Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by the people of another territory. It can also be defined as the control that a country or government holds over the territory and the people in a foreign country. It is also the policy of extending national authority over foreign territories. This is when the people of a particular region do not have control over anything in their territory. Colonialism took place because some countries were powerful than other countries even though they were small regionally they dominate it because of their own reasons. Before colonialism, there were no schools, churches and industries, survival required hard work and sacrifice.
Resources were one of the main reasons why the British colonised Africa and generating wealth for their mother country, because of this many people in the colonies were forced to slavery or labourers to work on plantation, they planted cash crops such as cocoa and tobacco. The colonies tried using Native Americans slaves but Native Americans knew the land and ran away because plenty of them died due to diseases and other things. The colonies also paid for Europeans to immigrate to the years. In return, the immigrants worked without pay for a number of years. All the colonies used slave labour; they enslaved thousands of Africans to toil on their fields. The mouth of the slaves were pierced and locked with padlock so that they won’t eat from what they were planting especially the sugar plantation and also with chains on their necks, hands and legs. The slaves were treated as if they were not humans by the colonial masters, they maltreated them badly by treating them cruelly beating them, starving or even killing them; it reduced the population of Africa because most of the slaves died because of hunger and also there was no people to farm and provide food for those who were not captured because all the strong and young men who could farm where captured, it led them to poverty. Slavery destroyed civilization and led to the underdevelopment of the colonies. Africans were looked upon as inferior and dull people who are only good at working as labourers and doing house works by the colonial masters. The children of slaves automatically became slaves too
Lack of respect for traditions is an effect of colonialism, the traditions of the colonies where not respected by the colonial masters, they did not value the culture of their colonies at all, they completely took over the way of life of their colonies. The traditions of the people were abandoned by the colonial masters especially the French in their colonies; they tried to make the people French in the mode of dressing, language and other things (policy of assimilation), which of course worked in some areas and didn’t in some. The colonies made the people to adapt to new culture because the colonial masters believe that their culture is superior to that of the black. But also colonialism removed and abolished the bad part of pre-colonial culture because it had the power to eliminate damaging social trends and older ideals. Before the coming of colonial masters; in some part of West Africa especially Nigeria twins were killed because they were considered as evil, taboo or some sort of bad luck to their parents. They either throw them in the jungle to die or drown them in rivers, with the advance of colonialism that practice was abolished and is regarded as a primitive and horrific practice and stopped it. They also stopped the bad way women were treated, women back then were seen as baby producing machine, they were disdain in the society, arranging the house and cooking meal was what it was believed they were good at. With the advancement of colonialism Sati practice was abolished in India. Sati was traditional practice whereby the first wife of a deceased husband would throw herself or be thrown at the fire on the day of her husband’s funeral it serves as a way through which she will show her mourning.
The British developed it colonies, it brought about modernization to regions that were technologically under developed, it introduced trading and other businesses in which trade by batter took place too. Normally the people produce their product then give it to the colonial masters in exchange with either mirror, gun powder, cowries and other things because back then all these things did not exist. They provided rail road’s for open trade which helped in the transportation of goods from one area to another. They (colonial maters) also brought and introduced medicines to their colonies because most of them died because due to sickness, this helped to abolish the use of leaves and other herbs that they don’t know the use of them from use in the colonies. But also the colonialist introduced or brought some diseases which were not known in the colonies which up till today some don not have a cure.
The colonialist introduced democratic system of government in the West African colonies. Before colonialism in Nigeria, places where divided into kingdoms and each kingdom had its King which in some parts of the kingdom is of hierarchy while some it was not. The kings normally are they once who made the laws of the kingdom and punished offenders. Colonialism removed this part of practice in their colonies by introducing a democratic system of in which leaders are chosen through election.
However, the colonialist introduced Christian religion knowledge in the west African countries before they visited West Africa, people, Christianity did not exist, they worshipped traditional idols and other sorts of things and also judgement was of what their ancestors say through the kingdoms orals (which is believed that it is through there the ancestors speak. Colonialism introduced Christianity to their colonies because Christianity is the religion of the European, some part of the colonies accepted and some didn’t because they were already practicing a religion they believed in. The colonialist established schools and made bible study for anyone who would attend the school. Christianity gradually developed and the people gradually stopped practicing the traditional religion.
In conclusion, colonialism had great advantages and disadvantage. It introduced Christianity which abolished the traditional practices and other bad practices in the colonies they colonized. It also stopped the bad practices of killing twins in Africa, Sati in India and other bad practices. Colonialism also modernist plenty part of its colonies by introducing farming tools, roads, vehicles for transporting goods and other things. Even though some people suffered in the hands of the colonial masters, it still helped a lot in its territories and colonies.