African History 5: Colonialism in Africa
We're not just talking historical re-enactments like in Williamsburg, we mean real colonialism. Like, snatching up land and deciding you rule it just 'cause. As you can probably guess, we're not quite endorsing that behavior.
|World History||African History|
In a way, most modern African states are like… tribute bands to former colonies. [African band playing]
Which is sad.
Since most former colonies didn’t have very many good songs….
The modern world has also been shaped by all the natural resources stolen from Africa. [Man in a mask stealing metal ores]
We would never have had cars, airplanes, tanks, skyscrapers, or lasers without all the stuff
that Europe snatched away.
That's right, almost all advances of the 20th century were built upon some O.G.-style thievery [Stolen materials from Africa turn into a car]
over in Africa.
All that said, don’t go thinking that colonialism was bad for every African. [Africans protesting about colonialism]
In fact, the classic colonial strategy was to make one native ethnic group more wealthy [Money is dropped to one group of Africans]
and powerful than others.
This created a middle class of Africans that would actually defend the European colonial [Group of people holding guns]
Why do all the work yourself when you can brainwash others to do it for you? [People walking like zombies]
Tensions between the chosen ones and the underclass still continue in some nations to this day.
And let’s just say the aftereffects of creating massive cultural rifts in a society aren’t
The issue with colonialism…uh, besides the fundamental concept of colonialism…is that
it takes more than it gives. [Man takes two glasses of lemonade from a stand and only pays 1 dollar]
Colonial states’ main purpose was to extract wealth for companies. [Money is stolen from a mans back pocket]
That’s all good for the companies.
But the colonized ended up doing a bunch of work, handing over all the proceeds, and getting…nothing
in return. [Man doing work gets paid and then his money is taken away]
Colonial governments did invest in infrastructure that helped them get their hands on raw materials,
like roads and railroads… [Car crashes into a hole in the ground]
…but they invested almost nothing in infrastructure that helped Africans get ahead. [A school is bulldozed]
Universities were pretty much nonexistent in colonial states, high schools were rare,
sanitation was neglected, and social security...
Well, let's just say you really didn't want to lose your job. [Closed signs cover up all of the institutions]
Or get old.
OK, so Africans didn't get education or toilets, but… at least they were kept well fed, right?
Food was not a priority in colonial Africa. [Man looking hungry]
Colonial governments stole land and gave it to large companies who chose to grow cash
crops for export rather than food. [Ships take produce away from Afirca]
The result: widespread and continuing famine.
Sounds like a brilliant strategy to us—don't feed the guys doing all the work for you. [Man with his thumbs up]
It’s hard to imagine that even being effective.
Anyway, this depressing tale...
Although people think that starvation is a big deal in Africa today…and it is…the
malnutrition rate in colonial Africa was insanely higher back then than it is today. [Graph showing malnutrition increasing with colonialism]
One French doctor in the 1930s estimated that about half of all children born in the French
colonies would die before their fifth birthday, mostly due to hunger. [Man writing on a blackboard]
These days, Africa has a child mortality rate of about one in twenty.
Which is still plain awful.
And whom does the world have to thank for all these dying babies? [Man looking shocked sat at a desk]
You got it.
Our sadistic Uncle Colonialism. [A thank you card to 'Uncle Colonialism']
He’s probably the kind of guy who takes kids’ candy at Halloween. [Man taking sweets off a kid]