dbq #1 response
Prior to the nineteenth century, a new revolution was unfolding worldwide that invoked people to understand their human rights and participate while state powers increased their desire for colonization and conquest. The Enlightenment movement provoked people to understand that they should not willingly submit to powers, as human rights led people to understand that they should have a say in government as well. At the same time, European and Japanese powers were increasingly overtaking weaker states following their INdustrial Revolutions that led to greater, more powerful technologies they were able to use, but needed to maintain using raw materials. Thus, at conventions like the Berlin Conference, European powers planned their conquest of states worldwide while these victimized states were beginning to understand that they shouldn’t submit to these looming powers because of Enlightenment ideals. Although colonization and conquest from European and Japanese powers were growing more overwhelming in nature, nevertheless some states’ indegenous peoples were willing to resist because of their patriotism while others were forced to succumb more easily because of their lesser development and power from the Industrial Revolution.
Some states were bonded together by national pride, so much so that they were able to put up force against colonial powers longer than others. In Document 1, a leader of the African state of Ashanti is resisting the British offer of protecting the state. As a leader of the state, Prempeh maintains his legitimacy and power by undermining the British state and reassuring the British that the Ashanti would suffice on their own. However, given that at the time, the British had colonized many others African states following the Berlin conference and the overwhelming colonization of India (representative in the document as well because of the empress), it is unlikely that the Ashanti will be able to put up a strong shield against the aggressive British for long, especially since the British had a strong military (supplanted by India) and naval technologies. This shows that even though the Ashanti leader might know that a British colonization could be inevitable, he decides with his government not to take the British protection, even if he needs it, to maintain nationalistic pride. Additionally, in Document 2, a Korea order based on Neo-Confucianism urges its state’s own army to take part in the resistance against Japanese colonial powers. (2) By using the basis of the Neo-Confucian ideal of order, the Tonghak wants to build nationalism and resistance to the other army based on a strong ethnic source of pride. This shows that the Tonghak still want nationalism to prevail even as other parts of their own state consider succumbing to the Japanese. Furhtermore, in Document 3, nationalism is clearly seen as a successful resistance against a European power as Ethiopia is shown to have prevailed over Italy in Italy’s attempt of colonization. Men are also depicted wearing turbans, showing that religious ideals consolidated nationaliic sentiment in Ethiopia, helping to unite Ethiopians against their fight against Italy and win, especially given that Italy was just newly unified after being politically fragmented for so long.
While some countries were able to put up nationalistic sentiment to fight colonial powers, others found themselves underdeveloped and unable to attain and keep what was rightfully theirs in the hands of colonial powers. Document 4 shows the Queen of Hawaii sending a letter directly to the U.S. government, asking for property of Hawaii to be given back. Given the fact that she is a Queen and is requesting for her land back, it shows that the land was able to have been taken in the first place by the U.S. This is probably because the U.S. had industrial technologies after the Industrial Revolution was prevailing there that allowed them to colonize other territories. The Queen also shows no hint of nationalistic sentiment or resistance; instead, she shows the opposite, as she gives in to plead for her land back. This undermines her legitimacy and power as Queen since she is unable to grasp the holding of Hawaii. Additionally, in document 5, a Javanese colony in SouthEast Asia is shown to be almost like the Dutch’s pets. Social Darwinism was a fluid concept in Europe, making Europeans believe that they were superior to other races; this concept was applied in this document, as the Javanese are forced to treat their colonizers like how they would treat their own elders out of cultural respect. Given that the document was written by an activist for women inr egards to the Dutch discrimination, the author was probably also a human rights activist who intended to write this document to show the unfairness and discrimination that the Dutch showed their colonial victims. This cultural appropriation shows that the Southeast Asian colonies were held on a sense of inferiority, especially given the widespread Dutch conquest by the Dutch East India Company and the physical incapability of the Southeast Asians to fight back, This shows that the Southeast Asian colonies have also given in to conquest by the colonial powers rather than resisting them. This shows that the states that were already weakened or not fully developed in the first place had a hard time putting up a strong, nationalistic resistance to colonial powers.
Even though some countries were able to push back European and Japanese colonial powers, at least for some time, other countries were unable to put up a good fight due to physical incapability in the midst of colonial powers rapidly expanding. However, this continued into the twentieth century, because eventually India, Britain’s greatest colonial holding, was able to utilize their nationalism, rooted in ethnic identity, to overthrow the British, showing the nationalism did take countries far, but only if they had the capabilities to do so. Indigenous people were held together by a bondage often rooted in history and had become part of their identity, and with that, they were able to shield and protect their state from outside invasion, while others were held apart because of the lack of that same bondage of the lacking technologies, people, or simply power or motivation to fight back.