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METHODS USED IN IMPOSITION OF COLONIAL RULE

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METHODS USED IN IMPOSITION OF COLONIAL RULE

METHODS USED IN IMPOSITION OF COLONIAL RULE

The  colonial  powers  used  various  methods  or  tactics  in  imposing  their  colonial  rule  in  Africa.

Those  methods  depended  on  nature  of  the  Africans in  a  particular  area  and  the  response  from  the  Africans.

There  were  different  factors  which  determined  the  method  to  be  used  in  imposing  colonial  rule.

FACTORS THAT DETERMINED THE TYPE OF METHOD TO BE USED

There  were  different  factors  that  determined  the  type  of  method  which  was  to  be  used  by  colonialists  in  imposing  their  colonial  rule in  Africa. Some of  these  factors  are  as  follows

Centralized states with strong leaders.

Some  areas  in  Africa  had  centralized  political  system  with  strong  leaders  who  were  not  ready  to  accept  colonial  rule. In  those  areas, colonialists  employed  military  force  and  conquest. For examples King  Jaja  of  Opobo  in  Nigeria, Mkwawa  of  Uhehe  Chiefdom, King  Lobengula  of  Matebele land etc.

Traditional conflicts between Africans.

Some  African societies  had  tribal  conflicts  with  each  others. This  made  colonialists  to  employ  collaboration method  where  they  sided  with one  of  the  societies  in conflict  in order  to  defeat  the  other  society.

For  example: The  Germans  collaborated  with  the  Bena  and  Sangu  against  the  Hehe, The  British  collaborated  with  King  Lenana  of  Maasai  against  his  brother  Sendeyo, Chief  Lewanika  of  Rwozi  Kingdom  collaborated  with  the  British  against  other  parts  of  Central  Africa  which  were  a  threat  to  him etc.

Weaker societies.

In areas with  weaker  societies, colonialists  used  treaties  of protection  and  claimed  to  make  friendship  between  them  and  African  chiefs. A good example, By 1885, Kari Peters  had  already  made  twelve  treaties  with  Chief  of Usagara, Uzigua etc.

Society problems.

Some  societies  had  various  problems  like  diseases, drought  and  shortage  of food. Colonialists  decided  to  use  diplomacy  and  collaboration as  a  method  to  impose  their  colonial rule.A  good  example  was  the  Maasai  under  Lenana  who  collaborated  with  the  colonialists  due  to  rinder  pests and  drought.

The Nature of African Society.

Some  societies  in  Africa  were  very  reluctant and  did  not  easily  want  to  be  under  colonialists. This  made  colonialists  to apply  the  use  of  force  and  gun  boat  diplomacy  to  intimidate  them. For  example, The  British  applied  gun – boat  diplomacy  against  King  Jaja  of  Opobo, The  British  also  applied  this  method  in  Kenya  to  conquer  the  Nandi.

THE METHODS USED TO IMPOSE COLONIAL RULE

After the partition and scramble for East Africa, the British and German used various methods in East Africa, however these method varied from place to place and from time to time follows:-

Treaty Making (Diplomacy).

Through  this  method, African  chiefs  signed bogus treaties  with  Colonial  agents  deliberately. African  chiefs  did  not  understand  the  details  of  those  treaties  something  which  led  to colonial  rule.

Military force (Conquest).

This  method  was  used  in  those  societies  that  attempted  to  oppose  colonial  rule. Many  African  societies  were not  ready  to  be  under  colonial  rule  therefore, they  were  conquered  by  the  colonialists  by  using  military  methods. A good example were the  Mandika, Hehe, Yao and  the  Nyamwezi

Divide and rule technique.

It  was  a  method  used  by  colonialists  to divide  the  Africans  and  weakening  their  unity. The  colonialists  used  the  existing  conflicts  between Africans  so  as  to magnify  the  differences.

The  weak  societies  were  supported  by  colonialists  against  their  rivals, for  example, The  British  instigated  disunity  between  the  Buganda  and  Bunyoro  people, The  French  created  and  magnified  disunity  between  Mandika  people  and  Toklar  people etc.

Gun boat diplomacy.

It  was  a  method  aimed  at  creating  a  sense  of  fear ( intimidation)  among  Africans. Colonialists  exposed  their  military  weapons  publicly  so  as  to  create  psychological  fear  among  Africans  and  making  them  withdraw  their  intention  of  resisting  colonial rule.This  was  used  to  conquer  Jaja  of  Opobo  and  the  Nandi  by  the  British.

Through  this  method, European  allied  or  collaborated  with  a  group  of  Africans  which could  defend  their  interest  against  another  group.

In  most  case, they  allied  with  weaker  society  so  as  to  occupy  the  strong  society. For  example, this  was  applied  by  the  British  who  collaborated  with  Semei Kakunguru  so  as  to  conquer  Eastern  Uganda.

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