Answering Prompts using textbook

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Read the questions assigned below. Then read Chapter 9 in Davis, “The Origins of the Third World.” DO NOT copy a website. Any and all information used in the Issue Essay must be drawn from the specified reading.


Title the essay, “Issue Essay 2.” Rather than the discussion forums that ask you to consider all of the weekly content, the Issue Essays allow you to dig a little deeper on a specific reading. In this case, it is Chapter 9 from Davis. We will use a similar citation format as the DB assignments. They should look like this (Davis, 22). No need for a works cited page or bibliography because we are each using the same text. The length of all issue essay assignments, as stated in the syllabus, is at least two pages double spaced. Answer in complete sentences and use specific examples.

Assignment Prompt:

Mike Davis writes that, “The official line of the British in Victorian England as replicated in every famine commission report and viceregal allocation: millions were killed by extreme weather, not imperialism. Was this true?” Build your essay around this question. Make sure that your thesis statement provides a direct response to that question and you list the reasons why you believe one way or the other. Then, use the body paragraphs to answer the questions below.

1. How did India and China differ from Western Europe in the 1700s? In what ways does this demonstrate the relationship between imperialism and famines?

2. Davis states that, “Three points of articulation with larger socio-economic structures were especially decisive for rural subsistence in the late Victorian ‘proto-third world.’” What were these and why were they significant?

3. Davis argues that economic historians describe the period between 1873 and 1896 as a “Great Recession” that threatened the entire system of world trade. However, “starving Indian and Chinese peasantries were wheeled in as unlikely saviors.” How does Davis support that claim? In other words, how did the British colonies in Asia save the global capitalist system from collapsing during the Great Recession? Use specific examples to support your response.

4. Finally, Davis argues that militarism and the gold standard were significant factors in creating “the third world.” Military expenditures are easy enough to grasp, but what about the gold standard? How did the gold standard disadvantage India and China during this significant period in modern global history?

Book: “The Origins of the Third World” by Mike Davis chapter 9

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