Colonial Policies and Systems Research Paper by Nicky

Colonial Policies and Systems
A comprehensive exploration of colonial policies and systems in Africa during the twentieth century.
# 146946 | 6,834 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jan 30, 2011 in History (African) , History (European)

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The paper examines and compares European colonial policies and systems during the twentieth century, with an emphasis on various measures the European powers used to exploit, extract, or "modernize" their territories in Africa. The paper analyzes the formation and execution of high administrative policies, and the differences or similarities between the Belgian, British, French, German and Portuguese policies and systems. The paper discusses colonial economic policies and their effects, the policy of forced labor, the expropriation of traditional communal lands, and education policies. The paper concludes that colonial conquest and administration certainly reconfigured pre-colonial African societies as part of the Western model of political modernization.

The European Conquest
European Colonial Administrative Policies
Colonial Economic Policies
Forced Labor as Policy and System
The Land Tenure System
Colonial Education Policies

From the Paper:

"There are two schools of thought concerning the reasons or benefits for colonial policies and systems during the twentieth century. Some scholars are of the view that colonialism was part of the civilizing mission that began in the late nineteenth century, with the ultimate goal of modernizing African infrastructures, people, and resources. These scholars argue that colonialism was beneficial, and that Africans needed such a transition in their development. The second view rejects the altruistic argument partly because they hold that"modernization" does not have to be Westernization; they maintain that Africans did not need colonialism to modernize. Furthermore, this second argument suggests that European colonization and colonial policies were mainly carried out for the purpose of exploiting the untapped natural resources in different parts of Africa for European industrial needs. The untapped resources, they argued, fueled European factories, and at the same time the modernization of African societies created a vast market for the distribution of finished products from Europe to Africa."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adu A. Boahen (ed.) General History of Africa - Abridged Edition - Volume VII Africa under Colonial Domination 1880-1935 (UNESCO/James Currey, 1990)
  • J. D. Fage (with William Tordoff), A History of Africa, Fourth Edition (London,: Routledge, 2002)
  • John Iliffe, Africans - The History of a Continent, New Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • Mendy, P. K. "Portugal's Civilizing Mission in Colonial Guinea-Bissau: Rhetoric and Reality," in The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2003: 35-58
  • Fyle, M. C. Introduction to the African Civilization, Colonial and Post-colonial Africa - Volume II, (Lanham: University Press of America, 2001)

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

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MLA Format

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