Postcolonialism – An Historical Introduction
Robert J. C. Young
In these two chapters from the book ‘Postcolonialism – An Historical Introduction, Robert J.C. Young provides the reader with an in depth understanding of colonal and postcolonial history, as well as well pondered definitions of important terms within the academic field of postcolonial studies. To illustrate the cruel and inhumane reality of the imperialistic powers, Young uses the case of Sir Roger Casement, a former member of the British Consular Service who was asked by the British Government in 1910 to investigate allegations of atrocities committed against the indigenous of the Amazon by a British company extracting rubber from the jungle. Casement verified, against the British governments expectations the atrocities, which six years later ironically led to his execution, sentenced by the British government on a charge of High Treason. The case of Casement shows us how the imperialistic powers ruled with devastating inhumanity, not only towards the indigenous but also towards anyone whom opposed the colonialising forces. The author goes on describing the history of 20th century imperialism. He puts forward the shocking fact that by the time of the first World War, imperial powers occupied, or controlled, nine-tenths of the globes surface territory, where of Britain governed one-fifth of the area of the world and a quarter of its population. Later in this chapter Young argues that Britain in fact actually was the first colony of the British empire, as here a minority elite - the ruling upper class, controlled Britain both before and well into the nation’ further imperialistic era. With no space left for territorial expansion the leading forces of Europe turned inwards in a last attempt to grow. He points to Aimé Césaire who was the first to note that fascism was a form of colonialism brought home to Europe. The outcome of the 2nd World War led to the defeated nations loss of colonies...
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