European Imperialism and Racism: European Populations

Figure 1.--This cabinet card portrait was taken by A. Holburn of Bristol which was a major English seaport. The African boy was presumably brought back to England at some time. He perhaps was a dhip's boy or possibly worked as a servant to a wealthy English family. He has been dressed up in an African outfit for the portrait and a plant added for a jungle look. Presumably this was the idea of whoever brought him back. Or the studio might have seen this as a way of selling photographs for scrap books. His African name is written on the back--Katarayui.

Non-European people were a novelty in Europe until the 20th century. Population movement was possible from the earliest point in human esixtence. The spread of early man out of Africa is evidence of this. Man at this point was a hunter-gather. One the agricultural neolithic revolution took place, man became much more sedentary. As late as the 19th century, most people spent their lives within a relatively small sistance of where they were norn. As a result, we see destinct European populations based on ethnicity. While there were many varied ethnic groups in Europe, Asians, Africans, and Native Americans were very rarely seen. The Portugese had rhe largest African populations, but more as mulattos because of the Moorish era and Portugal's long involvement with Africa. As the major maritime powers began to build empires in the 19th century, we begin to see small numbers of other racial groups in Europe. This was most common in the major seaports. We note some African boys taken back to Europe to serve as servants in wealthy families. We do not know how common this was or in what countries it was most common, presumably countries sith the largest empires. Based on photographs ans paintings, it was more common for boys than girls. Eventually we see colonial peoples traveling to the mother country for both educations and to seek better paying jobs. These etnic and religious groups involved are now an important part of the European fabric. The people involved vary from country to country.


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Created: 2:25 AM 5/5/2009
Last updated: 2:25 AM 5/5/2009