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Colonialism and the History of Development

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International Development
INTD 200
Karen Mc Allister

Colonialism and the History of Development European colonialism - General charac of pre-colonial soc - General b/c e/soc = diff, ranged fr/small subsistence communs to hierarchical kingdoms/states - Physical boundaries around pre-colonial states/socs not territorially based  Often: more imp have control over ppl than over land  Meant boundaries see today in world for diff nats, didn’t exist @that time  Ex: SE Asia: Buddhist areas based on Mendala state  Buddhist cosmology centred on idea of King w/divine rights to rule  No boundaries, ppl part of state b/c either paying tribute/peasants  Ppl gaining b/c being protected fr/other states (lots of slave raiding @this time)  Ex: Thailand current boundaries mapped in response to Brit + Fr trying to control territ  Thailand hired Brit cartographer to map boundaries  Recog that need to protect boundaries otherwise Eur going to take land away - Many boundaries created today = created during colonial time - Colonialism subjugated pops under Eur ideas of rule + what a state should be  Colonialism pre-dates Eur  diff soc did colonize other places (ex: China, Laos, Thailand)  H: Eur colonisation = biggest impact - Colonialism (2 types): colonies of settlement, colonies of rule - Settlement: land taken fr/native ppl (through mili/econ/legal powers) - Rule: colonial administrators re-organised + imposed their rule over diff cultures/soc - Ideologies of justification - Devel modeled after indus rev (19 century) - Can socially engineer societies + necess b/c negative impacts capitalism + indusrev had in Eur  Ex: Enclosure Movement (England)  Many landlords who owned lots of farmland kicked away tenants that were farming on small plots in order to use land for sheep farming  Many tenants displaced, moved to cities, absorbed by textile indus, became labourers  Huge social disintegration that happened alongside this  Created poverty, unhealthy sits, poor labour condits  Many ideas of development that came through colonialist era came through idea of how to manage a similar transit in colonised nats  End point = industrialised nat  Transit justified b/c going to be overall improvement for e/body - “White man’s burden”  Racist attitudes held by Eur @time  ppl in these nats were backwards + trapped in tradit cultures that were preventing them fr/moving towards indusz  Discourse: presented colonialism as positive thing  WMB: proposed that it was responsibility of Eur to impart their culture on non-Eur  Justification for colonialism + made it look like a noble enterprise  Eur saw themselves as superior culture w/better tech, knowl + responsibility to lead + train the colonised ppls (religion, practices of gov + statehood, reorganization of agricul, health services, production, social organization)  Brought in new Eur disciplines (schooling, labour) into these diff nats - Reinforced idea of superiority b/c Eur held control (psych impact) later resisted  Transform socs to fit Eur model + power relation, justify putting power over other ppls Impacts of Colonialism - Displacement, marginalisation, psych impact - Land was taken + enclosed (similar to agricul lands in Brit) for indus production - Psych impact b/c somebody else ruling, idea of ppl being higher up/lower down - Indirect rule - Sys of gov created by Brit + Fr in diff nats  Basically gave tradit native leaders specific authority to rule on behalf of Brit  Local ppl, leaders given privileges in colonial state by colonial gov to reinforce power - In s/cases, other implications b/c ended up w/racialised authority  Certain ethnic grps/leaders given ruling authority over other ethnic grps - Extraction (labour, resources, cultural treasures) - Resources: enriched colonial powers + their interests  Appropriation of local land for cash crops, exports + depriving of ppl of indig rights - Transformation of local agricultural systems - Ppl had very spiritual links to land, farming  Idea of being linked to place can be embedded to local cultures + soc  By displacing ppl fr/their land, displacing ppl fr/link w/place + cultural context - Systems of agricul also livelihoods (pastoralists, hunters + gatherers)  Eur often saw these as backwards, superstitious + perceived customary property rights + fact that ppl not using land as Eur felt was productive/appropriate - Traditional to Eur farming sys (cash crops, monoculture, plantations) - New conception of property + land ownership - Soc + ecological impacts  Displacement of ppl in s/cases created sits of starvation  Ppl no longer growing crops for own consumption (growing cash crops for export)  Environmental impacts: more intensive cropping sys didn’t match ecological context - Transformation/undermining of local industries - Ex: Indian Textile Industry  Well est during pre-colonial times, ppl produce cotton, manufac textiles  Brit imposed high tax on textile indus (tariff for exported textiles)  H: allowed raw cotton imported to Brit tax free  Supp Brit textile indus  undermined Indian textile indus  Flooded India w/cheap cloth made in England  Disruption of craft production in many nats - Colonial division of labour - Extraction of labour + raw materials - Support Eur indusz + developments - Colonies provide markets for manufactured goods shipped backed in
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