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The Age Of Imperialism Analysis

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The Age Of Imperialism Analysis
In 1963, Historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper, made a brazen statement during a televised lecture at the University of Sussex, He affirmed '' Perhaps, in the future, there will be some African history to teach. But at present, there is none, or very little: there is only the history of the Europeans in Africa. The rest is largely darkness, like the history of pre-European, pre-Columbian America. And darkness is not a subject for history''. I will be keenly evaluating the acrid statement, investigating the evidence which supports or negates the views of Roper. Also, I will probe into the reasons which would have prompted this statement and arrive at a measured conclusion, which my response will be formulated upon. During the Age of Imperialism, …show more content…
Among these studies, Finn Fuglestad author of The Ambiguities of History: The problem of ethnocentrism in historical writing focuses on the Eurocentric and bias information in which Roper built his arguments upon. To demonstrate, at the lecture, Roper continued stating “Please do not misunderstand me. I do not deny that men existed even in dark countries and dark centuries, nor that they had political life and culture, interesting to sociologists and anthropologists; but history, I believe, is essentially a form of movement, and purposive movement too. It is not a mere phantasmagoria of changing shapes and costumes, of battles and conquests, dynasties and usurpations, social forms and social disintegration’’. It is explicitly evident that Roper disregarded the advancements engendered in the African civilization or was a victim of …show more content…
Later European explorers and settlers often argued that territories were unsettled upon their arrival and thus were ripe for the taking, but these assumptions were misguided’’ also they also emphasized the astuteness and tenacity of the African inhabitance. They concluded their research by demonstrating how Africa was wrecked by Western influence from the dawn of the transatlantic slave trade to colonial domination (African Civilizations: From The Pre-Colonial to the Modern Day). Correspondingly, other authors (Sekibakiba Peter Lekgoathi -Book 1: Ancient Civilizations and Global Trade - Chapter 4 - Some Reflections on Early African and South African) also supports the notions. He stated ‘’several common assumptions were made in the official interpretation of African and South African history before European conquest, and this version remained largely unchallenged until the 1960s. The first is the belief that Africa was characterized by savagery and chaos before Europeans arrived. Therefore, European conquest was seen as a good thing because it had brought “civilization,” “progress” and Christianity to “dark places.” Historians believed, as did almost all colonialists, that Africans would have destroyed themselves if they had been left to themselves. This version was widely believed in the whole of the Western world’’

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