Thesis Question

I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my thesis…

Prompt: Evaluate the extent to which indigenous peoples’ reactions to state expansion differed during the period 1750-1900.

Thesis: Native people’s reactions to state expansion during 1750-1900 differed in that some like the Hawaiiwan Islands would try to appease foreign powers and others like the Ethiopians took active measures to combat foreign encroachment.

I’m not really sure if I answered the “extent” part of the prompt/is this thesis nuanced enough?


I’d say you’ve got something to start with. When dealing with “To what extent” I usually advise my students to think about it in terms of “How Much/How Little”. You could also think of it like this:

Although some native peoples like the Hawaiians attempted to appease colonizing powers during the period of 1750-1900, because of radical nationalistic movements in countries like India, and Effective pushback from groups like the Ethiopians, the larger reaction of native peoples to imperializing powers was largely negative.

Or something like that. I’m not actually looking at any docs, I’m just pulling that out of thin air basically.

Good luck tomorrow!

Thanks! That makes sense.

But if I use a “because” like in your example where you say “because of radical nationalistic movements in countries like India, and Effective pushback from groups like Ethiopians”

Would my body paragraphs be able explaining those radical nationalistic movements, i.e. (explaining the causes of indigenous people’s reactions) or should I still focus on how the indigenous people actually reacted? For example, in my essay I wrote about how people in different countries resisted and what actions they took.

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I hear what you’re saying. I tend to think in rather broad strokes, you if you were to use my example, one thing you could do is talk about the radical movements alongside their overall reactions. That might even lend you toward complexity.

Good luck today!!

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