The Negative Effects of Imperialism in Nigeria (it's possible to go into more detail, but my pages were limited to this many)

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Nigeria is a country with abundant resources and the potential to be a very powerful nation, but it is hampered by many problems. These problems are caused by Nigeria’s colonization by England. Because of this intrusion on their way of life, their future was altered dramatically. The nation of Nigeria as a whole has suffered greatly as a country because of this colonization, its problem is rooted in the way it was colonized and ruled.

The background of the situation is essential to understand its full impact From the way Nigeria was colonized, it was clear from the start that it would bode ill for the future inhabitants of Nigeria. Beginning in the 19th century, the British started to make their presence felt along the coast. In earlier centuries, they had exported slaves from here and other places along West Africa, but this time they had a different goal. “European activities revolved around four major issues: exploration, Christianity, trade, and imperialism.” Consequently, all these were related, because one lead to the next. Therefore, in effect, all of these were roots of the problems to come. Gradually, in the 1850’s the British began to make their presence felt even more. Then, beginning in 1861, the British set up the policy of indirect rule. Using local chiefs and rulers, they were able to dramatically affect the way the nation was run. By 1905, virtually the entire country was under British rule. Despite the fact that they mostly ruled with indirect rule, they also set up some officials to govern the area, which the local chiefs obeyed.

The non-uniform approach of Western ideas into Nigeria affected its fate dramatically. In addition, the extent of the British’s impact, considerably increased tensions between the Muslims in the north of Nigeria and the Christians in the south. From the start of the European penetration, the missionaries who set out to convert the heathens of Africa were mostly concerned with the Niger Delta. Due to the “limited number of missionaries who spread themselves thinly”, the impact of the religion with the most followers in the world stopped short of the northernmost reaches of Nigeria. The Nigerians of the north, the Hausa-Fulani, did not have as much contact with the British as the Yoruba and Igbo did. “Change was to occur, but gradually; Hausa political systems and practices were to be modified, but without undue upset to Hausa society” Because of the difference in the amount of contact between the north and the south, the social divide between these people grew even more. This varying amount has caused much tension, because when one religion or ethnic group presides over the government, the other religion or the other ethnic groups feel they are under-represented and they cry for the situation’s resolution. The Hausa-Fulani are especially this way, because of the fact that they were granted a small amount of autonomy during colonial Nigeria. Because of this, they naturally think they are better at ruling a government, and exhibit an air of hostility towards the other groups. This was showcased best when “the disputed use of Ibo and the perceived favoritism towards those who spoke it was the cause of a very bloody civil war in Nigeria.”The government of Nigeria is ineffectual and problematic, and this is the main cause of the strife there. The problems in the government stem from the lack of knowledge that they have in running it. During colonial rule, the north was governed indirectly, with the British mostly directing things without showing them how it was done correctly. This caused foolhardiness on part of the Hausa-Fulani, who believed they could run the government the best, and sometimes started military coups of power. These coups proved ineffective, however, because shortly after they happened the regular democratic republic was restored. And, after a few years the new democracy became incompetent, so another coup became reality. This regrettable cycle of governments...
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