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Big Era Seven: Closeup Unit 7.5.1

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Resistance to Imperialism in Africa, Asia, and the Americas
1880-1914

Why This Unit?

Traditionally the so-called "new" imperialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been investigated from the perspective of the colonizers: their interests, ideologies, conflicts, and agreements with one another. But an equally important aspect of this contested period is the response of the people that imperial policies affected. While some of the leaders in regions that Europeans, Americans, or Japanese invaded worked with and benefited from the colonizers, most people did not. Peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Americans where imperial assaults occurred used a variety of competing strategies to respond in order to hold on to their traditional values, attempt to negotiate with the strangers, or to resist them forcefully. Some of these approaches worked in the long run, some in the short run or not at all. Most importantly, however, it is false to conclude that hopeless victims simply accepted foreign rule. Rather, a more interesting and historically accurate approach highlights diverse strategies used and analyzes why most of those strategies failed to accomplish their goals.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Understand the key reasons that different colonizers used to justify their conquest and subjugation of territories in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

2. Analyze a number of case studies as to how different Africans, Asians, and Americans responded to imperial conquest.

3. Compare, contrast, and assess the merits of diverse strategies deployed in response to foreign intrusions.

3. Discuss and analyze the immediate and long-term consequences of diverse approaches.

Time and Materials

This unit should take about four class periods.
Materials required: laptop, computer projector, and screen for Lesson 1 only.

Table of Contents

Why this unit?

2

Unit objectives

2

Time and materials

2

Author

3

This unit's Big Question

3

The historical context

3

This unit in the Big Era timeline

4

Lesson 1: Overview of motives for imperial conquests

5

Lesson 2: Responses of Africans, Asians, and Americans: A jigsaw activity

11

Lesson 3: Inner/Outer seminar on the strengths or weaknesses of different strategies of response to foreign invasion

18

Assessment Guide for Teachers

20

This unit and the Three Essential Questions

21

This unit and the Seven Key Themes

21

This unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

22

Resources
22

Correlations to National and State Standards

24

Conceptual links to other lessons

25

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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