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IV-1- HD: imperialism, ancient history and Victorian era. 
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Post IV-1- HD: imperialism, ancient history and Victorian era.
IV-1- The theme of imperialism.

Introduction: imperialism and colonialism:

colonialism: control by one power over a dependent area or people.

imperialism: the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas.
(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).


What do you think is the difference?



The theme of imperialism is introduced very early in the novella:

1- I find the reference to the Roman Conquerors on English soil intriguing:


pages 5 and 6 "Or think of a decent citizen in a toga... the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate."


What do you thinK?


2- Then the narrator switches to "us", the Europeans: "Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this. What saves us is efficiency-- the devotion to efficiency. " page 6.


What do you think of the way these themes are introduced?


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Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:56 pm
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You really have me preoccupied, Ophelia.

At breakfast this morning - my husband said - 'what are you thinking about, you are unusually quiet?'

I said, ' The difference between Colonialism and Imperialism'.

He almost choked on his toast!!

I perceive colonialism as moving into another Country and culture - taking the land and imposing your own culture onto the indiginous population - ie. Colonising.

Imperialism I think of as moving into another country, but with no intention of settling - just making it a military or political base.

The Romans came here and pushed us about a bit, but they did not insist that we accept their religious beliefs. They did not seem to care about our belief system so long as we did not interfere in the politics.

I often wonder why the Romans came to Britain. I know they took the 'salt' from this area but I don't think they knew it was here before they came. It must have seemed like a cold and bleak place to them and I bet they were glad when they were posted elsewhere. The Vikings colonised here before that.

I suppose it could have been a strategic move to have an army here. They were a military power. They came here late in their Empire building - so perhaps it was just to keep the soldiers busy and stop them from getting bored!!!!

It was a different matter entirely with the British in Africa - didn't Rhodes Boyson trade smallpox infested blankets with the natives. Doesn't make you proud does it?

We didn't do anything quite so dishonourable in India - but that bit of empire seemed to stem from the East India Tea Company, perhaps commerce is not so heartless.



Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:36 am
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I was posting on another forum and grumbling because I have just lost my front tooth in a brawl with a pile of baking tins;


I said:

I am thinking about the difference between Colonialism and Imperialism for my book discussion group - takes my mind off my appearance anyway.

Blackers said:

(Colonialism is a practice and imperialism may be seen as the idea driving the practice).

Are you reading Conrad by any chance?


:lol:



Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:14 pm
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Colonialism is what plays out over the long term as a result of the imperialistic impulse--I can go with that distinction already provided. I, too, found it interesting that Marlow says that England was once a dark place, meaning, I suppose, that there was a conquering people present who saw it in just the way that the Europeans see Africa--as dark. Clearly the Africans would not see their own culture as dark, nor would have the Angles, Saxons, or Jutes (terms drilled into me that I have limited understanding of!).

Will



Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:47 pm
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DWill - As an indiginous Anglo-Saxon - I can tell you that no, we don't see it as dark - but we definitely do see it as 'greyish'.

Sorry, couldn't resist.....

It is all this foreign travel you see - we now know that we are not the white man - we are pale blue compared to the rest of Europe!!! With the cold that is!!!!



Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:04 am
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DWill wrote:
Colonialism is what plays out over the long term as a result of the imperialistic impulse--
Will

I think this is pretty much accurate. I think everyone here has a grasp on the difference between imperialism and colonialism. I'd imagine it can also be thought of that imperialism is the military component to expansion while colonialism is the mercantile component.

As for the Romans in Britain, by the time of Julius Caesar it seemed to most Romans that every worthy land was already "conquered" (conquered in the sense at least that Romans had already been there at least long enough to leave some sort of sign that they were there behind). Caesar needed to do something to make his name, hence expanding his expedition to the southern shores of Britain. Later, after more of Gaul and Germania had been truly conquered, Hadrian and subsequent emperors all sought the same as Caesar, furthering their name and imperium.



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Ibid said:-

Caesar needed to do something to make his name, hence expanding his expedition to the southern shores of Britain.


Oy what do you mean Southern Shores!!!!! I live Uwp North. They were here - Chester - and even further up North at the divide between Scotland and England - Northumberland. I went to see a lovely little shrine to Mithras whilst there, ostensibly to visit the excavated Vindalanda - Fortress. Where there were remains of delightful messages home, from Roman soldiers - asking their Mums' to send them warm socks. Honestly - I am not making this up.

Love the Romans I do. We have a lot to thank them for.

Viz; Monty Python - The Life of Brian........seemed like a iconoclastic, heretical film.....but told a lot of truth.....Blessed are the Cheesemakers...mutter...mutter...mutter....The Cheesemakers? Why? The Greeks shall inherit the earth....The Greeks.....No, he said the meek......Oh well blessem....it's about time they got something.....etc. etc.

How we are prone to get it all wrong!!!!



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Post The Romans in Britain
I absolutely love the part of history which deals with the Romans in Britain! :D

Why did the Romans come?
For the reasons mentioned by Ibid, and because they were in the business of colonizing. By the time they reached Britain they were beginning to overextend themselves.
Officially, they went for the glory of Rome, but on a personal level they were after money.

I'll need some help with the following line, because I've read several versions of it and can only remember this one:

Every Roman Commander or official in Britain (or elsewhere) had come to make three fortunes: one for Rome, one for himself, and ... ?

Or: Every high official...one fortune to pay for his debts in Rome, one to pay for the bribes he had had to give to the right people in Rome in order to get his post.... You get the idea.


I loved the way Marlowe's first words are about the Romans (pages 4 to 6), because of my interest in the Romans in Britain, but because of the introduction and perspective it gives to the rest of the novel.


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Penelope wrote:
DWill - As an indiginous Anglo-Saxon - I can tell you that no, we don't see it as dark - but we definitely do see it as 'greyish'.

Sorry, couldn't resist.....

It is all this foreign travel you see - we now know that we are not the white man - we are pale blue compared to the rest of Europe!!! With the cold that is!!!!


I think what we 'palefaces' see, when we start reading the book is the 'gloom'.

The darkness, I think, is in the mind and heart - we're afraid of what we don't know.

Lemme' tell ya', if I was in a boat like that, and came cruising around to place like that, and a buncha' people started dancing and screaming, no matter what colour they are - I'd be afraid too.

It's the main reason I don't go to big rock concerts, the Stones, etc. I hate a swarm of screaming people.

When I was thirteen my grandfather offered me a choice of a radio for my room or tickets to go see Elvis - I chose the radio. I loved Elvis, but I didn't want to see him amongst a bunch of screaming teenagers.



Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:55 pm
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Post Imperialism and colonialism.
To return to colonialism versus imperialism, I am reading an article by Gilles Cnockaert about the history of decolonization in France.
He writes that the French empire in Africa has not entirely disappeared and that "imperialism outlived decolonization" as France still has military bases in Africa for example.

Also, the US has sometimes been called "Imperialist", but has not been called a colonialist power as regards territories outside its own borders (as far as I know).


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The view is dark from the core to the periphery. Dependency theory, although suspect in its economics, presents a useful model of imperial relations. Those at the imperial core are unable to see the full humanity of those at the periphery. Such vision could undermine the imperial project. Hence the empire creates myths or cultivates nonchalance regarding the other. Australia is quite nonchalant about the Pacific Island countries while the USA is nonchalant about everyone else. Pilate was nonchalant about Jesus. France is nonchalant about West Africa, and the USSR made a show of its indifference to the captive nations. This plays out in popular culture, where the events of the periphery become lurid images without narrative coherence, and in politics, where leaders use versions of that old British slogan from the coat of arms - honi soit qui mal y pense - rough translation, I don't care what you think.

Conrad is drawing attention to the luridity in imperial vision. His fearful images of 'savages' are designed to illustrate how the Europeans think on encountering Africans. Conrad is mocking not the Africans but the Europeans.



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Australia is quite nonchalant about the Pacific Island countries while the USA is nonchalant about everyone else.

The above is a quote from RobertTulip:-

I do feel silly - I feel as though I am saying 'Please Miss, Robert said a rude word'.....

Robert you are a lucid and gifted writer (poster). But I am rushing to the defence of the USA here. It is not current accepted zeitgeist....(I don't know how to spell that!). USA has given us some rotten consumer products in the area of 'media' consumption (The Simpsons - excepted).

But having lived in the aftermath of the Second World War....the USA have been generous to a notable degree to the UK. They, like the Romans in the past, have been a comparatively benevolent world power.

Sadly, in recent years that seems to have lapsed.....but maybe they will soon have a 'Female' democratic president......maybe things will get better, on a ethical level at least.

Just wanted to make myself clear on that one.



Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:26 am
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Please Miss, Robert Tulip said:_

honi soit qui mal y pense - rough translation, I don't care what you think.

Shame on you Robert Tulip - You know what this means and what it does not mean.

You are obviously a caring, educated, thinking and gifted person....using soundbites....stoppit.



Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:47 am
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Post Colonialism, imperialism and the Heart of Darkness
Hello everybody. I'm new to this forum.

I have read all the replies so far and someone talked about the difference of colonialism and imperialism and said that while the US would be considered an imperialist power, its not a colonialist one.

Imperialism strikes me as the wider of the two terms, colonialism being one variety of it: an empire can be bound together by one or many factors such as political influence, military presence, different kinds of economic ties, cultural influence and so on. The most important defining feature of an empire would be the relationship between the core and the periphery, which would be an unequal one.

The relationship between the core and the periphery would not necessarily have to be disadvantageous to the former. If one take the example of the Roman empire there were many benefits such as roads, a greater degree of stability, increased trade, cultural exchange and so on.

Colonialism, on the other hand, is in my opinion a more historically bound term referring to the acquisition of non-European territories by the powers of Europe during the period 1492-1914, especially the Scramble for Africa in the second half of the 19th century. While an imperialst power can dominate the periphery in many ways, colonialism is associated with territorial domination. In my opinion colonialism is also the more negatively charged term.

Now I move on to The Heart of Darkness. Many of you have mentioned the reference to the Roman Empire in the first chapter. Another, as I see it, very central passage is this, also from the first chapter:

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea--something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to. . . ."


I think Conrad is referring to the mission civilicatrice, "the white man's burden". When Marlowe seeks Kurtz, I think he wants to meet a true representative of this idea. But in the end, it is all savagery.

Someone also talked about the gloom of the novel and I agree with that person in that it is "a darkness of the heart". It is the same feeling that Marlowe imagined that the Roman soldiers would find when they came to Britain. I think it is this gloom, both intriguing and scaring, that makes it such a great book to read. I think the gloom is what corrupts the bright civilisatory idea and makes it collapse into darkness. And the darkness is a place where there is no good or bad, no right or wrong, only brute force and no higher cause.



Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:39 pm
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Hello Samson,

How's this for a first posting ever that goes straight to the point? :)


I'm very happy to welcome you to Booktalk.

Would you like to write an introduction (in the "Introduce Yourself" thread) and tell us a little about yourself?

Quote:
Colonialism, on the other hand, is in my opinion a more historically bound term referring to the acquisition of non-European territories by the powers of Europe during the period 1492-1914, especially the Scramble for Africa in the second half of the 19th century. While an imperialst power can dominate the periphery in many ways, colonialism is associated with territorial domination. In my opinion colonialism is also the more negatively charged term.


Well, er... Yes, you just reminded me that "colonialism" is always used in the context of Europe.

I've just racked my brains... What about the Japanese?
It seems that in their case one speaks of military invasion, for example of China in the early twentieth century. They must have plundered and appropriated natural or other resources, but I don't know if they were said to be a colonial power. The word "imperialism" was used I think.

What about Moghul emperors invading India? Not colonialists.

What about the Ottoman Empire?
At the time, nobody would have said that Turkey was in Europe.


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