How did European Colonialism affect Kenya?


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“The sun never sets on the British Empire,” Great Britain often bragged. By 1914, about 85% of the earth’s surface was colonized by Europe. Between 1884 and 1885, The Berlin Conference took place to carve up the African continent (Background Essay). Europeans saw high potential in Africa and thought the continent was empty, even though it was not. It was roughly “untouched” and they thought they could do anything they wanted (Doc.1). Great Britain’s colonization in Kenya affected the country’s religion and culture, education, and government.
European colonization in Kenya had a large impact on Africa’s religion and culture. Africa had over 100 ethnic groups in which were effected from the colonization. (Doc.2). The Europeans believed that Africans did not have a developed religion and believed in bizarre thing such as witchcraft (Doc.6). But, in the Abaluyia Story of Creation, it told how the world and man was created, which was really like the European religion of Christianity in which Adam and Eve was made in a similar way. This proved that they indeed did have an organized religion (Doc.7). In 1962, 80% of Kenyans believed in the indigenous beliefs, but after in 2002, only 26% of the population believed in the indigenous beliefs. Because Europeans believed in Christianity, Protestant beliefs went from 7% in 1962 to 38% in 2002, and Catholic beliefs went from 3.5% to 28% (Doc. 8). Europeans felt they gave Africans the Christian religion, a “superior” form of government, and a more developed civilization (Background Essay). The colonization in Kenya changed their culture also. Kenyans changed their clothing. Leaders of Kenya including the first president Jomo Kenyatta wore clothing very similar to the clothing of the Europeans (Doc.5). This made people feel that their clothing was not in fashion and they had to follow the way of the Europeans. This decreased the amount of people wearing their regular clothing and the amount of people following their own culture. Kenya’s religion and culture truly converted, because of European colonization.
European colonization had an impact on the government of Africa. One day, a white man came to the African council and told them that they now had a king. The King of Europe was now their king and Africa was his land. A new council was made in the town of Nairobi, in which acted for their King and was Africa’s government. The council made laws for the Africans to follow (Doc.

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3). This transformed their life, because now they had to follow the rules of a European and not from their original council, who knew what has best. Some Africans liked colonization. People work closely with Europeans to receive privileges. People were glad, because it liberated them from slavery and rule from other ethnic or religious groups. It also eliminated human sacrifice and deadly warfare. It gave Africans with modern skills to rise socially and economically despite of previous low social status (Doc. 4). Because people were glad and colonization ended many terrible things, it also changed the government. In 1958, the government gave up the idea as “white man’s country” and started preparing for African majority rule, even though the British won the war (Background Essay). The way of the African government beyond doubt was modified, because of colonialism.
A Kenyan’s education was affected by the colonization of Europeans. Missionaries in Kenya were devoted to their work of teaching. Most of them treated everyone equal. School seemed like a paradise to children, because everyone could go and work together, not worrying about your race or skin color. Children brought out their good qualities and worked for the good name of the school. But, some people including a principal at a school knew that the best people were the white men (Doc.9). This made Africans feel poorly when they knew they were thought of inferior people compared to the whites. In Kenya, there were also different requirements of education for students. For Europeans in Kenya, children from the ages seven to fifteen, school was required. They had 57 schools for 9,000 students. Over 33% received secondary-education. The government spent 750,000 pounds for the Europeans, making them pay about 83 pounds per child. For Africans, school was not required. They had 3,442 schools for 395,000 students. Only 1% received secondary-education. The government spent 1,500,000 pounds for the African, making then pay about 4 pounds per child (Doc.10). Because of the different requirements of education and different amount of money spent of education for students, Africans were expected to fulfill different jobs than Europeans. Education in Kenya was altered, because of European colonization.
Kenya’s beliefs and customs, education, and government were impacted, due to Great Britain’s colonization there. Finally, in 1963, Kenya received its independence. Colonial rule had ended and Jomo Kenyatta became the president of an independent Kenya (Background Essay). Colonialism cannot be considered a good or bad thing, because it is when one nation takes control of another and in which attempts to change their life, which can be good and bad for them.



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