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The age and ideologies of empires Week 20 Ethnicity and Race.

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Presentation on theme: "The age and ideologies of empires Week 20 Ethnicity and Race."— Presentation transcript:

1 The age and ideologies of empires Week 20 Ethnicity and Race

2 Recap Considered complexity of concepts and terms and the contested and political nature of theories of race and racism Considered ideas about nationalism, ethnicity identity and migration Considered the impact of slavery.

3 Outline Similarities in rationales and ideologies within different colonialist and imperialist regimes The introduction of other categories of people – French Colonialism Algeria The focus and codification of difference – British India Links to Nazi Ideology

4 The social construction of race Concept of race emerged with the expansion of colonial empires. Linked to ideas emerging from Darwinism about hereditary and natural selection Dominant races (white, western) were more evolved (civilised, superior)

5 Orientalism Discourses constructed by the west used to justify colonialism (Edward Said) Orientalism constructed the other as –Lazy native –Stagnant societies –In need of imperial administration

6 Natural superior Social Darwinism used to justify: –Slavery –Rule of indigenous populations Focus on unspeakable acts –Scarification, child weddings, –Initiation ceremonies

7 How important do you think highlighting, documenting and reporting about unspeakable acts was to the ideologies of colonial expansion?

8 Constructing themselves Constructing the other as inferior meant that they were also constructing themselves as superior Particular notions about whiteness, middle-classness, masculinity and femininity were constructed

9 French Colonialism The French empire was the second largest in the 19 th Century Global reach –Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia) –Large parts of Africa (Mali, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, Madagascar) –French Guiana Differences over time and place meant different forms of colonial rule

10 French Colonialism Aldrich (1996) sets out two main principals 1.Colonies should serve France Provide raw material and markets, investment Cost little 2.Solve national problems Homes for poor, place for depraved Field of opportunity (Church, science, engineers)

11 French Colonial Law Colonial Law established to both civilise and preserve control Indigenes were not French Citizens –no equality Code de LIndigénant Regulations allowed police and French Colonial Officials to impose arbitrary punishment Imprisonment, Corporal Punishment, Property Confiscation, and Fines (individual and collective)

12 Algerian Law 1888 Offences included –Statements made against France or its government –Offensive behaviour to Colonial authorities –Travelling without a permit –Holding an unauthorised Public meeting –Failing to provide transport, food, water or fuel to administrators (at official price)

13 What does this justice say about the way the colonisers thought about themselves?

14 British Empire British Empire was the largest and dominated large parts of the world Colonialism had very similar forms Local cultures/peoples dismissed as inferior Mission to dominate local populations for their own benefit

15 British India Sati (Widow immolation) was one of the unspeakable acts that the colonials focus on Sati was never widespread and the way it was controlled reveals colonial ideologies Legitimating control also led to its increase

16 Colonial misassumptions Assumption that 'caste' was a fixed category Introduced different rules and regulations for each caste (justified through religious texts) Assumed religion was defining factor in Indian life Hindu religion was thus defined as fixed, rather than being seen as a 'mosaic of distinct cults, deities and sects' (Thapar 1989)

17 Sati regulations 1813 District Magistrates were issued with instructions Sati was to be allowed for religious tolerance reasons but rules were to be established Consequently legal sati was established. Magistrates were obliged to witness to prevent 'illegal' practices and obliged the to collect details of the sati's performed in their areas

18 Why regulate Sati? The rulings on sati arose from colonial assumptions about the centrality of religion the submission to its dictates the 'religious' basis of sati This was despite knowing it was a small regional practice The legal codification of it as a religious ritual of higher castes may have led to its increase

19 Widespread condemnation The British concern over sati was used in part to justify their presence in India. Extensive parliamentary papers written about the ceremony The practice was officially outlawed until Whilst records show a vast increase in the numbers following the imposition of British 'controls No data collected after abolition so cannot tell if the official outlawing stopped the practice

20 How much do you think the category of legal sati contributed to its increase?

21 Nazi Ideology Like the French and the British Empires ideas, actions and regulations changed over time Nazi ideology emerged from German colonial strategies It had similar roots to other imperialist nations Ideas about racial superiority justified economic expansion

22 Nazi Ideology Woodruff (1986) argues that aims of National Socialism reflect imperialism –Expansion of Agriculture more land needed –Full industrial Employment More raw materials and bigger markets –Protection of German race from Degeneration Assumption of racial superiority

23 Summary Colonial rule from Europe took different forms But Imperialism rooted in common ideologies Based on assumptions of racial superiority Rule justified to civilise or develop inferior races

24 Next week Continue to look at colonialism Focusing on white settler societies Consider the ongoing impact – through ideas about post-colonialism

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