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underthesea
Posts: 27

The justification for colonial control over nations was multifaceted. Not only was it one related to race, framed as a way to bring “civilization” to “savages”, but it was also an economic choice, a way to obtain labor and natural resources and enrich the colonizing country. I think that it is really important to recognize that this justification is completely a result of the framework of capitalism. The goal of capitalism is to maximize profit. The same practices - those of plundering resources, exploiting workers for little to no pay, and mistreating those who object - continue today. So although perhaps the rhetoric of a “White Man’s Burden” is no longer morally acceptable, much of these practices have found new language to describe the same choices. In fact, one of the main arguments for colonialism was that the colonized country would benefit in some ways - they would be brought industry, infrastructure, and political organization. In reality, much of the industry and infrastructure was very poorly developed, the political organization was built purposefully to sow division, and the colonizing country got rich. Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, private corporations from “developed countries” create infrastructure projects that are meant to bring “developing countries” forward, inflating the benefits, placing these countries into tremendous debt, and ultimately destroying livelihoods, increasing inequality, and putting those countries back. (Read about this in “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins).“Developed countries” wage covert operations to bring “political stability” and “democracy” into countries and ultimately sow more instability. Thus, many of the justifications for colonialism in the past, ones of bringing “civilization”, “infrastructure”, and “political stability”, when in reality, the goal is to enrich a greedy few, remain intact today. Reincarnations of the manipulative and exploitative practices of colonialism continue.

King Leopold’s Ghost describes one example of colonialism: the brutal plunder, killing, and destruction of the Congo to meet the desires of one man. Although Hochschild does point out that Leopold’s management of the Congo was unique in the way that he ensured that it was one-man rule, the way the colonized were treated is not unique. The “chicotte” beatings resemble the violence present in many other colonies. The delegation of the acts of terror to Africans themselves so that “the bulk of ‘chicotte’ blows were dealt by Africans on the bodies of other Africans” was a common practice in colonies - placing one segment of the local population above the others to enforce order, giving them benefits, and putting them in charge of inflicting the pain and punishment was meant to further debilitate, psychologically destroy, and break the colonized. The desensitization to acts of brutal terror described in the diary of Georges Bricusse was commonplace among officials in colonies around the world. The rebellion, resilience, and strength of the colonized populations detailed in King Leopold’s Ghost is also not unique - it represents, in many ways, the norm of colonialism.

The development of the world order as it exists now is a product of colonialism. The wealth of Europe and the United States is a product of colonialism. Even climate change can be attributed to colonialism and the disregard for indigenous life and the over-development of infrastructure that damages the earth.The effects of colonialism are deep seeded, and will never go away. Many other students have mentioned the economic and political effects of colonialism: Africa lost billions (trillions?) of today’s dollars of wealth in natural resources. Tons of guns were placed in the hands of the colonized, resulting in civil wars. African countries are not well-represented in many international political and economic organizations. The list goes on. But I also think it is important to talk about the psychological effects. The effects of decades and decades of torture, mistreatment, exploitation, violence, killing, and rape are felt for generations and generations.

I think that the best thing for colonizing countries to do would be to stop engaging in the reincarnations of colonialism that they are engaging in now. Stop taking land to mine, to build hydroelectric dams and to drill. Stop building military bases all over the world in places you previously colonized. Stop giving loans that will place countries in never-ending debt to you. I could keep going but I guess that is enough for now. Yes, reparations could be good. Changing the way we educate children about colonialism is important. But stopping imperialism and the other ways in which the same countries exert their power economically and politically in completely immoral ways needs to stop first.

In response to Eos’s question: “Do you think that the average American learns about colonialism in an adequate and comprehensive enough way?” No. The way history is taught, even at BLS (an elite, public school in Massachusetts, which has very good education compared to many areas of the country) is incomplete. I think there should be a separate required history course on colonialism. There should be an elective on imperialism. There should be an elective called “Movements of Resistance” that explores a bunch of historical and recent movements ( I’ve been thinking about this for awhile) because I think that it is very deliberate that much of the education we do get about the horrible things that have happened in the past leaves out the brilliant upstanders and organizers who built resistance. We, the youth, need to hear these stories so that we can build effective movements too.

My question is: is paying reparations to colonized countries plausible? Is that a good way to address the repercussions of colonialism in the modern day?

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underhill44
Posts: 17

What possible justification can there be for colonial control over any nation?

  • Religion: it’s one’s duty to God to “spread” his word
  • Putting one’s own country first at the expense of others

Are there benefits to colonialism?

  • Of course there are benefits, because there must be something so enticing about colonialism that the leaders of the country forgo their conscience and any form of ethics in order to colonize. The easiest benefit to name is power, whether it’s in the form of money, influence, or goods. It also leads to the spread of ideas and culture, which can be positive or negative depending on how you look at it.

What does the colonialist nation in charge get from the “arrangement”?

  • Power
    • Money
    • Influence
    • Goods
  • A “seat at the table”, as creation-myth said

What does the colonized nation get from the arrangement?

  • The colonized nation gets nothing, as goods are forcibly taken from the nation either by taxation or by force. The people don’t get anything either as their culture is ignored or destroyed, their customs aren’t respected, and they are treated like trophies (i.e: property).

And is what is described in the reading from Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost indicative of the extremes of colonialism, the perils of colonialism, or the norm?

  • Based on the reactions of the people who found out, I would say no, because when people were made aware of the situation they were quick to stand out against it. An example of this is the clerk, who found evidence of fraud and forced labor and stood up against the injustices happening.

Finally, the broadest question: in your view, what short- and long-term effects did the colonization of Africa have on the development of nations on the continent and their status today?

  • The short- and long-term effects go together, as the short-term effects perpetuated and became long-term. Goods and riches were stolen from the country, which led to having less of these resources as time went on as the theft was continued for many years. This in turn led to disadvantage in trade later, and so it was harder for the nations in Africa to gain “a seat at the table”, because they were left with zero materials to work with. The nations in Africa also had to rebuild socially, as they lost so many people to slavery and forced labor, so it took time to heal from that, and they are still healing as it went on for so long. This affects their identity, as Africa is only acknowledged for its unwilling part in the slave trade, and not for the incredible accomplishments in the continent before that. We’ve forgotten as a world the immense wealth and respect the leaders of nations in Africa commanded, such as Mansa Musa.

And what responsibility, if any, do the colonizing nations have for their former colonial subjects and the nations that emerged after colonialism ended?

  • This is an extremely hard question to answer because on one hand I want every nation that has been taken over by another to get back their materials and resources. The riches from Africa deserve to stay in Africa and it's unfair that they were stolen from the individual nations because they didn’t agree to have those materials stolen from them. On the other hand I don't want any of the colonizing nations to be involved with their former subjects because I’m afraid they would take more from the country and try to exert more power over them.

(1) Pose a question about this issue for the next reader

  • What does colonialism say about human nature? I’d like to think that all humans have the potential for good, even if they choose to act immorally, but does colonialism show that greed and lust for power control the human race?

(2) Reply to the question posed by the person who posted before you did!

  • TurnOverThisPage’s question: Do you think, today, nations still prioritize their people over others, even if it's not at the level of colonialism? And are they justified in doing so?
  • Yes, nations absolutely still prioritize their people over others, but that is expected. Governments were created to look out for their nation and the people in the nation, and i think that’s expected. This is completely justified, unless the nation puts another nation at risk. Colonialism is an example of this, as the colonizing nations used other nations the residents) for their own gain, and ended up depleting resources, as well as disrespecting and harming the residents
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Miss Day
Posts: 26

Colonies Are not Great

In order to answer any of these questions it is essential to identify what a colony really means and why one would be created by a nation in the first place. Strictly speaking a colony is a specific swath of land in a location not directly controlled by a nation, usually in an area that has been recently discovered or reached by a specific nation that houses citizens of the partent nation. Colonies were initially created to allow emptires and kingdoms to expand territory, discover new places, act as a politcal and military presense within an area, and become a trading/ taking point for resources and materials. Using this understanding of a colony, there really wouldn't be colonies in predefined "nations". For example, there were Roman and Greek colonies in the islands within the mediterranian. As such there isn't really a justification for "colonial control over any nation" because that's not really how it's supposed to work. In reality it often times did work out that way however, especially based on the actions of European nations during the age of imperialism. This knowledge could place my previous words as simply semantics, but I think it's a crucial part in answering this question. There can't be a justification for it in reality, as there aren't places already controlled or inhabitaed by people at this point. Starting a colony in a nation becomes the equivalent of invading a country, or, essentially an act of war. In an ideal world however there could be some positives that stem from colonialism. If humans were less inclined to have territorial disputes, xenophobic tendencies, and an immeasurable amount of greed, colonies would become more like embassies almost. Imagine a metropolitan area like Boston. Boston has a specific area of the city known as China Town. Now imagine instead of being simply a neighborhood, China town becomes a direct link to china in a political sense. Trade, cultural expression and imersion, and support can be directly sanctioned from a station like that. It would also bend the definition of what borders and nations really mean, ultimatley resulting in a world that, instead of viewing peoples through the idea of having lines drawn around them on a map, as on massive global community with "portals" into each culture scattered all around good old terra firma.

Traditionally the colonizers gain access to resources and land through the colony and possibly a "dot" on the connect-the-dots game that is their empire. the more colonies you have the easier it may be to start connecting them to the main nation's mass.

The colonized nation would preasumably have a direct access to trade and imperical protection from other nations or through other means like laws, etc. The enforcement of such laws as well as their necessisty or justness is usually a very complex (and normally negative) vehicle that impacts the country in question.

The nations obligations, as stated above, would theoretically be to ensure some sort of protection over the colony, whether it be militarily, socially, politically, educationally, or economically.

The excerpt from The Ghost of King Leopold is a clear example of the total perils of colonialism, like the absolute worst outcome possible. From reading chapter 8 the clear examples of violent treatment towards the native population by soldiers and members of the government designed to extort and dehumanize demonstrate how far south this kind of "arrangement" can go. Throwing children into the woods so that mothers can carry more supplies, frequent beatings of children after making remarks about political leaders, having a single pathway for trade ensuring that only the colonists are proffiting. Manipulating local currency so that the native population is bound to a tightly controled economic enviornment that prohibits the development of wealth by anyone outside the Belgian colonists. Constant surpression of outgoing reports exposing the terrible treatment of the native population or feeding into a collective subconcious that killings, beatings, harrasment, and torture were appropriate forms of interaction. All of these form the worst possible outcome and, as history and human nature would have it, are also the most common form of colonialsim observed throughout human history. So by demonstrating the perils of colonialism, it effectivly showcases the norm. The constant comparisons throughout the chapter to Nazi and Soviet actions really shook me to my very core. Here in the congo we get a glimpse into tactics used by globally recognized villainous groups. Like Nazisim and the Nazi party can generally be identified by most of the world as "the bad guy" and yet in the congo we had a powerhungry king who had limited power within his own kingdom, so he literally purchased a nation he made up, and enforces everything from cutting the hands off of children and "workers" who did not benefit him or the Ivory and rubber traders that served under him to leaving families with no hope for participation in the economic aspects of the "arrangement" by forcing them to trade at exponentially lower prices when selling and high when purchasing in a currency that had no value and was enforced on the population.

Although I believe most of not all of us are very well aqauinted with the answer to this final question it's always important to talk about it, especially throuigh personal perspectives so that we can discuss it and compare ideas. M<any of the short term effects have in a way, already been mentioned here. Colonization created a series of fake borders around random locations , dividing native tribes, societies, and cultures using military force. Inumerable lives were lost due to the horrific treatment of people that became slaves,no, tools for these European colonialists. Enviornmental damage was also inflicted as nations ravaged their territories for resources like gold, diamonds, and rubber. People's livelyhoods and cultures were destroyed through ferocious torture, introdcution to foreign pathogens, and opressive regiems and military forces that governed their every action.

Long term side effects took the form of a continuation of the so called "brain drain" that began with the atlantic slave trade as massive population loss continued. Trade and development were serverly inhibited with the exception of Etheopia, which managed to stay independant, and Lyberia, which was under the steady eye of the United States Government. The actions of the colonialists sent almost all of Africa spiriling into centuries of violence, chaos, and confusion. In mopre recent years, stability and cultural healing has occured although at a very slow rate, and their are many wounds that may never be healed.

When it comes to what colonists should do...I don't know. It's hard to put an antire nation, especially a super power like the United States or Russia on stage and make them apologise or try to rectify thir wrong doings. In many ways it ties into the debate about whether or not the Unted states should be doing something to rectify slavery or the streatment of Native Americans. What can be so powerful, so broad that it can help fix such heinous acts? Some part of me wishes we could start small, go community by community, tribe by tribe, and contribute something positive to each one. Maybe it will take displaying large public marking in public spaces funded by colonialism. Maybe all it would take is if the leaders of the world came together one day just to say that "we're sorry". Part of me is afraid of trying to stick our heads back into places that we've permanently disrupted. IF we couldn't do good then how are we supposed to do good now? The more I'm in this class the less faith I have in government and the more I have in the individual, or in small humanitary orginazations aiming to make a massive impact. The reality is there wont be something quick we can do to fix everything. unfortunatly the problem we have as humans as that we are increadibly impacient, and forget the reason for why we do the things we do very quickly.

In response to Underhill44's questions:

Colonialism is just one of hundreds upon thousands of examples of how amazing human beings can be as completely ruining things for other people by taking a really interesting idea, and turning it into the worst thing possible. I think the problem isn't that humans are immorale blobs of violence, greed, and brutality, it's that humans are extremely weak willed and don't really think that great. There certainly some rotten apples, like King Leopold, and as to how those individuals come into existence is an entirely different discussion, but most people starting off are generalyl okay. The problem is when you are greeted with something tempting, from skipping homework to watch youtube, to the idea of safty and comfort in a way that allows you to not think about the terrible things going on around you or that you yourself are causing, it's very very easy to give in. Our brains aren't designed to work in the world we've made for ourselves and as such greed and lust take charge very easily. As a result most of history is just people bending into those desires and tempations do do very horrific things and maintain really destructive and harmful thoughts.

My question to whomever comes next is just, what do you think about the "ideal colony" idea I mentioned before? Is that still too much? Should something like that exist at all? Should we maintain the ideas of nations or simply focus on cultures over borders?

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Orange Juice
Posts: 23

Colonization

I don't believe there are any moral justifications of colonization. In all cases of colonization, the country doing the colonizing is the only party benefiting. The colonies are stripped of its resources and their people are treated as slaves, all to make more money for the country in control. As we have learned in class, the case of Congo is no different. King Leopold took advantage of the rubber production in Congo to maximize his wealth and in turn, the people of Congo suffered. The video we watched in class showed only some parts of the cruelty: missing hands on both adults and children, starved bodies and intense labor. In Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold's Ghost, all of this is described in detail, but the worst part is, these people of Congo, human beings just like the colonizers, were depicted as less of humans ("filthy," "pitiful," "beasts of burden with thin monkey legs") as if this evil could be justified.

The effects of colonization in Africa still lasts today. This is evident in the exercise we did in class with the map of Africa. For so long, Africa has been seen as a "cake" and torn into little colonies to make profit. Their cultures? No one cared. Their people? People? So much had been lost in those times that even today, little is taught about Africa in schools. A lot of people associate Africa with poverty, not for their individuality. This is all due to colonization.

To answer TurnOverThisPage's question:

Nations do prioritize their own people over others. Look at the United States, for example. Trump has separated "Americans" from the rest of the world, especially from the immigrants who he has deemed job-thieves and terrorists. As long as countries aren't going out of their way to colonize other people's land and draining their resources, I believe it is justified for them to prioritize their own people, just not in Trump's case, though. A country's duty should be to protect its people, but not put down others in order to do so. This balance may be difficult at times as the United States have ignored crises in other countries, like Rwanda. I think the question should be about drawing the line between when countries should also prioritize the people of the entire globe.

Question: Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?

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Wintertime
Posts: 15

Colonizing Africa

I feel that there is absolutely no justification for colonization. People do not deserve the things that European and other colonists brought upon them. The African people were living by themselves and surviving peacefully. I don’t understand how a nation can just take hold of other people's land and bring so much pain and disease to the families that live there. The only thing fueling colonialism is greed, leopold wanted to take this land for the money and didn’t care how many people his men hurt to do so. The fact that King Leopold was doing all these things without any one stopping him or the public knowing about it is absolutely horrifying. People don’t understand how drastic the things that happened were, we need to look back and take a step into their shoes. What if some people you have never seen before come into your house and enslave you and make you do all the work to get resources off your land just to have them taken away by some people who took your wives and cut off your children’s hands when they couldn’t work those long hours. The scariest part is that there was no law against colonization and there was nothing you could do about it as a villager living in a small village. Men came in with weapons and used these people without any concern of their wellbeing. In the reading it paints a picture of what these white officers looked like sitting with their suits and long sun hats while their african servants stood beside them. It really is a horrifying thing to think about and it really makes me wonder where these people’s morals were. Was it the society or time that made them think it was justified to treat these people like animals. Another thing that disgusted me from the reading was that king leopold took land that wasn’t his and leased it out to private companies like some kind of business man. The most horrifying thing is seeing that these innocent peoples hands would be cut off when they would get to tired from working for hours on end. Sometimes i really wonder how leopold would feel if he was in their place, working for hours without receiving anything for his work.

To answer the question of the person before me: Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?

I believe that colonization is still a thing that is happening today but at a greatly reduced level. Many countries have control over land that was not originally theirs and they use it to help make money for their country. I seriously doubt there is slavery involved but it really does bring to question the morals of the modern Man/Woman. I think that colonization will be a very hard thing to stop but humans have stopped things that are terrible as well, i feel that if we make sure that everyone is aware of everything going on around the world, many problems are bound to be resolved.


My question is: In the video we saw many flags in Belgium that bare the severed hand, do you think that this is a good thing or a bad thing?


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MichaelAfton
Posts: 28

Justifying colonialism only works if you justify it for the colonists. There are little to no benefits for the colonized, but the colonists gain enough that, in their eyes, it's justifiable. Who could argue against acquiring resources for the low low cost of the lives of people that "don't matter?"

Personally, I see no benefits because I'm very against the concept of it. However, to play devil's advocate, a benefit to the whole world would be what the colonist nation produces. If the colonizers get great resources from the colony, they can make products that the colonized nation may not have been able to make. They can also make infrastructural improvements to their own nation that could help their economy and production, leading to their ability to improve the quality of their people's lives. Of course, these benefits do not outweigh the fact that people are actively being oppressed for the benefits of others.

From the colonized nation, the colonists get essentially anything they'd like. Resources, free labor, land...you name it and they probably can get it. Does it justify colonization? To them, yes. As I said earlier, who could resist free resources? Once you put your morals behind you, it's so easy to just take and take. Take the Congo, for example. Belgium had absolute control over their colony (the aforementioned Congo, named the Congo State at this time) by saying it was for "humanitarian reasons," so they had free reign to do as they please. And do as they please they sure did, since they took as much rubber as possible for as cheap as possible. Didn't reach your rubber quota? Well, they had a solution for that: cutting off your hands (or your children's hands). Once you put your morals behind you, it just doesn't matter anymore.

For the colonized nation, the only benefit they can get is the defense from their colonizers. For example, when Britain colonized North America, Britain helped protect their colony during the French and Indian War. Was it out of the goodness of their heart? Not particularly, since Britain started taxing them to repay for the war. The only reason why they get this benefit in the first place is because of how lucrative these colonies are.

The colonization in King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild is on the more extreme end of colonization. Great Britain didn't chop off the hands of Americans, and I'm nearly certain they didn't do it India, either. Furthermore, just the fact that this is a question speaks volumes to how out of the norm his form of colonization is. His name is spoken with more hatred than many other colonizers of the time, seeing as how he was the one directly associated with the poor treatment of the Congo (even though the Congolese people suffered long after his death, but I digress).

Short-term, colonization led to the draining of resources and people. Things like disease, poor living conditions, and poor working conditions killed many Africans in the colonized lands. Long-term, colonization effectively setback the entire continent. Africa as a whole could have prospered with their available resources like their colonizers; however they didn't have access to these resources and we see the effects of that today. Rampant poverty, hunger, disease, and more are present all as a result of the colonization.

The colonizing nations have a moral obligation to give reparations, but they probably never will. Any colonizer that put another group of people through that should certainly repay them back for all the lives lost, regardless of how many. However, why would they? No one's forcing them to, and it's not like the current leader was the one to colonize the area. It's a matter of "is it really worth it to use our resources to pay back for something that no one's telling us to do?" And even if people were...what consequences are there? Every country has skeletons in their closet, so they aren't going to hold it against another country if they don't. Sadly, these nations probably will never receive reparations for what happened. But maybe one day, one world leader will apologize on behalf of the country and try to give reparations. Hopefully, we create a world environment that encourages that.

Flags depicting severed hands on Belgian flags is a bad thing in my eyes because it's distasteful. A flag (to me) is meant to represent and celebrate something, so making a flag that has these flags is, in my eyes, celebrating the suffering of the Congolese people.

My question to ask is: Do you think it's possible that one day a nation will make reparations? If so, how much do you think will be required to make up for colonization?

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zenitspb25
Posts: 25

No Justification or Justice

Europeans justified their colonialism and imperialism on the basis that Africa was an "uncivilised" continent, and they were merely there to help "civilise" the Africans. However, this also poses a question: who is to say that one is "civilised" and one isn't? These views of scientific racism, where whites are considered superior to Africans and also people of other descents alike, and that it was their right to go into these places and subjugate other people, were also pervasive. Even though many of the head of states that were present at the Berlin Conference have never been to Africa proper, they still decided to carve it up with no real knowledge of the realms and acted as though they were the masters of the region. Colonies were also seen as a necessity to create and gather resources for the manufacturing bases and industries back at the home country, since they were often tinier than the colonies. In my opinion, these were not legitimate reasons for the hardships people all over the world would have to endure.

There are no real benefits to colonialism for the colonised, but there are plenty for those colonising. As we discussed in class, Leopold II benefitted immensely from the Congo Free State from its resource of first ivory then rubber, and the British also gained from the diamond mines of Cape Colony (South Africa) and cotton from Egypt, just to name a few. The colonising nation also gain power projection on the world if they have large colonies or one with great resources. The larger the empire, the more influence and power they have over world politics. The resources would feed into the wealth of the home nation, whether if it was sold to other nations or spent in the factories. On the other hand, the colonised gain nothing but bloodshed and suffering. As displayed throughout King Leopold's Ghost, the Belgian forces committed a vast amount of atrocities in the Congo Free State. The looting and burning of villages, kidnapping and murder of children and elders alike, and the heavy chains of servitude most were placed under were all some of the most heinous, gruesome, and cruel acts man can do to another man, all that compiled on with the cutting of hands. The system were heavily rigged against the labourers as well. The officers demanded high quotas of rubber, despite the fact that obtaining rubber was very hard, and often time the labourers had to kill rubber trees to meet these standards, which in turn limit their supplies for future collections. The slave trade and colonialisation destroyed Africa's progress and its chance of rising to the world stage and controlling its own destinies. Although Leopold's Congo represented the worst and most extreme that colonialisation had to offer, things were not swell in other colonies either, such as in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (German Southwest Africa: Namibia), where the Germans ran concentration camps for the Herero and the Nama during their rebellion against the colonists.

European meddling have resulted in both short term and long term effects on Africa. The brutal treatments from the colonisers stunted population growth on the continent, where many lay in poverty with little food and tiny chance of being well-off. These nations never got the chance to be fully independent and have a chance at their own development without interference. Africa was, and to an extent, still is, considered a continent that is worth of natural resources to exploit and nothing further. The instability that plagues many African (and Middle Eastern!) countries today can be traced back to the Berlin Conference and the Scramble for Africa. Many of them, after losing their colonies, just simply washed off their hands of any wrongdoing and just said "It be like that" to their colonies that were (and are still) suffering. Some former colonisers actually still tamper with their former colonies, such as Belgium in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide. The colonising country should pay reparations to those colonised, at that is the bare minimum. If there are artifacts and items taken from the colony during an expedition, they should be returned to the colony proper if they have the ability to properly upkeep it (which most do). However, the colonising nations should not intrude into the colonised's internal politics.

Orange Juice posed this question, "Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?" To answer it, I think colonialisation is still happening to this day, just not under the metric of land taken, but rather economically. Countries exert their capital and global influence over a developing nation, often making them to take on massive loans to support some infrastructure projects, which then indebt them to the nation that gave the loan and become dependent. Colonialism will not end until the people in power decide to change this process and system or give up their positions to do good in the world, which is very unlikely. A question that I would like to pose myself is that are those colonised right in taking a revanchist stance against their colonisers? (That is, are acts of violence against nationals of a colonising country by people that were colonised correct?)

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Boston18
Posts: 28

Just a slice of the cake, right?

"The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much."—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)


If I were asked to choose one quote to summarize the complexity and sheer convolution of colonialism in its entirety, it would be this one. When you really look at it, all these people were abused because they looked different, spoke differently, ate different foods, worshipped in different ways,lived different lifestyles, and called a different place their home. This is the most recurring theme across history, and at its core, it is the most heart wrenching flaw in humanity.


Africa was the cake, and the rulers of Europe - the developed world as it was perceived - had major sweet tooths. During the Conference in Berlin, in 1884-1885, these leaders, representing countries like France, England, and Belgium, all gathered to split the pie. The Congo falling into the hands of King Leopold of Belgium was a result of this. In this case though, the Congo was his personal possession, and he did with it as he pleased. He enslaved the native people, and exploited them for their land’s valuable resources. Through a complex system of oppression and cruelty, men were forced to fulfill quotas in rubber, with their wives held hostage and threats hanging over their heads. Rubber shot up in value in this time period because of the boom in electricity. Electricity was needed everywhere, and every wire needed a rubber coating. Additionally, cars were becoming increasingly popular, and their tires required rubber to be manufactured. Because of this, King Leopold was pocketing the equivalent of trillions of dollars today, but at the expense of an entire country's natives. If quotas were not met, the Belgium soldiers would cut off the people’s hands, and make an example out of them. Even their wives would be raped barbarically. In exchange for all their suffering and pain, the only commodity going into the Congo was firearms and weapons. This was not a balanced relationship, but a one-sided abusive affair. Coming out of a major world war, and with the topic of human rights in the global spotlight, the public and foreign governments alike did not take kindly to King Leopold’s actions. However, it was the actions of normal, everyday people (refer to Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost), that exposed King Leopold for his subjugation of the Congolese.


In history, mainly before the Conference of Berlin, the colonization of seemingly lesser nations was commonplace, and justified on all levels. The ruling philosophy was set by social Darwinism, and claimed that everything was a matter of survival of the fittest. If one group of people has the ability to thrive at the expense of the demise of another group of people, then fundamentally, this boiled down to the right to seek survival. This was commonly excepted, adopted by the educated/science-oriented people of the world, and utterly disgusting to say the least. People no longer saw each other as fellow people, but as pedestals to step on to reach higher levels. Morality is a big theme in religion, and the ruling decision of the time was Christianity. Dating back to even the Columbus era, he was sponsored by the King and Queen of Spain on a basis of missionary work, or converting people to Christianity. People who were not Christian were viewed as “less than”, and since Christianity was believed to be an absolute power, people thought it was their duty to convert others by any means necessary. Governments who engaged in colonization fed this propaganda to the public as justification for their efforts. They would say that they were actually helping the colonized country, and providing a struggling country with infrastructure, economic stability, political stability, and education. They pitched the exchange as charity work, when they were actually taking money from the poor. To correct this, prior colonizing countries should allocate tons of funds annually towards African infrastructure and aid. They should withdraw all prevailing influences on such countries, in the realms of economics and politics. The perpetrators received everything. The victims received nothing.


I myself have first hand experience with Africa, and I have observed the modern implications of the colonialism of the past, and neo-colonialism of today. Honestly, it’s sickening to see these impoverished countries, and what was left of them after the struggle against world powers. Africans built other countries from the ground up, and provided them with strong economies to fall back on, and infrastructures to be proud of, but have received nothing in return. If these people had worked for their own countries, dedicated decades of grueling work towards the building of their own nations, and invested in their own lands, then these impoverished African nations would have been the jewels of today’s world. And even so, after we have seen the consequences of European dominance over other nations, European countries still have social, cultural, political, educational, economic, and even linguistic holds on the countries they once ruled over. Now I ask you to take a step back to observe modern day continuities in nations holding power over others, and take note of the justifying propaganda being fed to you. Who is really getting the shorter end of the stick?

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Bonaduchi
Posts: 25

To colonize or not to colonize

Originally posted by zenitspb25 on January 13, 2019 23:47

Europeans justified their colonialism and imperialism on the basis that Africa was an "uncivilised" continent, and they were merely there to help "civilise" the Africans. However, this also poses a question: who is to say that one is "civilised" and one isn't? These views of scientific racism, where whites are considered superior to Africans and also people of other descents alike, and that it was their right to go into these places and subjugate other people, were also pervasive. Even though many of the head of states that were present at the Berlin Conference have never been to Africa proper, they still decided to carve it up with no real knowledge of the realms and acted as though they were the masters of the region. Colonies were also seen as a necessity to create and gather resources for the manufacturing bases and industries back at the home country, since they were often tinier than the colonies. In my opinion, these were not legitimate reasons for the hardships people all over the world would have to endure.

There are no real benefits to colonialism for the colonised, but there are plenty for those colonising. As we discussed in class, Leopold II benefitted immensely from the Congo Free State from its resource of first ivory then rubber, and the British also gained from the diamond mines of Cape Colony (South Africa) and cotton from Egypt, just to name a few. The colonising nation also gain power projection on the world if they have large colonies or one with great resources. The larger the empire, the more influence and power they have over world politics. The resources would feed into the wealth of the home nation, whether if it was sold to other nations or spent in the factories. On the other hand, the colonised gain nothing but bloodshed and suffering. As displayed throughout King Leopold's Ghost, the Belgian forces committed a vast amount of atrocities in the Congo Free State. The looting and burning of villages, kidnapping and murder of children and elders alike, and the heavy chains of servitude most were placed under were all some of the most heinous, gruesome, and cruel acts man can do to another man, all that compiled on with the cutting of hands. The system were heavily rigged against the labourers as well. The officers demanded high quotas of rubber, despite the fact that obtaining rubber was very hard, and often time the labourers had to kill rubber trees to meet these standards, which in turn limit their supplies for future collections. The slave trade and colonialisation destroyed Africa's progress and its chance of rising to the world stage and controlling its own destinies. Although Leopold's Congo represented the worst and most extreme that colonialisation had to offer, things were not swell in other colonies either, such as in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (German Southwest Africa: Namibia), where the Germans ran concentration camps for the Herero and the Nama during their rebellion against the colonists.

European meddling have resulted in both short term and long term effects on Africa. The brutal treatments from the colonisers stunted population growth on the continent, where many lay in poverty with little food and tiny chance of being well-off. These nations never got the chance to be fully independent and have a chance at their own development without interference. Africa was, and to an extent, still is, considered a continent that is worth of natural resources to exploit and nothing further. The instability that plagues many African (and Middle Eastern!) countries today can be traced back to the Berlin Conference and the Scramble for Africa. Many of them, after losing their colonies, just simply washed off their hands of any wrongdoing and just said "It be like that" to their colonies that were (and are still) suffering. Some former colonisers actually still tamper with their former colonies, such as Belgium in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide. The colonising country should pay reparations to those colonised, at that is the bare minimum. If there are artifacts and items taken from the colony during an expedition, they should be returned to the colony proper if they have the ability to properly upkeep it (which most do). However, the colonising nations should not intrude into the colonised's internal politics.

Orange Juice posed this question, "Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?" To answer it, I think colonialisation is still happening to this day, just not under the metric of land taken, but rather economically. Countries exert their capital and global influence over a developing nation, often making them to take on massive loans to support some infrastructure projects, which then indebt them to the nation that gave the loan and become dependent. Colonialism will not end until the people in power decide to change this process and system or give up their positions to do good in the world, which is very unlikely. A question that I would like to pose myself is that are those colonised right in taking a revanchist stance against their colonisers? (That is, are acts of violence against nationals of a colonising country by people that were colonised correct?)

When looking at Colonization and Imperialism there doesn’t seem to be a bright side for the colonized. For the colonizers the benefit is clear, more land and resources for little cost to them. Those resources can turn a huge profit and the country that they brought and fought over (with no authorization from the country itself of course), suddenly pays for itself and becomes worth it. For the colonized, there doesn’t seem to be a benefit. Your resources get drained, your culture forgotten and degraded and your people killed for disobedience. For all that is put out by the colonized nation it seems nothing is given in return. The only thing that might be considered to be a benefit is protection. This protection generally comes in 2 forms. One is from the outer countries. Having a larger nation to be in charge could be useful to protect from unnecessary wars and will generally protect other nations trying to claim your country. Even then however there are cons. The other protection is from civil wars. Having a larger nation in lead is good to protect from internal disputes. Sometimes having someone that is outside of the problem can be a great mediator. Yet in this case there are also cons. The Nation in charge often judges with bias and chooses the person that they like the most or is the most beneficial to them. This often leads to unsolved disputes or even prolonged and worsened problems.

I think that the horrors showed in King Leopold’s Ghost was the norm in the Congo. I think that the terrible things that took place in the Congo by the hands of King Leopold were extremely common placed and happened very often. I do think that there were okay moments but I think that those were more rare than the abysmal ones.

The lasting impact that colonization has had on countries is one of the most horrid things that has happened. Colonization has robbed many countries of their cultures, which is a horrible crime. Many countries that were colonized have stunted their growth as a country. They were not given a chance to be independent and they don’t have their own identity. Many do not even have museums to display their own art which we learned in Facing History. It’s the equivalent of babying and spoiling a child til adulthood and then putting that child into the real world without any tools or means of surviving alone It is on a much larger and detrimental scale. Colonization should at least be reconciled by the other countries. At the very least their art should be returned to them.


Q: are those colonised right in taking a revanchist stance against their colonisers? (That is, are acts of violence against nationals of a colonising country by people that were colonised correct?)

A: I personally think that violence is only required when provoked. I don’t think that there should any assasinations of people in charge but if they or their family are being attacked then they have the right to attack back. However fighting fire with fire doesn’t always take away the bigger problems lying within. So purely on a case by case basis are they justified.

My Question: Given the horrors that always take place, should colonization of another country be illegal?

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Boston18
Posts: 28

Originally posted by zenitspb25 on January 13, 2019 23:47

Europeans justified their colonialism and imperialism on the basis that Africa was an "uncivilised" continent, and they were merely there to help "civilise" the Africans. However, this also poses a question: who is to say that one is "civilised" and one isn't? These views of scientific racism, where whites are considered superior to Africans and also people of other descents alike, and that it was their right to go into these places and subjugate other people, were also pervasive. Even though many of the head of states that were present at the Berlin Conference have never been to Africa proper, they still decided to carve it up with no real knowledge of the realms and acted as though they were the masters of the region. Colonies were also seen as a necessity to create and gather resources for the manufacturing bases and industries back at the home country, since they were often tinier than the colonies. In my opinion, these were not legitimate reasons for the hardships people all over the world would have to endure.

There are no real benefits to colonialism for the colonised, but there are plenty for those colonising. As we discussed in class, Leopold II benefitted immensely from the Congo Free State from its resource of first ivory then rubber, and the British also gained from the diamond mines of Cape Colony (South Africa) and cotton from Egypt, just to name a few. The colonising nation also gain power projection on the world if they have large colonies or one with great resources. The larger the empire, the more influence and power they have over world politics. The resources would feed into the wealth of the home nation, whether if it was sold to other nations or spent in the factories. On the other hand, the colonised gain nothing but bloodshed and suffering. As displayed throughout King Leopold's Ghost, the Belgian forces committed a vast amount of atrocities in the Congo Free State. The looting and burning of villages, kidnapping and murder of children and elders alike, and the heavy chains of servitude most were placed under were all some of the most heinous, gruesome, and cruel acts man can do to another man, all that compiled on with the cutting of hands. The system were heavily rigged against the labourers as well. The officers demanded high quotas of rubber, despite the fact that obtaining rubber was very hard, and often time the labourers had to kill rubber trees to meet these standards, which in turn limit their supplies for future collections. The slave trade and colonialisation destroyed Africa's progress and its chance of rising to the world stage and controlling its own destinies. Although Leopold's Congo represented the worst and most extreme that colonialisation had to offer, things were not swell in other colonies either, such as in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (German Southwest Africa: Namibia), where the Germans ran concentration camps for the Herero and the Nama during their rebellion against the colonists.

European meddling have resulted in both short term and long term effects on Africa. The brutal treatments from the colonisers stunted population growth on the continent, where many lay in poverty with little food and tiny chance of being well-off. These nations never got the chance to be fully independent and have a chance at their own development without interference. Africa was, and to an extent, still is, considered a continent that is worth of natural resources to exploit and nothing further. The instability that plagues many African (and Middle Eastern!) countries today can be traced back to the Berlin Conference and the Scramble for Africa. Many of them, after losing their colonies, just simply washed off their hands of any wrongdoing and just said "It be like that" to their colonies that were (and are still) suffering. Some former colonisers actually still tamper with their former colonies, such as Belgium in Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide. The colonising country should pay reparations to those colonised, at that is the bare minimum. If there are artifacts and items taken from the colony during an expedition, they should be returned to the colony proper if they have the ability to properly upkeep it (which most do). However, the colonising nations should not intrude into the colonised's internal politics.

Orange Juice posed this question, "Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?" To answer it, I think colonialisation is still happening to this day, just not under the metric of land taken, but rather economically. Countries exert their capital and global influence over a developing nation, often making them to take on massive loans to support some infrastructure projects, which then indebt them to the nation that gave the loan and become dependent. Colonialism will not end until the people in power decide to change this process and system or give up their positions to do good in the world, which is very unlikely. A question that I would like to pose myself is that are those colonised right in taking a revanchist stance against their colonisers? (That is, are acts of violence against nationals of a colonising country by people that were colonised correct?)

The way I interpreted your question is as follows: Are the victims of colonization justified in fighting back against the colonizers? Now, I can answer this in two ways. First, as seen with Ethiopia against the Italians, the Ethiopians were invaded and they resisted. Were they right in defending themselves? Absolutely! If somebody comes into your home right now with the intent to enslave and torture you and your family, and you have the ability to defend your loved ones, and eliminate the threat, then you are right in doing so. However, if a country today were to wage a war against a colonizing country of the past, on a basis of revenge and retaliation, then that wouldn't be appropriate. In this case, it wouldn't be out of an immediate need for self-defense, and there would be many better was of going about things, and reaching resolve in a more progressive and responsible manner. These are two polar examples with two different ideas on justification.

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Rainier
Posts: 18

Colonizing Africa

Colonial control over other nations can only be justified if both parties have agreed to the arrangement. Now when or why would this ever happen? Yes, it would be a very rare case but it may happen if a nation is falling in dire economic or general danger and they request the help of another nation. And even then, colonialism doesn’t have to be the only solution. It should happen only if agreed upon by both nations. A very popular argument for colonization was to help advance “savage” societies, which is an absolutely ridiculous argument because the level of “savagery” or “refinement” is based on perspective and opinion.


Now justification and benefits are two, seemingly related, but very different things. When it comes to benefits it must be put into perspective. The colonizing nations are the ones to receive the most benefits like more resources, more land, more labor and more power in the grand scheme of things. The colonized nation, however, receives little, if any benefits. And once again we must put this into perspective, some may argue that they develop more with technology but for this nation that has thrived without that, is that really a benefit or is it more of an addition. What do we define as a modern, developed society and is that really the only version? One benefit that I do support from both sides is the mixing of cultures but that itself is a double-edged sword and walks a fine line on when it goes too far and societies are stripped of their culture rather than appreciated for it.


After reading the excerpt from “King Leopold's Ghost”, I understand it to be showing the perils of colonialism. Nations have various goals when it comes to colonization and sometimes their goal can result in acts of violence like those which occurred in Congo, other times they may be not as involved in the colonized nation. When the goal of a nation is to gain resources there always seems to be exploitation of the native populations and ften severe cruelty. Degradation of the human mind and body happened in Congo as described in the book, “‘The first few times it is not without pain that the man pulls it off the hairy parts of his body,’ Louis Chaltin, a Force Publique officer, confided to his journal in 1892. ‘The native doesn’t like making rubber. He must be compelled to do it.’” (pg 161). Similar cruelty happened to the Native Americans. While other forms of colonial oppression may come in ways like extreme taxation or economic abuse like with the American colonies or Cambodian colonies.


We can’t go back in history and erase what has happened and even though it happened a while ago, we can still see the traces of colonialism today. A sad question to ask is, would be here if it wasn’t for colonialism? It is so embedded in our society’s foundations and nations all over the world. A direct effect of colonialism is the loss of natural resources in Africa which leads to economic disadvantages and lasting impact on the environment. Another short term effect was the loss of many lives leading to instability in societies. Long term effects include a view of Africa as uncivilized and not developed, when quite contrary to the fact, there are many urban, and well-developed places in Africa. More long-term effects include what we talked about in class and how African art has been unrightfully stolen from their countries and placed in hundreds of museums across the nation.


To answer the question of what responsibility do colonizing nations have after colonialism ends, they take on a great responsibility to ensure the stability of the nation. When one gets themselves so involved in another country, it is not ethically or politically ok to leave it hanging, especially if your involvement extremely damaged the society and economy. They colonizing nation should provide whatever support they can and ideally repay whatever they took from that country. This must, of course, come with good communication and diplomacy between to two countries.


To answer Orange Juice’s question “Is colonization still happening today? If so, will it ever end?”, I think that colonization is sadly still happening today. It may not be the same form as what happened in Congo but now is much more political and falls into international affairs and relations. There are many places still fighting for independce. Sadly, I do not think that colonialism will ever end. With so many nations in the world, there is always a race for power and resources.


My question to you all is, when faced with the history of colonialism in Africa, what can we do to change how we view Africa now? And what can we do to address this dark mark in history?


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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Thou shalt not kill

Colonialism was the outcome of unchecked human greed and thirst for power. After reading the horrifying excerpt from King Leopold’s Ghost and my prior knowledge it is obvious that colonialism benefited a few at the expense of others. One new realization I had while reading was the use and roots of corporal punishment in black communities. The Chicotte that Hochschild describes in the beating of young children as a form of punishment for laughing in white man’s presence is a tool I am familiar with. Growing up the Chicote hung around in schools, front doors of homes and was used as a way of controlling children in my community back home. This causes me to think that the root of corporal punishment in black communities may be a byproduct of colonialism and slavery. I find it interesting that the same tool that was used to subjugate and “control” slaves has trickled down into my community. Another thing I found interesting was the fact that the master's made other black people beat each other. This created a hierarchy between the native population and shielded the masters from the brutal beatings.

What possible justification can there be for colonial control over any nation?

There is no justification for colonial control over any nations.

Are there benefits to colonialism? What does the colonialist nation in charge get from the “arrangement”?

Colonialism was a profitable business as Hochschild states it in the case of the Congo it was King Leopold’s venture capital. The colonizers received a lot of money, power, and ability to uplift and construct infrastructure in their own country.

What does the colonized nation get from the arrangement? And is what is described in the reading from Adam Hochschild’s King

The colonized nation gets depopulation, brutal beatings, psychological trauma, loss of culture and language. Hochschild mentions that in some arrangements the colonized would receive awards for their loyalty, payments of cloth and other goods.

Leopold’s Ghost indicative of the extremes of colonialism, the perils of colonialism, or the norm?

I think for the time that King Leopold colonized the Congo it was extreme. Hochschild mentions many accounts of those who were shocked by the brutality of the Congo’s situation. Hochschild talks about the mob mentality of the colonists who continued to perform these atrocities for money.

in your view, what short- and long-term effects did the colonization of Africa have on the development of nations on the continent and their status today? And what responsibility, if any, do the colonizing nations have for their former colonial subjects and the nations that emerged after colonialism ended?

The short term effects of colonialism as I already stated includes depopulation, physical and psychological trauma and lack of ability to continue developing the arts in these places. When the colonist left they left the continent with a horrible notion of what government looks like. The people did not have practice at governing themselves. Today the continent of Africa, Latin America, and Asia are struggling to develop. Colonizing Nations need to pay reparations for the theft of natural resources, art, and years of servitude. These payments should not be an aid in exchange for the further depletion of the country’s natural resources. The aid should go towards the development of infrastructure, schools, and hospitals.

My question is how can we as citizens pressure the international community to pay these dues to colonized nations in a way that benefits the people and not the leaders of that country?

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Originally posted by Mulan23 on January 13, 2019 17:03

I don’t think that there are any justifications for colonial control over any nation, unless they agreed, (which I doubt would ever happen). The colonization of Africa ( and the world) was fueled by greed and nationalism. The more nations they conquered, the more power and supplies they got. The only people who benefit from colonization are the countries in power. The nation in charge gets everything, the power, the people and natural resources of the colonized nation and the colonized nation loses everything and gets nothing in return.


I think that King Leopold’s Ghost does a very good job at describing the norms of that time that were very sickening. The people that the colonizing nations exploited were often worked to death. “We met these porters.. Black, miserable, with only a horribly filthy loin-cloth for clothing, frizzy and bare head supporting the load… most of them sickly, drooping under a burden increased by tiredness and insufficient food… dying along the road, or the journey over, heading off to die from overwork in their villages”, as described by a Belgian senator.


The short-term effects of colonization include the huge loss of the native population and the depletion of their natural resources. Both of which play a huge part in their development and directly affected the long-terms effects. The colonizing nations are completely responsible for what happened to their colonies and much of the responsibility for the how the nation turned out. The nations mainly wanted to colonized to gain control of their natural resources. Throughout, their time in control, they exploited the people and the resources for their own gain and which often brought them great wealth. But the people who worked the land and the people who rightfully own the land and/or resources almost never got anything in return. If those resources that were depleted had been used for the betterment of the native countries it came from, they would’ve been much better off now.


TurnOverThisPage posed this question: For the next poster, I've talked a lot about why it was in the colonialist nations' best interests to colonize African nations. Do you think, today, nations still prioritize their people over others, even if it's not at the level of colonialism? And are they justified in doing so?


I think that as a nation we prioritize “our people” and as individual people we also do that. I think it is somewhat justified because it is a human thing to feel loyal to the country you feel you’re a part of. However, not when it becomes somewhat perverse and is taken to the extreme, where people start to believe that people from other nations are inherently worse. Ms.Freeman’s question last Friday, “Do you think we live in a world of nations or a world of people?” is something a grappled with for quite a while. We are a world of people, that is a fact. The world is filled with people, but a world of people who for a long time believed (and still do) that nations are the thing that above all decides what “kind” of people they are. In history, we see this over and over and today we continue to see it. For me, it’s very hard to balance the reality that we are world that is ruled by nations and my hope that people matter more than where they are from or where they live.


My question is: Do you think colonization can ever come back? If so, how would it be different? Does it still exist today and what form does it take?

Neocolonialism is new form of colonialism

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Latin'sLiability
Posts: 27

The Colonization of Africa

Without the colonization of Africa the world as we know it today would be completely different. The colonization of Africa, without a doubt altered the course of existence for any nations colonized and that of the nations doing the colonizing. Practically all of Africa was colonized by countries in Europe at some point, allowing Europe to profit of the African continent. And even thought this provided Europe with great benefits, Africa as well as its people were torn apart and ravaged. The countries that colonized Africa have every responsibility for what has happened since colonialism. If Europe had never interfered many countries would not have been left in ruins and the corruption that exists today in Africa may not have come to pass since countries would not have been in such a state of distress. Colonialism in general has completely altered everything about the nations colonized, from religion to way of governing. Take much of South America and Mexico, the countries that make them up had never heard a word of spanish till people from Spain came, nor did they have any desire to relinquish their native tongues either. Nevertheless that is what ended up happening because colonizers could not stay out. After colonizers left Africa (and other continents) the state of the countries formerly controlled is literally what they left them as, except without any controllers, so obviously there would be a power vacuum which would then cause even more harm to the nations. Nevertheless the colonizers leaving is the first step for the nations that were taken advantage of to getting independence from all they were stripped of.

I don’t believe that there is a justification for colonialism. Nobody has te right to swoop in and take a land that already belongs to someone else, especially if it involves force. I also believe that all of the qualities that colonialism brings with it the lands that are colonized could definitely do without. Nobody has the right to forcefully impose their way of life on another who is already doing just fine living the way that they are. Nevertheless colonization was very common because it greatly benefited the colonizers. They could now access new lands and recourses, and profit off said things. As they profit they completely disregard the well-being of the people who are already living there. There is now way to have colonization without causing harm to those you are colonizing, because by colonizing you are taking away their free will and every sense of separation. Even thought I think colonization is completely wrong I still believe that other nations have the right to intervene in a nation where said nation’s people’s are being oppressed by its own government (or other). This is obviously different because all the intervening nations should have the right to do is help get the power back to the people of a nation, in no way should the intervening nation have control over the inhabitants of the nation in need.

King Leopold’s exploitation of the Congo was horrific and unjust in every way. He had no authority to enslave the Congo’s people and use them for his profit, much less treat them the way he did. It was out of pure greed and disregard for human life that he did this, I believe he and all who helped in his conquests were terrible people. One of the part of the reading that struck me the most was when one of the officers in the Congo described the hanging of one of the natives. He believed that what they did was justified and recalls a time where this atrocity made him sick. He believed that committing this act made him strongest and that before he was weak and less capable. This account showed me that those who enslaved the Congo were actual people, who really did feel as though what they were doing was fine, and worthy. These were people who received pleasure from such terrible acts. I know now that we cannot and should not pretend like these things don’t happen. Action needs to be taken to end such terrible acts of hatred, and such acts cannot be ignored because doing so is simply inhumane.

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Latin'sLiability
Posts: 27

Originally posted by Torino on January 12, 2019 17:59

Hello,


There are no justifications for colonial control over any country. I see colonialism as a way to get resources from a country without having to pay as much for those resources. This particularly exemplified by the The United States which is still a colonial power to this day. This is because of the “unincorporated territory” of Puerto Rico. The definition of an unincorporated territory according to the United States Department of Interior is, “A United States insular area in which the United States Congress has determined that only selected parts of the United States Constitution apply.” This seems like a colony to me. Puerto Rico is a place where the people there are taxed without representation. They have no congressional representatives and are not able to vote in presidential elections. Those are principles that the United States was founded to fight against. One of the many slogans of the American Revolution was “No Taxation without Representation.” This is literally what is happening in Puerto Rico. Some colonies are worse than others, for example there is no reason that one should compare the quasi colony of Puerto Rico to the Belgian Congo. Both colonies were for the same purpose, to get resources out of those colonies for lower prices however in the Belgian Congo those resources were rubber, ivory, forced labor, and severed hands.

The benefits of colonialism are that the colonizing country gets a lot of money and resources without having to pay as they would have if they had not colonized that country. They could potentially have control over a whole market of valuable commodities such as rubber in the case of the Congo where King Leopold got approximately $1.1 billion dollars from the Congo before he died. These dollars are all from forced labor and virtual enslavement of the Congolese people. The colonists got money and a place where they could do whatever they wanted, whereas the colonized got torture, rape, forced labor, murder, and bodily mutilation in exchange.

The countries in Africa that were colonized were set back by the colonizers because they were unable to develop as fully as they would have been able to if they were not colonized. I was looking a list of “Developed Countries” or countries with the best economies. On the list of 58 countries, to be fair there were several former colonies such as Chile and Argentina but there was not a single African country on that list. The G20 consists of 20 countries that are incredibly important to the success of the world. It represents “90% of the GDP, 80% of the international trade, ⅔’s of the world’s population, and produces 84% of the fossil fuel emissions.” The member states of the G20 are “Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.” There is exactly one member of the G20 that is an African country, South Africa. This seems to be quite representative of what the European Countries did to Africa when they decided to carve it up.

The nations that colonized Africa created a problem and instability within Africa for a very long time. The United States helps with that by assassinating leaders with the assassination attempt done by the CIA in 1960 of the first prime minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. The European and North American countries should just get out of the affairs of other countries and let those countries be autonomous.


Thanks,

Torino.


Hello, I really enjoyed what you had to say bout Puerto Rico. I believe the United States acts like it is the islands savior, nevertheless they detach themselves from the island seeing it as though it isn't actually a part of the United States. Something much change because if not I fear Puerto Rico will collapse, its already beginning to. Therefor I ask what should be done with Puerto rico? Should it become a state? its own nation? Stay the same? quite frankly I don't think much will change right now with the current administration, but its always good to hope.

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