Unformatted text preview: LEC5
Tuesday, February 9, 2 016 •
• 10:16 A M Essay based on reading
Know how to cite properly Engage more with the readings Eurocentrism is something of the past and present
Why is it important to think about even though studying East Asia Need to acknowledge imperialism, but also need to be skeptical about what comes with it
• Eurocentrism is a global problem with consequences What is eurocentrism:
• Quantitative defn -‐ "number of courses at u of t that are europe american based-‐ u of t= eurocentric" • Blaut writing style:
○ Polemical ○ Certain anger to his writing-‐ long history of eurocentrism that goes back to the 15th century ○ "It's thought as a prejudice, attitude= therefore something that can be eliminated from modern enlightened thought… the really crucial part of eurocentrism is not a matter of attitudes in the sense of values and prejudices but rather a matter of science, and scholarship and informed and expert opinion"
○ The ways we think about the past in a fundamental sense ○ "eurocentrism is quite simply the colonizer's model of the world" ○ 2 things that he wants you to be careful about
§ Trying to show how most historical narratives, global ones, have a center § How things in the center spread and influence other parts § Always from the center to the outside -‐ the center is unaffected by the process of confusion ○ Binaries
§ Left column= center, right= periphery § E.g. think about japan "is only able to imitate what the west has invented"
§ Common one: progress vs stagnation § Impact vs response § See how the subtlety gets woven in § Left column= center, right= periphery § E.g. think about japan "is only able to imitate what the west has invented"
§ Common one: progress vs stagnation § Impact vs response § See how the subtlety gets woven in § Think back about how we're trying to show the changes in the late ming well before the opium wars § Can't say that the opium wars were the first impact, think the silver economy § East and west aren't independent of each other § Can't talk about europe in the modern period without asia § What we're talking about is cross cultural representation ○ Spatial vs temporal frame:
§ Diffusionism is space but what about time?
§ Time is teological ○ Toilet?
§ Ppl tend to make comments on the toilet -‐ in terms of cleaniness and technology § Claim about time -‐ progress § Comparison over time is exactly what blaut doesn't talk about
§ The idea that you can slot the countries toward an idealized goal
• History of the concept of civilization or modernization can't be separated from the context of its creation= imperialism
• Fukuzawa Yukichi:
○ Remember take into account how eurocentrism travels -‐ it's a set of ideas ○ With many East Asian individuals first encounter with books from Europe-‐ begin to adopt ideas
○ At the beginning of 19th century-‐ most vulgar expression with these individuals ○ Critize themselves= looking to strengthen the country ○ In trying to oppose japanese imperialism and european -‐ self critiques-‐ some of the ideas that Blaut talks about is absorbed in their own writing ○ It takes decades before ppl are able to understand the eurocentric qualities ○ That these ideas helped to continue the power of euroamerica
○ The idea that this knowledge is universal ○ Deasianization:
§ Progress, stagnant, § Using the same conceptual understanding ○ The idea that this knowledge is universal ○ Deasianization:
§ Progress, stagnant, § Using the same conceptual understanding
§ Saying that Japan has progressed, china and korea are backward ○ Easy to look at this guy as eurocentric -‐ think about if there are thoughts today that aren't connected to eurocentrism ○ Why did china not have an industrial revolution? -‐ is the question not eurocentric? § You're made the european historical experience the norm-‐
everything is judged to that § Technically "western" is britain § You've reduced the question in Chinese history based on the experiences that happened in Britian § Meiji period -‐ Individualism § The west isn't part of anything you cover-‐ but yet the question you ask is reflective of how the west is and asking it of china
§ An early answer for this: no conception of property rights
□ But looking through history-‐ china actually did have property rights
§ We need to understand the direction that the questions are coming from. .e.g do we ever ask question of europe that are derived from chinese history § E.g. write a filial piety in european history-‐ never gonna happen § Why is it always europe being the one compared to § Think about the way we study east asia, the questions that we ask § Blaut-‐ important for essay Q
• Opium War:
○ Key figures : Chinese commisionary Lin Zhi Xu
○ In Canton, traders are restricted to a small port ○ Port of Canton-‐ another way of controlling another group ○ Lin confiscates 20,000 chests of opium from the British who have been smuggling it into China
○ Lin digs trenches and dumps it into the ocean ○ 1842 Treaty of Peace between Nanjing and British -‐ no mention of opium despite the reason for it being Opium War : why?
§ Trade: opium is a commodity between Britain and China at the time
○ Think of all the silver that is coming in China, Britian is using it to buy tea ○ At this pt, Britan has nothing to really sell China at the time-‐ all they're doing is bringing silver in ○
○ § Trade: opium is a commodity between Britain and China at the time
Think of all the silver that is coming in China, Britian is using it to buy tea At this pt, Britan has nothing to really sell China at the time-‐ all they're doing is bringing silver in Technically-‐ you're losing money because you're putting in a lot of silver and getting tea back 1820s discovered opium, The Qing banned opium Is the opium war violating another nation's sovreignty ? Taxes placed on tea= important the budget in Britain What's going on in Britain at this time?
§ The rise of the middle class
§ The rise of high tea § As incomes rise, it becomes standard for even working ppl to consume tea
§ In 1820-‐30s, drinking tea that only came from China ( no Indian tea plantations at the time) § Defining characteristic of 19th century Britain= tea Individual class identity in britain are being marked by the objects obtained from China
What's going on in east asia such that they are having economic and social problems Western gun boats that are coming to east asia-‐ they're having problems Increasing number of peasant uprisings, less land As more opium is coming in into China, opium plantation in India, Britain is doing a triangle trade. Even before the opium war, silver is starting to leave China
§ Peasants: pay taxes in silver -‐ use copper to buy silver
§ Too much silver is leaving china-‐ the price of silver rises astronomically § 2.2 times : 1820-‐ silver =1000 copper coins, 1825-‐ 2200 coins Opium has a image of a drug-‐ but also deep economic influence of copper coinage
Big impact on rural areas -‐ distress of increased taxes -‐ because of the flow of silver in the opium war By the 1900s, opium is almost like a currency in china Britain -‐ opium becomes a valuable commodity that distorts politics Treaty of nanjing is an unequal treaty § What's the rationale behind an unequal treaty in terms of international law § "survival of the fittest"
§ It's the spoils of war: how to make it legit ○ Britain -‐ opium becomes a valuable commodity that distorts politics ○ Treaty of nanjing is an unequal treaty § What's the rationale behind an unequal treaty in terms of international law § "survival of the fittest"
§ It's the spoils of war: how to make it legit
§ No body questions the notion of civlization -‐ statement of the lack of civilization of China at the time
§ The feature of unequal treaty-‐ extra territoriality § E.g. British person kill a Chinese person, they can't be judged in Chinese courts because Chinese are not civlized
§ Think Japan and Korea: military treaties □ When crimes are committed-‐ the question becomes who tries them? □ Think about Korean war § Yukichi 1853-‐ Perry comes in at 1858 and puts an unequal treaty on Japan □ Japan turns around and forces an unequal treaty on Korea □ Coming through in trade, international law at that time is rooted in understanding how civilized countries are § Blaut's argument:
□ Travel -‐ conceptions of internatinal law-‐ presenting itself as being objective and universal ○ Debate in cHINA in years leading to opium war:
§ On the question of whether trade should be opened up or that opium should be legal
§ Officials -‐ some say yes-‐ to tax it § Officials are aware of the challenges of finances and the impact of the opium on currency and values § Best policy -‐ turn it around and make it work for us
○ Country trade:
§ British changed india from agricultural to plantation economy § They changed rural organization § Before there's no tea in india, british stole it from china and use in india § In the end, Chinese tea economy has decreased because British can export it in larger quantites than china...
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- Winter '15