Comparing Experiences with and Legacies

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Europe having the combination of political and economic transformations began within the 1400s-1700s era converged between the 18th, 19th and 20th century allowing the west to dominate the rest of the world. This includes China, West African states, Japan and Iran. Western powers dominating these states influenced major changes not only politically and economically but socially, culturally and within military.

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Western imperialism took shape in Africa politically, economically, socially, culturally, and technologically. An event that describes all these factors is The Scramble of Africa. The Scramble of Africa also known as the Partition of Africa was the invasion, occupation colonization of African territory by Euorpeans powers during the period of New Imperialism between 1881 and 1914.

In 1870 barely one tenth of Africa was under European control; by 1914 only about one tenth “ Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Liberia “ was not. There were different motivations for imperialism within Africa. As European countries established themselves on Africa’s land making it open to western exploration, the development of industrialization developed. Western industrial powers wanted new markets for their manufactured goods as well as cheap labor.

Africa was very abundant in natural resources, she was known for rubber, cotton, copper, slaves and other raw materials but these resources put Africa at high bid. These political and economic factors had major downfalls to the African communities. These resources were exploited by European imperial powers, causing a lot of African’s to become laborers in mines or workers on plantation fields picking cotton that were owned by the Europeans. Within How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Rodney Walter wrote The changeover to warlike activities and kidnapping must have affected all branches of economic activity, and agriculture in particular. Occasionally, in certain localities food production was increased to provide supplies for slave ships, but the overall consequences of slaving on agricultural activities in Western, Eastern, and Central Africa were negative.

Western imperialism wasn’t all good, as Rodney stated the African community was affected by slavery itself. Yes, western imperialism introduced new technology such as steamboats, quinine, and changes in weaponry, communication but European countries divided Africa into different sections and no regard of linguist, cultural and religious border of the people who lived there.

Japan and China had different reactions to the changes of Western influences. Both these countries felt they should have a long-distance relationship with the outside world because they didn’t want their own cultures to be changed or influenced by the west in anyway.

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