long african essay1 - 17 April 2015 The Destructive Nature...

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17 April 2015 The Destructive Nature of Colonization The “Scramble for Africa” started a competition between the major European powers to  colonize Africa. These European powers, such as Britain, France, and Portugal, claimed they  strived for colonization based on humanitarian causes. The true aim of colonialism was to exploit physical, human, and economic resources of an area to benefit the colonizing nation. The era of  colonization had immediate and future devastating consequences for the continent. Prior to  colonization African economies were advancing in basically every area, especially trade. West  Africa had several sophisticated and extensive international trading systems during the rule of  Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The Europeans installed economic policies that made the economies  of the African colonies totally reliant upon their colonizers; the Europeans successfully destroyed the affluent trans-African trade system. European nations were industrializing at a rapid pace and therefore possessed a ferocious desire for cheap raw materials; the unfortunate result was  massive environmental degradation. The political and economic intentions of the Europeans had  social impacts as well, such as the forced change in gender roles. Many people associate Africa  with having desolate environmental, social, economic, and democratic conditions, but these  conditions are the results of rapid and irresponsible colonization.  There was an unquenchable demand for raw materials by the European powers, so they  wanted to create a system to obtain these goods at the lowest cost. As Europeans gained control  over local economies, the prices of goods that were key to Africa’s market were driven down.  The colonizing nations forced their new colonies to produce solely for the export market, thus  shifting the labor away from important things such as food. An example of this new economic  1
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policy comes from Portugal’s colony Mozambique. The Portuguese government forced labor  away from food production to cotton production. The result was malnutrition and famine for the  colony and future consequences. Producing only exports made the colonies completely reliant on their European government for imports and trade; so when the colonies became independent,  they could not provide for themselves. The destruction trans-African trade, the limited ways of 
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