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Either way, Africa was full of "savagery" and constant war. what they thought they knew about Africa – a land of fantastical beasts and cannibals, European violence was going to stop the wars endemic to Africa, and their.
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Practically, this was carried out in the colonies through increasing infrastructure, public health campaigns, education, and political reform ; Unfortunately, the eventual result of this was the use of coercive measures, including forced labor and violence that would ultimately cripple the continent Christianity was one justification that European powers used to colonize and exploit Africa. Through the dissemination of Christian doctrine, European nations such as Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands sought to educate and reform African culture. In his book A History of Africa, scholar J.

Fage describes the racially based logic of European intellectuals and missionaries saying: Unfamiliar with the diverse cultures on the continent of Africa, European explorers viewed practices unfamiliar to them as lesser and savage. To many European nations, Christianity represented western civilization and the basis for Anglo-Saxon morality. Christianity served as a major force in the partition and eventual colonization of Africa Boahen During the late 19 th century, European nations increasingly vied for global power.

In an attempt to augment political and regional influence, nations like Great Britain and France needed a justification for expansion. Essentially Christianity was a guise by which Western governments justified the exploitation and conquest of African nations. Originally denoted as a reference to United States imperialism in the Philippines, the Anglos-centric basis of the poem holds true to the root structure of imperialist ideology.

Denouncing the religious practices of Africans as witchcraft and heathenism, European nations sought to convert, and then exploit the indigenous peoples of Africa.

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Furthermore European missionaries called upon the tenants of Christianity to spread what they believed was a just and compassionate doctrine. In practice they were used to degrade the culture and society of the African people. Under the pretense of humanitarian theology, European powers strategically implemented Christianity as a divisive imperialistic tool. In a missionary memoir written by monk named Daniel Kumler Flickinger, Flickinger describes the state of African culture, religion, and society in the nation of Ethiopia.

The insistence that ideas concerning race and the bodily alterity of non-white people can be neatly separated from military culture, as expressed in the work of Isabel V. Hull for instance, is thus ultimately unsustainable.

Violence in Twentieth Century Africa

The point is not that scholars must denounce British imperialism as a brutal and morally corrupt endeavour. This exceptionalism is further established in contrast to German imperialism and, by extension, to twentieth century totalitarian regimes. The aftermath of the charge of the Dervishes at Omdurman, 2 Sept. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.


It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Abstract Even as a growing body of literature has in recent years revealed the ubiquity of racialized violence within Western colonies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, another historical narrative remains insistent that the British Empire constituted a notable exception to the rule.

View large Download slide. And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. It is no coincidence that Winston Churchill was only too happy to decry the Amritsar Massacre in — as indeed was British Prime Minister David Cameron when he visited the site of the massacre in New Perspectives , ed. Global Politics and Strategy This point is made repeatedly: See Priya Satia, Spies in Arabia: This is also the case in American military historiography, although it is beyond the scope of the present article to discuss the parallels, but see Brian McAllister Linn, The U.

See for instance Robert Johnson, Spying for Empire: See also Denver A. Victor Kiernan, The Lords of Humankind: Henry Brackenbury, The Ashanti War: This is indeed one of the main points made by Edward Said in Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient , New York, Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories , Delhi, , pp.

While the Boers were frequently mentioned by Callwell, they constitute a clear exception in the broader context of savage warfare which pitted the forces of Western imperialism against non-white people. Callwell, Small Wars , p. For an innovative study of the colonial deployment of so-called savagery, see Michael Taussig, Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: This point is reiterated, pp.

History of Africa through western eyes

See for instance Dirk A. Moses, Genocide and Settler Society: Genocide in German South-West Africa: Lifting the Fog of War , ed.

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Jeff Guy, Remembering the Rebellion: This weakness had already been noticed by big-game hunters using the Mark II: Rodgers to Surgeon-Colonel T. Heather Streets, Martial Races: Churchill, The River War: Steevens, With Kitchener , p.

History of Africa through western eyes | World news |

Churchill, River War , vol. The fact that the enemy wounded were left to perish on the battlefield did cause some debate back in Britain: The Proceedings of the Hague Peace Conferences , ed. Scott, New York, , pp. Corporeality, Materiality and Transformation , ed. Paul Cornish and Nicholas J.

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  6. The century that saw all the disease-ridden, barely civilized successors to Jamestown slaughtering and getting slaughtered by the Original Inhabitants, hanging on by their fingernails to some fetid coastal swampland until Pocahontas saved Thanksgiving. I said it was a blur. Enter Bernard Bailyn, the greatest historian of early America alive today. Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.

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    All the while shaping, and sometimes misshaping, the American character. He goes to see the Pequot War battlefield and he is appalled.

    Bernard Bailyn, one of our greatest historians, shines his light on the nation’s Dark Ages

    Bailyn is speaking of one of the early and bloodiest encounters, between our peaceful pumpkin pie-eating Pilgrims and the original inhabitants of the land they wanted to seize, the Pequots. But for Bailyn, the mercenary motive is less salient than the theological.