Parts of South, Southeast & East Asia 1850–1900

This map shows the degree to which areas in India, China, and South East Asia were affected by various cultural forces, including long-standing imperial traditions of their own (as in China and India, especially) along with new incursions from European imperial powers, such as Britain and France. In areas of southern China, for example, both British and French empires exerted their influence. The European presence across Asia often produced an odd cultural mix, and many writers were left to puzzle over how they could relate to new European ideas and to their native traditions. And while in some cases the mixing of East and West might have produced interesting new artistic possibilities, if not unusual photo opportunities (1b), the imposition of Western culture and religion onto other cultures had dramatically negative effects. Often, native citizens immediately became second-class citizens in their own homes.