What Happened In Africa?

Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
#24
No problem Naomasa.
Arabs and Europeans took Africans as slaves.
As I remember Europeans alone took circa 20 000 000 slaves. Be aware that Arabs have caravans of slaves from Africa too.
We often see slavemasters as Europeans but they were not only one.
That is biggest lost for Africa. They took people. Europeans and Islamic civ. Imagine that lost. They were live, still breeding people who were tortured, humilated and took as slaves. Terrible lost.
The Africans weren't enslaved by the Europeans, the African tribes were always at war with one another and the losers became slaves (the same dynamics as in the classical mediterranean). Since the productivity of labor was higher in the Americas than in Africa, the Europeans brought the african slaves from the african tribes since they were worth more in the Americas than in Africa.

The influx of slaves from Africa to the Americas was a natural consequence of this process. Also, I should note that today the former slave populations in the Americas have a much better standard of living than the africans and the africans today are much better off than the africans of 300-400 years ago.
 
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Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
#25
Worst case scenario is that Africans would be in a similar position that they are now.
Of course, such as happened to the superpower of Ethiopia that wasn't colonized by the Europeans. :lol: Today Ethiopia has a per capita income of 161 dollars, a fraction of the African average of 1,200 dollars.

Africa in 1914:


Ethiopia: independent, today it is poorer than the average for african countries. The African country which was colonized by the europeans more intensely was South Africa, and this coutry is the most developed country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

If European civilization never existed, the African countries today would be much worse off, their life expectancy would be 25 years instead of 50. What civilization exists in africa today is only due to european influences, direct and indirect.

The idea that the poverty of africa was caused by the europeans in based on the idea that it would have not been poor naturally. However, the natural state of human societies is poverty, modern industrialized societies are exceptional in history. Africa today is how the world was 150 years ago.
 
Nov 2010
7,890
Border of GA and AL
#26
Of course, such as happened to the superpower of Ethiopia that wasn't colonized by the Europeans. :lol: Today Ethiopia has a per capita income of 161 dollars, a fraction of the African average of 1,200 dollars.

Africa in 1914:


Ethiopia: independent, today it is poorer than the average for african countries. The African country which was colonized by the europeans more intensely was South Africa, and this coutry is the most developed country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

If European civilization never existed, the African countries today would be much worse off, their life expectancy would be 25 years instead of 50. What civilization exists in africa today is only due to european influences, direct and indirect.

The idea that the poverty of africa was caused by the europeans in based on the idea that it would have not been poor naturally. However, the natural state of human societies is poverty, modern industrialized societies are exceptional in history. Africa today is how the world was 150 years ago.
I suppose the Congo, Somalia, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan, etc. are all better off? :notrust: You do know that Ethiopia was "colonized" by Italy in 1936/38?
 
Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
#27
For one, the colonization of the Americas along with the great dying meant a labor shortage. Europeans really were not suited to work in the New World climate, and the native populations were wiped out mostly by disease. So the demand was met by African slaves.
Actually there is not such thing as a human race not suited to a certain climate. Europeans can work in the tropics just as well as africans, as today the proportion of european genetic influence on the brazilian population in the equatorial line is actually several times higher than the african influence.

Africa already had a slave trade, but the demand for labor for the Americas dramatically increased the demand for African slave labor. This diverted African economies away from resourcing producing activities towards resource depleting activities, like slave trading.
Actually the export of slaves improved Africa's economy on the level of per capita income: as the supply of labor declined and a decline of the supply of labor increases labor productivity and wages. African living standards would be worse without the forced migration of labor.

It also meant that capital and power was accumulated by those who had less of an interest in building up Africa, towards only those whose only sought short term gains (by selling slaves) and increasing power.
Decreased supply of labor caused by the exports of slaves would mean that wages would be higher, increasing the demand for labor saving technology such as machinery.

The second convergence was in the late nineteenth century. Stagnant economic growth, along with supply disruptions such as the Civil War in the United States, drove many European countries to try to diversify their economic portfolios, so to speak, by expanding their colonial
possessions.
The late 19th century was the most prosperous period in the history of Europe. Economic stagnation didn't occur. Only UK's rate of growth decreased, but Germany's and France's rates of economic growth increased. Overall from 1870 to 1914 was the period when Western Europe became industrialized, in 1870 only UK and Belgium were industrialized, with most of their population living in cities and stuff, by 1914 all Western European countries except Spain, Portugal and Southern Italy were industrialized.

I think that the expansion of the European colonial possessions didn't have anything to do with the American civil war. Basically European countries were simply exerting their power in Africa as it was the last region in the world to be colonized by Europeans, due to it's lack of development and hence lack of taxable resources. The European countries didn't gain anything from colonizing Africa. The costs were greater than the benefits, they did it due to the matter of national pride.

Also, European colonialism of Africa was more concerned with "Westernizing" Africans, i.e., teaching them European languages and converting them to Christianity, than they were with imparting the technical skills and knowledge necessary for Africans to sustain infrastructure built by Europeans. In effect this meant a decline and deindustrialization of Africa after Europeans left, since there was an insufficient number of engineers and scientists (but plenty of philosophers, poets, and writers).
Please. Plenty of philosophers, poets and writers? Africa in 1960 had 90% rate of illiteracy. The Europeans never westernized africa to remotely the same extent that they westernized North America.

Finally, there is the geographical and environmental circumstances of Africa. Africa is a large continent and historically has had a very sparse population. The lack of population density meant that capital accumulation, nation-state building, urbanization, sustained political and economic development, and the formation of political ideologies beyond tribalism, or even the formation of secular ideologies, were near impossible.
Low population density is good for the economy, as it means high level of natural resources per capita. Europe had lower population density than China and this helped Europe to develop further than China during the early modern period.

Ironically, their problems might be the opposite today. Modern agriculture and medicine has allowed their population to explode, but without equivalent increases in productive capacity, their economy cannot keep up with the explosive population growth; thus, they get poorer and poorer.
Actually per capita incomes are increasing fast in Africa and today they are much higher than they were 10 years ago. But not as fast as in India and China.

Africa is not doing bad today: Nigeria's rate of GDP growth from 2000 to 2009 was 8%, higher than India and nearly as high as India and Nigeria is Africa's most populous country.

Africa is not getting poorer and poorer.
 
Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
#28
I suppose the Congo, Somalia, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan, etc. are all better off? :notrust: You do know that Ethiopia was "colonized" by Italy in 1936/38?
Ethiopia is out of the major African countries the poorerst after Congo and it was the contry that wasn't colonized by Europeans.

The country most intensively colonized by Europeans was the United States, which is today the richest country in the world.

To blame Africa's poverty on the Europeans is to deny their own failure to develop and hence to justify that failure, perpetuating their state of poverty and underdevelopment.
 
Nov 2010
7,890
Border of GA and AL
#29
Ethiopia is out of the major African countries the poorerst after Congo and it was the contry that wasn't colonized by Europeans.

The country most intensively colonized by Europeans was the United States, which is today the richest country in the world.

To blame Africa's poverty on the Europeans is to deny their own failure to develop and hence to justify that failure, perpetuating their state of poverty and underdevelopment.
The US was not intensively colonized. If anything India, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America, etc. were more colonized than the English colonies.
 
Mar 2011
4,136
The Celestial Plain
#30
Guaporense said:
Ethiopia: independent, today it is poorer than the average for african countries. The African country which was colonized by the europeans more intensely was South Africa, and this coutry is the most developed country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty is extreme in South Africa for nonwhites. The percentage of blacks below the poverty is exceptionally high, perhaps well over 80% of blacks. South Africa has a gini coefficient of 77(1 is absolute equality, 100 is absolute inequality). To put that in perspective, countries like Russia, China, and Mexico, all known for extreme inequality, have gini coefficients of 45 to 50. So not only is there extreme levels of poverty among blacks in South Africa, but that poverty is overwhelmingly confined to blacks. In almost every European nation, in contrast, the gini coefficient is between 25 and 35. So yes, the white people in South Africa are doing very well, but I don't know what point that really proves.

Of course you conveniently ignore the fact that I said my analysis applied to Western Africa, but okay.

Guaporence said:
If European civilization never existed, the African countries today would be much worse off, their life expectancy would be 25 years instead of 50. What civilization exists in africa today is only due to european influences, direct and indirect.
I think you miss the nuance in my arguments.

First, the question was, "What happened to Africa?" I answered that the discovery of the Americas and the subsequent need for labor undermined nascent industries in Western Africa. Perhaps nothing would have amounted from those industries, but the American convergence certainly didn't help.

But there was a larger point in here; the discovery of the Americas fundamentally altered the dynamic of the global economic system (and yes, there was one, otherwise, Columbus would not have been trying to find a route to the Indies). Africa was significantly affected by that changing dynamic, which undermined economic development in their own country. Unless you think Africans are genetically inferior to Asians (who managed to see tremendous economic growth from 1500 to 1700), then there is no reason to believe that more advanced economic industries and political systems could not have developed in parts of Africa, in which case Africa today, especially western Africa, would look more like Southeast Asian countries than like they ended up looking like.


Guaporense said:
The idea that the poverty of africa was caused by the europeans in based on the idea that it would have not been poor naturally. However, the natural state of human societies is poverty, modern industrialized societies are exceptional in history. Africa today is how the world was 150 years ago.

Your right. Western guns and money to violent regimes has had no effect on African development. Funny that you say 150 years ago, and not 500 years ago, because 150 years ago every piece of earth on the planet had been messed with in some way or another by Europeans, so I don't really see your point here, other than to say that 150 years ago, if you weren't European, you were f*cked.


You really seem to miss the point then. The question was "what happened to Africa?" Which translated, essentially means, why is Africa so much poorer than everywhere else in the world. In fact, the reasons are a lot more complex than "They weren't Europeans." The question is not, "why isn't Africa as rich as the United States?"


I never said poverty of Africa was caused by Europeans, and if you would have read my whole post, you would have noted that I also ascribed geographical circumstances to the poverty of Africa.