West African Colonialism and the History of Imperialism
Europeans of the early twentieth century commonly regarded the establishment of colonial rule in regions like West Africa as the natural climax of historical interaction; political control, shared among the nation-states of western Europe in rough proportion to their political vitality, seemed to have become the necessary means for the extension of civilization, for the penetration of archaic economies by modernizing capitalism. The living nations, in a memorable phrase by Salisbury,1 would inevitably encroach upon the dying nations; the important questions concerned the effects of this process on relations among themselves. For the ideologues of colonial empire — as also for its critics — partition and conquest were so clearly a product of the logic of history that it seemed hardly worth subjecting the details to close scrutiny.
KeywordsColonial Rule Colonial Control European Government Armed Resistance African History
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