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Forum LockedWhy Europeans failed to settle Tropical Africa

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why Europeans failed to settle Tropical Africa
    Posted: 21-May-2009 at 14:04
Why Europeans didn't settle in tropical Africa in the same scale they did to the New World of North America, South America, Australia and the Pacific? Today, these new regions are mainly European in culture, while Africa still is different. The difference is that to the first, millions Europeans immigrated, changing everything. In comparison, very few Europeans settled in tropical Africa at all. What happened?
 
During colonial times, wherever they go Europeans carried theirs diseases, decimating local populations. It was argued by Jared Diamond that Guns, Iron and disease were the main reason for the conquest of Europeans, and that's part of the history. People like Easter Islanders, for instance, where at some times so ill there were at the edge of extinction. Native Americans are famous for the impact of the European diseases, but weren't the only population affected, at all. As much affected like them were the Polinesians in the Pacific, Native Australians and the Khoisan populations of South Africa.
Europeans conquered large parts of North and East Africa and also South Africa, without much opposition, and they settled in large numbers in South Africa. However, when they moved further north they entered a tropical band of disease of the region formelly known as "Black" Africa. Tropical Africa was devasting for the European people, where disease like Malaria and others, killed not only people but also western cattle, and where the European plants that helped Europeans to dominate the Americas, Australia and South Africa, died the same way people did.
 
The tragedy of the European settlers in tropical Africa is in Youtube, by Jared Diamond.
 
The links are here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 22-May-2009 at 14:38
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 16:33
The climate, and the fact that colonialism didn't really grasp Africa until the second half of the 19th century. Europeans had been in the America's for hundreds of years by the time Europeans really considered Africa as a colonial venture (Not to say that the Dutch and Portugese hadn't, but not on the same scale as the colonisation of the America's. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 16:41
Africans didn't die from common cold virus, Amerindians did. America was an empty land for landless europeans but Africa was full of worriors who knew europeans and their methods very well and actually defeated them many times before modern weapons came.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 17:08
Well put Al-Jassas!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 17:55
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Africans didn't die from common cold virus, Amerindians did. America was an empty land for landless europeans but Africa was full of worriors who knew europeans and their methods very well and actually defeated them many times before modern weapons came.
 
That shows an deep lack of knowledge on Americas history. Several people opposed strong resistence to the European invasion in the Americas. The Sioux, the Mayans and the Amazonians resisted the invasion for long time. Even more, Mapuches stopped and crashed the European times many times, destroying whole cities, and resisted the Europeans and descendents from 1541 to 1881! Almost three and a half centuries!
 
In South Saharan Africa, only the Zulues resisted with some success, but not for a long time. I respect the Zulues for theirs resistence, indeed. Theirs attitude called the attention of Europeans because it was different than the pasivity of the rest. In fact, African warriors usually attacked fellows Africans to send into slavery, rather than to combat the few Europeans that lived along the coasts during the slave trade.
 
With respect to viruses, Amerindians were affected by Eurasian diseases because they didn't have cattle, something Africans borrowed from the Middle East, of course. Lucky them that had Arabs and others to provide them of cattle and other domestical animals.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 21-May-2009 at 18:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 17:55
Originally posted by Parnell

Well put Al-Jassas!
In this field you aren't an expert. That's obvious Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 17:58
Originally posted by Parnell

The climate, and the fact that colonialism didn't really grasp Africa until the second half of the 19th century. Europeans had been in the America's for hundreds of years by the time Europeans really considered Africa as a colonial venture (Not to say that the Dutch and Portugese hadn't, but not on the same scale as the colonisation of the America's. 
 
Nope. The wheater is a piece of cake. Europeans can resist Central American and the Caribbean with no much problem at all. The problem were the diseases. Malaria, in particular, killed the dreams of settlement of Europeans in tropical Africa.
Europeans simply couldn't invade Africa as they did in the Americas because the high mortality they had in the region.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:00
The Spanish faced the same problems in places like Panama - an entire Scottish colony was wiped out there in the 17th century due to the disease problem.

(BTW, I take your accusation of 'not being an expert' as some kind of complement... Never said I was an expert on any subject ever)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:01
P.S- I would have thought the climate and 'Tropical Africa' where the same thing. Its certainly what I meant anyway. I fully realise more was holding Europeans back than mere irritating sunburn.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:05
Yes, nobody deny there were problems in the settlement of the Americas. What people usually forgets is that not only Amerindians died in those pandemics of colonial time. Many Europeans died as well.
However, even taking into account all these factors, it is obvious that the situation was very different in Southern South Africa -where the Khoisan were afected by European disease as much as Native American or Polynesians- than when the Europeans entered the tropics. There, for the first time, nature turned against them!
 
(With respect to expertise, I was pointing to your "tropically" emotional disqualifications to myself in a forum about Ireland somewhere in this site Wink)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:07
Originally posted by Parnell

P.S- I would have thought the climate and 'Tropical Africa' where the same thing. Its certainly what I meant anyway. I fully realise more was holding Europeans back than mere irritating sunburn.
 
Malaria and other tropical diseases did. Perhaps those same diseases stoped other people from comming, as it could had happened with Arabs or Indonesians (from Madagascar)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:20
Originally posted by pinguin

 
(With respect to expertise, I was pointing to your "tropically" emotional disqualifications to myself in a forum about Ireland somewhere in this site Wink)


Ah, but that was completely different Pinguin. You were trying to make the case that the Irish Famine was a genocide, without any comprehension of how retarded that assertion is Wink

But thats for another day...



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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:31
Originally posted by Parnell

...Without any comprehension of how retarded ...
 
You sound so emotionally tropical. Are you Irish? Or Mexican? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 20:09
Originally posted by pinguin

Originally posted by Parnell

P.S- I would have thought the climate and 'Tropical Africa' where the same thing. Its certainly what I meant anyway. I fully realise more was holding Europeans back than mere irritating sunburn.
 
Malaria and other tropical diseases did. Perhaps those same diseases stoped other people from comming, as it could had happened with Arabs or Indonesians (from Madagascar)
 
Oh, come on, now....The Brits were able to accumulate the British Empire because of gin and tonic and lime.  Everyone knows that.  Malaria hadn't a chance against the G & T.
 
Is it five o'clock yet?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 20:39
Originally posted by pinguin

Why Europeans didn't settle in tropical Africa in the same scale they did to the New World of North America, South America, Australia and the Pacific?  
Another factor could be because the economic systems changed on a macro level. At the time of the colonization of the Americas, economic activity was centered on labor intensive agriculture. This activity had to be managed on site by large numbers of European settlers (especially in areas where large scale slavery was not feasible).
 
Moving forward to Africa, economic activity had moved beyond labor internsive agricultuire to mechanized agriculture, manufacturing, and the large scale mining processing of raw materials. Better technology allowed these activites to be managed by a cadre of European adminsitrative personnel so large numbers of Europeans on site were no longer needed. 
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Africans didn't die from common cold virus, Amerindians did. America was an empty land for landless europeans but Africa was full of worriors who knew europeans and their methods very well and actually defeated them many times before modern weapons came.
I think Al Jassas is right. Africa had a much higher population density and direct, forcible siezure of land for settlers was going to be more difficult than in the Americas. Furthermore, as Al Jassas alludes to, the ability of Europeans to "Shock and Awe" indigenous populations had considerably diminshed by the time they colonized tropical Africa. Less "Shock and Awe" and more population met more effective resistance to direct settlement efforts. 


Edited by Cryptic - 21-May-2009 at 20:53
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 23:47
Originally posted by Cryptic

...
Another factor could be because the economic systems changed on a macro level. At the time of the colonization of the Americas, economic activity was centered on labor intensive agriculture. This activity had to be managed on site by large numbers of European settlers (especially in areas where large scale slavery was not feasible).
Moving forward to Africa, economic activity had moved beyond labor internsive agricultuire to mechanized agriculture, manufacturing, and the large scale mining processing of raw materials. Better technology allowed these activites to be managed by a cadre of European adminsitrative personnel so large numbers of Europeans on site were no longer needed. 
.
 
That's not true historically. It is true that the conquest happened earlier, but the largest waves of European immigration happened precisely between 1850 and 1950. That can verify in North America and it is true for Latin America and Australia as well. Those regions were literarilly whased out with European immigration to the point some speak of "blanqueamiento" (whitening). Even so, there was so much excess in population in Europe that many could have move to Africa as well.
 
Originally posted by Cryptic

...
I think Al Jassas is right. Africa had a much higher population density and direct, forcible siezure of land for settlers was going to be more difficult than in the Americas.
 
If the Europeans had the germs on theirs side, that wouldn't had been much difficult at all. Europeans counted by the time with even better guns, like the machine guns, that reduced the numerical difference even further.
 
Originally posted by Cryptic

...
Furthermore, as Al Jassas alludes to, the ability of Europeans to "Shock and Awe" indigenous populations had considerably diminshed by the time they colonized tropical Africa. Less "Shock and Awe" and more population met more effective resistance to direct settlement efforts. 
 
That "shock and awe" idea is more fantasy than reality. No "shock and awe" stop Polynesians to kill Captain Cook. In the Americas is false as well. A good point in the above is density of population. The true is that only in the Andes and Mexico indigenous people had enough density of population to survive the invasion and persist even up today. North America, Amazonia and Patagonia had such a low density of population that a few ships got Europeans in advantage.
 
As I said, the case of the Zulues is extraordinary, more than the regular attitude. After 1850, Africa was conquered by small groups of European adventurers, heavily armed, who use and abused the African populations for theirs own benefit, whitout massive resistence.
Belgians, British, Frech, Portuguese, Italians, Germans, all took chunks of Africa for themselves with minimal effort.
 
But they just controlled. Like in Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other places: they were the boss, but they didn't settled!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 00:35
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

.. 
Oh, come on, now....The Brits were able to accumulate the British Empire because of gin and tonic and lime.  Everyone knows that.  Malaria hadn't a chance against the G & T.
 
Is it five o'clock yet?
 
LOLLOL. Besides the joke, there is a piece of true of that: Tonic water had quinine; lime prevents scorbut. Please, explain or I will do. Wink


Edited by pinguin - 22-May-2009 at 00:40
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 08:25

Hello Pinguin

South America was conquered in what? 50-60 years. It had as much population as europe when the Spanish came yet Pizzaro with a couple of hundred conquistadors ended the entire Inca empire.

On the other hand most of North America was either one huge forest, one huge swamp or one huge desert, all were simply unenhabitable and too big to control. The native population never suffered a campaign as large as that suffered by their cousins in the south plus the Dutch and English were more of a cooperation mood with the natives than confrontation. Plus they knew that sooner of later disease will end them and it did.
 
In Africa things were totally different. Africans were fighters, they had iron which wasn't with the Native americans, they had experience and some organization. European diseases didn't kill them en masse as they did to Amerindians. Only when modern weapons came did Africa became open and even then, europeans didn't dare kill Africans to open the country to europeans and by this time the appeal for settlement in the already well settled Americas was stronger.
 
There were mass settlements however, In Algeria the europeans were about 16% of the population while in South Africa they were about 20%. These countries had lots of resources that appealed to europeans much more than Central africa.
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 09:57
Originally posted by pinguin

  As I said, the case of the Zulues is extraordinary, more than the regular attitude. After 1850, Africa was conquered by small groups of European adventurers, heavily armed, who use and abused the African populations for theirs own benefit, whitout massive resistence.
Belgians, British, Frech, Portuguese, Italians, Germans, all took chunks of Africa for themselves with minimal effort. 
 
Not the whole of Africa. The Italians could not counquer Ethiopia, in fact they actually got severely beaten in the battle of Adwa in 1896.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 11:53
Originally posted by Carcharodon

Not the whole of Africa. The Italians could not counquer Ethiopia, in fact they actually got severely beaten in the battle of Adwa in 1896.


True, but the Italians were outnumbered by 80k and the Ethiopians had firearms and artillery guns. It would have been more surprising if they won. Also the Italians returned under Mussolini, and succeeded.

Concerning why Europeans settled more extensively in America than Africa one shouldn't ignore the importance of precedence. When the Spanish and Portuguese explored America it was considered a new world and its discovery bore great merit. The drive for exploration established settlement patterns for Europeans in America, all the while the population of Europe continued to expand beyond what the continent should support. It is not surprising that when large numbers of Europeans chose to emigrate, they did so along familiar routes rather than go off to an uncertain existence in Africa. From this POV it was not a question of where the Europeans were more able to settle, but rather of how the discovery of a new continent led to settlement patterns being established and exercised a gravitational pull on the European imagination.
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