Imperialism, when one country dominates another for its own benefit, is an expansion policy that has reigned for centuries. Over time, imperialism has drastically changed in its magnitude and severity. At the turn of the nineteenth century, a “new,” more aggressive and competitive form of imperialism emerged and completely dismantled the domestic institutions of various developing countries. Africa in the nineteenth century is a prime example of the “new” imperialism in effect. How was Africa affected by imperialism? Who imperialized Africa? What caused African imperialism? How did the international environment affect the domestic institutions of Africa?
European powers shamelessly exploited the people and resources of Africa in the 19th century. They often tried to justify their actions by using ideology, religion and moralism. After the end of the African slave trade, the development of steam power, and medical discovery, European nations started exploring not only the coast but also the unmapped interior of the continent. In this essay, I will explain the main driving forces behind African Imperialism. The Western europeans countries all competed for land and resources because of their self interest. They sought natural resources, and technology gave them the ability to exploit them. The philosophy of national pride however, was the primary reason. (Main document) (Doc C, D & B)
During the European Scramble for Africa, in the early 20th century, Africans had a peaceful reaction with anti-imperialistic sentiments (docs. 2, 3, 4, and 7), peaceful actions through the approach of diplomacy (docs.1, 2, and 3) and also a rebellious anti-imperialistic reaction (docs. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) towards the Scramble for Africa.
Africa has had a long and tumultuous road of colonization and decolonization the rush to colonize Africa started in the 17th century with the discovery of the vast amounts of gold, diamonds, and rubber with colonization hitting a fever pitch during World War I. However, the repercussions of colonization have left deep wounds that still remain unhealed in the 21st century. Early on, European nations such as Britain, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium scrambled for territories. Countries wanted land so they could harvest the resources, increase trade, and gain power. The European colonization of Africa brought racism, civil unrest, and insatiable greed; all of which have had lasting impacts on Africa.
Africa faced many serious negative consequences because of imperialism. The resolution of the All African People’s Conference held in Ghana in 1958 said, “...Whereas fundamental human rights… freedom to live a full and abundant life… are denied to Africans through the activities of the Imperialists,” (Document 3). This resolution said that human rights, which are rights entitled to all humans regardless of any difference, were taken away. Because of this, the Africans were made to feel inferior which is not healthy for people and can cause serious consequences like the Africans assimilating to the European culture instead of preserving their rich, diverse culture. Sekou Toure, an African nationalist, had similar ideas, he said, “Our continent possesses tremendous reserves of raw material… with its potential sources of power, give it excellent conditions for industrialization,” (Document 2). So as well as the Africans being stripped of their basic rights
Between the years 1881 and 1914, African territory was being invaded by Europeans during the New Imperialism period. Before Europe’s invasion, Africa consisted of various tribes and had no central government due to this during the mid nineteenth century. Europe attempted to colonize Africa using harsh military force and resulted in the European Scramble for Africa. The European Scramble for Africa caused African leaders to have different reactions such as some wanting to have no conflicts, but peace, surrendering to the Europeans due to fear, and also attempting to fight back against the Europeans.
European imperialism started as a source for raw materials and a way to gain advantages over their rival countries (Spielvogel and McTighe 226). Yet, the African countries being imperialized were impacted by this settlement in many positive ways (Spielvogel and McTighe 231). Europeans brought ideas of Westernization and influenced the societies that were not yet industrialized and ones that lacked the modern elements many European countries had acquired (Spielvogel and McTighe 235). Through the spread of western ideals and democracy, the people of Africa were inspired to pursue their own self-rule and continuation of the modernization that the European imperialists left behind on the continent. When European nations first imperialized the African
Riches in central Africa. In what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, there was and still is a plethora of natural resources. Rubber, gold, copper, diamonds and more. That natural wealth has definitely hurt Congo in the past rather than helped. Its resources could have made it one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But yet, this future did not hold true for the Congo. At the turn of the 20th century, King Leopold II began to take notice of the central African country. (National Black United Front). King Leopold II communicated all his ideas and intentions through a speech to European missionaries. (Africa Global Network). In it, his words held the key to all things terrible. Soon, Belgium took over the Congo and began one of the
They were not provided with the same nutrition or aide that white soldiers were given. It was in the 1960s, decades after World War II, that some African nation states finally gained their independence. They fought for European land and European values, such as the French’s “Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité,” without ever experiencing a share in those rights. This matter of principle coupled with their poor treatment, lack of compensation and sometimes outright murder by European powers led to continent-wide movement towards independence (Laumann). It was as if Europe had finally crossed a line and the African people could not longer allow their colonization to continue. Most countries began with peaceful protests; however, the European domination of the indigenous people and use of firepower quickly snuffed them out in certain countries such as Algeria (Laumann 64). The second World War had a striking impact on the struggle for independence among African countries, especially for African veterans previously enlisted in European wars, because it sparked a feeling of nationalism among African people who were tired of “the hypocrisy of the Allied powers” (Laumann 67-68). These feelings of nationalism helped connect Africans across the continent and aided them in their arguments and protests for independence. Marxism and the Pan-African movements also played a large role in the freeing of African
During the decolonization movement, many imagined that their African colonies would prosper after independence. But in a short period after the colonizers left Africa, hopes of a better life within their nations were shattered by political, economic, and social instability. In Gerald A Danzer’s Atlas Of World History, he explains that the idea of development after decolonization did not seem impossible until the frailty of political structures within their societies became a reality:
Decolonization can be achieved by gaining independence, along with interaction of power also, it is a political process that causes violence in in a lot of circumstances and may sometimes be resolved by negotiating on peaceful terms. But can also lead to violent resistance and arm struggle by the native population. Eventually with World War coming to an end, it brought a revolution of decolonization in many countries. For many people, this was a positive thing as they were to obtain independence from colonies and empires. Decolonization was a long process to begin with, it took almost thirty years after World War II for some places. With colonial powers getting weaker, that was great chance for independence for Africa and Asia. Not only
The process of decolonization in Africa during the 1950’s through the 1970’s was a very smart yet risky idea. For some places independence was easily gained yet in other areas it was a battle. During the time periods where colonization existed, Africa was peaceful and kept things in order. People had control over their specific locations and there were no questions to be asked. Once it was decided to remove these rights, things got out of hand rather quickly. Violence was a main occurrence during the decolonization timeframe because rules, rights, leaderships, etc. got altered and drastically changed. Sometimes nonviolence was used but it usually wasn’t as effective. A major example of using nonviolence actions to gain independence is when