Skip to main content
SOCRATES (SU CATALOG) | DATABASES | E-JOURNALS | SULAIR HOME | SU HOME

colonies

Q&A: European Colonies

Question:
Is there a database or some compilation that lists all countries that
have been former colonies of a European nation?

Answer:
There is an encyclopedia in the Information Center:

Colonialism : an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia : JV22. C65 2003, 3 volumes,
Information Center, Green Library

This has very good chronologies, lists and documentation. There is also a good Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism in the Information Center, with two good Appendices, one listing all the former colonies and their languages, and one giving a good chronology: D217 .H57 1991, Information Center, Green Library

There is also two essentially identical lists on the web, on Wikipedia, and on Answers.com:

List of Former European colonies

which are actually pretty good if you want just a list, broken down by regions of the world.

Also note that there is a call number classification for European Colonialism: JV, in the Information Center, and Green Stacks. There are a lot of both general and specific histories under that classification. Below is a list of selected titles, if you want to explore further:

  • Author: Kiernan, V. G. (Victor Gordon), 1913-
    Title: Colonial empires and armies, 1815-1960 / V.G. Kiernan.
    Edition: Rev. ed.
    Imprint: Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 1998.
    Physical Description: xviii, 285 p. ; 20 cm.
    Series: (War and European society)
    Note: Previously published under title: European empires
    from conquest to collapse, 1815-1960.
    Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index.
    Subject (LC): Military history, Modern--19th century.
    Subject (LC): Military history, Modern--20th century.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies--History--19th century.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies--History--20th century.
    Subject (LC): Europe--History, Military.
    Title: European empires from conquest to collapse, 1815-1960.
    Series: War and European society

    GREEN CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV105 .K53 1998 1 STACKS

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Townsend, M. E. (Mary Evelyn), b. 1884.
    Title: European colonial expansion since 1871, by Mary Evelyn
    Townsend ... with the collaboration of Cyrus Henderson
    Peake ... Edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam.
    Imprint: Philadelphia, New York, [etc.] J.B. Lippincott,
    [c1941]
    Physical Description: v-viii, 629 p. double front., maps, diagrs. 24 cm.
    Note: "Readings" at end of each chapter except the first.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonization--History.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Foreign relations--1871-1918.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Foreign relations--1918-1945.
    Added author: Peake, Cyrus H. (Cyrus Henderson), 1900-
    Added author: Langsam, Walter Consuelo, 1906-

    SAL CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV105 .T794 1 SAL-PAGE

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Holland, R. F. (Roy Fraser), 1932-
    Title: European decolonization, 1918-1981 : an introductory
    survey / R.F. Holland.
    Imprint: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1985.
    Physical Description: xiv, 321 p. : maps ; 23 cm.
    Note: Includes index.
    Notes: Bibliography: p. [303]-316.
    Subject (LC): Decolonization--History.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies--History--20th century.

    SAL CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV151 .H65 1985 1 SAL-PAGE

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Holland, R. F. (Roy Fraser), 1932-
    Title: European decolonization, 1918-1981 : introductory
    survey / by R.F. Holland.
    Imprint: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1985.
    Physical Description: xiv, 321 p. : maps ; 22 cm.
    Note: Includes index.
    Notes: Bibliography: p. [314]-316.
    Subject (LC): Decolonization--History.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies--History--20th century.

    GREEN CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV151 .H65 1985 1 STACKS

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Kiernan, V. G. (Victor Gordon), 1913-
    Title: European empires from conquest to collapse, 1815-1960
    / V.G. Kiernan.
    Imprint: Leicester [Leicestershire] : Leicester University
    Press, in association with Fontana Paperbacks, 1982.
    Physical Description: 285 p. ; 23 cm.
    Series: (Fontana history of European war and society)
    Note: Includes index.
    Notes: Bibliography: p. 255-269.
    Subject (LC): Europe--Colonies--History.
    Subject (LC): Europe--History, Military.

    GREEN CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV141 .K53 1 STACKS

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Nadel, George H., 1923-
    Title: Imperialism and colonialism [by] George H. Nadel and
    Perry Curtis.
    Imprint: New York, Macmillan [1964]
    Physical Description: vi, 154 p., 23 cm.
    Series: (Main themes in European history)
    Notes: Bibliography: p. 151-154.
    Subject (LC): Colonies.
    Added author: Curtis, Perry.
    Series: Main themes in European history.

    SAL CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV35 .N134 1 SAL-PAGE

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Etemad, Bouda.
    Title: [Possession du monde. English]
    Title: Possessing the world : taking the measurements of
    colonisation from the eighteenth to the twentieth
    century / Bouda Etemad ; translated by Andrene
    Everson.
    Imprint: New York : Berghahn Books, 2007.
    Physical Description: ix, 252 p. ; 24 cm.
    Series: (European expansion and global interaction ; v. 6)
    Note: "Originally published as La Possession du monde: poids
    et mesunes de la colonisation"--T.p. verso.
    Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [229]-243) and
    indexes.

    Subject (LC): Colonies--History.
    Subject (LC): Colonies--Administration--History.
    Series: European expansion and global interaction ; v. 6.

    GREEN CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV105 .E8413 2007 1 STACKS

  • ---------- * ----------

  • Author: Parry, J. H. (John Horace), 1914-
    Title: Trade and dominion: the European overseas empires in
    the eighteenth century [by] J. H. Parry.
    Imprint: New York, Praeger [1971]
    Physical Description: xvii, 408 p. illus. 25 cm.
    Series: (Praeger history of civilization)
    Notes: Bibliography: p. 369-379.
    Subject (LC): Colonies--History.
    Subject (LC): Colonies--Commerce.
    Subject (LC): Colonies--Administration.

    GREEN CALL NUMBER COPY LOCATION
    1)JV165 .P35 1 STACKS

  • Q&A: historical Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) statistics

    Question: I am looking for historical data on levels of foreign direct investment, particularly investments made by the various colonial powers in their colonies. I am told the post 1947 data exists on some Department of Commerce web site, but don't know the URL, and have no idea about any of the earlier stuff. Do you have any ideas about how to proceed?

    Answer: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is collected in many places and by many government agencies, primarily the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the World Bank and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). For the historical data, you'll want to use Direction of trade statistics historical (1948-1980) available on CDROM in Data Services, Velma Denning Room, first floor of Green Library.

    Here are some other routes to explore:

    1. The World Bank's "World Tables of Economic and Social Indicators" has net FDI data for over 180 countries from 1950-1992. A Socrates search will lead you to it here in the library. It's also available via the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data repository to which Stanford belongs.
    2. UNCTAD's World Investment Reports and its FDI database also has data and statistics that include FDI. Country Factsheets for 188 economies are also available for current data.
    3. OECD's International Direct Investment Statistics Yearbook as well as the individual country OECD Reviews of Foreign Direct Investment, one of which is the U.S., also will help. The yearbook collects data from 1992 - present.
    4. IMF's International Financial Statistics will give additional data and stats.
    5. World Bank's Global Development Finance may also help as well as looking generally at the Bank's International Economics Dept. titles.
    6. On the US side of things, you can find Frederick M. O'Hara's Handbook of United States economic and financial indicators located at the Green Information Center and at Jackson Business Library (HC106.8 .O47 2000). There's a 1985 edition and a 2000 revised edition available.
    7. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has good statistics and data. In particular, for the U.S., the single largest FDI in total $$ volume and total FDI cases between 1940s - 1980s, you might look at:

      U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, February 1981. "Trends in the U.S. Direct Investment Position Abroad, 1950-79."

    8. Scan through articles in Business America, which is a Dept of Commerce magazine. It's print and online and has good summary pieces on international trade -- including FDI -- such as John Rutter's "Recent and future trends in international direct investment", Business America, August 6, 1984. It's indexed in ABI/INFORM, a business database.
    9. Go to Department of commerce. International Trade Administration. Trade Policy Information System for trade statistics of over 170 countries (from the United Nations); and multi-country statistics on international finance, direction of trade, balance of payments and developing country debt.
    10. Last but not least, most of the above can be found in EconLit or Google Scholar using phrases like "FDI" and "direction of trade".

    One final note: If you go back into colonial history much before 1945 the concept of Foreign Direct Investment doesn't really apply as a form of statistical analysis. But there is a large body of scholarly work on the economics of colonies. A general Subject keyword search of Socrates for "economic" and "colonies" will yield a large number of books on the economic history of imperialism and colonialism, plus many monographs on specific colonies of the various European powers.

    Please contact the Information Center if you need more help.

    Syndicate content