Prompt: Evaluate the extent to which indigenous people’s reactions to state expansion differed during 1700-1900 (bold part is my outside evidence)
Before this time period, the growth of maritime exploration and land based empires swept the globe. European states created trans-oceanic connections and established strategic trading ports across the Indian Ocean network. This was all made possible because of new ideologies such as mercantilism and the creation of joint-stock companies more fit for expansion. With this, they controlled the trade, creating monopolies over spice trade, fueling their economy to support economic imperialism. Thus, as these countries began their state expansion looking for more resources and coerced labor, the indigenous people were faced against these powerful, militaristic countries. Although some indigenous responses to state expansion involved direct resistance shown with the Ashanti or Ethiopians, others such as the Hawaiians and Javanese were taken advantage of.
Various indigenous peoples responded with resistance when states attempted to expand into their territories. Shown in Document 1, the Ashanti leader responds to British imperialism by rejecting their offer. Stating that he would “never commit himself to any such policy”, Premph I definitely shows direct resistance. By refusing to cooperate with the powerful British country, Premph I was well aware of the consequences he would face. However, he refused to give into the European’s will, showing direct resistance. Another example documenting the resistance of state expansion is shown with the picture in document 3. The image shows the Battle of Adowa fought between the Ethiopians and Italian troops. Both sides of the war are equipped with gunpowder weapons such as cannons and rifles suggesting that Ethiopia was as advanced as the expanding Italians. The purpose of this painting was to showcase their victory over the supposingly strong European country. During this time, many of the European countries that industrialized early swept many states with their superior military. This battle against the Ethiopians was one of the few times the Europeans lost, and thus they would take pride in becoming victorious. By fighting the Italians, the Ethiopians showed direct resistance unlike other countries that were conquered through diplomatic means. The Haitain Revolution shows another example of indigenous people showing resistance to state expansion. In this case, the slaves revolted against their French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue and ultimately were successful. This shows that the slaves did not accept their current state being under the French as decided to openly resist their conquering.
Although some people resisted the state expansion of empires, others did not and were taken advantage of. For example, Queen Liliuokalani, former ruler of Hawaii, protested against the colonization of her island. The United States ended up expanding into Hawaii, using it for their economic advantage for cash crops (4). Obviously, she did not receive her land as she asked, showing the loss and fact that she had been taken advantage of. Another example that supports this claim is the situation shown in document 5. The citizens of Java and according to a female Javanese aristocrat, the Dutch government officials showed no respect for the citizens. They forced them to perform acts such as kissing their feet that they knew were highly rude to the Javanese because they only did so to their parents or rulers. This shows that the Dutch, who were in control, were able to do as they please, taking advantage of the defenseless citizens. Considering that the author was a citizen being oppressed by Dutch government officials, her intentions would be to bring awareness to this issue. She describes these officials in the worst way possible in hopes of grabbing the attention of the Dutch government in hopes of ending the humiliation. Another example of indigenous people taken advantage of state expansion were the accounts of the sepoys. Because the sepoys were outnumbered by the British enlisted soldiers and were the minority, they were constantly harassed. One specific example was when the soldiers greased their gun cartridges with pig fat. Although it may seem fine at first, the Indians regarded the pig to be a dirty animal that they avoided. This act was highly disrespectful to the Indian Sepoys and supports the fact that they were taken advantage of and humiliated by the oppressive conquerors.