Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Economies and Empire

Colonialism and the Clash of National Visions

Essential Questions

Essential questions help organize the content of these collections. Exploring the concept of colonization through this collection of photographs, students are invited to consider the following questions:

  • How did European countries justify colonialism?
  • What were the main interests of the colonists?
  • How did photographs help to justify or undermine the message or policies of colonialism?
  • How did photographs help to shape perceptions of these regions?
  • What are some of the conditions that led to nationalist movements?
  • How does colonialism conflict with nationalism?
  • What different ways of resisting colonialism did people devise?
  • How did photographers define the resisters and the colonizers?

Grade Level

High School

Classroom Connections

Social Studies
World History

Curriculum Snapshot

  • Colonialism, the system of control by European powers over parts of Africa and the subcontinent of Asia
  • The origins and instrumental uses of colonial photography
  • Resistance to colonialism in the form of nationalist movements by using two case studies: India and Algeria


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Photos downloaded from the Essential Lens site are cleared for educational use only.

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