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1757: British conquest of Bengal (eastern Mughal empire) By 1761: British eliminate French power in.

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Presentation on theme: "1757: British conquest of Bengal (eastern Mughal empire) By 1761: British eliminate French power in."— Presentation transcript:

1 1757: British conquest of Bengal (eastern Mughal empire) By 1761: British eliminate French power in India 1770s: corruption scandals, Bengal famine, early Orientalist scholarship 1780s through 1820s: Territorial gains for the British East India Company in India Other additions to the British empire: 1770s -- Australia early 1800s – Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Singapore, etc. Robert Clive meets with Mir Jaffar, whose treachery secured British victory. The strategy of “divide and conquer” was repeatedly used by the British throughout the empire.


3 ASIA IN 1900

4 THE PARTITION OF AFRICA Late 1700s: British finance explorations into West Africa Up to 1875: European powers control less than 10% of Africa. Mining profits; Cecil Rhodes. 1884: Berlin Conference – 14 European countries and the US meet to plan how to divide Africa 1890: Brussels Conference – Western nations agree to Belgian King Leopold’s ownership of the Congo. (No Africans were invited to either conference.) 1890s: Fashoda crisis – British and French tension over Sudan: We don’t want to fight, But by Jingo! if we do We’ve got the ships, We’ve got the men And got the money, too!

5 Charge of the 21st Lancers, Battle of Omdurman, by Harry Payne AFRICAN RESISTANCE Early 1800s: Zulu kingdom (as large as western Europe at its peak) resists foreign domination 1880s: Muhammad Ahmad Abdullah (died 1885) unified Sudanese tribes under the banner of Islam to attack Ottoman, Egyptian, and British invaders. 1885: Sudanese siege of Khartoum, murder of British commander 1898: General Kitchener’s invasion of Sudan causes Fashoda crisis. Kitchener’s troops kill around 20,000 Sudanese at Omdurman. 1896: Ethiopia repels Italian attack, remains independent till 1930s.



8 William Jones (1746-1794) Went to Bengal as a supreme court judge in 1783. Knew French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Latin, English, Arabic and Persian. Among the first to translate Indian texts from Sanskrit and Persian. Established the Asiatic Society in 1784 Denis Diderot (1713-1784) Wrote Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage, in which he contrasted Tahitian society with French society, in order to criticize the French government Abraham Anquetil Duperron (1731-1805) Knew Persian, Sanskrit, Zend, Avestan, and Pahlavi. Translated the Upanishads from Sanskrit to Latin Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) Wrote Persian Letters to criticize the lifestyle and liberties of the French elite EARLY ORIENTALISM

9 JAMES MILL (1773-1836) Got a permanent position with the British East India Company after publication of The History of British India (3 vols., 1817). Mill never traveled to India or learned an Eastern language His views were instrumental in shaping Britain’s India policies He argued that (a) Indian culture and society had not developed since ancient times (b) While US independence had led to a flourishing of trade with Britain, the same would not apply to India, because Indians were not ready for self-government

10 Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) Member of British Parliament In India 1834–38, as a member of the supreme council of the East India Company Reformed the Indian educational system and composed a legal code for the colony “ I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed both here and at home with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. ” Thomas Macaulay, Minute of 2 February 1835 on Indian Education

11 UTILITARIANISM… Goal: to ensure the greatest good of the greatest number Utility: that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness Utilitarianism: A moral theory according to which an action is right if and only if it conforms to the principle of utility …IN THE COLONIES British culture is not perfect, but it is superior to the culture of the colonized people Therefore, the introduction of British institutions and ways of thinking is desirable… …as is the eradication of native superstition and social evils, like sati Ban on sati, 1829 Calcutta University, 1857

12 FRANTZ FANON Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique in 1925 Studied in France, and practiced psychiatry in colonial Algeria. Became active in the Algerian freedom movement (FLN). His books included Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), and The Wretched of the Earth (1961). Died of leukemia in Washington at age 36, in 1961 MAIN ARGUMENTS (1) Colonial domination disregards and disrupts the culture of the colonized people. Colonizers consider native peoples barbaric. (2) The colonized seek to reform their culture, or defend “tradition”. Thus the colonized culture loses its pre-colonial dynamism, and must choose between fossilized “tradition” and westernized “reform”. (3) “By the time a century or two of exploitation has passed there comes about a veritable emaciation of the…national culture. It becomes a set of automatic habits, some traditions of dress and a few broken-down institutions. Little movement can be discerned in such remnants of culture; there is no real creativity and no overflowing life. The poverty of the people, national oppression and the inhibition of culture are one and the same thing.” (The Wretched of the Earth) (4) Exploitation, poverty, and famine drive the colonized people to violence. They then begin to pick up the broken pieces of their culture and develop a new national literature and culture which reflect their current reality.

13 EDWARD W. SAID Born in Jerusalem in 1935 Studied at Princeton and Harvard. Teaches at Columbia University Wrote book Orientalism in 1978. Other works include Culture and Imperialism, The Question of Palestine, and Blaming the Victim. Died in 2003. MAIN ARGUMENTS (1) The Orient is an imagined “region” (Middle East, N. Africa, Asia) (2) Western Literature, Art, and Knowledge (especially 19th century) portrayed the Orient as sensual, mystical, barbaric, undemocratic, irrational (3) Imagining the Orient falsely divides the world into West and East. The West identifies its “Self” by contrast to the “Orient” (4) Fictional ideas were so greatly supported by policies, institutions, academic studies, and even scientific knowledge, that they produced a reality that came close to the fiction of the Orient. QUOTES “The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe’s greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other.” “The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture.”

14 NINETEENTH-CENTURY ORIENTALIST ART AND LITERATURE Romanticizing the Orient as sensuous, alluring in a primitive way, mysterious Reviling the Orient as barbaric, violent, irrational, impenetrable Opposite of western Some examples of Orientalist artists: Above: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), active in the first half of the nineteenth century Below: Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904), active in the second half of the nineteenth century

15 Orientalism in the early 20 th century Picture postcards sent to France by French soldiers in Algeria




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