Since 1800 Term Paper

Pages: 3 (911 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature - African

Africa Since 1800 is primarily a survey text of the recent history of the continent of Africa. However, even a survey history of a region still has a clear ideological point-of-view in terms of what the authors chose to include and exclude. This text, although factually correct and valuable in its treatment of often uncovered areas of African history and territory, tends to deemphasize the immorality of the colonialist impulse, and locate anti-colonial resistance as part of a larger history of a region characterized by frequent struggles for dominance by a variety of political leaders. Authors Roland Oliver and Anthony Atmore in no way defend colonialism, but they wish to present what they believe to be balanced and fairly dispassionate overview of the region.

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The book begins by giving a short history of the beginnings of colonialism, chronicles various anti-colonialist movements, and provides a final survey the present day. Given its relatively short length for a subject of such breadth, the book perhaps inevitably sacrifices some depth. However, in its sweep, it does include some important reminders of the cultural diversity of the African Continent. The first chapters of the book divide African geography into north and south of the equator, and traces how the ideology of Islam impacted Northern African development. Addressing the influence of Islam in Africa, and showing the differences between the cultures of West, East, and Central Africa is one of the most valuable contributions of the book, especially for readers who are unfamiliar with the region.

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However, the authors occasionally make broad, sweeping statements about Africa such as: "By the end of the eighteenth century, people in the Muslim world as a whole had lost much of the energy and sense of purpose that had driven them to produce such a brilliant culture in the early centuries of Islam. They had failed to keep abreast of the new inventions and techniques being discovered in Western Europe, particularly in military affairs and transport" (5-6). To measure the brilliance of a culture according to its technical excellence is a moral, rather than an objective, historical judgment. Later, when chronicling British influence in Nigeria, the authors assert that there were "people who gained from colonial rule. Those who suffered from it were, by contrast, those who, through ill-luck or ill-judgment, or simply from an excess of patriotism, challenged the colonial power and were overthrown" (162). To call resistance to British dominance by native tribes excessive patriotism, or to say that those who did not actively resist the British gained from their passivity, implicitly if not explicitly, critiques the leaders who defended their land. In the later sections of the book, the authors are equally negative tone when chronicling political changes in independent Africa… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Since 1800.  (2007, August 2).  Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/since-1800/98313

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"Since 1800."  Essaytown.com.  August 2, 2007.  Accessed October 21, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/since-1800/98313.