Colonialism: Key Concepts
- Colonialism was a new stage in relationships that had been going on for 1,000 years between many of the African and European nations.
- Conquest was precisely that—by force, sometimes by trickery, sometimes by “agreement”—so that the African nation could bargain for some rights.
- Racism played a role in conquest and in colonial rule.
- The colonial period was relatively short, roughly 1870–1960—but it has had a heavy and lasting impact on economic, social, and political affairs.
- Colonialism fostered economic dependency, with long-term effects
- Colonialism was authoritarian and fostered indigenous authoritarian rule, with long-term effects
- Colonial rule led to resistance and, ultimately, to independence
- African voices (not just restatement by others of African views) are necessary for understanding this period of history.
A very fine book of short readings, with a focus on African voices and perspectives, is Leon Clark’s Through African Eyes, v. 1