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Imperialism from the Indigenous Perspective
Transcript of Imperialism from the Indigenous Perspective
The impact of British imperialism transformed the lives of South Africans in a cultural, economic and political way. Although it is not as common today, the effects of imperialism are still evident in places like South Africa.
-The negative effects of imperialism were:
loss of land
loss of independence
lack of culture
loss of lives
lack of education
lack of resources
-Ultimately the division of the continent
Although formal British rule in South Africa only lasted about a century, their imperialism has had numerous, lasting negative impacts upon the indigenous people
What is imperialism?
"Imperialism refers to unequal political/cultural/economic rule over indigenous people transforming their ideas, institutions, and material culture (i.e., goods)."
• The rapid expansion of industries made European countries look to Africa for a supply of cheap raw materials and slave labor.
• Many African farmers were forced off their land and turned into slaves on white-owned plantations
• Remaining farmers were forced to farm cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, coffee and sugar that were important for European industries
• A common practice of the time was dumping.
-Introduced new laws and forced chiefs to pass them as customary laws.
- British government introduced policies to limit local rulers power to govern their societies
- Problems outside the scope of local powers were given to the magistrate who applied British law to judge the merits of the case.
-Property taxes such as the Hut Tax were created
-Enforced the idea of Apartheid with laws
-Racial Segregation became government policy
Africans were susceptible to diseases that the British already had resistance against such as
• To obtain and control a supply of raw materials for industries. This meant that a weaker country with abundant natural resources would be colonized.
• The Industrial Revolution in Britain modernized farming, the processing of raw materials and manufacturing of goods
• Industrialization created a huge demand for raw materials and led to the colonization of Africa and Asia for these resources
• Towards the end of the 19th Century and
during the early 20th Century most African
countries were under colonial rule
-South Africa is rich with natural resources
- High-margin commodities
-Palm oil, gold, and diamonds
-Major industrial areas and control over the
diamonds, gold and other important resources were kept by
Typically based upon ideas of superiority and dominance
White Man's Burden
"I repeat that the superior races [European] have a right because they have a duty. They have the duty to civilize the inferior races [non Europeans]...."
-Had a duty to civilize the more "brutish" and "barbaric"
parts of the world
-Whether these "barbarians" want the help or not
There were many cultural changes as an effect of imperialism due to the ethnocentric nature of the British
-ethnocentrism: beliefs of one's own group's superiority, and contempt of outsiders
-Although deemed unskilled, South Africans worked
countless hours in gold, salt and diamond mines
-Children were a cheap and readily available
source of labor
-Taken from their homes and farms
-People were kidnapped and
forced into slavery
-Introduced the idea of "Charles Darwin's:
Survival of the Fittest"
-Europeans felt superior to Non-Europeans
- Over 2,000 languages spoken across Africa
-Language varied from tribe to tribe or village to village
-English is introduced in order to sublimate these tribal languages
-Today only 11 of these ~2000
languages survive and are
recognized as "official"
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