In Oceania, France gained a leading position as an imperial power after making Tahiti and New Caledonia protectorates in 1842 and 1853, respectively.  Before Enlightenment thinkers could articulate a convincing critique of colonialism, they had to recognize the importance of culture and the possibility of cultural pluralism. The assertion that all individuals deserve equal dignity and respect was a necessary but not sufficient basis for anti-imperialist thought. They also had to realize that the tendency to develop different institutions, narratives, and aesthetic practices was an essential human skill. The French term morals, or what would be called culture today, captures the idea that people`s humanity is expressed in the distinctive practices they adopt as solutions to the challenges of existence. From the point of view of world system theory, the economic exploitation of the periphery does not necessarily require direct political or military domination. Similarly, contemporary literary theorists have drawn attention to practices of representation that reproduce a logic of subordination that persists even after the independence of the former colonies. The field of postcolonial studies was influenced by Edward Said Orientalism`s seminal book. In Orientalism, Saïd applied Michel Foucault`s discourse analysis technique to the production of knowledge about the Middle East. The term Orientalism described a structured set of concepts, assumptions, and discursive practices used to produce, interpret, and evaluate knowledge about non-European peoples.
Said`s analysis allowed researchers to deconstruct literary and historical texts to understand how they reflected and reinforced the imperialist project. Unlike previous studies that focused on the economic or political logics of colonialism, Said drew attention to the relationship between knowledge and power. By emphasizing the cultural and epistemological work of imperialism, Said was able to undermine the ideological hypothesis of worthless knowledge and show that « knowing the East » was part of the project to dominate it. Orientalism can be seen as an attempt to broaden the geographical and historical terrain of post-structuralist criticism of Western epistemology. In recent years, scholars have paid less attention to debates about colonialism in the Marxist tradition. This reflects the decline of the influence of Marxism in the Academy and in political practice. However, Marxism influenced both postcolonial theory and anti-colonial independence movements around the world. Marxists drew attention to the material foundations of European political expansion and developed concepts that help explain the persistence of economic exploitation after the end of direct political rule. In many ways, congressional politics remained plagued by ambivalence during the Raj`s final years.
Most members of the high command joined Gandhi, but others sought more practical or pragmatic solutions to India`s problems, which so often went beyond political or imperial-colonial issues. For Indian leaders, of course, it has always been easier to rally the masses behind emotional religious appeals or anti-British rhetoric than to solve problems that have plagued the Indian subcontinent for millennia. Most of the differences between Hindus and Muslims have therefore remained unresolved, even though the Hindu caste system has never really been attacked or dismantled by Congress. These examples from the various Allied experiences of 1914-1918 suggest that the model of imperial collapse of Central and Eastern Europe as a determining element of the Experience of the First World War cannot survive beyond the borders of Europe. In many ways, the Middle East offers the best insight into how the colonial empires of the victorious powers, particularly France and Britain, experienced the consequences of World War I. Here, in four years of fierce fighting, Ottoman imperial authority had been gradually eroded and witnessed the exhausting mobilization of the local population and economy throughout the empire.  In the five years following the Ottoman collapse in October 1918, Britain and France fought for power throughout the Middle East world, trying to fill the vacuum of post-Ottoman imperial power with new colonial states. The European powers were not the only candidates in this process to encounter burgeoning Arab nationalist movements and a flourishing Zionist cause. The Middle East fits perfectly into the conception of an imperial « crush zone » after World War I, in which states and sub-state actors compete for power.
Moreover, it was a region of imperial experimentation in which the ideas of a new form of imperial domination – the League of Nations mandate system – were put into practice. The mandates were applied to several colonial territories around the world, but it was in the Middle East that they proved most controversial and where this attempt at international surveillance of colonial rule often failed. The qualifier « new » is used to distinguish modern imperialism from previous imperial activities, such as the so-called first wave of European colonization between 1402 and 1815.   In the first wave of colonization, European powers conquered and colonized America and Siberia; Later, they established more outposts in Africa and various parts of Asia. The large and powerful Sikh population of Punjab would have been placed in a particularly difficult and abnormal position, as Punjab as a whole would have belonged to Group B, and much of the Sikh community had become anti-Muslim since the beginning of the persecution of their gurus by the Mughal emperors in the 17th century. Sikhs played such an important role in the British Indian army that many of its leaders hoped that at the end of the war, the British would reward them with special help in structuring their own country from the rich heart of the fertile land of the Punjab canal colony, where most Sikhs lived in the kingdom once ruled by Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). Since World War I, Sikhs had opposed the British Raj just as fiercely, and although they had never represented more than 2% of the Indian population, they had as many nationalist « martyrs » as army officers. A Sikh Akali Dal (« Party of the Immortals »), founded in 1920, led militant marches to liberate the Gurdwaras (« Gates of the Guru »; Sikh places of worship) from corrupt Hindu managers. Tara Singh (1885-1967), the main leader of the energetic Sikh political movement, first called for a separate Punjab Azad (« free ») in 1942.
In March 1946, many Sikhs called for a Sikh nation-state, alternately called Sikhistan or Khalistan (« Land of the Sikhs » or « Land of the Pure »). However, the cabinet mission had neither the time nor the energy to focus on the Sikhs` separatist demands and found the Muslim League`s request for Pakistan equally impossible to accept. The death of Gokhale and Bombay`s political leader, Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, in 1915 removed the most powerful moderate leadership from the Congress party and paved the way for Tilak`s return to power in the organisation after its reunification in Lucknow in 1916. This historic meeting in December 1916 brought even more unity to India`s nationalist forces than the Congress and the Muslim League agreed on a pact outlining their common program of immediate national demands. The Lucknow Pact initially provided for the creation of expanded provincial legislative councils, four-fifths of whose members should be directly elected by the people with the widest possible electoral rights. The League`s willingness to unite with the Congress party was attributed to the pact`s provision that Muslims should receive a much higher share of separate electoral seats in all legislative councils than they had enjoyed under the 1909 law. Through these generous concessions of political power by Congress, Muslim leaders, including Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1949), agreed to set aside doctrinal differences and work with Congress to achieve national freedom from British rule. However, this rapprochement between the Congress Party and the Muslim League was short-lived, and in 1917 communal tensions and disagreements again dominated the factional Indian political scene. Tilak and Annie Besant each advocated for different autonomous leagues, while Muslims were more concerned with pan-Islamic issues than pan-Indian unity issues.
Tocqueville`s analysis of Algeria reflects little concern about its legitimacy and much concern about the pragmatics of an effective colonial government. The stability of the regime, in his opinion, depended on the ability of the colonial administration to provide good government to the French colonists. .