European Colonization Within Africa During Imperialism Essay

European Colonization Within Africa During Imperialism Essay

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As early as the 1650’s European power such as the Dutch, British and the French began to buy and sell land along the African coast. These European powers competed for the upper-hand in resources, markets and the slave trade. The race to Africa led to the Berlin Conference in 1884. The aim of the Berlin Conference was to regulate European colonization within Africa during imperialism. Imperialism played a vital role in changing Africa’s culture. Imperialism within Africa specifically the Gold Coast, had massive impacts on gender roles and class.
Woman in Africa were extremely empowered compared to many other societies throughout history and during the colonial time period. Woman were known to own land and even own slaves, “in our grandfather’s days when women were still powerful like they still are in some of the states of the interior” (Getz, Clarke 32). Before any European countries arrived, women had the capabilities to be powerful contributing members of society. In many traditional African societies, families were matriarchal. The lineage of children ran through the mother’s side as opposed to European countries, such a Britain which is a patriarchal society. Although the British used indirect rule to govern the Gold Coast, they still enforced a patriarchal society which had a huge impact on woman’s roles in society. The most profound change British rule and its patriarchal system brought was how marriages and slavery were intertwined to adapt to the new societal systems in place.
In 1834, “slavery is abolished throughout the British empire” (Timeline, 193). The abolishment of slavery was an essential to role shift of woman on the Gold Coast. Before the abolishment of slavery, the Atlantic slave trade demanded a huge labor f...

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.... These men are addressing the officer because they are the most assimilated which gives them a higher societal status.
The lives of millions of Africans were forever changed during colonization, although not an extremely long period of time, lots of changes were made. The Europeans brought the slave trade and stole entire tribes from their home, in a short period of time the British banned the slave trade completely in their colonies. Europeans changed and shifted the entire culture of the Africans. Woman’s role went from the matriarch of the family to slaves by marriage. Some woman’s roles changed to that of palm oil producers, child bearers and house slaves. The men had an equally drastic change, many men became assimilated to gain prestige in the colonial culture. The impacts of colonialism had a massive impact on class dynamics and gender roles of all Africans.

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