Imperialism and Colonialism

Back in school, if we talked about imperialism or colonialism, it was really only about our own state.  There would be some mentions here and there of these major European forces laying claim on other areas, but not to the same extent as with our own state.  Along with that, while what we were told in history classes about these topics, mercantilism was the primary driving factor in some way, shape, or form.  What we were not taught though, was how these people that were subjected to such forces were treated.  That knowledge mostly came from classes here on campus.  I have learned from classes that in order to control production or crop control, these invading forces would burn or cut down any oppositions to stay in control of the market and so that those that were from that area could not profit in any way from it.  It could even be said that European greed even led to things like the Rwandan Genocide, where with how European forces intervened in the culture of the groups and how they interacted with one another, it ended up creating break downs in the society the Hutu and Tutsi people created before the interference.  And, the only reason why there was interference was for labor and resources located in the region.

Imperialism and colonialism are not all bad though.  After all, it was because of that, our state was formed, though flip side of that being the destruction of many cultures and ideologies that had once existed here with the Native Americans.  In the case of India, British rule, from what I have learned, had helped the country in a few ways.  British involvement helped bring the country together instead of being run by several princely states that made up India, where each state had their own rule and ideas for how things should be run.  Not only that, but British rule brought infrastructure, which is not something that would have appeared nearly as quickly as it had.  The Indians also looked to the British as an example and used many British ideals and ideas of how their culture was to help create and form their own unique system.  Many things like their law system had basis from British influence, and that would not have happened without them there.

Despite that though, not everything was positive about British rule in India.  Their rule brought about stricter classes or castes where those of lighter skin colour would be able to have the opportunity to receive higher education, whereas those that were darker had a much harder time moving from their position in society.  The divide between groups became more defined and movement between these classes hard.  So, while there were positive things that came from British control in India, there were also many negative aspects of it.  The opposite could be said for the first paragraph–although there were many negative connotations, not all of it had to be necessarily bad.  There could have been some positive influences in there among the bad.  So although there may have been resistance whenever it was brought about, not everything about it was bad, nor was everything good.  There were pros and cons to it–it just depends on how you view the matter.

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