Related to the other thread regarding the impact of colonialism upon I’d like to argue that there are several distinct economic, political and social effects that still resonate over much of the continent due to colonisation, and crucially the manner of decolonisation as well.
First though I’d like to undermine my argument and say that the term colonisation subsumes a vast variety of historical situations, depending, for example on whether military occupation was violent or through local alliances; whether it was followed by settlers rapidly, slowly or not at all - what the social background/class of those settlers was, whether diaspora from India or Lebanon made up large sections of the population, or the time period’s involved ranging from over a century in parts of Senegal to years in the Angolan interior.
Also important is whether colonial governments were based upon British ideas of monarchy and government, French belief in the Republic, Portuguese corporatism or Belgian despotism. Other factors are the different social conflicts embodied in each area be it colonial administrators/missionaries, agrarian/industrial (Kenya) or different white groups (South Africa).
There are 100’s of possible permutations of these factors from the Imperialist side.
These are also matched by the variety of strategies used by indigenous actors; the BaKongo and Fang used the colonial system to maintain, extend and adapt their economic system, to expand their power and influence. The Songhai and Zerma used colonial rule to defend themselves against the Touareg and Peul. In Cameroon the Bassa resisted Germany through military might.
OK this is long enough for a first post I suppose I’d like people to use this to consider the range of factors involved in colonisation and speculate upon the different impacts that they can have upon future states.
Next post I’m going to go into the politics of dependency and explain extraversion which I believe is a good explanation of how colonialism came to influence the current development of African states - along with vast culpability from African elites and independence movements.