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Imperialism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism

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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 254
Uli Locher

Imperialism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism Imperialism - Poli structure extensive geographically, various states + ethnic grps - Usually ruled by monarch w/through oligarchy of ppl (may be related) - Form of state: entity monopolized use of violence - How do you form an empire? - Direct conquest: imperial force (ex: standing armies) to control + maintain empire  Result = territ empire, remaining fixed + very little further expansion - Indirect conquest: indirect exercise force + power  Armies not fixed, usually locals drawn into imperial armies  Armies ready for use + for further expansion conts  Not talking about territ empire  hegemonic empire - Territorial empire  Costs a lot to establish H: brings in much more revenue b/c various taxes levied - Hegemonic  Much less tribute being paid, but more flexibility, can adapt to situations - Spain’s American Empire - Run by Spanish officials + relatively small armies  Also run by corruption of local elites  Many administrative funcs carried out fr/Spain by officials who came over once/twice yr - Commonalities of various colonial empires? - Vast territories = not contiguous - Hegemonic - Huge differences b/w colonizers + subjugated ppl (cultural, technological…) - Eur powers established few cities + controlled only these cities directly (usu port cities)  Have relatively small armies stationed overseas  Can also use corrupt local elites/force traditional rules to collaborate - H: Inherent contradiction  How can you extract resources? - Train locals to administer extraction of resources - Essentially training type of population, very skilled in dealing w/colonial power - Have necessary skills to organize revolution  built in contradiction  High cost for colonial power to maintain colony - Why did the Spanish win? - Maritime technology, could come over (Inca’s couldn’t go to Spain) - Guns, used mainly for psychological effect - Good intelligence, already been there 20 years, reports sent back regularly - Steel weapons - Horses, effects of tanks - Well-thought out strategy (cutting off head of over-centralized Inca empire) - Why did the Spanish empire last for 300 years? - Influenza, small pox, bubonic plague brought in, wiped out 95% indigenous pop - Technology, literacy, imperial admin = superior Colonialism - European Colonialism 3 different phases: - 16 century: colonial rule expanded to Carrib + Latin Am (gold + silver)  Why? crisis of feudalism: old feudal structures under attack fr/various sides  Many Eur cities emerged as real power  W/in cities s/biz conglomerates/econ interests became so powerful that the empire must acknowledge them  Cities negot they didn’t have to pay tribute to intermediaries, only to emperor  Feudal structures on which power + wealth of elites depended, under attack  Many cities + bourgeois classes chipped away power + wealth of feudal classes  Wars, emergence of new states, disruption of established agricul economies  Black plague, extremely disruptive s/places Eur  Elites realized needed new revenue if agricul not useful  Renaissance provide philos diff fr/Medieval structures had provided  New technology that could be used for expansion th th - 17 /18 century: exchange of raw materials  Armies used a lot of leather for various things  Needed products of cattle raising industry  Cattle in New World provided hides to transform to leather goods for Eur  Triangular Trade  America: Cotton, sugar, coffee, tobacco, large profits for Eur  Eur: cloth + guns for Africa  Africa: slaves for America - Industrial colonialism  Feudal colonisation of Spain loses out (Simon Bolivar)  Large investments of capital to produce return  New controls  Ex: Congo Free State  Early 1880s Eur interest Africa increased dramatically (availability many resources)  Henry Morten Stanley charted Congo river basin 1870s, spreading news Afr resources  1878 King Leopold II of Belgium invited Stanley to join him (consultant)  Returned to Congo w/mission to organize Congo state, then become CFS  1884 Leopold II organises (actually Bismarck) conference (Eur nats, USA)  Mission: raise cultural level of colonies, spread Christianity  Leopold founded another organisation that was purely commercial  Owned all commercial activity in CFS th  Under his admin, CFS became one of the biggest internat scandals 19 century  Rubber = big resource (emerging indus econ needs rubber)  Afr rubber produc: comes fr/trees that ppl must go out + find  Finding, cutting, collection of rubber = labour intensive + used child labour  Highly bureaucratic, e/thing must be documented  Quota not filled? Chopped off hands + shipped to HQ as proof  Overall estimated 20% population died as cost of CFS - Main phases of Eur colonialism connected to devel capitalism - Crisis feudalism (led to colonial exploration) - Mercantilist expansion (led to great expansion of colonial trade) - Peak period of coloni
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