Social Studies 10-1
December 4, 2018
Related Issue 2
Position Paper Unit Exam
Historical Globalization, in short terms, was the time period when Christopher Columbus have said to be found the “New World” to which is the Americas. This has resulted in European contacts and trades from all around the world. Learning about historical globalization is a way to understand the events that happened in our history. It is also a way to realize how these events impacted the Africans and the indigenous peoples of the world in the past and how it is impacting the world that we live in today. This source is being portrayed in a negative way in historical globalization because the source is saying that Imperialism, the domination of one country’s economic, political and cultural institutions, caused catastrophic effects on the indigenous people’s lives. And that ethnocentrism, the way of thinking that one’s cultural beliefs are superior to the others, limited the opportunity to improve to their potential for the Indigenous Peoples and the Africans due to the fact that they were overpowered and were forced to live the way their colonial masters, in this case, the Europeans, wanted them to. The author’s motivation to write the source is to educate people about the negative legacies of historical globalization and imperialism and to also raise awareness of the devastating effects that were caused by imperialism; hoping that their cultures would revitalize and be repaired. Some groups of people would support the source and would believe that imperialism and ethnocentrism ruined the Indigenous People’s lives. For instance, First Nations, Rwandans, South Africans and other indigenous groups that are still trying to overcome the struggles caused by these events and their consequences. Some groups of people, however, would go against the perspective of the source, such as the Europeans of the time who believed that they were doing nothing wrong to the colonized groups but helped them live the right way. Due to the imperialism and ethnocentrism left devastating effects on Africans, Rwandans and the Indigenous People from all over the world, it is clear that both gave a long-lasting effect on the groups to which some still carry to this day. Therefore, we should embrace the perspective of this source to a great extent because people were put into slaves and not benefit much for it, their cultures and practices were being taken away and lastly, many people were killed as a result.
As previously mentioned, Imperialism is the domination of one country’s cultural, political and economic institutions. Imperialism’s main motive is economic gain; meaning that they would take resources that would be valuable to the parent country from that particular country. This resulted in Africans being put into slavery and not having much benefit to it. For instance, Scramble for Africa was the invasion, occupation and the dividing of the African continent during the imperialism period. The main causes were strategic reasons, Africa was connected to the Suez Canal and the Europeans took advantage over it and the fact that the continent had resources that the Europeans find valuable in their home country. Many Europeans however, did not want to find it themselves and instead put the Africans into slavery as their way of free labour. The Africans were not given proper home and environment to work and on top of that, they were abused physically, verbally and sexually. As a result, they did not benefit from the work were done and at most times, do not get the time to have a break and eat. To this day, Africa is still suffering to the impacts in the past, considering that they still do not have a stable government and economy. This demonstrates that elements of the source are correct. In summary, Imperialism gave the Europeans power to control Africans to slavery and not have many benefits afterwards. Instead, they were still in a catastrophic state to this day we live on.
Imperialism and ethnocentrism did cause some damages to the social and psychological aspects of indigenous people’s lives, In fact, they were not only forced to leave and give up their homeland for raw resources but they were also taught how to live like the Europeans, which most imperialist powers believed was the only right way to live. The Indian Act was the set of laws that distinguish those who was considered an Indian and those who weren’t. This impacted the Indigenous People’s lives due to the fact that the Indian Act caused people to lose their identity legally, to which is called Status Indians. The Residential Schools in Canada for also was created with the goal of assimilating First Nation children. They were forced to leave their families to attend the schools. In the school, they were forced to abandoned all their cultural beliefs, from their language to their whole identity as a First Nation. They were only allowed to speak English and sometimes French. Most of the children in the school were also abused verbally, physically and sexually. All of these challenges impacted the First Nations lives socially and psychologically. The colonizers did, in fact, left some devastating impact on the lives of indigenous people in Canada.
The term ethnocentrism refers to the way of thinking that one’s cultural beliefs are superior to the others. This created tensions among groups of people such as conflicts, rebellions against each other and so on. But a big factor in these types of conflicts can result in a lot of lives being lost. Rwanda, for example, had felt the damages caused by ethnocentrism. During the imperialism period, Rwanda was divided into three main groups, The Hutus, Tutsi and Twa. The Tutsis were given all the higher position in the society while the Hutu were considered as the inferior race. When Belgium took over Rwanda, they issued identification cards to classify who was considered a Twa, Tutsi or Hutu. This classification was based on one’s physical structure, the number of owned cattle and their position in society. Some Hutus would sometimes pay in order to change their identity card, while some of the Rwandans left during the colonization. The Hutus were also required for labours. Because of the special treatment that the Tutsis are getting, after the Rwandans independence from Belgium, the Hutus started to rebel against them. It led to a conflict between the two groups. In 1994 the plane that was carrying the President of Rwanda was shot down. Minutes after the incident the Genocide, the mass killing of people and targeted groups of people, began. The genocide was made to erase the Tutsi. All the Tutsis form of identity was destroyed.
Taking everything into account, it may be said that imperialism and ethnocentrism did in fact left catastrophic events on African and Indigenous peoples around the world that still is carried today. Factors such as the slavery in Scramble for Africa, the loss of cultural practices were being taken away in Residential Schools in Canada and the Genocide in Rwanda demonstrates how we should embrace the perspective of the source to a great extent. There is no clear meaning to what would happen to the people’s lives in the future but knowing the history in the Indigenous peoples and Africans give a positive hope that it would not be repeated.