Historically, this term can be seen as mentioned in Edward W. Said's book, "Orientalism", published in 1978. The book gives an account about the concept, the division between the West and the East in terms of culture and how it has occurred, and the specific identities that come out of it. Said argues that Orientalism was created because of politics, in terms of the fact that the European West viewed themselves as stronger and more powerful than the people of the East. This most likely was due to the vast colonialism and expansion that Europe went through, by overthrowing the leaders of several countries in the East. Said states, "...from 1815 to 1914 European direct colonial dominion expanded from about 35 percent of the Earth's surface to about 85 percent of it" (Said, 41).
Excerpts from Edward W. Said's book, "Orientalism", can be found here.