First historical instances of colonialism such as the crusades are revisited. Then a lengthy account of the colonial experience of the Spanish Kingdom in South America and of the British Empire in India is given. The Indian case is illustrated with large amounts of archival materials from a colonial administrator. There the workings of the colonial bureaucracy and law and its (positive) achievements as well as the ignorance and arrogance of the external rulers are demonstrated. After narrating the Indian independence to some depth some recent colonial wars (Algeria, Vietnam, Congo, Angola) are briefly examined. In the end, the impact of colonialism on current, i.e. 1970s, (economic) international relations is discussed. The general tenor is that colonialism is a dysfunctional system. Still, agency is mostly placed with the empire rather than with the ruled.