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Human Rights History Exam Review 2012

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McMaster University
Bonny Ibhawoh

th Human Rights History Exam Review (Part 2): Tuesday April 17 @ 9:00am IWC 1 (2) Slavery - interested in historic significance - human rights as new concept deeply contested - Lynn Hunt: if you want to find origins of HR look to enlightenment - Jenni Martinez Book: The abolition of slavery and the origins of international Human Rights Laws questions Hunts idea of enlightenment; look at abolition as defining moment. Discourse of rights in abolition had a more universalist appeal. All enlightenment documents had restriction universal brotherhood and humanity that slaves are apart of - contemporary HR very positivist focus on the state: Abolition not just ideas, they were enforced eg. anti-slavery squads; mixed commission court (try people convicted for slave trading) see positivist roots in abolition (law and law enforcement) legal grounding - Atlantic slave trade discourse resembling current HR discourse already creeping into global consciousness - different degrees of servitude: pawning labour as a form of debt repayment problematize choice: even if someone agrees to be your slave still slavery. Choice cannot be an element of slavery - zero tolerance for slavery comes from Atlantic slave trade HR discourse come from enlightenment - Atlantic slave trade movement from below: social movement theory - slaves were the first abolitionists any form of resistance (passive or active) is apart of abolition - challenging the status quo counter majoritarian - starts with Christian humanism then move to secular humanism inherently wrong - two levels of change: 1. attitude change; 2. law mechanisms put in place to stop slavery - more to HR than law although law is very important sometimes enforced by non legal instutions - anti- slavery relevant to HR: appeal of universality; attitude change - enforcement mechanisms: abolishing slavery; mixed commissions courts legal force to abolition - one main limitation: origin still not quite it: although you have enforcement mechanisms they did not center around the individual (the enslaved) themselves. Did not have framework for enforcing individual rights Human Rights, Socialism and the Industrial Age Industrial Revolution - industrial revolution as scientific, economic and social movement many argue symbolize point where west becomes dominant the west was not always dominant: Gunder Frank: Re-Orient always been an orient centered world industrial revolution marks a shift away - pro-industrial thinking: Adam Smith: Wealth of Nations nation state as central human organization but not always this way. The industrial revolution cemented the state - human rights are state centric - colonial Africa intro of money; how do you integrate into money economy? Introduced taxes for long time only thing Africans needed money for was to pay taxes - individualism: no longer need to form relationships for trade etc have money do dont rely on trade/exchange = decline in communal society - inventions and innovations: powered machinery, steam power - cultural relativism debate: see all elements in pre-industrial history - create whole new work ethic: labour bought and sold; can be exploited implications for HR: labour rights Impact of Industrial Revolution on Human Rights - transition of innovation, information and ideas ideas are powerful E.G. printing press - increased contacts across societies and cultures regular people move about with greater ease - economic effects: widening economic gap; change in labour conditions - social effects: widening social gap: - child labour spinning Genny: children wanted because of little fingers children have place in the work force: always worked large families to help support cultural change - urbanization: horrible conditions particularly for lower classes, women and children - push for reform: popular rebellions and HR discourse peoples charter - people need to be able to come together to achieve social change provided opportunity Fabian socialist: want better conditions equal representation, property rights, universal suffrage (textbook) - overall propel the rise of the west globalization - child labour: jobs for children ages 3-7 - understand the context !! not evil people: children worked in farms to them going to factory work not much different need to support family - many parents probably new this was wrong and rather have children in school but given reality many probably thought they had no choice Socialism - the place of ideology in the human rights discourse- caught up in cold war: east vs. west what do each country value - west: civil and political rights - East: social and economic rights our people rather have substance rather than the right to vote - human rights need not be one or the other - cold war: cherry pick aspects that make them look good Socialist Contributions - karl marx and Marxism: basis of history os material so must understand materialism exploitation Bourgeois vs. proletariat - socialism and socialist idealism appeal in certain societies and influence their understanding of HR - enlightenment influences on socialist ideas - industrial revolution shaped modern socialism: made socialism possible - rise of national and international socialist movements: workers of the world unite communist parties worldwide becomes apart of rights discourse (international/universalism) - Marxist critique of industrialization and capitalist idealism - socialism focus on middle class economic and social rights - prioritization: how does societies prioritize rights - universal suffrage; economic welfare; labour rights; childrens rights; education; womens rights socialist have ideas on these before the west - Marxist/socialist ideas in contemporary human rights documents economy strong socialist discourse Limitations - emphasis on collective rights at the expense of the individual collective rights may not fit everyone; collective will may have ideas individuals dont support - aboriginal rights: assumption aboriginals are very collective nut Canadian charter speaks of individual rights - France: ban Muslim headgear against individual rights - gap between theory and practice - emphasis on economic/social rights at the expense of civil and political - human rights do not have to be popular - fluidity between categories: not strict The World Wars, Self-determination and the End of Empire Human Rights in the 20 century - painting: Guernica 1937 horrors/uncertainty of the 2 ndhalf of the 20 century; make out images but it is distorted chaoth nothing is as it seems - 20 century defined by paradox: world wars but yet time of Human rights - what were the distinc
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