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II. a second Wave of European Conquests

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Africanization of Christianity: Process that occurred in non-Muslim Africa, where millions who were converted to Christianity sought to maintain older traditions alongside new Christian ideas; many converts continued using protective charms and medicines and consulting local medicine men, and many continued to believe in their old gods and spirits.

apartheid: Afrikaans term literally meaning “aparthood”; the system that developed in South Africa of strictly limiting the social and political integration of whites and blacks. (pron. uh-PART-hite)

Blyden, Edward: Prominent West African scholar and political leader (1832–1912) who argued that each civilization, including that of Africa, has its own unique contribution to make to the world.

cash-crop agriculture: Agricultural production, often on a large scale, of crops for sale in the market, rather than for consumption by the farmers themselves.

colonial racism: A pattern of European racism in their Asian and African colonies that created a great racial divide between Europeans and the natives, and limited native access to education and the civil service, based especially on pseudo-scientific notions of naturally superior and inferior races.

colonial tribalism: A European tendency, especially in African colonies, to identify and sometimes invent distinct “tribes” that had often not existed before, reinforcing European notions that African societies were primitive.

Congo Free State/Leopold II: Leopold II was king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909; his rule as private owner of the Congo Free State during much of that time is typically held up as the worst abuse of Europe’s second wave of colonization, resulting as it did in millions of deaths.

cultivation system: System of forced labor used in the Netherlands East Indies in the nineteenth century; peasants were required to cultivate at least 20 percent of their land in cash crops, such as sugar or coffee, for sale at low and fixed prices to government contractors, who then earned enormous profits from further sale of the crops.

Indian Rebellion, 1857–1858: Massive uprising of much of India against British rule; also called the Indian Mutiny or the Sepoy Mutiny from the fact that the rebellion first broke out among Indian troops in British employ.

informal empires: Term commonly used to describe areas such as Latin America and China that were dominated by Western powers in the nineteenth century but that retained their own governments and a measure of independence.

invention of tradition: In many colonial states, a process of forging new ways of belonging and self-identification that defined and to some extent mythologized the region’s past, especially to create broader terms of belonging than had existed before.

scramble for Africa: Name used for the process of the European countries’ partition of the continent of Africa between themselves in the period 1875–1900.

Vivekananda, Swami: Leading religious figure of nineteenth-century India (1863–1902); advocate of a revived Hinduism and its mission to reach out to the spiritually impoverished West. (pron. vee-vikah-NAHN-dah)

Western-educated elite: The main beneficiaries in Asian and African lands colonized by Western powers; schooled in the imperial power’s language and practices, they moved into their country’s professional classes but ultimately led anticolonial movements as they grew discouraged by their inability to win equal status to the colonizers.

Chapter Questions

Following are answer guidelines for the Big Picture questions and Margin Review questions that appear in the textbook chapter, and answer guidelines for the chapter’s two Map Activity questions located in the Online Study Guide at strayer. For your convenience, the questions and answer guidelines are also available in the Computerized Test Bank.

Big Picture Questions

1. Why were Asian and African societies incorporated into European colonial empires later than those of the Americas? How would you compare their colonial experiences?

• Europeans incorporated Asian and African societies into their empires later than those of the Americas for a number of reasons, including their lack of a disease advantage over indigenous populations and, indeed, in the case of tropical regions the distinct disease disadvantage of Europeans compared to indigenous populations.

• Also a factor was the Europeans’ reliance on military advantages gained from the Industrial Revolution.

• And there was internal competition between European states that drove the accumulation of colonial territories in the nineteenth century despite the inherent risks and expenses involved in ruling directly.

• In comparing colonial experiences, the colonial period in Asia and Africa had nothing like the devastating demographic consequences for indigenous peoples in the Americas.

• Slavery on plantations was a critical feature of the colonial experience in the Americas but not in Asia and Africa.

• Spain and Portugal played a much smaller role in the creation of European colonial empires in Asia and Africa as compared to the Americas.

• While European colonizers did have an impact on some regions of Africa, they had a greater impact on the Americas.

2. In what ways did colonial rule rest upon violence and coercion, and in what ways did it elicit voluntary cooperation or generate benefits for some people?

• Colonial rule rested upon violence and coercion in that many colonies were seized with military force; rebellions were regularly suppressed using violence; and forced labor was regularly extracted from the populations of colonies.

• However, the colonial system also relied on voluntary cooperation. Local leaders were often used as intermediary rulers between the colonial administrators and the populations, thus those local leaders were able to maintain much of their social prestige and often gained in wealth.

• A small group of Western-educated members of colonial societies benefited from better-paying jobs, elite status within their own societies, and escape from the most onerous obligations of living under European control, such as forced labor.

• Some common people benefited by gaining access to foreign markets for their cash crops or by securing relatively good employment, working as soldiers, on railways, at ports, or for other parts of the colonial regime.

3. In what respects were colonized people more than victims of colonial conquest and rule? To what extent could they act in their own interests within the colonial situation?

• Although clearly many colonial people suffered under colonial rule, this chapter includes numerous examples of colonized peoples working within the new colonial system to their own benefit, including cash-crop farmers in Burma and Ghana who benefited from colonial trade.

• Some African women became small-scale traders within the colonial system or were able to alter traditional parts of the patriarchal system.

• Certain colonial people secured Western educations and then used them to secure a higher social status and better jobs.

• Local rulers became intermediaries between local populations and colonial powers and benefited from their positions.

4. Was colonial rule a transforming, even a revolutionary, experience, or did it serve to freeze or preserve existing social and economic patterns? What evidence can you find to support both sides of this argument?

• Colonial rule varied from place to place, and so evidence for both of these scenarios can be found.

• For evidence of colonial rule being a transforming, even a revolutionary, experience, students might point to the experience of African women, some of whom found greater autonomy over their day-to-day lives than before because of changed living patterns that removed men to the cities, and some of whom found new economic autonomy as they took advantage of opportunities in trade.

• Students could also point to the new opportunities offered to some farmers of cash crops, like those in Burma or Ghana, who were able to tap into the colonial trade networks for their own benefit.

• Large-scale conversion of some populations to Christianity was also a transformative experience for those who converted.

• Finally, students might point to the minority who secured Western educations, which transformed both their lives and often their vision of their own society.

• For evidence of the freezing or preserving of existing social and economic patterns, students could point to the detrimental aspects of the colonial economy, which meant that no colonial society underwent industrialization in anything like the manner of Japan.

• This effectively meant that the economies of colonized countries remained based in agriculture and the production of raw materials and cash crops.

• It also stunted the growth of the middle class in those countries.

• Moreover, the tendency of colonial states to rule through local elites had the effect of maintaining the social status quo.

Margin Review Questions

Q. In what different ways did the colonial takeover of Asia and Africa occur?

• In many regions, European colonial takeovers occurred through the use (or threatened use) of military force.

• Particularly in India, the British East India Company, rather than the British government directly, played the leading role in the colonial takeover of South Asia.

• The British in South Asia and the Dutch in Indonesia were able to assert themselves in part because the regions were politically fragmented.

• In Africa, the colonial takeover coincided with intense competition between European powers to establish colonial holdings, followed by slower efforts to enforce their claims.

Q. Why might subject people choose to cooperate with the colonial regime? What might prompt them to rebel or resist?

• Subject peoples might choose to cooperate for a number of reasons, including the employment, status, and security that they found in European-led armed forces.

• There might be an opportunity for some local elites to maintain much of their earlier status and privileges while gaining considerable wealth by working as local intermediaries for the colonial powers and exercising authority, both legally and otherwise, at the local level.

• European education created a small Western-educated class, whose members served the colonial state.

• Many chose to resist colonial rule, including local rulers who had lost power; landlords deprived of their estates or their rent; peasants overtaxed by moneylenders and landlords alike; unemployed weavers displaced by machine-manufactured European goods; and local religious leaders threatened by the missionary activities that accompanied colonial expansion.

Q. What was distinctive about European colonial empires of the nineteenth century?

• The nineteenth-century European colonial empires differed from earlier empires in several important ways, including the prominence of race in distinguishing between rulers and ruled.

• Also distinctive was the extent to which colonial states were able to penetrate the societies they governed.

• They had a penchant for counting and classifying their subject peoples.

• Their policies for administrating their colonies contradicted their core values and their practices at home to an unusual degree.

Q. How did the power of colonial states transform the economic lives of colonial subjects?

• Some groups found ways of working within and profiting from the colonial system, including some farmers who produced cash crops for export, as was the case of rice cultivation for export in Burma and the raising of cacao in Ghana.

• Others learned to find a place within the system, like those African women who became small-scale traders.

• Wage labor on plantations and in mines became a far more common way to sustain oneself.

Q. How did cash-crop agriculture transform the lives of colonized peoples?

• In some regions, like Burma and the Gold Coast, colonial promotion of cash crops for trade benefited the farmers who participated in the


• In other regions, like the Netherlands East Indies, cash-crop agriculture was forced on the local population by the colonial power, burdening the people and contributing to a wave of famines.

• Cash-crop agriculture did lead to some social changes, as the cultivation of crops for markets and wage labor on plantations that were set up to grow cash crops shifted normal labor patterns.

Q. What kinds of wage labor were available in the colonies? Why might people take part in it? How did doing so change their lives?

• Members of colonial societies could find paid work in European-owned plantations and mines, on construction projects, or as household servants.

• Their participation was driven by the need for money, by the loss of land adequate to support their families, or sometimes by the orders of colonial authorities.

• Their lives became dependent on wages that were low and earned through hard and often dangerous labor. Many colonial workers settled in overcrowded cities where, because of the cost of living, normal family life was virtually impossible for many wage laborers.

Q. How were the lives of African women altered by colonial economies?

• Before colonization, African women were almost everywhere active farmers, with responsibility for planting, weeding, and harvesting in addition to food preparation and child care. Women were expected to feed their own families and often were allocated their own fields for that purpose, and many were also involved in local trading activity. Though clearly subordinate to men, African women nevertheless had a measure of economic autonomy.

• Following colonization, women’s lives diverged more and more from those of men. Women dominated subsistence production, while men took a dominant role in cash-crop agriculture.

• Men migrated to the cities, leaving women to manage the domestic economy almost alone. Women were forced to take on traditionally male tasks in addition to their normal responsibilities.

• The lives and cultures of men and women increasingly diverged, with one focused on the cities and working for wages and the other on village life and subsistence agriculture.

• In response to the situation, women sought closer relations with their birth families, introduced laborsaving crops, adopted new farm implements, and earned some money as traders. In the cities, they established a variety of self-help associations.

• The colonial economy sometimes offered women a measure of opportunity, particularly in small-scale trade and marketing that could on occasion give them considerable economic autonomy.

• Women of impoverished rural families often became virtually independent heads of household in the absence of their husbands, while others took advantage of new opportunities in mission schools, towns, and mines to flee the restrictions of rural patriarchy.

Q. Did colonial rule bring “economic progress” in its wake?

• This question is debatable, especially since definitions of “progress” vary widely, but however one views the impact of colonial rule, it is clear that several important developments took place during the period.

• Colonial rule served, for better or worse, to further the integration of Asian and African economies into a global network of exchange now centered in Europe.

• Europeans conveyed to the colonies some elements of their own modernizing process, including modern administrative and bureaucratic structures, communication and transportation infrastructure, schools, and modest provisions for health care.

• Nowhere in the colonial world did a breakthrough to modern industrial society of Japanese dimensions occur.

Q. What impact did Western education have on colonial societies?

• For an important minority, the acquisition of a Western education generated a new identity, providing access to better-paying jobs and escape from some of the most onerous obligations of living under European control, such as forced labor.

• It also brought them elite status within their own communities and an opportunity to achieve, or at least approach, equality with whites in racially defined societies.

• Education created a new cultural divide within Asian and African societies between the small number who had mastered to varying degrees the ways of their rulers and the vast majority who had not.

• Many of those who received a Western education saw themselves as a modernizing vanguard leading the regeneration of their societies, in association with colonial authorities. In India, Western-educated people organized a variety of reform societies, which sought a renewed Indian culture that was free of idolatry, child marriages, caste, and discrimination against women, while drawing inspiration from classic texts of Hinduism.

• But there was disillusionment among those who received a Western education as well, as Europeans generally declined to treat Asian and African subjects, regardless of their education, as equal partners in the enterprise of renewal.

Q. What were the attractions of Christianity within some colonial societies?

• Military defeat shook confidence in the old gods and local practices, fostering openness to new sources of supernatural power that could operate in the wider world now impinging on their societies.

• Christianity was widely associated with modern education, and, especially in Africa, mission schools were the primary providers of Western education.

• The young, the poor, and many women found new opportunities and greater freedom in some association with missions.

• The spread of the Christian message was less the work of European missionaries than of those many thousands of African teachers, catechists, and pastors who brought the new faith to remote villages as well as the local communities that begged for a teacher and supplied the labor and materials to build a small church or school.

• Christianity in Africa soon became Africanized, maintaining older traditions alongside new Christian ideas.

Q. How and why did Hinduism emerge as a distinct religious tradition during the colonial era in India?

• Only during the colonial era did leading intellectuals and reformers in India begin to define their region’s endlessly varied beliefs, practices, sects, rituals, and schools of philosophy as a more distinct, unified, and separate religion that is now known as Hinduism.

• It was in part an effort to provide for India a religion wholly equivalent to Christianity, to create tradition and a sense of historical worth in spite of the humiliation of colonial rule.

• The idea of Hinduism gained in importance during the period because it provided a cultural foundation for emerging ideas of India as a nation, but it also accentuated a more conscious split between Muslims and Hindus.

Q. In what way were “race” and “tribe” new identities in colonial Africa?

• Before the colonial period, African peoples had long recognized differences among themselves based on language, kinship, clan, village, or state, but these were seldom sharp or clearly defined.

• The idea of an Africa sharply divided into separate and distinct “tribes” was in fact a European notion that facilitated colonial administration and reflected their belief in African primitiveness.

• But while Europeans may have created or sought to impose these categories, Africans increasingly found ethnic or tribal labels useful; this was especially true in rapidly growing urban areas, where migrants found it helpful to categorize themselves and others in larger ethnic terms.

Map Activity 1

Map 20.1: Colonial Asia in the Early Twentieth Century

Reading the Map: Which major cities, marked with a black dot and labeled on the map, fell under British control? Which major cities fell under French control, and which fell under Dutch control?

Model Answer:

• The British controlled the cities of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, and Singapore; the French controlled Hanoi and Saigon; and no major cities were controlled by the Dutch.

Connections: Which territories remained free of colonial domination on the map, and what might be some reasons for their freedom from colonial dominance?

Model Answer:

• Siam, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Persia, and Australia appear as independent on the map. In the case of Australia, it was a former settler colony that had become semi-independent. In the case of Tibet, Nepal, and Afghanistan, the highly mountainous and land-locked geography of the territories may have made them less desirable. In the case of Siam and Persia, a strong preexisting political structure may have been able to prevent outright colonization.

Map Activity 2

Map 20.2: Conquest and Resistance in Colonial Africa

Reading the Map: What uprisings occurred in colonial Africa, in which territories, and when?

Model Answer:

• In 1896, the Shona and Ndebele uprising occurred in Southern Rhodesia; in 1900, the Ashanti uprising occurred in the Gold Coast; in 1902 and 1907 uprisings occurred in Angola; in 1903 the Hottentot uprising occurred and from 1904–1908 the Herero uprising took place in German Southwest Africa; an uprising occurred in 1904–1905 in Cameroon; in 1905 the Maji Maji uprising occurred in German East Africa; in 1904 and in 1906 uprisings occurred in Nigeria; and in 1905 an uprising occurred in French Equatorial Africa.

Connections: What was especially strategic about the location of Britain’s African colonies?

Model Answer:

• Britain controlled the entire length of the Nile River, including especially the Suez Canal. This, with its control of the African Red Sea coast allowed it to control all shipping from Europe to the Indian Ocean. Also, with the exception of a small Italian territory, Britain bordered the entire western boundary of the Ottoman Empire, so it could be the first to invade and colonize the Middle East if it wished. And it controlled a string of colonies in eastern and southern Africa, making it possible to imagine a British African empire stretching from the Cape to Cairo.

Using the Documents and Visual Sources Features

Following are answer guidelines for the headnote questions and Using the Evidence questions that appear in the Documents and Visual Sources essays located at the end of the textbook chapter. Classroom Discussion and Classroom Activity suggestions are also provided to help integrate the document and visual source essays into the classroom.

Documents Headnote Questions

Document 20.1: The Wonders of British Calcutta

Q. What features of Calcutta most surprised Muhabbat Khan?

Possible answers:

• Khan was surprised by Calcutta’s delightful buildings, the beauty of European works of art, the complex street networks, the variety of goods on offer, and its combination of Western and Chinese influences.

Q. What were his attitudes toward the British themselves?

• His attitude toward the British was favorable. He seems to have admired them, for he described the hat-wearing Englishmen as men who uniformly spoke the truth and had good dispositions.

Q. What might you infer about his posture toward an emerging British political presence in India?

Possible answers:

• While Khan does not speak directly to this topic, his approval of the British presence in India can be inferred from his warm and favorable description of the city, and his laudatory view of Englishmen, who “speak truth and have good dispositions” (p. 951).

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