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Imperialism and Colonialism: A Brief Overview. Background information for Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

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imperialism and colonialism a brief overview

Imperialism and Colonialism: A Brief Overview

Background information for Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

"Neither imperialism nor colonialism is a simple act of accumulation and acquisition… Out of imperialism, notions about culture were classified, reinforced, criticized or rejected." --from Culture and Imperialism, Edward W. Said.
what s the difference
What’s the difference?
  • Imperialism— the forceful extension of a nation's authority by territorial conquest establishing economic and political domination of other nations that are not its own colonies.
    • Example: During WWII, Nazi Germany took over Austria economically and politically, but allowed its leaders to remain in control (like in The Sound of Music)
  • Colonialism— the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced
    • Example: Britain established the thirteen colonies on land that once belonged to Native Americans
imperialism colonialism in africa
Imperialism & Colonialism in Africa
  • Both imperialism and colonialism peaked during the late 19th century in Africa (also the setting of Things Fall Apart)
  • Commercial greed fueled desires among European nations to claim parts of Africa for themselves--natural resources but especially mineral resources
  • Rivalry between countries, especially Britain, France, and Germany, led to what historians refer to as the “African Scramble”
  • In the 1880's European powers divided Africa up amongst themselves without the consent of people living there, and with limited knowledge of the land they had taken.
imperialism colonialism in africa5
Imperialism & Colonialism in Africa
  • Berlin Act of 1885 divided Africa among European nations
  • Technological advances like railroads and telegraphs allowed for more control
  • African tribes and leaders were forced to cooperate or give way to those who could adapt to European rule
think pair share
Think, Pair, Share
  • What other examples of imperialism and colonialism can you think of? (Come up with at least 3)
  • What are the possible consequences of imperialism and colonialism on the local culture? The people? The resources?
  • What prejudice is implied in an imperialistic/ colonialistic point of view?