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What were the negative and positive effects of imperialism in Africa on the colonised?

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2013-03-27 15:52:03
2013-03-27 15:52:03

Note that Africa is a large geographical entity and hence, effects varied from region to region. Some citizens appreciated some of the Western ideas and disliked others. However, some people resented the Westerners because they treated Africans so horribly. An extreme example is apartheid in South Africa. The Colonizers usually showed no equality, democracy, or political freedom to people of different races other than their's. Native people's would have low-paying jobs in the bureaucracy. To many Africans, colonialism meant loss of farmlands or employment on plantations. Furthermore, most colonial frontiers were established with disregard to ethnic boundaries. This caused problems later on, for instance, fighting between the Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda.

Britain, France and Germany were the main Imperialist Powers in Africa during the late 1800's. All three had various reasons and varying degrees of success at the Imperial Game. Britain unenthusiastically became involved in Africa for numerous reasons, mostly to serve their own interests. The British were some of the most anti-slavery Protestants the world had to offer and felt morally obliged to stop the Swahili slave trade

For almost six years during 1879 to 1884, the great explorer Stanley labored on behalf of King Leopold of Belgium to survey the basin of the Upper Congo River with a view to establishing his own imperial enclave in Central Africa. The 1880s was the heyday of Western imperialism when great powers such as Britain, France and Germany began to lay claim to huge swathes of the African continent in what became known as the 'scramble for Africa'. The ambitious Leopold, through energy, determination and, not least, his own wealth devised his own plan to participate in this scramble. He founded the International African Association which, during Stanley's sojourn in the Congo, became the International Association of the Congo. During the years he spent in Africa, Stanley signed 'treaties', according to his own claim, with over 450 native chiefs, thus acquiring for Leopold sovereignty over their territories in accordance with the general terms of the sample treaty below. These developments were duly endorsed by the Berlin Conference attended by the great powers that gave approval to Leopold's organization of his African territory as the Congo Free State in 1885.

New Imperialism

The Rise of the New Imperialism overlaps with the Pax Britannica period (1815-1870). The American Revolution and the collapse of the Spanish empire in the New New_WorldWorldin the early 1810-20s, following the revolutions in the viceroyalties of New Spain,New Granada, Peru and the Rio de la Plata ended the first era of European empire. Especially in the United Kingdom (UK), these revolutions helped show the deficiencies of mercantilism, the doctrine of economic competition for finite wealth which had supported earlier imperial expansion. The 1846 repeal of the Corn Laws marked the adoption of free trade by the UK. As the "workshop of the world", the United Kingdom was even supplying a large share of the manufactured goods consumed by such nations as Germany, France, Belgium and the United States. The Pax era also saw the enforced opening of key markets to European, particularly British, commerce. This activity followed the erosion of Pax Britannica, during which British industrial and naval supremacy underpinned an informal empire of free trade and commercial hegemony.

refers to the colonail expansion adopted by Europe's power and, later, Japan and the United States, during the 19th and early 20th centuries; expansion approximately took place from the Franco-Prussian War to World War I.The period is distinguished by an unprecedented pursuit of what has been termed "empire for empire's sake," aggressive competition for overseas territorial acquisitions and the emergence in some colonizing countries of doctrines of racial superiority which purported to explain the unfitness of backward peoples for self-government

During this period, between the 1815 Congress_of_Vienna(after the defeat of Napoleon_I_of_FranceFrance) and the end of the Franco-Prussian_War(1871), Britain reaped the benefits of being the world's sole modern, industrial power. As the "workshop of the world," Britain could produce finished goods so efficiently and cheaply that they could usually undersell comparable, locally manufactured goods in foreign markets.

The erosion of British hegemony after the Franco-Prussian_Warwas occasioned by changes in the European and world economies and in the continental balance of power following the breakdown of the Concert_of_Europe, the balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna. The establishment of nation-states in Germanyand Italyresolved territorial issues that had kept potential rivals embroiled in internal affairs at the heart of Europe (to Britain's advantage).

Economically, adding to the commercial competition of old rivals like France were now the newly industrializing powers, such as Germany and the United States. Needing external markets for their manufactured goods, all sought ways to challenge Britain's dominance in world trade -- the consequence of its early industrialization.

This competition was sharpened by the Long_Depressionof 1873-1896, a prolonged period of price deflation punctuated by severe business downturns, which added to pressure on governments to promote home industry, leading to the widespread abandonment of free trade among Europe's powers (in Germany from 1879 and in France from 1881).

The resulting limitation of both domestic markets and export opportunities led government and business leaders in Europe, and later the U.S., to see the solution in sheltered overseas markets united to the home country behind imperial tariff barriers: new overseas colonies would provide export markets free of foreign competition, while supplying cheap raw materials.

The revival of working-class militancy and emergence of Socialismparties during the Depression decades led conservative governments to view colonialism as a force for national cohesion in support of the domestic status quo. Also, in Italy, and to a lesser extent in Germany and Britain, tropical empires in India and Burma were seen as outlets for what was deemed a surplus home population.

In Britain, the latter half of the 19th century has been seen as the period of displacement of Industrial_capitalismby Finance_capitalism. As the country's relative commercial and industrial lag encouraged the creation of larger corporations and combines, close association of industry and banks added to the influence of financiers over the British economy and politics.

The unprecedented control of industry on the part of London financial houses by the 1870s aided their pursuit of British "protection" of overseas investments ---particularly those in the securities of foreign governments and in foreign-government-backed development activities, such as railroads.

Britain's lag in other fields deepened her reliance on invisible exports (such as banking, insurance and shipping services) to offset a merchandise trade deficit dating from the beginning of commercial liberalization in 1813, and thereby keep her "out of the red."

Although it had been official British policy for years to support such investments, the large expansion of these investments after about 1860 and economic and political instability in many areas of high investment, (such as Egypt), brought increased pressure for their systematic protection.

Britain's entry into the new imperial age is often dated to 1875, when the government of Benjamin_Disraelibought the indebted Egyptian ruler Ismail's shareholding in the Suez_Canalto secure control of this strategic waterway, since its opening six years earlier as a channel for shipping between Britain and India. Joint Anglo-French financial control over Egypt ended in outright British occupation in 1882.

Fear of Russian_Empire'scenturies-old southward expansion was a further factor in British policy: in 1878, Britain took control of Cyprus as a base for action against a Russian attack on the Ottoman_Empire, and invaded Afghanistanto forestall an increase in Russian influence there. The_Great_Gamein Inner Asia ended with a bloody and wholly unnecessary British_expedition_to_Tibetagainst Tibetin 1903-1904.

At the same time, some powerful industrial lobbies and government leaders in Britain, exemplified by Joseph_Chamberlain, came to view formal empire as necessary to arrest Britain's relative decline in world markets. During the 1890s, Britain adopted the new policy wholeheartedly, quickly emerging as the front-runner in the scramble for tropical African territories.

Britain's adoption of the New Imperialism may be seen as a quest for captive markets or fields for investment of surplus capital, or as a primarily strategic or pre-emptive attempt to protect existing trade links and to prevent the absorption of overseas markets into the increasingly closed imperial trading blocs of rival powers. The failure in the 1900s of Chamberlain's campaign for Imperial tariffs illustrates the strength of free trade feeling even in the face of loss of international market share.

France and the New Imperialism

The expansion of the French colonial empire was also seen as a method of 'rejuvenating' the country after its humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian_Warof 1871; the military actions needed to secure empire were seen by colonial enthusiasts as 'the first, faltering steps of convalescence'. This plan, however, did meet with some popular resistance, and Ferry himself was removed from office twice over colonial disputes.

The New Imperialism and the newly-industrializing countries

Just as the U.S. emerged as one of the world's leading industrial, military and political powers after the American_Civil_War, so would German_Empirefollowing its own unification in 1871. Both countries undertook ambitious naval expansion in the 1890s. And just as Germany reacted to depression with the adoption of tariff protection in 1879 and colonial expansion in 1884-85, so would the U.S., following the http://wiki.answers.com/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1896of William_McKinley, be associated with the high McKinley_Tariffof 1890.

United States expansionism had its roots in domestic concerns and economic conditions, as in other newly industrializing nations where government sought to accelerate internal development. Advocates of empires also drew upon a tradition of westward expansion over the course of the previous century.

Economic depression led some U.S. businessmen and politicians from the mid-1880s to come to the same conclusion as their European counterparts --- that industry and capital had exceeded the capacity of existing markets and needed new outlets. The "closing of the Frontier" identified by the 1890 Census report and publicized by historian Frederick_Jackson_Turnerin his 1893 paper The_Significance_of_the_Frontier_in_American_History, contributed to fears of constrained natural resource.

Like the Long Depression in Europe, the main features of the U.S. depression included deflation, rural decline, and unemployment, which aggravated the bitter social protests of the "Gilded_Age" --- the Populism, the free-silver crusade, and violent labor disputes such as the Pullman_Strikeand Homestead_Strikestrikes.

The Panic_of_1893contributed to the growing mood for expansionism. Influential politicians such as Henry_Cabot_Lodge, William_McKinley, and Theodore_Rooseveltadvocated a more aggressive foreign policy to pull the United States out of the depression. However, opposition to expansionism was strong and vocal in the United States. Whatever the causes, the result of the war was that the U.S. came into the possession of Cuba, Puerto_Ricoand the Philippines. It was, however, only the Philippines that remained, for three decades, as a colonial possession.

Although U.S. capital investments within the Philippines and Puerto Rico were relatively small (figures that would seemingly detract from the broader economic implications on first glance), "imperialism" for the United States, formalized in 1904 by the Roosevelt_Corollaryto the Monroe_Doctrine, would also spur on her displacement of Britain as the predominant investor in Latin America --- a process largely completed by the end of War_World_I.

In Germany, Imperial Chancellor Otto_von_Bismarckrevised his initial dislike of colonies (which he had seen as burdensome and useless), partly under pressure for colonial expansion to match that of the other European states, but also under the mistaken notion that Germany's entry into the colonial scramble could press Britain into conceding to broader German strategic ambitions.

Japan'sdevelopment after the Meiji_Restorationof 1868 followed the Western lead in industrialization and Militarism, enabling her to gain control of Taiwanin 1895, Korea in 1910 and a sphere of influence in Manchuria(1905), following her defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese_War. Japan was responding in part to the actions of more established powers, and her expansionism drew on the harnessing of traditional Japanese values to more modern aspirations for great-power status; not until the 1930s was Japan to become a net exporter of capital.

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