Responses to Imperialism Essay

Responses to Imperialism Essay

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In the late 1800’s Europeans and Americans sought out land in Asia and Africa to expand political empires. This unstoppable and in most cases unwanted influence was call imperialism. Native people from Africa and Asia responded in many ways but these responses can be categorized in two different groups. People who welcomed the change that came with imperialism were called modernizers and the people who opposed imperialism were called traditionalists. I feel that the response of the people classified as modernizers to imperialism was more effective than the people who clung to traditional ideas and culture. This is my personal opinion for four reasons. Reason number one being that imperialism from the West was too advanced to be opposed. Secondly, modernizers maintained more control of their land. Thirdly, instead of concentrating on the opposition of imperialism like the traditionalists had, modernizers used Western intelligence for their benefit. The fourth reason why I believe this is because sticking with traditional ideas and not moving forward with world progression creates a weak state.
Initially most people in Asia and Africa were traditionalists and wanted no part in imperialism, but in the light of power shown through the battles with the West native people changed their minds. “Some concluded that the West was indeed superior in certain ways and that it was therefore necessary to reform their societies and copy some European achievements” (McKay Hill, Buckler, Ebrey, Beck, Crowston, & Wiesner-Hanks, 2009). Becoming modernizers is beneficial because it was impossible for native people to conquer the West. The advances in military development especially in weapons were overwhelming compared to that of African and Asian t...


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...s, 2009). Many of these things did happen in Asia and Africa through time, but without people willing to accept new ideas and stronger government structures nothing would advance. Modernizers by accepting part parts of imperialism paved the way for the search and willingness to test new ideas and to change government to benefit their home lands and people.
It is obvious that imperialism was not fair to Asia and Africa, but there is no doubt that in some ways these lands did benefit from western ideas. Time proved in efforts of both modernizers and traditionalists that modernizers fared better. There was a lot to gain from Western knowledge and modernizers embraced this concept. There is always more to learn and ways to improve things and that is the main reason why modernizers were more effective in dealing with imperialism.




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