Monday, March 28, 2011

Example of the first step in colonizer initiated revolution

In regards to colonizer based revolution, let us now examine a more familiar aspect to this ideology to Americans in parallel to the Maghreb, the Native American rebellion to English settlers. This is not to be mistaken for the American Revolution rebellion. In the American Revolution, the native inhabitants did not rebel but the “pied noir” as the French called the settlers from France that were either born the Maghreb or made their home in there. The English called the “pied noir” in the Americas the “patriots” which are all too familiar to Americans. In order to elucidate an accurate accommodation to the study of colonizer based revolution, the revolt must come from the native population, in this case, the Native Americans who founded a thriving civilization full of tradition and prosperity just as the Berbers in the Maghreb.
            When the English settlers established Jamestown in 1607, they imagined no intension of settling but rather a port for pirates in order to raid the passing Spanish ships of the New World treasures and escort the stolen goods to England. Until 1619, Jamestown consisted of a fort and ports. After 1619, when the English government founded a town, indentured servants bound for their freedom journeyed to Jamestown. When the inevitable conflict emerged, the Native Americans found the English settlers of industrial strength and tenacious veracity. The English possessed guns and metal armor, and although the Native Americans fought not without formidable weapons of their own, the bow could not endure to the fire power of the gun. Usurpation was eminent unless diplomacy prevailed. Through Native Americans’ willingness to negotiate and indomitable diplomats such as the famed Pocahontas, usurpation was postponed unlike the cursory domination of the Maghreb.
            The Native Americans fought to maintain their lands in the southeast of America, but this did not stop the Indian Removal Act. President Andrew Jackson addressed the Senate in 1829 stating that the U.S. would no longer support Cherokee sovereignty and called for the removal act that permitted violent and rapacious relocation of the Native Americans to the west of the Mississippi River. He believed they were incapable of assimilation, they blocked the advance of a civilized republic, and stated that the natives would be victimized and taken advantage of based on their lack of intelligence. The American government integrated their negative “mark of the plural” (defined as stereotyping a group of people based on the actions of a few) into the minds of the natives by usurping their land and rights of negotiation. President Jackson proclaimed, “I have long viewed the treaties with the Indians as absurdity not to be reconciled to the principles of our government.”[1] Jackson uses alterity (excluding a certain group of people through terminology such as “them” or “other”) by excluding the Native Americans from his terminology of “our” and believed that the negotiated treaties provided futile from a subordinate people.
            Many Native Americans accepted the authority of their usurper because of their dominant and tyrannical actions that left the natives with no choice but to either fight or submit. Through a hundred years of being looked down upon as subordinate and inferior to the white settlers, many Native Americans started to internalize the inculcated negative stereotypes as truth. This can be seen by the fact that many Native Americans moved west in acceptance of their inability to assimilate and alleviate the cultural differences. Thousands of Native Americans moved west before Jackson signed the Removal Act of 1829. This internal authoritative understanding on the part of the colonized initiates the beginning stage of colonizer based revolution. This remains an example of the first step of colonizer based revolution in American history.

[1] Dr. Katherine Osburn, Indian Removal: Policy Issues and Enactment, handout in HIST 4440 class (11 November, 2010).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Step

I recently returned from a trip from the third-world-country of Morocco where I studied ideologies surrounding diffusionism (defined as exogenous invention or material effect that emerged from a foreign country) and colonization (defined as the usurpation and settlement from a dominant and rapacious country into a specific land in which inhabitants already dwell). Colonization began in northern Africa during the middle of the 19th century in the third round of global empire. In the area within the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, and the disputed Western Sahara), colonization came from the French Empire. In studying the specific aspect of the inevitable revolution as the writer Albert Memmi stated in his book, The Colonizer, the Colonized, as the result of colonization, one must identify the participating factors, in other words, the usurper and the conquered subordinate.
            The colonizer, as identified as the usurper, derived from a direct result of the Métropole (the French mother land in Europe) ideology of civilizing abroad in order to civilize at home (the Métropole). Imperialism from the French perspective allowed for national pride through conquest and the Enlightenment concept of la mission civilisatrice. This ideology comes from “The White Man’s Burden,” a supposition entailing the white man’s place in the world. Rudyard Kipling authored the writings entitled “The White Man’s Burden,” in which he detailed that the civilized, white man shoulders an obligation to civilize the heathen world, in this case, Africa. The colonizer believed he possessed a right to colonize even at the expense of becoming a usurper because of the civilizing mission as Paul Leroy-Beaulieu wrote that colonization brings the substandard civilizations to maturity and grow into a productive member of the world society. Leroy-Beaulieu compared the idea to a parent raising a child. Albert Memmi portrayed the colonizer as a hegemonic (defined as domination of one group over another: politically, culturally, economically, or socially) colonial that accepted himself as a usurper of privilege by putting his own laws in a land that was not his own.
            The colonized, as identified as the conquered subordinate, emanated from a more tribal environment and while constructing a semblance of urbanization and government the tribal community’s loyalty lay with the village authorities. The colonized maintained a technologically inferior civilization in the means of war and in so much that the colonizer tenaciously dominated the native population which commenced the mentality of internalizing the effigy of the colonizer from the view of the colonized. The authority of the colonizer remained essential because if the colonized believed in the colonizer they may start to inculcate the colonizers’ negative ideologies of the colonized and accept it as the truth. This internal authoritative understanding on the part of the colonized initiates the beginning stage of colonized revolution.