Analysis Essay: The Impact of European Imperialism in Africa

Impact of European Imperialism in Africa

At the end of 19th century, the ongoing colonization of Africa began. And unfortunately, this activity brought a lot of destruction to the continent. Of course, Europeans helped Africans a lot, but this support was closely connected with their benefits. Western people main aim was to gain for themselves not looking at the interests and effects they have on local citizens and culture. It is essential to note that countries like Equatorial Guinea and Morocco benefited and improved thanks to the Europeans, but other countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa suffered from that influence.

French influenced Morocco and the second on the other hand was developing the country. Before French influence, there were no roads and set infrastructure in the country. And after the arrival of the French colonists in 1900s, the development of the country started. Roads, railroads, and other transportation facilities were created with the support of France. On the other hand, France had developed mining industry which has harmful effects on ecology and influenced on local culture. For example, there are a lot of French style bakeries in modern Morocco, and universities teach science and math in French.

As we see, France helped Morocco to develop. A lot of infrastructures were constructed thanks to French. But a culture of the country was heavily influenced by France and here the lifestyle and language of this country are presented. Of course, there are not only benefits of such an influence.

Another positive impact of the Western countries can be shown in Equatorial Guinea. Spain colonized the country. According to the historical notes, thanks to Spain, Equatorial Guinea achieved the highest literacy on the continent. As a result of such push the education in the country developed fast and led the economic and cultural development of the region. Nowadays, Equatorial Guinea has the highest income per person than other nations.
Based on information provided below I can say for sure that thanks to effects of European imperialism in Africa small countries like Equatorial Guinea and Morocco have got a push for the development and stand not far from European countries based on positive economic effect and cultural development.

The first two cases we have considered was connected with positive effects of European colonization, but at the same time, other countries suffered from colonialism. For example, Nigeria occupied by British suffered from such an occupation. Europeans here followed only their needs and didn’t look on needs of local people. English while colonizing Nigeria was primarily interested in the development of slave trade and palm oil production that is why they banned other economic possibilities.

Secondly, the British colonization could be characterized by inhuman cruelty. To achieve profit or better land families and sometimes tribes were killed by the colonists without any notable resistance of local citizens. This happened because Nigerian society was distributed across its territory and tribes and communities had different traditions, social relations, religion, and politics. An excellent example of causes of European imperialism and end effects on Nigerian community is shown in Things Fall Apart novel by Chinua Achebe. In this book, the author describes negative impact of British colonization on average tribe traditions, politics, and relationships.

Another disadvantage of Nigeria colonization was connected with rising of different conflict between local citizens trying to unite them; this is political effect of European imperialism. And it had resulted in Biafrans movement appearance, and the Nigerian Civil War started. British decided to take part in the conflict bombing villages and towns of Biafrans who fight for their freedom and independent development of Nigeria. Additionally, they sent tanks and other weapons to support the war. The war was so terrible that Red Cross representatives were banned from visiting Nigeria for several months. When the war ended the country was almost ruined. Left local citizens suffered from different diseases, lack of food, drink. Millions of people died in the war and millions after that due to the inhumane living condition. When British left Nigeria, they left a ruined economy and lived behind them. Marcus Brooks in his works described Nigeria: “Burned, dismembered, and mangled corpses littered villages, rivers, streams and everywhere else.”

As we see, British influence on the Nigeria was completely destructive. They have not developed anything: economy, infrastructure, education, and politics – all these spheres was not the main aim of colonists. The driving force behind European imperialism was gaining a profit and not for helping less developed countries.

South Africa is another example of British Imperialism influence on them. Like Nigeria, it lays in ruins. When British decided that they need to control diamond mines, fertile soils and gold deposits of South Africa Zulu tribe stood between them and their aim. To fight Zulu Nation, British sent over 30,000 troops to South Africa and destroyed Zulu civilization. Kenya which also tried to resists, as a result, the majority of survived Kenyans moved out from the country to save their lives. Additionally to nation destruction, the British brought different diseases to the South Africa. By killing different species living here, colonists forced natural landscape change resulting tsetse flies spread. They were involved in sleeping sickness epidemy of Uganda. Because of dependency of African tribes on their livestock, a lot of tribes lost the most of their population. Additionally to the tsetse diffusion, Europeans spread epizootic, a lung disease, smallpox, and malaria. It is also known that mining and diseases led to the starvation of Africans. Mining was the main aim of British colonists and resulted in different ecological and landscape changes forcing animals go away and making soil unfertile. Yet, not all Europeans supported British politics and Darwinism was used to justify European imperialism.

In 1986 French colonized Madagascar and started planting coffee there. Unfortunately, this forced local citizens to grow more rice to feed them, and to get land for rice planting they started clearing the land from trees and forests destroying them. At the end coffee, plantation resulted in erosions, and fertile land was not suitable for other plants and animals that lived in forests before the colonization. This led to the lost of different species and lack of food in the country.

Wars, diseases, animals’ extinction, land and human abuse, banning the culture, destruction of whole civilizations and much more are the results of British and French colonization of Africa. Only a few small countries didn’t suffer from it and scramble for Africa imperialism. British imperialism was the most destructive for the whole continent and left behind only ruins.

What were three effects of European imperialism on Africa? Well, it is simple – banned culture, civilizations destruction, and diseases.

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