History 364: Imperialism in Africa and Asia

                                                                                                Dr. David Krugler      Spring 2001                                     
Imperialism counts as one of the most profound and dramatic developments in modern world history. By 1914, the British overseas empire included India, Burma, and portions of East, West, and South Africa. With the exceptions of Liberia and Ethiopia, the rest of Africa lay under the control of other European nations. Though China was technically a sovereign nation, Europe and the United States maintained a tight hold on China’s trade and on occasion, interfered with China’s domestic politics. What led the nations of Europe to explore and colonize throughout Asia and Africa? What part did Indians, Chinese, and Africans play in the colonization process, and how did they free themselves from outside control? These are a few of the questions to be answered by our collective work in this course.
We have four overall purposes. First, we will learn and evaluate European nations’ motives for acquiring empires that lay beyond their own borders. Second, to the best of our abilities, we will view the process of imperialism through the eyes of the colonized. Our third purpose is to consider how influential ethnocentrism and acculturation were in determining the imperialism process. Finally, we will learn how India and the peoples of Africa, among others, freed themselves from the ties that bound them as colonies. To meet these purposes, lectures and discussions are presented in both chronological and topical formats.

Class meetings combine lecture and discussion of the weekly reading assignments. Our fifty-minute discussions of the reading will take place on Wednesdays, so the reading must be completed by classtime each Wednesday.

Each student must complete the writing and reading assignments by the dates indicated on the course schedule and participate in the class discussions. Regular attendance is expected—failure to attend class will adversely affect your grade through poor test performance, loss of discussion points, and failure to meet assignment deadlines. Except in case of emergency, makeup tests will not be given without prior approval.

Books: The following books are required; all are available at the rental center.

Assignments: Your grade is based on 2 tests, a research paper, and participation in the discussions of the reading assignments.

Exams: You will take a mid-term (worth 20% of your total grade) and a final (25% of the grade). The exams consist of short answer and essay questions. Subjects from the reading may appear on your exams whether or not those topics were covered in class.

Writing: You will write 1 research paper of 10 pages (worth 30% of your total grade). A sheet explaining the assignment will be distributed well in advance of the final due date, and you should consider this paper to be an on-going project. Accordingly, there are three separate due dates associated with the paper: thesis and bibliography, rough draft and peer review, and final draft (see schedule below). Please note the following: each student must participate in the in-class editing session, and late papers will not be accepted.

Discussion: Participation in these discussion periods is mandatory (25% of total grade), and will take place during the Wednesday classes. Skipped discussions cannot be made-up. To help you prepare for discussion, I will distribute a question sheet beforehand. If participation lags, expect to be quizzed on the reading for the next week. Quizzes, which will be unannounced, will be part of your discussion grade.

Grade Components:
 1 Midterm @ 20%        1 Research Paper @ 30%
       1 Final @ 25%        Participation @ 25%

Lecture & Assignment Schedule (Topics and reading are subject to announced changes).
Week 1: No reading
Wed. 1/17  Introduction; theories of imperialism and race.

Week 2: Read Conklin, 11-81; Parsons, 1-7
Mon. 1/22  India: an overview.
Wed. 1/24  Lect. Britain and India to 1857. Disc. European Weltanschauung (worldview).

Week 3: Read Wolpert, 226-49; handout
Mon. 1/29  Imperialism as topographical and architectural transformation.
Wed.  1/31 Lect.: British ruling changes in India. Disc. The Indian “Mutiny” of 1857.

Week 4: Read Wolpert, 287-300; handout
Mon. 2/5  Cultural effects of Indian and British contact.
Wed. 2/7  Lect. Origins of Indian Nationalism. Disc. Indians in South Africa.

Week 5: Conklin, 138-80; begin reading Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Mon. 2/12 Africa: an overview.
Wed. 2/14 Lect. Finish Africa overview. Disc. Representations of empire—in Europe.

Week 6: Finish reading Achebe; Paper thesis and bib. due; schedule appt. with instructor
Mon. 2/19 European takeover of the Congo.
Wed. 2/21 Lect. French in West and North Africa. Disc. Things Fall Apart.

Week 7: Read Parsons, 59-90
Mon. 2/26  The Fashoda Incident.
Wed. 2/28  Lect. “Scramble” for Africa. Disc. Britain’s African empire.

Week 8: No reading
Mon. 3/5  Egypt and the colonial powers.
Wed. 3/7  Midterm exam.

Spring Break 3/10-3/18

Week 9: Read Parsons, 91-118; Conklin, 97-110   
Mon. 3/19 China: an overview.
Wed. 3/21  Lect. The Opium Wars. Disc. British aims in China.

Week 10: Read handout
Mon. 3/26  China and the Open Door policy.
Wed. 3/28  Lect. China, US, and Europe. Disc. Chinese views of Europeans.

Week 11: Read Conklin 111-37; handout
Mon. 4/2 The East Indies.
Wed. 4/4 Lect. The East Indies, continued. Disc. Imperialism engendered.

Week 12: No reading
Mon. 4/9   French takeover of Indochina.
Wed. 4/11 Papers due and in-class peer review.

Week 13: Read Conklin, 181-220
Mon. 4/16 Vietnam’s wars for independence.
Wed. 4/18 Lect. The Quit India movement. Disc. Anticolonial resistance.

Week 14: Read Fanon, 1-74
Mon. 4/23 Revised papers due. Decolonization in India and Africa.
Wed. 4/25 Lect. Decolonization, continued. Disc. The Wretched of the Earth.

Week 15: Read Parsons, 119-47
Mon. 4/30  The Apartheid state undone.
Wed. 5/2    Lect. Vestiges of imperialism. Disc. So what exactly is imperialism?

FINAL: Friday, May 11, 3-5PM, 101 Boebel.