Contradictory to the Africans being agents of colonial rule, they were also victims through colonization. Take for example the Belgian imperialism in the Congo. In 1884, the Berlin conference took place un order to settle the “Scramble of Africa and all King Leopold II to rule over the Congo. Both parties were in the advantage of this agreement because it also al- lowed Europeans to lay claim on African land and diminish the indigenous people's power. This agreement led to the miscreant and abuse of the Congo people and their natural resources. Leopold II would heavily exploit the Congolese people of their natural rubber which had become an essential and valuable commodity. He would often send armies to steal the wives of his slaves as hostages till they were able to bring their quota rube. If they failed, the women were often whipped or killed. As European powers began to expand, the demand for products such as sugar, tobacco, cotton, rice, and indigo grew, and more land became available, the need of plantation la- bor. This led to the enslavement of thousands of Africans through the Atlantic slave trade due to their ability to live longer on tropical plantations than European laborers than Native Americans. Slaves were also inexpensive and easily accessible to the Europeans sometimes through other Africans who captured and sold slaves in the market on the coast. The Africans who were mostly enslaved were often prisons of wars or captives of slave raids. As global economic demand from
Frank 6 the establishing colonies for slaves grew, rural and wealthy elites accumulated more and more slaves for marketing or personal use. As a result of the 19th century, vast numbers of black Africans in central and west Africa were threatened by the possibility of enslavement. In conclusion, though they Africans were victimized by the Atlantic slave trade and other European colonial powers, they still fought against colonization to protect their traditional customs and beliefs that had been passed down for generations. Through the threats of colonial powers taking over and changing their economic, political, a religious way of life, they built or- ganizations, sects, and formed new communities to stay in to protect their authentic traditions. Through their resistance, they proved to be more of agents than victims during this period. Work Cited Echewa, Thomas O. I Saw the Sky Catch Fire. Amadi, 2002. Kenyatta, Jomo, and Bronislaw Malinowski. Facing Mount Kenya:the Tribal Life of the Gikuyu. Vintage Books, 1965. Collins, Robert O., and James McDonald Burns. A History of Sub-Saharan Africa . Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Frank 7 Spear, Thomas T. Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land & Agricultural Development in Arusha & Meru. Mkuki Na Nyota, 1997.
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