African colonization essay

The slave trade numbers increased dramatically as Europeans bought slaves to work on their plantations in North, South, and Middle America. Great Britain eventually outlawed slave trade in Africa in , and then outlawed the act of slavery in Their ships patrolled the African coast watching for slave ships as the European interest in Africa grew. Another long-term result of European colonization of Africa came from the missionary work completed in the colonies there.

The Scramble For Africa

Protestant and Catholic missionaries built hospitals and provided medical care, educated native African at mission schools, and translated the bible into African languages in order to allow Africans access to Christianity. European colonization also resulted in an uneven distribution of wealth among African people. Because European colonies were mainly located on the coast, the coastal forest natives gained wealth and power far superior to the people of the inland savanna.

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One other notable result of European colonization came from the different type of government introduced to African natives. European style government was very different, and sometimes even contrary, to the traditional direct access culture the Africans were accustomed to.


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Settlers here began to move inward cultivating plantations and using Asian slaves for labor. Dutch planters had an advantage in South Africa because the weather there was milder. There were also less risks of disease for European settlers, and the area was less populated by natives. The long term effect of European colonization in the South was significant because it resulted in centuries of white rule and separation of the races. South Africa was the last country in Africa to throw off white rule Healy, We see the effects of European colonization of Africa even today. Scholars feel that Africa has struggled and failed to develop compared to other parts of the world because of the psychological effects of European colonization.

Despite efforts locally and internationally, Africa is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. They make a comparison between Africa and Asia which are the two poorest world economies. Both of these areas were colonized but Asia is pulling ahead and developing quickly to compete with developed nations. Africa on the other hand, is still struggling. Economists feel that the way Africa was colonized plays a part in its ability to advance in development. Africans experienced a very different sort of colonization.

Colonialism in Africa Essay example

In Africa, the native governing systems and sense of culture were destroyed during colonization. To make matters worse, the idea that blacks were inferior to whites was pushed so strongly that blacks began to suffer from an inferiority complex that is evident even today Abdulai, On the whole, European colonization of Africa did more damage than good. Abdulai, J. Psychological Effects of Colonization Haunt Africa. Scramble for Africa. Retrieved January 18, , from en.

Advances in communication and transportation, notably railroads, also became important tools for consolidating foreign rule over extensive territories. And along with the enormous technical superiority and the colonizing experience itself came important psychological instruments of minority rule by foreigners: racism and arrogance on the part of the colonizers and a resulting spirit of inferiority among the colonized. Naturally, the above description and summary telescope events that transpired over many decades and the incidence of the changes varied from territory to territory and from time to time, influenced by the special conditions in each area, by what took place in the process of conquest, by the circumstances at the time when economic exploitation of the possessions became desirable and feasible, and by the varying political considerations of the several occupying powers.

Moreover, it should be emphasized that expansion policies and practices, while far from haphazard, were rarely the result of long-range and integrated planning. The drive for expansion was persistent, as were the pressures to get the greatest advantage possible out of the resulting opportunities.


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  6. But the expansions arose in the midst of intense rivalry among major powers that were concerned with the distribution of power on the continent of Europe itself as well as with ownership of overseas territories. Thus, the issues of national power, national wealth, and military strength shifted more and more to the world stage as commerce and territorial acquisitions spread over larger segments of the globe. In fact, colonies were themselves often levers of military power—sources of military supplies and of military manpower and bases for navies and merchant marines.

    Stages of history rarely, if ever, come in neat packages: the roots of new historical periods begin to form in earlier eras, while many aspects of an older phase linger on and help shape the new. Nonetheless, there was a convergence of developments in the early s, which, despite many qualifications, delineates a new stage in European expansionism and especially in that of the most successful empire builder, Great Britain. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, France lost nearly all of its colonial empire, while Britain became, except for Spain , the largest colonial power in the world.

    In addition, the new commanding position on the seas provided an opportunity for Great Britain to probe for additional markets in Asia and Africa and to try to break the Spanish trade monopoly in South America. During this period, the scope of British world interests broadened dramatically to cover the South Pacific, the Far East, the South Atlantic, and the coast of Africa.

    The initial aim of this outburst of maritime activity was not so much the acquisition of extensive fresh territory as the attainment of a far-flung network of trading posts and maritime bases. The latter, it was hoped, would serve the interdependent aims of widening foreign commerce and controlling ocean shipping routes. But in the long run many of these initial bases turned out to be steppingstones to future territorial conquests.

    Because the indigenous populations did not always take kindly to foreign incursions into their homelands, even when the foreigners limited themselves to small enclaves, penetration of interiors was often necessary to secure base areas against attack. Western colonialism. Morel believed the Belgian system that eliminated traditional, commercial markets in favor of pure exploitation was the root cause of the injustice in the Congo. Leopold positioned himself as proprietor of an area totaling nearly one million square miles, which was home to nearly 20 million Africans.

    After establishing dominance in the Congo Basin, Leopold extracted large quantities of ivory , rubber , and other natural resources. It has been estimated that Leopold made 1. Soldiers demanded unrealistic quantities of rubber be collected by African villagers, and when these goals were not met, the soldiers held women hostage, beat or killed the men, and burned crops. All of this was done at very little monetary cost to Belgium. Crawford Young observed, "[the Belgian companies] brought little capital — a mere pounds The system of government implemented in the Congo by Belgium was authoritarian and oppressive.

    European expansion since 1763

    Multiple scholars view the roots of authoritarianism under Mobutu as the result of colonial practices. Systems of colonial rule can be broken into the binary classifications of direct and indirect rule. During the era of colonisation, Europeans were faced with the monumental task of administrating the vast colonial territories around the globe. The initial solution to this problem was direct rule, [10] which involves the establishment of a centralized European authority within a territory run by colonial officials.

    In a system of direct rule, the native population is excluded from all but the lowest level of the colonial government.


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    In certain cases, as in India , the colonial power directed all decisions related to foreign policy and defense, while the indigenous population controlled most aspects of internal administration. These chiefs were either drawn from the existing social hierarchy or were newly minted by the colonial authority.

    European Colonization on Africa essays

    Rather than following the rule of law , local chiefs enjoyed judicial, legislative, executive, and administrative power in addition to legal arbitrariness. In systems of direct rule, Europeans colonial officials oversaw all aspects of governance, while natives were placed in an entirely subordinate role. Unlike indirect rule, the colonial government did not convey orders through local elites, but rather oversaw administration directly. European laws and customs were imported to supplant traditional power structures.

    There are not two authorities in the cercle , the French authority and the native authority; there is only one. There were even instances where people under direct colonial rule secretly elected a real chief in order to retain traditional rights and customs. Direct rule deliberately removed traditional power structures in order to implement uniformity across a region. The desire for regional homogeneity was the driving force behind the French colonial doctrine of Assimilation.

    For the French colonies, this meant the enforcement of the French penal code, the right to send a representative to parliament , and imposition of tariff laws as a form of economic assimilation. Requiring natives to assimilate in these and other ways, created an ubiquitous, European-style identity that made no attempt to protect native identities. Both direct and indirect rule have persistent, long term effects on the success of former colonies. Lakshmi Iyer, of Harvard Business School , conducted research to determine the impact type of rule can have on a region, looking at postcolonial India, where both systems were present under British rule.

    Iyer's findings suggests that regions which had previously been ruled indirectly were generally better-governed and more capable of establishing effective institutions than areas under direct British rule. In the modern postcolonial period, areas formerly ruled directly by the British perform worse economically and have significantly less access to various public goods , such as health care , public infrastructure , and education.

    In his book Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Colonialism , Mamdani claims the two types of rule were each sides of the same coin. Instead, European powers divided regions along urban-rural lines and instituted separate systems of government in each area.

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