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Copy of Imperialism and Capitalism in the 18th and 19th Century (History and Change))

Lecture 3 in ENVG111

Jess McLean

on 5 August 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Imperialism and Capitalism in the 18th and 19th Century (History and Change))

ENVG111 Geographies of Global Change
18th and 19th Century: Imperialism and Capitalism
Imperialism and capitalism were (and are) processes linked to massive global changes.
19th Century colonialism and imperialism have ongoing reverberations today.
It is important to put capitalism in its historical context so that we avoid 'TINA' explanations of global change.
Human geography studies the relationship between peoples and places/societies and spaces.
Global change happens in specific places, and the specificities of places also affect global processes
Global change is open -- both historically and in the future. It could have been/could be different.
AD 1 Distribution of Hunter-gathers and Agriculture
World distribution of agriculture and hunter–gathering about AD 1(a) and AD 1500 (b).
Source: Sherratt (1980: 97, 117).
1500AD Hunter-gatherers and agriculture
Hunter-gatherers and early agriculture
African empires prior to European Colonisation
The great empires of Africa (AD 900–1500) before European colonization.
Source: Based on The Times Atlas of World History (1989: 136–7). © Collins Bartholomew Ltd 1989, reproduced by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Or just largest??
France towards the end of the feudal period, showing the political fragmentation typical of many parts of Europe prior to the appearance of modern states.

Source: Based on The Times Atlas of World History (1989: 15.1). © Collins Bartholomew Ltd 1989, reproduced by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
A medieval town, Altstadt, in Germany, showing evidence of planning.
Fiefdom means an area controlled by a feudal lord. Feudal lords were often arranged in a hierarchy with the top dog being a king. Each lord owed 'fealty' to his overlord, which mean loyalty and soldiers and resources when required. Other than that they pretty much just did what they liked!
What Marx said:
Marx defined societies by their 'modes of production'. This is an economic classifcation of societies, and is still widely used. Pre-Modern classifications included:
Primitive – everyone produced their own needs, surplus went to self or family, or no surplus.
Ancient – slaves (e.g. Greece & Rome). Surplus labour extracted by slave owners.
Feudal – peasants and landlords. Surplus extracted by landlords
Learning Outcomes
Understand present global realities in their historical context
Appreciate the importance of geographical diffusion in processes of social change
Familiarity with some of the global effects of colonialism and imperialism.
Be aware of different economic systems other than capitalism
Appreciate the historical contingencies of the development of capitalism including its relationship to colonialism and imperialism.
Model of Ancient Rome
The Forbidden City, Beijing
Maps of Imperial China from various eras
Changing world geographies
Taking the land that was communally farmed and 'enclosing' it. All profits went to the land 'owner'.
Meant a whole lot of people were kicked off the land and had to go find jobs. It's not as good as it sounds. Really difficult times with lots of urban and rural poverty.
Escape from poverty and oppression?
Rural to Urban
Old world to 'New World'
Finding cool new places and mapping the world?
Or seeking out new trade routes to make money?
Or spreading the gospel and/or benefits of 'civilisation'?
Or conquering and colonising weaker places in order to exploit them?
What was the goal of exploration?
Or all of the above, differently so at different times in different places?
Captain Cook
Procrastination: Would we do things differently today? Or would missionaries and traders and settlers still stuff it up?

This book by Mary Doria Russell asks this question when humans discover life on another planet.
Colonialism: from 'colonus' or farmer. Usually involves a transfer of population to a new territory, where the arrivals live as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegience to their country of origin.
(Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy)
Examples of colonies:
New Zealand and Australia were British colonies
New Zealand soldiers in WWI
NZ Maori Battalion in Egypt, 1941
Why Egypt?
Queen Victoria: ruler of the British Empire
Examples of Imperialism:
Britain dominated India and Uganda, focusing on ruling rather than settling.
Historical Trajectories
Imperialism and Capitalism
A symbiotic relationship?
Capitalism: a historically specific economic system in which production and distribution are designed to accumulate capital and create profit.

The system is characterised by the separation of those who own the means of production and those who work for them.
What Marx Said:
In addition to the modes of production described as premodern, he adds:
How would this work on a global scale?
World Systems Theory
Regulated (pre-modern) States
Bands and Tribes
More socially stratified than bands and tribes.
But chiefs only have 'hegemony' over people (not necessarily territory)
Bound by rules and mutual obligations
Merchant Trading
Knox and Marston (2010: 53)
WST divides up space into core, periphery and semiperiphery.
Core: those regions in the world that dominate in trade, technology, productivity and economic diversity
Periphery: those regions with dependent and disadvantageous trading relations, poor technology, specialised economies and low productivity.
Semi-periphery: transitional regions that exploit peripheries but are in turn exploited by the core.
The core is like the capitalist
The periphery is like the working class
The semi-periphery is like the middle class?
For most of NZ's Colonial history, it exported sheep meat and wool to Britain. An example of a specialised and dependent economy.
Dominating the World System
Leadership cycles:
One state gains economic, political, and military hegemony for a particular period.
They are able to set and enforce the terms for trade, political alliance, and even cultural practices by virtue of their power.
Modern world system thought to have had 5 cycles so far.
Colonialism/imperialism and capitalism have played important roles
Portugal's claims to the New World
Britain:Battle of Waterloo
America: Gulf War
The Role of Technology?
The Industrial Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century was driven by a technology system based on water power and steam engines, cotton textiles, ironworking, river transportation systems, and canals. Each new technology system opens new geographic frontiers and rewrites the geography of economic development, shifting the balance of advantages between regions.
Knox and Marston (2010)
But why does technology develop in some places and not others?
Dependency Theory
Development and underdevelopment are opposite sides of the same coin.
Andre Gundar Frank, 1966
One gets the impression that the history of mankind has been one happy, relaxed and peaceful exchange of ideas, stimulating progress here, there and everywhere where contact between societies is made.

Cultural diffusion appears as a friendly merchant traveller, a timeless Marco Polo, innocently roaming the world, gently picking up a few ideas in one place and harmlessly depositing them in another.

Incredulously … ‘domination’, ‘exploitation’, ‘imperialism’ and ‘colonialism’ are not discussed … (Hoogvelt, 1976: 18 as cited in Webster, 1990: 61).
Imperialism and Capitalism in Africa
Ongoing effects

First world developed BECAUSE OF colonial relationships which UNDERDEVELOPED those places.

Wealth has a net flow from periphery towards the core, so that the periphery can NEVER develop while in trade relations with the core.

Development must occur through breaking relations with the core, and substituting imports with domestic industry.
But then how did America become part of the core by 1900?
Because it was exploiting the free labour of slaves.
Materialities of power
Any Hope?

Reading: Knox and Marston Chapter 2
Power and domination have shaped today's world.
While places are still unique and important, we can also identify some global processes (imperialism & capitalism) and trends affecting almost everywhere, with ongoing consequences.
These global processes affect places differently.
See summary on page 63
Next Lecture:
Prof Bob Fagan on Industrialisation and the Making of the 20th Century World.
Want More?
Read chapters 1 and 2 of An Introduction to Human Geography. This book is available in reserve at the library.
Shaw, D (2012) 'Pre-Capitalist Worlds'
Slater, T (2012) 'The rise and spread of capitalism'
Daniels, P., M. Bradshaw, D. Shaw and J. Sidaway. (2008) An Introduction to Human Geography: Issues for the 21st Century. Pearson Prentice Hall: Harlow.
In reading the history of capitalism.....
IMPORTANT: need to understand this basic idea
Good diagram to copy
Watch these later as revision, or if you didn't understand everything today
Because it cut itself off from Britain and became independent -- processing many of its own goods
Full transcript