Strategies the Europeans Engaged in to Enter the World Stage
According to Marks and Getz, there were a number of strategies employed by Europeans to enter the world stage. Firstly, they used well-developed technologies of sailing and navigation. This was used mostly by the Spaniards and the Portuguese. They used these skills to explore and travel to places like America. On arriving in America, they discovered free land and precious metals using slave labor specifically to make profits. For instance, the Spanish who followed Columbus to Hispaniola Island sought land and divided it amongst themselves enslaving a group of indigenous Taino in process. In 1519, Hernan Cortez, a Spanish conqueror, arrived in Mexico to seek the rumored gold that belonged to the Aztecs (Memmi 52). He ended up kidnapping the emperor and asking for a ransom. When he was given the ransom he killed the emperor and thus conquered central Mexico. New Spanish nobility was established as a result of continued conquering. The Spaniards ruled the indigenous people. They exploited their land and also commanded their labor. This, in turn, led to the conquering of America. Thus Spain developed economically.
The Europeans also used slave trade to enter the world stage. The Europeans traded for commodities such as firearms and cotton in exchange for slaves. This was majorly practiced by the Portuguese along the African coast. They feared penetrating the interior of the African continent because of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever, which were extremely dangerous to them. Many Africans joined slave trade with the ambition of acquiring guns to utilize them in fighting against their enemies. Slave trade was a major aspect of the initial global trade because it involved major continents (Memmi 38). The slave trade enriched European powers economically firstly with the Spaniards, the Portuguese, and the English and later on with the French. Europeans started a free global market. They acquired cheap labor and huge amounts of free land. They also acquired natural resources, such as precious metals, and a free, ready market that could buy their product all over the world.
Furthermore, the Europeans used imperialism to enter the world stage. As the 19th century came to a close, key European players such Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal invaded the African continent where they battled for the available economic resources and political power.In the course of their advancements, they convened the Berlin Conference summoned by Otto Von Bismarck, the German Chancellor, in 1884-1885, where they declared their spheres of influence (Memmi 74). This is what is known as the invasion of Africa. There were numerous reasons why European countries sought colonies in Africa. Firstly, there was the unification of Germany under Otto Von Bismarck after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1971 (Memmi 57). The emergence of Germany as a great power negated the power balance in Europe prompting the need to rebalance it through the acquisition of African colonies. It is worth noting that France was also determined on redeeming her lost glory especially after the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, which were well endowed in terms of minerals.
Public opinion also tended to be used in different ways. Notably, the public supported exhibiting their countries’ power by acquiring colonies. With the rise of democracy in European states in the 19th century, countries could not easily overlook the opinion of the public.For example, in 1882, with the increase in the demand by members of the public, theFrench Assembly was obliged to endorse De Brazza’s Treaty with Chief Makoko, hence, creating a French colony in Congo. The opinion of the citizens was anchored by the rise of nationalism (Memmi 49). The general feeling amongst civilians was that nations should show their political superiority through acquisition of colonies.
What is Modernity and how is it Constructed?
Modernity, according to Trouillot and Beckles, can be defined as a collection of given sociocultural values, practises, attitudes, and norms that developed during the post medieval period in Europe. These norms, attitudes, practises, and values have evolved in different ways in the world. According to the two, modernity was constructed as a result of the development of plantation culture in the Caribbean (Trouillot 842). Slavery is also connected to the construction of modernity as slaves were used to provide labor in the Caribbean. Slaves were racially segregated and categorized either as Indians or Africans. Slaves worked under inhuman conditions on plantations. The Royal African Company supplied African slaves to plantations so as to achieve competitive interests as far as the nation-state of England was concerned.
The Africans were not considered modern. Apart from being civilized, they were also to be enlightened by the Europeans. Slavery was thus considered a beginner class for the Africans. They could gain the required basic characteristics that will make them entitled to be members of the civil society. Moreover, slavery prepared Europeans for the coming age of European imperialism. Slaves were considered to be economical. This is because the slaves could be cheaply acquired. Slavery was the most dominant labor that was established by the colonizers (Beckles 780). Slavery differentiated European culture from others. Modernity has its roots in slavery because slavery served as a basis for accumulation of money and wealth by the Europeans. This can further be illustrated by the modern industrialization experienced in Western Europe.
Modernity, therefore, to be properly comprehended should be looked at from the point of view of the Caribbean. Reconciliation with the reality of Africans as slaves and the idea of freedom of Europeans should be sought. Slavery made Africans move towards freedom because they were more free being slaves in the Caribbean than they were back at home under their tyrannical rulers and kings (Beckles 781; Trouillot 845). Moreover, African slaves gained much from slavery as they learned about modern European technologies and the European civilization. Enlightenment of the Africans brought forth the argument that the way Africans are socially and culturally organized can be linked back to their imperial masters.
Through slavery, slaves learned how to manage capital and production that was family planned for individual gain. This is because, as they were working as slaves, they were given free land to work on during their free time. Caribbean slaves are considered modern as they learned how to dress and organize funds in terms of the amount to save and the amount to consume. The way they dressed was especially important because it identified them as slaves.
In conclusion, the modernity can be traced back to the Caribbean. The African slaves sought their own freedom (Trouillot 850). Apart from this, the African slaves were exposed to European modern lifestyle, culture, and clothing. They were also exposed to European modern civilization. They learned how to organize their families and save and use their acquired capital from selling land products.Furthermore, capitalism and renaissance have also contributed to modernity.
Analysis: Vladimir Illyich Lenin (1870-1924): Imperialism and the Split in Socialism
The document defines imperialism as a specific historical stage as far as capitalism is concerned. Imperialism is characterized using three terms. Firstly, it is characterized as monopoly capitalism. The second characterization is decaying capitalism with the third characteristic being moribund capitalism. Imperialism being described as parasitic capitalism is best shown in the capability of monopoly to decay in the private ownership system. It is also demonstrated when huge categories of capitalists are created. The capitalists survive mainly by “clipping coupons” (Memmi 67). Moreover, the exportation of capital is parasitism of the highest order. Imperialism in capital finance has been characterized by corruption and bribery. Imperialism is termed as parasitic because imperial countries exploit their colonies.
Imperialism is termed as moribund because capitalism is being transformed to socialism. This is as a result of labor being socialized by imperialism. However, imperialism is also termed as a policy that is chosen by industrial countries in financing capital. Economic parasitism and forming armies from dependent individuals diminishes the powers of old empires. During economic parasitism provinces and colonies are used by the ruling state for self-enrichment of the ruling class. The document further postulates that imperialist bourgeoisie and opportunism are deeply connected economically. Hence the splitting of the social chauvinists was unavoidable.
There are two major distinguishing characteristics of imperialism. Firstly, imperialism is characterized by possession of vast colonies. Imperialism is also characterized by profits in monopoly. The monopoly in England can best be used to show an example of success in opportunism (Memmi 51). This is simply because monopoly has yielded huge profits. The capitalists use these profits from monopoly to bribe their workers and create a national alliance of workers. The capitalists of that nation work against several other capitalist countries that oppose them and try to destroy them.
Motives and Attitudes: W. A. P. Martin: The Worship of Ancestors
The document asserts that each household contains little shrines in it. These little shrines contain tablets that belonged toancestors and also tablets of family members who are deceased. Pieces of woods are found in these shrines. There are writings put on these pieces of wood. The writings include a deceased person’s name and also the date they were born and the date they passed. Members of a household believe that deceased peoples’ spirits dwell in the tablets. They offer sacrifices to them, such as fruit and other edible substances twice every month (Memmi 76).
There are some instances, specifically during the mourning period, whereby family members give salutations to the dead in the morning and in the evening. This is also dne during marriages, funerals, and religious ceremonies that are more elaborate. The ceremonies are often followed by feasts. Moreover, apart from worshiping with the presence of the tablets, there are periodical rites that are usually performed in the family cemetery. Families who live in cities visit cemeteries of their family members during spring and autumn seasons, because the air invites excursions during these two seasons. They clear away grass from tombs and cover them using another layer of fresh soil. They then spend the remaining day been thrilled by the sceneries of the country.
Celebrations and Objections: British Imperialistic Anthems
The document presents a number of British anthem songs that are imperialistic in nature. They include “Rule, Britannia!”, “Land of Hope and Glory,” “Jerusalem,” “The British Grenadiers,” “God Save the Queen,” and “I Vow to Thee My Country” (Memmi 78).
In this song, Britain is encouraged to rise. The Britons are encouraged never to be slaves. The song also alludes that the Britons shall flourish because the tyrants shall fall .The song also celebrates Britain as a blessed nation and no nation is as blessed as it is. The Britons shall also arise from foreign stroke and the cities of Britain will shine with commerce. Moreover, with onset of freedom, the beautiful coasts of Britain shall be repaired.
“Land of Hope and Glory”
The song was sung during World War I. The song calls for freedom and equality of law in Britain. With freedom and equality of law in Britain, the empire shall be strong and flourish.
“God Save the Queen”
The song appeals God to save the queen. The queen should be victorious to rule over Britain so God should save her. The song also calls upon God to scatter the enemies of the queen and make them fall. The song hopes for the queen to reign and defend the laws.
“The British Grenadiers”
The song praises the British grenadiers and finds that no one can compare to them, even the great Hercules. The song asserts that the British grenadiers used powder and a ball of cannon to win over their enemies and thus they are considered strong and brave.
The song celebrates the pleasant green pastures and mountains of England and it is equated to the city of Jerusalem.
“I Vow to Thee My Country”
The song gives praises to Britain as being a gentle and peaceful country. The singers of the song vow to deeply love the country and to always stand by it in all tests.