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date: 14 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Whereas Chapter 4 considers the origins of states in Western Europe and Chapter 5 reviews their origins in the Americas, this chapter explores the origins of states in Africa and Asia. With a few notable exceptions, overseas colonialism either constructed new states or radically transformed precolonial states in the regions. Colonialism played a similar role in the Americas, but colonialism in Africa and Asia differed greatly because there were few settlers and many indigenous peoples. Due to this difference, colonial powers depended much more on indirect forms of rule in Africa and Asia than in the Americas. The chapter notes that this difference had important effects on colonial state legacies and postcolonial development. Finally, the chapter reviews how colonial states affected ethnic identities and violence in regions with so many indigenous peoples.

Keywords: state formation, state transformation, Africa, Asia, colonialism, colonial states

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