Archive for June, 2008

DBQ, Ronaldshay and Imperialism

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 by John Murnane

The European Misconception On The Westernization Of The East: The Boxer Rebellion, Sepoy Mutiny, Belgian Congo, Urabi Revolt, & Hut Tax War.*

Matthew Echelman
Dr. John Murnane
AP World History Period D
March 4, 2008

Lord Ronaldshay’s remarks “that contact with Western thought and Western ideals has exercised a revivifying influence upon all the races of the East” exemplifies a familiar European perspective that is mostly erroneous. While it is undeniable that there have been some benefits to direct European presence in the latter half of 1763 to 1914, Lord Ronaldshay’s excerpt does not recognize the mistreatment of most native populaces. Initially, it is perhaps valid to say that European westernization was economically and culturally constructive, as it helped to modernize Eastern regions like Japan and India, centuries behind in technology. Nonetheless, this assistance erupted into an ultra-competitive race for power amongst the primary European world leaders. In turn, these subjugated Easterners were then repressed and their interests ignored, hence conflicting with Lord Ronaldshay’s testimonial. Upon looking at the Boxer Rebellion, Sepoy Mutiny, Belgian Congo, Urabi Revolt, and Hut Tax War, it is apparent that westernization was in most cases destructive and that he is simply wrongheaded in his outlook. The Chinese response to this exploitation, a policy the Westerners called “carving up the Chinese melon,” was the Boxer Rebellion. Similarly, in India and Sierra Leone, this same corrupt European governance occurred, though solely British, and was combated with the Sepoy Mutiny and Hut Tax War. Around the same time, problems with westernization were also arising in the Belgian Congo under King Leopold II, and all over Egypt with the Urabi Revolt. Thus, Lord Ronaldshay’s statements are faulty, seeing that there has not always been a “revivifying influence [with]…those that have come into the sharpest contact with [the West].”

As European westernization began, many Eastern regions “could see no flaw in the civilization or culture of the West” (Document 1), so therefore either openly consolidated with their ethical standards, like India, or had it imposed, as seen in Japan. With the introduction of railroads and educational facilities, European intervention greatly improved India’s public transportation system and achieved higher levels of literacy. However, due to the partitioning of India’s vast population over an immense region, these advancements had little effect. Whereas traditional unifying principles were crucial to Eastern morality, these innovative Western ideals stressed “the enfranchisement of the individual, the substitution of the right of private judgment in place of traditional authority, [and] the exaltation of duty over custom” (Document 1). Consequentially, Japan opted out of “the adoration of all things Western, [and to return to their]…time-honored ways and customs” (Document 1). Despite their original defiance, when Matthew Calbraith Perry disembarked on Japanese soil in 1854 and insisted that it reopen its borders, Japan willingly obliged. Rather than risking a fate alike China’s at the close of the Opium Wars, the Japanese thought submission and adaptation a more sensible alternative. Surprisingly, the outcome was infrastructural and technological growth at an outstanding pace, something not seen again until Germany’s recovery from World War I. This being the case, Lord Ronaldshay’s accounts are undoubtedly factual, since European westernization did help the East move away from its industrial and scientific standstill. Though these productive aspects were definitely witnessed, the subsequent European occupation resulted with Easterners “suffering from the oppression of the Western peoples” (Document 2). For this reason, all of Lord Ronaldshay’s supposed glorifications of the West are contradicted by European’s ethnocentric and hostile actions towards the East.

While China had once remained separate from Western trading networks, as soon as its precious goods gained awareness, the dominant European nations began claiming exclusive trading rights to certain parts of China. Shortly thereafter, China had been divided into Europeanized “spheres of influence,” even involving allegations to owning various Chinese districts. Furthermore, as this foreign influence continued to expand, and gradually gain control of all China’s exports, the Chinese economy fell into steady decline. Also, more cultural boundaries were crossed as the influx of Christian missionaries began finding converts for their alien religion. As retaliation, in 1899, a “movement against foreigners [developed called the Boxer Rebellion], and a tendency towards [instilling] the ideals of…‘the Chinese’” (Document 3). Unfortunately for China, the disturbance was suppressed by 1901, and the Europeans humiliated the imperial government with the partial terms of the Boxer Protocol. In relation to Lord Ronaldshay’s biased thinking that the West liberates the East, this progression in China emulates this European fallacy.
Situated also in Asia, India was another region to experience many years of chauvinistic European cruelty, as it instilled a corrupt leadership centered on racial discrimination. Although many countries had previously been involved in the Indian peninsula, Britain ultimately took charge. Following decades of British rule and increasing authority, the Indian government had steadily eroded into almost nothing. Completely disregarding Indian tradition and culture, by 1856, the British had abolished widow’s self-immolation and child marriages. Additionally, British regulations on agricultural crops, limited textile produce, and heavy taxation on the working class, rapidly diminished India’s financial prosperity. Before long, “everything English was [perceived as] good [and]…everything not English was to be viewed with suspicion” (Document 1). As these British restrictions persisted, Indians became enraged to the point of violence. Finally, in 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny transpired after legislature was passed requiring that innate Indian soldiers serve overseas, thereby losing caste. Despite an abrupt defeat, India’s message of resentment had been publicized to the world. In doing so, India overcame a stepping stone in toppling the British East India Company, a feat that would later lead to its independence. Hence, Lord Ronaldshay’s comments are once again proven to be inaccurate, since all this Indian bitterness for the British is a consequence of westernization.

Such relations did not improve whatsoever moving into Western Africa, as in Sierra Leone, endless European restrictions allowed its residents almost no liberties. In spite of the locals reluctantly obeying these biased laws, the Europeans exacerbated their burden as they then went on to “ill-use the natives” (Document 4). In order to continue funding the British administration, Britain decreed in 1893 that the people of Sierra Leone should be taxed on the size of their huts. This announcement came following other confinements like not being able to “keep slaves, nor have woman palaver, nor pledge human beings” (Document 4), so the Sierra Leoneans were outraged. With several tribal villages as military support, Bai Bureh, an indigenous born strategist, refused to recognize the hut tax Britain had enforced, and led his faction in an uprising against the British colonialists, known as the Hut Tax War of 1898. By the end of this quarrel, the Sierra Leoneans were victorious, and although Bai Bureh was eventually captured and exiled, Sierra Leon endured subsequent harmony. While this aggression surprisingly did conclude peacefully, the European’s strict policies brought havoc to Sierra Leone, a Western ruthlessness that hardly matches the “revivifying” assertion of Lord Ronaldshay.

Under King Leopold II, this level of brutality only was magnified in the Belgian Congo, where European management of the local population was so severe and inhumane that public pressure and diplomatic maneuvers eventually forced it to halt. Parallel to what had happened in China, the prominent European sovereign states gathered at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 to regulate European colonization and trade in Africa. At the close of this meeting, Belgium had been ceded the Belgian Congo and thereby permitted King Leopold II to reign the land grant freely as his personal province. Immediately, in contrast to what Lord Ronaldshay might presume, Leopold II executed a gruesome rubber and ivory industry involving forced slave labor and excessive slaughtering of the natives. Furthermore, through constructing one-sided treaties, with his interests in favor, and in a language illegible to the indigenous inhabitants, Leopold II attained massive territorial additions to his domain. Clearly, this European callousness in the Belgian Congo conflicts with what Lord Ronaldshay dubs the Western revival of the East.
Though there was no radical abuse of human rights as seen in the Belgian Congo, Egypt was also undergoing political unrest while under European rule. In correspondence with the rise of British and French influence in Egyptian administration, economical and monetary difficulties started to surface. By 1879, the British bankers conducting monetary affairs had thrust Egypt into extreme financial debt. Also, in other employment fields of Egyptian business commerce, Europeans had monopolized the higher ranks, preventing the civil advancement of Egyptians, while heavily taxing the peasants. As a result, tensions over these unfair circumstances turned to bloodshed as the Egyptians rioted against their European management in the Urabi Revolt, and seized control. However, command over Egypt would later fall to the British once again, as its independence was not until 1922. Therefore, the westernization of Egypt corrupts what had been a fairly stable administration, achieving the absolute opposite of what Lord Ronaldshay declares truthful.

Thus, in correlation with all these negating instances concerning Lord Ronaldshay’s thesis that the West “has exercised a revivifying influence upon…the East,” it is safe to say that he was mostly incorrect. Of course, there are obviously advantages to adopting Westernization, like the technological developments of James Watts’ steam engine and Thomas Edison’s light bulb. Nonetheless, when judged against European’s corrupt and manipulative governing, there is no comparison. Part of his initial documentation stated that “what may be the final outcome of the collision [between the East and West]…it is impossible to foretell,” a logical assumption that should not have been preceded any further. However amiss he may have been from the facts, his outlook was seemingly shared with many Westerners alike, that without whom, the world would not be governed the way it is.


* While the provided documents do convey plenty of insight into the accounts of those of a wealthier status, such as a “prominent Indian, S. Banerjea” (Document 1), “Chinese leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen” (Document 2), and “an Englishman” (Document 3), more documents should be offered with the perspective of the working and poorer classes. This alteration is a necessity, since these more privileged persons are granted more autonomy, and thus might be biased in their reasoning. (Not enough information is given to infer the hierarchal standing of the individual of Document 4) Additionally, most of the documents are dated outside the time constraints of the question or are very close to end, such as in “1925” (Document 1), “1924” (Document 2), and “1906” (Document 3), meaning that other historical events during this superfluous period may influence the documentation. (Not enough information is given to infer the date of Document 4) Thus, documents dating from the remainder of the chronological restraints, sometime during 1839-1914, should be added.

Miles Davis

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

AP Exam and Venn Diagram

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

Evaluation of CNN’s Millennium Papers RUBRIC

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

Evaluation of CNN’s Millennium Papers

Logical Structure?

Clear thesis?

Road map?

Topic sentences?

Film series identified ?

Balance treatment –critics say such and such etc.?

Pink Elephants re: Historical Evidence? Most of them?

Something re: the Japan section in “The Century of the Sword?”

Something re: Australia in “The Century of the Axe?”

Spread of Islam?


Feudalism in Europe and/or Japan?


Smooth (Miles Davis)?

Active voice ?


Afro-Eurasian Trade Network Papers RUBRIC

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

Afro-Eurasian Trade Network Papers

Logical  Structure?

Clear thesis?
Road map?
Topic sentences?
Name of networks match data?
Balance treatment of time period (1000 to 1850)?

Pink Elephants? Most of them?

Black Death?
Spread of Islam?
Age-grade System Destroyed (and or rise of Mali Songhay, Ghana Empires)?
Atlantic Slave Trade?
Conflicts (at least two in addition to the Opium Wars)?

Smooth (Miles Davis)?
Active voice ?

The Rise of the West, test essay

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

The rise of the West is attributed to a wide range of factors. These factors can be categorized into three major areas: resources, ideas and ideology, and the overall structure of Western civilizations. Western resources such as “coal and colonies,” as Robert Marks put it, silver, potatoes, and corn from the New World gave way not only to larger populations and innovation, but a stronger military as well. The shift to quantification, or precision, also allowed for innovation as well as outstanding military feats by providing Western countries with more lethal and advanced weaponry and ships than those of Eastern countries. The newfound military power in addition to the stories of many adventurous conquerers in the West gave way to the idealization of adventure, wanting to express bravery, embark on a journey, and conquer. Structural factors such as the competition between Western states and the breakdown of hierarchical structures provided a more fluid environment where innovation was appreciated and gave the West an advantage over the East. The resources obtained, ideas, and structure of Western societies gave them an economic and martial advantage over the East, which ultimately gave way to their rise.

The resources obtained by the West, such as coal and silver, as well as the Columbian Exchange provided them with not only an economical advantage, but a military one too. Finding coal led to the Industrial Revolution, in which Britain was able to innovate by creating the first steam-powered ship, “The Nemesis.” With this discovery, Britain was able to force upon China, for example, the import of opium during the Opium Wars. Similar military power was gained by the import of New World crops. These crops, such as potatoes and corn, led to a population increase, which gave Western countries not only a larger military, but a stronger one with their new-found weaponry as well. In short, the resources obtained by Western civilizations gave them power and an advantage over the East by providing larger militaries and more lethal weaponry that Eastern countries could not defend against.

In addition to the aid of more advanced weapons being made during the shift to quantification, or precision, Westerners were able to conquer and expressed their power because of the many stories of previous conquerors that gave way to the idealization of adventure. The creation of Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and others allowed for innovation in forms of the first steam-powered ship and more precise weaponry, which gave the West military power and intimidation. Western conquerors were able to use this weaponry as they attempted to achieve similar, if not more outstanding, military feats as those of conquerors in the past. This wanting to conquer was known as the idealization of adventure, or more commonly known at the time as chivalry. Stories of King Arthur and his knights of the round table and Don Quixote’s adventures influenced Westerners such as Columbus to journey to the New World and Hernan Cortez to conquer the Yucatan by killing millions of Aztecs. This sense of adventure, fighting to the death, and bravery allowed the West to expand and conquer new lands, and ultimately to innovate and succeed.

Structural factors such as the breakdown of Western hierarchical structures and the competition between Western states, as argued by William McNeil and Paul Kennedy respectively, gave way to innovation and eventually an advantage for the West. William McNeil argues that because Western societies were able to overlook their hierarchies, they began to dissipate and create a more fluid environment in which innovation was promoted. Due to this breakdown, Martin Luther, for instance, was able to challenge the views of the Church and create his own branch of Christianity. Similarly, Galileo challenged the Churches views of the structure of the universe, which gave way to an entirely new understanding of astronomy. Also, improvements to the steam engine would not have been able to occur if it was not for the fluid environment Western societies tried to model. Contrasting, in China, Zheng He’s expeditions were halted and the emperor ordered all blueprints and written works about the voyages destroyed. Because of the power given to one ruler, China was not able to continue innovating their navy and possibly controlling the West. Moreover, Paul Kennedy argues that the division of Western states gave way to constant competition in order to outdo each other. In the East, China was recognized as the dominant power, which made other countries less motivated to achieve more. In the West, however, there were multiple potential powers that constantly were trying to achieve more than others. The competition gave way to innovation, and ultimately more power given to Western states than that of Eastern ones.

The rise of the West was attributed mainly to the resources they obtained, the ideas they had that provided an idealization of adventure, and the structure of their societies that allowed for competition and innovation.

The Role of Women in Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2008 by John Murnane

The Role of Women in Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Adamantia Giannakis

Julie Wolf

World History AP


People have a tendency to create stereotypes of people they know little about. One of the most common stereotypes is of women in the eastern part of the world. On the news and in different texts, Americans have seen images of the suppression of women by the Taliban and other regions such as Afghanistan. They see images of veiled women who are not allowed to show anything but their eyes. They are not allowed to have jobs, other than taking care of their husband and their home. In 1959, the male oriented government of Afghanistan allowed women to go out in public unveiled and guaranteed the right to be educated and to work; however, this lasted until 1978 when waging jihad and the idea was intensified by the Taliban. Public humiliation and beatings that sometimes led to death became common in Afghanistan.  Because the American people see women depicted this way, they often draw the conclusion that all women in the east are treated like this; however, this stereotype, like most stereotypes, is not true of all countries in the east. For example, in Sri Lanka, women are active in the government and have jobs other than housekeeping. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries of this century to grant women the right to vote. Sirimivo Bandaranaike was the first female prime minister in the entire world. Her daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was the first female president of Sri Lanka. Kumari Jayawardena and Sunila Abeysekera are also influential women and play a large role in women’s rights. In Pakistan, Benzair Bhutto served in the government for many years. Asma Jahangir and Begum Liaquat also played a role in women’s rights. The stereotype that all eastern women are suppressed and don’t have any rights is false, and is apparent in places such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became not only the first woman prime minister of Sri Lanka, but the first woman prime minister of the world. In 1798, Sri Lanka was made the Crown Colony of Ceylon under British rule. In 1802, Sri Lanka was officially ceded to the British. Sri Lanka gained its independence from Britain in 1948, and kept the name Ceylon. Bandaranaike was born into a wealthy, aristocratic landowning family. Her family members held high offices under the ancient line of Sinhalese kings. Her grandfather was a Kandyan chieftain, her father was a member of the Ceylonese senate, and some of her other relatives also held positions in the local government. As a young girl, Bandaranaike was very interested in politics and did not pay a lot of attention to things such as fashion. In 1941, she joined the Lanka Mahila Samiti, which strove to improve conditions for rural women. Bandaranaike married Solomon Bandaranaike, who founded the nationalist Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) in 1950. He became prime minister of Sri Lanka in 1956, but was assassinated by a Buddhist monk in 1959. After his assassination, Bandaranaike was elected the president of her party. Then, in the 1960 election, Bandaranaike was elected the 7th prime minister of Sri Lanka and the first female prime minister of the world. Bandaranaike changed many things in Sri Lanka while she held power. She changed the name of the country from Ceylon to Sri Lanka and tried to get rid of the customs which had been brought by the British. In 1965, Bandaranaike lost the election to the United Nationalist Party (UNP); however, she remained the leader of the SLFP and was reelected in 1970. Bandaranaike lost the election again in 1977, and was found guilty of abuse of power in office in 1980. Because of this, Bandaranaike was stripped of her civic rights for seven years. In 1994, she was reappointed prime minister by her daughter, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, until her death in 2000.

Sirimavo’s daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, became the first female president of Sri Lanka in 1994. Chandrika studied in Colombo, Sri Lanaka and at the University of Paris. As a child, she was very interested and active in politics. Chandrika served as a director and a principle director of the Land Reforms Commission and then became the chairman of the Janawasa Commission. This commission passed the Janawasa Commission Law which allowed for the settlement of educated and uneducated children. She also served on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) panel of expert consultants. In 1993, Chandrika was elected to the Western Provincial Council and was appointed the Chief Minister of the Province. The provincial councils in Sri Lanka were created to reduce the central governments power. Each council governs over one of Sri Lanka’s nine provinces. Their duties include those of the former Central Government Ministries. In 1994, she was elected to parliament and was appointed the prime minister in the People’s Alliance government. Later that year, Chandrika was elected president with 62% of the votes. In 1999, she was reelected into office, which she still currently holds. Other women have also held positions in the Sri Lankan government. There are currently seven women in parliament and the Minister of Women’s Affairs, the Minister of Social Services, as well other deputy ministers are women.

Kumari Jayawardena is a leading feminist in Sri Lanka. She teaches many courses about women’s rights. She attended secondary school in Sri Lanka and the London School of Economics, where she received her Ph.D. She taught Political Science at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka and the Women and Development Masters Course at the Institute of Social Studies in Hague, Netherlands. Jayawardena has written many books such as Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World. She plays an active role in women’s research organizations and civil rights movements in Sri Lanka. She is also the Secretary of the Social Scientists’ Association.

Another woman active in women’s rights is Sunila Abeysekera. Sunila was born in 1952 and has been working on women’s and human rights in Sri Lanka for twenty years. She has also been lobbying at UN conferences since 1992. Sunila focuses on the issue of mainstreaming women’s human rights concerns within the international human rights system. In 1994 she received an M.A. in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies and won the award for best research paper.

Many women in the east, including Sri Lanka, play an active role in their government and women’s rights. Although the common stereo-type is true of some women, such as the Taliban and Afghanistan, it is not true of all women. In Sri Lanka, womenare legally eligible to participate in the government. Although the number of women in the government is not large, it continues to grow, and the women of Sri Lanka, such as Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Chandrika Kumaratunga, are very active members of their society.

Pakistan became an independent country in 1947 and since then they have been dealing with issues about Islamic identity including women’s roles. Women of Pakistan are always stereotyped of how they have no rights in their country. Images on T.V., newspapers, and magazines, show women killed for not obeying the Pakistani Islamic Law. The stereotype continues with photos and articles on how women are beaten by their husbands or other men. These stereotypes make most people believe women have absolutely no power and no say in government. However, the statements about women not having any rights are true, but women do have say in government. One great example of this is Benzair Bhutto who served in the Pakistani government from 1988- 1990 and 1993- 1996. Two other women active in women’s rights were Asma Jahangir, and Begum Liaquat. Both women were actively involved in improving women’s rights in Pakistan. In short, the stereotype of women in Pakistan is partly false because their say in government has improved over years with women in government, even though the horrible stereotype is true.

Benzair Bhutto is the daughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Born into the knowledge of government, Bhutto became the first woman to become prime minister of Pakistan. She came to power after being imprisoned and exiled. Before Bhutto, Prime Minister, Zia-ul-Haq, wanted the “moral purity of early Islam,” and one of the targets for women. Before Zia, women did not have important roles in religion and government, although women’s rights movement in Pakistan helped them to gain more respect. However, Zia changed the roles of women. Zia went back to the traditional ways of life from 30 years ago. He legalized the Hudood Ordinances which changed the law of rape and adultery and made fornication a crime for the first time in Pakistani history. He rejected laws penalizing injury to the body.

Bhutto represented the women’s rights policies after Zia died in a plane crash by becoming the first woman to hold office in any Islamic state. Bhutto campaigned to rid the Hudood laws and discriminatory rights. However, in the two years in office, she was unable to repeal any of Zia’s laws. Her opposition to parliament forced her out of office, but she was re-elected again in 1993. Her struggle for women’s rights was successful, for the parliament listened. She was thrown out of office in 1996 for corruption. She even faced charges for corruption and was unable to serve again in government. Her motivation to win over women’s rights and continued effort to help women encouraged her to serve again.

Begum Liaquat was a political activist before Benzair Bhutto. Liaquat married Pakistan’s first Prime minister and became politically involved in Pakistan. Liaquat was born Moslem in India. Liaquat wanted to spread her rights of Moslem women to othercountries such as Pakistan. She became the founder and life-long president of the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) in 1949. Schools, homes, and institutions were founded by the APWA and eventually became active in Pakistani women’s rights. Liaquat believed education and economic independence were the most important factors that would help women achieve their goals. Liaquat became the first women delegate to the UN in 1952 and was the first woman ambassador of Pakistan. Being the ambassador she was in charge of representing Pakistan as well as the Netherlands, Italy, and Tunisia. Her political achievements were recognized and rewarded for a Pakistani woman had done so much for her country. In the 1980’s Liaquat publicly attacked Zia for passing Islamic laws that were contradictory to Islamic teachings against women. Out of respect, Zia did not publicly fight back because he recognized her achievements in Pakistani history. Although Liaquat died shortly after that, her achievements are not today recognized by the general public. Most people only know the killings and beatings of women in Pakistan.

Lastly, Asma Jahangir spent most of her days protecting women and fighting for their rights in the Pakistan society. Asma became one of the most controversial figures in Pakistan for her continued movement to change the rights of rape victims, women divorcing abusive husbands, and child labor. Along with other women of Pakistan, Asma rejected the Hudood Ordinances. The rules she opposed were in light of saving Pakistani Christians, Hindus, and some Muslims that were falsely accused.

The stereotypical view of women in Pakistan is obviously wrong, for women did and can speak out against the government of Pakistan. The laws today, according to the 8th Amendment is the police may do whatever punishment they want to a woman. However, political activists throughout the world are trying to help the women of Pakistan. Successful women such as Benzair, Begum, and Asma are rarely recognized because the media focuses on the killings and beatings of women. They need to recognize that women have spoken out against the laws, and today, women serve in the Pakistani government. The stereotype can be changed by getting rid of the negative images and tell the public about Pakistani women who were successful activists.