Colonialism is a negative force in the world. It has negative effects on all people, and it is something that should be stopped immediately. In this essay, we will talk about how colonialism affects different aspects of the world such as economics, politics, and culture. We will also discuss some reasons why colonization happens in the first place. Finally, we will conclude with some suggestions for what can be done to stop colonialism from continuing to grow and cause more negative impacts around the world.
Beginning in the 16th century and coming to a halt in the 19th, colonialism has been prevalent in Africa. The Europeans were the primary colonizers in Africa, and their influence is still felt today. The major cause of colonization was for the Europeans to acquire raw materials for their industries in Europe, although they stated that they were on a mission to civilize Africans (Boahen 20). African colonization had severe economic, social, and political consequences for African states.
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The most significant negative side effect of colonialism was the exploitation of natural resources by non-natives, which did not benefit indigenous communities but rather the invaders. To gain access to the natural resources, there was extensive landscaping; this destroyed their previous tranquil way of life. Forests were destroyed to obtain timbers for shipbuilding and building in Europe. Also, trees were cut down to provide firewood for steam engine trains, which necessitated the removal of many. The woods obtained through this process were also employed to construct railway tracks.
All of these activities resulted in the devastation of large areas of forest in the African colonies, with disastrous consequences. Because most forest covers was razed, soil erosion increased as a result of the removal of trees. Siltation in rivers caused by flooding lowered fishing yields dramatically. Since fish populations declined dramatically in impacted regions, communities reliant on fishing were hit hard by siltation. The felling of trees had a negative impact on the climate in Africa. The removal of trees lowered rainfall amounts in African countries, as well as the wet and dry seasons, making it more difficult for farmers to know when it would rain and plant accordingly.
Colonialism had a destructive influence on the cultures and lifestyles of indigenous people. During the colonization process, villages were forced to relocate and resettle in order to establish white settlement zones for large-scale farming. This was where locals obtained their livelihoods. This movement was frequently carried out without prior consultation with the locals, who were always relocated in locations that were less productive or fertile. Any form of resistance to such relocation resulted in death. New diseases soon followed. Certain ailments were not prevalent in the indigenous populations. Rinderpest disease, for example, was a new illness that struck cattle owned by the Shona people of today’s Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Many countries have recently reported additional sightings of jiggers in the wild, including Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. Jiggers are also found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The workers from India who played a key role in laying railway tracks that link Kenya’s port with Uganda were responsible for introducing this pest to many countries. In south Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe), the colonizers intentionally infected indigenous communities with several illnesses to kill them and their livestock. To weaken inhabitants by decreasing their population and livestock, anthrax germs were used or introduced into waterways.
During the scramble for Africa in 1885, the European powers divided the African continent into colonies for themselves, which resulted in the artificial creation of national borders. The lines were arbitrary, and locals were not consulted or considered during their formation. One colony might include several distinct cultural groups living side by side.
Many other nations must be made to feel regret for their past transgressions against The Congo. Because of this, many Congolese were robbed of their right to self-determination and control over their own destiny, as well as the ability to play a part in their own development or even manage their resources. These limits created modern African nation-states. Their consequences are still felt today in terms of community conflicts within a country, some have even led coups and caused genocides, as occurred in Rwanda in 1994.
The colonialists tore down the ancient system of leadership that had previously existed in the region, and they imposed authoritarian and repressive state rule. The local communities were stable in terms of their own political structure and cultural norms and institutions, which is why it took them decades to recover after the British withdrawal.
Ilffe (7) adds that the colonizers imposed their own leadership on the population by picking their favorite people to rule over others. They established land divisions, with everyone owning a piece of property for cultivation and other purposes. Before, local communities had been utilized to communal land ownership. Everything was viewed from a community standpoint because the land belonged to the community.
Capitalism was first introduced to Africa by colonization. Following independence in the 1960s, the same leaders who were imposed on the locals and were always seen as collaborators with the Whiteman took control of government and amassed a great deal of money for themselves. This leadership permitted businesses from former colonial rulers to continue doing business up until now.
Mining, transportation, and agriculture are just a few of the industries in which they operate. The concession is valid for 999 years (Shillinton 74). This has generated feelings among locals that today’s leaders share the same interests as those of the previous colonialists. Neo-colonialism is a neologism that refers to modern colonialism. This has led to the formation of movements such as the second liberation, by dissenting communities who feel they are marginalized and were drowning in poverty and were unable to provide their children with a decent education like those in leadership.
In the modern era, however, as a result of colonization, African cities have grown at a staggering rate. Urbanization has been accompanied by many social problems in Africa because of colonialism. Crime and slums have increased in metropolitan areas across Africa as a result of urbanization. The authorities have attempted to find answers, but they have not been successful in mitigating the issues. Poverty is widespread throughout both rural and urban areas.
The community took care of all the members of the society in ancient times, so poverty levels were not anywhere near as high. Rural-urban movements have resulted in the majority of young persons moving from rural areas to cities in search for white-collar work and occupations in industries such as construction. People who are unable to find employment in cities turn to crime in order to make a living. Others prostitute themselves in order to get by. As a result, HIV/AIDS has spread extensively among African nations (Magnet 19).
The economic and social systems of many African nations were severely damaged by colonialism; the effects are still felt today and may be felt for many years to come. Degradation of natural resources, capitalism, urbanization, and the introduction of alien diseases to livestock and people are just a few of the negative consequences linked with colonization. The social structures define how we live our lives. Colonialism, on the other hand, had both beneficial and detrimental impacts on the economies and social systems in question.
The takeover by a nation of foreign territories; making them part of it to aid its own economical, social, and political structures is known as colonialism. The mother countries accomplish this by exploiting the colony’s resources, savings, and territories, which causes the colony to rely on the mother country and result in underdevelopment. As a consequence of this worldwide race for colonies especially during the late 19th century to early 20th century, indigenous, non-industrialized nations’ economic, social, and political structures were severely damaged.
Mother countries often take their colony’s natural resources, raw materials, and agricultural products and then employ them to create their own goods. This method causes the colony to rely on its mother country’s items instead of its own, which leads to a significant decrease in local products and items. For example, many farmers and gatherers who were earning a living by selling their local goods and products would be separated from their families and sent to the mother country to farm and work on plantations.
The colonies were dependent on the mother country for many aspects of their life, from education to defense. All of these elements had a negative impact on the economy. A downturn in the mother country’s economy would exacerbate civil conflicts and riots, eventually resulting in a tyrannical regime and an uncivilized society.
Religious intolerance has the potential of causing civil conflicts. For example,(The Ecological and Political Impact of Colonialism) This case demonstrates how prejudice sparked a civil war. In the end, people in a colony will go through tremendous suffering whether or not they gain independence since it was previously entirely reliant on its mother country, making it difficult for it to develop independently.
The scramble for colonies had a severe detrimental influence on indigenous societies’ economic, social, and political institutions. As a result, colonization must be abandoned since it accomplished nothing except make things worse. Its sole objective is to steal a country’s natural resources, raw materials, and agricultural products.
“Colonialism is the domination or regulation of a country over a dependent nation, territory, or people.” ( colonialism). Colonialism has fostered a number of consequences, including the north-south gap that emerged following World War II. Colonialism began in the 1500s; it consists of using a colony’s natural resources, money savings, and land to overpower it.
As a result of this, the country is compelled to rely on the mother country. As a consequence, the worldwide hunt for colonies, especially in the late 1800s through early 20th century, had a devastating impact on indigenous, non-industrialized people’s economic, social, and political organizations.
The way people were treated was unjust. They were regarded as slaves. The people had no rights and no privacy, according to the government. If the mother country accuses you of being a terrorist, it will monitor all of your phone conversations and follow you on a daily basis. In addition, starvation and poverty owing to illness spread led to population reduction, economic recession, and an increase in mortality rates.
Another disadvantage was that women didn’t have the right to vote or participate in higher education. Women did not have the right to vote, and they were not permitted to get an education. Above all, the most serious negative impact was prejudice and people dividing into social groups. Discrimination can lead to murders, shootings, and most importantly, war. Because of all of this, the colony’s culture and social customs are all strongly influenced, having a detrimental influence on society’s structure.
The original people are not provided with a decent healthcare system or educational opportunities because the mother country does not want them to outsmart and outgrow it. The mother country must remain superior and smarter than the dependent country’s people as long as it is in control.
The many countries throughout the world saw significant modifications during the colonial period. The European rise in power over industrialization and forced imposition of dominance and colonialism has caused China, for example, to go from modernizing energy to social conflict and regime instability. This sort of system has also harmed Africa.
From the late 18th century, Europeans showed greater interest than White or black citizens in the South or mid-Atlantic areas (Dorsey, 2000). In the 1880s, France was attempting to regain its position in Europe and get involved in a war against Germany to recover the provinces that it had lost in 1871. In practice, France supported colonialism gradually starting in the 1890s (Bryant, 2006).
The process of Western European nations conquering the southern United States, South Pacific islands, south-east Asian countries, and Africa is known as colonialism. In this essay, the term colonization refers to a racist system of forced economic, cultural, and political subjugation implemented by technologically superior groups. For instance, the White people or industrial capital economy believed it to be the most developed human society. However, harmful consequences of colonialism are addressed in the instance of Africa.
From the sixteenth century on, contacts between Africans and other countries were primarily concerned with providing luxury items for commercial and political elites. The early exchanges of Africans with Europeans resulted in the spread of various social, economic, and cultural influences such as cuisines, religious rituals, musical instruments, and health-related topics. Despite the advantages that Africans obtained from international interactions, there were negative consequences.
Africa has faced several challenges over the centuries, including conquest and disruption of African cultures. The export production of agricultural and forest crops in Africa contributed to social and cultural changes owing to colonial laws at the end of the 18th century. Colonialism’s harmful influence extends beyond minority groups’ economic, social, political, and cultural identity and customs; it also implies moral degradation.
Over-exploitation, exploitation, oppression, discrimination, enslavement, policy imposition and capitalism are all factors that contribute to these negative outcomes (Dávila & Laó-Montes, 2001). Politically speaking, colonialism can be defined as a form of dictatorship since it involves the use of force. Colonialism is also a racist system. Europeans exploited Africans and characterized them based on their color; they classified themselves as middle class or higher social and economic status (Eslinger, 2005).
Slavery was common because Europeans were concerned about boosting their self-identity through increased possibilities. In addition to the numerous adverse effects of colonialism on Africa’s people, the Europeans obtained an edge in the export sector they built at the expense of exploiting Africa’s lands and indigents.
Colonialism is economically associated with the worldwide capitalist system, dominated by Europe and later the United States, in African nations. Africa was forced to produce raw materials and import pre-approved manufactured goods. Africans became farmers, laborers, traders, and miners as a result of economic domination. The impact of economic domination still exists today; minorities were compelled to work at low wages while competing under harsh conditions, causing them to become reliant on Europeans.
The United States has a long history of administering and perpetrating colonialism throughout the world. Throughout history, Europe has concentrated colonialism in the south. The exploitation of natural resources and people’s education have also been affected by colonization. The uneven educational level between people from the south and north was caused by commercial activity on the part of colonizers (Davis & Kalu-Nwiwu, 2001). Europe, like other countries before it, sought to profit from nature and environmental progress.
It was the Native American cultures that piqued Europe’s interest in conquest. European settlement has caused damage and had a significant influence on the native culture areas (Davies, 2001). In Africa, several types of colonial organizations were established, including White settlers in Zimbabwe and Kenya who were referred to as political leaders and elites with their new customs, indirect rule colonies in Botswana and Nigeria, and direct rule colonies in Senegal.
Kenyans played a significant part in the production and labor force, yet they did not have control of the economic system. Instead, rather than benefiting from Kenya’s exploitation, the colonial rulers implemented policies and made concessions to their own advantage while it remained underdeveloped (Boahen, 1989). Throughout the colonial period, there was an institutionalized link between Africans and Europeans that benefited the Europeans at the expense of Kenyans economically.
The Ivory Coast was once a major pillar in the West African economy. It was initially colonized by France, but it was able to regain its independence. It embraced an open-door policy in order to attract foreign workers, which led to a diversified population’s rise. It generated a number of undesirable consequences in terms of political, civil, economic, and religious/ethnic disputes and difficulties, which last for years and caused another crisis in commodity price that impacted local customers (Dozon 2000).
In conclusion, the negative consequences of colonialism cannot be denied because history demonstrates that people in the southern part of America, particularly Africans, have been severely wounded by the Western Europeans’ hands. The people have faced political, cultural, economic, social, and religious problems and changes as a result of being subjected to forceful domination by White individuals in order to dominate the indigenous peoples or seize their lands through political supremacy, racism, and economic exploitation. Despite the drawbacks, colonization aided Africans in striving for development, using education for a good cause, enriching customs and values, and learning to fight for their rights and freedom.