Bayly%20Intro%20and%20Archaic%20Globalization

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Unformatted text preview: INTRODUCTION The Mexican radicals had already received enthusiastic support from- Giuseppe Garibaldi and other revolutionaries who had been the heroes of the 1848 rebellions against authority in Europe.” Here, common experiences' gave rise to a united front across the world. But, equally, exposure to global changes could encourage literati, politicians, and ordinary people to Stress difference rather than similarity. By the 18805, the impact of Christian mis_ . sionaries and Western goods, for example, had made Indians, Arabs, and . Chinese more aware of their distinctive religious practices, forms of pliysica1 V V, deportment, and the excellence of their local artisans. In time, this sensibility. ' of difference itself also created further global links. Indian artists looked to their Japanese contemporaries as inheritors of a pure aesthetic tradition and incorporated their style into their own works. The aim throughout the book is ' A to combine what might be called “lateral history” of this sort — the history of f" connections - with “vertical history,” the history of the development of particular institutions and ideologies. Chapters 1, 2, S, and the second half of the book, therefore, are more thematic in approach. These chapters consider the great social concepts which have been used by historians, as they were by nineteenth-century writers and publicists, to characterize the dominant changes of the nineteenth century Among these concepts, the rise of the modern state, science, industrialization, liberalism, science, and “religion” appear to be the most important. The purpose of these chapters is to bring together material from a range of regions and national histories in order to demonstrate how these institutions and ideologies became rooted and empowered in different places and at difierent i periods of time. They attempt to provide a history of connections and processes without retreating to a simple view of the diffusion outward of modernity from a dominant, “rational” European or American center. Here again, the book , insists on the importance of the activity of colonized and semi-colonized non— European peoples, and of subordinated groups within European and American ‘ society in shaping the contemporary world order. So, for instance, the reconsti- tution of the European Roman Catholic hierarchy after 1870 was part of a much wider process of constructing “world religions” which was taking place in 1 the Hindu, Confucian, and Buddhist worlds as much as the Christian. This is not just a matter of analogy, but of direct causation. Christian churches often began to cooperate and create new organizations at home precisely because they needed solidarity in overseas mission activity, where they found themselves under pressure from a revived Islam or other religious traditions spreading amongst their formally dependent subjects. The book ends with a view of the period before the First World War, when diplomatic rivalries and international economic changes were facing the ‘ system of states and empires with unexarnpled pressures. The First World War, as Hew Strachan emphasized,lZ was decidedly a world war, even if it started as a civil war within the European core of the world system. That conflict was not “inevitable,” but its explosive force, which was to echo down through the twentieth century, resulted from the flowing together of multiple local crises, many of them originating outside Europe itself. ' ~ and presentation. ’ change, not, world history raises many acute questions of interpretation We consider three of them here, before opening the discus— dering the growth of uniformity in one particular area, the realm . The writing 9f sion by 901151 A of human bodily practice. PROBLEM ONE: “PRIME MOVERS” AND THE ECONOMIC FACTOR Most professional historians still have at the back of their minds the question of “Why things changed.” Historians andphilosophers who lived in the nineteenth century tended to think that history was moved along by big spiritual and‘intellecrual changes. They believed that God, or the Spirit of Reason, or the Urge for Liberation was movmg in the world. Some of them believed in a European Christian “civilizing mission.” Others thought that races and civilizations moved up and down according to natural. laws of competition, survival, and decline. In the twentieth century, materialist ex- ’ ' planations of change came to the fore. By 1950, many leading historians had ’ been influencedgby socialist theories and saw the logic of industrial capitalism . as: the ~d0minant-..f0rCe explaining changes in human afiairs after 1750. This " perspective remains central. At one level, it must be true that the critical I historical changein the nineteenth century was the shift of the most powerful " states and soc“ ties towards urban industrialism. The desire of capitalists to imaximize ’thei Lincome and to subordinate labor was an inexorable force for st in the West, but across Asia and Africa. The most powerfully written and consistent of all the English-language world histories in print, Eric Hobsbawm’s great four-volume work,“ makes this explicit, especially his TheAge of Capital. However, as Perry Anderson remarked when Hobsbawrn’s autobiography was published in 2002, the great political and intellectual developments of the nineteenth century did not necessarily work on i a time scale‘which directly reflected the underlying growth of the power of 1‘14 industrial 'cap'ita The movements of economies, ideologies, and states were ' not always synchronous. They tended to be interactive. The French Revolution, the dominantpolitical event of the period, occurred before significant industri- alization had occurred even in Britain, and few historians now see the revolution i‘ as a triumph-of the “bourgeoisie.” Certainly, many lawyers and “middling people” tookpart in the revolution, but they were hangers-on of nobles and regional a_SSemblies, rather than incipient capitalists. Even in 187 0, the high age ~ofcapital,according to Hobsbawrn’s interpretation, landowners and aristocrats 1 ; remained the power—holders in most societies. The later nineteenth century was indeed “theage of capital,” but even this period cannot be “reduced” to capital. It was also the age of nobles, landowners, and priests, and, over much of the World: adage of peasants. ' ' In view} of these problems, some historians towards the end of the twentieth Centuryeast the state and “governmentality,” particularly the domineering, Categoriiing, Western-style state, as the “prime mover” in their historical INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION dramas. But this does not really solve the problem either. The career of the modern state was evidently causally connected with the great economic changes of the era at some level, even if it was not rigidly determined by them. Besides, to stress the rise of the state or of governmentality in a wider sense still leaves the underlying question: why, indeed, did the modern state develop at all? The puzzle is even less tractable if we remember that the most novel political project of the era, the United States of America, had scarcely begun to industrialize before the 1830s, and its structure and constitution represented a successful revolution against the domineering European state. ‘ This book is not designed centrally to address such issues of deep causation. It does, however, suggest that any world history needs to posit a more complex interaction between political organization, political ideas, and economic ac- tivity. The economy certainly retains an essential role in the argument. Pat- terns of local economic intensification were leading motors of change even before full—scale industrialization. Chapter 2 suggests that the economic his— ton'an Jan de ‘Vries’s concept of the “industrious revolution” can be usefully expanded to track many forms of economic intensification which had been occurring across the world since at least 1650. Over the eighteenth century, “industrious revolutions” were continuing to reorder society in a variety of different locations. Capital and labor were being made to work harder from south China to Massachusetts. Small—scale technological innovations were matched by modifications in the distribution of goods and people’s material habits. Peasant families became prosperous farming families. Petty shopkeep- ers became urban burghers in Amsterdam, Malacca, and Fez. They wanted better-quality food and clothing, more honor and status. Yet to stress the importance of industrious revolutions, as this book does, is not necessarily to give priority in historical causation to just another type of economic motor. For industrious revolutions were not simply brute changes in the distribution of material forces. They were also revolutions in “discourse,” to use today’s jargon. People’s horizons of desire changed, because informa— tion about the ideals and life—styles of ruling groups was already circulating faster. “Middling people” wanted to emulate the consumption of royal courts, which were representing themselves in more pleasing and persuasive ways. It was this prior set of conceptual shifts which empowered the shopkeepers, created new demands for labor, and sent merchantmen across the oceans in search of luxuries. In turn, new, more aggressive states, particularly in western Europe, took advantage of these changes and began to link the industrious revolutions together across the world with armed shipping and monopoly companies. The slave system of the Caribbean represented the ultimate, forced, industrious revolution. ' These social and economic changes were uneven and unsettling. They opened up differentials between groups and between different societies' They spaWned lust for wealth, envy, and distrust of neighbors. They led to overseas wars, unequal taxation, social turmoil, and the questioning of estab- lished authority, royal and religious. The turmoil was worldwide. French philosophers and religious teachers in central Arabia felt equally the impact INTRODUCTION offing new connections and the turbulence they unleashed. It was in this context that many localized conflicts spun out of control across the world _ between 1720 and 1820, and especially after 1780. The aggressive French revolutionary state itself engendered many fierce enemies. The European -. State, its colonial offshoots, and adjacent non—European states, notably the Ottoman Empire, the Chinese Empire, and Tokugawa Japan, were forced to ‘- widen their scale of ambition. The‘leaders of these states had to appropriate _ “and modify the new ideologies. They had to trench into areas of society that ' had. formerly been autonomous. . ‘ ,The political and ideological changes of the revolutionary era were, there— fore, “catastrophic,” in the sense that they could not be predicted or ac- counted for simply on the basis of the contradictions and conflicts of the old regime, or even, ultimately, on the development of capitalism alone. The state, _ now powered by the new ideologies which crisis had generalized, developed a N of elephantiasis. Elites battled for much of the early nineteenth century With the problems of order and legitimacy that this caused. Ideological and ‘ political conflict had, in fact, achieved a global scale, before economic uniform- ' ities were established across much of the world. The rise of capital was not, therefore, a force in itself. It spread in ‘a social ecology which had already been i’c eated by wider aspirations to power, ownership, justice, and sanctity. LL It was only after about 1840, in fact, that the patchy, but now relentless shift , ward industrialization began to “kick in” at a global level. It did so at the axis when another series of crises had shaken the world order: the 1848 ,. evolutions in Europe, massive rebellions in Asia, and the American Civil ‘ War. Ruling groups worked to stabilize the social order by promoting indus- .. 'alization, or at least providing a framework for it. Industrialization provided ' n, w resources for the state and new weapons for its armies. The age of capital ‘ had indeed arrived by the 1870s, as Hobsbawm surmised. But the men of "capital could still only acquire status and respectability by sharing influence with kings, aristocrats, landowners, and bureaucrats who stafi‘ed the offices of i :the new, hard-edged nation-states. The age of capital was therefore also a period when hierarchy was perpetuated and religions became more forceful and demanding, as chapters 9 and 11 attempt to show. . a In the broadest terms, then, historical development seems to have been determined by a complex parallelogram of forces constituted by economic 'changes, ideological constructions, and mechanisms of the state. Develop- “niehts in the world economy do not really seem to have been “prior” to the deological and political structure in any straightforward sense. These 1 clemains penetrated and influenced each other to different degrees and at ' dilferent times. So there were periods when the state and the poWerful narra- es people created about it were the “driver” of historical change. There re periods of flux and fluidity, as for instance between 1815 and 1850. Again, there were indeed periods when significant economic restructuring épmulatively determined the direction of governmentality and its ideologies. And just as it differed over time, so the balance of these elements difiFered from society to society across the continents. INTRODUCTION 915R OB'LE'M TWO: GL OBAL HISTORY AND ' 13'0er O’D'ERNISM 2A s’eCOnd problem in writing world history, however, derives from the recent rise to prominence of some historians who do not think in this way at all and tend to reject all “grand narratives” of capital, the state, and even ideological change. After about 1980, some historians were influenced by a trend of l thought that has been called postmodernist” or postcolonial. Writers taking these positions are often hostile to broad comparative histories, or so-called meta-narratives, which, they argue, are complicit with the very processes of imperialism and capitalism which they seek to describe. The narratives of the state or of capital, described above, would constitute two of the targets of such authors. Instead, historians writing in this style try to recover the “decentered” narratives of people without power. These disempowered people are held to have been subordinated by the European and American male capitalists who wrote the political speeches and government minutes of the time. Conse— quently, their voices have been systematically expunged from the grand narra- tives of world history constructed by later historians. The postmodernist turn in some history writing has therefore created an area of tension. The academic and popular demand for world histories seems to be expanding enormously as “globalization” becomes the most fashionable concept of the day. Yet some of the basic assumptions of world history writing have been subjected to stringent criticism by postmodernists on the grounds that they homogenize human experience and “airbrush out” the history of “people without power.” There is no reason why the human sciences should all adopt the same methodology. Controversies of this sort can be quite productive. History has always flourished when different types of historical writing are available on the same bookshelf, when questions about “what happened” are challenged by the questions “Who said so?” and “What did it mean?” This was true in the 19705 and 19805, when a still influential Marxist school was challenged by nee-conservative historians in Europe and North America. One thing is clear, however. Even when writing of the particular experiences of the poor, the subordinated woman or the “native,” the postmodernist and postcolonial historians make constant reference to the state, religion, and colonialism, all broad phenomena, but ones which are sometimes taken for granted in such accounts. The postmodernist works, therefore, usually conceal their own underlying “meta-narrative,” which is political and moralizing in its origins and implications. For example, many of these accounts appear to assume that a better world might have evolved if such historical engines of dominance as the unitary state, patriarchy, or Western Enlightenment rationalism had not been so powerful. All histories, then, even histories of the “fragment” are implicitly universal histories. Writing world history can therefore help to uncover a variety of hidden meta-narratives. This is particularly the case when causation is at issue. Why things change has always been a predominant INTRODUCTION concern of historians. For this reason, it remains important to consider the resources and Strategies, and mutual collisions of dominant groups and their supporters, at a world—historical level, as well as to chart the experience of the people without history. I“ ~ This is not to argue that histories of the experience of individuals and groups isolated from the main centers of the production of history are unimportant. The marginal has always worked to construct the grand narrative as much as the converse has been true. Especially before the mid~nineteenth century, it was common for people on “the fringes” to become historically central. Nomads and tribal warriors became imperial generals. Barber—surgeons became scien— tists. Dancing women became queens. People easily crossed often flexible boundaries of status and nationality. Historical outcomes remained open. Certainly, to do no more than insist on the rise of capitalism, the modern state, or the concept of the nation hides and excludes much of what was really interesting about historical change. Yet it is diflicult to deny, and few, even amongst postmodernist historians, do deny, the importance of the weight of change towards uniformity over the “long” nineteenth century. _iOf'course, in 19141, the heterodox, the transgressive, and the fluid were still ev'e'ryWhei-e in View. The triumph of modern Christianity was challenged by the efilorescence of spiritualism and esoteric healing cults even in its European heart. The rise of orthodox Islam was challenged by a pervasive ambiguity which still allowed Hindus, Buddhists, or African tribal healers to mingle at ' shrines with Muslim worshippers. New centers of power proliferated to deny ‘ - victory to the modern state and nationalism, not least the powerful phalanx of organized labor. All the same, these unpredictable and unstandardized forms offhuman life and thought were increasingly marked by the imprint of common forms of governmentality, They were influenced by common ideas about the nation and the workings of international capital markets. Seers and , 'spirirualists came to use the printing press, while the protagonists of organized labor kept bank balances and updated their minutes and memoranda like the great corporations. This book therefore rejects the view that any type of 3 contradiction exists between the study of the social fragment or the disem- p‘o'wered and the study of the broad processes which constructed modernity. -_ PROBLEM THREE: THE CONTINUING ‘i‘2RIDDLE OF THE MODERN” Itfis now worth directly addressing the issue of “the modern,” a word which is . used in the title of this book and in all the contemporary'human sciences. In the 19.503 and 19605, S. N. Eisenstadt” and others used the word to denote a clutch QfIglobal developments, which combined to create a step-change forward in human organization and experience which they .called “modernity.” The changes they charted affected many different domains of human life. These ineluded the replacement of big, extended families with small nuclear families, - Exchange which was often associated with urbanization. They encompassed INTRODUCTION industrialization, the notion of individual political rights, and secularism, the V supposed decline of the religious mentality. In many ways their model built on the seminal work of Max Weber, the German sociologist, written 5 0 years earlier. I. Weber himself always had Karl Marx in mind, even though he emphasized the independent role of ideological change in his theory. Consequently, the chron- j ology of Eisenstadt and other liberal writers of this period had a lot in common with that of Marxist writers. All of them tended to locate the origins of the modern in the sixteenth century, but saw the nineteenth century as its critical - phase. All of them tended also to privilege the-West as the source of all global _ change, the non-West as a mere recipient which would eventually “catch up.” By the 19803, the postwar “modernization theorists” had come under attack from a number of mutually hostile quarters. Demographers became wary of the idea of the shift from the extended to the nuclear family. Economic historians began to doubt that human evolution “needed” to have gonej through a phase of industrialization. Sociologists invoked the Islamic revolu~ ' tion in Iran in 1979; or the onward march of evangelical Christianity in the USA, to challenge the idea of the triumph of secularism. After about 1980, scholars began to talk of “multiple modernities,” century, argued for “modernity in our own way.” In the first decade of the twenty—first century, the issue remains confused. The postmodernist philoso-, pher Bruno Latour stated, “We were never modern,” pointing to the resilience of sensibilities, emotions, and apprehensions of magic, which contradicted the - idea that the bourgeois individual subject is yet dominant. Meanwhile, other social theorists, notably Ernest Gellner,18 Alan Macfarlane,” and David: Landes,20 resolutely insisted on the reality of the “riddle of the modern,’?-. the once—and-for—all step forward of mankind. In the first plaCe, this book accepts the idea that an essential part of being: modem is thinking you are modern. Modernity is an aspiration to be “up with the times.” It was a process of emulation and borrowing. It seems difiicult to deny that, between about 1780 and 1914, increasing numbers of people de-g cided that they were modern, or that they were living in a modern world, > , whether they liked it or not. The Scottish and French philosophers of the ‘ ' eighteenth century believed that a good deal of all previous human thought could safely be dumped. By the end of the nineteenth century, icons of technical - modernization — the car, the aeroplane, the telephone — were all around to ~ dramatize this sensibility. By 1900, many elite Asians and Africans had similarly _‘ come to believe that this was an age when custom, tradition, patriarchy, old styles of religion, and community were eroding and should erode further. On» the other side, a minority of thinkers was beginning to deplore these develop-t. ' ' ments, though they believed equally strongly in the deluge of the modern. At one level, then, the nineteenth century was the age of modernity precisely ’ because a considerable number of the thinkers, statesmen, and scientists who __ dominated the ordering of society believed it to be so. It was also a modern age implying that a Western » modernity might be quite diEerent from, say, a Senegalese or an Indonesian ’ one. In this, of course, they were arguing along similar lines to politicians and' intelleétuals in Germany, Russia, and China who, even in the nineteenth. INTRODUCTION because poorer and subordinated people around the world thought that they ' COHIdirr-iprove their status and life—chances by adopting badges of this mythical modernity, whether these were fob watches, umbrellas, or new religious texts. This statement does not imply that people before the nineteenth century had never perceived epochal changes in human history. They had done so, but in general they explained and described these changes in two ways which did not imply the same type of step forward in secular human affairs essential to me idea of the modern. These earlier commentators generally understood changes in human society as' “renovations.” The scholars of Renaissance Europe,~for instance, believed that the perfect learning of classical antiquity was being restored even while they were changing the way people understood history and dilfusing their ideas in the novel medium of print. Equally, Chinese scholars of the eighteenth century believed that the pious and learned world ~ofearlier reigns was being restored under the aegis of the transcendent rule of the contemporary Qing dynasty, even though the scale of that dynasty’s rule was much greater than that of earlier monarchies. A second way in which people had thought about major changes in human histbrywas the millenarian mode. In this sensibility, people believed that'in somefivay the supernatural or the heavenly had “leaked” into human history, bringing a new age of godliness or virtue or prophecy. This again differed from 7‘ theidea of a secular shift toward modernity which obsessed many thinkers and statesmen after about 1760. These two earlier styles of thought persisted into thenineteenth century, tincturing the idea of the modern. Indeed, one of the most intriguing aspects of the period is the way in which these sensibilities all bonded'together. So, for instance, scientific, modernist Marxism still had a whifabout it of the idea of the restoration of Paradise on earth. Equally, resolutely millenarian leaderships with old—style ideologies, such as those of themid-century Taiping rebels in China, tried to get hold of gunboats and - telegraph lines, as symbols of modernity as much as because they were practical tools. The aspiration to modernity was indeed something novel. Yet,‘for historians, it is surely not quite enough to say that something was the case only because people in the past thought it was. How far do recoverable political, social, and economic trends “out there,” beyond the overtly stated ideologies, discourses, and texts, bear out the impression that something that couldxbe designated the modern was coming into being over this time period? Thisbook takes the view that contemporary changes were so rapid, and inter— acted with each other so profoundly, that this period could reasonably be described as “the birth of the modern world.” It encompassed the rise of the nation-state, demanding centralization of power or loyalty to an ethnic solidar- ity, alongside a massive expansion of global commercial and intellectual links. Therinternational spread of industrialization and a new style of urban living compounded these profound developments. The merging of all these trends d068}point to a step-change in human social organization. The scope and scale of change broadened dramatically. Modernity, then, was not only a process, but also period which began at the end of the eighteenth century and has continued “PFC The present day in various forms. 11 INTRODUCTION Where, then, was this modernity born? Nineteenth—century thinkers tended to argue that societies evolved into more complex organisms almost like living creatures. The more complex societies, the Western ones, would therefore. v ‘ survive, because they were the “fittest.” This book accepts the argument that some Western societies retained a competitive advantage in the medium term because of the way they did business, made war, and publicly debated policies, These were not inherent advantages, however. They were contingent, inter~ active, and relatively short-lived. States and societies outside Europe quickly adapted new forms of political and social action. This book therefore relativizes the “revolution of modernity” by showing that many different agencies and ideologies across the world empowered it in dilferent ways and at different times. Thus old-style Chinese family firms were as important as the gentle- manly capitalists of Hamburg or New York in bringing about the expansion of world trade in the China seas and Southeast Asia. Islamic teachers in West Africa, looking to the days of the Prophet, were the agents who brought rule by law and the written word to the region. The shift to modernity certainly , i occurred somewhat earlier, and initially much more powerfully in western Europe and its North American colonies. Before 1914, people in most parts of the world were grappling in very diiferent ways with this common modernity and were not simply imitators of the West. For a time the West was both an exemplar and a controller of modernity. By the mid-nineteenth century, there were many new controllers and exemplars around the world, among which Japan’s partially self—fashioned modernity was the most important. ,, Over the 140 years covered by this book, then, the societies of the world became more uniform. Comparable processes of change had been proceeding for millennia, of course. The spread of the world religions had itself entailed significant shifts towards uniformity, particularly in bodily practice. After about 1750, however, the scale of social organization and aspiration became vastly wider in the course of perhaps only two generations: More rapid communications, larger political entities, and more ambitious ideologies of “civilization,” Western and non-Westem, powered this change. At the same time, societies became internally more complex and more stratified. Differ- ences of wealth and power between societies became more glaring. This is the phenomenon which people in many difierent societies have understood in . many different ways as “the modern.” These broad statements provide starting point for an analytical history which attempts to bring together polit- ical, cultural, and economic change andshow how they influenced each other, without giving any one of them overriding weight. CONFORMING TO STANDARDS: BODILYPRACTICE This chapter now takes as an example unifomzity in one obvious sense: dress and bodily deportment. Of course, people can think and believe totally differ- ent things, even when they dress and deport themselves in similar ways. Yet, at the very least, the creation of uniformity in this sphere speaks to a powerful - INTRODUCTION ILLUSTRATION 1 Dressing uniformly: Japanese woman in Western dress at 21 Singer sewingfmachine. Nineteenth-century Japanese print. need~for*peop1e to represent themselves publicly in a similar way. In 1780, the most erful men in the world were dressed in a large variety of diflerent types garments which ranged from Chinese mandarin robes, through Frenchembroidered frock coats, to ritualized undress in the Pacific and parts‘ofiAfrica. By 1914, a growing number of the most important men operating in public arenas wore Westem-style clothes wherever they lived. Chinesenationalists and the leaders of the new Japan dressed in the top hat and backmorning coat which had come into favor with the early—nineteenth— century evangelical Christian revival in Britain and white North America. This sobriety expressed responsibility and self—discipline, as opposed to the luxurious complexity of the dress of males of the old aristocracy and contem- porary women. It went along with the abandonment of practices like dueling andriotous feasting. It is important that this change was registered not only in the adoption of explicitly Western dress, but also in the growth of analogous uniformities within “non-Western” or hybrid forms of dress. In China and Japan, dress reform movements attempted to provide models for the making and‘wearing of robes and kimonos. Here again, growing uniformity in dress Wentipalong with the discouragement of all sorts of erotic and transgressive behavior. Indian reformers, for instance, tried to stop people singing bawdy songs in public during the Holi festival. Hm 13 INTRODUCTION This uniformity came in subtly modulated guises, of course, because people still wished to mark their distinctiveness for a variety of reasons. Uniformity is not the same as homogeneity. Uniformity means adjusting practice to create similarities on a larger scale. The paintings of the Maori chiefs of the later nineteenth century which gaze down from the walls of the National Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, still display their variegated ritual tattoos, but several of the chiefs wear a black coat and white bow tie (see illustration 2). Contem- porary photographs of the great American Indian war chief Geronimo (Goyathlay) show him dressed in a suit and jacket as well as specially posed, rifle in hand, as a warrior. In his later years, he made a living selling such autographed pictures.” Military clothes were also moving toward a uniform, but internally modu- lated, style. The padded armour and metal helmets of samurai, Ottoman palace-guard janissaries, or Austrian mounted cuirassiers began to be replaced ILLUSTRATION 2 Formality and individualism: Toniika Te Mutu, chief of the Ngaiterangi tribe, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Painting by Gottfried Lindaueri. c.1880. ‘ i; INTRODUCTION worldwide in the course of a century by drab operational garments. Typical of these was the dun—colored clothing which the British Indian army called “khaki”; this had given British soldiers some cover against sniper bullets during theSouth African War of 1899—1902. At the same time, the so-called traditional‘dress of elite men was itself becoming more uniform. Reformers in Egypt, Algeria, and Malaya wore the Ottoman fez. This was an adaptation of the Western hat. It was still appropriate for Islamic prayer, but made of a single piece to avoid the tedious process of tying the traditional turban in place. The trend towards uniform clothing was less evident among working—class, peasant, and subaltern men. The historian Richard Cobb’s study of the poor dead of Paris at the time of the revolution22 showed that they dressed in bits and pieces 30f different styles and eras, cast—offs and elaborately patched garments. In 1900, most of the poor could still not afiord much better. Yet factory conditions and the influence of social reform and religious movements had ensured that men in public arenas were beginning to dress more and more like each other, regardless of difierences of region and culture. Leather shoes, cloth cap, shirt, and trousers had begun to replace the profusion of skirts, dhotis, pyjamas, kimonos, and smocks which had prevailed in 1780. Uniform markers working—class status had-spread to African and South American Indian workers in the mining industries. Conversely, in some parts of the i world, especially the Pacific and Africa, settlers and colonial administrators had deliberately set out to mark the inferior racial and civil status of non—white populations by insisting that they retained “indigenous dress.” British civil servants’inNyasaland objected to Africans wearing shoes, for instance. But such legal: impositions themselves disregarded the resourcefulness of older dress .cusl‘o'ms and imposed their own type of servile uniformity. The clothes of elite women had not yet converged to quite the same degree. Many male reformers proposed modified forms of traditional dress for their women, rather than Western styles. Modernity, both a dangerous process and adangerous aspiration, was thought to be more appropriate for men than for women. many societies, women were expected to inhabit a domestic space which was, if anything, more rigorously demarcated from the world of men and their affairs than it had been in 1780. The idea of the domestic was in itselfaproduct of public uniformity. Women’s clothes remained ornamental and impractical. In this, Chinese foot binding resembled the European use of stays and corsets. Even for women, though, the trend was towards uniformity. In 1780, modesty required many women throughout the world from Bengal to Fiji to keep their breasts bare. By 1914, Christian missionaries and indigenous moralrreformers had made sure that bare breasts were associated with in- decency; This was itself an extraordinary reversal of bodily practice. In the Muslimworld, the Islamic bur/salt, the full body covering of Muslim women, was growing in popularity. Often wrongly regarded in today’s West as a mark ' 0f medieval obscurantism, the burkah was actually a modern dress that allowed women to come out of the seclusion of their homes and participate ’ t0 Rlimited degree in public and commercial affairs. Even in this insistence on tradition, therefore, one glimpses the mark of growing global convergence. INTRODUCTION ILLUSTRATION 3 Embodied standards: American Indian woman in Western clothes. Photographed by the Royal Engineers on 49th Parallel, c. 1870. This trend towards uniformity had been brought about partly by fashion and advertising. The spread of manufacturing and expansion of western European and American overseas trade aided the diffusion of common styles. But the action of the state and its agencies,23 and a more general aspiration to modernity, was just as important as these economic imperatives. Uniformity registered an intellectual change in the aspirations of the self as much it did the expansion of industry and empire. In Japan in 1894, for instance, the new Meiji regime, asserting its place amongst modern imperial nations, ordered its functionaries to come to work in Western dress. Even in a lightly governed society such as the United States, the spread of the idea of respectability, as INTRODUCTION much as the regulation of the local court system, gradually made hoary local insticesiappear in court in regular gentlemen’s coats. Uniformity of dress denoted an Outward di5p1ay of the uniformity of bureaucratic procedures and an inward mark of trustworthiness and respectability. Not everyone applauded the growth of uniformity. It was the essence of the process that it was always controversial and contested. Westerners lampooned “natives” who mimicked them,24 while cultural nationalists objected to the servile imitation of foreigners. A Muslim Ottoman conservative objected in the 1880s; “The fallacy that everything seen in Europe can be imitated here has become a political tradition. For example — by simultaneously introducing Russian uniforms, Belgian rifles, Turkish headgear, Hungarian saddles, Eng— lish swords and French drill — we have created an army that is a grotesque parody of Europe?” He might have added that it was ironic that the most exemplary piece of Ottoman clothing which the world knew, the fez, was generally manufactured in Austria until a boycott in 1908 revived the manu- factureof camel—hair hats in Syria.26 Thebody is a site on which anthropologists and social historians chart the influence of the state and methods of social discipline which'became global 'normsi'in‘the course of the nineteenth century.27 Alongside uniformity of clothing; another significant bodily discipline was the practice of timekeeping. Already‘Tin the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the small pocket timepiece or fob watch had spread across Europe and her colonies of settle— mentil’Slave plantations, where so many of the methodical practices of labor control had been brutally invented, were controlled by bells sounded to the timelof’the master’s watch. By 1750, small farmers and skilled workers in the n Colonies and in the wealthier parts of Europe such as England, northern-Germany, and Holland could afiord watches. Across the world, the time that these watches and clocks displayed was also itself converging. Russian imperial expansion into Siberia and eventually to northernChina _ required that schemes of local time had to be coordinated. As the nineteenth century progressed, more exact and synchronized timekeeping was also re- quired in dependent non-European societies. The spread of the electric tele— graph‘made possible the standardization of time systems across the world and within populous societies such as China and India, where local systems of time Still prevailed as late as the eighteenth century. Here, as in Indian and Chinese ‘ coastalrcities, municipal grandees began to build great clock towers to regulate thevr‘hythm of bazaars and oflices where once they would have put their money into temples or mosques. By ‘1900, human languages, another aspect of bodily practice, were also Corning to resemble each other. Western administrators, missionaries, and educationalists wanted languages reduced to easy transparent rules, which Would, if possible, follow the pattern of western European languages, So did indigenous statesmen and educators who desired their own national lan— guages. The sentence structure of the emerging Indian common languages — Hindi and Urdu, for instance — began to follow that of the English language. Even‘newly formed hybrid languages which reflected migration, slavery, and 17 INTRODUCTION ' . . , INTRODUCTION '.:.':- globalization -— Creole, Swahili, and Pidgin — were armed with their own books of grammar and rules. As the public man staked his place in politics, religion, and science across the world, he needed a public voice. The political speech and the sermon took. on common forms from Philadelphia andRome to Kyoto and Fiji. The models were not only Christian and Western, but also Muslim sermons on the life of the Prophet and pro forma block prints telling stories of the Buddha. Another consequence of growing global uniformity can be seen in the practice of naming. Personal names became more standardized as printed media and movements of religious and cultural change spread across societies, erasing differences in local naming patterns. The state was a powerful influ- ence, because administrators wanted increasingly to tag and docket people for the purposes of taxation and military service. But it was not simply a matter of coercion; ordinary men and women needed to use the forms of the state to obtain parochial relief, education, or passages as emigrants. Religious belief also played its part. More and more Indians were named after the various attributes of the great god Vishnu, especially his avatars or reborn forms, Ram and Krishna.In Islamic societies inAsia and Africa the personal names of the Pr— ophet and his consort, Ayesha,were increasingly adopted as a more standardized ’ form of Islamic practice was once again propagated by teachers and govern- ' ments. Their eflorts were reinforced by the global contacts generated through pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The twin levelers of slavery and Christian ’ evangelization spread European “Christian” names, most themselves once Jewish, of course, to millions of Africans, American Indians, and dwellers in i the Pacific in the course of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the working of government and the courts demanded that everyone have a stand- ; ard personal and family name for official purposes. This had some anomalous _ outcomes. In Scandinavian countries it meant that hundreds of thousands of people were called “Johanssen” and “Christiansen,” for instance, while in Burma the practice of birthday naming meant that much of the population was called after the Burmese days of the week and a small number of astro- logical signs. 1‘ People’s food in different parts of the world became similar. Wheat bread and beef had become the standard meal of the British and north Germans in the early modern period. This fare was exported to Britain’s American col— - onies, and later to Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa. Indigenous peoples who came into contact with missionaries or began to live in European towns took up the food of northwestern Europe partly because this was what ‘ was available in the market, partly because they were forced to conform to the ' standards of their new masters. In the later nineteenth century, as reforming governments came to power or Westernized elites became influential in Asia . and Africa, new pressures to food conformity emerged. The Japanese began to eat beef, whereas previously their Buddhist faith had forbidden it —- hence the . appearance of beef suleiyaki. This, it was thought, would enhance their-racial fibre and help them to confront Western imperialism. Mahatma Gandhi also briefly considered the idea of a meat diet to build up Indians whom he thought - had beenrmade “effeminate” by imperialism and bad domestic habits. He and his generation later came to reject that idea. All the same, Indians were quickly adaptingm the use of tomatoes, potatoes, and chilli peppers, all of which had originated in the Americas and been spread across the world by their Spanish and Pofiugucse conquerors inthe course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ' . This last example is a further reminder that it was not simply a question of the one—way adoption of European foods _or bodily practices. Empires and Commercial expansion had created multilateral links between different world societies which tended towards greater uniformity. So, for instance, eight- eenth—century Caribbean and American slaves were fed on Asian white rice and clothed in Indian cotton goods. West African chiefs prized printed cloths from the same continent. This connection between Asian commerce and the Atlantic slave plantation system had been created by European expansion. Indian weavers and African entrepreneurs became active agents in the com- merce'as time went on. By theend of the nineteenth century, uniformity had expressed itself in one merarea: sport and leisure. The haphazard and ad hoc nature of many earlier games had been reduced to order and rules, now increasingly sanc- tionedbyrworld bodies. Even the form of those quintessential British exports , to the-rest of the world — football, rugby, and cricket — seemed to bear the hallmarksof this powerful desire to discipline the body, seen equally on the battlefieldand in the factory. Even games which moved from Asia to the West, such as hockey and polo, gave up their original appearance as genial melees and became orderly competitions. Meanwhile, French patterns of disciplined and orderly cooking and eating, French patterns of polite diplomacy, and V German concepts of the proper ordering of scientific and humanist knowledge moved across the world in similar trajectories. BUILDING OUTWARD' FROM THE BODY: " ,1 COMMUNICATIONS AND COMPLEXITY ’ . This growing uniformity at the level of bodily practice, and in external markers of personal identity, was mirrored at the level of ideas. Systems of ideas and the discourses generated by economic and political power began to converge across the world. The nineteenth century — variously called the “age of indus- try and-empire” — was also the age of global communication. There was a I massive expansion of book printing worldwide. Societies that were not highly literate ,by standard measures became sensitive to printed forms of communi— Cationlt was not always Europe itself which was in the forefront. In 1800, mor Xprinted titles were produced in Calcutta than in St Petersburg and Vienna.«ln 1828, it was estimated that 3,168 newspaper titles were published around the world, nearly half of them in English-speaking countries. But as early as 1831, Le Mom'zeur Ottoman stood side by side with The Timer of London. By 1900, the total of newspaper titles had reached 31,026, the i l i 1 i l l v i INTRODUCTION print runs of many being in the hundreds of thousands. The 1900 total included 600 in India, 195 in Africa, and 150 in Japan?“ The almost geomet~ rical progression in the expansion of standardized information across the world can be appreciated if we remember that people begged, borrowed, ‘ and stole copies of the newspapers. In some societies men read out pages to illiterate people. In others, scribes reduced them to manuscript form in. numerous copies. V The electric telegraph became an international system following the opening of the Europe—Asia cable in 1863 and the two Atlantic cables in’ 1866. The railway, the steamship, and, later, the telephone revolutionized the speed of communication. It would be wrong to deny the sophistication of pre-print and pre-telegraph communication in Asia and Africa. Yet the new . density of messages did make possible an unparalleled diffusion of common ideas. Modern nationalism — a product of the French Revolution and subse- quent wars — was itself “globalized” in the generation after 1850. Irish, Indian, Egyptian, and Chinese nationalists corresponded along the telegraph lines and ‘ met together in Paris, Tokyo, London, San Francisco, and Shanghai. Scien- - tific and medical ideas spread round the world with equivalent speed. The argument should not, of course, be pushed too far. Close inspection reveals that formal similarity and mutual translatability still often masked significant difference in intrinsic style. The rising trend towards uniformity :. ' was contested, partial, and uncertain in its outcome, therefore, rather than an _ all—powerful force for homogeneity. Even in 1880, Americans meant rather , difierent things by “liberty” than did Europeans, though parties dedicated to the concept and articulating apparently similar philosophies held sway on both sides of the Atlantic. In Islam and’I—Iinduism, religious uniformity meant more often a common religious rite, rather than the doctrinal uniformity that Chris- tian churches sometimes sought. All the same, I shall suggest that Islam and Hinduism seemed more like Christianity in 1914 than they had been in 1780, if only because these “faiths” were now more easily distinguishable from each 1 other. And in the meantime, representatives of the world’s “religions” had met and conversedVat the famous World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in ’ . 1893. What they said to each other was probably less important than the fact . that traditions which had once been bundles of rights, shamanistic practices, ’ rituals, and antique verities could now be formally ranked as “religions,” with " ' their own spheres of interest and supposedly uniform characteristics. g The second major theme which will run through the book is the growth of I V ' ‘ internal complexity in the world’s societies which developed within this trend towards outward uniformity. This complexity of function was quite diflerent ‘ from the local cultural variety of the old order. By the later nineteenth century, g, _ most large societies had a wide range of specialist professions and occupations, ’ V ’_ with their own forms of training and rites of solidarity. Associations of this sort 7 i were now doing much more of society’s “work” than solidarities created by ' kinship and marriage. Administration had been separated ofi" from military I prowess in a way which had not been the case in most of the world in 1780 _ outside China and, to a lesser extent,/Europe. Even societies such as those of ;: 2‘6 INTRODUCTION the Islamic Middle East, where soldiers still held much influence, had created C[jq'ues‘of civil administrators who stood somewhere between the military and the men of religion, the two poles of authority in the older socrety. A distinct legal profession had emerged in most colonial territories, in the Chinese treaty ports, and in japan, where, a century earlier, legal argument had been conducted by religious functionaries or varieties of articulate middlemen employed individu- ally by families. Medical systems had been written down and formalized. Even traditional forms of Asian, North African, and Niiddle Eastern medical practice had their own academics and certified practitioners. The world was increasingly governed by sets of discrete, though interrelated expertise. In the domain of economic life, specialist bodies of managers, accountants, and» insurers had come into existence in all the major urban centers. Manage? ment had widely been separated from ownership and marketing. Special classes of financial speculators, limited to London, Paris, and Amsterdam in 1780, had come into being in cities such as Shanghai, Tehran, and Nagasaki. For ordinary people, work itself had become more specialized. In particular, the millennia—old link between seasonal agricultural work and urban labor had been broken across much of the industrializing world for those living and working in major cities. In fact, a kind of international class structure was emerging. This greater specialization gave rise, paradoxically, to an impression of uniformity. The ruling groups, professions, and even working classes of different societies looked more and more similar, were subject to similar types ofpressure, and began to harbor similar aspirations. Convergence, uniformity, .andvsirnilarity did not mean, again, that all these people were likely to think or actéin the same way. At the very least, though, they could perceive and ariiculate common interests which breached the boundaries of the nation— state, even if they were profoundly influenced by it. i In order to chart these broad trends, the book takes as a bench mark theilworld of the mid-eighteenth century. It is not intended to suggest that I this world was static or parochial. On the contrary, powerful forces for change and globalization had been working on human societies for centuries. This was only a world of old regimes or archaic social organization because people later came to differentiate it from their own times so sharply. It is from this time, however, that the forces for change outlined above began to pick up speed dramatically, as contemporaries noticed as clearly as later historians. ' Chapter 1 considers in broad terms the organization of political and economic life‘in the mid-eighteenth century. Chapter 2 goes on to show how develop- ments in material and political life across the world were beginning to unsettle these patterns before the onset of the world crisis of 1780—1820. 21 I T P END OF THE OLD REGIME ALASKA (R ussi n) SIBERIA RUSSIAN EMPIRE Evenki Izmir QUEBEC (Frunch) ~ - ., _ RBRITAIN ‘ NEWFOUNDLAme > (Brit-h) * Yulmls ........ U " MANCHURIA .. """"""""" ~ MQNGdLIA Tfinii-EEN slim“ COLONIES ' ' -- ' (B'ritis’h' CHINESE EMPIRE (Qing dynasty) Apac‘lze ,_ NEW _ SPAIN _ , _ Bokhara AEGHANISTAR (Durranis) ' ‘ '= MUGHALS ,. . BURMA nd: It‘la'un‘c Ocean ‘ GRANADA - (Spagish) ; BRAZIL (Portuguese) PERU '3 AUSTRALIA Aboriginal ‘ peoples MAP 1.1 The world under the 01d Regime, c.1750. hl_ .g, [1] ‘VOLD REGIMES AND _* “ARCHAIC .SIGL OBALIZA TION ’ ’- IN Triaveighteenth-century world, political power and religious and cultural > authoritypwere highly variegated and intertwined in complex ways. Econ— omies, however, were relatively simply, dominated by agriculture and still dependent on the seasons. The next four chapters attempt to explain how and whysthere occurred over little more than three generations a worldwide shift to political and cultural uniformity accompanied by the emergence of more complex and recognizably modern social and economic patterns. They will give prominence to the rise of European dominance across this world, ‘ while at» the same time acknowledging the multi—centered origin of the shift '~ towardlthis common, yet fiercely contested, modernity. The present chapter considers aspects of the ideology and political organization of the world in the early to mid-eighteenth century. 7' PEAsANTS AND LORDS ‘. In '1750._.tlie largest part of humanity still lived within the domain of what - historians have called “agrarian empires.” Agrarian empires were large, eth- nically’.‘ complex states which subsisted at their core by intercepting the surplus ' produCt- of peasant producers. Strictly, peasants were farmers who cultivated . small plots of land largely with their own family labor. Above peasants in social ‘- Tankingwere local elites, who might sometimes farm the land themselves but also took rents from other peasant—tenants. Below “peasants proper” were ' landless ~:laborers who worked on the lands of peasants or the local ruling ’ - groups-for wages or a portion of the crop. Culturally, though, local lords, rural tradesmen, and agricultural laborers were all intimately linked to the A “Fluent proper” and generally subscribed to similar values. Thevagrarian empires of Qing China, Mughal India, Tokugawa Japan, Safaviddran, Java, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Habsburg monarchy together must have accounted for at least 70 percent of 27 THE END OF THE OLD REGIME ) the world’s population. Large parts of the Spanish Crown’s territories in Cen— tral and South America were still farmed by peasant descendants of the original p Amerindian populations. Societies which regularly grew‘crops were also scat- tered across Africa, subsisting in complex relationships with nomads and forest- dwellers. Peasants, broadly understood, must have accounted for 80 percent of that gross population, though in some areas the emergence of nodes of early . capitalist commerce may have pushed the urban population to above 20 per- cent of the total. This appears to have been the case, for instance, in parts of northwestern Europe, maritime or riverine China, and coastal Japan. The political and religious orders of these old polities continued to-be fragmented and complex to one degree or another. Yet the societies and economies which maintained them were relatively simple by comparison with those of the later nineteenth century, which had experienced early indus— trialization and the growth of the state. Because most people living within them were peasants, agricultural laborers, or landholders and merchants dependent on agricultural produce, the quality of the harvests dominated everyday life as it had for. thousands of years. Many western and southern European peasant~farrners were hardly wealthier than their Asian and African equivalents, and often had less ready access to plentiful food. John Komlos has argued persuasively that much of central Europe was sufiering from a severe. nutritional crisis during the eighteenth century.1 Even culturally sophisticated France was plagued by constant crises dz subsistence (subsistence crises) throughout the eighteenth century. Most Asian, African, and many European societies suffered debilitating scarcities or famines every 20 years or so. These scarcities were deepened by wars and foreign invasions, both by old-style; bands of nomadic warriors sweeping in from the stepp'es or deserts and by new, European—style model armies. i -. Yet only in the broadest sense were peasants worldwide a single category. The life—styles of lords and peasants in different-societies indeed bore a family resemblance to each other, but displayed many significant difierences in detail. These differences depended to some extent on the different types of basic crops which they grew. For instance, rice—growing lands such as south- ern‘ China, Southeast Asia, and the Indian river valleys required large efiorts by local communities to maintain the irrigation systems which watered the crops. Intensive rice areas typically supported large numbers of tied laborers or very poor dependent peasants, who were needed to weed the crops and dig the ditches. North China, northern India, the Middle East, along with western Europe and the bulk of its American colonies were, by contrast, dry grain and pastoral areas where population was less dense. Here, farmers were often more independent, but often poor because they lacked irrigation or access {to markets or were indebted to moneylenders and other magnates. Between these two poles were innumerable local combinations, in which the form of agriculture depended on the specific mix of crops or micro-ecologyssnd the balance between agriculture, animal husbandry, and surrounding pastoralists. Even areas where peasants cultivated the same type of crops varied a great deal OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” political elites intervened to dictate the complex forms of land tenure and Subordination which had developed within them. Peasants, in addition, were Often part—time artisans, carriers, and soldiers, by no means tied to the land as earlier social scientists sometimes thought. Until the emergence of mechan— ized farming and scientific crop nutrition toward the end of the nineteenth century, therefore, there were intricate differences in the ways in which peas— ants and lords lived their lives and related to each other. Peasants were not “boors” as some learned people of the time thought; nor, by contrast, were they charming inhabitants of an unspoiled arcadia, as many ' indulgent literati had begun to assert by the end of the eighteenth century. Nor again were they engaged in perpetual wars of resistance against landowners and states, as many modern radical historians prefer to claim. There were violent and determined peasant risings, of course, and the later eighteenth century was replete with them. Yet these rebellions usually reflected "near- despair at the accumulation of abuses and imposts heaped upon rural people ratherthan any inherent tendency on their part to resistance or violence. Peasantrcommunities did indeed have a strong sense of morality about the doings of their own members and the chicanery of outsiders. Yet most peasant families were quite entrepreneurial. They wanted more land, more money, and more’honor. They would try to maximize their opportunities. This pro— vided agizhuge fund of canny talent whenever and wherever the political order and economic circumstances were propitious. In many parts of the world, and especially-in southern and eastern Europe and in Japan, it was to be the unlocking-of the huge development potential of peasants, or, in the new worlds,"transplanted peasants, which was to provide much of the economic dynamism of the nineteenth century. Generally, social hierarchies in the old order were also more malleable than most commentators believed. The old regimes were bound by status, but they . were notarigid. This was true even in China, India, Japan, and the Middle _ East, which eighteenth-century Europeans thought of as unchanging realms of custom and conservatism. New men from the middling strata, and even some nch'peasant-families, could and did make it into high office and secure land' and privileges within a generation or two in most societies. There are even examples of people of poor peasant or low status rising to power. Yet the hierarchy ‘per 59 was relatively simple: peasants, merchants, landowners, and » , aristocrats. Insofar as professions were beginning to form in some societies, £11637. Werestill unorganized and tended to be hereditary in nature. Even the odles of specialist Asian and west European artisans which dominated the '- gmwingintercontinental trades were still greatly dependent on the protection .O’prtty rulers and the out—turn of harvests. . '_ THEN ,OLITICS OF DIFFERENCE Inthe 19605 several historians, led by Marshall Hodgson,2 began to write of th " . “ ~ 6 early modern Islamic or gunpowder empires” of the Middle East, India, ’ 29 in social forms. Religious institutions and the pattern of organization'0f ‘4 u OLD REGIMES AND ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” . THE END OF THE OLD REGIME and Southeast Asia. Some authors extended the category even further, sug. gesting that the Chinese Qing dynasty (c.1644-l911) had gone through a rather similar evolution to that of the Ottomans (c.1326—1922), Safavids (01501-1736), or Mughals (1526—1858). They had all transformed them— selves from the status of “great khans,” nomadic lords of herdsmen, horse— archers, and cossack—type soldiers, into dispassionate and enlightened em- perors of broad agrarian domains.3 It was even suggested that the Russian tsars and, from some perspectives, the Austrian Habsburgs, represented a Christian version of the same sort of development. Historians of courtly display and “representations” of rule have also traced exhilarating parallels between the court ideology and ritual of Louis XIV, the Qian Long emperor of China (1736—99), and Peter the Great of Russia.4 Such broad “family resemblances” between many of the political regimes of Eurasia and northern and western Africa certainly need to be borne in mind. This is because these polities contrasted so sharply with the world of bounded- nation-states and demarcated colonial provinces which was to be dominant a little over 100 years later. The most recent body of scholarship, however, has tended to stress the differences between the old regimes. Within the agrarian empires, and even in the commercially buoyant regions of western Europe, there was a great variety of political and ideological forms, many of which were to be suppressed or to begin to become more uniform over the next century. Italy and Germany, for instance, two of the next century’s new nations, displayed a degree of cultural and linguistic unity but were fragmented into y‘ a plethora of kingdoms, grand duchies, papal states, and, in the German case, _ attenuated imperial jurisdictions. People are used to thinking of the France of the pre-revolutionary ancien regime, symbolized by the routine of the palace of Versailles, as a centralized, autocratic state where great royal ofi'icials intervened constantly in local soci—_ ' ety. In the same way, the idea of “oriental despotism,” an artefact of early p modern Europe, hangs over the common understanding of the Qing Chinese . or Indian Mughal empires. There were indeed aspects of social and economic regulation in which these emperors and kings routinely and purposiver inter- vened, and these examples should not be discounted. For instance, William . Beik5 has shown that the French monarchy in the eighteenth century was . quite effective at bringing in taxation revenues, even in the Mediterranean south. It was much stronger around Paris and in the northeast. In Europe, before the nineteenth century, monarchs often had particular charge over roads, ports, and postal systems. Again, those parts of western Anatolia, r northern Syria, and the Balkans within a thousand miles of Ottoman Istanbul _ were ruled quite rightly,6 at least by comparison with Egypt and the outlying Arab provinces of the empire, let alone Safavid Iran or Mughal India.7 Even in Persia and South Asia, the Muslim emperors were directly respon- sible for the maintenance of canal systems which watered the semi-arid‘tuteas of their domains. In China, similarly, the emperors directly managed the irrigation systems of the Yellow River and maintained the Grand Canal north of Nanjing which supplied grain to the imperial heartlands.S With these examples in mind, some European commentators developed the idea That these political systems were examples of “hydraulic societies,” in which the provision of water requiredvthe centralization of power. Large, directly managed royal estates were also a feature of these kingdoms, so that in Islamic and Arab domains a distinction was often made between the royal province, the k/mlz'sa, and less formally ruled areas. In China, Manchu Banner Lands and imperial hunting grounds had a'similar status.9 In Africa too, several precolonial states also exhibited some centralized functions. The West African Asante kingdom (in modern Ghana), in particular, developed a form of bureaucracy, state trading organizations, and a common legal code.10 Its rulers carefully maintained the communications system and had a fairly clear idea of their own boundaries. Yet these examples only serve to reinforce the general rule. This was that the old imperial centers and bureaucracies intervened in the working of society . and the economy only in particular cases and in quite specific geographical areas.‘It was not the case that the old states were uniformly “weak,” more that they husbanded their moral and physical authority for specific tasks. Through- out the world, for instance, the majority of irrigation systems and roads were probably maintained by local communities or magnates. W'here complex bundlesof royal privileges and powers had come into existence, there was oftena tendency for them to be broken up, becoming part of the patrimony of some‘fother prince or noble. Kings and emperors often found it lucrative and convenient to “farm out” their rights to the highest bidder in order to raise money._’_Even in fiscally centralized France, the state widely handed out to revenue contractors in “farms” and to big magnates in privileges what it squeezed out of the restive peasantry. Here and elsewhere in Europe, it was often grievances against the extra imposts levied by such financial entrepre— neurs, rather than royal taxation itself, which lay at the root of rural revolts. In the Spanish New World, successive attempts by the crown to centralize power ‘ g .were stubbornly resisted by local governors and mayors who made money not soumuch through the free market, as by forced sales of goods and the requismoning of labor from the Indian peasantry. Not surprisingly, “tyran— mcal'abuse,” as the Spanish officials termed it, sparked off numerous local rebellions .1 1 . The picture was similar in Asia. By 1800 in China, the royal granaries, the ' ,Grand‘Canal, and the Yellow River dike systems were in decay.12 Other royal Institutions were foundering. Initially, the emperors had been content to cede thEII'pOWCI' in one area in order to strengthen it elsewhere. In the longer run, however, the decay of these imperial functions gravely compromised the rfbglme’s legitimacy. Recent work on the West African Asante has also shown _ that this aspiring centralized power was severely limited by local feudatories and lineage groups. I-Iere, commoners developed trading contacts with the .‘World market in spite of, not because of, the interests of the rulers. 1' Sofigovernment in all these great states was often something of a trick of the lght. .State power was powerful and purposive in defined areas, though Constantvigilance was needed to stop it seeping away to magnates and local THE END OF THE OLD REGI.ME communities. Elsewhere, it was patchy and contingent. Over large areas it was deliberately not exercised at all. Rulers found it difficult to mobilize military forces quickly. In the monsoon areas of Asia where great kings vaunted their magnificence, warfare and tax gathering regularly came to a halt when the roads annually became impassable. The state could only deploy a small number of officials or exercise royal justice in particular cases. In general, rulers were only just beginning to find out who and how many people lived within their diverse territories, what languages they spoke or what religious rites they performed. Because of the history of religious persecution in Eur-Ope, most regimes even here avoided “making windows on men’s souls.” In Muslim and Asian societies a broad recognition of the supremacy of the emperor’s cult, not uniformity of belief, was what was required. Everywhere, therefore, the panoply of state and imperial power rested in the longer term on the co-option and honoring of local elites or self—governing local communities. Rulers had to accept and make the most of the political forms and religious beliefs of the localities and leave them to their own devices. The means of co-option varied widely. The two ends of the spectrum were analyzed by nineteenth-century social theorists, notably the German sociolo- gist Max Weber. On the one side was the pattern of military aristocracy. Here the dynasties of great soldiers and controllers of land were allowed effective lordship within their domains, provided that they paid allegiance to the su— ’ preme ruler and directly ’or indirectly furnished the resources and manpower for wars of conquest and defense. This was largely true, for instance, of the Hungarian nobility within the Austro—Hungarian Empire. The northwestern ’ Indian territory of Rajasthan, controlled by local kings and nobles owing a broad allegiance to the Mughal emperor in Delhi, was not dissimilar in some respects. On the other side were the old-style bureaucracies. China hadits ‘ elaborate hierarchies of civil magistrates trained in the Confucian classics through lineage and imperial schools and then sent to far provinces to create ' order and plenty through agrarian redistribution. They represented the ideal L type of archaic bureaucracy. France, with its nobility of the sword, drawn from great families who had fought for the crown of St Louis since the Nliddle Ages, ' apparently lay at the other extreme. In practice, though, military aristocracies _r needed managers of paper and information, while in bureaucratic systems, ' ofiicials nurtured their own power as land-controllers at the local level. So France, a society in which government needed to be literate and penny pinch- ing, had its noblesse dc robe: civil, bureaucratic nobility drawn from the lower- status commercial classes and lawyers. By contrast, in China, the ruling Qing dynasty had to allow the land tax to be fixed in perpetuity when it consolidated its power in the mid-seventeenth Centuly. This meant that the scholar—gentry » ' families from which the bureaucrats were recruited had accumulated further Q landholdings and the perquisites of commerce in their own localities, becoming ' a landowning and even a trading class in their own right. The pure so‘.'\olar¥ gentry bent with the wind of local conditions. On the fringes of the Vietnamese state, members of its own Chinese-style mandarinate made multiple marriages with the Tay minority group in order to stabilize the dangerous border areas. In reality, then, the distinct ideal types of bureaucrat, warrior—landholder, and man of religion merged into each other in complex patterns. Even the most powerful of agrarian emperors, therefore, continued to deal with jumbles of rights, privileges, local autonomies, and “family circles” which hadi'becn inherited from the past or created through the very act of imperial or royal political consolidation. In the words of William Doyle, even over muchof Europe, “[t]he reality of the ancien regime was intense confu- sion of powers and perpetual overlaps of unequal jurisdiction, in which the king, so far‘li‘oni imposing an unchallengeable authority, was constantly bargaining with his subjects at a number of different levels.”13 In the later eighteenth century, the authority of the supposedly absolute kings of France was still limited by regional courts or parlcmenm with appellate jurisdiction and by “estates”_ invested with powers over taxation. Russia was an extreme casein “Europe” where the tsar’stheoretical autocracy was limited in practice. In 1763, the Russian government employed 16,500 ofiicials, while Prussia, a mere 1 percent of Russia’s size, employed 1,400.14 In Russia, therefore, despite thefact that the landowners had never built up feudal privileges on the scale of western Europe, they eEectively controlled this vast empire. Again, this was not simply a question of weakness. Monarchs could sometimes strategicallyldeploy the resources of these different powers and jurisdictions regain theirpolitical ends. The tsars could deploy formidable arbitrary powers .if they wished. But it was not always in the interests of rulers to iron out these I particularist jurisdictions. The English kings and their ministers, for in- , '_ ~stance, found the separate status of Ireland and its patronage an extremely useful resource with which to oil the wheels of politics across the three ' f kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. one feature of the old regimes on which historians have often remarked was :ptheir tendencyvto go through “developmental cycles” in which periods of 1 relative centralization were followed by decentralization, and then sometimes by attemptszat recentralization. In some cases, “imperial. overstretch” had already become only too apparent by the eighteenth century, and the high kings andf‘emperors had ceded most of the powers they had seized during periods ,ofgconquest. The Ottoman rulers in Istanbul had virtually relin— quished command to powerful ayan, or regional magnates, in Egypt, Syria, Mount Lebanon, and North Africa by 1700, though their rule remained strong inthe center of the empire. In India by 1720, the Mughal emperor could count on only a diminishing volume of revenue and public obeisance from his‘over-mighty Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh subjects, ranged in expanding kingdomsdistant from Delhi. The Habsburg empire of Austria was a “con- .glomeratecof separate territorial units, most of which had deep rooted and powerful individual identities,”15 and below the central level almost all authority was exercised by landowning nobles, the Church, and semi— _Ut0nomous cities, at least until the mid—eighteenth century. The 'German stf=lte-b1_iil_clers of the nineteenth century came to regard this image of decen— 'tralized, overlapping powers in the German and Austro—Hungarian empires as frustrating, verging on the ridiculous. Em ‘ OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” /"_—-—_——,. WM 33 ‘ \" THE END OF THE OLD REGIME Ideological power within the old states was as segmented and complex as political power, and often intertwined with it. Far from being straightfor— wardly a “Buddhist,” “Confucian,” or even “Daoist” realm, the Empire of China was a cosmic spirit empire. The Qing emperors maintained close connections with the spiritual power of the Dalai and Panchen Lamas of Tibet and the shamanic holy men of Mongolia, as their steppe-raiding ances- tors had done. Again, this should not necessarily be put down to the ideo— logical “weakness” of these powers. On the contrary, a good case can be made that the great dynasties often promoted these very diflerences. The Chinese historian Pamela Crossley argues that the later Qing ruled by fostering separ- ate ethnicities under leaders who were often also heads of cults.” ang imperial ideology, especially under the Qian Long emperor, elevated the emperor to a transcendent and dispassionate role. His very greatness was reflected in his universal monarchy as great Khan of the Mongols and Manchus and Confucian father for the Han Chinese (see illustration 1.1), ’ Similar arguments have been made for the Ottoman dynasty. The Sultan was an Ottoman khan, a Caesar, an emperor for the “Romans,” and later Khalifa, or successor, to the Prophet and” a universal king in the style of Alexander.17 As a Muslim ruler, he could not head other cults, but he patron- ized Jewish, Druze, and Christian institutions. The Muslim Mughal emperor, regent of God on earth in succession to the holy Prophet, regularly cast his blessed gaze over the hordes of naked Hindu holy men who gathered on the , River Jumna below his ramparts in the Red Fort of Delhi. This was despite the fact that they were the very embodiment of Hindu “polytheism.” It was in the emperor’s armies that were firmed up once-shifting social Categories such as “Rajputs,”18 “Mughals,” “Turks,” and Persians. In some cases there is little doubt that local religious and “ethnic” communities were powerful enough to reject imperial ideology and policy. Yet these examples arera, reminder that the old regimes had quite different ideals and cultural aims from those of most nineteenth—century nation—states and empires. They helped to create, even gloried in, complexity and difference. ‘ Even in Christian Europe, where religion had already become more closely ' associated with the identity of states, rulers sought to reflect their power by ‘ - patronage of different religious groups. After Peter the Great, Russian mon— archs tried at the same time to represent themselves as enlightened embo‘di— ' ments of European reason, sacred kings of the Orthodox Christian Church, and great khans to their increasing numbers of Mongol and Muslim subjects. They had to deal with intransigent Old Believers among the Orthodox and, by 1800, Polish and Lithuanian Catholics and central Asian Muslims. In the Austrian and German lands, the “toleration” of diverse beliefs had been legislated for by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. On its eastern frontier of Austria, Vienna ruled over communities of Orthodox Christians and Jews. Whether they liked it or not, the Habsburg monarchs had to keep on board Catholics, Protestants: Orthodox and Uniate Christians, Jews, and even a few Muslim stragglers." ' The relationship between the Catholic kings of western and southern Europe and the papacy remained complex and watchful. The Bishop of Rome across ' I. -:I.~I:LUSTRATION 1.1 chefishing diflerence: Qian Long inspecting his troops, by ‘ Giuseppe Castiglione. I "the Alps could still deflect a French sovereign’s power at the height of so- - called enlightened despotism. Even in Britain, where Roman Catholics were : debarred from. holding most public offices, the monarch was the head of an Episcopalian church in England and a Presbyterian one in Scotland, though their clerics professed different and mutually antagonistic doctrines. By 1815, . the English king ruled Roman Catholics in Quebec and Malta, Orthodox Christians in the Greek islands, and Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists in South and Southeast Asia. 7 OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” '35 THE END OF THE OLD REGIME I ILLUSTRATION 1.3 Holy, Roman, bewigged, and emperor: Holy Roman Emperor ‘ Charles VI, statue at Schloss Laxenburg, Niederosterreich, by Matthias Bernhard :Braun. ~ . ILLUSTRATION 1.2 A multiethnic empire: Emperor Shah Jahan receiving Persian general Ali Mardan Khan, 1638. Mughal miniature. ' I‘and free-trading cities, so the outer perimeters were generally porous and undefined. Regimes survived longest if they incorporated resourceful ‘ soldiers and administrators from outside their realms. People from present- _ day Albania and Romania ruled in the Ottoman Empire and founded a new .dynastyv~in Egypt as late as 1802. An Armenian dynasty ruled in what is 1 now Iraq. The Chinese Empire was in large part a Manchurian domain Which Continued to incorporate Mongol, Uighur, and Tibetan tribal notables from b_‘:yond the Great Wall into its ruling group.19 The Qian Long emperor 'Sllpposesily learned the Uighur language in order to converse more easily . With his peripheral commanders. Cossack horsemen and “pioneer” peasants - were only-just being made reliable tools of the Russian Empire. But at its heart: _Hiany noble families traced their origins to Turkic or Mongol All'these features of the global “old order” of the seventeenth and eight- eenth centuries emphasize the significance of the transformation which was to_ occur by the early twentieth century. The ideas of the state, the nation, the “ethnic minority,” science, and the professions emerged out of, or were to be” _ imposed, on the more shifting, ideologically complex, yet economically simple - - world which preceded it. - POWERS ON THE FRINGES OF STATES Just as the inner agrarian space of most eighteenth-century dominionswas ' populated by powerful independent land—controllers, masterful bureaucrats: OLD REGIMES AND HARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” 37 THE END OF THE OLD REGIME m enemies of old Muscovy, who had later been incorporated into expanding Russia. ‘ I Skilled and assertive minorities from outside the borders of states established circles of office holding. Baltic Germans ruled in Russia. I-Ianoverian Germans ruled in England, where they were joined in their military commands by Scots and Irish. Some of the fathers or grandfathers of these men had once been Catholic and “tribal” enemies of England. If many European and non- European societies saw a growth of patriotic display and sentiment, as we shall see, it was at least in part because they were ruled by outsiders. In India, people made a distinction between “locals” (tier/11's), “foreigners” (bideshi's), and a category of “outsiders we know from just over the fuzzy border,” called partie— this. Much of the world in 1780 was ruled by such “pardeshis.” Most of the great empires also lived in symbiotic contention with varieties of commercial cities, maritime trading corporations, or seaborne states which controlled or “took a cut” from their external trade. Privateering still flour- ished in the Atlantic and eastern Seas. In the Mediterranean, a motley group of ship—owning powers, ranging from the Knights of St John of Malta, through the Beys of Algiers, to the Republic of Venice, held sway. In eastern waters, the ’ traders of Muscat and Oman cruised the African and Indian coasts, while the ' Bugis, a vast corporation of Southeast Asian port—princes and shipowners, struggled over the control of trade with the “Dutch” of Batavia and their ‘ mixed—race progeny.20 Studies have found that even in the agrarian empires, powerful bodies of merchants and local gentry effectively controlled maritime cities which were formally dominated by imperial officials and soldiers. It was ' a to avoid this kind of creeping autonomy and the rise of “King Silver,’ or commercial greed, that emperors from the sixteenth century onward at- tempted to close down China’s maritime trades when they were not directly controlled by state trading corporations.21 It is, however, easy to underesti- mate the importance of these sea-borne supremacies because they had all disappeared or been beaten into submission by the mid-nineteenth century. ‘ Their final indignity was often to be castigated as “pirates” by the command— ers of Britain’s Royal Navy. Historians have traditionally Viewed the world through the perspective‘of the great regimes and their chroniclers or the emerging nation-states of west- ern Europe. But over recent years more attention has been paid to the large I swathes of humanin who lived in neither of these contexts, Complex agrarian societies, such as the Oyo, Great Zimbabwe, or Asante empires, existed in Africa. Yet many other Africans, especially in the east and south of the continent, lived in what have been called state-less societies, and their liveli- hoods were made up from the exploitation of a range of agricultural, forest, and animal products.22 Cities were common in West and North Africa, but there were few in eastern and southern Africa, except where Arabs-er Europeans had settled. The wheel and the plough were unknown, or a: least unused, across much of the continent, and because land was plentiful, African ‘ . . \ . . . hierarchies were more often constructed of age-sets and not, as in Eurasta, by differences in landholding and wealth. Over much of Africa, as in the native American and Pacific worlds, the apparatusof “the state” therefore did not exist as a separate entity. These Societies were regulated internally by lineage headslwho represented the interests of different “segments” of society arranged in real or assumed kinship units. Many African “high kings” were constrained by the counsel ofthe heads of the great lineages. Their power was largely ritual, concerning mediation with the spirit world, rather than the exercise of power over re— sources. In these societies conflict was widely between diiferent age-groups among the lineage leaders, rather than between classes or ethnicities.23 Even in such societies dependent groups did exist, of course. Sometimes they were descendants of slaves, sometimes people whose parents had pledged their property-in‘exchange for help during bad times. But such people were mo: like servants of the superior lineage than serfs or plantation slaves on tl Caribbean and American model. The same was true of the indigenous populations of North America and Australasia and the Pacific, which provide many examples of nomadic, forest- dwelling. and hunting populations. These were culturally sophisticated, lin- guistically diverse, but even more closely tied to the cycles of the natural and animal World than the populations of the agrarian empires. Social and reli- gious lif l as not regularized or predictable. Gender was a powerful force shaping social relations. In the Polynesian Pacific, for instance, communities :were bound together through the exchange of women, often over quite long ‘idjstancevuf‘lg But elsewhere, as among the Maori, groups led by bodies of male Warriorsjcontended fiercely with each other, forming the pattern of social life. Religious'iactivity centered on cults and mysteries rather than on preaching and regular ritual. The cultural shock generated amongst such people by the sudden arrival of missionaries and European military units or administrations . is difi'icult: to exaggerate, . Even-{the great agrarian realms of Eurasia were fringedand internally V ‘_complicated by diverse societies of this sort which lived within them in a symbiosisoccasionally ruptured by war and invasion. Inland Eurasia sup— ported nomadic polities. There were the still-powerful Manchurian herdsmen, 1’. Who'h'ad long before spawned the world-conquering Genghis Khan. In Arabia there were the nomadic camel-keeping tribes who had once provided the , warriors-"of the Prophet, and even in the eighteenth century were the bedrock ‘ ~9fWahhab1 resistance to the Ottoman Empire in the name of pure Islam. In . ‘Pers1a during the eighteenth century it was families from the semi-nomadic .tnbal groups Zands and Qajars who came to power.25 This was, however, almost» the last generation in which tough nomads and desert-dwellers were “ able'to break in to settled states to revive their governments and purge their ._,Tehg10n"in the classic historical process described by the great medieval Muslimthinker Ibn Khaldun. On the fringes of the European states of western .__’Eurasia,‘.Lap reindeer herdsmen or Kazak sheep herdsmen provided re- sources, but also irritants, for the settled kingdoms. Cossack pioneer peasants a . . . , Dd hotseesoldiers were a powerful interest on the fringes of the Russian Empire, When, in the 1770s, some cossacks revolted against the Empress, OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” 39 . “fiflwvwmm, ' ... THE END or THE OLD REGIME p _ p ‘ I l, M . OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” llu‘fi‘i"h.7.’l{ “rm”: un-all the peasant armies of the pretender, Pugachev, who claimed to be Tsar Peter III, roamed across the empire for several years.2° Forest polities, dependent on the animals and wood products or selling their skills as sappers, miners, and forest-men to the kings and officials of the settled, represented another distinct type of polity. Here again, scholars have recently demonstrated that as late as the eighteenth century forest— and fastness—dwelling Chieftain marauders could still deal with the agrarian states of the plains on the basis of something like equality. This was true of the “tribal” forest—dwellers of India, Burma, Thailand, and the Indonesian archi~ pelago, or even the Siberian frontier, where such peoples not only provided scarce resources and military skills but were also regarded with some awe as white magicians and healers. In North America, the historical record has been dominated by wars between settlers and Indians. But there were at least as many examples of cooperation and interpenetration, at least before more vigorous policies of discrimination were introduced after 1812. ‘ and cruelty of the slave trade and of the exploitation of slaves cannot obscure the fact that this was a flexible, financially sophisticated, consumer-oriented, technologically innovative form of human beastliness. Where Europeans went overseas, they might have continued to operate according to older communal and religious norms, as did the Dutch farmers Settled in southern Africa since the 1650s, for instance. But they rarely became a peasantry in the classic sense. Land was too plentiful in these settler contin- ents. People had emigrated in order to acquire their own land rights, not to becomeva new peasantry dominated by large owners. Big pastoral and wood- land landlords were, therefore, generally opposed in the New World, and later in Australasia, to sharecroppers and small owner—occupier farmers. Even on the Cape of Good Hope, the black population formed something more like a labor reserve than a peasantry cultivating its own land predominantly with family labor. _ ' . These modern—looking forms of labor, produce and capital markets in such global growth centers did not always overlap with polities in which state power was clearer and more delineated. Holland and England still had numerous subsystemsof law and status, curious anachronisms which had sometimes even beenzstrengthened by the growth of the market. Germany remained a _' patchwork of principalities, prince-bishoprics, free cities, and so on. In gen- eral, though, the more commercialized and specialized types of economy p ; sooner 3 .--later became coterminous with more specialized and powerful ' states. The-transparency of power was something that merchants and com— . mercial landholders have always found attractive. Yet the yeast of commercial p“ growthhad still had only a patchy and limited effect, even in the core areas of western :Europe and its North Atlantic colonies by 1780. HARBINGERS OF NEW POLITICAL FORMATIONS Finally, consideration must be given to those polities that were to become so critical in the following 100 years at the international level and which are considered in more detail in the next chapter. These were the emerging commercial societies which were heavily concentrated in northwestern Europe, but had also established colonial offshoots in the Caribbean and North America. In economic activity, life—style, and attitudes, much of the population of northwestern Europe was not far removed from its peasant; origins. The idea that western European development was wholly exceptional in world history is nolonger fashionable. Yet in scale and style, it surpassed the growth of entrepreneurial societies which had come into existence in many". other parts of'the world. For a start, rural as well as urban societies in these regions were much more heavily specialized than even those centers of com rmercialization which could be seen in the central Yangzi valley, or in rural Bengal or in the hinterland of Istanbul. Only Japan and parts of coastal China really provide a convincing parallel. *‘ V ‘ Even in the seventeenth century, central Holland, which Jan de Vries sees a the first modern economy,27 was importing more than one—third of its food from some distance. Well—developed regional specialization was also a feature ‘ of southern England, where London was a massive market, importing fresh. fruit and vegetables from southern Ireland and coal from as far north 35‘ Newcastle in the eighteenth century. Financial and credit instruments We): equally well developed, and capital was increasingly becoming transnational So, for instance, Dutch financiers invested in the stock of the English East India and Levant companies and in the British Caribbean, evefi thong} Holland remained Britain’s rival. In some ways, the most advanced form 0 economic specialization and the long-distance deployment of capital were the’ slave plantations of southern North America and the Caribbean. The violenc ’- .J‘HE ,BREHISTOR Y 0F nGLOBA'LIZA TION’ ’ V on; themeof this book is the growth of a more integrated international society in the course of the long nineteenth century, one which, in the medium term, 3 I was dominated by the West. For the nineteenth century we can certainly use 3 the-temp Tinternational.” This, above all, was the period of the “international- ' Ration} (it"nationalism,” when the ideas and practices of die nation—state became rooted among the elites in all major world cultures. It is important, howeverizto consider the nature of globalization in the seventeenth and eight— filth centuries, before the high point of the nation—state. The world crisis of V l780—1§201.was a climacteric precisely because political and ideological shock Wal’eS were passed backward and forward between the centers of a world WhiCh“was already linked. In addition, the networks of what I am calling find archaic globalization?’ and “early modern” globalization persisted .th cf the umbrella of the nineteenth—century International system. At times 1 BY empowered it; at times they challenged it. This section uses the term “archaic globalization”28 to describe the older :‘netw :» . . . Otis-and dominances created by geographical expansion of ideas and _——__—_—'—_/ a . 41 THE END OF THE OLD REGIME social forces from the local and regional level to the inter-regional and inter. continental level. As the previous pages have implied, archaic globalization had many centers. In its early stages, the “expansion of Europe” was simply one among several contemporary examples of globalization, rather than a world system in the making. Yet we can detect some common underlying » principles in these patterns from classical antiquity through to the early! modern period. Vast political and economic changes occurred during this, era, of course. By the seventeenth century, the new cultural and economic :2 network of the slave plantation system and'New World silver had ushered in the era of early capitalist globalization in part of the Atlantic region. NeVerthe- less, the rationale underlying global networks of people, monetary transac. '_ tions, and ideas for much of the population of Mediterranean Europe, Asia, ' and Africa in 1750 bore some similarities to that underlying those which had ' ‘ existed five or even ten centuries earlier. People have always made long—distance contact with each other for reasons ' 7' of profit, through the desire for power, and as a result of pure inquisitiveness, In the world of the old regimes, these drives took subtly different forms from those typical of the modern international system. Three general principles underlay archaic globalization: first, tuniversalizing kingship; secondly, the' expansive urge of cosmic religion; and thirdly, humoral or moral understand... ings of bodily health. These forces created some unde/rlying patterns in the global exchange of ideas, personnel, and commodities. First, the idea of universal kingship drove monarchs, their soldiers,.and . administrators over vast distances in search of individual and family honor, whether in the service of the Most Christian Spanish Empire or of Manchu Supremacy. As the previous section indicated, the courts of these world conquerors prized difference and “cherished men from afar.”29 Their kings and administrators valued'representatives of difi‘erent peoples for their qual- ities: Turks for toughness, Christians for science, Persians for refinement, and so on. The great courts and their petty imitators down to the large village also acted as magnets for honorific commodities drawn from distant land Kashmiri shawls, Chinese silks, Arab horses, and precious stones. of all kinds , were prized across huge distances, and were critical to the workings of Ion distance trade links. Even in the more isolated cosmos of the Pacific chiefs, high kings sought exotic and charismatic objects or foods to embody and represent their greatness. Prestige trades of this sort fitted into a much broadte pattern whereby social relations were constituted through the long-distance exchange of prized goods between diiferent cornmtmities.30 As the anthroj pologist Marshall Sahlins pointed out, this valuation of rare products predis- posed Hawaiians to trade eagerly for commodities such as European and American cloth, Chinese porcelains, and prized sandalwood once “firsticon-U tact” had been made. .V The intelligentsias of the archaic globe transmitted mythologies and ethical « systems which complemented these political ideologies. Along with theCha? risma of Rome or Rum, the story of Alexander was widely remembered across I Eurasia and Africa. Seventeenth—century Mughal kings modeled their meet- ‘ ings with Hindu renouncers on the reported deportment of Alexander before the ascetic Greek renouncers, the Cynics, and self-abnegating Indian Brah— minsél Even in the nineteenth century, British travelers penetrating into the high passes of Afghanistan looked for Greeks, throwbacks to Alexander’s army, among the tribal peoples.3' The philosophy of Alexander’s teacher, Mstotlé, also retained its potency across a vast area of Christendom and Islam, even in the eighteenth century. Aristotelian ethics had passed through the hands of medieval Islamic writers into the everyday moral language of the Indo-Islamic world. Works of Muslim ethics patterned on Aristotle were read daily at the courts of many Islamic rulers. They informed the decisions of local judges.33 Meanwhile, Aristotle and his followers remained an important element in the intellectual landscape of Europe and its colonies until the nineteenthcentury. As late as 1860, churchmen in Spanish- and English— Speaking America were using Aristotle to justify slavery. The idea of the “civic republican” tradition of thought has informed Euro- pean and early American intellectual historiography since John Pocock’s seminal Work in the 19605.34 According to this View, most thinkers still looked back to [the ancient world, stressing sturdy virtues uncorrupted by the state or the market. Perhaps, however, we can also glimpse another, wider civic L republicantradition which limited the power of kings in Asia and in North Africa. Asin the European republican tradition, kings were supposed to rule .Iwell in‘order to preserve the balance of the ideal polity, preserving pious householders and balancing the interests of different professions. These common; elements in the world mythology and political ideology provided points of‘contact between Europeans, Asians, and Africans up to the mid- nineteenth century, even in situations otherwise characterized by ruthless exploitation and religious conflict. This theme will be explored further in .: chapter‘Zr .' Secondly, even after the growth of Atlantic slavery and migration, many of M the greatest. global movements of people still remained pilgrimages and the L-‘wanderings of scars in search of traces of God. These reflected the imperatives _ ofcosrriic religion. Jerusalem and Rome retained their magnetic attraction for . Christians in the Age of Enlightenment. For example, Napoleon and the Irish revolutionary of 1798, Wolfe Tone, both took time off from more pressing ‘ ; engagements to consider how to bring the Jewish people back to the Temple in jletusalei'rid’5 For Muslim rulers from Sumatra to Nigeria, organizing the . Pilgnmage to the holy places remained the prime duty of external relations. The expansion of the Sufi mystical orders within Islam, especially the move- ment of,..the “mystical” Chishti order, provided a religious analogy to the _ globalizing of great kings. Even in the Atlantic world, Christian belief estab- ‘ llshed patterns of long-distance godly migration. The diaspora of the Francis- ?ans‘andflesuits, the expansion of the Mormons, or the regular wanderings of Englishzand Irish Quakers across the Atlantic in the eighteenth century are ¥ cases mfpoint‘ Thirdly, bodily practice helped to provide the force behind archaic global— ‘ Zanopn, The transmission of ideas encouraged the movement of goods, which 43 OLD REGIMES AND “ARcHAI'c GLOBALIZATION” OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” THE END OF THE OLD REGIME in turn spread new ideas. The world’s biomedical systems, from the Greek) Islamic, and Hindu through to Daoist and Confucian, overlapped. Specialists 3.. read each other’s texts. They sought out similar spices, precious stones, and animal products which were thought to enhance reproduction, sex, and bodily . health. Along with markers of royalty such as precious metals, weapons) and horses, the search for prized medicines imposed deep patterns on world trade and the movement of peoples.36 “ethnoscape,” a global pattern of cultural mixing, to borrow a word from Arjun Appadurai again.3'7 In the' eighteenth century, for example, much of They helped to create the archaic ' ' together and exploit the regional reorientations of production and consump- tion which *de Vries called “industrious revolutions.” Still, the change was uneven. In the register of bodily practice and personal deportment, the transformation was particularly slow. In Europe and outside, the trading companies carefully maintained the cultural and bio-moral repute of What were originally charismatic products, substances which were thought to alter both a person’s body and spirit. So, tobacco was seen, and still isseen, as a stimulant to mental capacity. Aristocratic and burgher taste preserved the rituals of sociability and the aura of rareness surrounding what were now China’s overseas trade was designed to capture life—enhancing products and ' ' industrial goods, as far as production was concerned. tokens of kingship. It was as medicines that tea, then tobacco, and finally Thefirstage oftruly globalimperialism, 1760—1830, is discussed in chapter3. opium entered China. Each of these commodities became, first, tokens of It looked both backward and forward if we consider the forces promoting leisure and then, in the nineteenth century, items of pathological mass con. sumption. To some degree, this was also true for western Europe and the Atlantic world. . Archaic globalization worked, then, in several different and mutually re. ' inforcing ways. At the broadest level, there was the ideology and imagined. community of the Old World constructed by universal kingship and cosm' religion. In the intermediate register lay the uneven patterns of diaspon, trading, military, and specialist communities generated by these values: These were the links that scattered Armenian merchants from the kingdom of Hungary to the South China seas. Finally, in the register of bodily practice, the human being constructed global linkages-through acts of bio-moral trans- formation of substances and goods. The logic of such consumption was strategically to consume diversity. This pattern of collecting Charismatic goods and substances differed significantly from the market—driven uniformity of today’s world. ARCHAIC AND EARLY MODERN GLOBALIZATION The inter—regional trades in tea, tobacco, and opium characterize the sec‘ond level, transitional phase in the emergence of the modern international order.‘ This was early capitalist expansion, beginning in the Atlantic in the seven-. teenth century and spreading to much of the rest of the world by 1830. This phase was associated with the growth of Atlantic slavery. It also saw the rise' of the European chartered companies, arms of mercantilist state power, and the royal trading entities created in the Asian world to handle and control. these burgeoning trades. Proto~capitalist globalization developed by fillingiouf and becoming parasitic on, perhaps “cannibalizing,” to use Appadurai’s phrase again, the earlier links created by archaic globalization. For instance: the capture 'of slaves, once a strategy in the building of the archaic great household in Africa and the Ottoman world, became a brutal prom—capitalist industry. These new globalizing entities tried methodically to subordinate and rediS' tribute labor on a vaster scale. They tried, as the next chapter shows, to link ,- V . set themselv' global interconnection. There were new elements emerging especially from the European-Atlantic economy. Here for the first time changes in the Americas directly affected Asia. For example, the American Revolution significantly altered trading patterns in Asia by forcing the English East India Company to redouble its purchases of tea in China, and eventuallyto introduce Indian opium into Qingterritory. Yet, during this same period, the instruments of inter— nationalstatecraft and the ideologies which informed them retained archaic _ eological level, hybridity and mixing characterized these years. On ‘ the French admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729—1811) and Captainjames Cook (1718—79), who explored the Pacific, used rational- istic and methodical methods of survey. The learned men of the British and E French royal Land oriental societies sought to make a “Map of all Mankind” by which all species, peoples, and products could be categorized}8 On the other hand, iarchaic ideologies still prevailed. For instance, travelers in Egypt ' i to tap the cosmic power of the pyramids. What modern Egypt— Ao'logists cal___ pyramidiocy” has a very ancient pedigree. In the 17905, an Anglo-German official in India believed he had found descriptions of the c: ' ancient-British Isles of the days of Joseph of Arimathaea in the Sanskrit ‘texts.395At this time too, a Scotsman became an Amerindian king in Honduras, 7‘ and aTBritish Indian ofiicer carried floats of the Hindu deities around in his 'rednue. AnAnglo-Irish British officer, Sir William Johnson (1715—74), learned Amencaanndian languages, married Indian women, and became father of his ‘ . people. ’Widely, religious practice remained both ritualized and flexible. In the British and American world, neither belief not race but simple baptism widely remained the qualifier for public office. Even in the central lands \of Islam, sultansmade royal gifts to Christian monasteries and to synagogues. At the level of bodily practice, the boundaries of the ethnic nation—state I: rwere notyet‘in evidence. Sexual relations were not heavily policed in practice. Large Eurasian, Afro-Asian, and, later, Euro—Australasian communities de- ’ Yelop'edacross the world. People used a wide range of remedies to strengthen r 'afld protect their bodies. Despite the beginning of a separate medical profes- Sionin‘Europe, most people still opted for a portfolio of different types of mEdical treatment, reinforced with prayer and magic. The consumption of THE END OF THE OLD REGIA’IE. exotic and charismatic herbs and other products continued the exchange of bio-moral information at the global level. The smallpox variola traveled from Persia to England. From here it was disseminated by direct bodily Contaq back to European trading posts in India and the China coast, and on to the royal centres of the interior. How were honor and value assigned to people in these patterns of global interconnection? Neither race not nationality, as understood at the end of the nineteenth century, was yet a dominant concept. Rather, what characterizcd this period was a series of interlocking rankings of people in terms of their embodied status, their honor, or purity or lineage. This was a “caste system” in the original Portuguese use of the term. In this scheme, European aristo- cratic blood purity provided one pole of embodied status, and slave origins the other. As in the eighteenth-century Mexican manual of pedigree, La: Car'mi Mexicmzas (“The Castes of Mexico”)10 all other human groups could be intricately distinguished in a hierarchy stretching between these poles (see : illustration 1.4). This archaic notion of caste, casta, or race (raga), prevailed in ILLUSTRATlON 1.4 Caste in the Old World: Mixed marriage. A Spaniard and his 7 Mexican-Indian wife, and their child. Painting by Miguel Cabrera. ' \ OLD REGIMES AND “ARCHAIC GLOBALIZATION” the Caribbean, Iberian, and English American worlds. This notion of caste also proved serviceable in the Muslim and Asian worlds, because it Seemed compatible With current understandings of embodied status in these societies. In the Indian world, prevalent ideas of purity and impurity could be fitted into the grid of caste in the towns of the west coast, where the Portuguese settled from the sixteenth century onwards. Muslims could loosely identifyt European “caste” with their own forms of status discrimination. These were based on humeral principles and historic closeness to the family of the Prophet. In turn, Chinese merchants in port cities adapted these Eurasian and Islamic categories to their own concepts of refinement and barbarity. As Frank Dikotter has shown in his book on race in modern China, classical Chinese bio-moral rankings assigned highest value to yellow races. Whites were associated with mental dullness, and blacks with uncontrolled pas- sions.‘41 Caste as a global measure of embodied status remained the key discriminator in the interaction of peoples in the archaic and early modern diasporas. It operated at a deeper level than nationality, which remained a flexiblesand rather indistinct category at this period. PROSPECT These V onnections of ideas, faith, and material acquisitiveness operated to givei'forrn and structure to the old world order as it began to change more rapidly under the influence of Atlantic trade and the great world empires. ‘ - Yet ideological m0vements, as much as sharp changes in material life, could also spread conflict and uncertainty. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, developing an "idea‘of‘Jean Aubin, showed how sixteenth-century Christians and Muslims ‘had been affected by currents of millenarian thought which could be used to justify political expansion, war, and conflict. Christians had been unsettled by i 7 the coming of the first millennium-and-a—half since Christ’s birth. The expect- ations-bf Muslims had been roused by the millennium of the Prophet’s ._message which came a few decades later. The ripples of these respective anxieties and aspirations flowed together into what Subrahmanyarn calls a 7:42 _f‘millenarian conjuncture. This is of relevance to the present book. For in i the same way, Buddhist, Muslim, and Sikh millennial aspirations, flowing Strongly, after about 1720, were to act on, and. interact with, the secular millenarianism which flowed from the French Revolution. This time, how— ' ever, states and empires were both larger in scale and more embattled than they had” been in the sixteenth century. The resulting political maelstrom surged on through the generations after 1780. V The‘eflFects of this latter “millenarian conjuncture” were very powerful, in Part because the world in 1780 stood on the brink of what the Chinese historian Kenneth Pomeranz has called “the great .divergence.”43 The ecOnomic and social future of the human race was beginning to point in Sharply different directions. The next chapter considers in greater detail the % 47 THE END OF THE OLD REGIME .‘ accelerating divergences between the economic performance of difierem world societies, especially between western Europe and the rest of the world. ' It goes on to examine the much subtler differences which emerged in the _ i {i organization of states and civil societies across the continents. [ .1. A S S A G E S O M ‘ ‘ .lg‘OLD REGIMES TO MODERNITY ‘FIFTY‘years ago, if professional historians or students had been asked what was the major economic change taking place at world level in the second half of the eighteenth century, they would probably have pointed to the Industrial Revolution‘and the beginnings of mechanical production in Britain. No one ' can doubt the long-term importance of industrialization for how people lived across the-world. But many historians are now skeptical that the Industrial Revolution had proceeded very far by 1800 and have downplayed its sigruf'i- ‘ ' cance‘eyen-for most of western Europe and America before the 18303. . THETQLAST “GREAT DOMESTICATION” AND ' “"INp‘USTRIOUS REVOLUTIONS” Fromvagyglobal perspective, two other major types of social and economic changefbie‘sides industrialization loom much larger in world history, at least before about 1830. The first of these shifts constituted the final phase of what ' Could'vbe'fcalled the “great domestication.” Several millennia earlier, human beings began moving from nomadism, foraging, and shifting, with small-scale agriculture, to regular, intensive agrarian exploitation. The process moved " irito a final and very rapid phase on the remaining nomadic frontiers after about 1h650.l There were a number of reasons for this. Human population ' ‘- began'to grow much faster as a result of the ending of the great pandemics of bubonic plague and Other diseases. Population even began to recover in Central “and South America, where European-imported illnesses had cut ’back numbers savagely in the preceding century. Disease now became en- demicgin more resilient populations. New, nutritious varieties of food from Central’:‘and South America spread across the Old World in the wake of the SPaHiShtland Portuguese “discoveries,” improving fertility and resistance to diseaseks populations grew, so pioneer peasants from nodes of settled , » v » ‘ - -:1 49 Thisbookisdedicatedm' THE BIRTH OF THE Elfreda M. Bayly, " M W who has lived through the consequences 0 D E R N O R L D of these historical events. V 1 7 8 0—1 9 1 4 ...
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