n the modern world poverty has been defined as the shortage of human needs such as clothing, food, and shelter, and today it haunts many people across the Third World as a direct and in some cases indirect result of European colonialism. …
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While this has been the case, it is a fact that very little has been done or is being done to curb this menace, and this has been mainly because of the continued dominance of the former colonial powers over the world economy. The colonial policies were adopted by many of the European governments that led to the deprivation of the natives of the land that they colonized while at the same time ensuring that the colonizers became the biggest beneficiaries. This can be considered to be the origin of the inequalities that have come to exist between the developed world and the Third World, as the gap between them continues to widen. The governments of these countries have caused the prevalence of poverty in the third world a very common state that can be found in most of the states that are categorized as poor, with the most common belief being that this situation. It has been suggested that it is either the governments of the poor countries, which are to blame because they are corrupt or that they make poor decisions. Furthermore, these governments are also blamed for pursuing policies that actually harmful to the successful development of their people. There are, however, deeper, colonial causes of poverty which are rarely discussed because their effects are mostly indirect. Among the factors, which have led to the prevalence of poverty in the third world, is that the colonial governments rarely set up industries in their colonies, instead using them only as sources of raw material. There were behind those decisions, which mainly dealt with economic policies and practices, which are typically influenced or formulated, by the rich and powerful on the European states who wanted to have absolute control over the markets and this required that the colonies do not manufacture their own products (Haynes, 2008). This practice continued long after most of the countries in the third world gained independence and this was because of the fact that while they gained political independence, their economic development tended to rely heavily on the former colonizers for support. It has been found that the former European colonizers often continued to emphasize the raw material producing role of their former colonies, and in the face of such great external pressure. The governments of the third world countries and their people have remained powerless, as a result, the few developed countries continue to become wealthy while the majority, most in the third world struggle with or fall further into poverty (Allen & Thomas, 2004). The former colonizers have played a role in ensuring that these countries remain poor so that they can accumulate more wealth through having a ready market for their products as well as having less competition in the market. The former colonial powers have been behind the introduction of reductions in the expenditure for health, education and other vital social services in countries from the third world as conditions for any form of economic assistance from them. Most of these conditions have come because of the structural adjustment policies prescribed by the major international financial institutions, which are mostly dominated by the former European colonial powers. When most of the European powers left their former colonies, these countries were in dire need of financial assistance in order to develop themselves to the level of their former colonizers. The leaving colonial powers often left their colonies in dire financial situations and this forced the newly independent states to take loans in order to ensure the
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