African Resistance to Colonial Rule

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A YOADE MONSUR A., DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND
I NTERNATIONAL STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN,
N IGERIA
AFRICAN RESISTANCE TO COLONIAL RULE A BIG STEP IN THE CONTINENT’S INDEPENDENT
Industrialization stirred ambition in many European nations they wanted more resources to fuel their industrial production. They compete for new market for their goods .they looked to Africa as a source of the raw material and as well as market for their goods.

However European had earlier establish contact with Africa as early as the 1450s, they actually controlled very little land. Powerful African armies were able to keep the European out of most of Africa for four centuries.it was gathered that the first explorer of Africa were the Portuguese in the 15th century, at that time the gap between the European and the African in term of development was not much. Thus four centuries had marked a significant change in term of development in Europe which Africa cannot match. That prompts the European occupation of Africa.

The berlin conference which took place between the 15th November ,1884 and 26th November,1885,the berlin west African conference, to prevent fighting 14 European nation met at the berlin conference to laydown rules for the division of Africa. The essence of the conference as it were was to laydown rules of the game, the do and don’ts of European occupation interest in Africa which were later articulated.

However in achieving total occupation of Africa the Europeans used diplomacy or military invasion or both in achieving their aim. Every nooks and cranny of Africa followed in most cases by military invasions, conquest, and occupation by armies of varying sizes and discipline. The period from 1800-1900 marked the highest level of European conquest and occupation of Africa. During these time all African had same objective that is defending their sovereignty and traditional way of life, it is the strategies that varies. Three options were opened to African, that of confrontation, that of alliance and that of acquiescence (accept without protest) or submission. The strategy of pg. 1

confrontation involved open warfare, sieges, and guerrilla tactics, scorched earth policies as well as diplomacy.
However various rulers choose method that suited them their understanding, the likes of the Asante’s who choose confrontation as a resistance against the European after many years of resistance fell in 1896 when the British army raided the then Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh 1 of the Asante empire capturing him along with his loyal chiefs and as well as his mother ,who were sent on exile first to sierra Leon and later to Seychelles .Another prominent African ruler who successfully resist European rule was Emperor Menenelik 11 of Ethiopia used what I described as alliance and pretence, through these he gain the trust of the Italian, reached an agreement them to sign the treaty of Occiat. History has it that there were two version of the treaty one in Italian and the other one in Amharic; both treaties were different in content. Emperor Menenelik 11 of Ethiopia was wise to have signed the in his language. After the signing of the treaty Italian declared themselves as the representative of Ethiopian on foreign affairs, Emperor Menenelik 11 of Ethiopia knowing exactly what he signed sent a circular letter to Italy and the European power stating his case. Before Italian could realized they have been cheated it’s already too late. They invaded Ethiopia in 1986 only to have lost to a tactically and wellarmed army powered by the Italian themselves. This shame of these defeat lead to Italian invasion of Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini’s in1936. Elsewhere, when the French attacked Ouagadougou the deposed Mogbo of Naba, Wobogo made sacrifice to the earth shrine, tradition has it that he sacrificed a black cock, a black donkey and a black slave on a large hill near the Volta river beseeching the earth goddess to drove the French away and to destroy the...
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