Readings

Chanda Ch. 6 Reading Guide

Read Chanda, Ch. 6

  1. How did Hong Kong come to be part of the British Empire ?What happened in 1997? What were some of the concerns about Hong Kong’s future?
  2. On p.177 Chanda talks about Pax Americana: what does that mean?
  3. What are some of the justifications states have offered to dominate other nations? Be sure to think about some of the American rhetoric on this theme.
  4. Explain the phrase “white man’s burden.” What are some similar phrases? Who used that phrase first—has its use changed?
  5. Explain the relationship of America’s mission of “saving the world from totalitarianism” to “white man’s burden.”
  6. What does Chanda mean by “claims to universalism?” Can you name some?
  7. On p.183 Chanda says “the warfare of the first imperialist ruler, Sargon of Akkad…was driven by a search for booty and tribute.” Figure out who Sargon of Akkad was (great cocktail conversation starter.) Did the motivation for modern imperialism change? Give some examples.
  8. Chanda attributes the development of the Spanish and British empires to greed and envy. Do you agree? Why?
  9. Why does Chanda characterize empires as history’s most effective genetic blender? Give some examples.
  10. What is reverse migration in empires? Can you think of some examples?
  11. How does Lord Maccaulay’s quote on the bottom of p.193 “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern: a class of person, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect” fit with what you learned from reading Lewis? What kinds of problems might such an interpreter have?
  12. What does Braudel’s “space, the enemy number one” (206) mean in an imperial context?