Throughout history, many people respond different ways to different things for different reasons. Often times, when change is forced on a group of people, they do not look kindly upon it. This would be the case for what is called “The Scramble for Africa. ” According to the documents given, European powers gave the illusion of choice to the people and then backed that up with bullets when they resisted. In response the European Colonization of Africa, the Native people feared the social problems that would face them along with the fear of foreign rule.
This caused them to rely heavily on their religious oath and the belief that dying in battle would be better than becoming slaves. Due to the matriarchal set up of African Tribes, women had a larger role in determining their course of action than women in other European countries had. Document 1 (The Standard form signed by many African Rulers by The Royal Niger Company) and Document 2 (Shanty Leader’s response to a British Official) discuss how the British give the illusion that African Nations have a choice in this matter.
After all, the British offer a contract to be signed by African Leaders which implies that Leaders may choose to accept or decline. After being presented with this dilemma, most African Nations such as the Shanty wished to remain independent and to preserve their relations with Europe. The Africans felt like they were in control of their own fate due to the false illusion of free choice. The British obviously anticipated this resistance as they later used warfare to control Africa by force.
Document 3 (Letter to Europe from the Leader of Ethiopia) and Document 8 (Account of the Magi Rebellion in Germany from a German Officer) explain the role of religion in The Colonization of Africa. Due to the Berlin Conference, the Continent of Africa was being divided. Many felt like they had been saved in previous crises as a result of their god’s doing. African Nations believed that they maintained their independence by being protected from the God’s and felt invincible against European bullets.
This could be attributed to one of the reasons why the Africans chose to fight in the face of an almost certain death. Also the Ethiopians victory (doc. 5) gave Africans a sense of hope in their quest to remain independent. The German’s also used the religious practice of the African tribes as propaganda to motivate soldiers. Many military personnel believed that the Africans strength of faith came from a arm of voodoo or a spiritual water. This document is biased because the Germans were exploiting the practices of the African religions for their own purpose and self-benefit.
Depiction of oppressive use of force on African Natives which sparked an African Rebellion is shown in documents 4 (by an African Veteran), 6 (Speech to Chiefs by the Queen Shanty), 7 (letter to another African Leader by Samuel Marchers) and 9 (African leaders response to a German Catholic Missionary). After African tribes turned down contracts, British stopped pretending to be nice and used guns on the people. Many people fought back in fear that they would be treated like slaves if colonized by Europe.
Unlike trends across the world during this time period, women convinced many male leaders that it would be almost dishonorable to let their King be taken without firing a single bullet. This was mainly due to the Matriarchal structure of Society that was formed in early African Societies. Bias is also prevalent in these documents also due to the fact that Africans were crying out for help and were only using the facts that would support their cause. African Nations responded to colonization efforts by holding on o their religious beliefs and through militaristic resistance.
Many African Natives motivated themselves to fight by thinking that the only alternative would be slavery. Later in history, the Berlin Conference divided up Africa and subsequently, divided up many ethnic groups which would cause perpetual violence in Africa. Also European exploitation of resources left Africa dependent on European powers, very similar to Latin American and South American countries. An additional document that would have been helpful is a response from African merchants that detailed the possible economic consequences of European colonization.