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Assignment: Nonviolent Resistance

Assignment: Nonviolent Resistance

Assignment: Nonviolent Resistance

NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT:Assignment: Nonviolent Resistance

The Portuguese and French tried to assimilate colonized peoples. France even granted Algerians seats in the national legislature and positions in the national cabinets. The Dutch in Indonesia allowed native rulers to remain in power. Great Britain pursued both strategies, relying on local authorities to maintain law and order and allowing natives to pursue careers in public administration, attend British schools and universities, and enter the professions.*

Nonetheless, the idea of being governed by a distant country was repugnant to most colonial peoples. In many cases, independence and violence went hand in hand. In India, however, Mahatma Gandhi led a nationwide mass campaign of nonviolent resistance(satyagraha), a strategy later adopted by Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States. (Ironically, both Gandhi and King were assassinated.)

Colonialism’s legacy remains controversial. Any advances in health (hospitals), education (schools), and transportation (roads) generally came at a high price for the native peoples—including disruption of traditional ways of life and epidemics caused by the introduction of European germs into populations with no resistance.*

Landmarks in History The Age of Imperialism

A new wave of European colonial expansion occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century, sometimes called the Age of Imperialism. Earlier in that century, popular revolutions in the Americas against England, Spain, and Portugal had led to disillusionment with empires and colonies. Industrialization diverted attention from external expansion in favor of internal development, and the new emphasis on free trade removed much of the rationale for global empire building. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli expressed the tenor of the times in 1852. “These wretched colonies,” he said, “will all be independent too in a few years and are a millstone around our necks.”

But as industry grew, Europe’s economic and political leaders began to seek new sources of raw materials and new markets for their products. After 1870, free trade gave way to protectionist policies, and soon a race for new colonies began. Various theories defending colonial expansion were expounded. Alfred T. Mahan’s geopolitical concepts were used to “prove” great powers could not survive without overseas possessions. Charles Darwin’s concept of the survival of the fittest was used to “prove” colonialism was in accordance with the inexorable laws of nature.