Africa is a vast continent that contains many countries; for the most part, the one thing that these countries have in common is the following: they have all been colonized at one point. The British and French colonial empires were two of the most powerful and expansive colonizing forces that the world has ever known. The French were known for their “assimilation” colonial policy while the British were more focused on a more “laissez faire” approach. While the two colonial powers had differing ideologies, they both had a long lasting impact in the countries where they set foot, notably with France in Algeria and Britain in Nigeria. These lasting effects are still visible today and are more than important in analyzing the current political and economic systems in both Algeria and Nigeria.
In 1827, the French colonial empire began it conquest of Algeria and the French stayed in Algeria until 1962. Algeria in particular (along with Morocco and Tunisia) was a colony that France was very much against leaving and declaring independent, this left a longing impact on the country, but such was their colonizing style. The “assimilation” policy was very much based on integrating and making the colonies actually apart of the country as opposed to simply controlling a foreign territory. In the minds of the French, Algeria was a sort of “new France”; it was possible even for Algerians to be granted French citizenship. The French implemented their political system in Algeria as well as their secular scholastic and education system. French culture was very present in Algeria; French had even become an official language. However, shortly after t...
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...nt on the French while the British indirect rule on the other hand, yielded a much more catastrophic situation as the different regions’ tensions built up to a horrid war and led to a long era of military rule. The economics put in place though were very much helpful to the Nigerians and Nigeria is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
In conclusion, the two different colonial approaches yielded very different results in both Algeria and Nigeria however, in both cases we see that colonialism is essential, let alone important, in understanding the current political and economic systems in the countries today. Shaky governmental years leading up to a strong economy are very typical of post-British colonialism (i.e. Ghana, Kenya) while dependency on the French and a comparatively weak economy is typical of post-French rule (i.e. Senegal, Cameroon).
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