Why were Asians and Africans so divided, some choosing to cooperate with Europeans and others resisting their advances? (The Earth and Its Peoples, 664)
The peoples of the Africa and Asia took varied positions on interaction with Europeans. One clear reason for this is the vast regions of land and varied cultures that constitute these areas. Even though Britain had recently taken a resolute opposition to slavery, West African elites still welcomed them because of the raw materials and technology they traded to the regions along that coast. In the early 19th century, the British East India Company established more trade warehouses and thoroughfares in the Indian subcontinent. This occupation of Indian lands that was welcomed by some groups and fiercely opposed by others. While met by more opposition, the British Empire expanded into the other Indian Ocean territories up to the end of the century.
Because the trans-Atlantic slave trade was profitable for African elites and brought western many valuable goods to West Africa, when it was effectively shut down after 1808 by British patrols, people along this coast were eager to keep the European trade lines alive. The imposition of this “legitimate trade” (any non-slave trade) saw a huge rise of African export of gold and palm oil. For these the British traded guns and technologies of the Industrial Revolution, some that interested Africans and some that did not. With the help of the new, swift, sturdy clipper ship, the British were able to transport these goods faster than ever before.
Western influences came from more than just trade, however. The recapture of blacks from slaving ships by British patrols, and subsequent assistance in the creation of free colonies, led to the establishment of schools, churches, and permanent British trading houses. Influences also came from free blacks returning to their native lands from the Americas and Britain. In 1821, settlements of these people formed The Republic of Liberia, incorporating New World culture into the West African region.
The presence of Europeans was not always warmly received. Although they came mostly for trade, most Europeans had racist views toward African peoples. There are a few examples where these prejudices helped spark wars along the northern and eastern coasts of the continent. The country of Algeria had supplied French forces with grain and olive oil for the 1798 invasion of Egypt. After the failure of the French to repay this debt and the severing of diplomatic relations in 1827, France decided to invade. Approximately 1.5 million Algerians died in fractured, drawn out, insensible war. (The Earth and Its Peoples, 669) In the German colony of Tanganyika (Tanzania), several African communities banded together in rebellion against forced labor for cotton production. Unfortunately, their reliance on magic was no match for the newly developed machine guns of the German army – hundreds of thousands of...