The comparative effects of British and French colonial rule on democratization in sub-Saharan Africa
Ross, Lindsay Nicole
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Africa is a unique continent for innumerable reasons, but politically it is exceptional because of its history with colonialism. No other continent on earth has been entirely imperialized as Africa was. European nations such as Great Britain, France, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Italy competed in the 18th century in the “Scramble for Africa” during which they each wanted to control as much African territory as possible. These European nations sought to exploit their territories’ resources and to utilize them as secondary markets for their goods. Africa’s history of oppression has had detrimental effects on most of its countries as elements of political unrest, disease, climate, geography, and economics have prevented them from political and economic development. Studies of African countries today require understanding of Africa’s colonial past as it has had such a pervasive impact on the present and future of the continent as a whole. This is a study of the effects of British and French colonial rule on democratization in sub-Saharan Africa. Differing colonial goals and policies created a diversity of experiences among the nations ruled by colonialists that have resulted in varied effects in modern-day Africa. In all cases in Africa, colonialism has attributed to the multitude of difficulties that Africans face today in their efforts to democratize and develop economically. The puzzle that inspired this research is: why have former French and former British colonies in Africa had difficulties with democratization?