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Socio-Cultural Consequences of Colonization Essay

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Updated: May 16th, 2022

Introduction

Colonization process had different impacts on the lives of the Native Americans, Africans and Europe as a whole. Though some of these effects are similar across these three continents, the differences varied economically, politically, and socially. The Americans and Africans suffered the most negative effects of colonization because they were the subjects of the European colonialism. This is to mean that while the Americans and Africans were suffering socially and politically, the Europeans were gaining economically from this process.

Effects of colonization

For the Native Americans, colonization completely altered their way of life. Their social and economic culture was greatly hindered by the changes that were brought by the Europeans. The changes were as a result of diseases, laws, loss of land and attempts to introduce new religion. Europeans brought with them illnesses like pneumonia, measles, smallpox and malaria and this largely affected the population of the natives. These deaths made the natives doubt their religion’s healing power hence they slowly believed the Europeans. The Europeans altered land ownership laws hence the natives could not hunt or gather like before. This produced conflicts over territories. Basically, the Native Americans lost their land and culture.

Colonization also impacted massively on Europeans. First, with their capitalistic ideas, they were able to exploit natural resources and export them to industries back home. This helped them grow economically. These resources included minerals and slaves from Africa, and leather from America. Colonization sometimes resulted into war hence the Europeans lost their lives thus impacting negatively on their population. Colonialism also caused conflicts between European countries. For example during the scramble for Africa, British and German forces clashed over Tanganyika. During their explorations, Europeans contracted diseases that killed many people. The Europeans were able to spread their religion in the colonies.

In Africa, colonization saw traditional African customs; language and religion damaged and replaced by European way of life. The Europeans changed culture. Colonization caused deaths of some Africans during wars and conflicts. Politics and boundaries were restructured such that some families were split into different regions. The Africans lost their fertile land to European thus leading to abject poverty in the continent, as it was through land that the natives earned their living. Europeans helped the Africans to improve their religion, education, infrastructure and politics. Basically on education, the Europeans introduced formal education in Africa.

The Americans experienced positive effects of colonialism. Examples were growth in economy, industrialization and growth in technology. Also, the Americans were able to secure employment in the established European industries. They were also able to interact with people from different continent to form an industrialized and democratic country. However, there were several negative impacts of colonialism. These included the diseases that were brought along by Europeans, the wars that were fought due to resistance, slavery, loss of land and particularly loss of lives.

On their side, the Europeans achieved positive impacts through colonization. These included the ability to own and exploit resources for their economy, spread their religion, building of infrastructure, ending of local wars and introduction of their systems of administration to their colonies. However, the negative aspects included deaths resulting from wars and diseases and negative stereotypes against them.

Positively, Africa received economic subsidies from their colonial masters. These came in terms of building of infrastructure like roads and railway lines, introduction of formal education and the restoration of modern systems of governance like democracy. The negative effects of colonization in Africa varied from deaths caused by wars of resistance, exploitation of natural resources by Europeans, loss of tradition culture and alteration of their sovereignty.

Conclusion

The impacts of colonization to Native Americans, Africans and Europeans touched on the people’s political, economic and social ways of life. These impacts were experienced in similar ways both by Americans and Africans. These effects negatively affected the Americans and Africans. However, the Europeans gained economically.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Socio-Cultural Consequences of Colonization." May 16, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/effects-of-colonization/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Socio-Cultural Consequences of Colonization'. 16 May.

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