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Europe, Europeans and Africa in the 19th century

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Title: Europe, Europeans and Africa in the 19th century


1
Europe, Europeans and Africa in the 19th century
2
Rooting Racism the Slave Trade
  • Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Special role in creation European American
    Racism (distinct from Saharan, Indian Ocean
    trades)
  • As part of Europes Atlantic world, tied to both
    Europe and North/South America

3
Rooting Racism the Slave Trade
  • Americas
  • Shaped needs for labour
  • Influenced volume, direction of trade
  • slave societies emerged influencing nature of
    colonial life, attitudes
  • Europe
  • -pulled Africa into Europes view of world
    (Introduction) Europes history
  • -Africa and Africans tied into age of discovery
    and age of reason

4
Rooting Racism discovery of the Other
  • Fascination with the other
  • -Napoleon in Egypt (c.1800) learning or looting?
  • Bringing back samples of the other plants,
    animals, crafts ultimately, people
  • exoticism attracting general public as well as
    scientific communitypopularity of world fairs,
    museum exhibits, art culture of orient

5
Plate from Francois le Vaillants Voyage de
Francois le Vaillant dans linterieur de
lAfrique, Paris 1798.
6
French satirical cartoon of the English obsession
with the tour of the Hottentot Venus, a South
African woman who was displayed in many cities in
Europe from 1810 to 1815.
7
Ota Benga
In 1906, the Bronx Zoo put Ota Benga, a (Belgian)
Congolese pygmy, on display in a cage in its
Monkey House. Protests by a group of
African-American ministers soon put an end to the
exhibit.
http//www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story
Id5787947
8
Rooting Racism age of scientific reason
  • Impact of Slave trade
  • -centuries of capturing, transporting, trading,
    using slaves shaped attitudes AfricansBlacksSla
    vesInferior (to Europeans, Americans)
  • -debate among abolitionists can Africans be
    saved and civilized?
  • -(Introduction) talked about European
    creation/construction of Africa now talking
    about creation/construction of Africans

9
(No Transcript)
10
African Woman (above) Zulu Warrior (right)
11
Scientific Racism
1824 Vireys 1824 text on the natural history
of humans
1868 Nott and Gliddons scale of human evolution
1864 Vogts anatomy text
12
Scientific Racism
Chart comparing intelligence of racial groups,
from Adolphe Louis Cureau (translated by E
Andrews) Savage Man in Central Africa A Study of
Primitive Races in the French Congo, London,
1915.
13
Illustration R. Shufeldt an anthropologists
1915 tract, Americas Greatest Problem. The
original caption read Negro Boy and Apes. On
the left side of the figure there is a young
Chimpanzee, and on the right a young
Orang-utang. This is a wonderfully interesting
comparison.
14
19th C. Europeans in Africa
  • Abolitionism, Attitudes towards Africans
    overlapping with shift from Slave to Legitimate
    Trade
  • Merchants, Entrepreneurs (interested in resources
    agricultural, mineral labour and markets)
  • Missionaries (interested in saving and
    civilizing humans supporting Societies)
  • Explorers (paid by governments and geographical
    societies serving needs of commerce and
    Christianity)

15
Missionaries
  • Early Missionary Activity
  • 15th 16th c. Portuguese (Ethiopia, Kongo)
    Catholicism
  • Efforts drew them into domestic politics,
    societies
  • Bible translated, attempts to familiarize
    Christianity with local beliefs
  • Working with local Kings partnership of commerce
    and training
  • 17th c. moving into Mozambique

16
Missionaries
  • Interest in Portuguese territories declined
  • -France brought White Fathers (avoiding Islamic
    areas)
  • -Britain introduced Protestant societies
    (Anglican Christian Missionary Society CMS
    London Missionary Society -LMS, Methodists)
  • -late 18th c. evangelical revivalism worldwide
    but especially generated by abolitionist
    movements Africa centred

17
Missionaries
  • Projects of Abolitionists
  • Sierra Leone newly liberated slaves to join
    communities of Christian farmers
  • Idea of assimilation Africans could be Black
    Britons
  • Olaudah Equiano (Week 2) former slave, British
    abolitionist, worked in favour of Sierra Leone
    project
  • Creation of black , indigenous missionaries (eg
    Samuel Crowther)

18
Samuel Crowther (Nigeria)
19
Missionaries
  • Liberia similar
  • Capital Freetown, Fourah Bay College (1827),
    established by CMS (1876 affiliated with British
    university, British degrees conferred in Liberia)
  • Thomas Buxton African Civilisation Society
    (1837, some govt support)
  • Assimilation Emulation

20
Missionaries
  • Missionaries were at the moral frontiers of
    empire in the 19th century but they were
    difficult and lonely ones (paraphrased from
    Reid, p.119)
  • Video Excerpt from The Bible and the
    Gun (Basil Davidson Africa)
  • (Available on Youtube 7.55 -11.50 min)

21
Missionaries
  • Conversion
  • -personal decision but in 19th century, public
    and political one
  • Issues
  • -competing powers (Kings, Spiritual) needed to
    be undermined/replaced
  • -conflicting values (polygamy, polytheism needed
    to be replaced with monogamy, monotheism)

22
Missionaries
  • Challenges to local powers
  • Religious remained central
  • compromises became common
  • indigenization of Christianity facilitated
    compromises
  • Political issues diminished as European presence
    increased used, appropriated or demolished
    Kings/Chiefs (eg Lobengula) (see second video
    clip Bible and Gun)

23
Missionaries
  • Challenge of Islam
  • -Christianity made little headway in Muslim
    regions (North, West Sahara, sahel especially
    East coast especially)
  • -why?
  • -similarities to traditional religions
    marriage customs, role of spirits, magic,
    lack of hierarchy/church/institutions,
    adaptability?

24
Missionaries
  • What did Christianity Offer?
  • -literacy
  • -access to lucrative commercial networks
  • -missionaries and mission stations doubled as
    traders, markets
  • -protection for disadvantaged
  • -sanctuary for slaves
  • -agents of abolition
  • How unique were these benefits? What
    disadvantages were involved?

25
Missionaries
  • The interest in Christianity is not always easy
    to access to what degree this was genuinely
    spiritual and to what degree political or
    economically expedient?
  • - Understanding missionary activity and
    Christianization similar to challenges in
    understanding Islamization

26
Missionaries
  • The Imperial Project -not necessarily formal
    agents of empire but inevitably involved in
    process
  • -writings informed European views about race who
    was capable of being civilized?
  • -took White Mans Burden into local churches,
    villages
  • -entering service of Missionary Society was by
    unavoidably entering service of Imperial interests

27
Missionaries
  • Missionaries as pawns
  • -on the ground, missionaries often drawn into
    local problems and politics
  • -chosen by African leaders to assist in their
    goals (eg Mosheshwe) lobby governments, assure
    trade, provision in arms
  • -vulnerable position, often such demands were
    met
  • - two-edged sword

28
Missionaries and Merchants
  • between a rock and a hard place -vulnerability
    to hosts (as well as diseases, fevers etc)
  • -needing to please Missionary Societies and
    Government back home
  • -must produce converts (or be recalled,
    considered failures Missionary societies in
    competition for funding)
  • -also caught up in ambitions of traders,
    entrepreneurs, investors

29
The Chameleon
  • Example of Lobengula, Cecil Rhodes and Richard
    Helms (also see Reid, p.125)
  • Video Excerpt II from The Bible and the Gun
  • (Basil Davidson, Africa) (available on Youtube
    25.00 37.00 min)

30
Lobengula (left), traditional rendition
(above) photo of Helms friend with children
31
Cecil Rhodes
Africa shall be British from Cape Town to Cairo
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