Chap 11.2 – Imperialism and Nigerian Case Study Notes and Outline


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Chap 11.2 – Imperialism and Nigerian Case Study Notes and Outline

1. In the Berlin Conference, the Europeans split up Africa with no regard to historical political boundaries or ethnic or language groupings. The thing that was on the European’s minds was the ability to control the land, its people, and their resources.

2. Colonial Control Takes Many Forms

a. This imperialism was different then empire building of 15th and 16th centuries

b. Europeans had a substantial influence over the economic, political, and social lives

c. The Europeans wanted to control the African’s lives to benefit them, unlike the more laid back empire building

d. Also they made the Africans accept European culture and saw them as barbaric.

e. Forms of Colonial Control

i. Colony – A country or region governed internally by a foreign power. Ex: Somaliland was a colony of France

ii. Protectorate – A country or territory with its own internal government, but under the control of an outside power. Ex: Britain established a protectorate over Niger River delta.

iii. Sphere of Influence – An area in which an outside power clams exclusive investment or trading power. Ex: Liberia was under a sphere of influence from the United States.

iv. Economic Imperialism – Independent but less developed nations controlled by private business interests rather then other governments. Ex: The Dole Fruit company practiced Economic Imperialism in Hawaii.

3. Patterns of Imperialism Management

a. In addition to the external control of colonies, a day to day management style was needed. Britain and the US preferred a more in-direct control, while France and other European nations practiced a more direct control. Later, when an independent government was formed, the new government was often similar to the old one.

b. Indirect Control

i. Relied on existing leaders, who handed the day to day activities.

ii. Based of former African style of Government

iii. In addition, the colonial governor nominated a legislative council to look after the merchants and professionals.

iv. The idea or goal was that the council learned the British way and began to govern itself. This happened in South Africa and Canada.

v. The local government still had to answer to the colonizing country which set the policy the local leaders should follow, and decided big issues.

vi. Examples: British colonies such as Nigeria, India, Burma; and US colonies on the Pacific Islands c. Direct Control – Europeans thought of paternalism. They thought the Africans were unable to govern, like they were too stupid.

i. The Europeans brought in their own bureaucrats and did not teach the colonies to govern themselves.

ii. They also wanted assimilation, which is they hoped that over time the local population would become absorbed in (French) customs.

1. All local schools, courts, and businesses were patterned off the French. 2. No regard given to old African style of government.

3. In actually, they practiced “association” by recognizing African culture, but regarding it as inferior.

iii. Examples: French colonies such as Somaliland and Vietnam; German colonies in Tanganyika; and Portuguese colonies in Angola

4. Nigeria: A British Colony

a. The British gained land by setting the African groups against each other.

b. In 1807, Britain outlawed the slave trade and freed slaves on the western cost to overcome other enemies

c. They persuaded the wining groups to join Britain ?

d. Royal Niger Company gained control along Niger River to get control of palm-oil trade.

e. In 1884-85, the Berlin Conference gave Britain a protectorate over the Niger River area.

f. In 1914, they claimed all of Nigeria as their territory. In order to claim a territory, they had to govern the people living there.

g. Nigeria is diverse. 250 different groups live in that region.

h. The Three Largest groups:

i. Hausa-Fulani in the North, Yoruba in the southwest, and the Igbo in the southeast

i. Britain didn’t have enough troops, so they set up an indirect rule in the area

5. African Resistance

a. All over Africa, Europeans encountered resistance

b. It wasn’t equal, because Africans did have a lot of guns and technology

c. Africa did make deals with Europeans to get their enemies, but the Europeans turned on their allies.

d. Ultimate, the resistance movement was only successful in Ethiopia.

i. Algeria resisted French for 50 years

ii. Samori Toure led resistance against French in West Africa for 16 years.

iii. In German East Africa, natives put their beliefs in spiritual defense

1. Africans refused to make room for cotton, a cash crop, and not grow as much food for their families.

2. In 1905, they believed that (maji-maji) or magic water sprinkled over them would turn the German’s bullets into water.

3. More then 26,000 died in this silly defense. More then doubled died in the famine afterwards.

iv. Ethiopia: Success Story

1. Only nation to resist Europe

2. Due to one man, Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia in 1889.

3. He played Italians, the French, and the British against each other to stop them from getting Ethiopia in their Sphere of Influence

4. Purchased modern weapons from the French and Russians

5. He discovered a small difference in a treaty he was signing with Italy. Italy claimed all of Ethiopia.

6. He held them back in the Battle of Adowa and kept his nation independent.

6. Impact of Colonial Rule

a. Imperialism forever altered African’s lives. Much of it was negative, but some of it was positive.

b. Positive

i. Reduced local warfare

ii. Humanitarian efforts increased sanitation and brought hospitals and schools

1. life spans and literacy rates increased

iii. Economic expansion

1. African goods valued in World market

2. Railroads, dams, telephones, and telegraph lines were built

c. Negatives

i. Lost their land and independence

ii. Died of new diseases like smallpox

iii. Killed many people by resisting Europeans

iv. Farms changed to cash crops, not food

v. Traditional culture was lost

1. caused identity problems for Africans

2. men had to move away from village to find work

vi. Traditional authority figures replaced

vii. Homes and property transferred without regard to owners

viii. Haphazard dividing of political boundaries

1. rival groups joined or close-knit groups separated

2. caused nationalism problems

3. continue to this day