Compare And Contrast Of The Effects Of Imperialism Of The West On Africa And India

1269 words - 5 pages

Jules Ferry once said "In order for a country to be great, she must show her influence throughout the world and carry everywhere she can her language, her customs, her flag, her arms, and her genius." This quote is the perfect example of the views of an imperialist nation. From 1750-1914 Western civilizations dominated the world by enforcing their culture and systems upon weaker nations. Regions such as Africa, the Middle East, India, and Africa were severely impacted positively and negatively by the imperialism of the west. Two of those cultures that were affected in a very similar way during this time period by the effects of imperialism were Africa and India. In both places wars and violence occurred but new technologies were brought by the west that helped improved the civilizations. However Africa and India responded differently to the way the west imposed there economic, social and political ways upon the people.

From 1870 to 1890 a very important event occurred known as the "Scramble for Africa". European powers attempted to acquire as much African territory as they could get there hands on. Men such as King Leopold the Second of Belgium singed treaties with local chiefs that granted them personal control over the land. He exploited the Africans living in the Congo River valley for there labor. He forced them to collect sap from rubber plants as well as other back breaking work. The people were over taxed and abused. This operation benefited the Belgium economy greatly but added nothing but poverty to the African economy. In 1884 the German Chancellor Bismarck organized the Berlin Conference in order to divide up Africa in a civilized matter between Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, and Italy. Some of the positive effects of this western imperialism were the new technologies such as medicine and nutrition that were brought to Africa. This increased life-span and resulted in a population expansion. Transportation and communication techniques were introduced including railroads, telephones, and telegraphs. Some Africans received proper education and later on were exposed to greater economic opportunities. The army even accepted some African as administrators or soldiers in the army. The negative effects were quite substantial though. At the Berlin conference, the representatives gave no thought into what tribes, ethnic, and cultural barriers they were interfering with. This caused many conflicts between populations in Africa. Socially the natives were treated subordinately to the Europeans. They were forced to participate in back breaking labor for very little pay. The domination of the west ate away at the values and traditions that Africans had once held so precious. Relationships were broken between tribes and cultures. One example of the violence that went on during this time was the dispute over South Africa. The Boers, Zulu, and British all clashed over the land and abundant resources found in Southern Africa....

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