The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism

Living Edition
| Editors: Immanuel Ness, Zak Cope

Imperialism and Settler Colonialism: Xenophobia and Racism in North America

  • Stacy Warner MaddernEmail author
Living reference work entry



This essay examines the historical trajectory of the colonization of North America by imperial European forces spanning from the 15th to 18th centuries. The primary focus concentrates on the treatment and removal of indigenous peoples with particular attention paid to the development of settler colonialism by the English Crown and the xenophobic foundations of Americana.

The expansive ramblings of settler colonialism, particularly its goal of eliminating indigenous culture carried out primarily by strategies of disavowal, have been identified by Ostler (2015) as “a convergence between settler colonial ideology and the project of continental empire-building” (p. 42). Native American opposition to colonial empire (and the United States) has rarely been framed as anti-imperialism in historical context. Perhaps doing so would...

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The author wishes to thank Dr. Zak Cope for his assistance and contributions in writing this essay.


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© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban and Community StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA