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2013-02-05 Enlightenment and Racism.docx

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Geography 2050A/B
Mireya Folch- Serra

Enlightenment and the European construction of “race” February 5, 2013 -midterm: memorize only significant things; don’t need to memorize all dates and names -how the construct of race spread throughout the world and resulted in terrible events -deconstructing concept of race and racism to get rid of the idea -ideas of democracy, equality, etc.Enlightenment -Renaissance: 16 century from Italy -artists, philosophers -Enlightenment: 18 century from French and English philosophers -mostly philosophers -ideas diffused all over the globe Scientific Revolution and Secular Europe th • SR was the final expression of the 16 century Renaissance o and its definitive contribution to the modern world • It began with Copernicus, born in Poland and educated in Italy o (the Earth truly moved) o Earth not static and not everything revolved around the Earth • Galileo was placed under house arrest, o and had to recant o he had been banned by the Church for centuries; recent years, he was pardoned by the Vatican • Scientific revolution brought about the Enlightenment o challenging religious dogmatism of the church o they were punished; genesis of Enlightenment and secularism of Europe o they paid a price, but set a precedent for the Enlightenment -Enlightenment: joined forces of scientific revolution and secularism -secularism: non-religious thinking -scientific revolution and non-religion (separation of Church and State) -first time, science is separated from God-given knowledge European Enlightenment circa 18 century • By the 18th century, the Scientific Revolution, and the birth of the modern era, was complete • Newton’s Principia Mathematica 1687 (celebrated as the triumph of the modern mind over ancient and medieval ignorance) -Newton’s ‘religiosity without base’ Thinkers of the Enlightenment (17 and 18 centuries) -British and French philosophers • Rene Descartes (d 1670) o French • Isaac Newton (d 1727) o English • Thomas Hobbes (d 1679) o English • John Locke (d 1704) o English • Blaise Pascal (1623) o French • Jean Jacques Rousseau (d 1778) o “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains” o French • Voltaire (d 1778) o French -they formed the bulk of Enlightenment philosophy and knowledge -the most important colonizers at that time were the English and the French -they brought along the ideas of their philosophers and scientists to the colonized areas -their ideas diffused all over the places in the world they reached Enlightenment thinkers: Voltaire, Newton, Descartes and Rousseau European Enlightenment influenced the world • American Revolution (4 July 1776 declaration of independence) • French Revolution (14 July 1789) • Declaration of the Rights of Man (1791) -influenced the French Revolution and theAmerican Revolution -two main revolutions illustrated people against monarchies and the independence of colonies -both revolutions took place in July – probably had something to do with harvest season -Declaration of the Rights of Man -antecedent of Declaration of Human Rights (from the United Nations) -recognition that men and women have rights France threatened by turmoil 1799 • The Directorate calls General Napoleon • Under his leadership France enjoyed military success o became a super European power o Napoleon decided to invade many countries and make France an empire again • Victory atAusterlitz, 1805 o Napoleon invaded Spain and he put his brother as king of Spain • Jena, 1806 • By 1811 Napoleon was at the zenith of his power o France became an imperialist power th 19 Century Europe defined by Napoleon’s rule • End of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 replaced by a French satellite, the Confederation of the Rhine • Napoleon embarked on a process of extending French rule across Europe o going to the very north to Denmark, Norway, Sweden – even to Russia o some rulers even spoke French and admired French culture o reached French influence o in Poland, Russia – if you wanted to be regarded as cultivated person (person of means), you knew French, copied the French passions, etc. • European countries fought five wars against Napoleon -Napoleon: one ruler in 19 century and see how he changes the borders of Europe and impose his generals and family as kings of Naples, Spain, etc. Napoleon -picture shows the height of his power After Napoleon’s defeat in 1815 peace returned to Europe… for a while -history is the catalyst of geography -changes countries, borders, cultures Five Major Changes -End of Napoleonic wars in 1815 -Beginning of British power and hegemony 1. Concept of nationalism 2. Protestant Reformation 3. Imperialism and colonialism 4. Scientific Revolution 5. Revolution in communication European Imperialism and colonialism • Domination of other peoples all over the world made possible by technological advance o made possible because of technological advancement of Britain – have strong navy and military • machines gave the Europeans decisive superiority in navigation and in warfare and facilitated his rapid imperial expansion inAfrica andAsia. -imperialism: Britain acquiring all of the land – has freedom of sending emissaries all over the world -TheAge of Imperialism: The Colossus of Rhodes -Cecil Rhodes was the driving force behind British imperialism in SouthAfrica European countries and their colonies -Colonies as sources of raw materials and labour -British empire: Canada, Australia, India, parts of Africa -all of European countries have colonized majority of Africa -U.S. and rest of Americas became independent from Britain and Spain and Portugal -ideas of Enlightenment spread through the world by imperial powers and ideas of race and racism -spread ideas of equality, democracy, science, but also spread of race and slavery Eurocentric view of the world • The colonized world market was the stimulus which fed the modern growth of Europe. • The process set in motion from the late 19th century up to our time, depends upon the fact that international trade has tended to be ever more an exchange between developed countries. o developed countries meant to be European countries • It does reinforces an Eurocentric view of the world -from European mentality -had riches of gold and silver and other goods and resources from the colonies -the world adopts an Eurocentric view Nationalism and State Rivalries • Treaty of Westphalia (1648) establishes modern European state system • Definitions: 1. State: legal entity with a clearly defined territory 2. Nation: cultural, social, political values of people within a territory (shared language and culture) 3. Nation-state: superimposition of geographical boundaries of the nation on those of the state • most European countries are states with nations within them • Examples of two latecomers: o Germany in 1871 o Italy in 1870 European Colonizers = Creation of the ‘Other’ • The ‘white man’s burden’ o exploitation o justified the way they exploited the populations of the colonies • The ‘civilizing mission’ • The ‘noble savage’ o Rousseau: “savages’” are noble o savages are not that bad, they are noble • Self-serving clichés to justify plunder and oppression of indigenous populations o Mentality of colonialism have to operate in order to justify themselves... -“other”: not just different, but as inferior -other: to make a distinction between “us” and “other”, “other” being inferior and “us” being superior Slave trade -Indian populations in Americas also subdued and oppressed but slavery was focused onAfricans -Africans disregarded as human beings -slave trade: using humans to work (human la
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