The Voyage In: Third World Intellectuals and Metropolitan Cultures
All through nineteenth-century European culture, and principally in Britain and France, there is massive evidence of an imperial attitude toward the world. Most historians of imperialism, however, begin the age of empire, as Eric Hobsbawm has recently called it, during the 1870s when the scramble for Africa made an unrestrained competition for imperial territories the very sign of the entire age. Whichever view of imperialism one wishes to accept (I myself incline towards the former view), there is by now a good deal of information that native responses to the presence in such places as Africa, India, Malaysia, the Caribbean, and South America of European settlers, traders, missionaries, administrators and soldiers stimulated a whole series of resistance to that outside presence from the very beginning. By the twentieth century, at a time when, it has been estimated, the Western powers had begun to accumulate about 240 000 square miles of overseas territory per year, an entire culture of resistance — widespread, heterogeneous, always increasing in power and scope — gathered force.
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