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Modern Africa

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to the major events and dynamics of three distinct periods in African history, namely (1) the colonial period, (2) the era of decolonization, and (3) the post-colonial period.  We will survey African history from the “Scramble for Africa” in the late nineteenth century and the establishment of colonial rule to the challenges of independence spanning roughly the last five decades, learning about the major political, economic, and social changes that took place in Africa during these periods.

In exploring the dominant trends and patterns in African history during these time periods, we will focus primarily on sub-Saharan Africa.  While the northern African states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt share many of the same experiences with sub-Saharan Africa, the histories between northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa (as exemplified by the strong Arab influence in northern Africa and the natural dividing line of the Sahara desert) are significantly different to warrant this separation.  Nonetheless, an occasional reference to events in northern Africa will assist our exploration of sub-Saharan Africa.

The course will be chronologically and thematically structured.  Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes in modern African history, such as the effects of World War I and World War II, the rise of African nationalism, decolonization and wars for independence, the influence of the Cold War, the problems of development, and the causes and consequences of the civil wars that have plagued African countries in the latter twentieth century.  By the end of the course, you will understand the historical origins of the challenges faced today by independent African states.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to HIST252.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements.

Course Designers: Christa Dierksheide, Jonathon Robins, and Ulrike Gutberlet

Primary Resources: This course is composed of a range of different free, online materials.  Among the most frequently used sources are Michigan State University’s “Exploring Africa,” Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s (ed.) Internet African History Sourcebookthe BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa,” and West Chester University: Dr. Jim Jones’ lectures.  These materials are supplemented by a range of scholarly articles, book excerpts, audio and video clips, and other readings.

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials.  The cumulative nature of history studies in general, and in this course in particular, will require you to return to previous units and/or subunits to undertake comparative analysis.  It is this progression that yields a more thorough understanding of historical trends, patterns, and discontinuities in sub-Saharan Africa.

In order to successfully complete this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 128.5 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  These should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 6 hours.  Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to work through subunits 1.1, 1.2, and half of subunit 1.3 (a total of 3.5 hours) on Monday night; the remaining half of subunit 1.3 and 1.4 (a total of 2.5 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: Before you begin this course, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with a contemporary map of the African continent.  The resources you will be using repeatedly reference places in Africa. A map exercise is provided for you to test your knowledge of African geography.  Additionally, the reference sheet of historical and contemporary place names in Africa will be particularly useful throughout the course (see Unit 1).



Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Place the events and dynamics that defined Africa in the twentieth century into the broader context of African history.
  • Explain and analyze the causes of European imperialism and its short and long-term effects on African societies.
  • Compare and contrast key African responses to colonial rule.
  • Identify and describe the effects of the First and Second World Wars on Africa.
  • Discuss the causes and processes of decolonization in Africa.
  • Identify and describe the major political, economic, and social challenges to African states and societies after independence.
  • Recognize and expound upon the linkages between Africa’s history and its current challenges.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Be competent in the English language.

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

√    Have completed the following courses from “The Core Program” of the History discipline: HIST103 and HIST104.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Background Information for History of Africa from 1880 to the Present  

    This brief introductory unit is designed to introduce you to the discipline of African history and to provide background information that will serve as reference points throughout the course.  Specifically, the relative ‘novelty’ of African history compels us to consider the origin and state of African history as a legitimate field of academic inquiry.  Understanding the (at worst) dismissal and (at best) marginalization of African history in historiographies is critical to our reading and interpretation of historical texts.  Not only is it essential to recognize and pay attention to the source of the material, but an appreciation for the perceptions of African history by historians and practitioners alike permits us to engage the material in a more thorough and critical manner. 

    Additionally, this unit sheds light on various aspects of Africa’s climate and geography.  While it may seem out of place to concern ourselves with geography in a course on African history, the linkage between the two is undeniable.  In fact, geography informs history; geographical realities have significant impact on socio-economic and political developments.  Therefore, a brief introduction to important geographic features will aid your exploration of African historical developments in subsequent units.  Furthermore, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with a contemporary map of the African continent.  A basic knowledge of the location of African countries, capital cities and geographic features will facilitate your study of African history.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 What Is ‘African’ History?  
  • 1.2 Major Periods in African History  
  • 1.3 Africa’s Climate and Geography  
  • 1.3.1 Key Elements of Africa’s Geographic Landscape and Climate Patterns  
  • 1.3.2 The Map of Africa  
  • 1.3.2.1 Political Map  
    • Web Media: University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 2008 Political Map of “Africa”

      Link: University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 2008 Political Map of “Africa” (JPG)
       
      Instructions: Examine the map; you may want to click on the map to increase its size or even save the jpg file to disk, which will also allow you to increase its size.
       
      The political map of Africa is relatively new.  Only since the end of colonialism and the emergence of new countries on the African continent has Africa’s political map solidified into its present form.  In fact, this 2008 map is already outdated as Africa’s newest country—South Sudan—gained its independence on 9 July 2011 (this is reflected in the reference map below).  Please note the fragmentation of the continent in terms of the sheer number of countries as well as the peculiarities of their shapes.  Specifically, there are a total of 55 countries in Africa (those who do not recognize Western Sahara as an independent country put the number at 54).  Some countries are rather oddly shaped.  The Gambia in western Africa, for example, extends for 220 miles along the Gambia River and is no more than 18 miles wide; it has a small coastline and is otherwise surrounded by Senegal.  Lesotho, on the other hand, is completely surrounded by South Africa.  Also, noteworthy is the unusually high number of landlocked countries (countries that lack direct access to the sea).  Africa has 15 landlocked countries; these countries are among the world’s least developed countries due to, in part, their vulnerability with respect to transportation.  Such peculiarities point to the artificiality of Africa’s borders.  These borders are recent and typically unrelated to cultural or political realities as they are a direct consequence of colonialism.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.3.2.2 Physical Maps  
    • Web Media: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: “Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 6, The Geography of Africa: The Physical Map of Africa” and University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 1986 “Africa Natural Vegetation” Map

      Link: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: “Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 6, The Geography of Africa: The Physical Map of Africa” (HTML) and University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 1986 “Africa Natural Vegetation” Map (JPG)
       
      Instructions: The first link takes you to a website of Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa curriculum.  Click on the map on the left side to access a larger JPG version of the map.  The second link is a direct link to the map.  Examine these maps; you may want to click on the maps to increase their size or even save the .jpg files to disk, which will also allow you to increase the size.  The second map is also available as a PDF file.
       
      The first map depicts Africa’s relief and drainage system.  It illustrates the continent’s description of plateau continent.  “High Africa,” the parts of the continent south of an imaginary line stretching from northern Angola in the west to northwest Ethiopia in the east, is characterized by plateaus and plains 1000 to 2000 meters above sea level.  “Low Africa,” the parts of Africa north of this imaginary line, is marked by low plains usually under 500 meters above sea level.  The color shading on the map reflects these differences in elevation.  In essence, the geological age of the African continent, in conjunction with the dynamics of plate tectonics, led to the creation of these plateaus, which are characterized by sharp, steep edges (most prominently witnessed in east Africa’s Great Rift Valley).  The second map shows Africa’s natural vegetation zones.  Note the vegetation zone of southern Africa as this is instrumental in explaining African-European interactions in this part of the continent.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 1.3.2.3 Reference Map  
    • Web Media: University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 2011 Reference Map of “Africa”

      Link: University of Texas: Perry-Casta?eda Library Map Collections’ 2011 Reference Map of “Africa” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The link takes you to a listing of Africa maps available in this map collection.  Select the 11th map from the top (the first reference map listed) and open the PDF file.  This map depicts Africa’s countries (note the inclusion of South Sudan), major rivers, lakes, and deserts.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 1.3.2.4 Map Exercises  
  • 1.4 Historical African Place Names  
  • Unit 2: The Partition of Africa  

    The partition of Africa, also referred to as the scramble for Africa, between 1880 and 1914 resulted in the annexation or occupation of African lands by European powers.  By the  outbreak of World War I, only two countries—Ethiopia and Liberia—on a continent comprising 11.7 million square miles remained independent of European rule.  The immediate cause of this race for African territory was heightened by tension between competing European empires.  To avoid war, European countries negotiated the partition of Africa at the Berlin Conference.  This “New Imperialism” was justified by an appeal to the “three C’s”:  Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization.  Missionaries urged European powers to intervene in Africa to create an environment in which missionaries could safely spread the Christian religion and suppress slavery.  Businessmen called on European governments to protect and expand their economic interests on the continent.  Finally, Europeans justified intervention in Africa through the idea of a “civilizing mission” to improve Africa, a concept rooted in scientific racism and social Darwinism, ideologies that viewed Africans as inferior peoples.  Africans resisted the political and religious pressure of European occupation, but could often do little to prevent annexation and invasion.

    In this unit, we will examine the status of African developments just prior to the scramble and seek to explain the increased European involvement in Africa.  While relationships between Africans and Europeans have existed for several centuries, the end of the nineteenth century saw a sharp change in the nature of these relationships.  Here, we explore the reasons for this change, its manifestations in the form of colonization, and the ways in which African societies responded to colonization.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Before the Scramble  
    • Web Media: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Part 17: Africa on the Eve of Colonialism”

      Link: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Part 17: Africa on the Eve of Colonialism” (Windows Media Player or Real Player)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link for “Part 17: Africa on the Eve of Colonialism” and select your preferred media format.  Listen to this entire audio clip (29 minutes).  It offers a glimpse into various African societies in the pre-colonial era.  Please note the descriptions of diverse political, economic, and social structures and systems present in African societies.  Far from barbaric, uncivilized, and primitive as the European colonizers wanted people to believe, Africans had developed sophisticated societies with advanced administrative structures.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 2.2 Explanations for Increased European Involvement in Africa  
  • 2.2.1 Christianity  
  • 2.2.2 Overseas Markets  
    • Reading: Marxists Internet Archive’s version of John A. Hobson’s Imperialism, Part 1, Chapter V

      Link: Marxists Internet Archive’s version of John A. Hobson’s Imperialism, Part 1, Chapter V (HTML)
       
      Also available in:
      ePub format in Google Books
       
      Instructions: Read the excerpt to understand contemporary views about the economic causes of colonialism in Africa.
       
      John Hobson was a prominent British economist.  In this excerpt, he discusses the idea that fierce competition among capitalists resulted in empire-building to find new customers for manufactured goods.  Hobson then proposes his own idea about why European countries sought colonies overseas, emphasizing the role of financial rather than manufacturing interests in encouraging imperialism in European countries.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.2.3 Medicinal and Technological Advances  
  • 2.2.4 Scientific Racism  
    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Racism and Social Darwinism”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Racism and Social Darwinism” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please read Dr. Mills’ lecture notes about the development of racism in Europe and its ramifications for imperialist policies (the section on “Anti-Semitism” is not required).  According to such thought, which was prevalent in Europe in the 19th century, Africa’s black people did not fit the conventional narrative of civilization.  This kind of thinking cut two ways: on the one hand, promoters of the “civilizing mission” argued that Europeans needed to bring civilization to Africa to “uplift” African peoples, to plant Western civilization on the continent.  On the other hand, Social Darwinists argued that Africans lacked the ability to create civilized societies, and therefore did not deserve the right to control their own governments and natural resources.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 2.3 The Conquest  
  • 2.3.1 Berlin Conference of 1984/85  
  • 2.3.2 Why did Europe Colonize Africa?  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Why Did Europe Colonize Africa?”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Why Did Europe Colonize Africa?” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please download the reading linked above and read the entire prose piece.  As you read through the document, make note of the different explanatory arguments presented.  Do you believe one is more plausible than the others in accounting for the question of why Europe colonized Africa?  Also, please keep these possible explanations in mind when you reflect on the material in Unit 3.

  • 2.4 African Responses to Colonization  
    • Reading: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: Benjamin Talton’s “African Resistance to Colonial Rule” and St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “African Responses to European Intrusions”

      Link: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: Dr. Benjamin Talton’s “African Resistance to Colonial Rule” (HTML) and St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “African Responses to European Intrusions” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please read Dr. Talton’s essay on “African Resistance to Colonial Rule” in its entirety.  While the essay goes beyond the scope of this particular subunit, the greater part of the essay addresses the initial responses of African leaders and communities to the European conquest.  The essay goes on to include responses to colonial rule; this material will be explored in detail in a later unit.  Then, read Dr. Mills’ lecture notes on the topic.  As you read these pieces, pay particular attention to the varied responses of Africans to colonization.  It is readily apparent that Africans did not remain idle in the face of European conquest.   Rather, their options were carefully weighed and courses of action were determined based on local realities.  It should become clear that African responses to colonization cannot easily be categorized into resistance and collaboration.  Also, be sure to study the images and captions provided on the right of Dr. Talton’s essay.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Schomburg Center site above.  The St. Mary’s material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Reading Questions”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Reading Questions” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please write a well-developed paragraph in response to each of the following questions. Refer to the appropriate readings as well as the explanatory notes in this unit for all relevant information; additional research is not needed to gather the information. Your answers should be thorough yet succinct. When you have completed the task you are encouraged to check your work against the Saylor Foundation’s “Guide to Responding to Unit 2 Reading Questions” (PDF) for some notes on possible answers.

  • Unit 3: The Colonial Powers  

    The colonization of the African continent was carried out by a small number of European countries.  The two primary colonizing powers were France and Great Britain; the other colonizers were Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Belgium.  These countries’ relative geopolitical significance within Europe at the end of the nineteenth century accounts for their momentous pursuit of territory and control in Africa at this point in time.  Whereas the previous unit explored the rationale for European powers’ colonization of Africa, this unit is concerned with the individual colonizers and the ways in which they established their colonial empires on the continent.  Specifically, this unit draws on different source materials to illuminate the paths of conquest and objectives of colonization.  You will learn that each European power followed a similar yet distinct approach to establishing colonial control in Africa.  Additionally, this unit begins to expose the consequences of colonialism for African societies; this theme will be continued in subsequent units. Finally, you will take an in-depth look at Ethiopia and Liberia—the two African countries that remained independent throughout the era of colonialism.  How and why did they manage to escape Europe’s colonial fervor?

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Great Britain in Africa  
  • 3.1.1 Western Africa  
  • 3.1.2 Eastern Africa  
  • 3.1.3 Southern Africa  
  • 3.2 France in Africa  
  • 3.2.1 Western Africa  
  • 3.2.2 Southern Africa  
  • 3.3 Belgium in Africa  
  • 3.3.1 Congo Free State and Belgian Congo  
    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Belgian Colonial Policy”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Belgian Colonial Policy” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read these notes to understand the economic goals of Belgian colonial rule in the Congo Free State and Belgian Congo.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

    • Web Media: FreeDocumentaries.org: Peter Bates’ Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death

      Link: FreeDocumentaries.org: Peter Bates’ Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: Watch this entire film (1 hour and 50 minutes) to understand how the Congo Free State extracted rubber and other natural resources, using African inhabitants of the Congo in harsh labor conditions where millions died, as well as how the Congo Free State was abolished and replaced by the Belgian Congo.
       
      The film contains graphic depictions of violence.  Activists (led by E.D, Morel) used media technologies like photographs, newspapers, and lantern shows to publicize the abuses of King Leopold’s regime in the Congo Free State.  This 2003 documentary was produced by Peter Bates to highlight the appalling crimes committed over a century ago in the Congo Free State.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 3.3.2 Ruanda-Urundi  
  • 3.4 Portugal in Africa  
  • 3.4.1 Western Africa  
    • Reading: West Chester University: Dr. Jim Jones’s “The Portuguese in Africa in the 19th Century”

      Link: West Chester University: Dr. Jim Jones’s “The Portuguese in Africa in the 19th Century” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this short text to understand how Portugal, the oldest colonial power in Africa, consolidated its holdings during the late 19th century.  Note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for subunits 3.4.1 and 3.4.2.
       
      This reading addresses Portugal’s position in pre-colonial and colonial Africa vis-à-vis other European colonial powers.  Compare and contrast this reading to previous readings, especially those on Zambia and Zimbabwe.  These readings offer fundamentally different vantage points on African history; they demonstrate that “African history” can be studied from a Eurocentric or Afrocentric perspective.  It is the integration of such multiple perspectives that allows for the most rigorous study of African history.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.4.2 Southern Africa  
  • 3.5 Spain in Africa  
  • 3.6 Germany in Africa  
  • 3.6.1 Western Africa  
  • 3.6.2 Eastern Africa  
  • 3.6.3 Southern Africa  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.4.2.  This reading explores a specific conflict that occurred in German South-West Africa (Namibia) upon establishment of colonial rule.  While African resistance to colonial rule occurred throughout the continent, the outcomes of such resistance varied widely.  In this reading, you will learn about the causes and motivations of this conflict on the sides of German colonial officials and settlers on the one hand and African indigenous peoples on the other hand.  Pay specific attention to the grievances expressed by both sides.

  • 3.7 Independent States  
  • 3.7.1 Ethiopia  
    • Reading: BlackPast.org: Professor Jonas Ray’s “The Battle of Adwa (Adowa), 1896”

      Link: BlackPast.org: Professor Jonas Ray’s “The Battle of Adwa (Adowa), 1896” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this short article linked here.  This article will give you a sense of how Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia checked Italian colonial ambitions in the late nineteenth century.  BlackPast.org is a free web resource for African and African-American history maintained by scholars from around the world.  Jonas Ray is the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Professor of History at the University of Washington.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: The Anglo-Ethiopian Society and Contributors’ version of “The Battle of Adwa” Painting

      Link:  The Anglo-Ethiopian Society and Contributors’ version of “The Battle of Adwa” Painting (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Look at this painting to see how an unknown Ethiopian artist interpreted the events of the battle.
       
      The artist accurately captures the fact that the Ethiopian army fought with swords and spears, as well as with modern weapons, including rifles, machine guns, and artillery.  Emperor Menelik is depicted in the center on horseback, and Empress Taytu Betul (Taitu) can be seen commanding troops in the lower left.  At top-center, the artist depicts the angel Gabriel leading the Ethiopians to victory.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.7.2 Liberia  
  • Unit 4: Colonial Rule  

    Power, prestige, natural resources, overseas markets and missionary fervor were forceful aspects of the European colonization of Africa.  Once territory and people had been conquered, the European powers began to establish colonial administrations that were geared towards the maintenance of order and the economic exploitation of resources and people.  Colonial rule took different forms in the colonies; the British adhered to an administrative system termed ‘indirect rule’ while the French, Germans and Portuguese practiced ‘direct rule.’ A third variant referred to as ‘company rule’ completes the primary forms of colonial rule.  In this unit you will learn about the key differences between these types of colonial rule and simultaneously explore the ramifications of colonialism.  Specifically, colonialism proved devastating for African societies.  It had sweeping impacts on African political, economic, and social structures as European powers simply imposed their foreign ideas of governance and social customs without respect for African indigenous practices and structures.  The persistent undermining of African norms and ideals, in conjunction with the imposition of artificial boundaries (both between peoples and territories) was accompanied by continuous activism on the part of Africans in resistance to colonialism.  Here, you will explore resistance movements that were based in political and religious principles.

    Finally, this unit will introduce you to the arguments advanced in favor and against colonialism; these arguments expose the divisiveness among observers at the height of colonialism.  Today, it is commonly accepted that colonialism was ethically wrong and detrimental to the natural development of African societies.  Bear in mind the definition of colonialism: colonialism is a political system in which an external power forcefully subjugates a people and exerts complete control over a territory and its people without the invitation of its people.  Hence, colonialism is inherently undemocratic and exploitative in nature.  Nonetheless, there remain considerable disagreements among scholars and practitioners about the contemporary consequences of colonialism.  The materials presented in unit 8 will address some of these issues.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Types of Colonial Rule  
  • 4.1.1 Indirect Rule  
    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “British Colonial Policies”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “British Colonial Policies” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above, and read through Dr. Mills’ lecture notes on British colonial policies.  Pay particular attention to the discussion on indirect rule, including its evaluation and criticism.  The system of indirect rule that the British espoused as its preferred method for colonial governance is characterized by a small number of European officials who rule through the continued use of existing African governing institutions.  At the district level, administrators from Europe persuaded African leaders to follow their orders (if they refused, they were replaced with more willing individuals); African leaders had to perform such duties as collecting taxes and rounding up people for forced labor.  African authorities were allowed to rule as they traditionally had, yet they were placed in the broader colonial state.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

    • Reading: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: “Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment”

      Link: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa:Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above, and scroll down the webpage to the section entitled “Types of Colonial Rule.”  Read the entries on “Economic Companies,” “Direct Rule,” “Indirect Rule,” and “Settler Rule.”  This reading provides you with a brief overview of the four major types of colonial rule employed by the European colonizers.  Please note that this reading is informative for subunits 4.1.1 through 4.1.4.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.1.2 Direct Rule  
    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “French Approaches in Colonial Policy”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “French Approaches in Colonial Policy” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above, and read Dr. Mills’ lecture notes on French colonial governance and policies.  Here, Dr. Mills explores the French system of direct rule.  Driven by the notion of assimilation, the French administrative structure was characterized by smaller regional units with a French colonial official at the head of each unit.  While “traditional” rulers were maintained, they lost their typical responsibilities.  The French made no attempts at trying to understand the various African nations’ norms and practices.  Instead, they imposed the alien French legal codes, thereby totally undermining African notions of marriage, divorce, crime, etc.
       
      Both colonial administrative systems—direct rule and indirect rule—had catastrophic consequences for African societies.  Both were premised on the notion that Africans were divided into “tribes,” which maintained fixed political and legal systems.  The tribal unit, ergo, became the center of European administrations.  While “tribes” (people sharing common history, language, customs, religion, and physical features) existed, tribal identity was not very developed.  However, Europeans changed that.  Because they needed to rule through the tribal units, they emphasized tribal identities and even formed new tribes when none were present.  This created tribal/ethnic identities.  All of a sudden it meant something to belong to a specific tribe/ethnic group (for example political rights and land rights), therefore people started to identify with their ethnic group or tribe.  This invention of ethnic identities proves to be a continuing problem in post-colonial Africa.  Be sure to review the material in the reading for subunit 4.1.1 for this subunit.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 4.1.3 Company Rule  
    • Reading: Brigham Young University: Eugene Staley’s War and the Private Investor: “Chapter 11 – Modern Chartered Companies”

      Link: Brigham Young University: Eugene Staley’s War and the Private Investor: “Chapter 11 – Modern Chartered Companies” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please read this chapter on chartered companies from Eugene Staley’s 1935 book on the interplay between private investments and international politics.  Staley identifies the key characteristics of such companies and discusses the relationship between the companies and states engaged in the colonial endeavor.  Then, Staley describes the origins and undertakings of several chartered companies including the British South Africa Company, the Royal Niger Company, and the Imperial British East Africa Company.  Company rule was a distinctive form of colonial rule in the early years of colonialism.  While companies remained essential to the colonial enterprise, European governments took over the colonial administrations typically no later than the 1920s.  Be sure to keep in mind the material in the reading for subunit 4.1.1 to connect to this section.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.1.4 Settler Rule  
    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “White Settlers in British Colonies”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “White Settlers in British Colonies” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please read Dr. Mills’ lecture notes on the topic of white settlers in British colonies.  Settler rule as a type of colonial rule was found in those colonies in which large numbers of white Europeans established themselves. As such settler rule was limited to a relatively small number of colonies; Europeans primarily settled in the southern colonies of South Africa and Rhodesia as well as in Kenya.  Southwest Africa, Angola, and Mozambique also had white settlers but in fewer numbers.  Unsurprisingly, the interests of white settlers and Africans in the colonies clashed.  As you study the lecture notes, pay particular attention to the issues that were at the center of the disputes between settlers and Africans and to the ways in which settlers attempted to manipulate the political structures to their advantage.  Be sure to review the material in the reading for subunit 4.1.1 to connect to this section.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 4.2 Social Impact of Colonialism  
  • 4.2.1 Population Growth and Urbanization  
    • Reading: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: “Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment”

      Link: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa:Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above to access the webpage, and then scroll down to the section entitled “Social Practice and Legacy.”  Read the entries on “Movement of People,” “Dislocation of Families,” and “Urbanization.”  This reading provides you with a very brief overview of some of the social consequences of colonialism for African societies.
       
      The colonial period brought about a dramatic increase in population; it was estimated that Africa’s population doubled between 1850 and 1950.  The reasons for this population explosion were manifold.  They included the end of the slave trade; estimates suggest that 11 million slaves were exported from Africa into the New World, but many more people lost their lives in the slave raids throughout Africa to procure slaves for export.  Also, there was the introduction of new crops.  Maize, cassava, and white Asian rice were introduced around 1900, and these staples brought new nutritional dimensions and higher yields.  The formation of economies allowed colonial administrations to ship food to famine areas.  At first, western medicine was only available to Europeans in Africa, but by the 1930s, most colonial regimes had begun to establish preventative and hygiene care centers for Africans, while epidemic diseases such as smallpox ceased to be major killers due to extensive vaccination programs.
       
      Africa also became much more urbanized during the colonial period.  Between 1850 and 1950 the urban population growth averaged 3.9% in Africa (compared with 2.6% globally).  People left villages behind in search of employment opportunities or to escape patriarchal rural settings.  Many of Africa’s contemporary capital cities were formed during colonialism to facilitate the economic enterprises of the European colonizers.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2.2 Education and Christianity  
    • Reading: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: “Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment”

      Link: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa:Unit 2: Studying Africa through the Social Studies: Module 7B, African History, the Era of Global Encroachment” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link above, and scroll down the webpage to the section entitled “Social Practice and Legacy.”  Read the entries on “Religious Changes” and “Education.”  This reading provides you with a very brief overview of the social consequences of colonialism pertaining to religion and education for African societies.
       
      The colonial conquest stimulated many young Africans to “embrace the alphabet.”  Education was seen as a way to new opportunities.  While missionary education (the European powers mostly charged the missionaries with providing basic education to the colonial subjects) often stressed quantity over quality, Africans tended to embrace the little education they could receive.  Until World War II, colonial governments and missions focused strictly on primary education.  They wanted Africans to be just educated enough to follow orders and to fill low-level positions in the administrative machinery.  Yet, colonial regimes also needed some Africans who were highly educated (especially in British colonies).  Hence, higher level institutions were founded, which produced a new generation of leaders.  These highly educated individuals (many also studied at universities in Europe and the US) began to challenge the basic assumptions of colonialism.  Of course, such developments were rather uneven throughout Africa.  The Belgian Congo, for example, did not allow for education beyond the primary level. The motto was “no elites, no problems.”  The consequence of this policy was that at the point of independence there were only four Congolese individuals with university degrees.  Under these circumstances, a leadership crisis was inevitable.
       
      Christianity became a major religion in Africa during the colonial period. Thousands of missionaries worked in Africa and trained Africans to preach the word of God.  Education and literacy as well as Christianity’s novelty were compelling reasons to join the missionaries’ association.  In 1910 there were 7 million Christians in Africa, in 1930 16 million, in 1950 34 million, and in 1970 143 million.  Competing missionaries spread different versions of Christianity (Catholic, Protestant); converts were aware of these discrepancies and felt that they could advance their own versions of Christianity.  Hence, many converts broke away from the mission churches and established independent churches (known as Ethiopian Churches).  These independent churches became focal points of anti-colonial protest.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 4.3 Economic Impact of Colonialism  
  • 4.3.1 Creation of Economic Zones  
  • 4.3.2 Infrastructure  
    • Reading: Transportation Research Forum: Ambe J. Njoh’s “Globalization Implications of Africa's Transportation Infrastructure”

      Link: Transportation Research Forum: Ambe J. Njoh’s “Globalization Implications of Africa's Transportation Infrastructure” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The link takes you to a page displaying the abstract of Dr. Njoh’s paper; click on “Download Paper” under the abstract to see a PDF version of the full 16-page paper.  Please read the entire paper.  Dr. Njoh discusses the nexus between transport infrastructure and development.  In doing so, he traces the development of such infrastructure in Africa from pre-colonial through post-colonial times.  The current status of Africa’s infrastructure, however, is largely attributed to the economic policies of the colonial governments.  Pay attention to the types of infrastructure developed by European colonizers and their rationale for building specific routes.  Dr. Njoh continues to explore the role of transport infrastructure for contemporary development.  This is ostensibly outside the scope of this particular subunit; nonetheless, it is illuminating for recognizing the connections between colonial and current events and dynamics.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 4.3.3 (Under)Development?  
    • Reading: Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen: Dr. Howard Stein’s “Economic Development and the Anatomy of Crisis in Africa: From Colonialism through Structural Adjustment”

      Link: Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen: Dr. Howard Stein’s “Economic Development and the Anatomy of Crisis in Africa: From Colonialism through Structural Adjustment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: The link above takes you to a listing of publications by the Centre of African Studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.  Scroll down to “2001,” and click on the third paper listed there (Occasional Paper, 2001: Stein, Howard: "Economic Development and the Anatomy of Crisis in Africa: From Colonialism through Structural Adjustment"); this will take you to the PDF version of the 27-page long scholarly paper.  Please read the entire paper, paying special attention to the section entitled “The Antecedents of Crisis: the Colonial Period.”
       
      Dr. Stein’s paper explores the structural causes of Africa’s abysmal development record in the post-independence period.  In doing so, his focus rests on the economic policies of the colonial period and the structural adjustment programs that African governments were compelled to adopt in later years.  The economic legacy of colonialism includes a discussion of such aspects as infrastructure investments, education policies, commerce regulations, and attitudes toward African enterprise.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: Marxists Internet Archive: Dr. Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa: “Chapter 6: Colonialism as a System for Underdeveloping Africa”

      Link: Marxists Internet Archive: Dr. Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa: Chapter 6: Colonialism as a System for Underdeveloping Africa” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This reading is not mandatory but recommended for a radical viewpoint on the impact of colonialism for African development.  This chapter of Dr. Rodney’s groundbreaking book entitled How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, published in 1972, explores the colonial system itself and argues that colonial structures allowed Europe to exploit Africa and ensured that Africa’s previous advances in the economic realm were reversed.  He carefully constructs an argument designed to expose the negative ramifications of colonialism for the African continent and its peoples.  His book has been very influential in the field of African studies, both for its introduction of new viewpoints and its controversial nature.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 4.4 African Resistance to Colonialism  
  • 4.4.1 Religious Resistance  
    • Reading: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Religious Conversion and Resistance”

      Link: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Religious Conversion and Resistance” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this brief overview of how Africans used religion to organize resistance against European colonialism across the continent. Compare and contrast the information presented with Dr. Talton’s essay “African Resistance to Colonial Rule” in subunit 2.4.
       
      “The Story of Africa” is a text and radio project from the BBC World Service that tells African history from an African perspective.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: BlackPast.org: Ryan Hurst’s “Mahdist Revolution (1881-1898)” and Alys Beverton’s “Maji Maji Uprising (1905-1907)”

      Links: BlackPast.org: Ryan Hurst’s “Mahdist Revolution (1881-1898)” (HTML) and Alys Beverton’s “Maji Maji Uprising (1905-1907)” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: First, read Hurst’s short article to see how Muhammad Ahmad led a holy war against the Egyptian and British governments. Then, read Beverton’s short article to understand how indigenous leaders used religious beliefs in magic to unify Africans in modern-day Tanzania against German colonial troops.
       
      Sudan (often rendered “Soudan”) was a colony of Egypt, which was itself under British control, until 1881.  Muhammad Ahmad declared himself the “Mahdi” (the “guided one,” an important figure in Islamic eschatology), and preached against European encroachment and political and religious corruption in the Egyptian government and the entire Islamic world.  Mahdist forces annihilated an Anglo-Egyptian army in 1883 and captured the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in 1885.  Although the Mahdi died in 1885, his successors ruled Sudan until 1898, when a new Anglo-Egyptian army backed by gunboats and a railroad toppled the Mahdist government.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Wikimedia Commons’ version of The Strobridge Lith Co.’s “The War in the Soudan”

      Link: Wikimedia Commons’ version of The Strobridge Lith Co.’s “The War in the Soudan” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Examine the depictions of Africans in this poster for an American theater performance to see how Western audiences viewed imperialism in Africa.
       
      Telegraphs, newspapers, and photographs allowed audiences in the West to follow events in Sudan, and the final British campaign against the Mahdist government in the late 1890s was closely followed by audiences.  The war was extremely popular in Britain, where the British public interpreted the campaign as retribution for the death of Charles Gordon, a popular British general killed in 1885 during the Mahdi’s attack on Khartoum.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.4.2 Political Resistance  
    • Reading: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Tax and Trade Wars” and Peace Pledge Union’s “Talking about Genocide:” “Namibia, 1904”

      Links: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Tax and Trade Wars” (HTML) and Peace Pledge Union’s “Talking about Genocide:” “Namibia, 1904” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: First, read the entire BBC article to understand how taxation and other economic burdens imposed on Africans by Europeans provoked resistance.  Then, read the four sections titled “Before the Genocide,” “the Genocide,” “After the Genocide,” and “Witness” in the “Talking about Genocide” article.  Please note that the “Namibia, 1904” reading covers the topic outlined by subunit 3.6.3.  Also, be sure to compare and contrast the information presented with Dr. Talton’s essay “African Resistance to Colonial Rule” in subunit 2.4.
       
      The Herero and Nama peoples of present-day Namibia initially peacefully coexisted with German settlers.  German seizures of land and cattle and other abuses provoked rebellion among the Herero and Nama peoples.  The German military responded by forcing the insurgents into the desert to die of thirst, and by killing thousands of others in concentration camps.  “The Story of Africa” is a text and radio project from the BBC World Service that tells African history from an African perspective.  The Peace Pledge Union is a British organization committed to educating the public about war and genocide.   
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: Vimeo’s version of the BBC’s “The Herero Massacre”

      Link: Vimeo’s version of the BBC’s “The Herero Massacre” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Instructions: Watch this short (2 minute 30 second) video clip to see images of historical photographs, maps, and scenes of contemporary life in Namibia.
       
      This video clip is from a BBC film (58 minutes) titled “Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich.”
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 4.5 Viewpoints on Colonialism  
  • 4.5.1 Supporters  
  • 4.5.2 Critics  
    • Reading: Milestone Documents: Excerpt from Edmund Dene (E.D.) Morel’s The Black Man’s Burden and Marxists Internet Archive: Karl Kautsky’s Socialism and Colonial Policy: “The Ethic of the Colonial Policy”

      Link: Milestone Documents: Excerpt from Edmund Dene (E.D.) Morel’s The Black Man’s Burden (HTML) and Marxists Internet Archive: Karl Kautsky’s Socialism and Colonial Policy: “The Ethic of the Colonial Policy” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the excerpts from E.D. Morel’s The Black Man’s Burden and Karl Kautsky’s observations on “The Ethic of the Colonial Policy.”
       
      The French-born Morel, upon learning of the atrocities committed in King Leopold’s Congo, led a campaign against slavery and exploitation in the Congo Free State from his home in Great Britain.  His book The Black Man’s Burden, published in 1920, makes direct reference to Kipling’s poem and presents a thorough discourse on the fallacies of colonialism.  Karl Kautsky, a Czech-German socialist philosopher, contributed to the intellectual debate raging among German Marxists/Socialists in the early 19th century about the virtues of colonialism.  His treatise Socialism and Colonial Policy, written in 1907, rejects the legitimacy and value of colonialism on ethical grounds.  Both Morel and Kautsky, while out of line with contemporary thought on the issue, must still be regarded as racialists; both believed that the white race was superior to other races and that contact with the white race was inherently beneficial to those races.  However, the exploitative nature of colonialism was objectionable to the activists/thinkers.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Units 3 and 4 Reading Questions”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Units 3 and 4 Reading Questions” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please write a well-developed paragraph in response to each of the following questions. Refer to the appropriate readings as well as the explanatory notes in these units for all relevant information; additional research is not needed to gather the information. Your answers should be thorough yet succinct. When you have completed the task you are encouraged to check your work against the Saylor Foundation’s “Guide to Responding to Units 3 & 4 Reading Questions” (PDF) for some notes on possible answers.

  • Unit 5: Africa and World War I & II  

    World War I began as a European struggle between the Triple Entente (France, Great Britain, and the Russian Empire) and the Central Powers (the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kingdom of Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire).  Many Europeans thought that the war would be over within six months, but instead, the war escalated into a world-wide conflict that claimed millions of lives over the course of five years.  Because Africa was dominated by the warring European alliances, conflict also spread to that continent.  The British and their allies clashed with German forces in German Togoland and Kamerun, in German Southwest Africa, and in German East Africa.  Africans were recruited—some voluntarily, many by force—to carry supplies for military campaigns in Africa and even to fight on European soil.  In this unit, you will examine how seemingly isolated conflicts among European countries both in Europe and in Africa spiraled into world war.  

    The Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended World War I in 1919, mandated that Germany surrender its African colonies to the Allied powers.  While African representatives were denied access to the treaty negotiations, France, Great Britain, Belgium, and Portugal divided Germany’s African colonies between them.  To rebuild war-torn Europe, colonial governments intensified their efforts to control African populations and to extract resources from the continent.  Meanwhile, the experience of World War I led many Africans to question colonial rule.  Veterans of the war grew angry when they were denied the rights and privileges of citizenship in the French and British empires they had fought to defend.  The war also demonstrated that Europeans were not invulnerable.  As a result, nationalist sentiments began to take root in several countries, resulting in labor unrest, political protest, and dissatisfaction with African “puppet” rulers. Hence, this unit will demonstrate how the Treaty of Versailles perpetuated European imperialism in Africa while it simultaneously gave rise to increased frustration with colonial rule and the first signs of African nationalism.

    The Second World War accelerated many of the processes set in motion by the First World War.  While Africans participated in World War II in Africa and around the world, the political impact of the war on the continent outweighed the material effects of the war.  Colonial governments expected a return to the status quo in the colonies after the war, and instead found Africans forming political organizations to express their aspirations to equality and self-governance across the continent.  The decade between 1945 and 1955 began with ambitious schemes for colonial economic development to aid European reconstruction, but it ended with colonialism on the brink of collapse in Africa.  A focal point of this unit, then, is the ways in which Africans responded to post-war colonial policies.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 World War I in Africa  
  • 5.1.1 Escalating Tensions in Africa  
  • 5.1.1.1 Fashoda Incident  
    • Reading: West Chester University: Dr. Jim Jones’s “The Fashoda Incident”

      Link: West Chester University: Dr. Jim Jones’s “The Fashoda Incident” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this entire text linked here.  This reading, written by Dr. Jim Jones for undergraduates at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania, will help you to understand how competition for territory in Africa heightened the risk of war between European powers.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.1.2 Morocco (Agadir) Crisis  
    • Reading: Mt. Holyoke University: Dr. Vincent Ferraro’s “The Morocco Crisis of 1911” and The New York Times: “More Warships for Morocco”

      Links: Mt. Holyoke University: Dr. Vincent Ferraro’s “The Morocco Crisis of 1911” (HTML) and The New York Times: “More Warships for Morocco” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please read the entire article written by Dr. Ferraro.  Then, please download the PDF “More Warships for Morocco” by clicking on “View Full Article” on The New York Times website linked here, and read this newspaper article from July 1911 to get a sense of how the Agadir crisis threatened a full-blown war.
       
      The Agadir Crisis began when Germany dispatched the warship Panther to the Moroccan port of Agadir.  Although Morocco was an independent state, France believed its “sphere of influence” was being threatened by Germany.  Colonial possessions in Africa became bargaining chips as Germany and France tried to negotiate a settlement.  If the Fashoda Incident threatened to drive France and Great Britain apart, the Agadir Crisis pushed them together to oppose German territorial ambitions.  German propaganda blamed Britain for “robbing” Germany of its rightful territories overseas.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.2 Manifestations of World War I in Africa  
    • Reading: BBC World Services’ “The Story of Africa:” “World War I” and “The Aftermath”; St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “World War I and Its Effects”

      Links: BBC World Services’ “The Story of Africa:” “World War I” (HTML) and “The Aftermath” (HTML); St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “World War I and Its Effects” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read each of the BBC articles linked here.  Please also listen to the audio sections in the yellow boxes for the BBC articles; listen closely to “A Porter Recalls Being Sent to War” under the “Recruitment” subhead.  Then, read Dr. Mills’ lecture notes, paying special attention to the last section titled “Indirect Effects” to understand how the war changed African societies.  Note that this reading is relevant for subunits 5.1.2 and 5.1.3.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  The St. Mary’s material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

    • Web Media: Wikimedia Commons’ version of Mehmet Berker’s “World War I in East Africa” and Wikipedia’s “Lettow’s Surrender”

      Link: Wikimedia Commons’ version of Mehmet Berker’s “World War I in East Africa” (HTML) and Wikipedia’s “Lettow’s Surrender” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Examine Berker’s detailed map of troop movements and battles in East Africa between 1914 and 1918.  Then, examine this anonymous African artist’s depiction of the surrender of the German commander in East Africa in “Lettow’s Surrender.”  Note that the armies of both sides are entirely African, except for the commanding officers.
       
      The war in West Africa was short, as German forces in Togoland and Cameroon were quickly overrun.  German forces in Southwest Africa (Namibia) surrendered in mid-1915, but in German East Africa (Tanzania), the war dragged on until the war in Europe ended in November 1918.  The first image linked here has been deposited by its creator, Mehmet Berker, in the Wikimedia Commons.  The second image by an anonymous artist is held by the National Museum of Tanzania and is reproduced on Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.3 Africans in World War I  
    • Reading: BlackPast.org: Ali Bilow’s “Tirailleurs Senegalais” and World War I Document Archive: Emmott J. Scott’s The American Negro in the World War: “Chapter X”

      Links: BlackPast.org: Ali Bilow’s “Tirailleurs Senegalais” (HTML) and World War I Document Archive: Emmott J. Scott’s The American Negro in the World War: “Chapter X” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Bilow’s short article about the Tirailleurs Senegalais, the West African Riflemen who fought for France in both World Wars.  Then, read the sections titled “The Negro Soldiers of France and England” (pp. 117-123) of Scott’s book to see how white French and British officials viewed the service of African soldiers.
       
      Emmott Scott’s book describes the performance of African-American soldiers during World War I, but this chapter emphasizes the contributions of black soldiers from the French and British empires.  In contrast to American and British military facilities, which were highly segregated, French officials could boast that “white and black wounded soldiers are cared for in the same hospital by the same personnel.”  As the French saw it, the response of Africans to military recruiting efforts proved the “prodigious faculty of assimilation” the French colonial system allegedly possessed.  BlackPast.org is a free web resource for African and African-American history maintained by scholars from around the world.  The World War I Document Archive is a non-profit association that provides free online access to public-domain materials about World War I.  Please note that additional readings for this subunit are listed under subunit 5.1.2.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.4 Consequences  
  • 5.1.4.1 Treaty of Versailles  
  • 5.1.4.2 Nationalism  
    • Reading: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “The Aftermath” and “Nationalism and Vision”

      Links: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “The Aftermath” (HTML) and “Nationalism and Vision” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read “The Aftermath” in its entirety.  Then, read the sections titled “The Pan-African Vision” and “1919 – The First Pan-African Conference” in the “Nationalism and Vision” article to see how Africans responded to the end of the war and the peace negotiations.  Note that this reading will cover the material you need to know for subunits 5.1.4.2 and 5.2.1.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: University of Massachusetts: Special Collections and University Archives’ “Du Bois: The Activist Life:” “Resolutions (page 1)” and “Notes for Du Bois’ Speech”

      Link: University of Massachusetts: Special Collections and University Archives’ “Du Bois: The Activist Life:” “Resolutions (page 1)” and “Notes for Du Bois' Speech” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the thumbnail for each document to open it in a new webpage.  Then, examine the two documents to see what W.E.B. Du Bois and the Pan-African Congress demanded at the peace negotiations.
       
      W.E.B. Du Bois, an American activist and intellectual, and other attendees of the Pan-African Congress did not seek an immediate end to colonialism; rather, they asked that European countries develop the natural resources of Africa “in trust for the natives,” calling on them to guard against “the exploitation of the natives and the exhaustion of natural resources.”  The Congress in effect called on colonial powers to live up to the idea of the “civilizing mission” that was used to legitimate the colonization of Africa.  “Du Bois: The Activist Life” is a presentation of documents concerning the life of W.E.B. Du Bois, hosted by the Special Collections and University Archive of the University of Massachusetts.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.2 African Responses to Colonialism between the Wars  
  • 5.2.1 Pan-Africanism  

    Note: Please see the reading for section5.1.4.2 for more information on this topic.  The reading illustrates the solidarity that emerged among black populations in other parts of the world; this solidarity and collective outcry against colonialism in the diaspora became important catalysts for political activism within African colonies.

    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “African Responses to Colonialism”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “African Responses to Colonialism” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on the link above to access the text, and read Dr. Mills’ discussion on Pan-Africanism from the beginning through the section entitled “Significance of the Pan-African Movement.”  Major figures of the African diaspora that were instrumental for the development of the Pan-African ideal are explored.  It becomes apparent that Pan-Africanism, developed outside of Africa in response to colonialism and racial discrimination, played a key role in crystallizing African thought and anti-colonial activism, ultimately leading to independence.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 5.2.2 Négritude  
    • Web Media: YouTube: Professor Abiola Irele’s “Négritude”

      Link: YouTube: Professor Abiola Irele’s “Négritude” (YouTube)
       
      Instructions: Watch this short (3 minute 22 second) video clip to hear Professor Irele read a poem by Césaire Aiméin French and English.  Abiola Irele is a professor at Harvard University.  The Césaire Aimépoem read here was translated by Sunny Salibian.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Négritude”

      Link: St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ “Négritude” (PDF)
        
      Instructions: Read the first three pages of Dr. Mills’ lecture notes (the introductory text and the sections entitled Léopold Senghor and Négritude) to understand the origins of négritude, its leading figures, and its impact on culture, politics, and philosophy.
       
      Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 5.2.3 Trade Unionism and Economic Protest  
  • 5.2.4 Socialism  
  • 5.2.5 Nationalism  
    • Reading: Country Studies US: Helen Chapin Metz’s (ed.) Nigeria: A Country Study: “Emergence of Nigerian Nationalism”

      Link: Country Studies US: Helen Chapin Metz’s (ed.) Nigeria: A Country Study: “Emergence of Nigerian Nationalism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text to see how Nigerians formed political organizations and began to agitate for self-rule.
       
      This case-study illustrates the diverse origins of nationalist politics in colonial Africa.  In Nigeria, religious movements, ethnic language and cultural associations, trade unions, educational groups, and a host of other organizations turned local complaints—like demands for more education, or better health and sanitation services—into regional and national anti-colonial sentiment.  The Country Study series, hosted online by CountryStudies.us, was published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress to provide background information on the geography, history, and current events in countries around the world.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.3 World War II in Africa  
  • 5.3.1 The War in Africa  
  • 5.3.2 Africans in World War II  
  • 5.3.3 Consequences  
  • 5.3.3.1 Social Change  
    • Lecture: iTunes U: Stanford University: Frederick Cooper’s “Citizenship between Empire and Nation: France and French Africa 1945-60”

      Link: iTunes U: Stanford University: Frederick Cooper’s Citizenship between Empire and Nation: France and French Africa 1945-60” (iTunes U)
       
      Instructions: Scroll down to the lecture titled “Citizenship between Empire and Nation: France and French Africa 1945-60” (1:16:53 minutes) and select “View in iTunes.”   Listen to this entire lecture about the changing political status of Africans in France’s empire after World War II.  It is best to access this lecture by doing a search for the title within iTunes; type “Citizenship between Empire and Nation” in the search field and this lecture will be returned as the only search result.  Note that the material covered in this video lecture is also important for covering the topic outlined in subunit 5.3.3.2.
       
      In this lecture, Frederick Cooper talks about how the nature of citizenship in the French Empire changed between 1945 and its collapse in West Africa in the early 1960s.  Cooper explains that African “subjects” became “citizens” and that they used the idea of citizenship in unexpected ways.  African leaders in French West Africa turned to nationalism only because France failed to deliver the political, social, and economic equality that came with citizenship. This lecture, available on iTunes U, is part of the Marta Sutton Weeks Distinguished Visitors series at the Stanford University Humanities Center.
       
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  • 5.3.3.2 Economic Change  
  • 5.4 World War II and the Road to Independence  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “WWII and the Road to Independence”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “WWII and the Road to Independence” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please download the short essay linked above and read the entire text.  The essay explores the role of World War II for the eventual independence of African colonies within the broader context of African resistance to colonialism.  The changing nature of African resistance is addressed in a chronological manner, illustrating the developmental nature of resistance.  Here, you will find that various events contributed to the re-shaping of resistance movements.  World War II was one such event that had a profound influence on African resistance and eventual independence.

  • Unit 6: White Settlement in South Africa  

    European colonialism in Africa took two general forms.  So far, this class has focused on the first type, colonial rule without settlement.  Under this kind of colonialism, European powers exploited the natural and human resources of Africa but did so through relatively small groups of European government, military, and business officials.  This form of colonial rule was most common in West and East Africa, where tropical climates and diseases made immigration an unattractive proposition.

    Settler colonialism was a very different kind of colonial rule, in which large groups of Europeans established permanent residence in Africa.  The areas most amenable to European settlement were located in Southern Africa and the East African highlands (modern day Kenya).  In these regions, white settlers formed a powerful political bloc and fiercely opposed African nationalist and anti-colonial movements.  Conflict between white settlers and native Africans had a long and violent history in southern Africa, and political violence reignited in settler colonies as Africans struggled for self-rule after World War II.

    In this unit, we will focus on present-day South Africa, tracing the history of settler rule from the first Dutch settlers in the 17th century to the emergence of the apartheid system in independent South Africa in the mid-20th century.  We will examine how white settlers tried to increase their control over southern Africa while the rest of the continent raced toward independence from European control.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Africans and Europeans on the Cape of Good Hope before 1900  
  • 6.1.1 Native Inhabitants  
  • 6.1.2 Dutch Settlement  
  • 6.1.3 Frontier Wars  
  • 6.1.4 Zulu Expansion and the Mfecane  
  • 6.2 British Imperialism in South Africa  
  • 6.2.1 Great Britain and Afrikaners  
    • Reading: South African History Online’s “Colonization and Land Supremacy:” “Great Trek” and St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ version of Piet Retief’s “Manifesto of the Emigrant Farmers”

      Links: South African History Online’s “Colonization and Land Supremacy:” “Great Trek” (HTML) and St. Mary’s University: Dr. Wallace G. Mills’ version of Piet Retief’s “Manifesto of the Emigrant Farmers” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read the text and examine the map of Afrikaner trek routes on the first webpage linked above.  Compare the map of the Afrikaner trek routes to the map from subunit 6.1.4.  Then, read Retief’s article to identify the key motives behind the Great Trek.
       
      The Afrikaner trek routes map shows how Afrikaner settlers fled British control and occupied more interior land in Southern Africa.  While Afrikaners claimed that they were entering an “empty country,” the land was in fact already occupied by settled groups, as well as moving groups of warriors and refugees.  South African History Online provides educators and students historical content about South African history from a non-partisan perspective.  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  The St. Mary’s material above has been reposted with permission by Wallace G. Mills.  It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML).

  • 6.2.2 The Mineral Revolution  
  • 6.2.3 The Boer War and its Aftermath  
  • 6.3 Origins of Apartheid  
  • 6.3.1 Afrikaner Political Supremacy  
  • 6.3.2 Legislative Discrimination  
  • 6.3.3 Resistance to Racism  
  • Unit 7: Decolonization and Independence  

    Between 1956 and 1975, more than forty new countries replaced the French, British, Belgian, Portuguese, and Spanish Empires in Africa.  Unwilling and unable to give Africans the political rights and economic progress which African leaders demanded, European powers rapidly abandoned their colonies.  Seventeen former French colonies gained independence in 1960 alone.  Some of these transitions from foreign to home rule went smoothly; some were rushed and chaotic.  Still more were plagued by violence, and in Southern Africa, the stubborn Portuguese regime fought independence movements until 1975.  Leaders of these new African states struggled with daunting problems of political disunity and economic underdevelopment as they tried to find a place on the global stage.  A new factor—the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union and their respective allies—had a huge impact on the path to independence as well as on the task of constructing new nation and states.

    In this unit, we will study the causes of decolonization in Africa and the early problems faced by independent states.  Using detailed case studies, we will compare the effects of local and global factors on the path to independence in different parts of the continent.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 Dates of Independence  
  • 7.2 Peaceful Transitions  
  • 7.2.1 Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana  
    • Web Media: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Part 22: Independence”

      Link: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Part 22: Independence” (Windows Media Player)
       
      Instructions: Click on the link for Part 22: “Independence” and select your preferred media format. Listen to this entire audio clip (29 minutes).  Note that this audio resource also contains material you need to know for subunits 7.1.2 and 7.2.1.
       
      This audio clip will help you to understand the local, regional, and global factors influencing independence movements in Africa.  This presentation contrasts different roads to independence in present-day Ghana, Kenya, and Algeria.  In Ghana, the transition to independence was peaceful and came swiftly in 1957.  Initially, Ghana was the exception, but the bitter and bloody struggles for independence in Algeria and other parts of Africa convinced Great Britain, France, and Belgium that fighting to preserve empire was no longer worthwhile.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Gold Coast to Ghana” and Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Kwame Nkrumah’s “I Speak of Freedom, 1961” Speech

      Links: BBC World Service’s “The Story of Africa:” “Gold Coast to Ghana” (HTML) and Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Kwame Nkrumah’s “I Speak of Freedom, 1961” (HTML) Speech
       
      Instructions: First, read this short BBC article, and listen to the three audio clips in the yellow boxes.  Then, read the entire excerpt from Nkrumah’s 1961 speech.
       
      This BBC text and these audio clips will help you to understand the context of Kwame Nkrumah’s rise to political prominence and his role in leading the Gold Coast to independence.  Nkrumah’s speech provides perspective on how he used Pan-Africanism and socialist ideology to call for African unity against colonialism.  Nkrumah was the first President and first Prime Minister of Ghana.
       
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  • 7.2.2 Sékou Touré and Guinea  
  • 7.3 Armed Struggle for Independence  
  • 7.3.1 Mau Mau and Kenya  
  • 7.3.2 Superpowers and Angola  
  • 7.4 Immediate Challenges of Independent African States  
  • 7.4.1 “Modernization” and Development  
  • 7.4.1.1 Modernization Theory in the Developing World  
  • 7.4.1.2 Foreign Aid and Neocolonialism  
    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia’s “African Development and Foreign Aid, Speech of March 18, 1966” and Marxists Internet Archive: Kwame Nkrumah’s Neo-Colonialism: the Highest Stage of Imperialism: “The Mechanics of Neo-Colonialism”

      Links: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia’s “African Development and Foreign Aid, Speech of March 18, 1966” (HTML) and Marxists Internet Archive: Kwame Nkrumah’s Neo-Colonialism: the Highest Stage of Imperialism: “The Mechanics of Neo-Colonialism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this speech by Zambian President Kaunda in its entirety. Then, read this chapter to see how Nkrumah viewed Western financial and technical aid in post-colonial Africa.
       
      Kaunda’s speech highlights the dilemma most African states faced after independence.  Africans had fought for freedom from colonial rule, but then needed resources to build up their new nation-states.  Former colonial powers and other countries offered assistance, but many Africans saw this as an effort to re-establish colonial control over African societies.  The Soviet Union and the communist bloc also offered development aid, but this too came with strings attached.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, African leaders debated and occasionally fought over the question of forging ahead alone, or allying to one side or the other.
       
      Kwame Nkrumah pursued a Pan-Africanist political platform after leading Ghana to independence in 1957.  In this second reading, Nkrumah uses Marxist economic ideology to argue that the independent states of Africa were becoming trapped by “neo-colonialism,” an informal kind of imperialism. Nkrumah viewed foreign development aid, foreign investment, foreign debt, foreign military bases, and Western culture as mechanisms that former colonial masters and the United States would use to indirectly control Ghana and other African states.  Nkrumah advocated a policy of “non-alignment” for Africa, maintaining distance from the U.S. as well as the Soviet bloc

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.4.2 Political Legacy of Colonialism  
    • Reading: World Bank: Mahmood Mamdani’s “Political Identity, Citizenship and Ethnicity in Post-Colonial Africa” and BBC News: Biyi Bandele’s “Africans on Africa: Colonialism”

      Links: World Bank: Mahmood Mamdani’s “Political Identity, Citizenship and Ethnicity in Post-Colonial Africa” (PDF) and BBC News: Biyi Bandele’s “Africans on Africa: Colonialism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: To access the scholarly article by Columbia University’s Dr. Mahmood Mamdani, follow the above link and click on the first document (Beyond settler and native as political identities …).  The BBC article is written by a Nigerian playwright who lives in London, UK.
       
      Both authors reflect on the political legacy of colonialism on contemporary Africa.  Mamdani focuses on, first, political institutions of colonial rule that have been continued in the newly independent states and, second, Africa’s state boundaries.  In addressing these dynamics, Mamdani argues that the rule of law, as introduced and structured by colonial rule, is the most dire political ramification of colonialism.  Specifically, the rule of law under colonialism was based on a differentiation of people into separate and distinct groups (native, settler, ethnic group, race, etc.) which bears discrete consequences for political identity and, thus, the application of rights and obligations.  Politicized identities, then, were a foundation of colonial political institutions and continue to be reflected in contemporary institutions.  It is these artificial political identities that need to be challenged in order to build more sustainable political institutions.
       
      Bandele reflects on the varying arguments advanced for Africa’s dismal political record.  Inexperienced political leadership, corruption, artificial boundaries and despotism are, in part, direct consequences of colonialism.  Because the colonial state was inherently authoritarian, so the argument goes, the leadership of newly emergent African states simply followed the examples set by colonial governments.  Bandele, however, sees the future of Africa resting in African hands.
       
      Notwithstanding the various viewpoints on the legacy of colonialism, it is clear that colonial rule left its imprint on governance in African states after decolonization.  Perhaps, most critical is the authoritarian, undemocratic nature of colonialism.  Specifically, colonial administrations have relied on the threat of violence and its frequent use to keep populations under control.  To that end, strong police and military forces were formed; new African leaders could rely on these forces upon independence.  Law and order, then, were pursued to the detriment of meeting the basic necessities (health care, education, housing, etc.) of the people. In the absence of strong bureaucratic structures, firm revenue sources and experienced leadership and the presence of artificial boundaries and identities, inappropriate rules of law and corrupt power structures political instability was almost inevitable.
       
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  • 7.5 Unstable States  
  • 7.5.1 External Influence in Congo/Zaire  
  • 7.5.2 Internal Instability in Uganda  
  • Unit 8: Africa in the Late Twentieth Century  

    Leaders of African independence movements hoped to build strong states and bring growth and development to their new states in the second half of the twentieth century.  But in the 1980s and 1990s, many Africans saw their standards of living decline dramatically.  The causes of this reversal of fortune varied from country to country.  In some states, growing debts and failed attempts at reform weakened the ability of Africans to earn income.  In other states, political instability hampered growth; patronage and corruption allowed privileged elites to siphon off wealth and encouraged political rivals to battle for control over the state and its valuable natural resources.  Finally, social and environmental problems took a severe toll: the HIV/AIDS epidemic killed millions of Africans in the 1980s and 1990s, while drought, deforestation, and desertification limited the ability of Africans to produce sufficient food.

    In this unit, we will explore the numerous challenges that independent African states faced at the end of the last century and explore the uncertain future of growth and development in Africa in the twenty-first century.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 Economic Challenges  
  • 8.1.1 The Debt Crisis  
    • Reading: Mt. Holyoke College: Vincent Ferraro’s and Melissa Rosser’s “Global Debt and Third World Development”

      Link: Mt. Holyoke College: Vincent Ferraro’s and Melissa Rosser’s “Global Debt and Third World Development” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article to understand how African nations became indebted to foreign lenders and the effect that loan repayments had on African societies.
       
      The “debt crisis” began in 1982 when the government of Mexico announced that it could no longer pay its debts to foreign lenders.  Across the developing world, governments amassed large debts during the 1970s to pay for industrial, agricultural, and social projects.  By the late 1970s, interest rates skyrocketed, and the combination of rising oil prices and low prices for the primary commodities produced by developing states severely limited the ability of governments to service their debts.  In Africa, the debt crisis forced governments to slash spending on education and other social services as well as to rely on new foreign loans and foreign aid for survival.  This essay was originally published in the Proceedings of the 15th Anniversary Third World Conference Foundation (Chicago: Third World Conference Foundation, Inc., 1991) and is hosted on Professor Vincent Ferraro’s website at Mt. Holyoke College.
       
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  • 8.1.2 Structural Adjustment  
    • Web Media: International Monetary Fund’s West Africa: The Fabric of Reform (1998)

      Link: International Monetary Fund’s West Africa: The Fabric of Reform (1998) (Windows Media Player)
       
      Instructions: Watch this documentary (32 minutes) to see how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tried to stimulate growth in West Africa.
      The IMF is an intergovernmental organization charged with regulating the global economy.  Mired in growing debts, African states turned to the IMF in the 1980s and 1990s for assistance with rebuilding their economies.  The IMF facilitated new loans for many governments, but required African governments to enact “structural adjustment” policies that cut government spending, reduced taxes, privatized state-run enterprises, and eliminated regulatory controls.  This film, produced by the IMF in 1998, highlights some of the positive aspects of structural adjustment, such as increased competitiveness in markets.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Center for Economic and Policy Research: Robert Naiman’s and Neil Watkins’ “A Survey of the Impacts of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: Growth, Social Spending, and Debt Relief”

      Link: Center for Economic and Policy Research: Robert Naiman’s and Neil Watkins’ “A Survey of the Impacts of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: Growth, Social Spending, and Debt Relief”(HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this report and examine the charts to see how IMF policies have affected African states and societies.
       
      This report shows some of the negative effects of IMF structural adjustment policies in sub-Saharan Africa.  The authors conclude that “the International Monetary Fund has failed in Africa, in terms of its own stated objectives and according to its own data.”  They show that debt has increased for many states, while growth rates remain poor.  IMF requirements to cut government spending have hit the health and education sectors severely in many states, weakening the tools needed to improve standards of living in African countries.  
       
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  • 8.2 Transitions  
  • 8.2.1 End of the Cold War  
    • Reading: New York Times: Jane Perlez’s “After the Cold War: Views from Africa; Stranded by Superpowers, Africa Seeks an Identity”

      Link: New York Times: Jane Perlez’s “After the Cold War: Views from Africa; Stranded by Superpowers, Africa Seeks an Identity” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this four-page article to see how African governments reacted to the end of the Cold War.
       
      This article, from 1992, highlights some of the effects the sudden end of the Cold War had on Africa.  Warring parties in several African states lost military and political support from the superpowers; in Mozambique, for example, a civil war that had raged between the pro-communist government and anti-communist rebel movement came to an abrupt end in 1992.  In other countries, like Sudan, civil wars raged on, with opposing factions unable to raise enough outside support to win decisive victories.  The waning strategic importance of Africa to the superpowers also meant less development aid. Countries aligned with the former communist bloc suffered the most as foreign doctors, engineers, and other experts left and lucrative trade deals ended.  
       
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  • 8.2.2 End of Apartheid in South Africa  
  • 8.2.3 Global Migration  
    • Reading: Ìrìnkèrindò: A Journal of African Migration, No. 2 (2003): Joseph Takougang’s “Contemporary African Immigrants to the United States”

      Link: Ìrìnkèrindò: A Journal of African Migration, No. 2 (2003): Joseph Takougang’s “Contemporary African Immigrants to the United States” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this scholarly article about recent patterns of African migration to the U.S.
       
      Africans from across the continent began to move in unprecedented numbers in the last two decades of the twentieth century.  Many moved from one African state to another, displaced by war.  Many others left Africa entirely, headed to Europe, the Middle East, and North America in pursuit of a better life.  This article highlights the movement of Africans to the US, exploring the experiences of war refugees as well as “economic migrants,” who moved abroad to find better-paying employment.  While Africans may find new lives in the U.S., they maintain ties to Africa by traveling home, sending money to support families, or forming ethnic organizations to preserve their language and culture in new homes.  
       
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  • 8.3 Political Instability  
  • 8.3.1 Ethnic Conflict  
    • Reading: USAID: Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda: The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience: “Chapter 2: Pre-Colonial Period - Ethnicity in Pre-Colonial Rwanda” and “Chapter 5: April 1994 and Its Aftermath;” University of Pennsylvania’s African Studies Center: David Wiley’s “Using ‘Tribe’ and ‘Tribalism’ Categories to Misunderstand Africa”

      Links: USAID: Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda: The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience: “Chapter 2: Pre-Colonial Period - Ethnicity in Pre-Colonial Rwanda” (PDF)  and  “Chapter 5: April 1994 and Its Aftermath” (PDF); University of Pennsylvania’s African Studies Center: David Wiley’s “Using ‘Tribe’ and ‘Tribalism’ Categories to Misunderstand Africa” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Chapters 2 and 5 of The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experiencecan be accessed via the documents section of USAID’s website.  Click on the links for chapter 2 and 5 above, then click on the ‘download’ button in the upper left to download the PDF file of the entire report.  Read the last section of chapter 2 and all of chapter 5 of The International Response to Conflict and Genocide for an overview of the events that led to the massacre of over 800,000 Rwandans in 1994.  Then, read Wiley’s short article to understand the meaning and uses of the term “tribe.”
       
      The genocide in Rwanda was not simply the result of an ethnic conflict between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority.  As chapter 5 shows, radical Hutu politicians used ethnic identity to build popular support as they faced the prospect of sharing power with opposition leaders, who were predominantly Tutsi.  President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was shot down in April 1994; the assassination was probably carried out by Hutu extremists who feared that Habyarimana was going to move forward on a political settlement to Rwanda’s long civil war.  In the hundred days that followed, Hutu extremists carried out a well-organized and premeditated slaughter of Rwanda’s Tutsi population, alongside the murder of tens of thousands of ethnic Hutus who supported political reform and a peace settlement.  By portraying all Tutsis as enemies of the Rwandan government and Hutu moderates as allies of the Tutsis, extremist Hutu leaders hoped to eliminate all political opposition.  The killing only ended when the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the main rebel faction in the civil war, launched a new offensive and drove the Hutu government and their supporters out of the country.  The chapter readings stem from the report The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, which was created by a multinational study group—Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda—at the behest of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
       
      This 1981 article by sociologist David Wiley remains pertinent today.  Wiley argues that “tribe” is used as a code word for “disorganized, primitive, and less civilized peoples.”  Political movements rooted in one particular ethnicity are labeled “tribal,” de-legitimizing their possible grievances by portraying the movement as primitive or chauvinistic.  While some politicians undoubtedly appeal to ethnic identity to gain power, the real causes of conflict are rarely as simple as “age old hatreds” between different “tribes.”  
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: PBS’s Frontline: “Rwanda Chronology”

      Link: PBS’s Frontline: “Rwanda Chronology” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Use this timeline to follow the chain of events that led to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.  This timeline accompanies a 1997 documentary about the genocide in Rwanda titled “Valentina’s Nightmare.”
       
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  • 8.3.2 Failed States  
    • Reading: Institute for Security Studies: Monograph No. 36 – Whither Peacekeeping in Africa?: Tom Lodge’s “Towards an Understanding of Contemporary Armed Conflicts in Africa”

      Link: Institute for Security Studies: Monograph No. 36 – Whither Peacekeeping in Africa?: Tom Lodge’s “Towards an Understanding of Contemporary Armed Conflicts in Africa” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the article linked here.  It provides an overview of the types of armed conflicts that Africa has witnessed over the last few decades.  In classifying armed conflicts, the author draws on various conflict situations in Africa to illustrate the differences in characteristics and key motivating factors.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Web Media: The Open University: Environment, Development, and International Studies: “War, Intervention, and Development” Podcast

      Link: The Open University: Environment, Development, and International Studies: “War, Intervention, and Development” (Adobe Flash)
       
      Also available in:
      iTunes U
       
      Instructions: Watch the podcasts linked here in the following order to understand the causes and impact of the civil war in Sierra Leone: “War, Intervention, and Development,” “Civil War in Sierra Leone,”  “What Sparked Civil Unrest in Sierra Leone?” “Women’s Roles in the War,” “ECOMOG’s Role in Sierra Leone’s Civil War,” “The Future of the Marginalized in Sierra Leone,” “The Military and Civilian Relationship,” “The Prospects for Sustainable Peace,” and “Academic Perspective.”  Use the right-side navigation bar to choose each podcast to view.
       
      This series of podcasts examines the civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002.  While the war was frequently portrayed in international media as an ethnic conflict, the primary causes of the war were political and economic.  Corruption in government and widespread poverty in the countryside encouraged people—especially young people—to take up arms and fight in the conflict.  The war was closely connected to the civil war in Liberia, and both conflicts were fueled by illicit diamond mining.  While the war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, the task of reconstruction is daunting, and government faces many of the same social problems that caused the war in the first place
       
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  • 8.3.3 Problems of Reform  
  • 8.4 Human Challenges  
  • 8.4.1 HIV/AIDS in Africa  
    • Reading: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa’s “Securing our Future – Ch.1: HIV and AIDS the Issues for Africa” and “Securing our Future – Ch. 2: the Challenge to Governance and Development (chapter at a glance)”

      Links: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa’s “Securing our Future – Ch.1: HIV and AIDS the Issues for Africa” (PDF) and “Securing our Future – Ch. 2: the Challenge to Governance and Development (chapter at a glance)” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Click on “Chapter 1: HIV and AIDS the Issues for Africa” to access the PDF file of the report of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
      Read the entire chapter (26 pages).  Then, click on “Chapter 2: the Challenge to Governance and Development” to access the PDF file of this chapter.  Read the 1.5 page long section entitled “chapter at a glance.”
       
      This reading illuminates the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.  Statistical information is followed by a discussion of the demographic consequences of the epidemic and an exploration of the variety and depth of social, economic, and political factors that drive the epidemic.  Structural factors such as urbanization, labor migration, and poverty are also addressed.
       
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      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

    • Reading: UNAIDS’ “Fact Sheet: sub-Saharan Africa”

      Link: UNAIDS’ “Fact Sheet: sub-Saharan Africa” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Click on “Fact Sheet: sub-Saharan Africa” to access the PDF file to this 3 page document.  It provides a succinct overview of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.  The fact sheet is produced by UNAIDS, a specialized agency of the UN dedicated to addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide.
       
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  • 8.4.2 Environmental Problems in Africa  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Review Essay”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Review Essay” (PDF)
       
      Instructions:Please write a well-developed essay in response to the following question. You are encouraged to reflect thoroughly on the course readings and to demonstrate your understanding of the content. Be sure not to merely summarize the readings; rather, integrate the central points of the readings you deem relevant and elaborate on your understanding of the material in order to devise a coherent and reflective essay in response to the question. When you have completed the task you are encouraged to check your work against the Saylor Foundation’s “Guide to Responding to Review Essay.” (PDF)  A well-developed essay should take 3-8 hours to complete.

    • Reading: The Africa Society’s “Addressing Environmental Problems in Africa”

      Link: The Africa Society’s “Addressing Environmental Problems in Africa” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this overview of the environmental problems facing Africa in the 21st century.
       
      This text emphasizes the human factors behind environmental degradation in Africa.  Desperate for land, farmers are clearing forests and contributing to the spread of deserts; in other parts of Africa, workers with few opportunities handle toxic materials to earn a meager income.  While specific environmental solutions like soil conservation or industry regulation are needed to protect Africa’s diverse environments, any long-term solution must take into account two key factors that underlie all of these destructive processes: widespread poverty and weak governance.
       
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  • Final Exam  

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