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- During the Enlightenment, several new concepts were catapulted into the public consciousness. Enlightenment thinking introduced the idea of social equality, challenged the dominance of the church and religion, and championed moves towards self-determination and more democratic rule (not necessarily democracy as we know it today, but a more democratic system than the existing authoritarian rule). Yet, during this time, large swathes of the globe continued to be placed under colonial rule. European powers sent colonisers to the ‘New World’ with a mind to take control of lands and, through an assimilationist approach, ‘civilise’ those countries’ people.
- Using what you know, how would you prove or disprove the following statement: ‘The tenets of the Enlightenment sit at odds with the concept of colonial rule and the French notion of the mission civilisatrice ’?
- Using a tool such as Google Maps, Google Earth or Apple Maps, compare a map created by an explorer in the 18th century to a satellite map from modern times. How accurate are the 18th century maps? Use an overlay tool like Photoshop to compare regions.
- Conduct your own research to compare the British colonial approach to that of Spain, Portugal or France in places like Mexico, Brazil and Africa. What evidence can you find that may indicate that the colonial history of Australia would have unfolded differently had Cook not claimed sovereignty?