POLS 3000 September 26 2013
September 26 2013 POLS 3000 Politics of Africa
Africa’s Historical Evolution
**Mid term Tuesday October 15**
Jeffery Herbst’s, State and Power in Africa
Basil Davidsons, Black Man’s Burden
One of the complaints often made is that pre-colonial history is often over looked.
Other than Liberia (for all intense and purposes was colonized by USA) and Ethiopia
(arguably one of the oldest countries in the world going back to biblical times) all of
Africa was colonized by the end of the 19 century.
Colonial Africa- the colonizers:
Belgium, Britain, France, Germany Portugal, Spain, Italy
European colonization of Africa
Colonialism refers to the policy of conquering, controlling, dominating, and/or
settling a territory by a distant state.
- Colonization was not simultaneous
- The period in which Africa under went formal colonization was relatively late
o Sub Sahara Africa was the last region to be dominated by Europeans
Notable notes about Africa’s colonization
1) Most of Latin America colonthed by end of 16 century and gained
independence by early 19 century
- Example: Brazil 1822
Africa’s formal colonization did not begin until late 19 century during the
“scramble for Africa” — about 50 years after colonization in Latin America had
2) While colonization in Latin America lasted often over 250 years, colonization
in Africa was less than a third of that. Africa’s colonization lasted a relatively
short 76 years
By the year 2036 Africa will have been free of colonialism longer than it was
3) While the effects of colonialism were and are significant, the colonial
experience varied widely from colony to colony
Colonialism: (sweeping statement) is distractive universally
Colonial presence in Somalia was relatively small; in Congo and Portuguese Africa
(mostly places like Angola and Mozambique) it was profound.
Prior to colonialism Africa’s most able men and women were sold (slave trade).
- 15 million people taken from continent
^In that sense colonialism was terribly destructive but also protected some groups
4) Not all of the colonizers of Africa were Europeans. Some were African. For
example: Ethiopia was and is regarded by some as a colonizing power.
5) The impact of Europe (and colonization) meant different things to different
The European edge over Africa
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