Missions, States, and European Expansion in Africa (African Studies)

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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Iranica added it Aug 13, Audrey Mitchell added it Mar 29, John Varner marked it as to-read Oct 13, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. They inflicted a decisive defeat on Italy and Ethiopia was able to maintain its independence for much of the colonial period.

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Marpon et E. Flammarion, The power of the African kings — here the Mogho Naba in Upper Volta Burkina Faso — was extremely weakened by colonization and later by a republican political system. Today some traditional dynasties still exist in a limited capacity within republics. Kings settle local disputes based on traditional laws that do not conflict with national laws.

African rulers organized militarily to resist the seizure of their lands and the imposition of colonial domination; but European powers enrolled sometimes by force Africans—often formerly enslaved men—to fight against them. Here is one of their camps in Saint Louis, northern Senegal.

The Askari from the Arabic and Swahili, meaning soldier were soldiers recruited by the colonial powers in East Africa.

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These Askari are honored in Rome for their service as colonial soldiers working for Italy. Italy invaded Ethiopia in and occupied the country until These prisoners were taken by the Italians in February Edmund D. Heinemann, Europeans got their supplies of trade goods like palm oil, cotton, palm kernel, rubber and groundnut from African intermediaries but their goal was to bypass them and get directly to the sources of the trade goods.

Nascimento e A. The imperatives of European capitalist industrialization included the demand for raw materials, such as sugarcane in Angola, and the search for guaranteed markets and profitable investment outlets. He instituted an appalling regime of terror to exploit its riches. Through massacres, starvation, diseases and forced labor, the Congolese population decreased. Estimates of this loss vary from 15 to 50 percent. As retaliation against communities that had not met their quota of rubber, the Belgians cut off the hands of adults and children.

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Joseph H. Palm oil, extracted on a massive scale in Benin and Nigeria, played a significant part in the European industrial revolution as it was used in factories to lubricate machinery. Colonial powers developed railroad systems between the sources of raw materials and the coast where the products were then transported to Europe.

This railway reached the gold mines of Ghana. Britain organized its colonies at the central, provincial and district levels. At the district level the British established the system of local administration popularly known as Indirect Rule, which was based on pre-existing political leaderships and institutions. Major A. Sonnenschein and Co. The British colonial system had three major institutions: the "native authority" made up of the local ruler, the colonial official and the administrative staff; the "native treasury" which collected revenues to pay for the local administrative staff and services; and the "native courts" which purportedly administered "native law and custom" the supposed traditional legal system of the colonized.

The French colonial system was based on direct rule. Most laws and policies were sent from Paris and the Governors were expected to enforce them. The French opted for centralization and at the local level for some kind of indirect rule when they encountered strongly established centralized state systems; mostly in West Africa.

Local governments were run with African rulers whom the French organized at three levels and grades: Provincial Chief; District Chiefs and Village Chiefs. The French model for the long term was assimilation. Through acculturation and education, some "natives" would become French citizens. It was the case only in four cities in Senegal. The inhabitants of these Four Communes acquired the right to vote in It was suppressed in , re-instated in , suppressed again then definitively re-instated in These men, photographed in Dakar, were "native chiefs members of the Government Council.

Christian missionaries—pictured here is a Catholic priest celebrating mass in Guinea—descended upon Africa along with the traders and military. They were part and parcel of the colonization effort and encountered much resistance, especially from Muslim populations. A Senegalese woman in local clothes.


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Colonization did not succeed in changing the people's dress, especially in Muslim areas. Converts to Christianity marked their adherence to a new religion by changing the way they dressed. They adopted westernized clothes that signaled them as Christians, as did this Catholic woman in Dakar, Senegal. Pursuing their attempted assimilationist policy, French colonizers opened schools to form a cadre of low level auxiliaries. In the vast Muslim areas of West Africa, Qur'anic schools had been in operation since the early s.

During colonization most Muslims refused to send their children to French or British schools—operated by missionaries—in the fear they would be converted or westernized. Throughout West Africa, in the regions where Muslims and Christians cohabited, the Christians received Western education and became the political elite after Independence often leading to conflicts with politically marginalized Muslim communities.

The sons of notables and chiefs were forced to attend the schools whose avowed objective was to teach them French culture and values in order to transform them into colonial auxiliaries. Their presence at the school was also aimed at preventing their families from any rebellion.

Most parents secretly sent their domestics' children instead of their own. Emmett J. Scott, Booker T. Christian missions established in Africa sent some students to European universities or to the United States.

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This group of young men and women, enrolled at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, came from the British colonies of Africa and the West Indies. Colonial powers forced taxations on all colonial subjects. Taxation was a way of controlling and further exploiting the population by forcing it to work for cash in the agricultural and mining activities profitable to the colonial powers. In order to pay the tax farmers had to turn to cash crops —such as peanuts, cotton or sugarcane—instead of cultivating subsistence products.

The policy had a long-term impact on food production and has led to recurrent food shortages.


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In the late 19th century and in some places up to the s, several European countries and the United States exhibited colonial subjects "in their natural habitat" either in fair grounds or in zoos. Here is a "Senegalese village" in Paris. Tens of millions of Europeans and Americans flocked to see the "natives. The Chicago World's Fair in showed a "Dahomey village.


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  7. In , Ota Benga, a Congolese Pygmy was exhibited in a cage at the Bronx Zoo in New York with chimpanzees and orangutans, as a representation of the "missing link" between apes and human beings. The human zoos, the ultimate colonial degradation, represented the epitome of racism, exploitation and humiliation that characterized the colonial enterprise. About Contact Search. A Brief History.

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