The effects of European Colonialism of Africa
A brief look at how European colonization of Africa has had both positive and negative lasting effect on this continent
| Mike Smith US. 285.7/ Fictions Of Africa Dr. Pradyumna S. Chauhan Temple University 4/8/2010
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I. Introduction – What effects have colonialism had on the continent of Africa?
II. What is Colonialism?
III. The depiction of colonialism through novels, films, poetry and other outlets
IV. Direct effect of colonialism as told through the novel Death and the Kings Horseman, by Wole Soyinka
V. Poverty and racial tension in Africa due to social hierarchy instilled by colonialism
VI. Summary – The effects of colonialism were that of both a negative and positive nature in many cases, but imposing one culture and customs onto another society will eventually cause problems and at large societal cultural issues
This essay has been written in reference to the both positive and the negative effects that colonialism by Europeans has had on the continent of Africa. Colonialism has had a lasting impact on various countries in the world but none more so than Africa. Throughout history, the European colonialism of Africa has had more of a negative effect on this land than that of a positive impact. Within this essay I will discuss further in detail as to why my previous statement holds a significant level of truth in the sense of how the forcing of a specific culture or group’s culture and values onto another country or culture can cause extreme problems within every aspect of that given society, especially when the non-native persons who are part of this colonization have little or no regards for the culture and customs of the natives of that land.
Colonialism by definition is the building and maintaining of colonies within one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is a process whereby sovereignty over the colony is claimed by the metro pole and social structure, government and economics within the territory of the colony are changed by the colonist. Colonialism is referred to as a certain set of unequal relationships between metro pole and colony and between the colonist and the indigenous population (Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism. Web.). Colonialism usually references the time period between the 15th and 20th century when Europeans established colonies on other continents.
The overall effects of European colonialism has been recorded and noted for centuries throughout history, whether within literary novels, theatrical plays and representations, movies and films or basic journal articles, all in their own way and respect have alluded to the undoubted fact that the imposing of the European culture and customs on a country that operates and has its own way of life has mostly a more negative effect on the populous than that of a positive nature.
From my readings of particular literature in reference to European colonization written by both African and European writers the structure of colonialism itself was and is still in some cases seen as a both good and bad system. One example of this literature to that I speak of would be that of the African written novel titled Death and the Kings Horseman, by Wole Soyinka.
Within this novel the act of imposing ones particular customs and cultural standards becomes apparent when a character in the novel named Mr. Pilkings who is known as the lands District Officer tries to put a stop to a ritual tradition that is set to be carried out by another man named Elesin to whom is that of a form of royalty, he is the village Kings Horseman, a prominent position for and African man to have in the land.
The issue comes about due to the fact that within this African tradition whenever the King passes...
References: I. http://african-colonialism.suite101.com/article.cfm/colonialism_and_land_conflicts_in_africa
IV. Soyinka, Wole, and Simon Gikandi. Death and the King 's Horseman: Authoritative Text : Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. New York: Norton, 2003. Print.
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