Essay about The Case Of British Imperialism And Colonialism

Essay about The Case Of British Imperialism And Colonialism

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What occurs when a nation has both the capacity to create peace and unity and also has the power to oppress an entire people? This situation was one of actuality as exemplified in the case of British imperialism and colonialism. With the introduction of the Industrial Revolution spearheading British Imperialism, conflicts arise with the influence they actually have on those whom they guide and govern. Baba, a 19th century woman in what is now modern day Nigeria, said “Ever since we were quite small the malams [Muslim scholars] had been saying that the Europeans would come with a thing called a train, they would come with a thing called a motor-car... They would stop wars, they would repair the world, they would stop oppression and lawlessness, we should live at peace with them” (Duiker p. 634). While the malams could not see the future of what was to come, they were making predictions based on the potential that the Europeans had to offer. They saw that with this new industrialization of trains, cars, and other modern technology, also came the prospect of peace. Meanwhile, Gandhi argued that “The British Government of India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually” (Gandhi: A Life p. 288). Based on his experience, the Europeans (Britain in this case) truly used its powerful influence and ravaged India’s society as a whole. There are obvious differences between the two statements: one is looking to the future, while the other is reflecting on the past, Baba’s statement was much earlier than that of Gandhi’s, and one took place in Africa, while the other transpired in India. Because of t...


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...istan could even be a direct consequence of British rule since it was the division from England that brought on the separation of the two countries.
While Baba’s statement on the possibility that industrialized Europe brought with them showed the potential that they could have on other places around the world, it is far from accurate. In accordance, the modern technology and transportation that accompanied European nations may have been seen as beneficial, Gandhi himself says “the railways, machineries and the corresponding increase of indulgent habits are the true badges of slavery of the Indian people, as they of Europeans” (Gandhi p. 103). It is, therefore, clear that the effects of imperialism from European nations did not provide the peace and unity that Baba was promised, but rather the negative impacts as shown by Gandhi in the effects Britain had on India.

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