idsa012012: Lecture outline Oct 3
History, Colonialism, and Development
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Prof. Stephen Rockel
- Tanganyika became Tanzania (was part of the UK)
- 19thcentury East Africa- beginnings of modern capitalism; changed the old isolation of many African communities
(connections to international markets)
- Industrializing Europe needed African commodities (ivory)
- Ivory was important because it fulfilled some of the uses that plastics fulfils now (pianos, cutlery)
- Intensification of African role in the international economy
- Second Colonial occupation
Linking the pre and post WWII period through looking at the Groundnuts scheme
Development scheme that was supposed to solve everyone’s problems- Groundnuts scheme
Colonial economies in Africa
1) West and much of east Africa- colonial economies rested on peasant production of cash crops (in West Africa
peasants kept their land, while settlement was discouraged by the colonizers), ex. Cocoa-planted by small scale farmers
2) Capital intensive economy that required a large labor force; required immigrant labor; had inequalities in pay
systems underlain by racial discrimination (ex. Mining (copper))
3) Big white capitalists dominated and owned the land, while African people were chased off their land (ex. tea)
4) Combination of any two of the above-mentioned kinds of economies
Problems from colonialism:
- Colonies produced two or three basic commodities for sale on the world market
- A lot of countries continue to produce the same goods today as they did during the colonial period
- It has been impossible for post-colonial African countries to break away from this model because they didn’t have the
capital and/or know-how to do so
- Europe is dependent on commodities from Africa, desperately in need of African resources in order to keep the war
going: not just goods, but people as well. Many Africans were recruited to fight in the war (they freed Paris and were put in
the back after the fighting even though they were essential in winning battles)
- Separation of Africa from the international capitalist system- the whole market system came to a stand still because
everything was geared toward the war. Everything in Africa came to a halt because there were no imports coming in and
there was huge inflation.
- There was forced labor even when forced labor had been abolished, it was reintroduced so Africans were forced to build
- There were massive shortages because food was used as supply in the war.
- Farmers were not being paid and they moved off their land and to the city, which led to the development of shanty
towns, squatter settlements
- After the war most of Europe was in ruins.
- The UK was in debt to the US following the war
- People were getting fed up with how they were treated
- Worker protested in mines, which were attacked by colonial armies
- There were strikes everywhere in British and French colonies.
- There was increasing racism due to the increasing number of white settlers, who moved away from Europe after the
war because they thought that they would be better of there (think they deserve something special)
- Movements demanding independence and freedom are gaining steam; underlying factor was that many Africans fought
in the wars and saw that Europeans were not invincible and died in large numbers, saw an opportunity of a new world. The
war in Europe was about freedom from fascism, but what about freedom for Africa?
What is going to be the solution?
- Europeans needed the colonies to get back to producing cash crops, and standing on their feet.
- British came up with the Groundnuts scheme as a solution that would solve everyone’s problem
What did the British need after WWII?
- They needed fats and oils.
- The British housewife didn’t have butter J.
- Other foodstuffs
- They needed cash
- Use the colonies, get the fats and oils and the cash because the fats and oils would be sold on the world markets. - Would the Tanganyikans get the money? They never produced enough peanuts to answer that questions
- Africa needed a good deal, but one that would be good for the UK as well
- Colonial officials were disillusioned in Tanganyika because it was a poor part of the colonies
- 1947- large quantities of equipment came to the port in Dar Es Salam; hundreds of development experts came even
though no one asked for them.
- Project of frantic urgency- someone pushed the button and then it had to happen
- Origins lie in Britain, not at home,
- 1946- director of Uniliever toured Africa looking for supplies of fats and oils. A local official suggested growing
groundnuts on 40 000 hectares.
- Proposed to the British government that groundnuts should be grown on a million hectares.
- British colonial official in Tanganyika (he suggested even more than a million hectares)
- The project should be mechanized although in most parts of Africa agriculture was done by hand.
- Development exports: unused WWII equipment that we can use in the groundnut projects
- Do the development project as if it was a WWII battle: Virtually no planning, they just wanted RESULTS.
- Kongwa- place where the project started (less bush to clear to plant the groundnuts); not a good place for agriculture
because it is dry; British officers didn’t ask the local people whether farming there was a good idea.
- Bulldozers were used to clear the bush; 3000 people form Britain were hired to work.
- Plan wasn’t working out in the next year; they planned to plant many more hectares than they actually did, planting
more seeds than harvesting; equipment was useless, work had to be done by hand
- 36 million po