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Old 06-23-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
36,753 posts, read 40,903,209 times
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Over the last 3000 years, what has been the largest factor in the native tribes and nations of Africa not developing cultures and technology as other countries ?

Is it the late development of the written language? Lack of trade and exchange of ideas with other countries ?
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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It was colonialization.

Through that, and after, national borders cut through historical ones thus dividing people who normally have never heard of or recognized an "invisible" border before.

Also, structuring the new governments on the western models, corruption reigns supreme. They will do whatever it takes to have power, including suppressing their own people. But by now it has turned into such a cluster, after many generations of neglect, it is all but impossible to climb out of the whole.

Economics, any attempt by anyone to get something going gets shut down in the end by all these "good doers" who feel donating food and money will help a nation. This undermines the local economy, hard to get things started when other nations are handing out things for free, can't compete with those prices.

The IMF is the worst organization ever. It basically appeals to corrupt governments, loans money and the nation is forver in debt owing more and more money each year. Forgivness has occured but the result has already happened.

As far as why they didn't develop technology and we (we being the traditional Euro/western world), matter of my opinion but i just do not think the drive was ever there. lacking many things like favorable climate, intuition, etc... they just never did get off the ground when the industrial age occured.

This of course does not relate to the whole continent, I am assuming you mean the stereotypical meaning when you say Africa.

Its not just Africa either, central Asia is the same way. the only reason they have anything that they do now is thanks to tsarist Russia and the USSR after. They introduced them to thigns like toilets and tractors, medicine and even written language.

Of course go there now and the palces are all run down because the locals have no idea how to take care of or fix anything.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:39 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
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Quote:
This of course does not relate to the whole continent, I am assuming you mean the stereotypical meaning when you say Africa.
Yes, this is who I was asking. I realize South Africa and far north which I would assume to be Egypt and others are not the typical African nation
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Beaumont, Texas
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k350 - I agree with colonization being a factor - maybe even the most important factor. It's kind of the same situation here in our American ghettos. There is little percieved need to improve one's lot in life when someone else is already doing most of the work for you.
Also, the lack of necessity. The resources needed to continue their way of life were easier to gain by simply taking them from the next tribe over. There was little perceived need to set out across the oceans or desert.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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Colonization...yeah but the guy is asking what about the last 3,000 years, not the last 500. To that answer you can add what someone said about the Americans, which just had a series of Nomadic tribes for 1,000 of years except for some advanced civilizations such as the Aztecs and Inca's and even they finally fell behind to European advancements. However what the continent of Africa, as well as the America's, lacked, was easy transportation and the sharing of ideas with neighboring societies besides the tribes next door.

Their is no mystery why most of the civilizations grew up around the Meditteranian. Easy transportation by sea allowed the assimliation of ideas and the mixing of cultures that in turn led to advancement. So you had a thriving Italy, Greece, and even North Africa (Egypt, etc) but in deepest darkest Africa it was just not easy to trade and communicate with a civilization 500 miles away, or even 50 miles away.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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Actually, the original statement that started this thread is inherently backwards and false.

ALL the roots of human technology and civilization go back to Africa. The first bone tools, stone tools, human settlements, bows and arrows, mines, body and face decoration, evidence of mathematics, pottery come from Africa, along with very early steps towards agriculture and early cattle domestication. Human beings have been living in Africa developing culture and technology for over 100,000 years, which is the basis for ALL human culture and technology on the planet, as all humans originally came from Africa. Humans would not have survived not only in Africa, but also the journey OUT of Africa, if they did not develop culture and technologies for communication and survival. Human culture leading towards civilization, writing and mathematics have been developing in Africa longer than any other place on earth, leading to the development of great cultures all across Africa, which were very influential in the development of world civilization. Africa is the source of many of the worlds languages and the root of many written languages. So the issue here is why these facts are ignored in order to make ridiculous statements that have no merit.



But, like another poster said, colonialism has a lot to do with the state of Africa today. It has nothing to do with Africans not developing cultures and technology. West Africans had been producing carbon steel long before it was invented in Europe. There are 60,000 year old mines in central Southern Africa. The problem here is that the Western World is biased and has distorted history in Africa. Western Africa had many great kingdoms and empires before the West and colonialism. Benin, the home of the famous Benin bronzes, is just one example. We do not really know how old this kingdom was, because the British conquered and destroyed it in the 1800s. That is how the famous artwork got to Britain in the first place. West Africa had many walled cities and towns, defended by calvary and containing palaces, cities and well laid out streets. Most of these were destroyed and abandoned due to the conquests of the British with their maxim guns. Some of the largest earthwork fortifications in the world can be found in West Africa, largely around abandoned cities that were destroyed and looted by the West. All of this is documented by the British themselves in their own accounts of Africa. Yet, for some reason, the historians seem to forget all this and place the origin of such "mysterious" relics in the realm of myth and wonder. Then there are the ancient cultures of old Ghana (in modern Mauretania), which was one of the leading gold producers of the world at the time. There were a great many cultures and technologies in Africa, but the problem is that many of them were destroyed and looted by the British, who then covered up the very evidence of their existence, in order to create a myth of African inferiority and dependence on whites, which is the basis of the crises in Africa today.

It must be remembered that prior to the late 1800s Europe did not have the power to conquer Africa. Trading with Africans was limited mainly to coastal towns and forts, with Africans doing the trading in the interior. The wars of the British and other colonial powers were primarily to BREAK the African control of their own trading networks. Obviously, the Europeans would have done this far earlier if the Africans were weak and disorganized, but they weren't. The reason the Europeans did not do this earlier is because of the strong organized states and their cavalries that would have been devastating against European forces. It is the result of the use of the maxim gun and cannons that made Europe able to conquer Africans. And it is through colonization that the lies about Africa began to be told, justifying the oppression and colonization of Africa for natural resources. There were no massive slums in Africa prior to European colonization. There was no large scale starvation and suffering prior to European colonization. There were no large scale endangered species prior to European colonization. Most of these things came about BECAUSE of colonization and the appropriation of African land for the benefits of EVERYONE ELSE, but not Africans.

But of course, Europeans wont tell you that the Africans had control of their own trade prior to their conquest. They will say they were simply savages and being introduced to civilization:

Ijebu-Ode. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07

Quote:
SOMETIMES the biggest things can be the hardest to find. How else do you explain the failure of generations of Nigerian and European archaeologists to spot Sungbo's Eredo, the ramparts of a thousand-year-old kingdom not an hour's drive from Lagos. They are very big: the earth wall and ditch are 160 kilometres long and in places tower seven storeys high, complete with guardhouses, moats and garrison barracks. They enclose an area the size of Greater London, or 30 times bigger than Manhattan. But it took a British geographer from the University of Bournemouth to recognise their significance.
From: The African queen - 11 September 1999 - New Scientist

But keep in mind the irony of a British researcher claiming these ruins to be mysterious when the British were responsible for the destruction and collapse of these kingdoms in the 1800s, which is all fully documented in the papers of the British Foreign Office, Royal Niger Company and various European soldiers and explorers involved in the affair.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_Nigeria

http://apollo5.bournemouth.ac.uk/afr...gacy/index.htm

Last edited by GreyFox; 07-08-2008 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Long-range trade and exchange of ideas was difficult in Africa. There are very few navigable harbors, the interior was difficult and dangerous to cross, and there was a giant barrier to the north that was nearly impassable between Africa and the Mediterranean world.

Europe and Asia were involved in wars and trade that brought new technologies together, which inspired the adoption and improvement of those technologies and the need to invent new technologies to deal with any threats the new ones brought. Africa was well-protected from foreign invasion and thus well-protected from the influx of technologies and ideas that flowed along the Silk Road and other trade routes.

It is the same story with the Aborigines in Australia and the first people in North America. They did develop technologies suited to their environments and showed a lot of ingenuity with what they had before them. I think the absence of the wheel in the Americas before the Europeans came is a good example of this.

Like the ancient Americans, the ancient African empires were fairly robust. But their lack of contact with the outside world and with the exchange of ideas that comes with it doomed them to be at a disadvantage when a more advanced technological culture showed up.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Yep colonialism did it, almost every single country in Africa is a mess because of those tribes being thrown together, I wish the Africans could just agree to re draw the borders to help. And, when the Colonial Empires left, they took just about everything they could from the people causing a collapse of just about every economy.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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According to the book "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond, it is the lack of navigable rivers and domesticated animals that made all the difference. Fascinating Read.

Last edited by laysayfair; 07-11-2008 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Riverdale (Bronx),NY
19 posts, read 43,317 times
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[quote=GreyFox;4376931]Actually, the original statement that started this thread is inherently backwards and false.

ALL the roots of human technology and civilization go back to Africa. The first bone tools, stone tools, human settlements, bows and arrows, mines, body and face decoration, evidence of mathematics, pottery come from Africa, along with very early steps towards agriculture and early cattle domestication. Human beings have been living in Africa developing culture and technology for over 100,000 years, which is the basis for ALL human culture and technology on the planet, as all humans originally came from Africa. [end quote=GreyFox;4376931]

Excellent post. I think you covered many of the fundamental elements that have consistently led people to think some doesn't/didn't exist because of the current state and what select images are portrayed around the world. The written works that document this weren't part of my elementary education and Africa history often has only one or half a chapter dedicated to it outside of grammar school.

There is a cycle to all civilizations (rise and fall).
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