'The "world contact" introduced by Europeans has created new liberties for Non-Europeans.' Discuss critically, giving evidence for your position.

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  • 'The "world contact" introduced by Europeans has created new liberties for many Non-Europeans.' Discuss critically, giving evidence for your position.
    • The Discovery of the Americas
      • The first European animals were brought to the Americas by Colombus in 1493 - there were previously only Alpacas, but he introduced Horses, Cattle, Goats and Chickens.
      • Horses were used as a means of communication, as there was no infrastructure.
      • The Natives used the Horses to rear Buffalo, important aspect of their culture.
      • They were the first animals to turn grass into wool and milk - previously it had only been meat.
      • Maize, Manioc,sweet potato, chilli etc all introduced to world foods.
        • Maize was cultivated in West Africa and China before the end of the 16th C, helped China to become the fastest growing population by the end of the 18th C.
      • HOWEVER...
        • Europeans benefitted too: Ireland + the potato. Food of the poor, helped the population frow from 3.2 million in 1754 to 8.2 million in 1844.
        • Discovery not possible without the tech of the Non-Europeans: Islamic world - Lanteen Sail, Chinese - Compass and Stern Post Rudder.
        • "New Liberties" not "created": Europe was less wealthy than the rest of Eurasia, its only advantage was "a geographical accident" (Ponting)
        • DISEASE
          • Smallpox arrived shortly after Combus's voyages - aided in the capture of the Aztec capital city TENOCHTTITLAN by Hernando Cortes - invaders had a semi-divine status due to their immunity.
          • Measles and Typhus followed, (and Yellow Fever and Malaria on the Slave ships)
          • Native population of the Caribbean in 1500 was 6 million, and they were nearly all exterminated
          • Total population of the Americas in 1500 was 70 million, by 1600 it was 8 million - population decrease of 90%.
      • Gold and Silver
        • European dominance of the Atlantic world gave them access to Gold and Silver, which in turn meant they could buy their way into the Asian Trading System.
        • China experienced a huge increase in wealth, they had previously relied on Japan for Silver but they were running out.
        • Importance of a recognised monetary unit of transaction - Globalisation.
        • HOWEVER...
          • Limited European impact until 1750s, as China and Japan were strong enough to dictate trade on their own terms - as they already had well developed economies European trade was small scale.
    • The Slave Trade
      • Sugar was an important commodity for the West
      • British didn't understand the importance of slavery on the population, relative depopulation of the African continent - ripe for colonisation.
      • African slaves were shipped over as part of the Colombian Exchange to replace European workers on the plantations.
      • Europeans created a myth that Africans were uniquely suited to harsh work in tropial climates.
      • Average life expectancy of a Caribbean slave was 7 years.
      • 17th C 1.8 million slaves imported, 18th C 6 million slaves.
    • Anglo-Zulu Wars, 1879
      • British depicted Zulus as barbaric, uncivilised and in need of the white man's help: "White Man's Burden" (Kipling)
      • Zulu's seen as a threat to common British rule, HINDSIGHT: forced into war, British aggression by Lord Chelmsford.
      • British initially defeated at Isandlwana, massacred. But, success later at Rorke's Drift, paved the way for the Second Invasion being a success.
      • Resulted in the Annexation of Zulu lands in South Africa, which catalysed the Boer Wars.
    • Kenya's White Terror, 1950s
      • Kenya became a British protectorate in 1895, and then a colony in 1920.
      • Land expropriation by the British (White Settler Expansion) resulted in the economic marginalisation of the Kikuyu people (inc. Mau Mau)
      • 7 million acres of land taken, mainly in the fertile mountainous regions.
      • Forced Kenyan's to work on British land through 'Hut Tax', resulted in total near neglect of native subsistence farming.
      • Screening Camps set up by British for Kikuyu - 'detention and rehabilitation' - war crimes??
      • RAF dropped 6 million bomb. Also dropped propaganda leaflets, and leaflets depicting a woman being hacked to death.
      • State of Emergency declared in 1952 after 2 British killed by Kikuyu.
      • Flogging administered by settlers - "rough justice". Rape, torture, murder.
    • India
      • By 1902 there was 26,000 miles of rail track laid in India, more than anywhere else in Asia.
      • Irrigation: land used for cultivation increased from 400,000 acres to 3.2 million acres.
      • The Hindu practise of 'Sati' was outlawed - widow burning.
      • HOWEVER...
        • 1750s - capture of EIC's main trading port Calcutta by the Nawab for £££ - led to 1757 Battle of Plassey. EIC won, resulted in collection of wealth on a scale never seen before, collected state revenues from Orissa, Bihar and Bengal.
        • 1790 India contributed £500,000 per year to the British Treasury, by 1820 it was 7x that of 1770.
        • Indian goods were used for the benefit of the British - British bought Indian goods to be sold in Europe, avoiding the drain of silver to China.
        • India enabled Britain to sell more than it bought - Lancashire Textile Industry and Industrial Revolution - made up for trade deficit with the rest of the world.
    • China
      • Opium brought in to pay for the tea Britain imported, as Raw cotton exports from India were not enough.
      • Overrode 1729 Anti-Opium edict, Opium addiction became an epidemic by 18th C.
      • First Opium War: China lost and had to accept the terms of the Treaty of Nanjing - limit tariffs and accept "extraterritoriality"; British merchants non longer answerable to Chinese laws but to home laws.
      • Loss of soverignity, China's "century of humiliation"
    • The Empire and War
      • WW1 - "TOTAL WAR"
        • 'High Noon' of British Imperialism 1914-1918 BUT began to unravel afterwards.
        • India paid £146 million towards the cost of war
        • Almost 1.5 million of the 2.5 million British Empire troops were Indian.
          • Colonies as a source of human capital
        • Division of the war spoils by Britain and France - carved up former Gerrman colonies in South West Africa.
        • Approx. 100,000 Africans and 90,000 Chinese died on the Western Front.
        • East African campaigns fought on the backs of African labour - porters, carriers, etc.
        • "THE SUN NEVER SETS ON THE BRITISH EMPIRE."
        • HOWEVER...
          • WW2 -Colonial strength after WW1 was ILLUSIONARY
            • After 1945, Britain and France faced an irreversal defeat of legitimacy, asked subjects once again to bear the burdens of fighting a 'total war' in defence of a colonial system that offered them few rewards.
            • Shown by readiness to resort to violence - shows limits of the legitimacy of colonial rule.
      • By 1917 Canada supplied 1/2 of all shrapnel.

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