World History AP with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets


CHAPTER 20 Colonial Encounters 1750–1914

Learning Targets:


      1.   Why were Asian and African societies incorporated into European colonial empires later than those of the Americas? How would you compare their colonial experiences?

      2.   In what ways did colonial rule rest upon violence and coercion, and in what ways did it elicit voluntary cooperation or generate benefits for some people?

      3.   In what respects were colonized people more than victims of colonial conquest and rule? To what extent could they act in their own interests within the colonial situation?

      4.   Was colonial rule a transforming, even a revolutionary, experience, or did it serve to freeze or preserve existing social and economic patterns? What evidence can you find to support both sides of this argument?

Margin Review Questions:

      1.   In what different ways did the colonial takeover of Asia and Africa occur?

      2.   Why might subject people choose to cooperate with the colonial regime? What might prompt them to rebel or resist?

      3.   What was distinctive about European colonial empires of the nineteenth century?

      4.   How did the power of colonial states transform the economic lives of colonial subjects?

      5.   How did cash-crop agriculture transform the lives of colonized peoples?

      6.   What kinds of wage labor were available in the colonies? Why might people take part in it? How did doing so change their lives?

      7.   How were the lives of African women altered by colonial economies?

      8.   Did colonial rule bring “economic progress” in its wake?

      9.   What impact did Western education have on colonial societies?

      10.   What were the attractions of Christianity within some colonial societies?

      11.   How and why did Hinduism emerge as a distinct religious tradition during the colonial era in India?

      12.   In what way were “race” and “tribe” new identities in colonial Africa?


Africanization of Christianity: Process that occurred in non-Muslim Africa, where millions who were converted to Christianity sought to maintain older traditions alongside new Christian ideas; many converts continued using protective charms and medicines and consulting local medicine men, and many continued to believe in their old gods and spirits.

apartheid: Afrikaans term literally meaning “aparthood”; the system that developed in South Africa of strictly limiting the social and political integration of whites and blacks. (pron. uh-PART-hite)

Blyden, Edward: Prominent West African scholar and political leader (1832–1912) who argued that each civilization, including that of Africa, has its own unique contribution to make to the world.

cash-crop agriculture: Agricultural production, often on a large scale, of crops for sale in the market, rather than for consumption by the farmers themselves.

colonial racism: A pattern of European racism in their Asian and African colonies that created a great racial divide between Europeans and the natives, and limited native access to education and the civil service, based especially on pseudo-scientific notions of naturally superior and inferior races.

colonial tribalism: A European tendency, especially in African colonies, to identify and sometimes invent distinct “tribes” that had often not existed before, reinforcing European notions that African societies were primitive.

Congo Free State/Leopold II: Leopold II was king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909; his rule as private owner of the Congo Free State during much of that time is typically held up as the worst abuse of Europe’s second wave of colonization, resulting as it did in millions of deaths.

cultivation system: System of forced labor used in the Netherlands East Indies in the nineteenth century; peasants were required to cultivate at least 20 percent of their land in cash crops, such as sugar or coffee, for sale at low and fixed prices to government contractors, who then earned enormous profits from further sale of the crops.

Indian Rebellion, 1857–1858: Massive uprising of much of India against British rule; also called the Indian Mutiny or the Sepoy Mutiny from the fact that the rebellion first broke out among Indian troops in British employ.

informal empires: Term commonly used to describe areas such as Latin America and China that were dominated by Western powers in the nineteenth century but that retained their own governments and a measure of independence.

invention of tradition: In many colonial states, a process of forging new ways of belonging and self-identification that defined and to some extent mythologized the region’s past, especially to create broader terms of belonging than had existed before.

scramble for Africa: Name used for the process of the European countries’ partition of the continent of Africa between themselves in the period 1875–1900.

Vivekananda, Swami: Leading religious figure of nineteenth-century India (1863–1902); advocate of a revived Hinduism and its mission to reach out to the spiritually impoverished West. (pron. vee-vikah-NAHN-dah)

Western-educated elite: The main beneficiaries in Asian and African lands colonized by Western powers; schooled in the imperial power’s language and practices, they moved into their country’s professional classes but ultimately led anticolonial movements as they grew discouraged by their inability to win equal status to the colonizers.