Meaning and Reasons for Colonialism
What is Colonialism?
Colonialism is the establishment of control and domination of territories and peoples mainly in the developing world by western stronger nations in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is the annexation, total control, or political, social, and economic domination of underdeveloped territories by more powerful nations by conquest.
Colonialism led to the exploitationTo use someone or something unfairly for your own advantage. More, and transformation of their economies to meet the needs of the developed economies, and the imposition of western social, cultural, and economic values. A colonial territory is conquered and ruled by a stronger state.
European countries scrambled for Africa in the 18th century. They scrambled and partitioned African territories among themselves. The outcome was conflict over territories or areas among the European Countries. To resolve the conflict over scrambling for territory and trade, the Berlin conference was called, from 1884 to 1885, by the Chancellor of Germany OHO, Von Bismarck.
The Berlin conference was a meeting at which the major European powers negotiated and formalized claims to territory in Africa; also called the Berlin West Africa Conference.
Reasons for Colonialism:
There were many reasons for colonialism among the European nations. They included:
(i) Economic Factor: They were in search of legitimate trade to replace the slave trade which had just been abolished then.
(ii) Colonialism was necessitated by the need to secure raw materials for the growing industries in Europe.
(iii) The colonial territories created a Market for their manufactured goods. European nations desperately needed a market to sell off their manufactured goods which they saw in Africa with its population.
(iv) They wanted to extend their cultural heritage to Africa. They thought that African culture was uncivilized and barbaric, hence the need to change them. It was against this backdrop that the French pursued a policy of assimilation1. the process of taking in and fully understanding information or ideas. 2. the absorption and digestion of food or nutrients by the body or any biological system. More.
(v) Religious Factor: They wanted to carry out missionary works in these territories.
(vi) Europeans embarked on colonialism as they believed it will help end slave trade and slavery.
(vii) It would help them extend to expand their area of influence and control for national pride and glory. They wanted to acquire more territories and trade to boost the honour and pride of their countries.
(viii) As they secured control of other territories it provided employment for their people rendered jobless by industrialization.