How Did Industrial Revolution Impact South Asia?

The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of a major shift in economic, military and political power from East to West.


  A research letter written by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JP Morgan, and published in the Atlantic Magazine shows how dramatic this economic power shift has been. The size of a nation's GDP depended on the size of its population and labor force in agrarian economies prior to the Industrial era.  With the advent of  the Industrial revolution, the use of machines relying on energy from fossil fuels dramatically enhanced labor productivity in the West and shifted the balance of power from Asia to America and Europe.

Here's a video discussion on the subject:

http://vimeo.com/117657383



Vision 2047: Political Revolutions and South Asia from WBT TV on Vimeo.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2fh1sf_major-east-west-power-shift-since-industrial-revolution_news



Major East-West Power Shift Since Industrial... by faizanmaqsood1010
Here's a video of a BBC documentary about Al Andalusia or Muslim Spain:

 

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Pakistan Military Industrial Revolution

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Education Attainment in South Asia

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Is America Young and Barbaric?

Godfather Metaphor for Uncle Sam

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Manufacturing activity is now more apt to leave for other countries as labor costs rise. Therefore deindustrialization kicks in at lower income levels. Moreover, this premature deindustrialization is more apparent in employment than in output data. Output can be sustained in the face of rising labor costs by replacing workers with machinery.[1]
Countries still industrialize and then deindustrialize as they become richer. However, industrial employment shares for today’s late industrializers such as China, India and Bangladesh are all below 16%, and on today’s trends seem unlikely to rise much further. Moreover, the per capita income levels at which deindustrialization kicks in have fallen from $34,000 in 1970 to around $9,000 in 2010.
These results urge a balanced approach to industrialization. They confirm that industrialization matters – when it brings jobs; but they also confirm that this is less and less likely to happen. Governments must not neglect manufacturing. Nor can they rely as heavily on it as they once did.

https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/02/should-emerging-markets-still-focus-on-manufacturing/
Riaz Haq said…
Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India (review)
Kanishka Chowdhury

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/243354

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:
Reviewed by
Kanishka Chowdhury
Gauri Viswanathan. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. New York: Columbia UP, 1989. 206 pp. $32.50.
In his Prison Notebooks Antonio Gramsci argues that a class can exercise its power not merely by the use of military force but by an institutionalized system of moral and intellectual leadership that propogates certain ideas and beliefs. For Gramsci "cultural hegemony" is maintained through the consent of the dominated class which assures the intellectual and material supremacy of the ruling class. In Masks of Conquest, Gauri Viswanathan uses this Gramscian model of hegemony to analyze the relationship between British political and commercial interests and the establishment of English Literature as a discipline in India. [End Page 331]
Early in the book Viswanathan clearly states that the literary curriculum was introduced in India not to demonstrate the superiority of English culture but to "mask" the economic exploitation of the colonized. The propagation of English literature among the "natives," from the vigorous attempts by the secularized government schools to the more uneasy attempts by the Christian missionary schools, was ultimately carried out to ensure the authority of the British government and to create a stable state in which British mercantile and military interests could flourish.
In the last of six central chapters, however, Viswanathan cleverly points out the inherent contradictions in the colonial project of creating an educated elite. Aside from developing a dissatisfied class that was denied any suitable employment opportunities, the literary curriculum highlighted the problems of a system which advocated both social control and social advancement.
Viswanathan is also careful not to oversimplify the British educational objectives in India. Using a variety of resources, she demonstrates the continual modification of the British educational goals which together created the discipline of English studies. Her attention to archival material and historical details often leads to fascinating excerpts, such as an examination paper by a certain Nobinchunder Dass of Hooghly College, Calcutta, who effusively praises the colonizer's culture. Much of Viswanathan's work, in fact, concentrates on bringing together various pamphlets, tracts, periodicals, and government sources. But Viswanathan is often inclined to be overly absorbed by her material, as in Chapter Two, "Preparatio Evangelica," where she devotes considerable space to a biographical sketch of Alexander Duff. Indeed, Viswanathan sometimes professes a greater interest in imperial representatives than in the material conditions that produced their work.

Viswanathan's brief concluding section, "Empire and the Canon," points out the dangers of reading nineteenth-century educational practice as continuous with contemporary English studies in India. Warning us about the "illusion of historical continuity," however, does not necessarily demystify the ironies of a postcolonial educational system in which an ostensibly leftist government in Bengal rigidly enforces the study of canonical English texts.
The value of Masks of Conquest finally is its important reminder that educational systems and curriculum developments must be judged in historical perspective. Viswanathan's intellectual history of British educational practice in India is both a compelling account of the relationship between power and culture and an indictment of the exploitative tendencies of ruling class interests. [End Page 332]

Riaz Haq said…
“The British Empire lasted far longer, did more damage and in many ways, paved the way for the Nazi’s and their genocidal ideology." Black Professor Unloads On Guest Who Says the British Empire ‘Wasn’t All Bad’ #British #India #Nazism
https://atlantablackstar.com/2020/02/05/video-black-professor-unleashes-flood-of-white-tears-after-on-air-clash-ensues-when-guest-says-the-british-empire-wasnt-all-bad/ via @atlblackstar


A Black British academic ruffled some feathers when he deemed whiteness “a psychosis” and took Britain to task for its oppressive history.

Birmingham City University professor of black studies Dr. Kehinde Andrews made the comments on Sunday during a “Good Morning Britain” panel discussion about the use of “Empire” when referring to Britain and its territories. The talk was prompted by commentary from British Labour Party candidate Lisa Nandy, who argued the “Order of the British Empire” should be changed to the “Order of British Excellence,” per The Guardian.


Andrews was the only Black person on the panel aside from break dancer Jonzi D, who has recently refused to accept an honor designating him as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Andrews made the comment after the white panelists tried to convince him and the other Black panelist that the British Empire “wasn’t all bad.”

“The way we remember this history is so bad, that we actually think we can find comfort in this system which killed tens of millions, probably hundreds of millions of people, rape, murder, torture, famine,” Andrews said.

“Whiteness is a psychosis — you can’t have a reasonable explanation.”

Andrews’ bold statement unleashed a downpour of white tears from co-panelists Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, who accused him of being a racist. Their critiques didn’t deter him.

“Whiteness is not just for white people. There are black people, Asian people, who also purport the psychosis of whiteness,” Andrews continued.

“It’s about the idea,” he added. “It’s about the fact that in the 21st century, 60% of British people believe that empire was a force for good. That’s like saying the Nazis built motorways, so we should celebrate them. It’s literally an irrational view.”

When an obviously incensed Morgan asked Andrews if he was, “comparing the British empire to Nazi Germany” the professor clarified his point.

“You’re right, there is no comparison,” Andrews responded. “The British Empire did far more harm to the world for a far more sustained period of time.”

Reid and Morgan were not the only ones upset by Andrews’ comments. Twitter was flooded with people who missed his point.
Riaz Haq said…
Amartya Sen on what British rule really did for India

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/29/british-empire-india-amartya-sen

It is true that before British rule, India was starting to fall behind other parts of the world – but many of the arguments defending the Raj are based on serious misconceptions about India’s past, imperialism and history itself

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/29/british-empire-india-amartya-sen

To illustrate the relevance of such an “alternative history”, we may consider another case – one with a potential imperial conquest that did not in fact occur. Let’s think about Commodore Matthew Perry of the US navy, who steamed into the bay of Edo in Japan in 1853 with four warships. Now consider the possibility that Perry was not merely making a show of American strength (as was in fact the case), but was instead the advance guard of an American conquest of Japan, establishing a new American empire in the land of the rising sun, rather as Robert Clive did in India. If we were to assess the achievements of the supposed American rule of Japan through the simple device of comparing Japan before that imperial conquest in 1853 with Japan after the American domination ended, whenever that might be, and attribute all the differences to the effects of the American empire, we would miss all the contributions of the Meiji restoration from 1868 onwards, and of other globalising changes that were going on. Japan did not stand still; nor would India have done so.


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I was persuaded that Marx was basically right in his diagnosis of the need for some radical change in India, as its old order was crumbling as a result of not having been a part of the intellectual and economic globalisation that the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution had initiated across the world (along with, alas, colonialism).

There was arguably, however, a serious flaw in Marx’s thesis, in particular in his implicit presumption that the British conquest was the only window on the modern world that could have opened for India. What India needed at the time was more constructive globalisation, but that is not the same thing as imperialism. The distinction is important. Throughout India’s long history, it persistently enjoyed exchanges of ideas as well as of commodities with the outside world. Traders, settlers and scholars moved between India and further east – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and elsewhere – for a great many centuries, beginning more than 2,000 years ago. The far-reaching influence of this movement – especially on language, literature and architecture – can be seen plentifully even today. There were also huge global influences by means of India’s open-frontier attitude in welcoming fugitives from its early days.

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In the powerful indictment of British rule in India that Tagore presented in 1941, he argued that India had gained a great deal from its association with Britain, for example, from “discussions centred upon Shakespeare’s drama and Byron’s poetry and above all … the large-hearted liberalism of 19th-century English politics”. The tragedy, he said, came from the fact that what “was truly best in their own civilisation, the upholding of dignity of human relationships, has no place in the British administration of this country”. Indeed, the British could not have allowed Indian subjects to avail themselves of these freedoms without threatening the empire itself.
Riaz Haq said…
On July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy, commanding a squadron of two steamers and two sailing vessels, sailed into Tôkyô harbor aboard the frigate Susquehanna. Perry, on behalf of the U.S. government, forced Japan to enter into trade with the United States and demanded a treaty permitting trade and the opening of Japanese ports to U.S. merchant ships. This was the era when all Western powers were seeking to open new markets for their manufactured goods abroad, as well as new countries to supply raw materials for industry. It was clear that Commodore Perry could impose his demands by force. The Japanese had no navy with which to defend themselves, and thus they had to agree to the demands.

http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/japan_1750_perry.htm

Perry's small squadron itself was not enough to force the massive changes that then took place in Japan, but the Japanese knew that his ships were just the beginning of Western interest in their islands. Russia, Britain, France, and Holland all followed Perry's example and used their fleets to force Japan to sign treaties that promised regular relations and trade. They did not just threaten Japan — they combination their navies on several occasions to defeat and disarm the Japanese feudal domains that defied them.

Tokugawa Japan into which Perry Sailed

Japan at this time was ruled by the shôgun ("great general") from the Tokugawa family. The Tokugawa shogunate was founded about 250 years earlier, in 1603, when Tokugawa leyasu (his surname is Tokugawa) and his allies defeated an opposing coalition of feudal lords to establish dominance over the many contending warlords. But while Tokugawa became dominant, receiving the title of shôgun from the politically powerless emperor, he did not establish a completely centralized state. Instead, he replaced opposing feudal lords with relatives and allies, who were free to rule within their domains under few restrictions. The Tokugawa shôguns prevented alliances against them by forbidding marriages among the other feudal lords' family members and by forcing them to spend every other year under the shôgun's eye in Edo (now Tôkyô), the shogunal capital — in a kind of organized hostage system.

It was the third shôgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, who enforced isolation from much of the rest of the world in the seventeenth century, believing that influences from abroad (meaning trade, Christianity, and guns) could shift the balance that existed between the shôgun and the feudal lords. He was proven right two centuries later, when change came in the form of Perry's ships.

Japan's Response

Upon seeing Perry's fleet sailing into their harbor, the Japanese called them the "black ships of evil mien (appearance)." Many leaders wanted the foreigners expelled from the country, but in 1854 a treaty was signed between the United States and Japan which allowed trade at two ports. In 1858 another treaty was signed which opened more ports and designated cities in which foreigners could reside. The trade brought much foreign currency into Japan disrupting the Japanese monetary system. Because the ruling shôgun seemed unable to do anything about the problems brought by the foreign trade, some samurai leaders began to demand a change in leadership. The weakness of the Tokugawa shogunate before the Western demand for trade, and the disruption this trade brought, eventually led to the downfall of the Shogunate and the creation of a new centralized government with the emperor as its symbolic head.

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