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1. America’s Colonial Origins
The Second World War accelerated the process of decolonialization but left the former colonies with basic structural problems that were a result of colonialism, such as insufficient societal integration, artificial boundaries, and narrowly based economies.
How did European observers move from the denial to the discovery of indigenous religions in colonial situations? Although that question has to be investigated through detailed attention to historical conditions in specific regions, a general answer can be suggested by the experience of the Xhosa in the eastern Cape of southern Africa. According to the reports of every European commentator, the Xhosa lacked any trace of religion until 1858, when they were placed under a colonial administrative system—the magisterial system—that had been designed by the Cape governor, Sir George Grey, for the military containment, surveillance, and taxation of indigenous people in the eastern Cape. Following his researches on indigenous traditions in Australia and New Zealand, Grey was both a professional colonial administrator and an amateur scholar of religion. It was the new context of colonial containment, however, that inspired the magistrate J. C. Warner to be the first to use the term religion for Xhosa beliefs and practices. Insisting that the Xhosa had a religious system, Warner worked out a kind of proto-functionalist analysis by determining that Xhosa religion was a religion because it fulfilled the functional "purposes" of providing psychological security and social stability. Although Warner hoped that the Xhosa religion would ultimately be destroyed by military conquest and Christian conversion, he concluded that in the meantime their indigenous religious system could function to keep them in their place just like the colonial magisterial system.
In Colonial America, colleges were mainly founded by the wealthy.
In his relations with South Africa, for example, Müller was engaged in a complex process of intercultural mediation in order to transform raw religious materials into theory. First, Africans on the colonized periphery were drawn into this process as informants—often as collaborators, sometimes as authors—as they reported on religious innovations, arguments, and contradictions in colonial contexts. The Zulu informant Mpengula Mbande, for example, reported arguments about uNkulunkulu, tracking African disagreements about whether he was the first ancestor of a particular political grouping, the first ancestor of all people, or the supreme god who created all human beings.
Second, local European "experts" on the colonized periphery synthesized these religious conflicts and contradictions into a "religious system." Relying heavily on Mbande's local fieldwork, the Anglican missionary Henry Callaway became the leading authority in the world on Zulu religion, and, by extension, on "savage" religion in general, by publishing his classic text, The Religious System of the Amazulu (1868–1870). Like other "men on the spot" in colonized peripheries, Callaway corresponded with the metropolitan theorists in London.
Religion in Colonial American Literature | LetterPile
In addition to asserting that the Founders were deists, these authors regularly contend that they abandoned their ancestors’ intolerant approach to church–state relations and embraced religious liberty. They often concede that some Founders thought civic authorities should support religion but argue that this is irrelevant as Jefferson’s and Madison’s conviction that there should be a high wall of separation between church and state was written into the Constitution and reinforced by the First Amendment. As we shall see, there are significant problems with this story.
Bowser, Frederick P. “The African Experience in Colonial Spanish America: Reflections on Research Achievements and Priorities.” Latin American Historical Review 7.1 (Spring 1972): 77–94.
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Religion in colonial america essays
Modern colonial expansion and colonization (when few European settlers appeared in the Muslim world) started in the wake of the breakdown of Muslim empires, from within the boundaries of the territorial European states established in the eighteenth century into the borders of national markets. Hence, colonialism did not expand beyond traditional and primitive societies but into closed political entities, such as the territorial princely states or successor states, which had replaced the great empires. By the eighteenth century the world economy was already reorganized, and European expansion had gradually changed the terms of trade for Muslim countries. A tremendous societal upheaval occurred as parts of the traditional society were increasingly integrated into world market relations. This complex process came about primarily through technical innovation (e.g., perennial irrigation systems), investment of capital, and privatization of landed property (e.g., the 1793 permanent settlement in India). Next to the traditional urban and agrarian sectors, colonial urban and agrarian sectors were established, using a colonial infrastructure. The previously important nomadic sector was noticeably marginalized. A colonial administrative and military force was set up, visualized in new settlements, such as civil lines and cantonments. The education system was replaced or paralleled by a new European one suiting colonial interests.
Essay on Colonial America– Essay writing and typing …
Modern colonialism goes back to the era of European discovery in the fifteenth century, connecting exploitation of raw materials with missionary ideas. Since then colonialism has taken several and different forms, and various colonial powers (such as the Portuguese and French in Africa, French and British in the Middle East and South Asia, the Dutch in Southeast Asia, the Spanish in South America) tried to support their own hegemonies in Europe as well as competing and contesting materially and politically in order to control the new world economy.
Religion and Democracy in Colonial America Essay - …
In doing so two broad patterns were followed: direct rule, virtually excluding indigenous political structures, as favored by the Spanish and Portuguese in the Americas, and by the French in Africa (especially after the French Revolution); and indirect rule, which by contrast, incorporated traditional indigenous political structures and was favored by the British in South Asia, the Dutch in Southeast Asia, and by the Germans and Belgians in Africa. The reasons for these differences were pragmatic—the cost-effectiveness through the involvement of few Europeans—as well as ethnocentric, wherein non-whites and whites were considered fundamentally different, and therefore were controllable only by their own leaders and systems. Often corporate bodies of merchants initiated a system of indirect rule, such as the various East Indian Companies. In this way vast colonies could be ruled remotely through the "resident," the agent of indirect rule.
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