African reaction to colonialism through resistance

Libyan Resistance Demands for Equity and Inclusion: European colonialists had managed to quell the efforts by Africans to resist the establishment of colonial rule.

African reaction to colonialism through resistance

It also neglects the colonial-era power dynamic of which African societies and institutions were essential components. After the Berlin Conference of —85, at which the most powerful European countries agreed upon rules for laying claim to particular African territories, the British, French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Belgians, and Portuguese set about formally implementing strategies for the long-term occupation and control of Africa.

The conquest had begun decades earlier—and in the case of Angola and South Africa, centuries earlier. But after the Berlin Conference it became more systematic and overt. In fact, by Western Europeans had mastered the art of divide, conquer, and rule, honing their skills over four hundred years of imperialism and exploitation in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific.

In addition, the centuries of extremely violent, protracted warfare among themselves, combined with the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, produced unmatched military might.

When, rather late in the period of European colonial expansion, Europeans turned to Africa to satisfy their greed for resources, prestige, and empire, they quickly worked their way into African societies to gain allies and proxies, and to co-opt the conquered kings and chiefs, all to further their exploits.

Consequently, the African responses to this process, particularly the ways in which they resisted it, were complex. The Complexities of Resistance Adding to the complexity was the fact that rapid European imperial expansion in Africa did not necessarily change relationships among African communities.

Those in conflict with one another tended to remain in conflict, despite the impending threat from the French, British, Germans, and other powers. There was, moreover, no broadly accepted African identity to unite around during this period.

The strongest identities were communal and, to a lesser extent, religious, which begins to explain the presence of African participants in European conquests of other African societies.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, for example, in what is now Ghana, conflict between the Fante and Asante, which predated British designs on the kingdom of Asante, motivated the Fante to join the British against the Asante, who at the time seemed to be their greatest threat.

As they resisted European invasions, they confronted both European and African soldiers. That is, they confronted a political hierarchy imposed by Western Europeans that included African proxies.

Benjamin Talton – Temple University

The power was European, but the face of it on the local level was often African. Despite these seeming contradictions, it remains insufficient to speak of African responses to the imposition of colonial rule as a choice between either collaboration or resistance.

It was possible to resist colonial rule through collaboration with the colonizers in one instance and in the next to resist European authority.

It was also possible to limit European political control through some form of collaboration with European generals or colonial administrators.

African reaction to colonialism through resistance

This is all to suggest that Africans evaluated their circumstances, assessed possible actions and consequences, to make rational responses. Some form of resistance, moreover, remained constant during the period of formal European political dominance.

Ethiopia stands alone, however, as the one African society to successfully defend itself against an invading European army and remain free of direct European political domination. He manufactured firearms, relocated his kingdom, and engaged in diplomacy with both the French and the British.

Yet as he conquered African territory and engaged in conflicts with African competitors, the French pushed deeper into the West African interior from Senegal, under the direction of Louis Faidherbe and his Senegalese Tirailleurs—a corps of African soldiers—and the British pushed northward through Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast with a large contingent of Hausa soldiers.

Each time the French attacked his territory or the trade routes and goldfields at the heart of his economy, he mounted a series of successful counterattacks, until he was captured by the French, dying in exile in Between and in Algeria, Islam became another source of unity, as Abd al-Qadir led his resistance against the French.

Alliances and Divisions In other territories conflicts among African societies hindered the effectiveness of their resistance.

In the s, for example, in what is today Zimbabwe, the British used existing disputes between the Ndebele and neighboring communities to foment a conflict in which the British would have to intervene and would ultimately gain a position to claim control over Ndebele land.

Ndansi Kumalo, a Ndebele chief and a subject of Lobengula, the Ndebele king, described the events that took place between and when Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula disagreed about the terms of the treaty signed in Lobengula believed that he had extended only mineral rights to the diamond magnate; Rhodes argued that the entire territory had become his personal fiefdom, and gave his name to the territory: The British attacked, the Ndebele surrendered, and the British imposed Africans from a different territory to police the Ndebele.

They came and were overbearing and we were ordered to carry their clothes and bundles. They interfered with our wives and our daughters and molested them. In fact, the treatment was intolerable.

We thought it best to fight and die rather than bear it. There was much bitterness because so many of our cattle were branded and taken away from us; we had no property, nothing we could call our own.

We said, "It is not good living under such conditions; death would be better—let us fight. But we meant to fight to the last, feeling that even if we could not beat them we might at least kill a few of them and so have some sort of revenge.

Ndansi Kumalo The Ndebele fought tenaciously even though with each charge British Maxim guns mowed them down.

African reaction to colonialism through resistance

Yet they managed to kill enough British soldiers to force them to retreat. But for the Maxims, it would have been different. The British succeeded in playing the Ndebele and neighboring Mashona against each other, and this, combined with the spread of smallpox, placed the Ndebele at a severe disadvantage.

Much to the detriment of African societies, the enmity between them often fostered alliances between Africans and Europeans against a common African enemy. Hendrik Witbooi, a Nama chief and early Germany ally against the neighboring Herero, in what is now Namibia, illustrates shifting European allegiances and the strategies that placed Africans at a distinct disadvantage.We will write a custom essay sample on African Reaction to Colonialism Through Resistance and Collaboration specifically for you for only $ $/page Order now.

The Chimurenga (Zimbabwe) and Maji-Maji (Tanganyika) uprisings were led by African priests who were strongly opposed to colonial rule.

This tradition of religious opposition to colonialism continued throughout the 20th century. However, unlike the earlier acts of religious resistance, the new opposition was led by African Christians. african response to european colonial rule African societies responded in different ways to European occupation.

Those African societies or leaders that right from the start of colonialism decided to fight Europeans are known as primary ashio-midori.coms: African resistance to colonialism was the inevitable outcome of the clash of cultures that arose as European settlers competed for land with indigenous people and began to impose upon them sanctions intended to coerce the native population to colonial administrative systems.5/5(5).

The African resistance to colonialism was the inevitable result of the clash of cultures that arose as European settlers competed for territory with indigenous people and began to enforce sanctions intended to coerce the indigenous. We will write a custom essay sample on African Reaction to Colonialism Through Resistance and Collaboration specifically for you for only $ $/page Order now.

Module Seven (B), Activity Four – Exploring Africa