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INTD 200: Colonialism Lecture.docx

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International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2012:  Colonialism pre-dates just European colonialism—ex. China was a colonial power before the Europeans were (China in Laos, etc.).  European Colonialism:  General characteristics of pre-colonial societies: they range from small subsistence communities to hierarchical kingdoms and states, and the physical boundaries around pre-colonial states and societies were not based on land—they were based on people (ex. in Southeast Asia, certain areas were based on Buddhist cosmology were based on the idea of a King with divine rights to rule. And people were part of the state because they paid tribute to it, so boundaries overlapped with each other).  Colonialism: o Colonies of settlement—land is taken from native people by military, economic or legal powers, and the countries were taken over (ex. Canada) o Colonies of rule— colonial administrators re-ordered and imposed their ideas on their colony (ex. Spanish in Philippines, India).  Ideologies of justification o Development modeled after industrial revolution: in the 19 th century it was justified through the concept that you could socially engineer a society, which was necessary because of the negative influence of capitalism and industrialization. A lot of the ideas of development that came through in the colonial era had to do with trying to manage the industrial transition in colonies. “Industrialization was considered the enemy,” and colonialism was seen as been for the benefit of everyone. o “White Man’s Burden”—indigenous people were “backwards” and there was a discourse at the time which presented colonialism as a solution. It was the responsibility of Europeans to impart their culture on others. It portrayed colonialism as a noble enterprise. They thought they had a responsibility to civilize these people (through reorganization of production, agricultural, etc. by bringing in European disciplines like schooling and labour based on the European model of industrialization). At the same time, this reinforced the superiority idea because there was a psychological impact as well. They wanted all societies to fit the ideal European model.  Impacts of Colonialism  Displacement, marginalization, psychological impact: land was taken and enclosed for industrial production.  Indirect rule (a system of government created by the British, which gave traditional native leaders specific authorities to rule on behalf of the British. Local leaders were given privileges in the colonial state in order to reinforce their power. You ended up having a racialized authority—certain ethnic leaders were given ruling authority over other ethnic groups.  Extraction (labour, resources, cultural treasures)—ex. the appropriation of local land for cash crops exports  Transformation of local agricultural systems o Traditional to European farming systems (cash crops, monoculture, plantations)—the idea of being linked to a place and embedded in a culture was part of their society, and by displacing people you are displacing them not just from the land, but from a cultural context as well. o New conceptions of property and land ownership: a more intensive and less holistic method imposed by the Europeans o Social and ecological impacts: starvation (no more subsistence agricultural), and a lot of the more intensive systems didn’t match the ecological context in which they were imposed.  Transformation/undermining of local industries: local production was undermined (ex. in the Indian textile industry, which was well established in pre-colonial times, was undermined when the British put a tariff on Indian textiles, allowing British textile industry to benefit.) This was intentional on the part of the colonies.  Colonial division of labour (extraction of labour and raw materials): these materials were used to support European industrialization and development, and the companies provided markets for products made in Europe. There was a system of uneven social and ecological change  Global diasporas were created: ex. through the slave trade, many Africans were moved to different countries  Decolonization—there were different responses- some internalized the conception of inferiority, and there was some resistance and uprisings:  Independence and nationalist movements o National consciousness (as the colonial governments engaged in the project of civilization, they were educating people. When they learned about European values of justice and national sovereignty, they wanted rights)—their movements were framed in the European discourse. (ex. in Haiti they used the ideas of the French revolution) o Thinkers and intellectuals:  Albert Memmi (Tunisian philosopher) wrote “the Colonizer and the Colonized” which looked at the racist foundation of colonialism and how it affect both sides.  Franz Fanon who wrote “the Wretched of the Earth,” wrote about dismissing the feeling of inferiority which became prevalent because of colonization.  Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Indonesia) wrote the “Buru Quartet” which highlighted the injustices of colonialism.
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