Continuities and Chnages of Labor Systems in Africa

Topics: Police, Law, Colonialism Pages: 8 (3037 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Many attempts have been made around the world at reforming current legal systems in search of a better one. As the amount of crime rises worldwide, people are constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways to fight it, and prevent it. Three such attempts involving attempts to change legal systems have been discussed the last half of this course. The change from the system put in place when a country was under colonization, as in Kilamanjaro, and Papa New Guinea. An attempt to revert to the historically cultural ways of dealing with conflict, as in China and India. In addition, an attempt by the more modern industrialized societies to become more attuned to the people with whom they are trying to help, as in Japan, and Santa Anna. By studying these examples and implementing one of them, almost any kind of stagnant legal system can attempt to change for the better.

Many countries were colonized throughout the history of the world, by more dominant countries. These colonizing countries often only wanted the newly acquired country for the land, resources, or the labor they could offer. Often these colonizers brought into the new country their style of government and law, neglecting the native people. Many times, this new system caused many of the problems in the colonized country. Two examples of a country being colonized and the subsequent changes that occurred once the colonizers left are in Kilamanjaro and in Papa New Guinea.

Kilamanjaro was colonized first by the Germans in the mid 1880's, and then by the British during WWI, and finally gained independence in 1961 (Tanzania). Each country brought with it their own system of government and law, and attempted to impose these on the people of Kilamanjaro. To the native people, land is extremely important, and often the cause of many conflicts. There are two different types of farmland on the mountain, a high one and a low one, and coffee is the dominant cash crop. Since there isn't enough prime farming land for everybody, a system of patriarchal lineage developed where the male would give his existing compound to his oldest son, and move somewhere else inviting his youngest so to live with him, and have the farm upon his death. If there was a middle son, he was forced to operate independently. As the population continues to grow rapidly, inevitably, stress has begun to compound this system; there just isn't enough land for all the people. This led to many conflicts arising over who actually owns land, since it was essential to the survival of the people.

Historically the chief was the most important people in Kilamanjaro, as he is responsible for several districts over an area. Chiefs controlled the long distance profitable trade, received half of the cattle fro the wars, could at any time call on his people to help do anything such as build a fence, and sometimes even received an extra child from his people to use as another worker. These chiefs were often fair people, they believed in not squeezing the poor but taxing the rich. They wanted to help the poor, and create a mutuality situation between them and the rich. When it came to conflict resolution chiefs were able to settle disputes, but often didn't, as many people tried to keep the dispute with in their own family or lineage. They went to the elders instead and sought their advice. A case would go to the chiefs only if deemed necessary by the elders. Under the German period of occupation, this system was altered. They insisted on recognizing the customary law and ruling through the chiefs. However they didn't really let the chiefs have any power. The Germans took over the long distance trade, wiped out warfare, and stripped from the chiefs their whole base of their power. The chiefs whole basis of power under this system was the fact the Germans recognized them as powerful.

Things changed however under the British system. The British saw themselves as more advanced, and thus...
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