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British Indirect Rule in Ghana, Kenya and S. Africa - Essay Example

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This authoritarian nature of the indirect rule by the British often made chiefs in Africa abuse power in a way that was never possible in a traditional system and there was no innovation or conservation of traditional elements in the indirect rule. Significantly, a "type of indirect governance was found in early toeholds in West Africa, notably Cape Coast Colony in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) These colonies had Legislative Councils with nominated, non-official members who regarded themselves as a loyal opposition, as well as newspapers critical of governmentYet another version of Indirect Rule developed with respect to the loosely organized, so called stateless peoples of Southern Nigeria, Kenya, or Tanganyika, whose political institutions had either remained rudimentary or been destroyed by European military action. Here 'foreigners' or relatively unimportant individuals (such as the warrant chiefs in East Africa) were imported or raised above their former stations." (Louis, Brown, Low, and Canny 1999 P. 239). These colonies had Legislative Councils with nominated, non-official members who regarded themselves as a loyal opposition, as well as newspapers critical of government…Yet another version of Indirect Rule developed with respect to the loosely organized, so called stateless peoples of Southern Nigeria, Kenya, or Tanganyika, whose political institutions had either remained rudimentary or been destroyed by European military action.(Louis, Brown, Low, and Canny 1999 P. 239)...
One of the major consequences of the 'indirect rule' by the British in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa was the establishment of traditional rulers in these countries who wanted to conserve culture and tradition. The emphasis on traditional ruler vs. educated elite had an important impact on the nationalization process of these nations. In a profound analysis interrogating the reasons for the failure of African nationalism in the post-independent period, which is a challenging task, the impact of 'indirect rule' of the British on ethnicity and nationalism of the African countries becomes palpable. Significantly, the workings of imperialism in West Africa indisputably enhanced social cleavages between rural and urban classes, the elite and the masses, and made it difficult to form bonds that would survive the immediate transition to independence. While the manipulation of the communist threat turned aside the just grievances of the masses, cultivation of the moderate, bourgeois elite secured a constant base for Western financial interests. "The manipulation of ethnicity and 'tradition' under colonial rule also had important consequences. As the masses had been excluded from modernity under indirect rule, the nationalist intelligentsia appeared to ethnic as well as pan-African consciousness in building nationalist movements. The attraction of ethnic identity was that it cut across class lines and prioritized culture and 'traditional values' in a time of change. Ethnicityis dynamic, not static, and thus may also be viewed as 'another form of popular consciousness' which emerged with the political struggles against colonialism." (Bush, 1999, P. 125-6). However, according to the progressive imperialists, such 'ethnic consciousness' or ...Show more
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Summary

The aim of the paper “British indirect rule in Ghana, Kenya and S. Africa” is to examine one of the basic principles of the British Rule in the colonies across the world – Anglophone colonialism as a way of indirect rule in African countries such as Ghana, Kenya. …
British Indirect Rule in Ghana, Kenya and S. Africa
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