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Lecture 13

Lecture Thirteen: Science, Technology and Justifications for Colonization

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Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

Lecture Thirteen: Science, Technology and Justifications for Colonization November 1, 2011 Important Definitions Colonization - “The extension of political and economic control over an area by a state whose nationals have occupied the area and usually possess organizational or technological superiority over the native population. It may consist simply in migration of nationals to the territory or it may be the formal assumption of control over the territory by military or civil representatives of the dominant power” Columbia Encyclopedia. Imperialism - “Commonly associated with the policy of direct extension of sovereignty and dominion over non-contiguous and often distant overseas territories, it also denotes indirect political or economical control of powerful states over weaker peoples. Regarded also as a doctrine based on the use of deliberate force, imperialism has been subject to moral censure by its critics, and thus the term is frequently used in international propaganda as a pejorative for expansionists and aggressive foreign policy. The “Civilizing” Mission The “Civilizing” Mission - an idea of going into parts of the world where people were considered to be savages or heathens, in an attempt to “civilize” the people living there. - Thought that they were doing a good thing by doing this - Gave them the tools which they believed would help them become more civil and advanced. Paternalistic Motive - Treated the “uncivilized” countries and populations as children - Europe believed that they were like a father figure - It was Europe’s “duty” to teach the other populations how to be like them Why did they think they were so advanced? - Europe justified this civilizing mission because they thought they were extremely advanced - They had made great advancements in both science and technological fields - Military advancements: gun powder, firearms ect - These advancements helped Europe assert themselves on the indigenous people who did not have the advantage of these types of weapons Attitudes Towards Science -Natural science and having scientific knowledge was considered to be the only rational way of understanding the universe -Scientists had a higher status in society because of this knowledge -Societies who had alternate beliefs or who had other forms of religion were believed to be superstitious and unintelligent. Goals of the Mission -Teach “backwards” people some understanding of science and technology -There was the inherent belief that they were not as intelligent and therefore would never be able to understand the entire scope of European knowledge -This goes back to the paternalistic theory -Some people went as far to advocate the killing or extermination of the natives Economic Justifications of Colonization -It is well known that colonies provided sources of great economic wealth for the home country -With this wealth, industrialization was able to flourish and grow as quickly as it did -This came at a heavy price for the native people living in the colonies; whose impact can still be seen in some instances today -Industrialization was prevented in the colonies because they would be a threat to the home country, this idea essentially counteracts the initial goal for the civilizing mission because the people of the colonies were actually prevented from moving forward with new technologies. Science and the Christian Missionary Movement Missionaries - those interested in the conversion of people to their religion. They were often among the first people to enter the colonies in order to con
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