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Countries Never Colonized by Europeans

Name the countries outside of Europe that were never completely colonized by European colonial empires post 1500.
Many of these countries were partially colonized
One of these countries was a British "protectorate"
One of these countries was occupied for five years in the 1930s
Quiz by morequizzes4u
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Last updated: November 1, 2018
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First submittedAugust 30, 2016
Times taken45,224
Average score75.0%
Rating4.30
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Continent
Country
Africa
Ethiopia
Africa
Liberia
Asia
Afghanistan
Asia
Bhutan
Asia
China
Asia
Iran
Asia
Japan
Asia
Mongolia
Continent
Country
Asia
Nepal
Asia
North Korea
Asia
Saudi Arabia
Asia
South Korea
Asia
Thailand
Asia
Turkey
Asia
Yemen
Oceania
Tonga
+9
Level 64
Nov 24, 2017
Taiwan has been colonised by the Dutch in the 17th century. It should not be on this list.
+1
Level 33
Nov 24, 2017
Not all
+7
Level 64
Nov 24, 2017
I am pretty sure they claimed all at least on paper. The exact claim you use in the comment above for not including countries like Argentina, the United States and Canada.
+1
Level 33
Nov 24, 2017
Lol, nice try, but nope, they didn't claim it all. More precisely, Spain did not let them do it as it was too close to their own colony in Philippines. They established a settlement at the north to check the dutch expansion at the south, and in the middle of the island there was Kingdom of Middag, a fully independent taiwanese state.
+10
Level 64
Nov 24, 2017
To be sure I checked the wikipedia articles about Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa and Kingdom of Middag. Here is a short recap of the information I found there. The Spanish were ousted by the Dutch from the island in 1642. To connect their new possessions in the North with their possessions in the South, the Dutch forced the king of Middag to acknowledge Dutch overlordship in 1645. In 1661 an army of Ming loyalists invaded the island. A year later the Dutch agreed to leave Taiwan. So between 1645 and 1661 the colonial government of the Dutch was uncontested by anyone. As a result I do not think Taiwan should be included in this quiz.
+2
Level ∞
Nov 24, 2017
That's a pretty convincing case @Calocaerus. What do other people think?
+5
Level 77
Nov 25, 2017
Absolutely the Dutch totally ruled it.
+1
Level 33
Jan 19, 2018
Thank you Calocaerus. Adding Taiwan was Quizmaster's idea (when the quiz got a star). Quizmaster showed me a map of Taiwan from the period, including Kingdom of Mittag. I didn't object it at that time because I trusted it without checking the Wikipedia article. Now I resubmitted the quiz, its waiting the approval.
+6
Level 71
Apr 19, 2018
Kingdom of Middag? Lolwut? Middag means dinner in Swedish. :D
+3
Level 67
Sep 13, 2019
It means afternoon (mid-day) in dutch, and I guess that is also how the swedish word came about, the food you eat at midday. I wonder what the etymology is. I couldnt find it. Middag is the westerm term and not the native, so it could well really just mean afternoon.
+2
Level 29
Mar 25, 2021
Middag is "afternoon" but etymologically (and anciently) it means "midday/noon", which was also used for "South". This is still the case in Italian (mezzogiorno) or French (midi) for example.
+1
Level 32
Apr 19, 2018
I am confused as Taiwan is not on the list, so what's your point?
+21
Level 88
Apr 19, 2018
It should be obvious from the comments that it was previously on the list, but was removed.
+3
Level 67
Sep 13, 2019
Some people just get confused easily ;)
+6
Level 65
Nov 25, 2017
This quiz is not quite accurate.

- Ethiopia was "fully" colonized by the Italians in 1935.

- Parts of the USA were not yet colonized by the time the British were kicked out so wouldnt that mean it should be on the list. Same with Brazil.

- Taiwan was colonized by the Dutch.

- Mongolia was colonized by the Russians for a few years before being given it's independence.

I'm also wondering whether the USA should be counted as a colonialist nation as it is basically European culturally. (Because of the USA is counted, Liberia, Japan and South Korea should not be on this list).

+1
Level 33
Jan 19, 2018
The quiz is accurate, check my responses to other comments.
+1
Level 18
Aug 14, 2021
ethiopia was occupied by the italians but not colonized.in ethiopia nobody speaks italian or eat italian food
+1
Level 60
Sep 4, 2021
no, in some parts of ethiopia the oldest ones still speak some bit of italian, but not like in eritrea.
+1
Level 65
Jan 26, 2024
Wasn't Mongolia more of a puppet state?
+6
Level 33
Nov 27, 2017
Um I'm pretty sure Ethiopia was colonized by the Italians during the 20th century.
+11
Level 82
Nov 28, 2017
Walk around Addis Ababa sometime and you'll see that the Italians built more stuff there in five years than the Ethiopians have managed in the succeeding 70. The center of the city is still called the Piazza.
+11
Level 24
Apr 19, 2018
Yeah, Why would'nt they. They had all the blood money from Colonizing many parts of Africa like Libya, Eritria and Somalia.
+11
Level 82
Apr 19, 2018
Why wouldn't who what? Do you mean why wouldn't the Italians develop the infrastructure and downtown area of Addis Ababa? Is that really the best segue you could come up with to throw out some insult at the Italians? I'm not even saying that they don't deserve it, but... that's just weak.
+1
Level 67
Jul 15, 2021
The Italians always flop in soccer I'm not sure you want to be on this side of things buddy.
+3
Level 82
Jul 16, 2021
The only side I am ever on is reality. No loyalty to any nation, country, "race," religion, political party, or other tribe.
+13
Level 33
Jan 19, 2018
Germany invaded France in WW2. Does that mean Germany colonized France?
+5
Level 95
Apr 19, 2018
Ethiopia has been part of the Italian East Africa from 1936 to 1941.

And yes, France has been part of Germany during World War II, with the exception of Vichy controlled southern France, although it was a puppet state.

+1
Level 65
Jan 26, 2024
That's not what colonization is lol, they just forcefully occupied it, and that's not what this quiz is about
+1
Level 58
Jul 17, 2021
I say if it was only for a few years, it does not count. Germany invaded the Netherlands during World War II, and had complete control of it, but no one would say Germany colonized the Netherlands. And so on. Italy invaded Ethiopia, but was there for about five years. That is not enough time to colonize a country.
+1
Level 70
Jan 23, 2018
Let's try it again! Hawaii has never be claimed by any Europeans, right? This is the ticket for USA to this list! Any objections? ;-)
+7
Level 71
Apr 5, 2018
Then why does their flag have the union jack on it?
+2
Level 56
Oct 24, 2022
They liked the design.
+1
Level 65
Jan 26, 2024
This is actually historically accurate
+1
Level 46
Apr 7, 2018
Hawaii was a British colony. What about the Great Northweast, though? That was first claimed by the US after its independence.
+3
Level 76
Apr 19, 2018
Hawaii was never actually a British colony, despite the union jack on its flag
+1
Level 56
Jul 8, 2020
No indeed. I've a vague idea that, like the Maltese, they asked to be part of the British Empire, but unlike the Maltese they were refused. Their flag takes cues from the Union Jack and the flag of the USA as they wanted to show some kind of friendliness to both powers, as far as I remember.
+1
Level 62
Apr 19, 2018
Funny quiz. I was convinced that Eritrea should have been in the list since it split off from Ethiopia relatively recently. But sure enough: this territory was separately colonized by the Italians back in history.
+1
Level 67
Apr 19, 2018
Had the same thought, and was about to look it up. Thanks for saving me the trouble.
+2
Level 48
Apr 19, 2018
Botswana was a British protectorate. There's also an argument for including Lesotho.

https://www.quora.com/Which-countries-in-Africa-were-never-colonized

+1
Level 56
Jul 8, 2020
Yes - the king of the Basotho (as I think they are called) famously went to meet Queen Victoria to get her to agree to guarantee their independence in some way.
+1
Level 82
Apr 19, 2018
What does "fully colonized" mean, by the way? I mean... the USA is not on this list. When was Boise, Idaho colonized by Europeans?
+5
Level 50
Jul 26, 2018
The USA may not have been fully colonised as such, but it's entirety has been claimed by various European powers in the past.
+2
Level 82
Jul 15, 2021
To claim and to colonize are quite different verbs in my mind. Further, this quiz is trying to make a distinction between "colonize" and "fully colonize," so I was just wondering what that distinction meant. How was the USA fully colonized by Europeans while Ethiopia was only partially colonized? I'm legitimately curious how one draws that distinction, and I imagine that it can't actually be done in any way that makes objective sense. Did the Italians not claim all of Ethiopia? On the map on Wikipedia it certainly looks as though they did.
+1
Level 58
Jul 17, 2021
Italy was in control for five years. They invaded, certainly. But colonizing means exerting control, imposing the colonizing power over the native institutions, profoundly affecting the culture, and maybe also encouraging largescale immigration from the colonizing power. So the USA is not a land of native American groups. It is mostly populated by white people. Its institutions come from England - its form of education, its law system, its language, and so on. In Ethiopia the people are not descendants of Italian settlers, people do not speak Italian as a native language, and there is just not that much Italian influence.

a

+2
Level 82
Jul 17, 2021
I could pick apart that distinction with ease, both by demonstrating how your characterization of the Italian colonization of East Africa is unrealistically minimizing what they did there, and also by pointing to dozens of other countries that are considered, by this quiz and in other places, to have been "fully colonized" where the local people are not descendants of colonists, where they speak their own language, and where there is a similar level of lasting influence. Or, by going back to the US example, pointing to large swaths of the country where there was never any real European colonial presence at all.

So... try again.

+1
Level 70
Sep 13, 2019
There are parts of Alaska that still haven't been "colonised" by anyone, I assume.
+1
Level 50
Jun 29, 2020
Alaska-Russia

13 colonies and hawaii-United Kingdom

Large part of Midwest

Big part of west and florida- Spain

+1
Level 75
Apr 8, 2023
Presumably you meant to put France for the midwest section - Louisiana Purchase
+1
Level 58
Jul 17, 2021
The white people in the USA came from Europe. The whole thing was a colony at some point. However, it is actually a settler nation, which is not quite the same thing.
+1
Level 24
Apr 19, 2018
This quiz is easy if you've played Hearts of Iron Games. All except for Tonga.
+1
Level 72
Oct 16, 2020
I'm not the only one!!
+10
Level 58
Apr 19, 2018
''They never got Ethiopia'' (history of the entire world, i guess)
+2
Level 71
Jun 9, 2020
"They never got Thailand"
+3
Level 28
Apr 19, 2018
Ethiopia should not be on this list. Abyssinia was the last part of Ethiopia to be colonised by the Italians in 1934/5; the rest was already split into "British Somaliland" and "Italian Somaliland
+1
Level 33
Apr 19, 2018
nice quiz, thanks.

but Iran was colonized by the Great Britain and the Russian Empire during WWI and before that.

they actually divided Iran to 2 parts, the northern part for Russia and the Southern part for Britain.

it all goes back to the Constitutional revolution in Iran, while Mohammad Ali Shah of Iran didn't accept the desire of the Iranian people to have a constitutional monarchy like Britain and tried to take the power with the help of Russia.

that is when Vladimir Liakhov of Russia shelled the Majles (the Parliament) of Iran.

and before that, during Queen Victoria's era in Britain, Afghanistan was an Iranian state, but the British government took it from Iran with several Strategical Policies that you can read on Wikipedia. like attacking to the south of Iran to distract the Iranian army from focusing on the Afghanistan area.

+1
Level 50
Nov 18, 2019
never forget macedonia
+2
Level 59
Apr 19, 2018
Yemen? What about Aden?
+3
Level 66
Apr 19, 2018
You forgot Wakanda.
+1
Level 67
Apr 19, 2018
Oh yeah? Well let's see them try to get to my house.
+3
Level 46
Apr 20, 2018
I only knew Liberia cause of Geography Now. XD
+2
Level 34
Apr 20, 2018
Good idea but too many ambiguous and debatable answers judging by all the comments, many of which reflect my reservations.
+4
Level 74
Apr 20, 2018
Ethiopia was colonized by Italy. It became part of Italian Empire on May 9th 1936. The Emperor of Ethiopia was Victor Emanuel III King of Italy, there was a Viceroy, a colonial government. So why is on the list?
+1
Level ∞
Apr 20, 2018
"One of these countries was occupied for five years in the 1930s"
+5
Level 74
Apr 21, 2018
It doesn't make any sense. It colonized, not occupied, 5 years or 50 what's the difference? We are asked about countries colonized, Ethiopia was colonized by Italy for 5 years 1936-1941, not occupied, but colonized.
+2
Level 65
Jul 15, 2021
I agree, full colonization of 100% of the territory and annexed to Italian East Africa together with Eritrea and Somalia.
+1
Level 49
Jul 15, 2021
So technically Crimea is colonized not annexed by Russia?
+3
Level 67
Apr 24, 2018
When you consider the fact that there are over 190 countries in the world and only 16 have never been colonized by Europe...
+1
Level 67
Sep 13, 2019
You forget the fact fact that about a qaurter of that are european countries. (plus during the colonnial era, several places were not independent countries yet).

But yea europe got busy. Yay we have ships, let's rule the world, and hope we don't fall off the edge !

+1
Level 57
Jul 15, 2021
Of course, technically, every single country in the world was colonised by Africans.
+1
Level 89
Jul 1, 2018
What?? No "Why if Istanbul is considered European on all quizzes here, weren't the Ottoman areas controlled by Europe"?
+1
Level 28
Aug 14, 2019
I was surprised at how short the list is :O
+3
Level 21
Nov 1, 2019
You could consider Ethiopia to be 'colonised' because Italy invaded it in 1936
+1
Level 50
Nov 18, 2019
Iran and turkey were colonized, Turkey by the byzantines, romans and macedonians, iran by macedonians
+1
Level 39
Jul 16, 2021
Read the caveat
+2
Level 50
Jan 6, 2020
Was Afghanistan colonized by the USSR in 76? I thought they were
+2
Level 49
Jul 15, 2021
I wouldn't name Soviet–Afghan War as "colonization".
+1
Level 34
Jan 27, 2020
Oman wasn't colonized either, also Mongolia was a 'good friend' of the Soviets, if you catch my drift.

also Kiribati, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands were colonized by Germany but given to Japan after ww1 then the USA gave them independence after ww2.

Also Taiwan was colonized by Portuguese and then dutch, and finally the Japanese so by 1930 it was owned by japan and should be on this list

+1
Level 57
Apr 10, 2020
Didn't both the British and the Soviets control Iran and Afghanistan for periods of time? Also, Italy invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in WWII. Granted, Turkey wasn't a country before the Ottoman rule there, but Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) was.
+1
Level 77
Jul 18, 2021
JohnnyYeet, I think that you are right about Afghanistan.
+2
Level 58
Apr 20, 2020
one country left... time to guess random countries in oceania until it works
+1
Level 75
Oct 5, 2020
*whispers* they never got thailand...

they never got ethiopia...

+1
Level 73
Oct 11, 2020
I wrote Siam instead of Thailand *facepalm*
+1
Level 71
Jul 15, 2021
Eh, that makes sense to me. Siam didn't change its name to Thailand until 1939.
+2
Level 17
Nov 19, 2020
Didn’t the Italians take over Ethiopia at one point?
+1
Level 42
Nov 20, 2020
Iran's name was Persia then so I missed it
+2
Level 64
Feb 23, 2021
Italy annexed Ethiopia
+1
Level 64
Apr 14, 2021
Turkey is at least partly a European country. The Ottoman Empire had significant territory in Europe and acted during the age of colonization in a very similar way as other European countries and colonized other countries. Thus it actually shouldn't be in the list.
+1
Level 39
Jul 15, 2021
But Ottomans didn't colonized, they invaded.
+1
Level 73
Jul 15, 2021
Agreed that the modern-day country of Turkey is partly European, but the Ottoman Empire in every way was regarded as an Asian or "Oriental" empire.
+1
Level 39
Jul 16, 2021
Yup
+2
Level 48
Apr 21, 2021
nepal and bhutan didnt get colonized because they were too useless

.

.

.

.

.

+3
Level 57
Jul 15, 2021
Bhutan was a protectorate though
+2
Level 73
Jul 15, 2021
The status of Nepal and Bhutan is debated and complicated. Nepal was kind of like a princely state after the Treaty of 1814, but she was considered independent. It was only in 1923 when Nepal became completely independent. Similary, Bhutan became independent in 1910. They, however, continued to be "protected states" of British India, a status they still have with India.

Moreover, this comment of yours is very colonial-minded and offensive.

+2
Level 59
May 26, 2021
Nice quiz, missed the 2 Himalayan Countries, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. I felt real good about getting Tonga, thanks Tu'i Tonga Empire!
+3
Level 63
Jul 15, 2021
Can’t believe there are no European countries.
+1
Level 63
Jul 15, 2021
Read the caveat
+2
Level 73
Jul 15, 2021
As other commenters have pointed out, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Yemen shouldn't be on the list. Italy controlled Ethiopia for some time. Afghanistan was a British protectorate for a considerable amount of time while Yemen, or three-fourths of it, was under various levels of British rule.

I'm aware that you don't like to reset a quiz on the day it gets featured, but the mistakes should be corrected.

+2
Level 58
Jul 15, 2021
Iran was occupied but not colonised by the british and russians (basically a preemptive invasion to prevent iran from joining the axis)

Afghanistan, nepal and bhutan were protectorates not colonies.

Liberia is interesting since technically it was a colony of the U.S.A but more in line with the greek colonies being independent of its mother country. However it was created by the U.S. and settled by many americans. It perpose was to create a country for "african" americans to live in. So i would consider it as being colonised by what was a culturally and politically european country.

Mongolia was not a colony though it was briefly occupied by the ussr.

Turkey was a coloniser during most of the early modern to modern periods (1300-1900) and could be considered european in some ways. In fact it was one of the main reasons for the first colonial period of early modern europe as its dominance of the spice trade was the main reason portugal started its colonial empire

+3
Level 56
Jul 15, 2021
Shouldn't partial colonization count as colonization, though? I feel like that defeats the purpose of the quiz unless I'm just being slow.
+2
Level 64
Jul 16, 2021
Wheres Ethiopia Italy had it from about 1936-1945. I know that Italy wasn’t important during WWII but that doesn’t mean you should disregard their colonial possessions at the time :/
+2
Level 25
Jul 18, 2021
America was majority European when they colonized Liberia. And Yemen was controlled by the Anglos.
+1
Level 69
Sep 23, 2021
Shouldn't Hong Kong and Macau being colonized restrict China from this list?
+2
Level 55
Dec 20, 2022
Ethiopia was colonized by Italy; China was colonized by several european powers (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands...); Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Tonga were british protectorates; Mongolia was a satellite of the Soviet Union... come on
+1
Level 72
May 5, 2023
Fun quiz. And to think of the 50+ countries in Africa, only two were not fully colonized by Europeans? Mindblowing.
+1
Level 71
Mar 17, 2024
Ethiopia was colonized by Italy, Nepal and Bhutan were conquered by the UK, Tonga was conquered by the UK, Afghanistan was conquered by Alexander the Great, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were conquered by Rome, Yemen was conquered by the UK, China was conquered by the West during the Period of Humiliation, Russia conquered Mongolia,
+1
Level 36
Mar 21, 2024
those were never officially ''colonised'' by europeans, just controlled or heavily influenced. i know thats picky and annoying, but it is how it is. bhutan and nepal for example were officially independent but definetly actually controlled by the british. and in the caveats it says ''after 1500''
+1
Level 33
Mar 25, 2024
Thailand was colonized by the British, as the Brits called the country "Siam"
+1
Level 56
Apr 16, 2024
They called it that, but it wasn't colonized.