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Identity and Cultural Change in the Colonial Era

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1 Identity and Cultural Change in the Colonial Era
AP World History Chapter 20 “Colonial Encounters ( )”

2 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Education
Many generated a new identity as a result of Western education = provided by missionary and government schools Education = helped many escape undesirable tasks, such as forced labor Education provided many opportunities: Access to better-paying jobs in government agencies, missions, business firms, etc. Access to imported goods and luxury items Social mobility and elite status within the community Equality with whites (as much as possible) Leopold Senhor West African writer and political leader in the early 1900s

3 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Education
Many Western-educated people embraced other aspects of European culture as well: Dressed in European clothes Learned French or English Built European-style houses Got married in long, white dresses Education created a new cultural divide = between the minority who had mastered the ways of their rulers and the majority who had not The King of Siam and other young students, all dressed in European clothing

4 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Education
Western-educated elites believed they were the key to modernizing their societies Believed they could do so within a colonial framework and in association with colonial authorities These educated elites = had these hopes crushed Europeans generally declined to treat their Asian and African subjects as equals Europeans constantly referred to their cultures as primitive and backward Result = Western-educated elites turned against colonial rule and foreign imperialism and became leaders in struggles for independence “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” 

5 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Religion
Religion = provided the basis for new or transformed identities Widespread conversion to Christianity in: New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, non-Muslim Africa, etc. By the 1960s = about 50 million Africans had converted to Christianity

6 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Religion
Attractions to Christianity: Military defeat shook confidence in the old gods and local practices  led to openness to new sources of supernatural power Christianity = associated with modern education (because missionary schools provided education) Oppressed groups (young, poor, women, etc.) = found new opportunities and greater freedom with missions Spread of the Christian message = mainly by African teachers and pastors, not European missionaries German Missionaries in Southwest Africa, c. 1910

7 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Religion
In India = many turned toward a revived Hinduism More distinct and unified Purposes of this revived Hinduism: Provide India with an accessible religion on an even keel with Christianity Provide Indians with a feeling of worth when faced with the humiliation of colonial rule Uplift India’s village communities Offer spiritual support to a Western world caught up in materialism and militarism Swami Vivekananda One of India’s most influential religious figures of the 19th century

8 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Race
New cultural identity = an “African identity” Before = no one in Africa identified themselves as “African” Based their identity on their: local community, religion, state/empire, etc. Goal = to revive the cultural self-confidence of people in Africa by creating a larger, common, and respected “African tradition” equivalent to “Western culture”

9 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Race
Scholar Edward Blyden argued that: the world’s races are different, but each has its own distinct contribution to make to the world African Culture European Culture Cooperative and egalitarian societies Competitive, individualistic, class-ridden societies Harmonious relationship with nature Dominate and exploit the natural order Religious sensibility Religious sensibility lost – more attention now to material gain

10 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Tribe
Most important new sense of belonging that developed during the colonial era = the idea of “tribe” or ethnic identity Idea of an Africa sharply divided into separate and distinct “tribes” = a European idea To help with colonial administration People even had to identify their “tribe” on applications for jobs, schools, and identity cards

11 Cultural Change in the Colonial Era: Tribe
Africans gradually found ethnic and tribal labels useful  especially in large urban cities Helped them to categorize themselves and others in these massive cities with a wide variety of people Sense of security in being part of a tribe Tribal and ethnic associations created to provide mutual assistance while in the cities Women from the Igbo Tribe of southeastern Nigeria

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