Essay on colonialism in Africa and its effects
Free 622 words essay on Colonization of Africa and its effects for school and college students.
Africa faced aggressive colonization between 1870s and 1900 by European countries namely Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Italy. This deeply affected Africa socially, politically and economically. Main objective behind colonization of Africa was to acquire land, exploit the colonies and their inhabitants to sow the seeds of economic wealth for their mother country, Europe. The history of colonization in Africa has made the country ineffectual in fighting with a recent health crisis, Ebola virus.
The most important positive effect that resulted with colonization was the introduction of Christianity in the country. The promising people of Christianity worked hard in order to lay education at ground level for the people of Africa. There was introduction of mission schools which targeted the Africans to educate them about their land and culture. Europeans remained extremely active in the area to support Africans against their enemies and gave them weapons for their defence. Europeans keenly brought new technology in Africa in every sphere of economy. They laid down the foundation for farming, built infrastructure, for example medical facilities, transport and communication network, built schools and established plantations for growing cash crops like cocoa, coffee, tea, rubber and cotton. They introduced new crops like maize and manioc from the New World. Another affirmative impact of colonization was exposure of Africans to the modern languages of the present globalized world like English, French and Portuguese. It made them able enough to communicate in present times for growth. The conclusively affirmative effect of all the happenings was an increase in employment opportunities, which made the Africans independent and competitive. This helped the country’s economy to an effective limit.
Just as colonization had some beneficial effects, it acted contradictory as well for the country. The major disadvantaged effect was the misuse of slavery in Africa. The Africans were made to work as slaves, which had existed earlier as well but had increased tremendously during colonization or were forced to work without pay as they became weaker sections of the society. Sizeable colonies were acquired by the Europeans and they ruled independently dragging Africans to weaker side in their home country. Many Africans were killed during the process of acquiring. Europeans also seized land for plantations and made the Africans work for them on insignificant pay. The African culture suffered drastically as a result of colonization. It underwent dilution with the European culture and the African tradition religion was destroyed with the introduction of Christianity into the country. Infact, the Europeans inferred it as their responsibility to spread Christianity in most parts of the world, ignoring the brutal acts of killing or acquiring others’ lands involved in it. Most resources were taken away from the country leaving it economically weak and the Africans could never live the opportunity to utilize and develop their own resources. This included gold, diamonds, ivory and agriculture primary products. The most detrimental effect of African colonization was their position in the administration and Government. Africans were seated only on inferior positions in the colonial administration and Government. This concluded their loss of sovereignty. Various functions of Government such as making laws, issuing currency, negotiating treaties, waging war and administering justice , all fell in the hands of the Europeans and the Africans were made mere spectators. It also led to social inequality amongst Africans as the people in the government considered themselves superior to others. The Africans never got an opportunity to have a say in their own country’s decision making and development.
Thus it can be inferred that colonization of Africa by Europeans impacted it both positively and negatively. However, concluding that Africa was brutally exploited by the Europeans for their benefit won’t be far from truth.