European Colonization

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Justin Gebauer
Shaw
W3
February 13

Colonization: A Good Thing?

At the beginning of the 19th century, European countries began to take interest in non-westernized countries throughout the world. With the beginning of the industrial revolution on the verge, factories in Europe had a demand for materials. Many of these countries went to other countries to gain the resources they needed. In the process they tried to impose their culture on the natives. The natives lives were destroyed because the western people invaded their land. One example of the natives lives being changed in a negative way would be the U.S. annexation of the Hawaiian Islands. Another is Belgian rubber companies enslaving the Congolese to collect sap from the native rubber trees.

From the first time the white man stepped foot on Hawaiian land, they saw the great value of the island as a strategic and convenient location as a naval base. As they spent time on the islands, they began to get the false perception that the Hawaiians could not take care of themselves. Missionaries were sent in the name of God to save the “Heathens” from sin. The missionaries began to gain influence in the native government. Eventually the U.S. government decided to annex the islands for the use of the harbors. In the article “One Hundred Years of Colonization in Hawaii,” Poka Laenui describes Hawaii after the colonization. “Schools became recycling institutions for ripping out native identities and replacing them with American identities. Students were told to drop their indigenous names and take up American names, to speak English and not ‘that foreign language,’ to pledge allegiance to the American flag...” (Laenui). The Hawaiians were forced to take the western ways. They did not have a choice. Most natives were not willing to become Americans and were treated poorly.

In the waning years of the 19th century, there was a large demand for rubber for the pneumatic tires of automobiles....
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