Before imperialism there were: large kingdoms, small villages, sheredes/chefs, some had large herds and cattle, good educated, islamic rulers, and people who worshipped gods. Europeans disrupted traditional ways and impeded their beliefs and social structures on colonized africa. Africa was changed into a caste system where racial, ethnic, and religious differences were of extreme significance, as enforced by European law. The structure and business of the African economy was directed by what the colonial powers felt was needed. The European powers blended with the African society and inflicted them by their supposedly superior way of life.
An often glossed over and prettily wrapped part of history can be found when examining the colonial era. This was a time of imperial racing to see who could develop the most civilizations and obtain the most land worldwide. What is ignored though is the truth of what colonialism did to the nations and the reality of its impacts on the world as a whole. Colonialism is responsible for the unequal biases toward race, gender, social class, among and within nations. Further, colonialism set into motion exploitation of nations of the global south for the benefit of nations of the global north, and even upon decolonization, with the optimistic idea of independence, imperial powers set up a system to where the decolonized nations were still dependent on them and continued the abuse of the global south nations and their resources for the economic gain, and that system sticks with us to this day.
They had a lot better militia than the colonized nations and were a large dominating force. In fact there was so much power to Britain they covered so much of the world that a phrase was said often for them, that the sun never sets in the British empire because it was located all across the world. A major economic factor in Imperialism was the benefits it reaped for the countries that were Imperializing. They gained a ton of resources and free labor which was a major driving economic part. The interactions between the imperialist and those being colonized were quite negative.
Remove them or degrade them and the Empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as English men suppose.” (Said 1994, Orientalism page 65) (Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism) begins from the notion that the institutional, political and economic operations of imperialism are nothing without the power of the culture that maintains them. So it becomes important to constantly reinvest in the field of arts and
This is what coloniality of power is based on. The Eurocentric system of knowledge allocated the creation of knowledge to Europeans and prioritized the use of European ways of knowledge creation. This means that any knowledge originating from indigenous cultures was suppressed and denied existence. Only the knowledge of the European lifestyle was accepted. Quijano writes, "Europe’s hegemony over the new model of global power concentrated all forms of the control of subjectivity, culture, and especially knowledge and the production of knowledge under its hegemony” (Quijano 540).
As empires expand, they colonize other "less superior" countries, nations or cultures in efforts to add to their territory. When this expansion occurs and colonization of the population inhabiting the area begins, the colonizers forget that the population of the area are indeed human. Colonizers neglect the ideals, morals and culture of native people and force the empire's ideals, morals and culture upon them. The colonized feels helpless as they are stripped of everything their culture, and forced to worship new ideals as their own. Bonnycastle states that, "The aim of the colonizers was not only to dominate, but to eliminate everything in the lives of the natives that might have given them a sense of identity or dignity" (229).
The lack of machinery, as well as a land dominated by inferior natives was said to be a backward economy, compared to a powerful economy of the Europeans with heavy machinery and dominated by civilised beings, it was concluded that Africa was a slow rhythm of life (Balandier, 1982). The colonial powers justified their invasion in Africa through the investment of transport infrastructure and economic investments of which African entrepreneurs benefited from (Austin, 2007). The ideology of “The White Man’s” burden also applies here because the colonial powers saw their invasion as a moral task to rescue the native people from poverty and suffering, they viewed it as an act of kindness. The Europeans built industries which provided job opportunities for the indigenous people, they learnt new skills and discovered new tools that they did not know about prior, which improved their daily tasks. For example, they were taught new measures of growing crops faster, with fewer effects but with a great profit.
The Western Europeans gain power over Africans, however the way they controlled their power, with inhumane, racist and selfish actions mean’t the colonies were bound to failure. In the conquest for colonies racism and ethnocentrism played a role in how the Europeans went about with their Imperialistic conquest, however it wasn’t the original
In the African societies under the yoke of colonization, formal education was seen as a key to happiness and emancipation. It allowed entire families or communities to get into touch with the modernizing world, a world mainly dominated by western influence. Thus, to have somebody educated in the western way becomes a new source of power and prestige exactly as large families and physical force represented in the old days. The social milieu surrounding the individual undergoes a transformation, making the colonizer’s language, the dominant language. This is the reason for which we are of John Balland’s view when he asserts that: “the domination of a people’s language by the language of the colonizing nations was crucial to the domination of the mental universe of the colonized” (3).
Moreover, “To stress the importance of indigenous knowledge as a tool for decolonization, researchers need to appreciate the complexity of the structures of colonialism and its neo-colonial forms” (Akena2012:603). The language of the West was organized as a conveyer of views, philosophies, and ideas to deny African peoples the right to define and express themselves and their feelings in their own language(Ntuli 2002:53). In situations where the overriding education system of the West favours the prevailing languages, individual viewpoints, and principles of struggle, ‘neoliberalism’, ‘mangerialism’ and ‘individual recognition’ “rather than indigenous languages and arts, principles of collective thought, and practices that are foundational