I did a practice DBQ. If anyone could tell me how many points I got, I would really appreciate it.
May 4th prompt about indigenous peoples reaction to state expansion.
Although the indigenous people’s sentiments towards state expansion varied, because of the condescending manner in which they were treated and because of the land that was unfairly being taken from them, indigenous people showed immense disapproval of the efforts towards state expansion, often in the form of rebellion. For those indigenous groups that did not show as much anger towards state expansion and chose to keep peace with Europeans, they still voiced their complaints and conflicting ideas. As imperialism spread around the globe, many oppressed and controlled states developed their own forms of Nationalism and united to oppose and resist the forms of colonialist and imperialist control. During this time period of economic imperialism, many newly industrialized states like Britain and France began controlling other states forcibly. Trade in some commodities was organized in a way that gave merchants and companies based in Europe and the U.S. a distinct economic advantage. This led to the efforts of state expansion executed by European countries that wanted the upper hand in trade.
Document 5 expresses a Javanese aristocrat’s distaste towards the behavior of Dutch officials, and their clear belief that the natives are inferior. This aristocrat mentions that the Dutch officials allow natives to kiss their feet, which is a manner of showing extreme respect. This aristocrat showed his immense disapproval of the way in which the Dutch acted as if they were superior. As an aristocrat, this perspective is extremely important to consider, as this means it is coming from a noble person, someone higher in the social hierarchy. This is coming from an educated member of the Javanese population, which should be taken into consideration as this is someone educated who also cares about the natives of their population. The account of this Javanese aristocrat shows the disapproval of the indigenous people towards European state expansion as a result of the patronizing attitude that made the indigenous people seem inferior.
Document 4, a letter from a Hawaiian queen to the United States, showed her protesting the United States’ attempt to own much of the land that was rightfully hers, without any due process of law. As a leader of indigenous people, her account is extremely important to note when considering the sentiments of indigenous people towards the United States. Her letter was a form of direct communication showing her distaste for state expansion, and this distaste stemmed from the fact that her people’s land was being taken without any compensation. Although her letter was peaceful and involved no threats, this could not be said about many other indigenous people. These sentiments are reflective of the way that many indigenous people felt about European state expansion. Anti-imperial resistance took various forms, including direct resistance within empires and the creation of new states on the peripheries. As imperialism spread around the globe, many oppressed and controlled states developed their own forms of Nationalism and united to oppose and resist the forms of colonialist and imperialist control. In Peru, Amaru led a rebellion against the Spanish Viceroyalty mostly due to their political change in the Bourbon reforms. This saw an uprising near Cuzco where mestizos and natives banded up to revolt against all Spanish control in order to attain independence. Document 3 is another example of the violence that was incited in indigenous people due to state expansion. It is an Ethiopian painting of the Battle of Adowa, in which Italian troops lost to Ethiopians. It shows a very violent scene with numerous casualties and many troops charging towards each other. The indigenous people of Ethiopia reacted very strongly towards state expansion; much more strongly than the disapproving account of a Javanese aristocrat or the peaceful letter from a Hawaiian queen to the USA. On top of these many rebellions and wars, In India, there was also a rebellion that was led by the Indian people in hopes of driving out their colonial rulers. This was also called the Sepoy rebellion, and it was largely unsuccessful. This mutiny also showed the British that they needed to lock down more control on India, and thus the Queen was put in charge of the whole colony, and India was governed more strictly.
One example of a group of indigenous people that kept peace with the Europeans was the Ashanti. Document 1 shows an Ashanti leader’s response to a British offer, and despite its respectful decline of the offer, it states the need to remain friendly with Europeans. However, after this letter was written in 1891, in West Africa, the Yaa Asantewaa war was the final war in a series of conflicts between the British Imperial government of the Gold Coast (later Ghana) and the Ashanti Empire. The peace obviously did not last long, as this war happened in 1900. While initially efforts for peace were effective, over time, these measures did not last for many indigenous groups.
Overall, the indigenous people exhibited drastic differences in responses to state expansion. While Document 1 shows an extremely peaceful exchange, Document 3 shows a violent war between an indigenous group and a European country. Document 4 shows a more direct confrontation, while Document 5 simply shows someone watching what happens and commenting their distaste towards the situation. The extent of variation among indigenous people’s responses towards state expansion was not only very extreme, but the changes over time for one indigenous group such as the Ashanti were drastic, from efforts towards peace to a bloody war.