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Africa During Colonialism Essay

Words: 1198, Paragraphs: 12, Pages: 4

Paper type: Essay

Africa of course, would be colonized by the many Europeans. However, a lot of African groups/civilizations would start too. They would start and older ones would be expanded. The slave trade had decreased due to British pressures and so Africa started trading more of other items with the rest of the world. This same thing was happening in Asia and the Middle East too. In South Africa, the Zulu kingdom would be formed, and in Western Africa, an Islamic caliphate, Sokoto Caliphate would be formed. Many of these civilizations were being formed by a bunch of African peoples around the continent.

At first, in Southern Africa, there were the Nguni people, just farmers and cattle herders that existed for a very long time. Soon, however, a drought would strike, hurting their agriculture. This caused the end of the Nguni people. A military genius and leader, Shaka Zulu would take control and create a new civilization, the Zulu people, who, compared to all other tribes in Southern Africa, was the most powerful and formidable, because of its strict military drills and practice and they even used ox-hide shields.

The Zulu warriors expanded their kingdom, by attacking many other tribes and invading them, taking their cattle, children and women. Parts of the Zulu, they split off making their own military bands and they too did the same thing as the Zulu. Soon, this made so many new kingdoms going up all the way to Lake Victoria. As this increased, so did the number of refugees and terrified, depressed people from these wars. To stop the Zulu tribe’s growth and power, two kingdoms formed, Swaziland to the north and Lesotho to the east, which was made up of many refugees who came to those mountains there.

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Both Lesotho and Swaziland exist today. Shaka successfully made a national identity and a nation in just 10 years of rule. He took all the young people in the nation and split them into different groups, called regiments, based on age. These people of the regiment lived with each other and they all celebrated Shaka, etc. They celebrated his rule and they were all heavily disciplined. Cow herds were a measure of wealth in this kingdom. Meanwhile, in the Western Savannahs of Africa, there was a big religious struggle. Islam was prevalent over there.

However, that was only in the cities and trade areas, and not in the rural areas. The rural areas still followed regular customs. At first, Islam allowed people to mix their older beliefs with Islam. Now however, Islamists started denying this idea of allowing them to have their customs and wanted them to follow pure Islam. They made a “holy war”, called Jihad, which made Islamits take over many rural and other new lands where they enforced Islamic laws and spread the religion. These Islamic reforms first took place in the Hausa states of northern Nigeria.

A leader in the Hausa states, Usuman Dan Fodio, called a lot of the kings there, unbelievers of religion or Islam and led people away from god. He led a Jihad on the King of Gobir, overthrowing him. A lot o f Muslims joined to gether to spread Islam and spread it all around Hausa. All this Islam would come together to make a caliph under the capital city of Sokoto, called the Sokoto Caliphate. The Sokoto Caliphate became a center for teaching Islam and reform. It added many new centers, quickly, to teach Quranic and Islamic subjects to boys. Many people were attracted to it because of the Sokoto library, which was pretty huge.

Muslims here allowed people to follow their own religion but had to pay a special tax. They were not allowed to do their tribal dances and rituals and any who opposed the spread of the Jihad were killed, slaved or converted. The Sokoto caliphate sent off tons of slaves for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, mainly women and children. Slaves mainly farmed, and so this allowed women to actually leave the home this time. Sokoto not only sent a lot of slaves, but it also had a lot of slaves in itself too. In fact, it had more slaves than any other American conlony. Napoleon would come and fight in Egypt.

This would last in Egypt as a great triumph for the Europeans and a great loss for the Egyptians. After Napoleon left Egypt from his losses, Muhammad Ali took rule. Muhammad Ali took rule of Egypt. He modernized and industrialized Egypt, making it follow a lot of the Western styles. He increased trade of Egypt. He brought a lot of education to Egyptians, and allowing them to replace the old aristocracy. He replaced all the European experts and sellers of products with Egyptians. However, one bad thing was, that he made a burden on the peasants to give military and labor service.

The army and Egypt was making its own textiles, paper, weapons, military uniforms. Seeing this western movement, many groups in Egypt, of Islam mixed with this Western Culture. For example, European technical manuals were translated to Arabic. Ismail was the grandson of Muhammad Ali. He was more keen on westernizing than Ali. But his efforts, in the end, would just create a bunch of Egyptian debt to French and British banks. At first, in his first 10 years of rule, it was all good with a lot of wealth thanks to increased trade, more exports, new irrigation canals, railroads 800 miles, postal service and Cairo.

However, after the American Ciivil War, exports went down again and debt would be oen of the reasons for French and British partial occupation of Egypt. Ethiopia was Christian for 1500 years. They too were trying to modernize themselves. Ethiopian Emperor, Tewodros II of Ethiopia was the one who first started Westernization and ordered a lot of weapon purchases from Europe and also encouraged some local manufacturing. One time, they even made cannon that could shoot a half ton shell with the help of Protestant missionaries.

However, they tried to get some more weapons by holding British officials hostage and demanding for weapons, but the British would end up actually invading Ethiopia. Tewodros would commit suicide to prevent capture. Then the British would withdraw, and then King Yohannes would take the throne. King Yohannes took over a lot of the lost land of Ethiopia, except for one major land part, Shoa Kingdom, ruled by King Menelik. The beginning events of Europe’s scramble for Africa were when France took over Algeria. Algeria originally was a major supplier of olive oil and grain to France.

They even gave them grain to Napoleon to take over Egypt. Now, France still owed them for this and several disputes took place. The new French government wanted to show nationalism with an easy overseas victory. However, the struggle for Algeria would go on for 18 years, even after French government would be overthrown again. Abd al-Qadir was an Algerian holy man who led them against France but he would die, weakening and nearly ending their 18 year struggle. However, conflict in the mountains would take place for 30 years. Settlers would then come in and kill off 140,000 people.

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