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Category Archive: Colonialism

Mar 31 2009

The colonial experience-8: The rise of nationalist feeling

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While colonial powers needed to create an educated, elite class to act as surrogates for them and help them rule the country, providing access to that education created its own problems. While some in the educated elite were happy to play the role of junior partner to …

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Mar 27 2009

The colonial experience-7: Majority-Minority divisions

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) One of the most depressing features of so many countries that gained independence in the post-colonial age that began with the end of World War II is the inter-ethnic tensions, discrimination, and violence that often occurred. It must be made clear that tensions between the different ethnic …

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Mar 25 2009

The colonial experience-6: Divide and rule

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While the colonies were a prime source of revenue for England, they also served as places to send young English men who were seen as black sheep in their well-connected families or as places where the less well-connected could make their fortunes. But the British could never …

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Mar 23 2009

The colonial experience-5: Creating loyal surrogates

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The British, in my opinion, were much smarter colonial powers than (say) the French or the Belgians. The Belgians were arguably the worst, as can be seen in what they did to the Congo under Emperor Leopold. As is the usual pattern, the colonialists used religion as …

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Mar 17 2009

The colonial experience-4: The economic transformation

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Perhaps the biggest disruption caused by the British colonialists was the massive change in rural life and agricultural practices as a result of the conversion from a somewhat communal, subsistence form of agriculture, where much of the local resources used for food production (such as water supplies, …

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Mar 13 2009

The colonial experience-3: The missionaries

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) It is well known that in the colonies conquered by the Europeans, the Bible and the gun went hand in hand. Soon after a country was militarily overpowered, missionaries were often the next group to go in under their protection, even before merchants and traders. These missionaries …

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Mar 11 2009

The colonial experience-2: The (mostly) bad

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While many of the things introduced by the British had beneficial features, almost every one had its own negatives, apart from the introduction of universal suffrage. The reason was that each of these things was not created exclusively for the benefit and advancement of the local population …

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Mar 09 2009

The colonial experience-1: The (mostly) good

In a comment on my earlier post on portrayals of the developing world in western culture, Jared raised a really interesting point about his odd experience of taking a class on “British Colonialism in India” and finding that, while he was the only non-Indian student, he was also the only one who seemed to think …

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