Online ISSN 2286-0266
Print ISSN 1223-0685
© 2024 Œconomica by ASE & SOREC
Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti
Colonialism is distinctly defined as the control of a certain power over a territory or population, or the direct subjugation of a territory or people by a conquering nation. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to modernity, as the incorporation of lands by colonizing forces has been omnipresent throughout human history, with the penetration of European powers into African spaces representing the pinnacle of such conflicts. However, the pattern of control varies in each situation, and control is consolidated through different forms of social, political, cultural, or economic measures. Economic benefits, for example, could be obtained by the conquering force through the imposition of political or cultural measures. Moreover, the political stability of colonizers in the occupied areas is supported by economic or social measures. Thus, the colonialist phenomenon is not purely economic, political, or cultural; rather, it is a complex, multifaceted one designed to provide strategic benefits to the colonizing state, regardless of the nature of the benefit, based on its primary needs. Throughout history, we can observe territories colonized for purely economic reasons (possession of valuable natural resources at the time of colonization, often rare in the immediate vicinity of the colonizing nation) or strategic reasons (territory located near an important commercial area, dominance over which tilts the trade balance in favour of the state dominating the key points of those routes). The unfolding of colonialist conflicts can be explained through various rationales; some are apologetic, based on the acknowledgment of past mistakes by the colonizing forces who chose to conquer foreign lands in a world where moral concerns were not as prominent as today, becoming merely choices made in a different time than the present. Alternatively, they justify the emancipatory and saving role of the colonizing force in the conquered space. On a rational basis, they argue to a certain extent the inevitability of these disproportionate conflicts, as the desire for global dominance by feudal powers and the creation of a global market for goods and services in the capitalist period imply the probability of conquest wars. This paper will specifically address the economic nature of the colonial conflict led by European forces in Africa, focusing on the case of the Republic of Sierra Leone. This case will capture the imperialistic nature of economic, military, and political dominance by former colonial forces in the present, as well as the purely colonial nature of the past West African state, observing the effects of these endeavours on recent events in Sierra Leone.

ŒCONOMICA no. 2/2023
Keywords: colonialism, control, power, economy, Sierra Leone
JEL: F51, F54, H123, N47
Colonialism, the Plurivalent Conflict of the African Continent [Colonialismul, conflictul plurivalent al continentului african]