Nineteenth-Century Imperialism

Political cartoon from 1900 in response to the Boxer Rebellion

Below please find a set of questions on imperialism of the late nineteenth century written by your classmate, Yordanka Kremenarova. Please respond with an answer of one or more paragraphs.

How was imperialism in the nineteenth century different from the colonization of earlier times? In your opinion, were the motivations for imperialism more economic or political? Please explain  your opinion.

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China and Japan in the Nineteenth Century

British depiction of the attack on the Chinese port of Amoy (now Xiamen) during the the First Opium War, Aug. 26, 1841

Below please find some web questions on China and Japan in the nineteenth century written by your classmate, Steven Liang. Please respond to at least one of these with an answer of a paragraph or more.

  • What were the problems the Chinese Empire faced against the Europeans power? What were the effects of the opium trade in China?
  • What were the effects of the Unequal Treaties?
  • How did the Tokugawa rule shift to the Meiji Restoration? What were the crises that they had to face before the Tokugawa rule ended? How did Japanese society change with the Meiji Reforms?

The Ottomans in the Nineteenth Century

Mohammed Ali (1769 – 1849), Governor (Wāli) of Egypt

Below please find some web questions written by your classmate, Maria Sultana.

  • The Ottoman Empire suffered many losses during the nineteenth century. In your opinion, which was its greatest loss, and why?
  • Who was Muhammad Ali and what did he do for Egypt?

An Islamic Reformer Speaks on Science

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

Here are several questions from your classmate, Talal Eid, on the reading in Shaping of the Modern World, “An Islamic Reformer Speaks on Science” (pp. 217-221), which is a speech by the Muslim reformer, Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani (1838-1897), who was a founder of Islamic modernism and opponent of European imperialism.

  • What does Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani believe is the relationship between Islam and science?
  • Why does Afghani say that the ulama (Muslim theologians/imams) divide science into two parts? What does he think about this?
  • What does Afghani think will happen to the Muslim community if there is a lack in philosophy?

Mexico in the Nineteenth Century

Benito Juarez (1806-1872) was a leader of the reformers, serving five terms as president and fighting against the French occupation of Mexico (1862-1867)

Below please find a set of web questions about the political and economic development of Canada and Latin America in the nineteenth century, written by your classmate, Tesh Abeeluck. Remember to answer at least one of these questions with a response of a paragraph or more.

  • What factors caused “La Reforma” to rise up after the Mexican-American War? What sort of political and social reforms did this movement create?

  • In the 1860s, what caused Napoleon III of France to intrude in Mexican affairs? What was the outcome of this episode?

The U.S. in the Nineteenth Century

African American soldiers in the Wilmington Campaign of the Civil War, Members of Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Troops (Library of Congress)

Below please find a new set of web questions written by your classmate, Wing Yan Chu, about developments in the nineteenth-century U.S. Please respond to at least one of these questions with an answer of a paragraph or more.

  • How did Native Americans respond to the westward expansion of white settlers? How was the case of the Cherokee Indians unique?
  • What were some of the different factors that made various immigrant groups decide to migrate to the U.S.? 
  • What was the political and legal status of former slaves and women after the Civil War?
  • How did the ex-slave Jourdan Anderson react to his former master’s proposal to come back and work on the old plantation?

John O’Sullivan and “Manifest Destiny”

John L. O’Sullivan (1813-1895)

Below please find web questions on John O’Sullivan’s idea of “manifest destiny,” that he articulates in the essay that you can find here. Your classmate, Tamar Walkenfeld, wrote these.

  • How does O’Sullivan explain his belief that the United States is destined to be “the great nation of futurity”?
  • How does he compare the U.S. to past monarchies and other governments?
  • What do the “gates of hell” refer to in this passage?

Industrial Capitalism and Marx

Twelve-Year Old Spinner in a Cotton Mill in Vermont (1910) by Lewis Hine

Below please find two sets of web questions from your classmates, Aroosa Altaf and Alana Horowitz. Aroosa’s questions deal with Marx and Engel’s class analysis, while Alana’s deal with the readings we did in James Fulcher’s book, Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction. Please answer at least one of these questions with a response of a paragraph or more.

  • Aroosa’s Questions: Marx and Engels depict class relations in a fairly simple way in which there’s tension between the two classes: the bourgeoisie and proletariat. Do you think that in the contemporary society that class relations are as simple as Marx and Engels depicted?
  • Alana’s Questions: Why does James Fulcher call the first stage of industrial capitalism “anarchic”? Why did countries start to try to regulate industrial working conditions?  Why does Fulcher label late nineteenth-century industrial capitalism as “managed capitalism”?

Industrial Society

A cotton textile mill in Manchester, England, around 1820.

Below please a set of web questions written by your classmate, Kristy Lee, on the emergence of industrial society. Please answer at least one of these questions with a response of a paragraph or more.

  • Why did industrialization begin in England? What are the factors that made it possible to start there?
  • How did the industrialization affect the lives of men, women, and children during nineteenth century, both in positive and negative ways?
  • How has the legacy of industrialization have an impact on our society today?

Mary Wollstonecraft and Women’s Education

Below please find some web questions on the excerpt from Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) that we read in Shaping of the Modern World (pp. 103-106). These were written by your classmate, Shirley Exilus.

Describe in your own words what you think Mary Wollstonecraft’s meant by “A False System of Education.” How does she define equality for women? Did her ideas here have any impact on today’s society? Do you feel that women now have the equality that Wollstonecraft demanded, or is there still some way to go?