The Magnificent African Cake Analysis

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Between 1881 and 1914, the European powers invaded, divided, and occupied the continent of Africa during what is now known as, The Scramble for Africa. In doing so, they disrupted the lives of African people and permanently altered the physical and cultural landscape of Africa. In Basil Davidson’s, “The Magnificent African Cake,” he chronicles the beginning of colonialism in Africa, the impact of European rule on the continent, and the ideologies that justified the exploitation of the African continent and African people. Accordingly, the Europeans justified their exploitation of Africa, her inhabitants and her resources because the Europeans classified African people and their way of life as inferior to the western world.
To begin, classification
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European colonialism “opened up the country,” improved life for Africans, and allowed the African continent to begin to emulate the western world and meet European standards for civilization. The Europeans reduced Africa to ignorance, poverty, and disease, without even acknowledging the innumerable cultures, traditions, and histories that made up Africa prior to imperialism. Even more, according to the European colonialists, nations such as Britain were the only ones capable of saving the African people because they had what they believed to be the superior “initiative of the white man,” as opposed to the “life of fear and uncertainty” of the Africans. The belief that Africans were a lost people prior to colonialism is one example of how the Europeans used their classification of Africa and her people to justify their occupation of …show more content…
By the 1920’s forced labor was widely practiced throughout the colonies in Africa. Africans were subjected to inhumane working conditions and jobs; they created roads and railways so that Europeans could export minerals and wealth to the coasts of Africa. As a result, thousands of Africans died during the process of industrialization(Cake). Above all, because African people were branded as accessories to the process of industrialization rather than humans, their lives were perceived as dispensable. In other words, the loss of African lives was not problematic in the eyes of Europeans because their primary goal was to create a means of transporting raw materials and increasing European wealth. While one might argue that the forced labor of Africans by the colonialists simply created infrastructure to advance industrialize and advance the physical framework of Africa, in reality the industrialization of Africa created slave labor in Africa that dehumanized, crippled and abused the African people. Though initially forced to work and create infrastructure, later Africans became financially dependent on these jobs; the result was migrant labor and African people having to leave their homes to find work and support their

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