African People, their Religion

The actions and reactions of most of the indigenous people of Africa to the European Scramble for Africa were to not be colonized and were mainly expressed through conflict, religion, or social/political behavior. The African people behaved in a way similar to Newton’s first law of motion, an object at rest will stay at rest, until acted upon. If an African country did agree to the European’s terms, it was because they thought they were making the best decision for their country to maintain peace.

When force was applied to the indigenous people by the Europeans, they naturally fought back in one of the three ways. One of the ways the Africans retaliated against European actions was through social/political behavior. The Europeans, had government issued contracts made that appeared to give the Africans a choice in the colonization of their tribe (Doc1). However, African leaders like Prempeh 1 (Doc2) and Menelik 2 (Doc3) did not wish for their tribes to be colonized.

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They just wanted to be allies with the Europeans. The industrialized contracts left blanks to change details like how much the tribe gets paid. Promising to respect the natives and not to instigate with them, the contracts were supposed to be persuasive, convincing the natives to hand over their territory. The Ashanti leader mentions how he was asked to join the protection of the Queen of England, while the emperor of Ethiopia mentions not letting the Europeans divide Africa.

Considering how documents two and three start out are both set at 1891, and decline being colonized in different ways, some ‘other form’ of the contract must have been used, hence the words “specialized form” in document 1 possibly indicating there are other customized versions. Document one should have provided other contracts filled out to show comparisons, while document two should provide the British offer. Religion has always served as peace-giver throughout history. It is always used to bond or give reason. Religion was multi purposeful for the people of Africa.

Religion was used as a leeway to unify the Africans to the Europeans (docs 3 and 9), or for divine protection (Docs 5 and 8). Menelik 2nd and the Mojimba chief both reacted by targeting the Christian Europeans with a “What would Jesus do” plea for pity. While Menelik uses his Christian roots to show how God has been with his people while the Christian people haven’t, the Mojimba chief tries to shame the European people for their wrong doing. By doing so, the two try to stay nonviolent in their counterattacks against the European forces.

Au contraire, religion was used as protection for the Maji Maji and the Ethiopians later on (Doc5 and 8). The Maji Maji used a folklore potion that is sought to grant invulnerability against the attackers in their rebellion, and the Ethiopian emperor is seen on the throne holding a bible in the painting of the Battle of Adowa. The painting can be considered biased because the victor always writes the history, and the picture is Ethiopian, and could be exaggerated. Lots of the African tribes turned to religion to stay out of war or to protect them in war.

The religious beliefs could explain why some Africans thought they could stand a chance against the Europeans. War is an expected effect of the sometimes forced colonization of African tribes. Documents 4, 5, 6, and 7 depict the roughness and oppressive forces of the Europeans. After being tricked or misled into practical slavery and imprisonment, many African tribes decided to rebel against European powers. Usually the African people were already doing battle (Docs 4 and 5), or they were rallying the people to prepare for battle (Docs 6 and 7). t was not uncommon for the colonists to abuse and attack the common folk for no reason, the sort of treatment happened in colonies around the world. It was also common for the people to give up fighting, after realizing there was no hope, which is probably how the Ashanti men feel after the capture of the king. But too, while the Africans may not have been strong enough alone does not mean they won’t necessarily be strong enough united. For example, Samuel in document 7 tried to start and uprising in all of Africa to force out the Europeans.

The African people, as a whole eventually, started to lose hope around the 1900’s after seeing a multitude of their brethren slain. Document 6 should provide how the people, men mainly, feel about the king being captured, and why they are not willing to fight. The African people’s responses to the European scramble for Africa were to maintain the peace and stability of their people through any means necessary. Whether it was through war, religion, or social political work, they tried to put up some type of fight. After attempting to talk it out with the natives or use religion as a shield, the last resort was war.

Evidence today shows that they were all unsuccessful since new borders were drawn causing the disruption of ethnic groups and the union of warring tribes. The only tribe that kept its land was Ethiopia. The effects of the colonization are both positive and negative but more negative since the continent was better off before. There should have been documents from more common people and Europeans since documents 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 are from important people and documents 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are by Africans. Documents from a vender’s point of view to depict possible economic change are missing also.

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African People, their Religion. (2016, Dec 10). Retrieved from