The Great Global Acceleration of 1890-1914: Eça de Queirós, Imperialist Power and the Far East


This research analyzes the Far-Eastern scripture of the Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós (1845-1900), one of the controversial and acclaimed writers of Portugal (and Europe) in the nineteenth century, whose vast work Peter Gay applauded and Harold Bloom integrated into the Western canon. In our work, we detail his critique of industrial capitalism and the Eurocentric position of imperialism in Asia as an exercise of power. In his journalistic activities he showed to the reader the asymmetry of the industrial division of labor that divided the world between aggressive technology producers and the rich and complex cultures holders like China, but without powerful industries and international finance system. In his writings, the otherness is mediated with cultural diversity anticipating multiculturalism, positioning the Far East as a producer of cultural matrices and essential paradigms to the West. As a diplomat of his country, defended uncompromising way the rights of Chinese immigrants, outbound Macao, then Portuguese colony, worked on the Spanish island of Cuba, producing sugar. Our theoretical framework employs Edward Said's concepts to a reading of the East; Sebastian Conrad with the construction of a comparative history, through transfers and transnational interactions; and the notion of the modern world of CA Bayly, mediating imperialist power and the depredations of people and nature of imperialism of time preparing the great acceleration of 1890-1914 as a confrontation of powers.

Author Information
Jose Mauricio Saldanha-Alvarez, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Humanities - History

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon