Archive for the ‘Chapter 21: Global Empire and European Culture’ Category

Berlin Conference

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

In 1884, a special meeting was held in Berlin concerning African affairs.  Fourteen nations were invited but ironically not a single African leader was invited to attend.  The Berlin Conference became the official starting point for the “scramble of Africa”.  During the meeting, the nations established borders but clashed over which nation had the actual claim to African territory.

The Interpretation of Dreams

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

One major piece of literature of the 19/20th century and the world of psychology is Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams.  Written in 1900, The Interpretation of Dreams introduces Freud’s theory of dreams in relation to unconsciousness.  The theory interprets dreams as a wish that people have when they are conscious.  This specific piece of literature was essential in helping scientist to explain conscious behaviors and treat illnesses.

First Opium War

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

During the 1840s, Britain tried to force China to accept foreign trade through intimidation from their superior naval power.  Despite the fact that the product was illegal in China, an important export from Britain to China was opium.  The product was often smuggled into China by Britain causing a large addiction among the Chinese people.  Due to the nationwide addiction, the Chinese government destroyed cretes of opium discovered in Canton in order to end the opium trade between the two nations.  China’s actions threw themselves into a five year conflict with Britain, the First Opium War (1839-1842).  China was defeated and forced to surrender Hong Kong to Britain and open five ports to foreign traders.First Opium War

Scramble for Africa

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

During the Age of New Imperialism, Africa was divided amongst the European powers.  This division occurred from the 1880s to 1914.  In the mid-1870s territorial disputes amoung European powers arose over interest in sub-Saharan Africa.  Beginning with King Leopold II of Belgium, many countries entered Africa with the intention of gaining the profits and prestige of the land.

The New Imperialism

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Chapter 21 discusses the large increase in European imperialism that took place during the nineteenth century.  In essence, this surge of imperialism was an effort made by European states to impose their rule and cultural values on non-western peoples on other continents.  This “new” imperialism was different than any colonization that came before it as a result of industrialization and greater need for raw materials, a rise in nationalism among European states (and resulting rivalries), as well as the popular belief that “superior nations” (in this case, western nations) had the inherent right to spread their culture to “inferior” nations.

Political cartoon found at: http://siirispolitics.blogspot.com/

Chapter 21: Charles Darwin

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, written in 1859, is considered to be a of the major works of the 19th century.  Darwin provides insight on the process of evolution through the principles of natural selection.  He discussed the struggle for food and security against predators and different animals abilities to adapt to their of  environments.  And those which survive are likely to pass their superior traits to their offspring.  Darwin’s writings removed the mystery of the way humans and animals came to be.  Through his writings, Darwin changed the way millions thought about evolution and the creation of human beings.

Darwin finches. Finches played an important role in Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection