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Africa

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I my last post I discussed the colonization of the world.

That made me think about how did the colonization of Africa by the Europeans and their behavior with the natives affect the current situation in Africa. I think we all now that Central Africa is one large battlefield with constant fighting and killing.

As I see it the European involvement in the Africa has a key role in the current situation. Now I believe that there are three reasons why there is so much bloodshed in Africa today.
1. European colonization.
2. Western money and want for the natural resources of Africa.
3. Human greed.
4. Easy access to more and more deadly arsenals.

I think the first reason European colonization is the prime reason and accounts for 2/3 of the problem. After the Europeans left their colonies they left a mess they done by introducing, rather forcing, “civilization” to the “savages”. Why do I quote those terms? Because there were several civilizations on the African continent which were large and developed civilizations that coexisting peacefully. The African nations achieved the same state of political stability that was achieved by the European nations of that time. There were no major wars, just local fightings as was in Europe. Then the Europeans started to occupy the land, and chart borders. So they re charted Africa creating the borders we know today more or less.

What’s the problem with that you say?

The problem is that the nations now consists of at least 3 separate entities, which causes instability since all want to rejoin their territories that are now separated and spread in different nations. The borders of African nations now are not natural, and were forced by the Europeans. I believe that all tough the Europeans do not have direct control over the African nations, until the African nations are bound to the same borders that were drawn by the Europeans, they remains of colonization will keep bringing in instability. If you look at the nations that consist in majority of one entity you will see that there is no instability there. The likes of Libya, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa all have stable borders, and are not involved in wars with their neighbors (except Egypt – Israel, but those are some other reasons).

If you look at the wars in my country in the 90’s, they were fought because Yugoslavia was an unnatural union of different nations, of which none had majority.All of those nations had historical background and their historical territories, were of different religions, affiliations, languages and culture. With so many differences between those nations, they could have never coexisted in peace. If you then a look at the Kurds in Turkey today the same thing, their territory is spread across 4 nations (Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran), and is a constant source of fighting, uprisings and terror, and none of the occupying nations is willing to give up their lands.

Next up is Western money. Since Africa is rich in natural resources it off course draws western money. West and now recently East, has a crewing for diamonds, gold and other rear metals that are abundant in Africa. So now African nations and tribes are fighting not only to unite their territories, and people, but also to gain control over valuable natural resources. All that money that the West and East put into buying of resources of Africa, just ads to the war founds of local war lords.

Which brings us to reason 4, easy access to more and more deadly arsenals. Before local wars were fought by primitive weapons which could only do limited damage, but now when there are very new and very efficient weapons at their disposals and the cost for a AK47 with 120 bullets is 17$.

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Written by Luka Ferlež

March 18, 2008 at 21:29

Posted in History, Politics

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Colonization

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I watched tonight a National Geographic documentary about European colonization. The documentary is well done, as are most National Geographic documentaries. The author tries to determine reasons why where the European nations able to conquer and colonize 2/3 of the world or 4,5 (North and South America, Africa, Australia and half of Asia) while having a complete of Europe, out of a total 6 continents.

The conclusion of the documentary is that advantage the Europeans had over nations of other continents is purely geographical. The European nations had a distinct advantage to have access to the most variety of crops and livestock. In the history off the human race, we were able to domesticate only 14 types of livestock animals. Out of those 14 types the North Americas had 0, the South Americas has one (Lamas), Africa had 0 (try to tame Elephants why don’t you), Australia had 0, Euro-Asia had the rest of 13, while Europe had at the earliest at least 8 types (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, ox, donkey). Now these animals had a distinct effect on the development of the European nations. The animals provided a stable output of food, skins, cloth, wool, working animals(ox), war animals(horse) and important fertilizer for the fields. This enabled the Europeans to build a civilization that could support large armies, scientist, governments and so on. On other continents there were large civilizations that developed significant population numbers, but could not support the larger numbers of non food producing population.

The animals provided the Europeans with an another thing. Bacteria and viruses. Those same bacteria and viruses the were terrorizing Europe in the middle ages, that evolved from animal bacteria, were unknown to the Europeans of that time help them in colonization of the world. While the Europeans developed some natural resistance to the bacteria like the small pox, people on other continents did not develop a resistance to the bacteria. The small pox played an important role in the colonization of the Americas, they decimated the Indian population on the continents, kill from 85% to 95% of the population. The same thing happened in North and South Africa, but then came the European colonization of Central Africa where the same thing that helped the Europeans in their previous colonizations now turned against them.

Central Africa is in the tropics, where there is are large amounts of highly contagious and deadly diseases. The people that inhabits Central Africa developed some natural resistance to those diseases, and therefore where not so affected by the European diseases, but the Europeans came for the first time in contact with the most contagious of all diseases Malaria. Malaria now decimated the population of European settlers, while the Africans lived by them not affected by the disease. Europeans here made a tactical error, they used the same principles of settling as in the rest of the world. Settling near the rivers and lakes, forming larger communities. This is ideal for outbreaks of malaria epidemic. The Africans lived in higher and dryer areas in smaller communities.

If you look at the shape of the world today and the population origins, you will notice that only in the areas of the world where there were not the European like conditions you have indigenous population in the majority. If you look at the Americas, most of the population roots are Europeans, the indigenous Indians in the North are suppressed in reservations, and in the South are in non European like environments like the Amazon. In Asia there is no European ancestor majority nation, since the South Asia which was colonized is in the tropics, as is the Central Africa where the majority of the population is native African, unlike the North and the South where the majority is of European descent.

So the Europeans are not a superior race, nor are smarter, more cunning or something else, they just had a geographical advantage that allowed them access to ampful amount of food, and basic resource for the development of an early civilization that could support a large number of non food producing people. This as a result had the development of arms, and in general warfare, and of course the two way blade the bacteria which caused problems for the Europeans but where a disaster for the indigenous population of other continents.

Written by Luka Ferlež

March 18, 2008 at 21:28

Posted in History, Politics

Tagged with ,