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Lecture

Gender in/and colonial administration

6 Pages
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Department
History
Course Code
HIS102Y1
Professor
Nhung Tuyet Tran

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W15 - Gender in/and Colonial Administration 19:17
Three Modes of Colonization
All three were found in Africa
Dominion Mode
Protectorate Mode
Take over politically but leave the land to the native people
The Settler Mode
Best example is Kenya
Europeans come in and settle, taking over what was often the most fertile land
The differences in the pre-existing situation and arrangement – political, social & econ and the
differences in the mode of colonization is no different than the mode exploitation
We need to understand what was happening in pre-colonial societies (1st term)
Patriarchal ideology and colonial state organization
The colonial state was a patriarchal state
The African states as we know them today (with the exception of newly created states – Eritrea
and hopefully Southern Sudan) are colonial states and therefore, by default, are patriarchal states
Institutions previously vibrant and necessary, now in the new setup, become less relevant and
have to be reconstituted for colonial purposes
The colonial purpose is accumulation – extraction of resources and exploitation of labour
Berlin Conference 1885
Colonial states of Africa largely created between 1890-1914
These were established through violence
Africa was the last phase of European expansion
This last phase of expansion and conquest reached its climax in 1890
Had to turn this into stable political control
Machine guns could destroy villages, but could not secure production, trade or tax revenue
Military power had to be converted to political authority under civilian rule
In order to do this, two things had to be done
Had to be done with the unspoken consent from the Africans
Create viable economies that will link the colonial power states with the new colony
Europeans had unquestioned belief about the superiority of their culture
This superiority complex dominated their attitudes in every aspect of administration
This imparted on the way policies, laws, etc. were interpreted and executed
The colonial rule throughout the continent was underpinned by coercion, sexism, racism – was
often violent, exploited and traumatic experience
Colonial rule was marked by successive rebellions by Africans
Its impact varied enormously – across time, from region to region, colony to colony, between
men and women, young and old, and according to a multitude of social, economic and political
factors that were shaped as much by the colonizers as by the African condition itself
Imperial powers that partitioned Africa at the Berlin Conference could be divided into four
categories:
Already established commercial interests on the continent (Britain, France, and Portugal)
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Possessed little or nothing to do with the continent (Germany and Italy)
Private colonial enterprisers (ex. King Leopold of Belgium)
Declining imperial power of Spain (took a few islands off the coast of Morocco and French West
Africa)
A total of 7 European powers which divided the African continent among themselves into 41
states
Why 41 states? Why not just 7?
The logic can partially be understood from the mode of colonization
Kenya is colonized as a settler colony, whereby British could take any land that they wanted
In Uganda, there is already existing an agreement whereby land could not be appropriated
The speed of partition also meant that the colonial states were improvised affairs from the outset
Used certain ethnic groups (the highly organized Buganda) to help in the conquering of
neighbouring groups
Determined by the local conditions – little systematic thought given to how these new
possessions would be run
Very little thought on how to manage the natives outside of the most convenient – violence
At the end of the day, all colonialists engaged in what could be called indirect rule. It was
unevenly applied depending on the circumstances
Indirect rule was the official policy of the British, and meant ruling the Africans through their
own institutions
Many ‘traditions’ were a construction of culture made during the colonial period
Culture and tradition are fluid – both change. When ethnographers commit a fluid situation into
something solid, this creates a static and incomplete idea of tradition
Ethnographic knowledge was very important considering the basis of indirect rule – ruling
through existing structures
This knowledge is mostly assembled from particular people by particular people, which is
problematic (ex. Hahn reading – his ethnography was highly conservative and later contradicted)
Two central contradictions
Europeans had created Africa on the pretext that Africans were incapable of ruling themselves
yet once they arrived they realized they could not govern them without the participation of local
leaders through indirect rule). Colonial rule in Africa ‘done on the cheap’. Thinly stretched
bureaucracy (in terms of finance and personnel), therefore Africans needed for the upkeep of the
state. European vision of Africa as primitive, traditional, backward, ‘darkness, childlike, etc. If
these people are such things, then how do the colonizers use their existing structures to rule?
Creating widespread changes, breaking down old political organizations and creating new ones,
while claiming to preserve their traditions through indirect rule
Chartered companies were unnecessarily aggressive, violent and brutal
Field Administrators
After 1914, we have the Paternalistic Mediator model of governors as a form of governance
Unchallenged power of colonial state was an illusion – a fade. Unchallenged power did not
exist.
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Description
W15 - Gender inand Colonial Administration 19:17 Three Modes of Colonization All three were found in Africa Dominion Mode Protectorate Mode Take over politically but leave the land to the native people The Settler Mode Best example is Kenya Europeans come in and settle, taking over what was often the most fertile land The differences in the pre-existing situation and arrangement political, social & econ and the differences in the mode of colonization is no different than the mode exploitation We need to understand what was happening in pre-colonial societies (1 term) Patriarchal ideology and colonial state organization The colonial state was a patriarchal state The African states as we know them today (with the exception of newly created states Eritrea and hopefully Southern Sudan) are colonial states and therefore, by default, are patriarchal states Institutions previously vibrant and necessary, now in the new setup, become less relevant and have to be reconstituted for colonial purposes The colonial purpose is accumulation extraction of resources and exploitation of labour Berlin Conference 1885 Colonial states of Africa largely created between 1890-1914 These were established through violence Africa was the last phase of European expansion This last phase of expansion and conquest reached its climax in 1890 Had to turn this into stable political control Machine guns could destroy villages, but could not secure production, trade or tax revenue Military power had to be converted to political authority under civilian rule In order to do this, two things had to be done Had to be done with the unspoken consent from the Africans Create viable economies that will link the colonial power states with the new colony Europeans had unquestioned belief about the superiority of their culture This superiority complex dominated their attitudes in every aspect of administration This imparted on the way policies, laws, etc. were interpreted and executed The colonial rule throughout the continent was underpinned by coercion, sexism, racism was often violent, exploited and traumatic experience Colonial rule was marked by successive rebellions by Africans Its impact varied enormously across time, from region to region, colony to colony, between men and women, young and old, and according to a multitude of social, economic and political factors that were shaped as much by the colonizers as by the African condition itself Imperial powers that partitioned Africa at the Berlin Conference could be divided into four categories: Already established commercial interests on the continent (Britain, France, and Portugal) www.notesolution.com
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