The Origins of the Modern World

The Origins of the Modern World - Rabat/Waxes“ I ('(l...

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Unformatted text preview: Rabat/Waxes“ I ('(l flair/at 71.71/9 , 55% A47" / 77M é/rf/"xm; flzdfi’fl A/czr fl f" '3 » a (CC/(’15:.- CHAPTER FIVE The Gap In the eighteenth century. China, India. and Europe (and probahly Japan as well, thoth it has not l‘een discussed) were hroadly comparable in terms of the level of economic development, standard of living, and people’s life ex« peetancies. As can be seen in figure 5.1, India, China, and Europe each claimed the same sharei about 2.3 percent—of the total gross domestic pro— duction (GDPI‘ of the \thrld. Together, those three parts of the world thus ac» counted for 70 percent of the economic activity in the world in 1700. A similar story can he seen in figure 5.3. In 1750, China produced about 33 per— cent of all the manufactured goods in the world, with India and Europe each contrihuting ahout 33 percent, totaling almost 80 percent of world industrial output. By 180-0, the story is much the same. although India's share begins to decline while that of Europe begins to climh. Pay the early 18005, though, figures 5.1 and 5.2 chart a different story, as the share of glohal GDP and manufacturing output claimed by Europe begins to rise rapidly, while that of China stalls and then falls rapidly by 1900, as does that of India. Bv 1900, India accounts for harely 2 percent of world manufan [tiring output, China ahout T percent, while Europe alone claims 60 percent and the United States 20 percent. In 1900, Europe and the United States to- gether account for SC percent ofall manufacturing activity. Figures 5.1 and 513 thus chart the course of a great reversal in world his- tory. \thre India and China accounted for a little over half of the wealth it the world in the eighteenth century, by 1900 they had become among the least. industrialized and the poorest. Their shares of world GDP did not fall a: far as their shares of world manufacturing output, though, largely because their populations continued to grow. Indeed, as figure 5.3 shows, from 1750 tt‘ 1850, China's population shot ahead of l~oth India and Europe, where they Percent M O i 700 1820 1890 Year Figure 5.1. Share of World GDP, 1700—1890 Sourte Mike Davis. Lite Vtcforian Holocausts :London: Verso, 2001!, 293. had been broadly comparable since 1400-. \Vith growing populations and less wealth being created. Chinese and Indians. became relatively poorer over the course of the nineteenth century. as Europeans and Americans became wealthier. Moreover, since neither China nor India were industrializing, as we will see. cities there could not accommodate those larger populations, thereby intensifying rural poverty. The charts thus show the emergence during the nineteenth century of a large and growing gap between the \X/est and the rest of the world. here epito» mized by India and China. “To explain this gap, which was to grow wider over the years.” the eminent historian Fernand Braudel once said. “is to tackle the essential problem of the history of the modern world.” Braudel himself was quite modest about his own ability to explain “the gap," recognizing that when he wrote (in the late 19705) more was known about the history of Europe than about India. China, or the rest of what become known as the “under’ developed" or "third" world. One thing. though, did seem clear to him: “lTlhe gap between the West and the other continents appeared late in time, and to attribute it simply to the rationalization of the market economy. as too many of our contemporaries are still inclined to do, is obviously oversimplifying.m TheGap Q lZS m Europe 60 50 9.. 3-? 40 E d.) a so a: _ United States 1750 1800 1830 1860 1880 1900 Year Figure 5.2. Share of World Manufacturing Output, 1750—1900 Source: DerWPd from data in Pa.:5 Kennedy. The Rise and Fall o.’ Great Powers :New York; Vintage Press. 1989', I49. By that, Braudel was indicating his dissatisfaction with the various Euro- centric explanations of uthe gapn examined in the previous chapter. Mosi particularly, he thought that explanations that looked just at the emergence and “rationalization” of a market economy in Europe were too simplistic. In- deed, pointed out in the previoris chapter. China had a very well»deyel- oped market economy by the eighteenth century. and yet it came out on th( losing end of the growing gap. This chapter examines the reasons why no only China and India, but much of the rest ofAsia. Africa, and Latin Amer ica, became increasingly poor relative to. Europe and the United States dur ing the course of the nineteenth century. In this chapter we will see how opium, guns. el Nifio iamines, and new in dustrial technologies corresponded to Europeans' colonial ventures. espe cially railroads, the telegraph, and quinine. What I will not resort to are th: various Eurocentric explanations for Europe’s increasing wealth and powe yis'afiyis the rest of the world. There just is no evidence that Europeans were smarter, had a superior culture (that is, one that sustained ifnot created an in dustrial economy). or were better managers of natural and human resource than Chinese. Indians. or New Guineans for that matter. Instead. European [000 e; - — 800 l — 600 —:L e 400 Popu lati on (hundred 111 0 ‘ ‘ i i i l c c 3 o c c c c: 2 c: m c C C C In C V? C W C m I“ C '«tf In C C F‘- P— DC 0!: C‘ 3‘ 2‘ Ca _ _ _ a, d ._ _ .. _ _ _ p Year Figure 5.3. Population of India, China, and Europe, 1400—2000 Source Colin Nlt'f\6l'l_\-‘ and Richard jones, Atlas 0! 'i-i'orld Population History New York: Viking Penguin, W73: United hat‘or‘s 2000 RE‘VNJU" of the ‘.‘.’on'd Population Estimates and Pr:'3jFC[i0fi5 'ht‘tp.wu."w Hoard-esti-pooa atioos'ut-ppiJUOatxls:. had colonies that supplied them with huge amounts of “free” energy (sugar, cotton, timber, codfish), and in the. case of the British in particular, the good fortune to have coal deposits lying close to the surface and to the centers of population and manufacturing that. needed new sources of energy when their forests were used up. The story of the nineteenth century largely concerns the process by which the world became divided into the developed and the underdeveloped. the rich and the poor, the industrialized and what became known as the “third” world.4 Of course, from the ecological perspective used in this book, the gap also retlects the division of the world into those parts that remained within the biological old regime (which became increasingly poor) and those parts that began to escape the limits the biological old regime placed on material production (both industrial and agricultural). Moreover. the gap that emerged in the nineteenth century was not just between different parts of the world, but also within the societies we have been discussing. industry pro— duced not just wealth and power for some nations, but especially for some people within those countrieséthose who owned the new means of produc’ tion. On the other hand, for those who worde in the mines and the facto The Gap Q 127 tics. industry produced new jobs, hut also new forms of work, urhan experie r “-4 Ci'tCCS. and :., significant portion of the new industrial workforce, especially in textiles and randsz of poverty. indeed. women and children formed 3 even coal mines, bringing them out of the home and onto the historical stage where their voices could he more clearly heard. Opium and Global Capitalism This narrative of the origins of the modern world started in the early 14005 with China's demand for silver to use in its economy, which, together with that oi lndia, constituted the major source of wealth and industrial production in the early modern world. China's demand for silver set into motion a series of de velopments that led, wrily—nilly. to most of the major events discussed so far ir this book. Without China‘s demand for silver, it seems fair to say, the Europear role in the world economy would have been greatly diminished. As it was China’s demand for. and New \X/orld supplies of. silver enabled Europeans tc enrich themselves by gaining access to Asian commodities and trade networks Similarly, Chinese demand in the nineteenth century for another corn triotlittr#this time the addictive drug opiumfialso played a major role it structuring the world economy. To be sure, the importation and consumptior of opium did not have the positive effects on China’s economy that silver im ports had four hundred years earlier. Furthermore, the demand for opium wa driven by the needs of forty million addicted consumers, rather than stat needs for its economy. Nonetheless, Chinese demand for opium in the 180C did stimulate worldwide economic activity. Despite Britain‘s defeat of China in the first Opium War (1839—1842 Britain had not forced China to legalize the sale and distribution of opiurt Nonetheless, the new British colonial possession of Hong Kong provided convenient base of operations free from Chinese harassment. For the ner- twenty years, Hong Kong was the hub of the British drug trade. British trat ing companies imported about 50,000 chests of opium annually {6.5 millio pounds) for sale to Chinese customers. As opium flowed into China, silver flowed out, and great fortunes we] built, not just in England but in the United States as well. \Vith American iI dependence, US. merchant ships immediately started competing wit British merchants in Asian waters; the first US. ship arrived in China 1 1784, one year after independence. By the early 1800s, Americans were int mately involved with the opium trade, particularly the Russell Compan with American sources of opium located in Turkey. while the British mail rained their mc'inopoly on Indian opium. Profits from the American opiu 135 a Chapter“: trade added to the endowments of prominent East Coast universities, padded the fortunes of the I"ealx:dy family in Boston (and hence the herihody hilt seum) and the Roosevelt family in New York, and provided capital for Alexander Graham Bell's development of the telephone. (See map 5.1.} After a second war with China (the so/called Arrow \‘l/ar of 1855-4 860, named after a British vessel), the British forced China to legalize the sale of opium. Although this opened up more markets in China for the drug. the centrality of Hong Kong in the trade declined as British and American ships called directly at more Chinese ports opened to trade. As new sources of opium in India were developed and the markets there opened up, Persian. In— dian, and Chinese merchants entered the trade. By the 1870s, the Chinese too hegan poppy cultivation and opium manufacturing, especially in the in, terior provinces previously little connected with the hooming coastal trade. Perversely, this “import substitution" occurred in many of the same places that Chinese peasant farmers earlier had exercised their freedom in choosing to plant cotton. In many of these places, cash cropping of poppies thus ex- panded at the. expense of crop farmland, giving peasant farmers greater cash income but heightening their risks if food supplies failed. By the late 1800s. so much opium was entering China or heing produced there that 10 percent of China’s population, or forty million people, were users. with as many as half of those “heavy smokers.” At the turn of the twen— tieth century, China was consuming 95 percent of the world’s opium supply, with ptedictahle social, economic, and political effects.i Nearly every city had its opium dens. and the sale and use of opium had entered the fabric of Chi« nese life. \thre opium smoking had started as an elite hahit, it became an item of mass consumption. Indeed, even into the twentieth century, poppy cultivation and opium manufacturing in China provided China’s govern' ments with revenue and peasant farmers with cash income." After we take a look at what happened in India and then examine the process of industrialization in Europe, I will return to a consideration of how very important China’s consumption of opium was to the world economy in the late nineteenth century. For now, suffice it to note that while the Chinese themselves hore some responsibility for hringing the drug plague on them— selves, British guns had forced open the door in the first place, and then China and India took particular (peculiar) roles in the global economy as producers and consumers of opium. India Most of the opium consumed in China came from India, where British colo— nial policies comhined with Chinese demand for the drug created an agricull i i i i The Gap Q 139 tural export industry. Opium production in India became one of its major ex— A L . ...i n m ports in tile liiiieicemii LLlll—Luy, and il- formation of India from one of the worlds greatest industrial centers in the .is i-: i :f a larger story of the trans- seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to a primarily agricultural economy by the mid/1800s. Indeed, India's cotton textile industry was so thoroughly de- stroyed hy the 1820s that historians have talked ahout the “deindustrializa- tion" of India, even as they have continued to dehate its causes. As we have had occasion to note in previous chapters, Indian cotton good: enjoyed a worldwide market. with Africans, Europeans, and American slave: all purchasing and wearing Indian textiles. In the early 17005, as we have seen, the British erected trat e hartiers to keep Indian textiles out. Still, In dian textiles found other markets, and the textile districts. in Bengal, Madras and elsewhere were kept quite. husy producing for the world market. th things chz-inged all that. First. in 1137 the British East India Company (EIC) acquired its first colo nial heachhead in Bengal, and in 1765 it gained the right to collect land taxe from much of Bengal. This windfall gave the private EIC the revenues hotl to increase its purchases of Indian textiles and, more ominorisly, to raise ant pay for its own army of “Sepoys.” or Indians enlisted in an army commander hy British officers. The EIC then used that army to extend its control me other parts of India. The. disarray of Indian political power, the jockeying fo power among Indian princes, the uncertain but certainly declining power c the Mughal emperor. and the ambitions of Hindu warrior princes all create a climate in which the scheming of the EIC, hacked by its army, resulted I] the gradual extension of its control throughout most of India by the l830: Additional large—scale and costly wars brought EIC control over the Punja and Sindh (areas. that hecame Pakistan after 1947}. By the mid—1800s, th British had colonized India. Second, the Industrial Revolution resulted in greatly reduced costs fc Britain’s manufactured goods, cotton textiles in particular. Not only di British cotton textiles hegin to win global market share from Indian textile hecause of lower price. India itself became an important market for Britis cotton textiles. Where in the eighteenth century British tariffs had kept Ir dian textiles out of England, British colonial policy in India removed tari barriers to British manufactured textiles. \Vith lower prices, British manufac turcd textiles flooded the Indian market. Between 1800 and l810, productio and export of Indian cotton textiles continued to fall while the import i British manufactures into India continued to grow. By 1820, millions of II dian weavers had been thrown out of work. their looms stood still, and the houses empty: “By the year 1833, the process of 'deindustrialization’ of Ber I30 Q Clliii‘lt’lrl gal . . . went quite far. India lost a great art and the artisans lost their employ" ment. I he housewiie’s spindle seldom now twirled on the cotton'floor.” Instead of exporting finished goods, India then began to export raw cota ton, first to China and then to England. Former Indian cotton weavers either emigrated or took up new occupations, many turning to farming. When they did, they had to farm something that could be sold, because the British East India Company collected taxes in money. not rice or cotton. Thus old and new Indian farmers turned to cash crops such as indigo, sugar cane, cotton, and poppies from which opium was made. The “ruralizarion of India" was complete. If this story of India‘s decline to what we would now call a third world countryione producing raw materials for export so it can import manufac’ tured goods from the “developed” world, thereby becoming locked into “un’ derdevelopment"—appears to be one merely of “economics,” it was not. Rather. it was planned to work that way for the benefit of Britain, especially after the EIC monopoly on trade in Asia was abolished in favor of the free trade principles first championed by Adam Smith in 17’76 in his famous book The Wealth of Nations. Combined with David Ricardo's concept of “comparative advantage," free trade and minimal government intervention in the economy was intended to transform India into a producer of food and raw materials for export. Tariffs were to he abolished, the colonial government obviously would not move to protect either the cotton textile weavers or to promote a policy of industrial— ization (for that would be “redundant” and compete with the British domes— tic industry), and “free” markets would ensure that food and raw materials moved out of India to Britain and that Indians purchased British industrial products. Indeed, from the mid—18008 on, India reliably consumed 2545 percent of Britain’s exports.S The principles of "free trade” enforced by the colonial government set India on the path to becoming a third world couna try. We will see later in this chapter how that, coupled with the effects of el Nino droughts, completed India‘s transition to a third world nation. Suffice it to say here that the deindustrialization of India, coupled with China‘s demand for opium, provided the British and their global capitalist system with immense profits. So great were these opium profits that the en; tire structure of the world trade patterns were reversed. From 1500 to 1800, Europeans had gained access to Asian trade with New World silver, and sil— ver flowed in great quantities to India and China. Opium tipped that flow in the opposite direction, with silver flowing into British hands. W’ithout opium, historian Carl Trocki argues, “there probably would have been no L. British Empire.” i i i 3. ‘1 lhe Crap Q 15‘ Industrialization Elsewhere As the first to industrialix and to apply the fruits of industrialization to it: military, Britain established itself as the most powerful nation in the world and as long as Britain maintained its industrial lead over all the others, it: military power remained unchallenged as well. By 1830, Britain had a virtua. monopoly on industrial production of iron. steam engines, and textiles, and it used that power to sell its products throughout the world and built the world': largest empire, encompassing not just India but other parts of Asia as well. Its paramount position led to calls to lift tariffbarriers on the import of food and other raw materials so it could expand its industrial system even faster. As we saw with India, global “free trade” became Britain's program for action. How- ever, if Britain‘s imposition of the principles of ufree trade” on India had con, tributed to its third worlddzation, Britain could not do so to several other European countries or to its former colony, the United States. The European state system. defined as it was by the frequency of war among European states (and with independence, the United States too). cre’ ated strong competitive pressures for others to follow Britain‘s lead, especially in the quest for new coloniai possessions. As Britain’s overseas empire grew, other European states tried desperately to improve their militaries to compete in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Try as the British might to prevent the transfer or export of its industrial technologies, France, the United States, and Germany soon began to industrialise. And in the second halfof the nine— Russia and Japanibegan rapid in— reenth century, two additional countries dustrialization, largely in order to maintain their independence from west European countries. If industrialization in Britain had arisen from a conjunc- ture of forces that no one could have predicted, after it happened its results could be replicated as the result ofplans implemented by strong governments forced to compete with Britain and one another. \Vith few exceptions, then, industrialization elsewhere. proceeded with a heavy role for the state. France Even in the eariy stages of British industrialization. the French government (and others) attempted to gain access to Britain’s industrial know»how by stealing information, bribing manufacturers, or hiring British industrialists. France got its start in textiles and iron and steel this way, but it was seriously hobbled by the laclt of large (and easily worked) coal deposits, periodic revo» lutionary upheavals and war (17894815, i848—1851, and 1870—871}, and a relatively backward agriculture. Nevertheless, the decision of the French government in I842 to build a national railroad system. completed in rbe 1’3.” Q (.fhapteti 1860s, spurred France's industrialization. Unlike the private ownership of railroads in England, in France the gtwerninent provided the capital to build them, then privatized them on ninetv~nine—year leases. Stimulated by the na» tional market made possible by the railroad, other parts of the French econ» oiny also industrialized, or at least standardi:ed. Nonetheless, France remained much less able to produce industrial products, leaving it at disad’ vantage hoth to Britain and to other countries as they industrialized. The United States Industrialization in the United States centered on the Northeast and the Ohio River valley, and, like Britain, relied mostly on private capital, not government initiative. Textiles were among the first industries to industrial» izc, and New England—with supplies of raw cotton from slave—worked plan— rations in the Southwsoon competed with British textiles both in the US. and world markets. The state used tariffs to protect the young American in- dustry. and the Bank of the United States provided some capital for canals and railroads. Beginning in the 18305, local rail lines were built, and by the 18705 the transcontinental railroad spanned the continent, providing a huge demand for iron, steel, and steam’powered locomotives. The Civil \X/ar (1860-1865) spurred Northern industrialization, and, we will see later in this chapter, contributed to the industrial production of guns and a more in— dustrial way of warfare. Americans also pioneered the application of industry to agriculture. Where the British allowed their agricultural sector to decline, preferring to import cheap food from eastern Europe, Ireland, and the United States, and where French peasants acquired a tenacious hold on their minuscule land» holdings as. a result of the Revolution of 1789, which hindered their ability to _ buy or use modern farm implements until well after the end of \World \X/ar 11 in 1945. the United States had vast plains and little labor to work them. Horse—drawn and then later steam— and gasoline'poweted harvesters and combines (built by the Chicago magnate Cyrus McCormick) produced such huge agricultural surpluses that the United States became {and remains to this day) a major exporter of food in global markets. Germany Unlike Britain. the United States, or France, until 1870 Germany was not ac« tually unified under a single state but rather was divided among numerous principalities. each with its own ruler but speaking a common language that ultimately provided a basis for national unity. This political disunity harm, The Gap Q 13 pered German efforts to industrialize. indeed, the lacir ofa single state mean ILL-h,“ -.i pi- imports, leading to the destruction of German textile production by th 1830s. A customs union in the 1830s. ollowed by the abolition of serfdotn i' the 1840s and the building of railroads in the 18505, provided sufficient unit for industrialization in some areas to begin. in particular the coal, and iron we inst Boris-1 L .__-. that the German text sit iiidusti y did not hay-t rich Ruhr River valley. lndustrializing later than Britain, France, and the United States, German was at a competitive disadvantage and couid not industrialize following th same route (i.e., textiles to iron and steel). Instead, after unification in 187( Germany emphasized heavy industry (iron and steel) to sustain its nation: railroad program and to support the growth of its military. The developmer of the Bessemer process for making steel combined with innovations in largt scale business organization pioneered by the Krupp metallurgy and armamer works, spurred rapid German industrialization in the 1870s and 18805. Ge: mans also linked their universities to industrial research, leading to whol new chemical and electrical industries, and for the first time explicitly apph ing science to indusrrial development. Russia Of the European countries with the biggest obstacles to overcome in order I industrialize, Russia stands at the head of the list. Profoundly rural, peasan had been enserfed to noble estate owners until their emancipation in ti early 18603, leading to yet another form of rural society with nobles still om ing the land and former serfs renting it. For centuries, Russia had exportt grain to western Europe and had imported fineries consumed by the nobilit Russia also had vast natural resources—forests, coal, iron ore#that attractr west European investors who extracted them and sold them to the industria izing countries. Despite having a large army and being considered one of ti “powers” of Europe (mostly because of its size and population), Russia in ti nineteenth century was beginning to take on third world characteristics: e: porting food and raw materials, having little or no industry of its own, and r lying on others for whatever manufactured goods it could afford to import. All of this began to change in the 18805 when the Ministry of Financ headed energetically after 1892 by COunt Sergei W’itte, launched a massi‘ railroad'huilding program followed by heavy industry (coal, iron and Stet and oil). Where Russia had less than 7'00 miles of railroads in 1860, it h: 21,000 by 1894 and 36,000 by 1900, the longest stretches reaching eastwa into Siberia, thereby tying that vast region and its resources closer to t] 134 5 Chapter."1 needs of the industrializing parts of Russia. Like Germany and France, the Russran government. rather than pro-witt- capital, played a major role in these first stages of Russia's industrialization, creating banks, hiring foreign engi« neers, and erecting high tariff barriers to protect its new industries from for- eign competition. Count \Vitte was quite clear on the reasons for Russia's crash industrializrv tion program: to escape coloniai‘like relations with western Europe. Russia remains even at the present essentially an agricultural country. if PHYS fm’ all its obligations to foreigners by exporting raw materials, chiefly of an agricultural na— ture. principally grain. It meets its demand for finished goods by imports from abroad. The economic relations of Russia with western Europe are fully comparable to the relations of colonial countries with their merropolises, The latter consider their colonies as advantageous markers in which they can freely sell the products of their labor and of their industry and from which they can draw with a powerful hand the raw materials necessary for them. But Russia would not become a semi»colony, \Witte at Tued, because “Russia is . IL-a an independent. and strong power. . . . She wants to be a metropolis lie, colo« nial power] herself.” Japan Unlike Russia, Japan had few natural resources that an industrial economy needed, in particular coal and iron ore. Moreover, in the mid—18005 it was still following a policy of "closed country” implemented two hundred years earlier. When US. Commodore Mathew Perry steamed into Tokyo Bay in 1853 demanding that Japan open itself up to “normal” international com: merce (“or else . . ."), it. came as a huge shock to Japan’s leaders. Knowing what had happened to China at the hands of the British in the Opium War, Japan's leaders decided to negotiate an opening to the West, leading both to increased trade and contact between Japanese and \Wcsterners, but also to the collapse of the old regime in 1868. The new regime that replaced it, called the Meiji era after the reign title of the new (and very young) emperor Meiji (r. 18684912). after some fits and starts, set about dismantling the old feudal system and establishing a strong. centralized state that took on the task of industrializing Japan when private capital failed to take up the challenge. However, with few natural resources and with tariffs limited by the treaties imposed on it by the United States, Japan’s industrialization took a peculiar path. Having to first export in order to import industrial raw materials. Japan turned to its silk industry. standard- WWW-khaki _.. __.._J.____... . . . . . .t am.“ . The Gap 9 135 izmg and mechani:ing as much as possible to sell in the world market. taking their market share from the Chinese and the French. 1.9st a cially the 1890s, Japan developed a cotton textile industry, again designed for export in order to acquire the foreign exchange with which to purchase in: dustrial raw materials—coking coal anti iron oreefor a heavy industry strongly tied to the needs of its military. To compete in world textile markets, Japan kept. its workers wages very low, employing large numbers of girls and women and prohibiting the formation of labor unions. This strategy paid off handsomely. its military was strong enough to defeat China in an 1894—1895 war and then a decade later to defeat Russia. Recogv nizing Japan's military might, in 1902, the British concluded a military pact with Japan, and in 1911 the \X’estern powers renounced the unequal treaties that had limited Japan’s ability to control its own tariffs. By 1910, Japan had the industrial capacity and technological know-how to produce the world’s largest warship, the Satsuma. Even as China and lndia continued to decline relative to the \Vest, Japan’s industrialization by 1900 was an early indication that the West would not continue to dominate the world through a monop— oly of industrial production, but that prior patterns of Asian vitality would begin to show through. As this brief survey suggests, among the requirements for industrialization was a strong state determined to create the material prerequisites for power— ful armies. For differing reasons and at various times, France. Germany, Ruse sin, and Japan were able to build strong states. Those parts of the world that had weak states (e.g., most of Latin America or the Ottoman empire), states that were becoming enfeebled (e.g., China), states that had been colonized (e.g., india, much of Southeast Asia and, as we will see, Africa), or even stateless people within empires who wanted independence (as we will see be- low) were doomed to remain in the biological old regime. at best exporting raw materials or food to the industrialized world. New Dynamics in the Industrial World By 1900, 80 percent of world industrial output came from Europe and the United States, with Japan contributing another 10 percent: China con- tributed 7 percent and india 2 percent, totaling 99 percent of all industria production. Thus the one hundred years from 1800 to 1900 saw a great re- versal, with Europe and the United States taking the pride ofplace previously held by India and China. Part of the immense gap between the wealthiest ant poorest parts of our world thus can be explained by industrialization and tht 156 Q ChapterS escape of some parts of the worldwin Europe. the United States. and Japan—- from the constraints of the biological old regime. Actually, of course, it is more correct to say that industrial output came from selected regions. not en— tire countries: parts of New England in the United States. Manchester or other parts of northern England, the Rhineland in Germany, Milan in north. ern Italy, and so On. For even within those industrializing and increasingly rich countries, there remained impoverished regions. In the biological old regime, the size and quality of agricultural harvests determined the economic health, wealth, and well—being of a society: the larger the harvest, the more food, the lower wages, the more competitive in— dustry, and so on. Of course, the opposite was also true. Although climate and the vagaries of the weather certainly had a major impact on agriculture, peo‘ ple’s ingenuity, social organization, and hard work could minimize adverse climatic effects. But still, the biological oId regime set the tune by which agrarian economies danced. That was (and is) not so with the new industrial economies. Having es— caped from the limits of the biological old regime and its dynamics, the new industrial economies were entering into uncharted waters that became ever more uncertain as more of Europe industrialized. So, in the nineteenth cen— tury, the industrial world began to experience a new kind of regulator on eco— nomic activity: boom and then bust, As more and more factories were built to produce the same commodity, especially in different countries, global supply at times vastly outstripped demand, leading to falling prices to clear the in: ventory buildup. Competitors slashed prices by slashing wages, further dea pressing demand, at. least for consumer goods, leading to a "recession," or depending on how long it lasted, a “depression.” The first recession occurred in 1857, and it was fairly shortelived, followed by a resumption of the eco nomic boom, which lasted until the early 18305. But then in 1873 another te— cession began. which lasted, in some historians’ views, until 1896; during those twenty years, prices in Britain fell by 40 percent. Until the 18705, most industrializing countries had followed Britain's lead in favoring international free trade, for all in one way or another had bene’ fired. But the slump of 1873 changed that, with Germany and Italy raising tariffs to protect their textile industries, followed in the 18905 by France, the United States, and, as we have already seen, Russia. Japan was forbidden by treaty from raising tariffs. Expectedly, as a result ofthe new tariffs, British exi ports to the United States and the industrializing parts of Europe dropped, creating a sizable balance of payments problem for Britain and fueling calls within Britain for protectionist tariffs. Had that happened, the industrializing W—fl-I‘bum A—m-tum Mm A. .._.,._-a., -,, TheGap Q or world might have entered a period of sharp contraction into goitiething the exclusive trading l‘locs that arose in the 19305 in the wake of the Great Depression, followed by the horrors of \‘i/‘orld \War II. Global capitalism may well have been strangled shottlv after its birth. Except that Britain‘s huge trade surpluses with Asia, India, and China in particular, made possible by the opium trade, kept the system from crashing. \With these huge trade surpluses, Britain was able to settle its debts to the United States and Germany, in particular, keeping capitalist development alive there (and elsewhere in Europe}.H In a very real sense, China’s con— sumption of opium, and British traffic in the drug, is one of the factors that kept the capitalist world economy going through the recession of 187371896. Although the industrializing world did not collapse into exclusive (and possibly warring) economic trading blocs, the slump did sharpen competition and tension between industrializing countries in the late nineteenth century. As we will see later in this chapter, this contributed to the “New Imperialism" of the period, where European countries and the United States competed to grab large parts of the world to create, or add to, their colonial empires. The Social Consequences of Industrialization The Industrial Revolution transformed—and still is transformingethe pat— terns of life. Just as the Neolithic agricultural revoiution 13,000 years earlier transformed the relationships ofpeople to one another and the environment, so too did the Industrial Revolution. Work. families, cities, time, culture, vale ues, and more changed with the industrial mode of production. Although the precise ways these changes worked themselves out varied from place to place, there were broad similarities. In the place of fields and farms, there were fac— tories; in the place of seasons and annual festivals as the markers of time, there came the hour and the time clock; in the place of large families, there came. small ones; in the place of stability, there came change. Factories and ‘X‘orl; Industrialization in the first instance called into being a large new working class largely concentrated in growing cities. Indeed, a common measure of in— dustrialization is the percentage of a country's population living in cities. For England, 50 percent lived in cities by 18:30: in Germany that mark was reached by 1903, in the United States by 1920, and injapan by 19.30. For new workers, especially those fresh from the farms, factories imposed a new con— cept of work on them. Machines dictated the pace of work, supervisors set 1‘.“ Q Chapter?i rules for eating and bodily functions, and owners set wage rates as low as pos’ sihie to ensure high profits. Factories were not pleasant places, and it is hard to imagine anyone actu- ally choosing to work there rather than outdoors in the fields. But, in England at least. prior changes in agriculture had pushed large numbers of peasants off the land before the Industrial Revolution occurred. There were, therefore, lots of poor and barely employed people in London glad to take a job even if the wages met bare subsistence needs. Because of the misery of working conditions, “disciplining” the. labor force to the new rhythms of the workplace and ensuring that they returned day af» ter day became the task of “management,” which grew as a new occupation and formed the backbone of the new “middle class.” Much of the early British workforceeuespecially in textiles but also in the mines—was composed of women and children who could be more easiiy managed than men. Although that changed over time and more men than women composed the English working class by 1900, in japan girls and young women too formed the back! bone of the textile workforce. There, hard-pressed rural families “contracted” their daughters out to textile mills: the family patriarch got the pay (in an’ nual installments) and the girls got work and the promise of life in safe dor- mitories until they were ready to marry.” W’ornen and Families Industrialization remade the family. In agrarian societies. farming families were units of both production and consumption. Urban industrial life in, creasineg removed production from families, changing roles and relation; ships among men, women, and children. \Where women and children initially worked in factories {giving us the horrorvfilled novels of Charles Dickens such as David Coppenfield and Oliver Twist), legislation restricting children’s and women’s labor turned factories into workplaces for men. A woman's place was redefined as being in the home and taking care of domestic afi airs, even while taking in laundry or other odd chores to help make ends meet. Prohib— ited from working until age twelve or thirteen, the task of children hecame (minimally) to master an elementary school education. children came to be seen as causing family expenses and not contributing to family income, the number of children married couples were willing to have began to decline, es— pecially in the period after 187’0, and families got smaller. Resistance and Revolution Factories were battlefields for daily confrontations, sometimes small and sometimes large, between workers and the factory owners or their representa’ tit-oar. Q i3‘ tiyes. Simply not returning to work was one form of resistance, but then oni would forfeit what pay was owed. working as slowly as possrble was anothe response. as was sabotage ofthe machinery to stop it, ifeyen for little while \X/ith time, workers discovered that collective action could win them highe wages, better conditions. or shorter hours, but usually only after long, bitter and often bloody strikes.” It is little wonder that the new urban hell—holes and factories produced no just commodities flooding world markets but organized resistance to factorie and to the capitaiist system. Early opponents were simply repelled by [hi smoke'belching factories, the “unnatural” modes of work, and the impac they were having on family life, calling instead for more “natural” ways of or ganizing work. The most rigorous and long—lasting challenge to the capitalis mode of production, though, came from ideas propounded by Karl Marx ant his lifelong collaborator Friedrich Engels. Publishing The Communist Manifesto in 1848, Marx and Engels (whose fa ther owned a textile mill) tossed down the gauntlet: A specter is haunting Europe—the specter of communism. . . . The history of ail hitherto existing sot‘ieiy is the history ofclass struggles. . . . Our epoch . . . shows . . . this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting;r into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: bourgeoisie [capitalist class] and proletariat [working Class]. , . . \What the bourgeoisie . . . produces, above all, is its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.“ And for a few months in 1848, it looked like Marx’s predictions migh‘ have been coming true. Throughout western Europe, revolts of the laboring poor toppled governments in France, the Italian states, the Habsburg empire and Switzerland, threatened the established order in Spain and Denmark and shook Ireland, Greece, and Britain. Although the political demands 0 the rebels mostly envisioned greatly extended democratic rights for working people, nonetheless, the more comfortable middle class and especially rhi factory—owning capitalist class felt threatened and so supported the suppres- sion of the revolts. But the growing division of society into warring classes- even the threat that that would happenipresented a serious problem to th( rulers of European states. Nations and Nationalism States, or what we now more commonly refer to as “governments,” have beer around for a long time and have taken a number of forms. In this book, we HO Q Chapteri have talked mostly about agrarian and conquest empires, especially in Asia and Mesoamerica, and about the various monarchies and principalities in Eu» rope and their transformations into centralized states under the pressures of war. The process of European “state building,” which was CliSCLlSSEd in chap ter 4, it might be remembered, resulted in fairly large territorial states that had both the population and the wealth to sustain competitive interstate pressures, with seventeenth— and eighteenth—century Britain and France buiiding the most successful states. in the nineteenth century, states underwent additional changes, becoming much closer in form and function to twentiethvcentury states, and became linked with another force, that of nation-building, or nationalism, giving us the modern nation—state. Where the modern state can be defined, the con— cept of nation is a little bit harder, since exceptions always seem to be found. But let us start by defining the modern state as a territory (usually contiguous) over whose inhabitants the government ruled directly through salaried bu; reaucrats, not through intermediaries or agents such as aristocrats with their own power bases, enforcing uniform administrative and institutional arrange— ments and taking notice of its subjects or citizens, generally through reprea sentatives (elected or otherwise)” The French Revolution of 1789 and the extension of some of its ideas, especially that of people's right to he politically active “citizens” rather than merely the “subjects” of their sovereign, and that of universal administrative codes and direct contact between state and citizen to other parts of Europe by the French general/emperor Napoleon in the early 1800s (the Napoleonic Code) were especially important in the genesis of the modern state. The idea of “nations” and “nationaiism,” on the other hand, arose only af ter modern states and industrial society had emerged.” States were confronted with a dilemma, especially acute after the French Revolution called into ques' tion all the traditional sources ofstate legitimacy (divine ordination, dynastic succession, or historic right}, of how to ensure loyalty to the state and the rul’ ing system. This question became criticai as industrialization created new so cial classes, especially the urban working class and the capitalist class, and the revolts of the early 18005 culminating in the mass uprisings of 1848. To the rulers of nineteenth—century European states, huge schisms were appearing among their peoples and between the people and the state, threatening to bring the states down. Also, industrialization created new forms of communication, especially the railroad and the telegraph, which in turn spawned economic and emo- tional needs among people who seemed to share common bonds of language and culture but did not have a unified state—in particular the various Ger— The Gap. Q 14 man and ltalian states. This gave rise to the idea that a "nationmfithat is, : “people” sharing a common language and culture—ought to have a single unified state. This kind of European nationalism fueled many movements i1 Europe from 1830 to 1-880 of state—building on the basis of a “nation” and “na tional boundaries." This was most strikingly illustrated by the Italian nation alist Mazzini and his call for “every nation a state; only one state for the Bfltll‘l nation." This idea then informed the rulers of states, who were feeling pressured b' the revolutionary uprisings from below, and offered them a way to begin en suring the loyalty of “their people." The problem these rulers faced, though was twofold. The first aspect was how to get their people to identify them selves as a “nation” and then how to link that identity with the state. For this public education (at first elementary but in the twentieth century increas ingly secondary too) was especially useful and so too were historians in con structing celebratory “national histories?“ Some territorial states, though, had been constructed with more than oni “nation” in them. Great Britain was formed with the union of Scotland ant England. but also included the \Velsh and Irish. The Russian empire as it ex panded in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries came to be known as "the prison house of nationalities." The Balkans were an especially nettlesorne plac: for the Ottoman empire, with Slavs, Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Albanians, ant Macedonians under the rule of Turks. One possible solution to this problem 0 multiple ethnicities. or nations, within one state was the French and Americar one of defining “the people," not in ethnic, religious, or even linguistic terms but in political terms: “Americans are those who wish to be [Americans] . . French nationality was French citizenship: ethnicity, history. the language 0 parois spoken at home, were irrelevant to the definition of ‘the nation.""5 This kind of mulriethnic, multilinguistic, multireligious, “deliberate polit ical option” nationalism waned in the nineteenth century, especially after [hi 18705 and 1880s. On the one hand, European states (and the United States found it more convenient to invent nationalist traditions and to inculcatl those into their populations, creating an imagined but nonetheless real na tionalism. On the other hand, people who considered themselves “nations but without statesMZionists, lrish, Serbs—began agitating for their owr states. In short, nationalism of an exclusive, ethnic, and cultural kindioni that says “my people are great"ibegan to shape Europe in the second half 0 the nineteenth century, contributing to the way Europeans related to the res of the world, to the pressures leading to \Xlorld War l in the early twentietl century, and to the modern nationistate, with all its contradictions, ambigu ities, and power over people. lil’t7 Chapters Nationalism. economic competition among European states, internal so; ciai tensions arising from industrialization, and strategic considerations led to several wars among European states in the nineteenth century and to wars of imperialist expansion against Asians and Africans in the last thirty years of the century. The largest inter-European war was the Crimean \War of 1854—1856, pitting Russia on one side against an alliance of Britain. FranCe, and Turkey. Russia’s loss contributed to its decision to eliminate serfdom and to industrialize and resulted in the deaths of over 600,000 soldiers on all sides. The American Civil \Var (18604865) killed additional hundreds of thousands of men. Finally, the nationalist unifications of Italy and Germany contributed to four more major European wars, culminating in the Franco- Prussian \Var of 1870—1871. Nationalism thus was injected into the ongoing tensions among European states, helping recruit young men into their armies, but also contributing to racist ideas about the superiority of Euro’ peans and inferiority of others, especialiy Africans and Asians. The Scrambles for Africa and China After the Franco—Prussian War of 1871, Europeans for the most part stopped warring against one another (at least until 1914 and the outbreak of \Vorld \Var l) and instead directed their military power against China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.19 Competition among European powers thus was displaced into those parts of the world we now call the third world, contributing to their decline into that status. Africa For centuries, Europeans found penetration of Africa to be almost impossible: various diseases endemic to the tropical parts of the continent, especially malaria, restricted slave‘trading Europeans to coastal enclaves free from the disease. By the nineteenth century, steamships may have permitted access to the interior on Africa’s various rivets, but malaria still killed most of the ex» plorers. Aithough the cause of malaria was not discovered until 1880 and the means of transmission by mosqutto not uncovered until 1897, a process of trial and error led to the realization by the midnnineteenth century that the bark of the cinchona tree native to South America contained quinine, a sub— stance that prevented malaria. British military personnel then successfully planted cinchona seeds in lndia and by the 1870s had greatly increased the supply of quinine to their troops. The subsequent European “scramble for Africa" may have been initiated in the 18705 by French insecurities arising The Gap Q 1 from their defeat by the Germans in l8? l . by the bizarre and secretive. scher ' Leopold 11.3" and by British determination to prote their colonial interests in India. but all of those motivations would have be: irrelevant had it not been discovered that quinine prevented malaria, or i the development of steamboats that could open the rivers, or for new tec nology in guns that killed more efficiently. The new technologies matterer in earlier chapters we traced some of the developments in the techni ogy of guns, which remained fairly stable from the early 1500‘s to the 1800s: and featured the muzzle—loading musket. Muskets took several mi utes to load, made huge puffs of smoke when fired, and were barely accurz for a few hundred yards. Military tactics took account of these shortco ings, but clearly more accurate guns with greater range and less evidence having been shot (thereby concealing the soldier's position) would he v improvements. Those improvements came rapidly after 1850 with the “tifling” of the b rel to improve accuracy, the creation of paper and then copper cartridges nited by smokeless powder and inserted by breech loading, and t invention of mechanisms for repeating fire. The American Civil \War an European arms race in the 18605 and 18703 revolutionized guns and vas increased the ability of European soldiers to kill rapidly, from a distance C couple thousand yards, and in any weather. The pinnacle of perfection ca in the 1880s with the invention of a reliable machine gun, named after inventor Hiram Maxim. By the 18?0s, Europeans thus had the “tools of empire” with which to gage and defeat Africans on African soil. Africans put up valiant and stiff sistance, but their technology was no match for the Maxim gun. The tr famous and perhaps deadly instance was at the 1898 Battle of Ohdurn where British troops ct'infronted the 40.000—man Sudanese Dervish army. described by \Vinston Churchill, the future British prime minister, Dervish attack was quickly repulsed by Maxim guns mounted on river g boats: “The charging Dervishes sank down in tangled heaps. The masse: the rear paused, irresolute. It was too hot even for them." On shore, British “infantry fired steadily and stolidly, without hurry or excitement, the enemy were far away and the officers careful.” To the Sudanese “on other side bullets were shearing through flesh, smashing and splintering br blood spouted from terrible wounds; valiant men struggling on through a ' of whistling metal, exploding shells, and sporting dustésuffering, despair dying." After five hours, the British lost 20 soldiers: 10,000 Sudanese v killetl.‘l As a saying had it: H~l Chapter? \‘Vhatever happens. we have got the Maxim gun. and they have not." With such a technological advantage. by I900 most of Africa had been di— vided up among a handful of European powers, in particular Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, with Portugal hanging on to its seventeenth~cenrury colonial possession in Angola. Only Ethiopia, under the extraordinary lead; ership of King Menelik, defeated the weakest European power, Italy. and thereby maintained its independence.“ (See map 5.1.) China lfdreams of vast stores of raw materials fueled imperialist dreams of Africa, for China it was access to its market. As Britain's cotton textile industrialists dreamed, “if we could add but one inch to the shirt of every Chinese, we could keep the mills of Manchester running forever.” Although the market for “400 hundred million customers” continually evaded Europeans, their quest to “open” China was pressed throughout the nineteenth century, cul— minating in the “scramble for concessions” at the end of the century. Following the Opium \Var ( 1839-1842). China was torn by a massive civil war, the Taiping Rebellion (18504865). Fueled by impoverished peasants and displaced workers and led by a man who believed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ with a mission to establish the Heavenly Kingdom on Earth. the Taipings nearly swept the Manchu rulers of the Chi; nese empire from the historical stage. Combining appeals for a new. just so— cial order resting on land reform, equality among all peoples (both social classes and genders within China, and nations globally), and ousting China’s Manchu rulers, the Taipings swept up from south China to capture the south— ern capital of Nanjing on the Yangzi River. But for squabbling. bizarre behav— ior, and some poor strategic decisions among the Taiping leadership, China‘s modern history might have been very different from how it turned out. As it was, conservative landowners created their own armed forces. defeated the Taipings. and saved the Manchu regime. Enfeebled by the civil war (during which some twenty million may have died), hobbled by the treaties imposed by the British after the two Opium Wars, and now committed to reviving the old agrarian regime to satisfy the demands of the landowners who saved the dynasty, the Manchus began a pro— gram of limited military modernization called “Self Strengthening" to protect themselves against foreign aggression. Although having some success at building what appeared to be a modern military, China nonetheless was sub, ject to constant foreign pres5ure from not just the British, but from the Rus— ._ a 1 1 . l -I- I .1 'K ,, TL,. I-.._.... The Gap Q 1 two were to be responsible for sparking the “scramble for concessions.n whi led to the partition iii—China among “the Powers" in 1900. Industrializing late. Japan too harbored imperialist expansion plans, » recring its attention to Korea and the island of Taiwan. Although China cc sidered Korea to be part of its tributary system and thus subordinate to Korea nonetheless had its own internal politics. When those sharpened a resulted in various insurrections in the 1880s and 1890s. the Japanese tc the opportunity to support the side opposed to the Chinese. When China tervened it thought it had the right to) in 1894, war between China 3 Japan broke out. Surprising most observers, Japan rather handily defeated 1 Chinese in a major naval battle, bringing the war to an end. Determined to press its advantage over a weakened and demoralized op] nent, Japan extracted numerous concessions from the Chinese, includin huge $300—million indemnity, the island of Taiwan and the Liaodong Pen sula in Manchuria, the “independence” of Korea (thereby allowing Japan exercise its influence over it), and the right ofJapanese nationals to open f tories and own mines in China. Russia, which opposed Japan's interests Manchuria (its expansion into Siberia created its own interest in M churia), then convinced the Germans and French to join with it to f0 Japan to return Manchuria to Chinese sovereignty. Succeeding in doing so and humbling Japan, the Russians earned the g itude of China's rulers, who in turn granted the Russians concessions to velop a railroad in Manchuria. The Germans, who wanted a naval pori China to equal the British, French, and Russians, asked China for a base : reward for their role in turning back the Japanese, but were rejected. then, in 1898, using the murder of two German missionaries in China i pretext, Germany seized a harbor on the Shandong peninsula and for China to lease the harbor to it for ninety—nine years. This act unleashed " scramble for concessions” in which all the other powers also extracted ninn nine-year concessions from the Chinese government, “slicing China 111 melon,” as the phrase at the time had it. By 1900 it looked as if China would be divided up into colonial possessions. as Africa had been. But Britain needed “open trade" in China to keep its global empire wr ing. Fortunately for the British, the United States had just acquired a o nial presence in the Philippines as a result of the 1898 war with Spain was easily convinced to carry the torch for “open trade" for all power China. Expressed as the Open Door Notes of 1900, the United States a] ulated a policy, for various reasons and rather surprisingly accepted by other powers, which kept China from being colonized and kept it open: could be equally exploited by all the powers, Japan and the United St I I 1 l46 Q Chapters GRKENLAND » (Denmark! i f i p ~21“ 6‘ ' e954? 5 DENMARK ‘. R u. . GREAT “" MOSCOW DOMINIDN'of CANADA r- 3mm; éme he.“ (British) - '“EU‘ND Longon' gee: . l" 7 V 7 31119. 111mm!- ~ a - r = ancrf-“E‘ “'1'”; . my . Chicago. . .805an T m 49' .: Lia .IJNITED . Newer must:me - SIATES, gWashmgmnDC, Mgggscfico . u : 0%“) t - ,- _ . * ' .. newer /.-‘ , l" " “we r_.--'”"11Jl¥l5IAfll-l?lryglfl“5756?”? 5"” i r . it, y "i .. . ‘ mums»; ATZAJVTIC SPANISH: .‘ / mnoRico(U.S.) SAHARA: FRENCH - / wesnrmcn FRENCH DA?ng ; semen " (F!) x‘ '3 PORTUGUESE GUINEA 11mm, PACIFIC GERMANl ' ' sevaE- , UNION '3 AFRICA 0F “:50 =Pom'lucusse “ma mama W! / Map 5.1 The World circa 1900 El Nifio Famines and the Making of the Third World Although industrialization. improvements in military technology, strategic jockeying among “the powers.” and the economic slump, which began in the 1870s, go a long way toward accounting for the dominance of Europeans, Americans, and Japanese over Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans, there was as well an ecological dimension to the making of the third world and the more L‘Ak‘IIzmtafi +1“) th-‘crrlrgliw'ar'l r‘inrl nninr'liict‘riqli'lpil n'fli‘ffi (xi-the u'rirli’lr The Gap 9 l “AN EMP'IRE - Z He'll-"9' KOREA '4' CHINESE {Jam 2Q EMPIRE \V' . 3 - mam: s rlNDlA ‘5 , Ja , wax-wt (am-am 'sun‘m--’ a 5 I’m-l W” @1103)!- . 18:91 :3")? gift I Madras I IISMVE?‘ sir-mum“, —50 ND I ' 2‘ z p: ‘ é—aams'H saw-icy“ ‘ E s was: OCEAN 50MAUUNOKV_HEEMN‘-Ualarr¢\ I. . u \rrnum ls“ swan-lit: ' I seem SUMALILANB . . /_ __ " « y , . f 3 _ NEW awn Stew-'9 . w = a M 1m 5‘ , Us“ 1‘ .- mm INDIAN l” “Bellini? ” -' #2:. —EASTAFRICA I .. \ ‘ EanJ - BRITISH OCEAN {pom Nswcumca AumALLn (British) NEW ZEALAND {finish} ' CEYLON {an \Vhere the. very success of China‘s economy in the biological old reg had begun putting stress on its forest reserves by 18.00, leading to serious forestation by the middle of the nineteenth century, other parts of Asia Latin America were deforested by other processes. in India, forests in peninsula were cleared long before the population began to grow around middle of the nineteenth century. Warring Indian princes cleared forest deny their enemies cover, a policy of “ecological warfare“ that the coloni: British also carried out with gusto. Additionally, dislocated peasant fatn cleared land, and there was some commercial logging in the north as well. 145 Q Chapter? of these contributed to the extensive deforestation of India by the late nine' tt‘t‘ntl‘i z'r‘t‘i In Latin America. different processes led to massive deforestation. There, ci'Jlonial powers, intent upon extracting raw materials and transforming their Latin American holdings into sugar or coffee plantations, cleared forests. In Brazil, the great forests of the Atlantic seaboard were first cleared for sugar plantations. In the early IBOOS, Bra:ilian landowners switched to coffee crops. As a tree (nor native, but imported from Ethiopia), coffee presumably could have been planted and replanted on the same land, given adequate care to the fertility of the soil. But as it turned out, landowners preferred to deplete the soil and after thirty years or so to clear another patch of virgin forest. “Thus coffee marched across the highlands, generation by generation, leaving nothing in its wake but denuded hills?”S And on Caribbean islands, French and British colonists in the eighteenth century removed so much forest for sugar plantations that even then observers worried that it was causing the cli» mate for the islands to change, getting drier and drier with every stand of for; est cut down.” By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, then, large parts of Asia and Latin America experienced significant environmental damage caused by de— forestation and the depletion of soil fertility. Of course, being agricultural so, cieties, these changes put additional stresses on the biological old regime, making them even more susceptible to climatic shock and increasing the pos sibility of widespread famine. Mostly, harvest failures were localized affairs. But in the late nineteenth century, a climatic phenomenon we now know as el Nifio (or by its more sci— entific name, ENSO, for el Nifthouthern Oscillation) intensified to the greatest extent in perhaps five hundred years, affecting vast portions of the planet. \‘(f'here el Niin brings excessive rainfall to the wheat belt of North America and does not affect Europe at all, it means drought for vast portions of Asia, parts of northern and western Africa, and northeast Brazil, and flood, ing for the Southern Cone. Three timesiin 187671879, 188971891, and 1896719027el Nifio droughts afflicted the future third world. The particular; ities of how eI Nino affects Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America. coupled with the workings of a world economy designed to benefit the indus— trializing parts of Europe and North America, and the aggression of the “New Imperialism” against Asians and Africans combined in a historicai conjunc: ture of global proportions to spell famine and death for millions of people. In all, an estimated thirty to fifty million people died horribly in amines spread across Asia and parts of Africa and Latin America. But these deaths were not just caused by the natural effects of el Nifio, no matter how power: The (lap ful they were in the late nineteenth century. Rather, as social critic Davis .l: ,i v'cenllt -.!- v1. . .. , ..‘..,‘...i {Hugh s a -.. _‘-. L cc .t-Um. urea: llrLlnottL, Eiuljcu ieuiuuCo Ldfllc db- ctihes in a result of el Ninos working in conjunction with the new European—t nated world economy to impoverish vast swaths of the world, turning of Asia. Africa, and Latin America into the “third world." In Asia, go ments were either unwilling or unable to act to relieve the disasters British colonial rulers of India were more intent on ensuring the sn workings of the “free market” and their colonial revenues than in preve famine and death by starvation or disease. There, people died in Si; wheat being loaded onto railroads destined for consumption in Britain the colonial authorities spurned famine relief in the belief that it weal “character” and promoted sloth and laziness. In China, the Manchu go merit, switching resources and attention from the interior to the coasts v foreign pressure was greatest, had neither the ability not the tesourc move grain to the isolated inland province of Shanxi where the drough famine was the most severe. Likewise in Angola, Egypt, Algeria, Korea, nam, Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Bra:il, el Nifio—induced drought conttil to famines that weakened those societies and their governments, inv new waves of imperialist expansion and consolidation}; The gap betwee industrialized and future third world had crystallized. Although it may appear to have been a historical accident that those nineteenth-century el Ninos hit Asians, Africans, and Latin Americans while improving harvest yields in the American Midwest and bypassin, rope altogether, the socioeconomic impact they had were the result 0 historical processes discussed in this and the previous chapter. All of thes verser affected regions either had weak states {and largely weakened her of imperialist aggression) that could not act either to industrialize or to vide famine relief to their people, or they had colonial governments (i cially the British in. India) whose policies had the same results. Thus a beginning of the twentieth century, large parts of the world and its pt were condemned as best they could to fend off the worst effects of the hit ical old regime. It is hardly surprising that the life expecrancies ant chances ofpeople there were much less than those in the industrialized of the world. “The gap” was and remainsia life-anddeath matter. Social Darwinism and Self-Congratulatory Eurocentrism By 1900, Europeans anti their North American descendants controlled rectly or indirectlv. most of the world. That fact did not escape their no 150 Chapter‘i and the British in particular celebrated it throughout their empire on the oc‘ casion of the fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries of Queen Victoria's reign in 1887 and ldgi respectively and in the midst of the late—nineteenth—century fainines discussed above. With the advances of science since the middle of the nineteenth century. the ease with which the Maxim gun cut down Sufi danese, and the famine deaths of millions of Asians, some Europeans now thought that they had a scientific explanation for the rise of the West and the “backwardness” of Asians. Africans, and Latin Americans: social Darwinism and eugenics, or scientific racism. Charles Darwin had argued in his famous 18.59 book The Origins of Species that evolution and the development of new species occurred by the processes of natural selection and the survival of the fittest species. Darwin soon ex, tended the argument to humans, tracing human origins to apelike creatures. Then, in the late nineteenth century, Darwin's ideas about evolution were applied to societies. “Social” Darwinism purported to explain why some peo— ple were wealthy and others poor (virtue versus sloth). and why some soci— eties were “advanced” and others “backward.” \Vith Africans appearing to fall down dead at the sight of Europeans, with Indians (both kinds, in India and in North America) and Chinese dying by the millions from disease or during the el Nifio fatnines, the idea that evolution could be applied to hu— man society and the relationship between different races was believed to be true by large numbers of Europeans and North Americans. Both millionaires and Europeans, especially the white northern ones, according to Herbert Spencer, the foremost champion of soeial Darwinism, can be explained by natural selection: The poverty of the incapable, the distresses that come upon the imprudent, the star' vation of the idle, and those shoulderings aside of the weak by the strong which leave so many in shallows and miseries are the decrees of a large, faraseeing benevolence.” To social Darwinists, the poor, the Asians, the Africans, and the Native Americans thus all deserved their dismal fates it was “natural.” in a world in which the gap between the rich and the poor within European and American societies and between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world had be; come glaring, social Darwinism was a comforting ideology for. those on top of the world. In Latin America, especially in Mexico and Brazil, ruled by light—skinned descendants of Europeans, a further extension of the idea of social Darwinism proved attractive. Eugenics, originally the selective breeding of plants and an— imals to produce the best stock, came to he applied to the belief that the cool The Gap 9 dition of humans could be improved only through genetic manipulation, b creasing valuable human traits associated with North Europeans and e nating those associated with the poor and the nonwhite. So, to “improve stock of their human populations, Mexican and Brazilian governments barked on programs to encourage the migration of light'skinned Europeai their countries so that their populations could he “lightened,” they thoi just like adding a bit of milk to coffee. in Europe and the United States genics contributed to racist ideas about the natural superiority of whites the inferiority of southern and east Europeans, in addition to Asians, Afric and Native Americans. And of course, this kind of pseudoscience turned twentieth'century genocide in the hands of the Nazi leader Adolfl—litler. Conclusion And so we have come full circle, with the concoction at the beginning of twentieth century of explanations for the rise of the \Xx’est that now seem (and dangerous), but which were accepted as “true” by many people in wealthiest and most powerful parts of the world. Of course, we can now see these ideas {discussed in more detail in the introduction) are more ideo than historical truth. For the rise of the \Xr’est is more the story of how 5: states and peoples benefited from historically contingent events and geong to be able, at a certain point in time (a historical conjuncture), to domii others and to accumulate wealth and power. There is no more mystery i than that, and by coming to grips with the contingent nature of the wee power, and privilege of the West, those who have benefited should be hum] by the actual sources of their good fortune, and those who have not should 1 heart that in the future new contingencies may well favor them. Europe was always dominant or even bound for that destiny, even though Eurocentric ologies of the past century may have propounded that myth. Notes l. GDP 15 the total value ofall goods and services produced in an economy, usually limited by national boundaries. 2, Fernand Braudel. Civilization and Capitalism l5th—i8th Century. vol. 2 , Sian Reynt trans. (New York: Harper and Row. 1982). 134, 3. lhid. 4. The term “third world" came about after \Xt’orld \War II in the context of the C \Vat between the United States (and its European allies) and the Soviet Union, the and second worlds respectively. To chart a path with some independence from both 152 9 Chapter 5 Americans and the Russians, l‘dcwelopinf but poor nations lllx't‘ lndia. Egypt. and In' donesia came to he known as the third world. By the 1970s, even poorer parts of the world, Africa in particular, became to be seen as the fourth world. All of these terms reflect the divisions of wealth and power that have come to define the modern world. 5. Carl A. Troclti. Opium, Empire. and the Global Political Economy: A Study [1(le Asian Opium Trade, 175071950 (London: Rourledgc, I999}, 126. 6. See Edward R. Slack, Jr., Opium. State, and Society: China’s Narco’Econom)‘ and the Guomindang, 19244937 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 3001). T. For the story of the rise and decline oflndia's cotton textile industry, at least in Ben» gal, see Debendra Bijoy Mitra, The Cotton Weavers of Bengal 1757—1833 (Calcutta: Tern; plc Press. 1978), 98. 8. S. Ambirajan, Classical Political Economy and British Policy in lndia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, l987), 5455. 9. Trocki, Opium. Empire, and the Global Political Economy, xiii, 8—9. 10. Sergei W'itte, "An Economic Policy for the Empire," in Thomas Riha, ed, Readings in Russian Civilization, 2d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1969). vol. 2. 419. Had it not been for Russia’s defeat by Germany in World Warl and the successful Bolshe— vik (Communist) Revolution of 1917, \Vitte's plans may well have transformed Russia in ways he had envisioned. As it was, the capitalist countries of western Europe and the United States cut the new Soviet Union off from loans and other forms of direct foreign investment that \Vitte's plan had depended on for industrializing Russia, Instead, the So— viet Union had to pioneer a new path. epitomized from the late 19305 on as a succession of “Five—Year Plans,” where the funds for investment in industry were squeezed from a newly collectivized agriculture. Despite the expropriation of private property in both cities and the countryside, the abolition of free markets, and hence the creation of a “planned economy" run by communist bureaucrats, the Soviet Union did achieve remarkable levels of industrial growth, especially of heavy industry, all the way to the beginning of their in' volvement in \Vorld W’ar ll. 11. A. H. Latharn, The international Economy and the Undercicveloped \World 1865—1914 (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 1978), 175: “China's large trade deficit [caused by opium] in these years was an important feature of the international economy." 12. For Japan, see Miltiso Hane, Peasants. Rebels, and Outcasts: The Underside of Moth em Japan (New York: Pantheon. 1982). 13. For the United States, see. Jeremy Btecher, Strike (San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books. 1972l. 14. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist h-‘lanifes‘to (New York: \l-'ashingu:1n Square Press. 1964), 57—59, 78779. 15. This definition is based on E. Hohshawm, Nations and Nationalism Siilc‘t’ 1780, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 80. 16. Ernest Gellner. Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 1983). esp. chaps. l and 7', 17. See Joyce Appleby. Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History (New Yorlt: W. \X’. Norton, 1994). chaps. 2 and 3. The Gap Q IS. Hohshawm, Nations and Nationalism, 19. See. for example. Brian Bond. ccl.. Victorian Military Campaigns (New York: F crich l’raeger, Neil. 30. The fascinz-itina story is told in Adam Hochschild. King Leopold’s Ghost: A San Greed. Terror. and Hcmism in Colonial Africa (Boston: lloughton Mifflin, 19.98). 31. Quoted in Daniel Headrick. The Tools of Empire: Technology and European lmpe ism in the Nineteenth ('Tt'nrury (New Yorlt: Oxford University Press, 1981), 118. 22. That ditty may have captured the balance of power at that moment betw Africans and Europeans. but overall the balance between Europeans and others, especi those who used guerrilla tactics against European armies, was rapidly narrowmg and WL disappear altogether in the twentieth century. “(here British armies at the end of the eii eenth century could defeat Indian armies six or seven times as large, by the early n reenth century they could defeat Indian armies only twice as large. Finally, by the, 18: the British had to use armies equally as large and with superior firepower to defeat in: armies. Clearly, future third worlders could quickly acquire use of the most advanced ropean arms to eliminate the European technological advantage. By the 19505 and 194 as both the French and then the United States were to learn in Vietnam, an occupied 1: pie determined to gain independence could effectively employ guerrilla tactics to sty. even the most advanced armies. To defeat that kind of mobilized population would required five to six times as many troops as the guerrilla army. and by the late 1960s it clear that the American public would not allow an escalation of troop strength fr 500,000 to several millions. Given those military and political realities, the American feat in Vietnam was a foregone conclusion. On the declining arms advantage of Europi armies in Africa and Asia, see Philip D. Curtin. The World and the Y\ii’est: The Europ Challenge and the Overseas Response in the Age of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge Unix sity Press. ZOO-O), chap. .1. 23. The west African state founded by returned American slaves, Liberia, too was dependent. as was a small part of Moroceo. 24. C. A. Bayly, lntlimi Society and the Making of the British Empire (Cambridge: Ca bridge University Press, 1988), 1387139. 7 25. Warren Dean, With Broadax and Firehrand: The Destruction of the Brazilian Atlai Forest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). 181. 26. Richard H. Grove. Green imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical island Edens: the Origins of Environmentalism. 1600—1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Pri 1995),Chaps. 3 and 6. 27. Miltc Davis. lat-c 'i'ictonan r olocausts: El Nifio Families and the Making of the Ti: W'orld (London: Verso Press, 2001). 28. See especially Michael Adas. Machines as the Measure of Men: Science. Technolo, and ideologies of W’mtem Dominance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. i989). 39. Quoth in Eueen \‘i-leher, A Modern History of Europe: Men, Cultures, and Sociei from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: W. \V. Norton, 1971 l 1001. ...
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The Origins of the Modern World - Rabat/Waxes“ I ('(l...

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