The era of imperialism was, at its core, a great, ironic contradiction. The allegedly enlightened Europeans were behaving in barbaric fashion, while the supposed “barbarians” of China, Africa, and India were protesting in a very enlightened fashion. In this activity, students will create a grid that compares points of view between imperialist Europeans and the inhabitants of the lands they wished to colonize. This activity should be focused on discovering and using primary source documents, and the grid should include POV statements from China, Africa, and India.
The storyboard above uses the following comparisons:
One way to extend this activity is to ask students to use their research to write a one-page response paper or create a traditional storyboard that addresses the following question:
“What does the development of imperialism say about how deeply the Enlightenment actually had an impact on European policy making?”
Grade Level 9-10
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual or GroupCommon Core Standards
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Create a storyboard that compares the views of imperialists and the indigenous people they colonized.
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