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Old 12-27-2015, 09:37 PM
 
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We all know that the African continent and it's countries are largely the results of the boundaries that came with colonization by Europeans who carved up the continent. But has anyone ever wondered what Africa would be like today if Europeans had never colonized it?


Without European colonization:

What types of countries would there be? How would they have been formed?

What level would these African countries be on as far as education and technology? Keep in mind that most pre-colonial sub Saharan African societies didn't have writing. So how would they have developed in the modern world without writing? The main pre-colonial Africans that used writing were those using Arabic.

What would Africa today be like religiously? Would Africa's traditional religions be more wide spread without the spread of European Christianity?


(Feel free to add some other "what ifs" on this.)
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Probably the richest and most powerful nations on Earth, probably fewer, larger states.
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Historic West End
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Stronger families, more unity, and stable governments, significantly less blacks in the United States.
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Old 12-28-2015, 10:19 PM
 
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^

Interesting.

Something I was thinking about is if neighboring tribes had agreed to form nations then what would be their national language?

What type of writing would have been adopted since most pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africans didn't have writing? A national language and writing were introduced into much of Africa by Europeans. So how would this had played itself out coming from Africans themselves?
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Katy,Texas
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I think the area known as Nigeria would be a dominant nation as it has always been one of the densest areas not only in the world but by far Southern Nigeria is the densest part if Africa. I think Egypt would control most of what we call North Africa and they would be the most advanced if not the most advanced nation. The Yoruba or Igbo would control the area stretching from Ghana to Cameroon and might have still been Christian because Christianity was introduced before the actual scramble for Africa. Yoruba or Igbo would be the largest Language in Africa because either way the 120 million in Southern Nigeria would speak either one of those languages or both. Southern Nigeria is kind of like China in that it has always been the densest part of it's continent(Eastern China and India have always been dense when compared to surrounding areas). I think though that like China their would have been a push for a dominant Ethnicity to stabilize the government and people would conform to either Ethnic group in the West Africa region. I believe since the Fulani/Hausa wouldn't be separated by borders, their would be a huge Caliphate just north of the Yoruba/Igbo nation that stretched across most of what is called the Sahel and into Northern Nigeria. I think since Kano is the biggest city in the region (today) it would still be huge.
I think eventually a Kinshasa like city just like Lagos would be settled by the locals in the Congo but probably not as big as modern day Kinshasa. The only thing that would radically change is that oil rich areas the wealth would actually be able to be seen, but most of inland Africa not under nations like Ethiopia or South Africa would be much of the same. One thing that would drastically change would be crime rates would fall severely when compared to most African countries today, because the availability of weapons would decrease and the governments would be stable enough to stop rebel groups and rampant crime in cities. Example look how low the murder rate in would be a reflection of Limpopo Province in SA. Limpopo was the least violent state in SA although it is the most "African" state in SA. Limpopo safest province. The state has a murder rate of roughly 11-13 murders per 100,000, which is comparable to the City of Houston or Dallas on an above average year. Most SA states have murder rates similar to New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham, Saint Louis and Baltimore. Limpopo being the least touched by the European derived weapons culture that has cause SA to get overrun by criminals does't really exist in Limpopo and thus it is in general significantly safer than the rest of the country.
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorMegaman View Post

That's not actually true. A lot of Africans had a written language.
How much does that apply to sub-Saharan Africans before European contact? I know of African scripts like the Via script but it and some others used in west Africa were developed after European contact.

Also I was thinking about how not many pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africans left written records that historians and archaeologist have been able to use to research their history in more detail. Did the people of Benin,The Kongo empire and Great Zimbabwe leave pre-colonial written records?
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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One should keep in mind that that for the most part during the era of the slave trade Europeans were not colonizing Africa. The coastal forts existed only at the sufferance of the local allied African nations. Most of Africa was also a deadly place for Europeans before quinine - so much so that casualty rates were typically higher for the European slave traders than for the enslaved (which is why the Europeans had to rely on local allies to capture slaves). The trans-Atlantic slave trade was essentially over by the early 19th century, and at that time besides the Portuguese and the British in South Africa, there was very little direct rule of Africa yet by Europeans.

I think the distinction is important to make, because I think it is the slave trade, not colonization, which wrecked Africa. Most of Asia aside from China, Japan, Thailand, and Afghanistan was colonies of one empire or another at times, and yet the countries have recovered from this. The slave trade, however, caused Africa's population to stagnate (and in a lot of areas, decline) at the exact same time that populations in Europe, Asia, and the New World were exploding. The profits of the slave trade were also probably needed in order to provide the capital investment which ultimately started the industrial revolution and cemented European economic supremacy in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Africa could have dealt with colonization without a slave trade alright, but I'm not sure that a slave trade and no colonization would have made a significant difference.
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:11 PM
Status: "Hope is last to lose it..." (set 1 day ago)
 
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Africa before colonization:

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | Big Think

Yep, that would had been marvelous. Even more borders!
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Old 12-29-2015, 11:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

I think the distinction is important to make, because I think it is the slave trade, not colonization, which wrecked Africa.
I don't think colonization was the primary cause of post colonial Africa's problems either. But as far as what you say about the slave trade wrecking Africa. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade mainly affected coastal west and central Africa. There was no slave trade in Zimbabwe and yet Zimbabwe is just as messed up as some of the west African areas where the slave trade occurred.

Anyway the main culprit for Africa's post colonial problems as I've come to see it was the wrong paths to development chosen by Africa's post colonial leaders(too many one party states and state socialist economies).
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post

Africa before colonization:

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | Big Think

Yep, that would had been marvelous. Even more borders!
While thinking about this topic I had an idea that a map would look something like that if Africans had formed their own modern day nations. So many tribes would have formed their own nations. Not sure how good or bad this would have turned out to be.
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