Riseof Imperialism or Colonialism in North America
Riseof imperialism or colonialism in North America
Acountry declares a land as its colony when it establishes settlementsand assumes total control over the land’s economy andadministration(Hixson, 2013).Throughout the mid and late 15thcentury, Europe had acquired mastery over most of the world’soceans and their respective wind patterns (Hixson,2013). From this knowledge they started to establish astronomical gadgetsand trigonometric charts to plot the position of the sun and starsswapped oarsmen with sails and commenced to better understand windand ocean patterns and currents respectively (Hixson,2013).The pioneers of European expansion were Portugal which by 1385existed as a Unitary Kingdom unlike other European countries (Hixson,2013).However, Portugal centered its action on the West African coast. Itwould be Spain that would discover the “New World”.
Columbus’sdiscovery the new world initiated a period of European expeditionsthat later on culminated to colonizations. When he sailed back toSpain, he claimed to have found a western way to the East(Carlisle, 2007).What followed were expeditions to this new course way to the East.France, Holland and England in addition sent expeditions to Americahowever they did not set up stable colonies during this period. Itwas until early 1600s when England established settlements inVirginia whereby this group was primarily interested in finding gold(Carlisle,2007).Later voyages such as the Pilgrim arrived later on and establishedpermanent residences along the eastern coast.
Theindigenous people of North America were extremely different eachhaving different languages, culture and customs, religious beliefsand most importantly was the existence of long volatile relationsamongst themselves (Carlisle,2007).Even though they perceived Europeans as strangers, they mostlytreated them as trade partners and as friends for the sole purpose ofacquiring geopolitical advantages. Initially they did not picture theEuropeans as invaders, since at the onset, the English and Frenchexplorers did not act like aggressor.
Lateron the American natives would change their perception of theEuropeans from explorers to invaders (Vickers,2006).This would mark the start of vicious resistance battles that would bewaged on for considerable vast periods of time. The escalatingBritish influence and persistence intertribal pressures finallyresulted in the 1675-1677 war that was dubbed King Philip’s War(Vickers, 2006).During this war period, native fighters waged attacks on travellersand on settlement schemes across southern New England. Settlementssuch as Springfield among others were torched to the ground.
Sporadicand violent battles involving natives and the new settlers continuedon into the late years of the 18thcentury (Vickers,2006).European settlements throughout America were first established byfirst conquering and killing the native occupants. It is approximatedthat in the initial 100 years of European occupation, more than20,000 Native Americans got killed by colonial forces (Vickers,2006).Regardless of their much spirited rebellion and resistance they weremostly defeated by the superior nature of European weaponsparticularly the riffles.
Thecauses and goals of violent revolutions such as American Revolutionand none violent revolution such as Indian independence movementstrategies, policies, actions and tactics.
Revolutionshave taken place throughout human history and differ extensively interms of methods, duration and the motivating ideologies(Goldstone, 2014).Their outcomes comprise major transformations in culture, financialsystems and socio-political organizations.
Quitea number of revolutions begin with the eruption of violence, which isover and over again a response to discriminating repression or otherextraordinary constrains from governments against its own citizens(Goldstone,2014).The American Revolution is a good example of a violent revolution.This violence acquired the form of a revolutionary warfare withcongress assuming leadership. The American Revolution was unique inits own way since it marked the first anti-colonial, egalitarianrevolution in record. A number of factors were behind the onset ofthis remarkable event(Allison, 2011).
TheAmericans considered themselves as independent entities from Britain.They wanted to govern themselves independently as they perceivedBritain to be extremely far off. They were generally opposed to thenotion of people living far away, telling them of how to live andconduct their lives (Allison,2011).On the other hand, the British administration wanted to maintainAmerica as a colony due to the vast resources that characterizedAmerica.
Tensionsescalated when Britain decide to increase taxes as well as makeAmerica contribute immensely to the war debt incurred in during theFrench and Indian War (Allison,2011).The colonies debated British legal capacity to tax them while at thesame time refusing to incorporate them into the British legislature. The combination of harsh taxation terms and the absence ofrepresentation led to the famous “taxation without representation”movement. American began to pile guns and ammunitions therebydefying British laws. It was the defence of such a pile up thatresorted to the first shots been fired at Concord and Lexington thusmarking the onset of the revolutionary War (Allison,2011).
Theultimate goal behind this war was for America to become a sovereignnation, thereby establishing a new structure of governance (Allison,2011).Also, proponents wanted to attain equal privileges for all itscitizens and launch the statute of law as well free America oftyranny.
Nonviolent revolution is a kind of revolution whereby campaigners mostlyuse civil resistance to instigate change in governments that areperceived as being authoritarian(Erickson, 2012).A non violent revolution is distinguished by concurrent support ofdemocratic systems, human rights and nationwide freedom in theconcerned countries. In some situations a movement of civilresistance of a revolutionary objective can be to initiate the fallof a dictatorial regime (Erickson,2012).Often in such a case support or benevolence of the military largelyincreases success rates.
MohandasGhandi objected racism in South Africa and British colonial rule inIndia by use of nonviolent mechanism. The real implication of theIndian freedom agenda in Gandhi’s perspective is that was achievedthrough nonviolent means. He was opposed to violence since he knewthat unarmed civilians had minimal chances of attaining success inarmed rebellions. According to him violence was clumsy weapon thatresulted into more problems than it solved. Also he was categoricalthat violence would produce hatred and resentment that would hindergenuine reconciliation efforts.
Gandhiadvocated for industrial boycotts especially after the massacre ofunarmed protestors in Amritsar(Mukherjee, 2004). From that point strikes were rampant in India with workers demandingbetter working environments as well using these strikes as arevolutionary action to express displeasure with the Britishadministration (Mukherjee,2004).Though the British administration arrested and jailed Gandhi, thisdid not deter him from his course. Upon being released in 1928 afterserving two years in jail, he vast numbers of satyagrahans to defythe British Salt Laws and produce salt on their own. This denied theBritish government revenue from taxation (Mukherjee,2004).
Pressurecontinued to mount on the British government even after the death ofGandhi to transfer power of governance to the locals. In an attemptto appease the multitude, the government appointed an Indian PrimeMinister to head a transition government that would finally result toan independent country (Mukherjee,2004).Just like a violent revolution, this nonviolent revolution resultedin the independence of India as well as to mark the end to the yearsof British oppression.
Allison,R. J. (2011). TheAmerican Revolution: A concise history.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carlisle,R. P., & Golson, J. G. (2007). ColonialAmerica from settlement to the Revolution.Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.
Erickson,S., Kurtz, L., & Coy, P. G. (2012). NonviolentResistance.Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Goldstone,J. A. (2014). Revolutions:A very short introduction.
Hixson,W. L. (2013). Americansettler colonialism: A history.
Mukherjee,M. (2004). Peasantsin India`s non-violent revolution: Practice and theory.New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Vickers,D., & Blackwell Reference Online (Online service). (2006). Acompanion to colonial America.Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.