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British Ethnic Legacy in Africa - Essay Example

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This paper contends that problem of tribalism and negative ethnicity that has dominated the African social cultural political and economic spheres giving rise to intense rivalry, divisions and frequently civil strife is predominantly a legacy of British colonialism. Using their superior economic and political position, they created deep-seated divisions that destroyed the social- political harmony in Africa since even after they left the class inequalities and negative feelings that some communities had towards others who collaborated with colonialist remained to fuel future conflict (Blanton, David & Brian 474). Nigeria exemplifies the divisive nature of ethically motivated politics; therefore, British colonialist divided the country with the intention of making it easier to control in the typical divide and rule policy capitalizing on the preexisting ethnic and religion differences (Amadife & Warhola 533). The British were gradually withdrawing from the country and with them the control they had exerted over the different groups; however, the disunity that served the British so well in marginalizing and effectively making it impossible for the tribe to unify against them became a cause for civil conflict. The long run effects are evident in the civil war of 1967- 1970 when the nations was almost split asunder as communities fought form behind the artificial boarders the British cleaved into their country. Even today, many insecurity problems facing the country are due to ethic conflicts which can be traced back to the British Imperialist’s actions. In addition, another example can be seen in the infamous Rwanda genocide of 1990, as aforementioned, elevating certain communities over others to effectively practice indirect rule was a tactic the British widely employed, however the aftermath of the divisions which usually ran deep has often been catastrophic in posterity (Blanton, David & Brian 478). While it would appear that the conflict was a primarily matter of tribal issues with no connection to the retrospective colonial past, critical examination of the events leading up to the period implies otherwise. Since their takeover of the country in the late 19th century, the British had taken advantage of existing divisions between the two tribes and by sideling the Hutu and elevating the Tutsis who the deemed as more civilized than the Hutus (Wa Wamwere 142). Decades after independence, the Hutu used the fact that the Tutsis had been loyal to the British in retrospect to massacre them and strengthen their position as legitimate leaders of the country, the Exiled Tutsis came back to try to salvage the situation and this resulted in a full scale war to end the aftermath and the British who had sowed the seeds of the bloody divisions were nowhere to quell the situation. Opponents of this papers claim will likely claim that not all African colonies degenerated in violence and ethnic politics, to this end, they may cite Tanzania, Liberia and several other states that remained peaceful. Therefore, according to them, accusing the British of being responsible for Africa’s present and past problems is unreasonable and the situation would probably be much worse had it not been for their intervention in the first place. In addition, attributing the problems of Africa to ...Show more
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Name Instructor Course Date British Ethnic Legacy in Africa It is unequivocal that European colonialism had profound, enduring, and widespread consequences on contemporary African states and the major legacy of the retrospective incursion are the recent and prevailing ethnically conflicts…
British Ethnic Legacy in Africa
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