“Refers to the withdrawal of the colonial powers from direct legal and constitutional control over their (colonial powers’) territories” (Firth 314)

Sambourne, Edward. The Rhodes Colossus. Punch Magazine. 1892.

Decolonization is a loaded term that is used in most academic disciplines. It first came about “with Britain’s continental colonies in 1783”, as historian David Strang of Cornell University says (Stang 429). In Europe the French Revolution occurred shortly after and most of the Spanish Empire in Central and South America was decolonized during the 18th century with Simon Bolivar leading the efforts. All this time there was still colonization happening across the world, mostly in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. After the Second World War there was an explosion of colonized nations beginning the process of decolonizing and becoming free states. The process of decolonization is never truly over and many places are still feeling the effects of it. For decolonization to actually occur “it must be recognized dejure within the Western international community” (Strang 848).

Firth, Stewart. “Decolonization.” Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History, edited by Robert Borofsky. by Edward Said et al., University of Hawai’i Press, 2000, pp. 314–332. JSTOR.

Strang, David. “From Dependency to Sovereignty: An Event History Analysis of Decolonization 1870-1987.” American Sociological Review, vol. 55, no. 6, 1990, pp. 846–860. JSTOR.

Strang, David. “Global Patterns of Decolonization, 1500-1987.International Studies Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 4, 1991, pp. 429–454. JSTOR.