The Causes And Effects Of Imperialism In Achebe's Achebe

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The 12th century French monk Bernard of Clairvaux once said, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. The European colonists had good intentions when spreading their influence over Africa, but like many good intentions they fell apart. The seeds of these results were planted during the late 19th century, also known as the Imperialistic Era. This era was the result of the high demands for resources due to the birth of industrialization during the late 18th century. Following these high needs, the Europeans colonized the African lands for their raw goods. However, they also looked to spread their religious and cultural values to people that they viewed as inferiors. The effects of the growing imperialism in Africa was illustrated in…show more content…
Due to the social and cultural changes brought on by the Europeans, the main character, Okonkwo, fails to accept the nature of the situation and commits suicide. In an attempt to satisfy their growing desire for political power and to reinstate the beliefs of their cultural dominance, Europeans exploited the native people and replaced their traditional structures, thus contributing to the growing societal chaos in Africa. The imperialistic nations’ want for political dominance over Africa led to them becoming a giant that could not be toppled. In Achebe’s novel, during Okonkwo’s seven year exile, many changes were brought to Umuofia, including the court messengers who worked for the European courts. These messengers were from Umuru which was “where the white men…show more content…
Lord Frederick John Dealty Lugard, an accomplished governor general of Nigeria, explains how the British should maintain its colonies in his book, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa. In the book, he describes the natives to be “lack[ing] the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business” (Lugard). In the eyes of the Europeans, the competence of the native laws and leaders were seen as inferior to their own. They felt the need to further reinforce their beliefs of racial superiority by forcing their own legislative system to the lands they colonized. Examples of the impacts brought by these actions can be found in Things Fall Apart. As Okonkwo returns to Umuofia after his exile in Mbanta, him and Obierika discusses a ruling made by the white court. Okonkwo questions the court’s ruling and their knowledge of their customs on land in which Obierika responded, “He says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad” (Achebe 176). In Achebe’s novel as Obierika and Okonkwo talk about the white man’s court Obierika says, “he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad” (Achebe 176). The Europeans enstating their own laws and

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