Imperialism has been defined as the extension of rule or even influence by a particular government to the other, or, the influence of one society to the other. The evidence that shows the existence of imperial powers is drawn from the history written in Egypt and Mesopotamia. At this time, local rulers had to extend their powers by conquering some other nations and holding them in captives in a subjection state. The most empire that was highly organized in history was the Assyria, which was later taken over by a more integrated empire of Persian. In history, imperialism reached its climax at the time of Roman Empire. In Europe there has never been another empire that rose to take over the Roman Empire. However, imperialism in Africa remained a historical feature from 1750 to 1945. This paper shows how did imperial powers control and transform Africa during the period 1750-1945. It majorly uses The Book `Things Fall Apart 'by Chinua Achebe.
A part from the shedding of blood throughout Africa, the European imperial powers led to cultural penalties. The Europeans moved in and established effective presence in the whole of Africa. People started seeing religious missions' trading posts then later emerged political control, which transplanted the European culture. There "were the effects on languages, economic system, and technology, political and legal influences, ended up being forced traditional African societies". On top of losing both political and economic control, most Africans had to be satisfied with the introduced disturbing ideas, as well as cultural confronts. In Various African communities, the recognition of such cultural experiences differed.
The crazy-quilt of being controlled by Europeans, defined a confusing variety of different culture imported from Europe then implanted and imposed in a manner that can be described as being hodge-podge, which ended adding much complexities to the once that were already existing in Africa. For instance, there were different European cultures being implanted in different African society in different regions. There were cases where different European cultures were being implanted in different languages in the same region at different times, for instance, the German and the Britain culture in Tanzania. This implantation ended up adding cultural diversity as well as conflicts.
Chinua Achebe in his book Things Fall Part for instance, explains the complex effects of new culture introduction and their effects into traditional established African Societies. The traditional culture of African societies for instance Ibo community as used by Achebe were shaken to its center due to colonial intrusion. This was especially as a result of the new religion introduction. When Okonkwo excommunicated from his community, on his return, the white man's culture had taken over the tribe's culture. This was even accompanied by other European structures along with ideas, like the government structure changing from traditional chiefs to the use of District commissioners. Though the story itself is fictional, but it explains the real paten experienced by experienced by the Ibo society as they confronted by the power and culture of the white man (Achebe, 1994).
Though Achebe does not depict the Ibo community before the coming of the Whiteman as perfect, but some of the changes that introduced by the Britons, were much better to the Ibo society as a whole, for example the treatment of the outcast, women, as well as deeply unhappy with societal laws. Britons presence was destructive to the existing local relationships and traditions. Due to European culture, the African society ended up changing for ever. Their developments and patterns were permanently destroyed. This consequence of imperial power was just similar to other countless African traditions as well as other parts of the world like Asia. Regardless of whether, the introduction was developmental or progressive, the fact remains that, the Ibo community and other native societies in Africa were transformed and destroyed for ever by forceful introduction of "new religious ideas, new economic structures, new political power and laws. There will be no going back to traditional, pre-colonial cultures, even after independence is achieved".
Before the coming of European people, African societies were practicing imperial power control over other African societies. Different societies used to go into war with other societies just to capture them or take over their land and other properties, on top of them all, to impose their culture on them. This was due to the fact that, every community wanted to expand its territory, in terms of geographical region, as well as cultural influence and wealth. For instance, in the book of Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the Ibo community went into war with other neighboring societies to capture them and take over their properties including cattle. This is makes up the reason as to why Ozonkwo ended up capturing one boy whom he brought in his home and made him under go the Ibos' rites and rituals.
This is not some thing that happened in Ibo's society alone, it happened in the whole of Africa. Another area where imperial power took control in Africa is the boarder and political division. It is clear that, after the coming of Europeans, the conquering forces made no absolute meaning to Africans. The distinction between different colonies was not really rooted on geographical distinction, language differences, or even on the existing states of Africa as well as tribal linkages. The distinction was rooted mainly on "who got there first". As an effect, Africa ended up being divided up and experienced the transplanting of colonial cultures that were different mainly on random reasons.
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