The Effects Of Colonialism In Africa

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It is impossible to watch the nightly news on the television or to browse an online news website without encountering a depressing story about Africa. A pirate leader in Somalia is holding the crew of a Norwegian merchant ship hostage. A traveler has spread Ebola to a new country, opening up an additional thirty million people to infection. A coup attempt failed in an African nation that the majority of Americans can’t place on a map. A famine is sweeping through an east African nation, leaving thousands dead in its wake. The portrayals in the news are overwhelming negative and rarely include the context necessary to understand the complex realities. Africa, after all, is the second largest continent, with the second largest population, has …show more content…
In reality, however, the situation is much more complex and diverse. There is not continuity within a single European power’s—Germany’s—colonial administration, and therefore, it is inconceivable to apply a blanket understanding of colonialism to the continent. The experiences of colonies that had extractive economies versus settler economies drastically differed. Each colonial power differed in their administration and aims. What sort of preexisting power structures a country had affected the method by which the colony was ruled—or if it was ruled at all. And when colonialism came to an end, the method by which the country was decolonized greatly effected its post colonial outcome. With vastly different experiences across over a century of colonial rule, the positive or negative effects of colonialism have to be evaluated on a case-by-case …show more content…
They quickly added German East Africa (Tanganyika) to their territories, firming up their territorial boundaries with the other European colonial powers through treaties. The Germans faced frequent rebellions in their east African territory, fighting several native uprisings throughout the years. The most serious of the rebellions in German East Africa was the Maji Maji rebellion, so called due to the magic water the warriors were sprinkled with that they believed would render them invincible to bullets. The uprising was sparked by government demands that the natives grow cash crops for export and forced labor levies to provide workers for plantations run by white colonists. As a result, in 1905, a violent uprising began and found quick success in the beginning, drawing more support to the cause. The early successes quickly gave way to defeats, as the Germans mobilized troops against the Maji Maji and defeated them. An estimated 26,000 rebels died in the fighting, but the disruption of crop production (aided by German efforts to subdue the population) resulted in a famine that killed an additional 50,000 individuals. In the aftermath of the brutal war, however, the Germans instituted broad societal and administrative changes in Tanganyika that helped to progress the country. Forced plantation labor was

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