Broadly describing the expansion of European countries over several hundred years involving taking control over foreign countries and establishing European hegemony.
Many leading European countries held colonies, including Great Britain, Netherlands, France, Germany, and others.
British colonialism was a 'force for modernising and civilising the world', according to Oxford educated historian and current Tisch professor of History at Harvard University, Niall Ferguson, in his book "Empire: How Britain made the modern world". The viewpoint has been controversial because the benefits and costs are valued differently by the people affected by this process.
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