Week 13 – Themes

This week there were major themes of industrialization, utopian modernism and migration. During the 20th century, there were major changes in population growth, energy use, economic growth, cheap healthy food and clean accessible water. The US society saw a rapid increase in economy and society in the 20th century, due to industrialization and urbanization. Population growth was fueled by urbanization which was ultimately fueled by economic growth and that growth was fueled by industrialization of American society. The US saw new sources of energy usage, through biomass, crude wind and water, steam, high pressure steam and the internal combustion engine. These sources of energy helped fuel industrialization and economic growth in the 20th century. Cheap healthy food and clean accessible water helped lead to economic growth and urbanization; as well as was caused by the transformation of world agriculture, artificial fertilizers and ground water. After colonialism, rates of urbanization outpaced ecumenic growth and planner’s ability to plan cities that were rapidly becoming crowded due to urbanization. The patterns of urban growth reflect larger forces of the 20th century, like industrialization, decolonization, utopian modernism and migration.

From this weeks’ reading, ‘Planet of Slums’ by Mike Davis, he  stated that in 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population of more than 1 million, where today there are 400 and by 2015 there will be at least 550. This was a drastic increase since 1950 and I think today, there are more than 550 cities with populations of more than 1 million. This increase since 1950 was fueled by urbanization and I think this is still the case in the world today.

Week 12 Response

I do not have adequate information about my family’s heritage, because I only know what my mom has told me and I have never taken a DNA test. But what my mom has told me, was that I have Irish, Cherokee Native, and African American in my blood. So from this information, my knowledge about my ancestors migration is not too great. However, my immediate family of seven and I have moved around the United States several times. I was born in Cleveland, OH then moved to Phoenix, AZ after I finished kindergarten, where we lived from when I was in first grade to third grade. After I finished third grade we moved to Ringgold, GA where we lived for three years then moved to Atlanta, GA where we lived for three more years. After I finished my freshman year of high school, we moved back home to Cleveland, OH where we all currently live except my oldest sister who still resides in Atlanta.

I’m not sure that my migration story relates to any developments in the 19th or 20th centuries. But if any development is similar, I think it would be  westward expansion. I think so because my family and I moved out West, it was only for three years but we still expanded our knowledge and got to experience life in the Western US. We did not move there to attain land, but one of the houses we lived in there had many acres of desert behind our backyard so I can see why the US wanted to expand to the west.

Middle East

Nationalism and the desire for independence among most inhabitants of the Middle East were common themes seen this week. Many nations have controlled parts of the Middle East for centuries, so the desire for independence has long been wanted and needed. The Middle East has been controlled by other nations for centuries up until recently in the 20th century. Europeans used the Middle East for trade posts, because it was in the middle of Europe and Asia so it served as a midway point between the two continents and it is surrounded by water which makes traveling and trading by sea easily accessible. Then when Europe began focusing on trading with the West, the Middle East’s economy declined which brought more resentment towards Europe and fueled their desire to become independent.

From the Stewart reading, “the post-Ottoman borders and installing a system of external control by European governments, the peace-makers at Versailles often failed to acknowledge the wishes and desires of the local population.” This shows that European powers never cared about the inhabitants of the Middle East and gives us one reason why they wanted independence and praised nationalism. People from the Middle East had no reason to admire or like European culture, religion, or government when Middle Easterners weren’t being treated fairly and given equal rights. So why would they not want to praise nationalism and keep their native culture and religion, and want to change the inequalities and abuse they were facing. From the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, “The Palestinian people was never separated from or diminished in its integral bonds with Palestine. Thus the Palestinian Arab people ensured for itself an everlasting union between itself, its land and its history.” Throughout the history of the Middle East, it endured many rulers, much division, many inequalities and many other negative effects. Through them all, Middle Easterners,  Palestinians specifically never let Europeans take away their pride and dignity. As nationalism grew in other Middle Eastern nations, it was always present in Palestine. 


Week 10 – Regional Focus (South Asia)

From this past week, there was emphasis on South Asian countries, mainly India after WWI- where there were major themes of anti-colonialism and traditionalism. Anti-colonialism, led to many revolts and the dislike of colonial rulers. One of these revolts was the Sepoy Mutiny of 1856, when Indian troops found out that the British were using animal fat for a certain part of their guns that had to be bitten off. It is against Hindu’s religious beliefs to touch, let alone ingest the animal fat that was used in their guns, so this was seen as disrespectful/offensive to their religion. Their dislike grew of the British and they wanted to stop this offense from continuing to happen so this fueled their rebellion. This rebellion led to the failure of liberalism and caused a rule change, where India returned to traditionalism, buttressed by scientific discourse.

Mahatma Gandhi was an anti-colonial nationalist who fueled Indian’s desire to become an independent, religious and anti-modern nation. For India to be a religious nation, they had to have a traditionalism style of rule. Through this traditional style emerged a socialism style that was very similar and focused of the people’s needs and desires.   From the reading,  India at 70 and the Passing of Another Illusion, “Gandhi had intimately experienced how Western imperialists and capitalists blended economic inequalities with racial hierarchies, entrenching, as Du Bois wrote, “a new industrial slavery of black and brown and yellow workers in Africa and Asia.”” Gandhi witnessed these racial hierarchies in India and knew that they were unfair and unequal so he wanted to change them. Similar to the Sepoy Mutiny, Gandhi disliked British rule and instead of a physical rebellion he led many peaceful protests and movements. These movements did not instantly cause change but they helped that change occur and eventually led to an independent Indian nation.


Group 4: Antuoine, Charlie, Robby, Gordon & Aidan

One essential concept for understanding the 20th-21st century is, colonialism.

Colonialism- Western/industrialized powers like the US, occupying another nation for foreign control of the nation for the purposes of influence, economic and geo-political gain, resources and other benefits


  • resources extracted from  countries fueled the industrial revolution
  • created a legacy of transculturalization
  • left many colonized nations/cultures damaging effects


Compare and contrast extraction-based colonialism and settler-based colonialism. Why are some former-colonalized nations better off than others?

Regional Focus (Latin America)

From the lectures from Monday and Wednesday, Latin American countries shared a common theme of colonialism and transculturation. It was mentioned that legacies of colonialism included economic, political and social aspects that set the stage for the entrenched structural inequalities.  There was a political image shown on Wednesday that showed like four or five little kids, portrayed as various Latin American countries, crying and climbing on their father, portrayed as the US. This showed that these structural inequalities led other countries, specifically the United States to see Latin American countries as infants and inferior to them. This also caused high income inequalities in Latin America where most of the leaders and people part of the ruling government were way better off than the rest of their citizens, who lived in poverty and unequal conditions. It was also mentioned that transculturation was the dialectic exchange of culture, mutually influencing encounters even within a highly unequal power structure to create something new and uniquely Latin American. Mutually influencing encounters like the Mexican revolution preceded and lead to other revolutions around Latin America. These revolutions were caused by the American support for dictatorships, which caused many of the problems Latin Americans faced because of their unfair rulers. The US looked down upon Latin American countries and supported dictatorship, which were negative effects and views of colonialism and caused transculturation.