Imperialism In The 19Th Century Resulted In European Countries

1726 WordsMar 24, 20177 Pages
Imperialism in the 19th century resulted in European countries using social Darwinism to justify controlling the social and cultural lives of natives in African countries.When Chinua Achebe published Things fall apart in 1958, a novel criticizing the European aspects of imperialism, his aspiration was to teach readers that “their past-with all its imperfections-was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them”(Chinua Achebe on the Role of the African Writer, 1964). Chinua Achebe helped change the western perception of African culture by using the characters and story of Things Fall Apart to give readers a different perspective of imperialism than one they had been brought up to…show more content…
The social Darwinist mentality of the Europeans can stem from Christianity’s propulsion of universalization. The Europeans ordinarily felt as if they had a duty to convert anyone they deem “uncivilized” to be saved by Christianity. Nationalism was another key reason for imperialism in Africa; consequently, European countries constantly competed against one another for simply the glory of becoming the greatest. A nationalistic mentality leads to increased conflict within competing countries, and therefore required a meeting to discuss territorial boundaries and regulations regarding the imperialization of Africa, known as the Berlin Conference. However, European countries did not take into account any linguistic, ethnic, or cultural barriers between the civilizations in Africa at the time. The colonists used their best efforts to civilize the “savages” by awarding them work, education, and medicine, but provided that they submit themselves to complete European control. Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart heavily focuses on the aspect of the Europeans treatment of African culture by placing the readers into the mind of Okonkwo, a character who represents a fundamental example of their society and culture; demonstrating how someone who shared all the values of Igbo culture would react in a circumstance like imperialism. Achebe felt the story he wrote was “the story of myself, the story of my people” as if he himself was connected with
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