The Economies of Most African Colonies Were Dependent on

The Economies of Most African Colonies Were Dependent on

Colonialism and Africa’s Integration into the Global Economy

Module Six: Africa and its Geography and Module Seven B: African Historyintroduced the topic of colonialism in Africa. You learned that at the end of the 19th century, European powers colonized all of Africa with the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia.

Equally emphasized inModules 6 and7 B, European states colonized Africa for a number of reasons. InModule X: African Politics, political reasons for colonization will be addressed. In this lesson, the economical reasons for and the economic consequences of colonialism volition be discussed.

Economic Reasons for Colonialism.

Economic historians of Africa point to a number of economic related reasons why European countries colonized Africa.

  1. Need for Raw Materials: As you lot may have learned from your studying Europe, in the 19th century, Europe experienced the industrial revolution. Industrial production, like all modes of production, requires human resource, majuscule resources, and natural resources. There was no shortage of labor in Europe. 2 centuries of trade with Asia, the Americas, and Africa (including the Atlantic Slave Trade) had brought peachy profits to European traders. These profits provided the capital necessary to finance the industrial revolution. However, well-nigh of Europe was resource poor. Consequently, European industries were dependent on raw materials from Asia, the Americas, and Africa. For example, 1 of the earliest industries in Europe was the cotton fiber textile industry, which helped stimulate the industrial revolution. This industry was completely dependent on imported cotton.
    As industrialization grew and spread throughout Europe, contest for raw materials increased. Consequently, some European industrialists encouraged their governments to colonize African countries as a method of guaranteeing sources of raw materials.
  2. Need for Markets: By the belatedly 19th century, the industries in Europe were producing more industrial goods than Europeans could consume. Consequently, industrialists sought markets for their goods around the world. As competition between industries for markets grew, industrialists encouraged their governments to undertake colonization of Africa in order to protect markets for their industrial goods.
  3. Commerce, Christianity, Civilization:Some historians fence that 1 of the about of import economic reasons for colonization was the conventionalities by some Europeans, particularly missionaries, that the evolution of merchandise and commerce in Africa was an essential component to the restitution of “civilization” in Africa. Today, historians refuse this ethnocentric formulation of civilization, merely many Europeans of the menses felt that Africa was not “civilized”. They believed that trade and commerce, along with introduction of Christianity, were key to development in Africa. Christian mission societies and other advocates of this position pushed European governments to colonize Africa and thereby provide a supportive environment for the expansion of commerce.
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The Scramble for Africa took place betwixt 1886 and 1914. During this time, European countries colonized all of Africa, with the exception of Ethiopia and Liberia. As is shown the following map, Britain, France, and Portugal were the master colonial powers in Africa, but Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain also had colonies.

Establishing political control, orsovereignty, over their colonies was the main objective of the colonial powers in the early on years of colonialism. The colonial powers used a combination of warfare, threat of strength, and treaty making with African rulers in their efforts to proceeds political control of African colonies. Once political command was realized and institutions of governance were in place, economics became the main concern of the colonial governments.

Europe experienced an economic depression at the end of the 19th century; consequently, the colonial powers felt that they had no money to spend on political assistants, social programs, or economic development in their colonies. They were determined that the colonies shouldpay for themselves. The colonial administration in each colony was charged with raising the revenue necessary to pay for all expenses, including the colonial army and police strength.

Colonialism 1914 Map

Given the keen geographic multifariousness of Africa in terms of natural resources, climate, vegetation, topography, and precipitation, there was no uniform model that the colonial powers used to heighten revenue throughout Africa. In the same way that economic activity in the early 20th century varied throughout Europe and in the United states, economic activeness in Africa was just as diverse. Within this multifariousness, economic historians of Africa have identifiedfive modes of economic activity and acquirement generation in colonial Africa

  1. Mineral Exploitation: Africa is a continent rich in mineral resources. In colonies where at that place were big deposits of minerals, colonial governments encouraged the exploitation of the minerals. Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and the Belgian Congo (Congo) are examples of colonies whose economies were dominated past copper production. In these colonies, colonial governments initiated policies that forced some African farmers to leave their homes to become mine workers.

  2. Large Calibration Agricultural output: In colonies in East and Southern Africa that had climates attractive to European settlers, the primary colonial economic activity and revenue generation was large scale farms owned by Europeans. Examples include Angola (coffee), Kenya (coffee, tea), and Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (tobacco, beef). In this organization, European settler farmersneeded land and labor. To meet theseneeds, the colonial governments instituted unpopular policies that removed good farm state from the local population and forced some local men to work as laborers on European controlled farms.

  3. Small-scale Scale Agricultural Production: Well-nigh African colonies had neither big deposits of minerals, nor the environment to encourage European settlement. In these colonies, the colonial governments actively encouraged farmers to grow specialcash crops that would be exported to enhance revenues. Cash crops included food crops such as groundnuts/peanuts (Senegal, Nigeria), java (Tanganyika, Rwanda, Uganda), cocoa (Ghana, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire) and not-food crops, such as cotton fiber (Mali, Niger, Sudan) and tobacco (Republic of malaŵi).
  4. Supply of Labor: Parts of some African colonies were poor in natural resources. In these situations, the colonial regimes instituted policies that strongly encouraged able bodied men to go out their homes and migrate either to afar areas within the same colony or to neighboring colonies where they worked in mines or on large farms. Mine owners and commercial farmers paid a recruitment fee to the colonial government of the worker’s home country. For example, in Southern Africa the colonies of Bechuanaland (Republic of botswana), Basotholand (Lesotho) , Swaziland, and parts of Mozambique and Malawi became labor reservoirs for the mines and big farms of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and S Africa.
  5. Mixed Economies: Nearly colonial economies in Africa are chosenmono-economies by economists. This indicates that the colonial economies were dependent on mining, settler agronomics, or the small scale product of a unmarried cash crop. There were a few exceptions to this trend. By the stop of colonialism in South Africa (1994), the country had a very vibrant and diversified economy boasting mineral, agronomical, and manufacturing industries, and an advanced commerce sector. Another case of a mixed economic system is Nigeria. In the 1950s, the last decade before independence, the discovery of large reserve of petroleum helped diversify an agriculturally based economic system.
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Primary Revenue Generating Products During Colonial Era

Primary Products Colonial Era

Go on  to Activity Five or go to one of the other activities in this module

  • Activity I: Wants and Needs
  • Action Ii: Food Product
  • Action Three: Example Report: Yoruba
  • Action Four: Economic science of Colonialism
  • Activity Five: Transportation
  • Activity Six: Instance Study: Zambia/Northern Rhodesia
  • Activity Seven: Case Report: Mali/Sudan
  • Activity Eight: Mail-Colonial Economies
  • Action Nine: Globalization and Africa Economies
  • Activeness Ten: Summary

The Economies of Most African Colonies Were Dependent on