The years between 1800 and 2000 are marked by various events occurring on both the Africans and the Europeans and their view of one another in both aspects of life. European nations having been the first ones to experience industrialization had experienced a vast development both economically and socially as compared to the Africans who were behind and semi illiterate in the early 1800s. With the acquisition of knowledge by the Africans from the Europeans meant that they reaching the same level as their counterparts. They were able to realize their rights and the need to fight for them, so they formed unions through which they could raise their grievances to the colonialists in order to be valued as equal to them.
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The unions comprised of African scholars and they included the African Progress Union and the union of Students of African Decent which were quite influential. The attitude that the European had towards them like being illiterate, poorly progressed and poor time keepers had to change because they had become enlightened. Their view that Africans needed to be given hard work as a way of shaping their morals and discipline changed and instead they were included in the white color jobs that were previously held by the whites. They were this learned class in Diaspora that mobilized their fellows back at home to fight for their rights in order to liberate themselves from Europeans dominance.
This having exerted more pressure on the whites, they so the need to grant African states freedom in order to operate as independent states although they were in charge of all the economic developments. Racism had taken center stage in the earlier years as the Europeans believed that they were more superior to any other nation of the world, this also being sparked by their first experience in developments. Another thing that contributed to the change of attitude was the impact of the world wars whereby both the Africans and Europeans were exposed to. During the war the Africans discovered that also the Europeans were able to die what meant they were not superior as they were made to believe, what increased their need to be seen as equal beings and want to free from European influence.
Asians presence in parts of northern African played a major role in this attitude change as they came with Islam religion which its followers had a strong stand in fighting for their freedom as it was experienced in Ethiopia and Asante in Ghana what put more pressure on the European in a bit to try and suppress the war. This forced them to surrender as they incurred a lot of expenses in trying to quell the war without success.
The well established political systems in the vast African states were the key figures in the fight for African freedom. At the time when they were semi illiterate, they were the dominant Europeans who seemed to be superior and mighty in all aspects, but the scholarships enlightened them to form political movements. They are these movements that mobilized the illiterate class of the need to preserve their cultural rights and also protect their lands against European invasion. France played a major role in the developments of the African continents especially from the majority colonizers with their policies and also their education what made the Africans top is equal to the other white races. Growing economies in the African states contributed much as they felt that it was time they managed their own resources and used them to develop their own economies as much as the Europeans were involved.
Another stimulus behind this change was the racial criticism whereby all races were viewed as being equal. Earlier on the Europeans saw themselves as being superhuman over any other because they were the first to experience industrialization, so the events of the First World War and its results proved clearly that all the whites and blacks were the same as they faced same repercussions. At first the whites especially from the European continent had a great desire to occupy Africa because of the fertile lands she possessed. This would provide raw materials for their growing industries at the same time cheap labor was available from the natives what meant their work was to remain as supervisors.
Furthermore each state wanted to prove its superiority over the others, so with the rise of pan African movements, it destabilized their activities what meant they had to seek for alternative options on how to manage African states. So their response to this was to establish institutions overseas which would deal with African affairs in the colonial states while others are set up in the colonies where both the Africans and Europeans were in charge. Another important step that they took was to share what they produced in their colonies equally and not as it was whereby all the produces were exported abroad. Earlier on African political activists had been bared from participating in any political activities, so with this they were forced to allow them to participate actively as a way of easing the pressure they had exerted on them. These are the same reasons that led to the granting of independence to some African states by the Early 1950s in that the states were left to manage their own resources and lead their own economic stimulus programs that wee meant to develop their own nations. It led to the withdrawal of European nations from African to go and concentrate on the affairs of their own countries. The withdrawal of the whites from the African states was a big welcome to the natives as it was a moment of relieve from the hardships they had encountered from them.
The learned African nationalists took on the role of running their individual states by using the knowledge they had gained from the Europeans. They established strong political backgrounds that were meant to foresee the developments in their countries and ensure complete freedom is gained from the whites. By this time majority of the Africans were knowledgeable and so they could not allow any kind of exploitation from the Europeans regarding their color or level of literacy and also the distortion of their cultures as a result of European influence.
In conclusion we realize that European states as a result of their industrial revolution, they saw themselves as being above any other race of the world and they wanted to use this to show their superiority. Their point of focus was mainly on the African nations because of their difference in the races. They felt that they were a very primitive race of the world which was quite undisciplined and poor time managers. That the only way they would ensure this is cultured to them was by exposing them to hard labour that would nature their behavior. The acquisition of knowledge by the Africans turns out to be the driving force behind the need for freedom and self independence. These scholars take up the role of fighting for their nations by incorporating their fellow citizens who are not learned through political movements. The negative attitudes the Europeans had on the Africans are turned as the former illiterates are now elites who are out to fight for their nations. They are forced to succumb to the immense pressure from the Africans thereby granting them self independence.
Dorothy O. Helly, ‘ “Informed’ Opinion on Tropical Africa in Great Britain, 1860-1900,” African Affairs 68 (1969), 195-200. Print.
In African Nationalism (London, Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 157. Print.
Robin Hallct, cd., Records of the African Association 1788-18)1 (London, 1964), 4ÂÂ», 45. Print.
Helen, Callaway, Gender, Culture and Empire: European Women in Colonial Nigeria (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), esp. pp. 139ââ‚¬”145. Print.
Lorimer, Douglas. Theoretical Racism in Late-Victorian Anthropology, 1870-1900
Victorian Studies, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Spring, 1988), pp. 405-430. 21/07/2010.
Indiana University Press
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