Anthills of the Savannah - Essay

Topics: British Empire, Colonialism, English language Pages: 4 (1650 words) Published: November 10, 2008
At the turn of the 20th century, it was often said that the sun never sets on the British Empire it covered a vast area of the planet that included parts of Europe, Africa, Oceania, North America and Asia. However towards the end of the 21st century few of it’s former colonies remained. The effort exerted by Britain during WW II had left the country exhausted and made Britons turn inward and look at their own country, which led to many of them swapping ideas of imperialism to ones of nationalism. As Britain struggled through the post war economic crisis, many in the new Labour government of Clement Attlee began to see the Empire as an unnecessary drain on public finances and felt that Britain should abandon it’s attempts to retain it’s overseas territories. (Arnestein 377) In Africa Britain’s Empire came to a swift end, with Britain often withdrawing from their former colonies rapidly, leaving the newly-independent states ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of sovereignty.

Although Britain had shed it’s former colonies it’s influence still remained strong and through this it played a very important role in shaping the history of Africa. Through the implementation of Frederick Lugard’s Dual Mandate ideas, which he expressed in his book The Dual Mandate In British Tropical Africa, it left an indelible mark on the African continent. Through this book Lugard had tried to create a wide-ranging theory of colonial policy that could be used by the British in controlling the African colonies. In it he proposed how Britain would rule Africa through a system of indirect rule using indigenous authorities. “The object in view is to make each Emir or paramount chief, assisted by his judicial Council, an effective ruler over his own people.”(Lugard ) He felt that more progress could be made if white officials were utilized as advisors more than direct rulers. Lugard felt that the chiefs should be gradually given more responsibility, especially in the handling...
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