2) Reading Questions: The Age of Imperialism

I. The Age of Imperialism reading

II. The Age of Imperialism Reading Questions

1. Why did European nations compete for overseas empires during the late nineteenth century?

Before the 19th century the reason for competing for overseas empire was to immigrate to the lands. However, during the late nineteenth century the reason was for economic reasons and prestige.

2. How did imperialists gain control of Africa?

The way that the imperialists gained control of Africa was to keep ties with Africa. They did this from “since the late 1400’s they had also maintained trading posts at the few harbours along the coasts (of Africa)”. This means that they have had contacts with the African Continent. Another way was that they had explored the insides of Africa and learned that they had “more than 700 different ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture”. This shows that they found a lot about Africa while exploring which therefore led them in to having enough information to gain control of the African continent.

3. How did the British come to dominate South Asia?

It is said that “British rule in India came about more by accident than design”. With the fall of the Mughal dynasty in the 1700’s and the defeat of France by the British led the East India Company “a cange to extend its trade”. That is why they ruled a lot of sections of India. With this start they slowly started taking over India and Southeast Asia.

4. How did European imperialism affect China?

It all started when the European illegally tried to smuggle goods from China. This led to the Opium War where china was defeated from the British. This made it easy for the Europeans to get in to China. China was forced to accept Europeans and their rule.

5. How did Japan react to European imperialism?

It it said that compared to China “Japan built a modern nation” during the european imperialism time and they resisted it and they didn’t have much of western influence. Rather than being took over by European Imperialism Japan became an imperialist country at that time taking large parts of Asia. They even had a Russo-Japanese war because they had fought over who was going to take the land of Korean and Manchuria.

6. How did imperialism develop in the Western Hemisphere?

Even though the Western Hemisphere was technically “independent” they were week and that was when “Britain and the United sates to develop business interests there”. They came in control of large parts of the Americas. Also, “the United Sates entered the war to help Cuba and Puerto Rico gain independence from Spain” because they were “interested” in having a business in those areas.

Define the following vocabulary words: imperialism, sepoy, sphere of influence, intervention

Imperialism: “Controlling territories for economic reasons and prestige”.

Sepoy: You call an Indian soldier serving under British/European orders and people a Sepoy.

Sphere of influence: A country or a territory that has power to affect development of a certain territory.

Intervention: to get in the way of.

2) Introduction to World Literature: Things Fall Apart Video Question

1. Video

Link to the Things Fall Apart Documentary

2. Script of Video

3. Was the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia more positive or more negative for the Igbo people?

The book “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe deals with the lives of the Igbo people in Nigeria and the effects that European imperialism or colonialism had on them. The book revolves around the main character Okonkwo and his struggles in trying to keep his Umuofian ways and Igbo cultures from being changed by the european colonialists. Even though that some might think that the Europeans had a positive effect on the Igbo people, I believe that the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia had more of a negative effect and this can be identified in various parts of the story.

One of the parts that this can be seen is when the Umuofians are told that there gods are not real and that there is only one god. This was one of the parts of the story that touched me very much and shocked me. It wasn’t only me who was shocked. Anthony Appiah the Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University mentions this as well:

“The first time I talked to Chinua Achebe which was, I don’t know, a quarter of a century ago or more. I remember one of thethings that he said that struck me very much. He said, ‘My ancestors would never have gone 5,000 miles in order to persuade somebody that they were wrong about the gods.’ Right? That’s just not how people were in these traditional places. For one thing, they lived in places where there were local gods. So people around the corner you knew had different gods. And you knew that there were these people to the north of you, who were Muslims. You knew that they were there, and you knew that they believed different things from what you believed. And you just sort of accepted it, as part of how the world was, that different people related to different spiritual agencies”
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Appiah hints that the natives are the ones who were sacrificed and had to believe a religion that they were forced in to. This can be seen in the novel “Things fall Apart” as well. When the white missionaries come they say that “He told them that they worshipped false gods, gods of wood and stone… He told them that the true god lived on high and that all men when they died went before Him for judgement” (Achebe 145). The white missionary also said that “”We have been sent by this great God to ask you to leave your wicked ways and false gods and turn to Him so that you may be saved when you die,” he said” (Achebe 145). The white missionary doesn’t explain why they aren’t real and just implies it on them. Later because of these missionaries, the Igbo society is torn apart and loses their culture and even their way of life and their religion.
Because they have lost their way of life an their religion. I believe that the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia had more of a negative effect on the Igbo people.
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4. Works Cited