Friday, February 17, 2017

colonialism

Image result for europeans as bad in africaDid European missionaries and colonists in Africa really believe that everything they did really was for the benefit of the natives of Africa? During the late 19th century and early 20th century, all of the major powers of Africa fought to control it for their own benefit, not for the benefit of the different groups in Africa. At this time period, it is easily discernible how the varied African cultures would seem inferior and primitive compared to the industrial and technological conditions in Europe. The European's did not see major aspects of their society such as these factories, they saw the agricultural techniques of Africa as very inefficient, they did not see much of a written language, and to top it off, the African culture as a whole was completely different to what most Europeans had ever seen. Countries such as Great Britain felt that they were even more superior because they had recently abolished slavery, and there was very evident examples of slavery in Africa. What the Europeans did not understand is that all aspects of the different African societies had their own rules and civilized basis for these practices that Europeans saw as arcane and savage. For example, only prisoners of war and criminals were taken as slaves in some places, and slaves had normal rights and could even have their own slaves under them. The Europeans did not delve deep enough into the culture of Africa, and simply judged it based on first impression and said it was wrong because it was different. 

4 comments:

Dylan Bryan said...

I think England would not have gotten involved in Africa if they did not see an opportunity to benefit themselves. However, many viewed the indigenous Africans as inferior and uncivilized, so they believed they were benefiting them. The British saw themselves as so advanced that they did not think the Africans could develop and improve by themselves. In reality, the British oppressed and limited African culture. The British were truly in Africa for their own benefit, and they were lying to themselves if they think their involvement was to improves African civilization.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

Honestly, I think most of colonoialism boils down to just blatant racism. There were many things that contributed to this, but it ultimately creates a view of native Africans as nothing more than savaged and lesser people. Authors like Achebe were very important in changing these attitudes.

Bailey Taylor said...

I think that they truly believed that they were helping these people. They thought that they were uncivilized and incapable of forming a civilized society. They thought they just simply didn't have the education or mental capacity of achieving this. So, they went to Africa and "helped" them as if they were doing charity work.

Julia Scofield said...

In American history, we had to read a novel which told us about the difference in the way that native Americans were treated in comparison to Africans. Both groups were treated poorly, but when the Europeans brought slaves to the colonies, the Europeans could just justify enslaving them because they have dark skin, which was seen as being the mark of Cain. So, in this case, the Europeans justified their behavior through justifying their racism wth the Bible.