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Transcript of SS102 Imperialism
Modern Empire or New Imperialism, 1870-1914
Ideas About Empire
Types of Empire:
empires as process
no empire really hegemonic
Justifications for Imperialism
Connection between state and nation building
Colonies to unify a nation
Cultural forces and “civilizing”
British & French Empires
British in India
conquest began in the 1750s
At first British East India Trading Company
basically their own state (military, taxes)
1857 - a mutiny by Indian troops leads to British government taking over
led to British raj (rule) instead
governed directly but also use of collaborators
Question of whether to preserve Indian culture or try to convert to British
criticism of Indian culture, like practice of sati
By 1914, India Britain's largest export market, 1/10 of all British Empire trade passed through India’s port cities
Use of Indian troops in WWI & WWII
The Scramble for Africa
1875 – 11% of Africa under European control; 1902 – 90% under European control
Example – Congo Free State -- Leopold II of Belgium sent a group to trade in the Congo
(Resources of palm oil and natural rubber and possibility of diamonds)
Conference in Berlin (1884) divided up African territories
Before & After
French Empire After 1870
French defeated by Germans in Franco-Prussian War defeat (1870-71)
use empire to recover
“civilizing mission” as a responsibility to spread French ideals and republican ideas
French leader Jules Ferry: “the superior races have a right vis-à-vis the inferior races…they have a right to civilize them.”
France acquired Tunisia (1881), northern and central Vietnam (Tonkin and Annam, 1883), Laos and Cambodia (1893) and West Africa (1895 – formed French West Africa (Guinea, Senegal, Ivory Coast)
Some recognized the contradictions of the “civilizing mission”
China - A Different Kind of Imperialism
China - had luxury goods
Europe - opium (by way of India)
Triangle trade of India, Europe, China
Chinese government tried to move against opium
1839-42 First Opium War won by Brits
1856-1860 - Second Opium War won by Brits and French
"Open door policy"
Chinese government losing stability
Racism & Imperialism
Count Arthur de Gobineau – The Inequality of the Races
Claimed white race purer blood lines and superior and other races degenerate
Use of science – use of Charles Darwin’s ideas of survival of the fittest and natural selection
imperialism in context of Second Industrial Revolution
ability to travel farther
ability to survive
size and scope
What does orientalism look like?
Depictions are an author or artist’s vision, not reality
Aids Western domination through defining the East in these stereotyped terms
present in cultural and academic products
Orientalism in Opera
dichotomy of West versus East through a lead male character versus a lead female character
setting in exotic locale
Female character exotic beauty (sensuous and dangerous)
male lead seduced the woman; under her spell
Conclusion: West wins in the end
Opera Carmen's Setting
Composer: Georges Bizet (never been to Spain)
Carmen premiered at the Opera-Comique in Paris in 1875
Set in Spain
an exotic, orientalist location?
Why would Spain be considered a non-Western locale?
Bare Bones Plot Summary
Act 1: Micaela and Don Jose plan to get married but Carmen appears and seduces him with a
song and escapes, promising to meet him later at Lillas Pastia's, a bar.
Act 2: Recently released Don Jose shows up and Carmen dances for him.
Act 3: Carmen is now tired of Don Jose and leaves him alone for a while. Escamillo, who is the bull fighter and is now in love with Carmen, shows up and he and Don Jose get into a fight when Escamillo tells Don Jose of his love.
Act 4: A Bullfight is taking place and it is learned that Carmen is now in love with Escamillo. Jose shows up and confronts her but she says she does not love him anymore. Jose continues to plead with her and then stabs her to death.
Carmen (gypsy, local factory worker and generally wanton woman)
Don Jose (soldier)
Micaela (a modest woman who Don Jose's mother wants him to marry),
Escamillo – bull fighter interested in Carmen
The Character of Carmen, representing the "East" or "Other"
Depiction in Bizet’s libretto
Exotic, sensual woman
Don Jose struck by her beauty & shamelessness
“If sorceresses do exist, she is certainly one”
Carmen puts her body on display
Very friendly with the fellas
Carmen is a threat to Western ideals and the social order
Bohemian lifestyle; loose morals
Rash emotions not reason
“Habanera” – love as a “rebellious” or “mutinous” bird no one can tame
“Si je t'aime regarde a toi” meaning, "If I love you, watch out!"
After Don Jose is seduced, Carmen’s death becomes necessary
In identifying and depicting the Orient, the West needs to control and destroy it.
Orientalism and the opera Carmen
Orientalism in the Music of Carmen
Bizet uses “Western” sounding music and contrasts it with “non-Western”
Don Jose becomes more and more chromatic (under Carmen’s spell)
At the end, return of the military march (the West has won)
Female voice as different
Other orientalist operas – use of extreme range
use of repetition in the music
Represent “stagnant Eastern culture”
Carmen does not always use words in singing
Francis Galton - best way to improve racial characteristics was through selective breeding
advocated eugenics – selective breeding of peoples with proper traits, including race, to revitalize European populations
Name, Date, Section Number
What was one way Europeans justified imperialism (expanding their empires) and the ill treatment of other peoples?