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Chapter 20: Colonial Encounters
Transcript of Chapter 20: Colonial Encounters
Colonial Encounters 1750-1914
Cooperation and Rebellion
Cooperation with European colonialists was often to the advantage of conquered people in Asia and Africa.
The Europeans relied heavily on local officials to run their territories.
An example of this is the widespread use of African chiefs to govern regions of French West Africa.
Occasionally, Europeans would give some of their colonial subjects a Western education and employ them to serve the colonial government.
Not all conquered peoples were cooperative, as seen in the Indian Rebellion of 1857-1858.
This violent rebellion did not put power back into Indian hands; rather, it caused higher levels of racism and distrust by the British toward the Indians.
This rebellion did, however, end the absolute rule of the British East India company.
Colonial Empires with a Difference
European empire building during this period was different from other periods of empire building in several different ways.
A growing trend of "scientific racism," in which colonial subjects were seen as inferior to Europeans, emerged.
The prolonged contact and inequality between Europeans and Africans in South Africa led to the system of discrimination later known as apartheid.
Another difference from other empires was the way in which Europeans cultures and ways of life were imposed upon African and Asian peoples.
Europeans claimed (and sometimes fabricated) the notion of African "tribes" in order to make Africans seem primitive and backward.
European despotism and dictatorship contradicted their increasingly democratic governments in their own countries.
Economies of Coercion: Forced Labor and the Power of the State
During the Colonial era there were new ways of working such as required unpaid labor. They mostly made people work on public projects like building railroads, building government buildings, and transporting goods.
The natives of French Africa had to server 10-12 days of legally forced labor every year. In British Africa the British Officials treated the people badly and made them work a lot.
In the Congo Free State, private companies that were under the authority made villagers gather rubber because it was in high demand for bike and car tires.
The Belgian government took control of Congo in 1908 because the Europeans were outraged and started making scandals about them.
In the Netherlands east Indies (Indonesia) there was another kind of form of forced labor. The government demanded 20% of the crops from peasants. Then it the cash crops were sold to government contractors at a fixed low price and resold them for a high profit.
But many countries could resist the cultivation of cash crops successfully. Such as German East Africa where a massive rebellion in 1905 made the Germans put a stop the the forced growing of cotton.
Economies of Cash-Crop Agriculture: The Pull Of the Market
Many people in Asian and African societies were already producing goods for international markets without being forced to.
Some places that were under colonial rule were actually increasing cash crop to the advantage of the local farmers.
Places like Burma which was under British authority encouraged rice production. The conditions in which they lived in boomed along with their population
The colonial development also had consequences that harmed the environment. In the Mekong River of Delta of the French-ruled Vietnam destroyed mangrove trees, swamplands and the fish that was there. Also agriculture generates a lot of methane gas which also destroys the environment.
The cacao was nice because it did not take up a lot of labor time and was compatible with foods.
The colonies started to specialize in 1 or 2 cash crops which created a unhealthy independence when the worlds market dropped.
the education of europe traveled with it as many countries colonized africa. This led to Africans who were illiterate and had no form of education becoming literate and studying western education. This helped them get better jobs and put them higher up in social status within their own societies.
Education also was a bad thing, it set up more social barriers in societies, and in terms of India, those who were educated made reform societies that tried to change indian culture in terms of marriage, caste, religion, writing and discrimination against women.
After people got educated, they realized that european rule was an obstacle of their countries' development instead of helpng them achieve those developments.
By 1910 around 10,000 missionaries had gone to african countries in order to convert people to Christianity and by 1960's, 50 million AFricans had converted into Christianity.
Christianity was considered a form of education and as education was valuable and a way to "start a new life", Christianity became fully accepted. Christianity was also widely accepted into African societies because they wanted education, and education was usually taught in missionary schools. Christianity in africa spread with the help of african teachers and pastors, and opened up many new positions and gave freedom for women and people.
Race and title
Assessing Colonial Development
Yi Feng Qin
There are many conflicting views on the economic impacts of the colonization in Asia and Africa.
Three things were and are widely accepted:
Colonial rule served to further the integration of Asian and African economies into a global network of exchange which was centered in Europe.
Europeans input their own elements of modernizing the areas in which they were involved. Due to European racism, they felt that the colonies needed improvement and they only way to do so was to input European knowledge
Japan had the biggest breakthrough to a modern industrial society.
The europeans' influence on the colonies in Asia and africa forced the native peoples to think about themsellves under a differnt light.
In Africa Christianity was altered and mixed
with their own religions, such as uses of charms.
Some stuck with their own religion and resisted to
convert to Christianity.
In India not many people converted to Christianity And Swami Vivekananda thought that reviving Hinduism and focusing on it would revive villages which would be the counter to Britain and Europe. This led to the muslim communities in india being more distinct than ever.
Just like in other colonial territories, people in Africa made new ways of living off of the colonial life. Many african thinkers came up with an african identity, combining all of the people of Africa under one group that had the common experience of oppression by colonists. People soon started to revive the cultural self-confidence by representing an african tradition which was equivalent to western culture. Noting that europeans often praised empires, african intellectuals pointed out the Mali empire. They also pointed out that europeans took much from older african societies such as the egyptians. others defined an african identity by pointing out the differences between africa and europe.
A Second Wave of European Conquests
The first wave of European colonialism occurred between 1750 and 1900 and was largely concentrated in the Americas.
During the era of industrialization, Europeans began their second wave of conquest, now largely focused on Asia and Africa.
During the "scramble for Africa," European powers, especially France and Great Britain, began to stake their claims on African territories.
Colonization of Africa was generally characterized by peaceful negotiations between European powers over who got what part of Africa and violent conflicts with the natives of the African territories.
Colonization of Africa was quickly followed by the colonization of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Some notable exceptions to the trend of colonialism were Thailand (then called Siam) and Ethiopia, both of which used good diplomacy and giving European powers some of what they wanted to avoid being colonized.
Other countries, like Vietnam, were indecisive on whether to fight to resist colonial rule or to accept that resistance was futile.
Economies of Wage Labor: Working for Europeans
Women and the Colonial Economy: An African Case Study
During the precolonial times, most of the women worked as farmers. In charge of weeding, planting, harvesting along with child care and food preparation. For that reason, they are also responsible for feeding their own families that's why they are given their own fields. Also participated in local trading. In colonies, cash-crop agriculture is very dominant, women's work often increases because of men taking over the much more profitable crops such as cacao and cotton, leaving the domestic food production to women. Women worked even more when jobs in the cities started to pop up and men goes for the job while leaving the women work behind in the rural areas. this further increased the responsibility of women because sometimes they have to even send food to their husbands in the cities because of the low paying wages. Increasing the women's working hours to up to more than 70 hours per week. Women then find something to make their lives easier by getting closer to their families, self-help associations, and the one that had the most impact and given the opportunity laid by the colonial economy, trade has become a major factor in their difficult way of living. Women then became their heads of the households while their husbands being away, some took advantage of going to mission schools, towns, and mines to see if such restriction between men and women still exist. But mostly men accused women of being weak, and practice of witchcraft. This also led to men governing the law about how women should not be allowed to go out of their rural households and men's control over women is really just a common interest of most African and European men.
Times are tough, losing land, need of money are common issues across aSia and Africa Families. But when large plantations started to show up all over southeast asia, most people are made to work or goes to work there. with the unfair conditions of being forced to work under very low wages, women taking 50-75% of a men's wage, and housed poorly. Disease came under these conditions and 1 out of 20 plantations workers die. a lot of people went to european farms since more of it is in Africa Than in asia. more african men losing land because of the European communities. in 1913, a law is passed that white men controls 88% of the land in south africa amounting to just 20% of the whole population in the country. an agricultural region in kenya that housed the Gikuyu and Kamba people was taken away by 4000 white men. even the Africans who have stayed there are forced to live as squatters because of the new landowners. and working under bad conditions such as erosions, soil fortility decline, and cleared hillsides proved to be a huge ecological degradation to European farms. mines were another source of work for men in africa and asia. Tin mines became extremely popular and mostly mined by the chinese. though the gold and diamond mines in south africa. though, white men are paid more because of the skilled work while the africans formed a short term contract and lower wages because of their unskilled work. Also making them live to prison like barracks and curfews to prevent them from making their own families near the mines. the expanding colonial cities in the world attracted a lot of people to work. giving kind of a hierarchy where elites and wealthy businessmen occupied the top cities in Southeast Asia, the Western educated people working as doctors, teachers, and mostly as European clerks. the working class elite which worked on railways, and manufacturing goods and the lowest which are the food sellers, construction workers, prostitutes, domestic servants who became the urban poor of the colonial cities.