AT&D #29. Empires and Modernity

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“After all, this is a world history that places empire at the heart of modernity and violence at the heart of empire building, two points that seem particularly apposite at this moment in global politics.” How does “empire” relate to your view of modernity?

Empire seems to relate to modernity in that it is one of many political concepts (such as kingdoms, countries) that instills common customs within its people. In other words, when multiple regions happen to be reigned by a unified power, the natural goal tends to be bringing about a stabilized system of currency, defense, technology, and even tiers of economic/social classes. These components strengthen and forward the lifestyles of the people affected for the better or for the worse. Take the British Empire, for example; they controlled a wide range of lands around the globe and yet they subjected all their colonies to adapting the English language, its religions, its education systems, etc.

Since Britain itself had been engaged through a period of industrialization, they would bring their advancements abroad to strengthen their possessions. Because those colonized did not yet have the advancements that the Europeans had, they would benefit greatly upon being part of an empire. Thus, when it comes to empires, modernity is essentially the centerpiece. My paper in particular would stress the aftermath of how modernity affects these societies and cultures under the tutelage of an imperial power. The aftermath in this case would be a direct cause of instilling this modernity (which would impact revolutionist thought and eventually independence).

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