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Lecture 6

GS302 Lecture 6: GS302 Lesson 6 Modern European Encounters, Colonialism, Orientalism

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Global Studies
John Abraham

GS302 Lesson 6: Modern European Encounters, Colonialism, Orientalism The Roots of Colonialism  Unlike economic philosophy that emerges late 1700s, this period the states are convinced that the way they can look after their security is by hoarding wealth/gold/silver/precious metals (mercantilism) o Different from free trade, capitalism (criticisms of mercantilism)  Competition among European monarchies  Mercantilists: wealth is dependent on the amount of gold and silver coming into an economy o Decrease imports, increase exports o Need to conquer enemies, take their money in order to hoard wealth o Don’t want to have to pay the price of losing any lives with the uncertain outcome of war o Instead, they try to look for other sources of wealth  Look for high priced luxury commodities, spices, textiles, etc. which are trickling into Europe through existing trade routes that are largely monopolized by middle eastern merchants at the time (Arabs)  Exploration as a way of obtaining cheap raw materials o Trying to find the direct route to South Asia o Leapfrog this monopoly that the Arab traders have on these trade routes o To be able to access these luxury items directly, use this mercantilist strategy to become wealthy o Essentially export their competition from Europe to the South Asian peninsula The Age of Exploration  Vasco da Gama arrives in Calicut (1493) o Direct sea routes to circumvent Arab traders o Portuguese arrive, then Dutch, French, British  East India Company (EIC) received exclusive charter in 1600 from Queen Elizabeth o To carry out exclusively British business in South Asia o Establishes a core of officers, military to be able to do this o Trading throughout the 1600s and early 1700s all the way until 1750s  Spices (pepper, cardamom, cinnamon), textiles (cotton, silk) First Colony  Decline of Mughal empire and emergence of new elites o Former governors of the Mughal empire (Nawabs) break off and become independent kings o New actors (landlords, bankers, merchants) emerge o New global economy, all looking out for their own
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