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Camille Begin

July 24, 2013 Great lakes region of Africa- near central eastern Africa. You can find the largest freshwater lakes in the world here. Focus on Rwanda Lake Victoria- second largest body of fresh water in the world, Lake Malawi and Lake Albert Landlocked region access to large bodies of freshwater but not to the sea National borders don’t necessarily reflect the human geography on the ground. Establishment of modern political borders led to the division between identities (such as in Rwanda) Imperialism and its legacy Rwandan genocide in the 90s – important factor was the legacy of colonization In 3 months 800,000 people were killed Landlocked area, known as the land of the thousand hills – mountains lakes, plateaus, Coffee and tea plantations for export 7.7 million Population in the 90s – made it one of the densest countries in the world for its size, put a lot of pressure on the land – had trouble providing sufficient food to feed its people. Is divided between Hutus and Tutsis The causes of colonization After 1750s, important differences in colonization, geographical focus was not on the Americas anymore but on Asia, middle east, Africa and the pacific. Change in geographical focus European players involved also changed, first wave – Spanish/Portuguese and second wave – British and French, Germans, Italians, Belgians, Dutch, Americans and Russian. Main cause: Economic motivation. With industrialization came dependence for raw material such as cotton/sugar cane. Demand for raw material – rubber – many of which could be found in Africa. Europeans needed markets and needed investment opportunities for the profits they were making. Between 1750 and 1950 – empire building was seen as the solution and location was key. Great Britain had colonies in straight line across Africa – needed to secure stop overs for trips to India. Could build railroads across African colonies. They were important markets for European goods, late 19 century, French colonies produced 65% of 2) Cause connected with science and nationalism. Colonialism was particularly linked to social Darwinism. People tried to explain the diversity of human experience as a part of evolution. According to social Darwinists the weak should perish and the strong should take over. Result was the development of a hierarchy of races – the white race on top/the center of the hierarchy and the “less developed”would be considered child/dependent races. Done through calculations of physical features – race determined intelligence. Influenced how Europeans viewed global expansion. Responsibility to uplift and educate the “lower” races – ideology of the mission of civilizing weaker races. Strong push to convert people to Christianity – priests/missionaries were important proponents of colonization. Bringing education to the illiterate- European clothing – suppressing native customs and traditions. Strengthened nationalist sentiments at home – considered a great nation for having an empire – show of power Scramble for Africa Up until the 80s, French in Algeria, Portuguese in Angola, European settlement on the coast, only 10% of African territories were controlled by colonizing powers. By 1900, Africa had been cut up and distributed to different European powers- called the scramble for Africa Met in the middle and had a battle – fachoda battle. Liberia, Ethiopia were the only ones left uncolonized.Colonizers were interested in africas raw materials, cotton, diamonds, cocoa and rubber They also justified the division of Africa on humanitarian grounds – condemned the slave trade and sale of alcoholic beverages backed up by missionaries trying to convert people. Relied on extensive global action, the nation that lacked a centralized government proved hardest to take over – was no central power to defeat or negotiate with – the conquest happened very quickly, Europeans had superior weapons – machine gun was produced at this time and helped Europeans win large areas in Africa People were not used to this kind of warfare. Impact on the population was devastating both socially and economically. Europeans seized land to start mining, for their homes or for farming. Massive level of migration of native people who had to leave – Permanent European communities acquired large areas of land which had been previously inhabited by natives. People became squatters – working on their own land for the colonizer Colonization in Rwanda Rwanda was largely free of European influence until 1890s. Before colonization the Tutsis were the rulers, Tutsi king had developed aristocratic military rule of the govt – centralized state power. After colonization – Tutsi king was still important. In 1894 – the country came into control of the Germans – east German Africa. Rwanda and Burundi part of east German Africa. Strong authority of Tutsi king, the Germans chose to be indirect rulers, let the king rule on their behalf – would get money out of the country, at the end of ww1, German colonies were divided up between the winners of ww1 and Belgium gained control of Rwanda and Burundi. They would be in control until independence in 62, they favored the Tutsi and let most of their rulers in place. The Germans had started and the Belgians kept doing was radicalizing the difference between Hutus and Tutsis, using the race theories developed, they applied these theories to the situation in Rwanda. After they came into control, they took a census where people had to choose their ethnicity between Hutu, Tutsi, twa, a lot of people left in between due to intermarriage and other reasons. If they were not able to choose they would be assigned based on their facial features, if they had more Caucasian features they were deemed to be Tutsis. The Tutsis were considered closer to the white race and considered superior. Only Tutsis were allowed to have higher education meaning they had power in government. Over representation of places in power since they were only 10% of the pop Majority of the workers were Hutus and presided over by Tutsis and often brutally. In 30s, Belgium had a census and went further by introducing an ID card system. System was kept after independence and a tool of genocide. System of favouring the Tutsis evolved in the 50s, they switched in favor of the Hutu – began to see the Hutus were in admittedly going to take over Rwanda since they formed 90% of the pop, started putting Hutus in power, in the 60s, Hutus carrying out persecution campaigns against the Tutsis, thousands of Tutsis were killed, 100,000 fled to neighboring countries. Belgians knew their colonial power was ending – needed to change their policy – could not have the same colonial strategies WW2 was key in triggering decolonization process Decolonization movement happened from end of ww2 to 70s The wars of the 20 century were important causes for the beginning of decolonization – they had weakened the European powers, psychologically, economically and demographically. Allowed the subjected people a successful struggle out of dependency. Colonial masters were too weak to fight back, colonial armies played an important role – millions of colonized men had participated in ww1 and ww2, those who stayed at home produced goods for the war effort, by participating in the war, many of these colonized soldiers had gained military skills and had political exposure – listened to wartime propaganda about freedom and self determination. West African soldiers saw France fighting for its freedom as a nation and if France could liberate themselves from Germany, why could they not liberate themselves from France. Also, any respect they might have had for their European colonizer disappeared – they watched them kill each other twice in a century – ww1 and 2 started this process The cold war accelerated it- Usa and Russia opposed formal imperialism/colonial power It lost its prestige and power – became a bad word you could use against your enemies- for Europeans who were trying to reconstruct, the colonies b
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