Darren Hardney A Brief History of Colonialism and the Effects, Both Positive and Negative The British arrived in Africa in 1539. The British had a great influence on the diverse group of Africans living in Nigeria. British began ruling the territory now known as Nigeria as a colony in the 1880s, they divided the more than 200 ethnic groups into three regions: the Northern Region, the Western Region, and the Eastern Region.
For hundreds of years, British missionaries, merchants, and soldiers interacted with Nigerians along the Atlantic coast, bringing Christianity (the British tried to convert all the people of Nigeria to Christianity), British education, and the English language to Nigeria. On January 1, 1901 Nigeria became a British protectorate, part of the British Empire, the people with the upper hand. The name Nigeria itself was proposed in 1903 by the wife of the British Commissioner of the Northern Region because of the Niger River.
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The good that the British did was helping the Nigerians with health, agriculture, and education, schools. They also taught the Nigerian people how to speak English. The British, in my opinion, designed the new Nigerian colonies to economically serve the British needs. Nigerians traded materials such as palm oil, cotton, rubber, and tropical wood for expensive British things such as guns, clothes, and metal tools. As I stated before, everything was in the British favor. So basically the British left the Nigerians depending on them for everything.
After all the years of resistance from Nigerians-labor strikes, political movements, the British finally agreed to give Nigeria independence on October 1, 1960. The major problems for Nigerian leaders were independence. They didn’t know how to govern the new country. They had to decide what British influences to keep and what to get rid of as well as “revive” Nigerian traditions. The negative colonialism oIn the late 1500s Europeans began taking enslaved Africans to the Americas to work in New World colonies. oEuropeans transported slaves over long distances in horrible conditions, so many died. Slaves that remained in Africa had well-defined privileges and rights, while slaves within European societies were virtually not even human! oTwo inventions was used in the 1800’s that help Europe to conquer most of Africa: machine guns and medicines. The medicines weren’t a bad part but the machine guns were definitely being used to rid of resistors. oThe traditional economic system that was based on villages that traded with each other through various established currencies was destroyed so families had to start over as far as money went. Things the tribes traded and the tribes themselves were also destroyed. The positive colonialism oEstablished schools, British education. oEuropeans taught the Nigerian people to speak English. oMoving the Nigerians forward in terms of health, agriculture, and education. oMedicines oThe Nigerians still had access to their natural resources; palm oil, cotton, rubber, and tropical wood. oThe Nigerians were allowed to have guns, clothes, and metal tools, surprisingly guns!