Colonial Rule in Africa

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The African continent is one of the biggest land masses on the planet. With its massive population, tremendous natural resources, and rich cultural history, one has to wonder why any country in the continent holds a third world status. The amount of corruption and poverty within many states in Africa is astounding, and in order to unearth the reasons for the state of many African nations today one must go back to the late nineteenth century to when Africa was partitioned by the major European powers of the time. By drawing arbitrary lines on a map of Africa, the western powers effectively changed the course of African history and set the stage for intense exploitation and domination of the African people. One could argue that the western powers have been doing so since the beginning of the slave trade, but that is not the focus of this analysis. This paper will focus on the impact of the nearly 100 years of colonial rule in Africa. It is my goal to prove that due to colonialism in Africa, political, social, and economic development was effectively delayed until most countries gained their freedom. And even from the 1960's on, the period where the majority of African states won independence, most African states have proven that they are still not truly independent, rather a good majority are still under the influence of neo-colonialism. There are some that prefer to also look at the positive aspects of colonialism, and that colonial governments did a lot to benefit Africans. It is my view, along with many others, that “Colonialism had only one hand – it was a one-armed bandit” (Rodney, 205)

Africa on the eve of colonialism was a much different Africa than many would think. After nearly three centuries of the slave trade, Africa...

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...'s colonization play book: oppress, squash any uprising, horde capital from the rural peasantry, and refuse to contribute to social services. To be frank, Europe left Africa in a state of disarray, and the fact that they did not help them to gradual self-rule was done on purpose: to continue a state of neocolonialism. When one looks at the political, social and economic factors, it becomes obvious that the state of Africa today is due to nearly a century of direct rule. While the rest of the world experienced the Industrial Revolution, Africa is just beginning to experience the modern technologies and amenities that have been a staple of the western world for a very long time. Crippling debt, famine, and oppressive military characterizes the continent today, and as Donald Wright aptly titled his paper on postcolonial Gambia, “Independence, or In Dependance?”
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