British in Kenya

Topics: Africa, Colonialism, British Empire Pages: 9 (2933 words) Published: August 2, 2007
British Imperialism and Colonialism in Kenya

Throughout the African continent, foreign occupation and intervention has always been a focal point when analyzing the historical academia of the enormous continent. Many historians and scholars have researched and studied events which have occurred throughout African history with respect to foreign relations, specifically, imperialism and colonialism. Traditionally, colonialism has been related with a series of severe consequences for the states that lose their independence due to military conflicts and war. Colonialism has not been termed to be a current phenomenon, but rather a repetitive occurrence in the many nations of the world. Oucho asserts, ¡°the history of colonialism provides overwhelming evidence of how manipulation of ¡®more friendly¡¯ people to conquer ¡®more stubborn¡¯ people, through primitive expeditions of denial of basic social services to the latter, laid firm foundations for conflict-in-waiting, a time bomb which exploded when the colonial administration was succeeded by independent governments.¡± Although colonialism can be examined with two countries, the intentions of the ¡®more stubborn¡¯ country are not exclusive. However, there lies a strong relationship between the actions of the conqueror that cause the conquered severe disabilities in their social and financial structures. The intervention of European states and particularly of Britain in the East African region, specifically Kenya, from the late nineteenth century is an example of colonialism still under speculation. The role of Britain in the development of Kenya can be analyzed to evaluate the implications and impacts on the social, industrial and commercial aspects of Kenyan society.

Africa has been a continent that has suffered significantly from the imperialistic activities of foreign countries, namely, the European ones. In this context, Cain states in his work that, ¡°during the first half of the nineteenth century reform and development made disappointingly slow progress in Africa, as indeed elsewhere while the belief that unfree labour was incompatible with modern capitalism, though morally appealing, proved to be mistaken; The external slave trade, far from withering away, continued to flourish while it remained profitable, and the institution of slavery was strengthened as slave labour was redirected within the continent to produce new, 'legitimate' exports.¡± The slave trade that devastated the African population preceded colonialism as Africans ruled over 80% of the continent and resistance to colonial efforts of the various European countries. Furthermore, Bawah states, ¡°with the exception of Ethiopia and Liberia, European powers colonized the whole of Africa by 1914¡± However, during the second half of the century, the expansion of economic trade in Africa created the necessary means for the instalment of foreign companies such as British companies offering significant economic prosperity. The occupation of Kenya by British can be explained through the examination of various facts that empowered Britain to acquire the control of the general area of South and East Africa. More specifically, the research made by Denny showed that ¡°by the end of 1889, the occupation of Egypt, at first no more than an improvisation, was coming to be a necessary re-insurance against the decline of British strength and influence at the Porte while ministers came to rely more and more on Cairo rather than Constantinople as the pivot of security in the Mediterranean; this shift of grand strategy was to decide Britain's future course in tropical Africa; Incongruous as it might seem, the founding of empire in Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan was an incidental result of the major shift in British interest from the European and Asiatic to the African shores of the Mediterranean.¡± Here, Britain¡¯s economic strategies for expansion on the greater Mediterranean region would instigate a...

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