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Are former african colonies better of now?

Discussion in 'World History' started by bob bobato, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. bob bobato

    bob bobato L'imparfait

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    GENERALLY(I cant stress that enough), are african (black african,if you must) nations, that used to be colonies, better off now, or when they were colonies?
     
  2. willemvanoranje

    willemvanoranje Curitibano

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    Some are, others aren't. There seems to be an interesting correlation between IMF/World Bank support and failed states by the way. :D

    Are we going to make this a Jeffrey Sachs vs William Easterly debate?
     
  3. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    Also are the people of the nation better off or worse off. Could be that the natives are better off but the nation is worse off. Very case specific really.
     
  4. bombshoo

    bombshoo Never mind...

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    Some are worse, but to no fault of the Europeans. Alot of things happen you can't predict. (AIDS)
     
  5. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Well, the natives should be the nation.

    Some nations are in such a bad shape that the original question makes sense.
    I think colonialism was a dead end for Africa, further development required independence. The way independence was achieved was sometimes messy, and led to messier events later... lots of wars ant tyrannical rulers. The average person living during that time period (up to the present in a large part of Africa) might have been beter off living under some of the forms of colonial rule. But later generations will most likely be better off.
     
  6. jeff744

    jeff744 Chieftain

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    the map of Africa need to be TOTALLY redon, the enthnic groups slaughter eachother (Rwanda), it also needs help controling AIDS
     
  7. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    Africa was on its way up before AIDS, dictators, instability and all; the question is: would the imperial governments given countries immediate aid for AIDS?
     
  8. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Many of these ethnic groups (such as those in Rwanda) were never really ethnic groups, but instead "groups" imposed by the Europeans so that the general population of the land was more "split", and also to give them the "superior" ethnic group to help them govern.
     
  9. bob bobato

    bob bobato L'imparfait

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    I think they would give aid, because there would be much more pressure for a western country to give aid than a country in the 'third world'.
     
  10. jeff744

    jeff744 Chieftain

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    if you aid them they will be very pro helping nation, and they could come in handy as friends later on.
     
  11. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Silly furry

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    No, because the rest of the world doesn't care.
     
  12. Kosez

    Kosez Sitting Wool

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    I think that most of Africa reached their all time low. Especially if we compare them to the western world. They are as poor as they were fifty years ago, but west is at least three to four times richer. Plus there are a lot more wars and conflicts now than there were in times of colonies.

    I don't want to be apologetic of colonialism, colonialists gave very little to Africa. Unfortunately Africa didn't perform much better on it's own. Neocolonialism maybe? Or their fault? Or both?
     
  13. 1889

    1889 Mayor of H-Marker Lake

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    I can’t think of any benefits of colonialism for native people who where basically conquered by colonial powers. They got some railroads that they basically died to build so they can get to some mines where they work like slaves. Independence is unquestionably a progressive move.

    Racial problems are endemic to many post-colonial states because minority groups were often left in control when independence was granted. These minorities had been persecuted by majority populations prior to colonialism and so welcomed the colonizers and helped them subjugating the territory as a way of taking their revenge. Having proven their usefulness these minority groups were rewarded with positions of responsibility.
     
  14. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Africa's civil wars are not a result of old hatreds. They are a result of imposing a new political form (the nation-state) on a population that did not identify with these new states. In many new nations control of the state fell into the hands of small groups of people who naturally surrounded themselves by their friends and relatives, all part of a single ethnic group. As the state controls most of the wealth in many countries, conflicts for power and wealth inevitably took the form of ethnic wars.
    Foreign or private interests can then easily explore these divisions, and drag civil wars for decades.

    African countries must forge some sort of national identity shared by all the population in order to get rid of endemic civil wars. But the process of doing so requires the elimination of previous identities - something that often leads to war!

    The obvious solution would be redrawing borders. But previous experiences of the sort (think central Europe post-ww1) have shown this is just another recipe for disaster.
    Africa is not unique in its problems, just a lot late in facing them. And they will likely only be solved after many years, case by case.

    As for the comparison with colonial times, the problem of those was that, while individuals might be better off then than now (and this is very debatable) it was a system that either absolutely denied evolution (by violence whenever necessary) or that by allowing and causing evolution unleashed ideologies that inevitably led to “independence wars”. The only viable colonialism was one that kept Africans as either “pets” or ignorant servants, and even that would be difficult to maintain. Not a humane fate for anyone.
     
  15. rbis4rbb

    rbis4rbb Sid

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    Think how long it took to develop an English, French, or German indentity. The same thing is happening in Africa.
     
  16. Red Door

    Red Door Man of Mayhem

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    I think they're better off in terms of freedom and status in their own societies.

    However, many countries have undergone violent revolutions and civil wars, and that is putting their quality of life down.

    Overall, I'd think they're better off now.
     
  17. amadeus

    amadeus Arm is normal. I am not.

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    Economically, the majority of states are worse off if you compare them to where they were in the two decades prior to independence.

    Angola and Mozambique, prior to their release from Portuguese rule had developing and diversifying economies with help from Portugal. The help from Portugal, of course, also had benefits for the people of Portugal proper; the construction of railway systems enabled Western capitalists to explore and invest in the mineral-rich interior of Angola.

    Mozambique, on the other hand, became somewhat of a tourist destination for Portuguese, Rhodesians, South Africans, and other interested Europeans; as many as half a million Rhodesians and South Africans alone visited Mozambique for pleasure annually.

    In both cases, the "independence" (though, in some cases, they acted as proxies for the Soviet Union, communist China, and Zaire) movements were largely politically and ethnically motivated as opposed to the economic conditions that existed on the ground at that time.

    I'll expand on this later, since I've got to go warm up the car. :p
     
  18. sydhe

    sydhe King of Kongs

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    It depends on the country. I'd say Botswana is definitely better off than it if it were still a colony, but it's also being hit hard by AIDS (which it would be if it were still a colony, too). Namibia also is probably better off. The blacks in South Africa are probably better off, and they are the vast majority of the country, after all. Gabon seems to be doing well, even with a president who's been in office for 40 years. A lot of countries you simply don't hear much about, which is better than hearing news of massacres and civil wars.
     
  19. jeff744

    jeff744 Chieftain

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    before the colonies they were doing awesome though, they had empires set up, and the were prospering
     
  20. Kosez

    Kosez Sitting Wool

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    Yup. Colonization certainly didn't left much good to Africa. I think Africa would be better of if there was no colonization, just constructive cultural and economic contacts.

    Being as it is, World and Africa alike should devote their combined strengths in a mission to help Africa get rid of wars, hunger and deseas and maintain its culture at the same time.
     

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