As1, wk10, June 20th 2014


Read pages 151-3, up to “The importance of sport” .

Today’s class:

  1. Presentation on pages 148-150.
  2. Students asked some good questions last week. Here are some of them:
    1. Why did Britain have so many colonies around the world?
        1. To answer this, first we must ask “what colonies did Britain have?”
          1. Canada, India, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.
        2. Then, we examine the different original reasons and motives people had for going to these different places.
        3. There were several key reasons for colonies:
          1. exploration and adventure
          2. gold (silver, diamonds, treasure, money)
          3. trade – new markets and new resources
          4. war – because several countries were travelling and exploring and trading and looking for gold, etc., there were fights between them which sometimes led to wars. In these wars, the local people became involved (sometimes the local people started the wars), and the winners of the war often got land as a reward.
          5. land and a new life with new freedom (sometimes religious freedom) – some people went to other countries to start a new life (e.g. in Canada, Australia, South Africa, places where the weather was not so different from Britain. They became farmers. Some became rich.
          6. to spread Christianity – I did not mention this today, but Christian missionaries from many different countries followed the explorers and soldiers to bring Christianity to the natives. I’m sure you know about Francis Xavier, for example, who visited many countries, including Japan.

      1. Canada:
        1. Exploration/adventure. The first Europeans to go to Canada were Norsemen in around 1000 A.D. Much later came the French, then the English. Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed St. John’s, Newfoundland, for Queen Elizabeth I in 1583.
          1. IMPORTANT! These were individuals looking for adventure and knowledge and hopefully riches (because it costs a lot of money to make such journeys). They were not sent by the Queen or the government.
        2. Trade. The first settlers were fishermen and farmers and traders. The fur of various animals were valuable, and much money could be made in this trade. Later, the hats of some soldiers were made of bear fur and called “bearskins“. This shows that the fur was considered valuable and a mark of distinction. Some white men hunted for animals themselves, but many traders paid local natives for furs. In this way, the fur trade was born.
        3. War. The European fur traders made agreements with the local Native American tribes: the tribes would give furs and the traders would give blankets, alcohol, guns, whatever the tribes wanted. Some tribes tried to get control of all the fur trade, and this led to a war between tribes in the 17th century called the Beaver Wars. Of course, the tribes were given weapons and other help by their European trading partners, the English and the Dutch in this case. Through these wars, the Europeans gained influence in Canada: land.
          1. In the 19th century, war broke out between Britain, France and Spain over control of various colonies. Because these 3 countries had colonies in many parts of the world (e.g. North America, India, West Indies, and West Africa) the war was fought in many different countries. Also, because of alliances, many other countries were involved in the war, which was called the Seven Years’ War.
          2. As a result of this war, Britain gained land in Canada and India.
        4. Some Europeans, including British, went to Canada hoping for a new life with new freedom, including religious freedom.
      2. India:
        1. Trade. The first British people to go to India were employees of the British East India Company, a trading company started in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, said to be the first company in the world.  The East India ships had small sea fights in the Indian Ocean with traders and pirates from other countries, especially the Dutch and the Portuguese. Eventually, King James I of England invited the Mughal Emperor to make a trade treaty. The Mughal Emperor agreed, promising the British traders freedom to travel and do business in certain parts of India, in exchange for luxury items from Britain and Europe. (See 17世紀での貿易構造 and 会社組織の変質 )
        2. Adventure. Some young men joined the East India Company and went to India hoping for adventure and riches, e.g. Robert Clive. He became famous and was later called “Clive of India” (see how long his English Wikipedia page is!).
        3. War. As in Canada, as a result of various wars, the British gained land. In order to protect their business, the British had to fight the French. To fight the French, they had to make alliances with various Indian princes and kings. If the British won, they were rewarded with land and money (Clive of India, for example, became very, very rich in this way). Gradually the British colonies in India increased in size, until they covered almost the same area as the original Mughal Empire.
      3. Australia:
        1. In the 18th century, Captain James Cook was the first European to map the eastern side of Australia (he also sailed around New Zealand and found it was a separate island). His purpose was not trade or land or gold, but scientific explorationSoon after his first journey, England lost her American colonies in the American War of Independence. England looked to Australia as a substitute. However, the first British settlement in Australia was a penal colony (流罪植民地) in New South Wales. The settlers became farmers, including sheep farmers. (A man who was sent to Australia as punishment for a crime and who became rich there, was a key character in Dickens’ 1861 novel “Great Expectations”  大いなる遺産).
        2. In the 19th century, gold was discovered in Australia. leading to an Australian gold rush.
      4. South Africa:
        1. The first European settlers in South Africa were the Portuguese and the Dutch, called Boers. At the end of the 19th century, the British took control of the Cape of Good Hope, including Cape Town, in South Africa. Because British ships often sailed to India and Australia, this point was useful for ships to stop and rest and get more food and water and repair their ships.
        2. Diamonds were discovered in South Africa in 1867 and gold in 1884, and many Europeans went there hoping for riches.
        3. Fighting between the Zulus and the British (and Dutch) settlers led to the Zulu wars. Then there were wars between the Boers and the British (the Boer Wars). The British gained land as a result of these wars.
  3. The Irish famine. In today’s class, the Great Potato Famine of Ireland was mentioned. It was indeed a very shocking event. Many Irish left Ireland for a new life in America in the 19th century. An interesting movie about this is “Far and Away”, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (遥かなる大地へ).
  4. In Japan at that time. The Meiji period was a time of big changes in Japan. The Charter Oath (五箇条の御誓文 Gokajō no Goseimon?, ) was promulgated at the enthronement of Emperor Meiji of Japan on 7 April 1868. If you go to the Wikipedia page, you can see the original Charter in the original Japanese. Very interesting. The influence of European events and thinking can be clearly seen in this document.

2 thoughts on “As1, wk10, June 20th 2014”

  1. Hello,

    Last week I presented. I made lots of mistakes about my pronunciation, and spoke little fast. Also, I focused on not my classmates but my paper. I felt that it’s so difficult to show any consideration for others. However, I tried my best!

    Teacher’s question is hard to answer. But I can think so much about Britain by being asked. This chance is also valuable for me. And I found that Britain was a powerful and wise country.

    Thank you.

  2. In this class, I had some opinions. Britain had many colonies all over the world, because they wanted to spread the high technology of Britain to many countries. To this desire, they wanted to get some cheap materials and resouses. And also they wanted to make people in other countries work by low wage. And they would sell these things by high price in their colonies.

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