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UNIT 20: Imperial Designs

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READINGS

Reading 1

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, Linda Walton, In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998). Selections from chapter 14, "Boundaries, Encounters, and Frontiers."

Abstract: This essay examines examples of changing boundaries and frontiers in world history beginning in the fifteenth century, exploring motivations for and consequences of their crossings. While it is clear that Europeans eventually dominated much of the world in the centuries that followed, this essay complicates the conventional story of dominance by focusing on zones of interaction far from the centers of European power. Using examples from North America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and the Pacific, it shows how European power was in these zones of interaction was often contested and ambiguous.

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Reading 2

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998). Selections form chapter 15, "Crucibles of Change: Landscapes, Material Culture, and Social Life after 1500."

Abstract: This essay continues the theme of exploring social and cultural change after 1500, but in terms of cultural identity, trade, and material transformations. Once commodities were marketed around the world after 1500, new products and ideas could substantially alter the fabric of life in a variety of settings. Such commodities also led to increasing connections between the peoples of the world, whether these connections were recognized or not. At the same time, changes brought by the new global economy were not uniform over space and time, and affected some regions far more deeply than others.

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Reading 3

James Gump, "The Imperialism of Cultural Assimilation: Sir George Grey's Encounter with the Maori and the Xhosa, 1845–1868," Journal of World History 9:1 (Spring 1998): 89-106.

Abstract: A governor in New Zealand (1845–53 and 1861–68) and in South Africa (1854–61), Sir George Grey was recognized by his contemporaries as one of the most successful colonial administrators in the British empire. Grey's reputation rested in large part on his celebrated "native policy," which he characterized as a program of "amalgamation." This article examines the implementation of Grey's amalgamation strategy between 1845 and 1868 and evaluates its effects. The immediate legacy was the advent of a spirited resistance, a cultural rejection of colonial domination by the Xhosa and the Maori. At the same time, Grey's policies helped pave the way for white supremacy in South Africa as well as the alienation of millions of acres of Maori land in New Zealand.

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