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History in Africa

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In Senegal in West Africa, the French began to establish trading posts along the coast in 1624. By 1664, the French East India Company was established to compete for trade in the east. With the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, in 1830 the French seized Algiers, thus beginning the colonization of French North Africa. They wanted to colonize West Africa and the French wanted to make them a “French State”. The French changed their ways of living. First, they made the official language French. Then, the French made West Africa convert to a new religion called Christianity. Christianity is the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices. The French colonization changed the African culture.

First, imperialism played an important part in Africa. Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending a country’s rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. Economically, the French wanted oil, gas, gold and uranium. They also focused on developing agriculture, especially cotton, rice, and sugarcanes. Exports were dominated by coffee, cotton, timber and cocoa. Next, as far as politics goes. Africa was a Republic lead by Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa.  Bokassa later abolished the constitution in 1959, dissolved the National Assembly, and issued a decree that placed all legislative and executive powers in the hands of the president. On the 4 March 1972, Bokassa’s presidency was decided to become a life term. On 4 December 1976, the republic became a monarchy. After the French invaded, Benin Dahomey had a French styled democratic government during the colonization. It had an elected legislative body and an elected president, both of which serve for five-year terms.

Therefore, Africa became a democracy and parted from being a republic. The final part of imperialism was how the French changed the culture of Africa. The first thing is education such as government schools – village schools, regional schools, town schools, Nomad schools, Adults’ schools, Superior primary schools, Schools of the Government General. The French made different categories of schools for different types of people. Next, the African language was changed and the most official language countries was French. This impacted the daily life of Africans. Then, France forced some countries in West Africans to convert to Christianity. That is why some countries are Christians. After this event, their way of living changed. For example, West Africa had a lot of traditions and other but the culture changed after French colonization. The French brought new technology such as machine guns, aircraft, and agriculture. This helped the Africans for battling in the war and keeping their countries healthy with good foods. African tradition changed as they began to adapt to the French traditions. One new French tradition was the new types of food brought into the country. However, African clothing remained the same. In Mali, many people wear vibrant prints and silk skirts. In the Ivory Coast, men wear light-weight pants or shorts and the women wear skirts and a shirt. In Nigeria, some traditional clothing items are the buba, a loose blouse worn by both men and women. Last, imperialism disrupted traditional African ways of life, political organization, and social norms. European imperialism turned subsistence farming into large-scale commodity exports and patriarchal social structures into European-dominated hierarchies and imposed Christianity and Western ideals.

The natives reacted to each of the changes in a different way. North Africa decided to collaborate with France to make things peaceful at first. North Africa pursued virtually identical policies, choosing consciously to collaborate generally with the most retrograde indigenous political or social groups to divide and rule, and block modernity—and eventually, democracy. Movements for women’s emancipation arose in those North African or Middle Eastern countries that were the least disrupted by imperialism and violence. In other words, the more that male honor and masculinity were defined by waging warfare and by violence or militarism. The native slowly started to submit to France after collaborating with them. The natives realized that they were out powered by the French and then they realized that there was nothing that they could do. By the time North Africans tried to submit, France already took over all of their countries and the natives were already under the French rule. As the North Africans started to resist, most of them resisted. Adding to the complexity was the fact that rapid European imperial expansion in Africa did not necessarily change relationships among African communities. Those in conflict with one another tended to remain in conflict, despite the impending threat from the French, British, Germans, and other powers. There was no broadly accepted African identity to unite around during this period. The strongest identities were communal and, to a lesser extent, religious, which begins to explain the presence of African participants in European conquests of other African societies. During the second half of the nineteenth century, for example, in what is now Ghana, conflict between the Fante and Asante, which predated British designs on the kingdom of Asante, motivated the Fante to join the British against the Asante, who at the time seemed to be their greatest threat. The complexity of Africans’ political relationships among themselves, then, influenced the nature of their resistance to colonial rule.

In conclusion, France invaded North Africa and changed their colony forever. North Africa lives a new life whether it for the good or for the bad. They have new traditions and new values. North Africa countries have a new government system and a new way of fighting in the military. Life in North Africa is never going to be the same again because of the French colonizing most of the countries.

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