonies were third world countries. In these countries, the culture of the societies were so poor, which was reformed by the influence of the British.Their mode of colonial rule which had been divided into two categories viz. indirect and direct rules also affected the colonies in various ways. The British relied on using indirect and direct rules to operate their colonies such as Nigeria and Uganda which had faced the indirect rule and India and Bangladesh which had faced the direct rule. In the African countries, there was a rage for “white people” which pushed the British to impose extraction mode in order to expand colonies in the African continent.

Illustration of democratic colonial’s sample

The national identity of colonizer, population density, geography and disease depend on the democracy of the colonies which can affect the colonial policy. Most of the European countries were primarily arrogant in early stages but later these countries become broad-minded. The colonial area is divided into two waves’ viz. mercantilist and imperialist. The mercantilist wave increases the wealth and strength of the nation with restricted trade practices in the specific colonies whereas the imperialist wave usually comes after the mercantilist wave that desires for latest markets and resources in the weaker countries. This wave creates the rivalries among the great colonial powers.

Clarity of concepts

In the journal related with colonial legacy, the numerical data on 33 colonies revealed that after freedom, the ex-British colonies did not combine with the non-British colonies (Lange, 2004). This occurred because the ex-British colonies had already been influenced by British culture and perception, especially those colonies which were ruled for more than 30 years, which differentiate them from the non-British colonies. In the past half century, most European countries started to colonize other countries either by settlement or by extraction. The 33 colonies under the British Empire did not face this much settlement as the British had complete control over the provinces. The works explained the augmentation of the durable direction of the constitutional development of British colonialism and the ex-colonies that are treated as countries by the World Bank. These works briefly explained democracy and colonialism along with the “colonial determinants of democracy” and also the legacy of British colonial rule. A statistical result is also explained on the basis of 33 ex-British colonies. [Appendix 2: Time distribution of new colony formation among 143 former colonies]

According to figure, democratic legacy of colonies explained the empirical strategy for up taking various determinants such as democratic determinants and colonial determinants that are responsible for the positive or negative relationships between the recent democratic levels and the duration of the colonies. The culture of the ex-British colonies were also very much improved with respect to non-British colonies for which it was difficult to merge different types of culture with the same province.

Olson given analysis on meaning comes from constitutional development and significance politics to measure it from colonial councilors and governors. Therefore, as an example it can approach that assemblies are more concerned over voting for annual salaries of governors in England. Not only is that governor’s letter home emphasized by threat of assemblies to response local needs of people.

Problems and unaccounted confounding factors

The paper of Lange, 2004 describes the outcomes of the post-colonial rules on the various colonies but there is no mention of the reasons behind the outcomes. There is a lack of information on the effectiveness of the activities of the British rules such as the people’s reaction against the direct and indirect rules of colonization, whether the people are satisfied with the laws imposed on them or not and about the economic, social growth of the colonies during the colonial period. The colonies in the imperialist period faced lesser level of democracy for a long period due to the disturbance in the colonization rule due to the conflicts among several powerful countries that affected the democracy of those colonies.

Strength and weakness

The strength of this investigation is to generate if British colonialism effect institutions of sate for reinforce major trajectories for country based political development. It help to measure extent over 33 former colonial rules for British colonies, therefore, it helped to create a strong relationship with other variables of state governance rules during 1990 (Acemoglu, Johnson, & Robinson, 2002). British colonialism effect with positive feedbacks in British political legacies depends on the extent of direct and indirect approach for colonial rules.

Weakness must be configured with limitations of did not experiencing European settlement for more than three decades, to provide general interferences into other religious class of British Country (Olsson, 2009). Therefore, this colonization limit up to British state’s ability that won’t make them confront with done their job with corporately and to regulate social relationship further.


The colonization legacy of the British has a great influence on societies. Various statistical analyses revealed the outcomes of the pots-British colonial rule. The indirect rule of the British affected mostly the African colonies where it was implemented. This rule negatively affects the state governmental and bureaucratic capacities of those colonies along with the integration of those states. Implication of British police forces affected the democratic rights of native people in various ways. The amalgamation of Western culture with the Eastern culture greatly influenced the cultural practices of the colonized countries. Various improvisations occurred during this period. Though there was a lack of information regarding the impact of enforcement of British law or the change in cultural practices among the colonies, it can be assumed that the British colonies had a positive impact on their colonies and its democracies which helped those colonies to improve as well as to develop.

Reference lists


Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2001). The colonial origins of comparative development: An empirical investigation. American economic review, 91(5), 1369-1401. Retrieved from: [Retrieved on: 26.12.2022]

Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J. A. (2002). Reversal of fortune: Geography and institutions in the making of the modern world income distribution. The Quarterly journal of economics, 117(4), 1231-1294. Retrieved from: [Retrieved on: 26.12.2022]

Lange, M. K. (2004). British colonial legacies and political development. World development, 32(6), 905-922. Retrieved from: [Retrieved on: 26.12.2022]

Olsson, O. (2009). On the democratic legacy of colonialism. Journal of Comparative Economics, 37(4), 534-551. Retrieved from: [Retrieved on: 26.12.2022]

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