Imperialism has been one of the most powerful forces in human history, serving to set the foundation of our modern world. While this has led to the formation of a global society where cultures, ideas, and innovations are spread across countries, imperialism has also left a history of exploitation, racism, and violence that is still affecting the world today. Imperial relationships are always imbalanced when it comes to power and influence; that is, one group (known as the metropole) maintains authority and control over another group (known as the periphery) with economic, political, and cultural dominance (Spiegel 2012). There are many reasons why one group chooses to dominate the other, such as expanding territory, extracting raw resources to fuel economic development, or to spread their beliefs (i.e. religion) (Spiegel 2012). In spite of these varied reasons, one of the main motivators for imperialism began with competition between empires.
How should an empire assert their claim to territory and how should they govern it? This question is important because there are a number of methods an empire could employ presiding over a colony. For example the French empire employed a system call direct rule. The French rulers wanted to assimilate or incorporate the peoples of West Africa . The British however preferred a system called indirect rule and it was applied to many of their West African colonies including Nigeria and Ghana. It has proven to be detrimental to problems in Africa and can be linked to the political past of the British colonial government. The goal of this paper is to expose the reasons for indirect rule in British colonies and the negative impact of post colonial development in West Africa.
Gomez magnifies the untold history of the African people throughout the book. The initial three chapters of this work are referred to as “Old World Dimensions” bring Africa’s independence, strength, and significance to the forefront. The remaining five chapters examines what he refers to as the “New World Realities”. In the beginning of the book he explains the grounds and power Africans possessed in the early Eastern (Mediterranean) world. Gomez stressed two key matters throughout the book. He makes prominent that the arrival of the Europeans in the fifteenth century and the transatlantic slave trade that followed, unfortunately resulting in African Diaspora, was but the tip of the iceberg of who the people and their story. Africa and its citizens did, in fact, have a strong history prior the European’s arrival. Gomez turns to acknowledge Africa(ns)
The study of the Atlantic as an interwoven community is a relatively new theory. Historians are beginning to see Atlantic History as “a sudden and harsh encounter between two old worlds that transformed both and integrated them into a single New World” , and not just separate entities with detached pasts. Atlantic History: Concept and Contours by Bernard Bailyn lays the framework for what Atlantic History is and how it should be studied. Bailyn states that the reasoning behind writing the book is that previous historians focus too much on the imperial history of the Atlantic world, when in fact the colonized areas had just as much of an effect on European powers as Europe had on their colonies. In this concise two part book, Bailyn’s main argument is that the concept of Atlantic History was inevitable because it is impossible to look at any major event of this time period without seeing its effects ripple throughout the entire Atlantic world.
Chapter Five is entitled “The Government and the Economy of the Reign of Charles V” and in it Elliot argues that after Ferdinand 's death in 1516, his successor Charles I of Spain, V of the Holy Roman Empire, inherited a thriving, pacified, quasi-united kingdom that had access to the incredible wealth of the Americas. The problem, the author suggests, was that Charles and his successors did not fully understand the complexity of the Spanish system they inherited.
European powers shamelessly exploited the people and resources of Africa in the 19th century. They often tried to justify their actions by using ideology, religion and moralism. After the end of the African slave trade, the development of steam power, and medical discovery, European nations started exploring not only the coast but also the unmapped interior of the continent. In this essay, I will explain the main driving forces behind African Imperialism. The Western europeans countries all competed for land and resources because of their self interest. They sought natural resources, and technology gave them the ability to exploit them. The philosophy of national pride however, was the primary reason. (Main document) (Doc C, D & B)
“Victors and Vanquished,” through excerpts of Bernal Diaz del Castillo The True History of the Conquest of New Spain and indigenous testimonies from the Florentine Codex, represents the clash between European and indigenous cultures and how there was no simple “European” or “indigenous” view. Rather, there were a variety of European and indigenous opinions and interpretations that were influenced by personal interests, social hierarchy and classes, ethnic biases and political considerations.
“African Perspectives on Colonialism” is a book written by A. Adu Boahen. This book classifies the African responses to European colonialism in the 19th century. Boahen begins with the status of Africa in the last quarter of the 19th century and follows through the first years of African independence. This book deals with a twenty year time period between 1880 and 1900. Boahen talks about when Africa was seized and occupied by the Imperial Powers of Europe. Eurocentric points of view dominated the study of this era but Boahen gives us the African perspective. There are always two sides of the story and Boehen tells us the side less talked about informing us of what he knows.
How do words affect our view on history and do our modern terms change our perception of the times being examined? Robert Bartlett’s usage of terms such as “ethnicity” and “colonialism”, addresses an important question of modern concepts in our understanding of the medieval past. The purpose of this paper is to make connections of the key ideas of Robert Bartlett’s use of these words ethnicity and colonization in his book “The Hanged Man” drawing from his own explanations from his articles, “Medieval and Modern Concepts of Race and Ethnicity” and “Medieval and Modern Colonialism.” Bartlett attempts, in his own discussions, to define these terms in relation to its historical contexts. His attempt in clarifying these two terms has been critiqued by other historian in other publications offered by William Chester Jordan and Francis West. Their critiques will further reveal the continuing debate on the ever-changing stance for implementing the words ethnicity and colonialism.
The purpose of this book is to offer his perspective on how Africans were treated in the Americas from 1550 to 1812.
Within the NO portion the author states several things to support that imperialistic rule by Britain was not primarily economic. Industrial Europe required a highly specialized world, in which some areas would produce food for its industrial proletariat, others would produce raw materials for the industrial process, and the entire world would constitute a market for industrial goods. But to achieve this Europe needed to recast the world in its own image, to create the same infrastructures and similar institutions that would permit resources to be exploited and trade conducted (MacKenzie 99). This shows that imperialistic rule by Britain and other European nations was not solely economic but more so a way to gain materials, trade materials, and expand their cultures and receive outside cultural influence through imperialistic rule rather than using imperialistic
The controversial scholarly journal of Robert S Wolff explores the history of the first trade encounters between the Portuguese in Africa and Asia, controversy lying in its separation from the Western narrative. Throughout the article, the author is trying to figure out the motives or other considerations playing a role behind the actions of Portuguese and other Europeans, such as choosing violent ways of making a profit in the lands of Africa and Asia, rather than using the existing trade networks, to emerge as the world ruler. In his view, Europeans had claimed themselves to be the “center of the world” way before they have risen to that title. European countries were looking for profitable trade in wealthy lands full of gold, consequently lack of resources and other valuable goods became a barrier to their success in the already existing channels.This is seen in da Gamma’s first encounter with the local ruler of Calicut, where his gifts were considered substandard to that of the poorest merchant, as seen by the local advisor.
The study of British colonialism is a rather new field with much to discuss and a lot more to debate. The recent recognition of new nation-states that were once under the control of Britain was a growing phenomenon and one that continues to play a large role in today’s global politics. Since the rather recent period of these new nations, new study’s have been done into the history of a) the peoples that inhabited the land before Britain, b) the way Britain occupied and control and land, and now c) post-Britain. This is a growing topic in the historical field because seventy-five years ago there was no thought that Britain would relieve control of India or Nigeria. That is why post-British colonialism is important to today, because it is a