In the Western world European colonialism is hailed as an accomplishment. It is the time where Europeans flourished economically after finding and taking control of the lands of the New World. Because of European colonialism and the need for free labor, millions of Africans were forced from their homeland and were forced into slavery. Years later the Europeans came back to colonize and take the rich resources of Africa without any regard to the native people who lived there. Though colonialism ended in the United Stated in the 1700’s and other parts of the Americas in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, many of its racial and injustices are still an ingrained in society today There have been many instances where groups of people within African
Imperialism in Africa took root in the late 19th century when European nations divided up the continent for their own benefit. Each nation practiced a certain type of rule over the Africans of which they conquered. For example, the Germans, the Dutch, and the French used the practice of Direct Rule over their colonies in Africa. This system is characterized by the colonizers need for the colonized to become assimilated into their culture. The purpose of this was to make the African people “civilized” and act like Europeans. The governing administrations forced on the native inhabitants by the colonial power were meant to undermine those institutions set in place by the indigenous people. By taking over the community’s government on all levels,
19th century imperialism in Africa was fueled by greed and arrogance rather than the supposed willingness to help by the Europeans. This was reflected in the more negative effects on Africa than positive. “The White Man’s Burden” exposed the realistic intentions of imperialism. Further advancement of European countries was the sole concern.
By altering the perspectives of West Africans, it created two major problems. The indigenous man believes he is behind the rest of the world and must assimilate, and the colonizer becomes the ultimate goal of the colonized man. This is an imagined state of inferiority. Europeans have to power to influence one another and the one’s they colonize. Europeans provided a “need” for industrialization that was not relevant to African life. In order to legitimize industrialization, Europeans played on the ego’s of the ambitious. Marketing an ideal that Africans could be just as successful as the Europeans. Aimé Cesaire says, “No human contact, but relations of domination and submission which turn the colonizing man into a classroom monitor, an army sergeant, a prison guard, a slave driver, and the indigenous man into an instrument of production”. (Cesaire, 50) The colonized man no longer needs the colonizer, he must perpetrate their principles. Some West Africans will now take on the role as exploiters in order to gain approval. This type of Laborer becomes the sub-oppressor. West African citizens are split into bourgeoisie and impoverished. The bourgeoisie believe that they have reach success by becoming educated in Europe and must come back and help their homeland, when in actuality they begin to harm their home rather than help. By believing that the colonizer has better schooling, opportunity or knowledge, they devalue those
Beginning in 1880, there was a growing desire for European countries to expand and control their rule. The only continent at that time that was left uncontrolled and, in the European's eyes uncivilized, was Africa. This was the start of Western Imperialism. All European countries wanted their piece of Africa and to get it, they would let nothing stand in their way. They would change the entire government, religion, market, and behavior of most of the African nation and affect almost every person living there. An account of the impact of Imperialism is given in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. This book shows the changes that occurred in Africa during Imperialism and its affect on the community and the people of the tribes that existed there.
In the first segment of his film series, Different but Equal, Basil Davidson sets out to disprove the fictitious and degrading assumptions about African civilization made by various Western scholars and explorers. Whether it is the notion that Africans are “savage and crude in nature” or the presumed inability of Africans to advance technologically, these stereotypes are damaging to the image and history of Africa. Although European Renaissance art depicts the races of white and black in equal dignity, there was a drastic shift of European attitudes toward Africa that placed Africans in a much lower standing than people of any other culture. The continent of Africa quickly became ravished by the inhuman slave trade and any traditional civilization
There are many actions taken by the Europeans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that, in retrospect, modern people view as abhorrent. Among these practices, and possibly at the top of the list, is European imperialism in Africa. Really beginning in the late 1870s and early 1880s, European imperialists managed to subdue an entire continent of people in less than 40 years. However, before one dismisses these actions as a lapse in human reasoning and morality, he or she must consider the motives and attitudes of the Europeans towards their imperialistic actions in Africa. Though to the modern observer these actions may appear wretched and evil, Europeans of the time did not see them as such. Rather, Europeans had strong economic and political motives for entering these countries, and the attitudes of the time towards the indigenous African people supported European intervention. In fact, until around the time of World War II, attitudes towards imperialism in general were quite positive.
The immense scale and power of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Africa was enabled by a close partnership between Africans and Europeans in which Africans provided a continuous supply of slaves in exchange for European goods and money. However, to what extent said partnership was voluntary for the Africans is debatable. John D. Fage and Walter Rodney are two historians who fall on opposite ends of this inquiry. Fage posits that African leaders had a choice, which they made based on economic reasons, while Rodney insists that the Europeans forced the Slave Trade upon them. Likely neither extreme is correct, with the truth lying somewhere in the middle. While some degree of choice may have existed at the very onset of the Slave Trade, it soon faded as a result of growing competition with neighboring states for military, economic and political advantages. However, ultimately it was the African leaders’ perception of their own powerlessness against the Europeans that resulted in their compliance.
Over time concepts of ‘Race’, defined as a distinct group with a common linage, and ‘Primitive’ which pertains to the beginning or origin, , have been inextricably linked with the perception of Africa. The confusion of the two in the minds of people at the end of the 19th centaury, and some of the 20th, caused a sense of superiority amongst the ‘White Races’ that affected every aspect of their interaction with ‘the Black’. The ‘Civilisation’ of Africa by conquest and force was justified by these views.
Some of the effects of slavery in America were positive, but almost all of slavery’s impact in Africa was harmful. One major change in the areas that slaves were exported from is shown in demographics. Thousands of males were taken from their families and communities, and the tribes were expected to survive without many of their local leaders or role models. Not only did local tribes in Africa have hardships, but the leadership in many of the countries’ governments weren’t stable. The cruel trade demonstrated “how the external demand for slaves caused political instability, weakened states, promoted political and social fragmentation, and resulted in a deterioration of domestic legal institutions” (Nunn) in Africa. In addition to the crumbling political aspects of the tribes, there were cultural and native conflicts. Many wars and disagreements occurred, and those conflicts significantly slowed down development and economic growth in African countries