In todays world, the African subcontinent sometimes appears as a continent in change towards democracy and development. The countries that inhabit the globes oldest continent have been referred to in several varieties, in reference to their development and governmental point out; terms such as "under-developed", "third world", and "developing" claims, have been commonly used by the West to spell it out these countries.
Historically, the African continent had been under the control of previous European Empirical Capabilities, where they founded major colonies that dished up them as economic and trade hubs, where in fact the colonizers exploited every available source on offer in these occupied territories.
The most prominent Western european imperial colonizers in the African region where those of the People from france and English Empires; between them, they amassed almost seventy percent of the entire African continent. In this particular paper I am particularly focusing on the former English colony of Nigeria, and what effects did former United kingdom colonialism have on Nigeria's modern development.
On the eve of colonialism in the African continent, the region of land that we currently know as Nigeria consisted of a diverse amount ethnic groups, where amounts today lay claim these groupings were around 250 different ethnicities. These various ethnicities were divided into kingdoms, tribes, and emirates; where their division was mainly established after their geographic locations; those in the north of Nigeria, for occasion, were ruled with a caliphate system, because of the natives connection with the neighboring Arab-Muslim countries
Nonetheless, despite their section and ethnic variations, all ethnicities distributed a common trait, belief, and public beliefs; such as language, culture, tradition and origin. Quite simply, despite their variances, the natives of Nigeria all valued their common personal information.
Things were to improve in the 1800's were The European powers began their occupation of Africa. The first British conquest of Nigerian land commenced in 1851, with Britain's deposition of Ruler Kosoko of Lagos. By 1855, during the Berlin Conference, Nigeria was acknowledged to be under the English sphere of affect in Africa; obviously that the Berlin Meeting of 1885 lacked any African representation.
Through the early 1900's, Nigeria possessed begun to fall under British job, one area after the other. The people of Nigeria seriously resisted English colonialism, especially those of the north. Nevertheless, by 1914, the entirety of Nigeria acquired succumbed to the English Empire, when Lord Lugard merged the protectorates of the North and South along to create what we have now call Nigeria. Some historians and writers have argued that it's at this time in history where the root base of Nigeria's current societal complications have begun. Claiming that Nigeria can be an artificial creation by the former British Empire, to be able to help and exert their political and financial dominance.
The British started out by launching many economical reforms with their Nigerian colony, reforms they have never experienced before. These reforms were founded by the English occupiers in order to create further earnings to pay the soldiers and officers' salary, as well as retaining its army's needs and resources (such as food, water, ammunition, weaponry, and clothes). In addition, these reforms helped enhance the Empire's general overall economy, as it pumped the current economic climate with money produced from a new source.
These reforms occurred all together and hastily. The English began by alternating the prevailing tax laws which were in effect during the pre-colonial period (mainly taxes on cattle, land, and poll taxes); were mainly applied in Kingdoms and Caliphates. Nevertheless, the ruling colonial power unified the taxes system into a unitary tax resulting after the Land Ordinance Take action in 1904.
Along with the tax reforms, the Uk also introduced a new monetary system. The brand new monetary system discovered the English pound as the one accepted currency, exchanging the past and obsolete barter system; previously the natives used to switch copper and flat iron bars or cowries for other goods.
Furthermore, the English occupiers released new land reforms, which targeted at redirecting all the gains from the lands resources into the British Empires market. This came in the form of nationalizing all land previously owned by the Royal Niger Company; where the company only possessed managerial and commercial rights, and a decent talk about of royalties derived from mineral exploitation. They divided these lands into two sub-categories, Crown lands, and Community lands. Where the Crown lands signifies the lands that contain minerals, as the public lands where mainly agricultural and owned or operated by private individuals rather than the state.
These reforms and many more contributed to the alienation as well as the intimidation of the natives of the lands. The natives of Nigeria, or any colony in that fact, were designed to feel intimidation and inferiority to the "white-man". Where in fact the reforms experienced considerable results still present until today.
Nigeria today, suffers from widespread problem, bureaucracy, and overall poor governance. The country's economy will not fare much better, with economic signals showing that poverty is still on an average saturated in Nigeria. This can be related to the means of which the ex - English Empire applied its tax policies, where in fact the policies where not only method of extracting surplus from peasants, but offered as an intimidating reminder of the colonial ruler. Moreover, the taxation guidelines were also used to exploit and impoverish the poor peasant, hence breaking them, and generating fear into their values.
Moreover, the Uk Empire's method of authorities in Nigeria was established solely on the entire exploitation of resources available in Nigerian place, with complete disregard to ethnic diversity and cultural relations. The section of the place into a federal system prior to World War II, based after past regional distinctions, created an enormous gap between the different ethnic groups. These distinctions continued to be even after Nigeria's independence, and along with cultural rivalries as well as the sudden struggle for ability created a basis for instability, corruption, and public/civil discord.
Through time, this led to the disintegration of the interpersonal values that organised all the various ethnicities collectively, as well as challenged the Nigerian sense of origins and identity, hence creating tensions that continue to be to be seen in Nigeria till this day.
In summary, the Uk Empire was one of the biggest, if not the greatest Empire in the worlds' history, yet, approximately we acknowledge the countries' past greatness, we must also acknowledge the countries' failures. The British were very good at conquering, preserving, exploiting, and carrying on their legacies, but the a very important factor they seemed to have failed at is planting the root base of success in their ex - colonies. If one were to compare the past United kingdom colonies (excluding america of America), one should come to find similar patterns of failures after these respected colonies have gained independence. With both the British isles and French Empires managing over 70 percent of African land before, it comes as no great shock that the globe's oldest continent, is also the continent with the darkest background, and the least developed.
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