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Unit 4: Nationalism, Industrialism, and Imperialism

Lesson B: Resistance to European Rule in India and SE Asia

Activity 2: Examining Perspective - The Lion and the Tiger

In the last activity, you learned about the events that led to the creation of British India. Depending on one's perspective, the creation of British India was either a positive thing or a negative thing.

One of the tools of thinking like a historian is the ability to consider how different groups of people see different events - perspective.

In the following activity, you will examine some images and decide how people with different perspectives might see and interpret each image. Let us look at the first image together.

The following image was published in a magazine right after the Sepoy Mutiny/Great Rebellion. In response to this event, Great Britain arrested and executed many natives of India (Indians). In addition, many areas of India rebelled against British rule. The British government suppressed, or put down, the rebellions. During this time, both the Sepoys and the British attacked villages and killed women and children.

Directions: Examine each image from the perspective of a British supporter of imperialism and also from the perspective of an Indian who does not support imperialism.

Now let us consider two different groups of people might respond to this image.

If a British person who supported imperialism looked at this image, the person might respond by thinking that the lion - Great Britain - is justified in attacking the tiger. This person might also see the lion as protecting British women from further attack. From the British perspective, the lion is the hero and the tiger is the real threat.

In contrast, if an Indian who did not support imperialism viewed this image, they might view the tiger as defending India. From the Indian perspective, the lion is the aggressor and the tiger is the hero.