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Cultural Change and Colonialism
Internal and External Sources of
 Equitable Versus Hierarchical Sources
of Change.
The Key Questions
How do societies change due to internal
 How do societies change due to
external factors?
 What is the major sources of change in
the world today?
Internal Source of Change
 Diffusion, or borrowing
 Environmental factors
– Increasing land/people ratios
– Resource depletion
External Factors of Change:
Colonialism defined: the political
subjugation of one people by another.
– Loss of control over economic resources.
– Indigenous populations often become the
bottom rung of the social and economic
– Spread of European political forms,
populations, culture and economics
throughout the world since c. 1500 AD
Reasons for Colonialism
Economic expansion: colonies becamee
sources of cheap labour, raw materials and
markets for European goods.
 Also territories where ‘surplus labour’ from
Europe could settle.
 Economic systems of colonized countries
became linked in a system of ‘surplus’
relations with metropolitan or colonizing
countries. Led to ‘distorted development’,
with profits being siphoned off at each stage
of the chain.
Mechanisms of Insertion into a
Colonial World Economy
Taxation systems.
 Forced labour migration, e.g. slavery
and indentured labour.
 Imposition of money economy and
From Subsistence to Cash Crop
Colonizers viewed subsistence production of
foragers, horticulturalists and pastoralists,
even agriculturalists as primitive.
 Introduction of ‘cash crops’ for the colonies to
pay monetary taxation, e.g. cotton, sugarcane, opium, tea, coffee, sisal, indigo, all
oriented to an external, export market.
Decline in locally based subsistence crops.
– Introduction of plantations; mechanisms to force
peasants to work on plantations including takeover
of wide areas of lands.
– Suppressing peasant farming.
A Contemporary Example: Debt
and The Drug Trade in Peru
Peru in debt to the World Bank and IMF, institutions set up in 1948 to
help countries over balance of payments difficulties, due to recession.
Forced to take a Structural Adjustment Loan in 1991. Goal of SAP was
– to promote an environment conducive to foreign direct investment.
– Tight fiscal and monetary policies: i.e. raising interest rates and
decreasing the money supply, also cutting back on government
spending, especially health and education.
– Removing all tariffs and quotas against foreign consumer goods.
(Although this is not the case with developed countries).
– Devaluing the currency
Effects of the SAP
Devaluation and trade liberalisation instituted immediately.
Rapid and steep rises in prices of imported goods, such as
kerosene and drugs.
Severe cutbacks in health and education:
Public health infrastructure in rural regions completely
Health consequences: child malnutrition, tuberculosis and
meningitis increases.
Cholera epidemic: from 1500 reported cases before August
1990 to 200,000 cases 6 months later.
Cholera a water-borne disease and people couldn’t afford
to boil their drinking water any longer.
Rural economy, land laws and the narco economy.