During the late 19th century and the early 20th century, European countries began their scramble for Africa which caused African to suffer from violence like wars, slavery and unfairness, but there was also a positive, peaceful and diplomatic consequences and events in Africa like fair trade system, new technology and the security given to Africans under European rule. An additional document written by an African commoner would help to further assess the African actions and reactions by telling what happened to them during that time period and their reaction towards that issue.
European imperialism in Africa mainly caused violent acts and suffering to the African natives but there were positive event. Before European imperialisms, Africans lived their usual lives and attended their crops. However, during the imperialism, Africans had to attend European crops because they were treated like slaves and had to do the bearings for their colonizers (Doc. 4). There were also wars and rebellions against the Europeans to fight off their colonization deed because of the unfairness and suffering they had to endure.
For example, machine guns, cannons and strategies and formation skills helped to efficiently kill people and cause suffering (Doc 5). Also the violence against Africans can’t be merely described in words, for Europeans took away their land and possessions. They burned their villages, killed and plundered and so their wickedness and injustice against the Africans were seen (Doc 9). A German officer said that the Africans had a magic medicine that would give them good harvest and invulnerability to Europeans.
This would help them fight off the unfairness of slavery, under-wage labor, bulletproof ability and strength women and children from the hardships of war (Doc. 8). But by analyzing this document, we should take into account that this is written by a German officer. By interpreting this, we could see that the German officer is mocking the Africans for being superstitious and using petty medicines to fight off their supreme power.
Because the Germans saw themselves as a powerful nation through strong military tactics and improved technology, they are making fun of the Africans for using this medicine to win over their rule. However, Africans had a strong sense of nationalism, especially women, like Yaa Asantewa. As queen she saw the cowardliness of the chiefs and gave them a long speech about the bravery of Ashanti is gone and if they aren’t willing to go forward and protect the country, the women will. They would hold arms against the Europeans until the last of them dies (Doc. ). Also chief Maherero wrote a letter to another chief in order to help persuade him to take arms against the Europeans, to fight rather than die from weakly disease or maltreatment, etc. (Doc 7). This shows that’s strong sense of nationalism within Africa. Even though there were mostly war and violence, the source of suffering in Africa, there were also peaceful and positive means in colonization. Africans and Europeans signed a contract calling for equal trade, fairness, bettering of the people, no war and not interfering with native laws and customs. Doc. 1) However, because of the contact between African and Europeans through wars and other forms of contact, improved technologies were brought to African through the Europeans (Doc. 5). For example, machine guns, cannons and strategies and formation skills helped influenced the warfare in Africa, like the Battle of Adowa, where Ethiopians fought against the Italians and won. Also, Prempeh I declined British’s offer to become one of its protectorates, however he wants to stay under peaceful terms with them and traditional at the same time (Doc 2).
When analyzing this document, we should take into account that Prempeh I is the king. So by interpreting this document, we could conclude that because he’s the king of Ashanti, if he became part of British’s protectorate countries, he would lose his power as king. Because by declining, it benefitted him, he decline British’s offer. The Emperor of Ethiopia also declined to become a protectorate under the Europeans because God had protected them and would continue to protect them for God doesn’t want to divide up Ethiopia (Doc 3).
He also stated that God would help aid them in recovering their lost lands to Muslims. With this, we could conclude that Ethiopians during that time period is very Christian and believed in God. Europeans countries began to their imperialisms in Africa during the late 19th century and the early 20th century, where they caused violence and suffering like rebellions, slavery and unfairness to the Africans, but there was also a positive, peaceful and diplomatic events in Africa like fair trade system, new technology and the security given to Africans under European rule.
The post The Scramble for Africa in Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century. first appeared on Course Scholars.
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