Did Empire Matter? Review of Adam McKeown Online Presentation. Tuesday November 8, 2011. 2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern Standard Time LINK: http://mediasite.cidde.pitt.edu/mediasite/Viewer/? peid=830f75a04b794876b5dfda06a4012802 By Guillermo Pineda
Why this question? ¤ Because a large literature of colonialism and migration studies in Southeast Asia focused on the British Empire as the main actor during the 18th and 19th Century. ¤ However, ¤ McKeown hasn’t seen a BIG role of the Empire toward migration trends in Asia and/or in the rest of the globe.
¤ Why? ¤ Less than 10% of Indians or 3% of Chinese were indentured to Europeans. (Great Narrative). ¤ Empire has been hardly a coherent unit in Asia. Specially in regard to India during the 19th and 20th Century.
Migration played a HUGE role reshaping the world
Where to start the “empire” analysis? ¤ INDIA ¤ IN INDIA less than 10% of the migrations were indentured. ¤ 2/3 were Tamil ¤ At least 97% went to the British Empire ¤ 10% indentured in European plantations ¤ Moved through family and village networks
First BIG WOW!
One more similarity!!!
New Conclusions ¤ The British Empire did nothing to override larger economic cycles. ¤ Once a flow is established the market and its processes continued. ¤ The British Empire was in fact a fragment that had lots of fragmentations (local empowerment) that didn’t allowed for them to control the migration flux. ¤ The Empire DID HAVE strong influence only in the destinations (migration via a laissez faire Asia).
One more Conclusion ¤ MIGRATIONS NETWORKS and the INFORMATION it involved was as fundamental then as it is now.
What about other Empires? ¤ Russian and Japanese were the most interventionists. ¤ Qing opened Manchuria to frontier colonization. ¤ U.S.A. excluded Asians from White Settler territories. ¤ Dutch & French relaxed regulations via the chaos of its un-ruling in the territories. ¤ EACH EMPIRE MATTER DIFFERENTLY.