Journal of World History, vol. 9, no. 1 (1998)


The Silent Frontier of South Asia, c. A.D. 1100-1800
Jos Gommans, pp. 1-23
This article aims to situate medieval South Asia in the broader taxonomy of frontier types and to identify it as a region that was neither wholly sedentary nor wholly pastoral, but rather a place where internal frontier zones existed between these two ecological types. From the twelfth century onward, these zones were invigorated by the growing resources of mobile warriors, pastoralists, and merchants. Hence, state-building increasingly hinged on spanning the divide between arid jungle and humid arable land.

The Link That Kept the Philippines Spanish: Mexican Merchant Interests and the Manila Trade, 1571-1815
Katharine Bjork, pp. 25-50
World systems analyses of early modern trade have tended to relegate Latin America to a passive and peripheral role: producing the silver that fueled the growing trade between Asia and Europe. This article takes another look at the importance of silver in Pacific commercial networks linking Asia with the Americas, arguing that the interests of Mexican officials and merchants played a crucial role in sustaining the Philippines as Spain’s only colony in Asia.

The “Civilizing” of Indigenous People in Nineteenth-Century Canada
Mark Francis, pp. 51-87
This article explores the nineteenth-century concept of “civilization” that was used to direct policies toward indigenous peoples in Canada. In Canada attitudes toward native people were shaped by the construction of a theory of “civilization” as material culture, which was seen as independent from, and superior to, other aspects of culture. This article analyzes Victorian concepts of “civilization” as represented in the writings of John Stuart Mill, E. B. Tylor, John Lubbock, Daniel Wilson, and missionaries. It then traces the ideas of Canadian officials and politicians concerned with Indian administration to show how these ideas reflected similar notions. Official language is seen to have formed part of a general Victorian discourse of “civilization” that excluded Indians from both self-governance and participation in the European community.

The Imperialism of Cultural Assimilation: Sir George Grey’s Encounter with the Maori and the Xhosa, 1845-1868
James Gump, pp. 89-106
A governor in New Zealand (1845-53 and 1861-68) and in South Africa (1854-61), Sir George Grey was recognized by his contemporaries as one of the most successful colonial administrators in the British empire. Grey’s reputation rested in large part on his celebrated “native policy,” which he characterized as a program of “amalgamation.” This article examines the implementation of Grey’s amalgamation strategy between 1845 and 1868 and evaluates its effects. The immediate legacy was the advent of a spirited resistance, a cultural rejection of colonial domination by the Xhosa and the Maori. At the same time, Grey’s policies helped pave the way for white supremacy in South Africa as well as the alienation of millions of acres of Maori land in New Zealand.


Materialistically Yours: The Dynamic Society of Graeme Snooks
Andre Gunder Frank, pp. 107-115
Graeme Snook’s new book is a veritable tour de force beginning with the origin of the universe 15 billion years ago and the emergence of life on Earth 4 billion years ago. It analyzes the biosocial or sociobiological ascent of humankind and human society over 2 million years and the rise and development of civilization over the past 10,000 years. The author offers a novel interpretation of the causes of the industrial revolution 200 years ago, and he stresses the demographic revolution of the past 50 years. The motor force of this long and still ongoing process, the author is at pains to demonstrate, is economic–or more precisely materialist–competition to use scarce resources for survival. The political payoff from all this and more is the author’s recommendation to face the future global ecological crisis by developing a new technological paradigm rather than by giving in to Club-of-Rome-type ecological limits to growth, the existence of which the author denies.

pp. 117-134
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