Effects of Imperialism and Colonialism

Rwanda is a small country in east-central Africa. It was a country that faced genocide, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by dominant Hutu forces in just 100 days. Rwanda was a country with many great ideas it had a strange way of culture and Religion.

The country had different languages because of the fact that Belgium and Germany took over the small country which then showed Rwanda a new way of living including traditions, languages, culture, and Religion. During their early civilization, they settled their way of culture and innovations.

Rwanda went through many forms of government and exploring different types of adversities. With that their economy was still powerful because of their fine agriculture. When Belgium and Germany took over of their country they went through the hardship of political, economic, and the ideological way of thinking of the reigning countries.

Early Culture and Innovations

Starting off, Rwanda was very diverse and open to other religions because of all the different languages and people that lived in the same country.

When Belgium took over Rwanda although they didn’t agree with the change they were still open and willing to see the different cultures because they had many distinct languages and they were also very good at innovating.

First of all, they had different religions like Roman Catholic Christianity, Islam, Atheism or Agnosticism, and African Folk Beliefs. All these religions show that the diversity and the change because of Belgium’s reign. With all of these changes, the people thought they could merge cultures and do one of their own, Rwandan Christians still continue to practice main indigenous practices as well,(Source 2).

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This shows how open Rwandan people were to change because even before being taken over they had many differences.

Following, Rwandans were very intelligent with innovations. For example, the Bahutu farmers established a socio-economic system on small scale agriculture. All the systems they created made their innovations strong and helped their way of living like, the Hutu created the system that the Hutu traded labor and military with Tutsi in return for cattle and their products.

Even though they had many languages throughout their country, they had their main languages which were French and Kinyarwanda. During that time they also talked English even though it wasn’t as common to speak that language back in those days.

Forms of Government

Next, the Rwandan people had a distinct form of government, During these time this country wasn’t the safest nor calmest place to be in. Their court had strange and abnormal rules. Their government divided their chiefs with different types of the ruling. Rwanda went through many hardships one including genocide. When someone was in court they had specific rules and ways to go on with their court.

Furthermore, when it came to leading they had three chiefs because of their clans, they had one chief for each clan. The clans were the following, Hutu, Twa, and Tutus. Although they had chiefs for each clan they also had chiefs for military, cattle, and land. The chief for the military was in charge army, the chief for the cattle was in charge of regulating disputes, and the land chief was in charge of land and agriculture.

Additionally, genocide started April 6, 1994, and was caused by a plane carrying Habyarimana and Burundi, it was shot down over the capital of Kigali, leaving, no survivors. When this happened the people did not know who to blame, so they accused Hutu extremists while others blamed leaders or the PRF.

Moreover, their ways of holding court weren’t “normal”. When they were going to have court it was held outside. After the genocide, they did some changes. One of the changes was that the head of the households participated as judges, they did this so they could judge people accused of genocide.


Following, Rwanda had a very well managed economic agriculture. Rwanda had great resources, they also put up a great trading system. Most of the Rwandan population lived in farms. Also, Rwanda had many natural resources. They also had a well-established trading system.

Firstly, only eight percent of people lived in towns, the rest lived on farms where they grew mainly crops, which is why they were so well informed with agriculture. Rwandans main export was coffee.

Next, not only was coffee the only natural resource they had but they also had many others including, pyrethrum extract, tin, tantalite, and gold. These resources were very helpful when it came to trade. With all of these resources, their country had to offer they had many countries they were able to trade with such as China, Uganda, Kenia, India, U.A.E and many others.

Effects of Imperialism and Colonialism

Finally, when Belgium gained control Rwanda was affected by imperialism and colonialism. Some of the many ways that they were affected were the fact that Belgium took over because they wanted to improve their economy, political strengths. Belgium also wanted to show how ideological it was.

They were able to show their political strengths by having people unify to their reign. This gave them the possibility them to be the rulers of a monarchy that gave them the right to rule. Belgium improved their economy by having seeing how European people did it for example, “European countries realized that by taking control of African territories they could secure a very cheap supply of raw materials that would ensure industrial success and overall economic prosperity,”(source 2). Belgium was able to show their Ideological power by having farmers pushed of land. They also forced those that stayed to work for them.


In conclusion, Rwanda may have gone through many changes but they were always able to adapt. They spoke many languages which made them a very diverse country, that was another reason why they were so good to change because they knew more languages and were able to adapt a lot quicker.

Their way of government and their religious beliefs were also very different which was another factor that made their country stand out. One thing that made them strong even when they were taken over by Belgium was their agriculture. As stated, the Rwandan people were very well at adapting which made them a strong country.


  1. Source 1: https://www.britannica.com/place/Rwanda/Demographic-trends#ref40769
  2. Source 2: https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/rwanda
  3. Source 3: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/religious-beliefs-in-rwanda.html
  4. Source 4: https://www.everyculture.com/No-Sa/Rwanda.html
  5. Source 5: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/NEH/rweconomy.htm
  6. Source 6: https://www.history.com/topics/africa/rwandan-genocide

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Effects of Imperialism and Colonialism. (2022, Jun 25). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/effects-of-imperialism-and-colonialism/

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