Africa and colonialism

Programme Director, Comrades, Brothers and Sisters, The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa. History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. History is the compass that wise people use to locate themselves on the map of the world.

Africa and colonialism

The Colonization of Africa Ehiedu E. Iweriebor — Hunter College Between the s andAfrica faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization.

At the same time, African societies put up various forms of resistance against the attempt to colonize their countries and impose foreign domination. By the early twentieth century, however, much of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, had been colonized by European powers.

The European imperialist push into Africa was motivated by three main factors, economic, political, and social. It developed in the nineteenth century following the collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition and suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist Industrial Revolution.

The imperatives of capitalist industrialization—including the demand for assured sources of raw materials, the search for guaranteed markets and profitable investment outlets—spurred the European scramble and the partition and eventual conquest of Africa.

Thus the primary motivation for European intrusion was economic.


The Scramble for Africa But other factors played an important role in the process. The political impetus derived from the impact of inter-European power struggles and competition for preeminence.

Africa and colonialism

One way to demonstrate national preeminence was through the acquisition of territories around the world, including Africa. The social factor was the third major element. As a result of industrialization, major social problems grew in Europe: These social problems developed partly because not all people could be absorbed by the new capitalist industries.

One way to resolve this problem was to acquire colonies and export this "surplus population. Eventually the overriding economic factors led to the colonization of other parts of Africa. Thus it was the interplay of these economic, political, and social factors and forces that led to the scramble for Africa and the frenzied attempts by European commercial, military, and political agents to declare and establish a stake in different parts of the continent through inter-imperialist commercial competition, the declaration of exclusive claims to particular territories for trade, the imposition of tariffs against other European traders, and claims to exclusive control of waterways and commercial routes in different parts of Africa.

This scramble was so intense that there were fears that it could lead to inter-imperialist conflicts and even wars. To prevent this, the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened a diplomatic summit of European powers in the late nineteenth century. This was the famous Berlin West African conference more generally known as the Berlin Conferenceheld from November to February The conference produced a treaty known as the Berlin Act, with provisions to guide the conduct of the European inter-imperialist competition in Africa.

Some of its major articles were as follows: The Principle of Notification Notifying other powers of a territorial annexation The Principle of Effective Occupation to validate the annexations Freedom of Trade in the Congo Basin Freedom of Navigation on the Niger and Congo Rivers Freedom of Trade to all nations Suppression of the Slave Trade by land and sea This treaty, drawn up without African participation, provided the basis for the subsequent partition, invasion, and colonization of Africa by various European powers.

The African Resistance The European imperialist designs and pressures of the late nineteenth century provoked African political and diplomatic responses and eventually military resistance.

During and after the Berlin Conference various European countries sent out agents to sign so-called treaties of protection with the leaders of African societies, states, kingdoms, decentralized societies, and empires. The differential interpretation of these treaties by the contending forces often led to conflict between both parties and eventually to military encounters.

For Europeans, these treaties meant that Africans had signed away their sovereignties to European powers; but for Africans, the treaties were merely diplomatic and commercial friendship treaties. After discovering that they had in effect been defrauded and that the European powers now wanted to impose and exercise political authority in their lands, African rulers organized militarily to resist the seizure of their lands and the imposition of colonial domination.

Ehiedu E. G. Iweriebor – Hunter College

This situation was compounded by commercial conflicts between Europeans and Africans. During the early phase of the rise of primary commodity commerce erroneously referred to in the literature as "Legitimate Trade or Commerce"Europeans got their supplies of trade goods like palm oil, cotton, palm kernel, rubber, and groundnut from African intermediaries, but as the scramble intensified, they wanted to bypass the African intermediaries and trade directly with sources of the trade goods.

Naturally Africans resisted and insisted on the maintenance of a system of commercial interaction with foreigners which expressed their sovereignties as autonomous political and economic entities and actors. For their part, the European merchants and trading companies called on their home governments to intervene and impose "free trade," by force if necessary.

It was these political, diplomatic, and commercial factors and contentions that led to the military conflicts and organized African resistance to European imperialism.

African military resistance took two main forms: While these were used as needed by African forces, the dominant type used depended on the political, social, and military organizations of the societies concerned.

In general, small-scale societies, the decentralized societies erroneously known as "stateless" societiesused guerrilla warfare because of their size and the absence of standing or professional armies.

Instead of professional soldiers, small groups of organized fighters with a mastery of the terrain mounted resistance by using the classical guerrilla tactic of hit-and-run raids against stationary enemy forces.

This was the approach used by the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria against the British. Even though the British imperialists swept through Igboland in three years, between andand despite the small scale of the societies, the Igbo put up protracted resistance. The resistance was diffuse and piecemeal, and therefore it was difficult to conquer them completely and declare absolute victory.Colonialism and development in Africa Leander Heldring, James Robinson 10 January This column argues that, contrary to some recent commentaries highlighting the benefits of colonialism, it is this intense experience that has significantly retarded economic development across the continent.

The myth of Neo-colonialism. By Tunde Obadina. More than three decades after most African nations became independent, there is no consensus on the legacy of colonialism. To understand what effects WW2 had on the nature of the fight against colonialism and imperialism in Africa we need to look at the climate just before WW2.

99 Colonialism and the African Experience Chapter 4 IntroduCtIon Colonization of Africa by European countries was a monumental milestone in the development of Africa.

The Colonization of Africa Ehiedu E. G. Iweriebor – Hunter College. Between the s and , Africa faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, . South Africa Table of Contents.

Economic organization Scramble for Africa Established empires, notably BritainPortugal and Francehad already claimed for themselves vast areas of Africa and Asia, and emerging imperial powers like Italy and Germany had done likewise on a smaller scale. With the dismissal of the aging Chancellor Bismarck by Kaiser Wilhelm IIthe relatively orderly colonisation became a frantic scramble.
Search form Jan van Riebeeck Image source The region of the Western Cape which includes the Table Bay area where the modern city of Cape Town is located was inhabited by Khoikhoi pastoralists who used it seasonally as pastures for their cattle. When European ships landed on the shores of Table Bay they came into contact with Khoikhoi.
Establishment of European colonies The myth of Neo-colonialism By Tunde Obadina More than three decades after most African nations became independent, there is no consensus on the legacy of colonialism.
Effects of colonialism on Africa's past and present | Pambazuka News Uganda RisingMindset Media, Colonialism, in the traditional sense, ended as European countries started fighting over themselves over the world the World Wars and in effect, weakened themselves in the process allowing the United States and Soviet Union to eventually gain in immense power. They would spend another 50 years continuing that fight.
Conflicts in Africa—Introduction — Global Issues Map of colonial empires throughout the world in Map of colonial empires throughout the world in Map of colonial empires throughout the world in Map of colonial empires at the end of the Second World War, Activity that could be called colonialism has a long history starting with the pre-colonial African empires which led to the EgyptiansPhoeniciansGreeks and Romans who all built colonies in antiquity. The word "metropole" comes from the Greek metropolis [Greek:

The British adopted contradictory policies in ruling their newly acquired Cape Colony in the first three decades of the nineteenth century.