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Colonialism refers to a situation whereby strong nations dominate weak ones economically, politically, militarily or culturally. Africa was subjected to colonialism in the 2nd half of 19th century as European powers acquired full control over African countries by 1900 and extended their colonial rule to the entire continent with the exclusion of Ethiopia and Liberia.

The process of colonial occupation in Africa by the Europeans that started from the 19th Century involved different techniques, these techniques were depending on the nature of colonial Government and Africans. These techniques included:

1.Treaty making; These were bogus agreements that were signed by European agents and African rulers (African rulers signed without understanding what they were signing or what the agreement meant) on signing these treaties African rulers were promised to be given luxurious things by the Europeans (1880s). Examples of these treaties:

  • Carl Peters signed a treaty with the chief of Usagara, Kilosa, Pangani etc.
  • French Lochner (BSACO) signed a treaty with Lewanika (N. Rhodesia 1860)

2. Forces/ violence; This was a method, which involved the use of weapons to occupy colonies. The method was highly used in the strongest African societies.Forexample;

  • Germany Vs. Abushiri and the Coastal people
  • Germany Vs. Bwana Heri and Coastal people
  • Germany Vs. Mahemba and Yao.

3.Collaboration (Alliance); In this method Europeans tended to form an alliance with some African societies to oppose other Africans. The method was used on those areas with conflict. Example:
Mangi Marealle and Germany against other Africans. E.g. Mangi Sina, Mangi Meli

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