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What if - No African Colonisation

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  • What if - No African Colonisation

    What if int he mid to late 19th century European powers - starting with France, then followed by Britain, Portugal, Germany, concede to their internal right-wing politicians that after all the colonisation of the African continent is a silly, expensive venture pushed by the left (it's true, by the way) and that the "white man's burden" is just an excuse for greedy businessmen to use the colonisation projects to enrich themseves and their companies at the cost of the state (true as well) and that their country's resources are better spent to develop economies at home (or in existing colonies for England, for example).

    - practical decisions: France reverts Algiers and Oran (so far it's only possessions in North Africa) to a bey, nominally under the Ottomans.
    - britain decides to keep Cape Town and Durban, but leave the interior to it's destiny - let the Boers live their dream...
    - Portugal keeps only a few coastal towns
    - Germany drops all plans for colonies as well
    all countries keep business relations with the local kingdoms for rights of coaling stations, radio stations, and trade, etc.

    what would happen in the 20th century with that in your opinion?
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

  • #2
    This is really a big IF if there ever was one. First off most of the countries would have more natural borders. Less civil wars but more tribal wars. How would they have developed their governments or would it have been remained tribal? Dang this is an IF.

    HP
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      yes, it's a big IF , but not unplausible at all. you have to rememebr that in Arica, there were no colonies before the 19th centuries(south africa's Cape, Sierra Leone and Liberia beeing exceptions) only outposts of trade.

      the start of colonisation started with the french in Algeria, taking the coastal towns to secure Algeria (following the Barbary wars) from piracy (the day's Terrorism). in the second half of the 19th century, the lefties in france, britain etc. pushed for colonisation supported by the extremists from the christian and anti-slavery movements (africa was still ripe with slavery, as it always has (and always will be?) especially to muslim areas...).
      "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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      • #4
        If there was no "formal" colonialism, by that I mean the type with military occupation, governor generals etc, then Africa would almost certainly have followed that path of Latin America which was effectively a set of economic colonies with European and American influnces calling the shots.

        As has been said, the national borders would have been less crazy, but I think economic development would have ended up going along much the same path.

        I think one of the biggest drives for the scramble for Africa was pure old international competition between great powers - most colonies actualy lost money.
        What would Occam say?

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        • #5
          The Zulu Empire would be one of the Great Powers perhaps?

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          • #6
            I had a good military organization but I think is would have failed to govern or to create any sort of social organizatrion much beyond the herding economy.

            Africa had had some great empires, but due to internal population shifts and the chaos that created, they were all virtaully dead.
            What would Occam say?

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            • #7
              How do we define colonization? Many of the so called "indigenous cultures" such as Timbuktu in Mali or Swahili East Africa were actually the results of Arab or Egyptian colonialism centuries before Europeans ever reached those places.
              "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
              George Mason
              Co-author of the Second Amendment
              during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                How do we define colonization? Many of the so called "indigenous cultures" such as Timbuktu in Mali or Swahili East Africa were actually the results of Arab or Egyptian colonialism centuries before Europeans ever reached those places.
                Interesting point, colonisation didn't just have a Euroean face. Much of the African salve trade was controlled by Arabs and their ships sailed round the continent at will.

                Internal colonialism was also very prevalent. What we call the Zulu "nation" was actually a multi-tribal empire created through the conquests of Shaka.

                The question is why no subsaharan people had developed a political system which could stand up to the invaders for any amount of time. The Jared Diamon book "Guns Germs and Steel" goes to great lengths proving the influence of geography on that, but I feel doesn't provide a complete explanation.
                What would Occam say?

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                • #9
                  Rule Britania would never have been written, im going to have to take this very big IF, one concept at a time.
                  For my money, europeans would have carried on killing each other regardless.
                  The only african empire that had half a chance were those of ghana, given time they could have got places and perhaps influenced neighbours by efforts to "keep up" to do the same.
                  This scenario requires a huge change in human nature, the strong step on the weak.
                  Sealion would have failed..............runs,

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                  • #10
                    Easy - the Sundanese army overruns Europe and we all speak - whatever they speak there

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