Central African Republic
Central Africa has been inhabited by people for over 8000 years. The population of the early Africans remained low because of a limited food supply. As they started to have more advanced farming the population grew. In the 15th and 16th century Europeans started to make written records of what was happening in Central Africa. The first really significant form of outsider interference in the country started when the Arab slave trade began in the 1600s. It lasted until the late 19th century. The next significant form of outsider interference was foreign control of the country through imperialism and, today, foreign influence through foreign aid and trade (O'Toole, T. 1941). One of the first direct changes in Central Africa's lifestyle was the beginning of the slave trade. The slave trade disrupted settlements and reduced the population. The trade caused the local people to start dealing, although not in a positive manner, with outsiders from countries that had known little of that area. As the raids continued, other countries started to give more attention to this area of the world. More people came to the country looking for things such as raw materials, people, and agriculture. Once the industrial revolution started in Europe and those materials became more of a necessity, the Europeans came into Africa looking for control. They began colonizing and establishing territories. The Europeans divided the continent and the French took over Central Africa (O'Toole, T. 1941). Included in the area of Central Africa controlled by the French was what would become the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). At that time it was called was called the Ubangi-Shari by the French. The French maintained control over the area through force. Eventually the French handed over control of vast areas of the country to various European companies in exchange for a percentage of the profits and annual payments. The French and the European companies used beatings and even death to control the local population. The country is at no point connected to the ocean so trade to it would be difficult. The French wanted the country believing it was something that would be important in the future. However, their decisions on the use of the countries resources and capabilities didn't work as well as they should have. Even when the French left' or granted independence to Ubangi-Shari, they still had a huge say in what was going on. "General Francois Bozize is in power due to the military backing of France, Chad and the DRC." He continues to say that it is this sort of interference that is bringing destruction to the country proving Imperialism is still present (Yeshitela, O.2003). Imperialism brought more advanced tools and techniques than the native peoples had seen before. It also caused the country to advance its way of life into a more modern time. It gave CAR a better awareness of the world and how to deal with the threats that may be brought in the future. Also, now the Central African Republic has been able to be part of the bigger picture and not just work out of its own back yard. No matter what good came from Imperialism it can never compensate for the horrible things that fell into play with its presence. One of the most obvious things that Imperialism did was to destroy the way of life that had existed for centuries. It caused many wars and brutal rule which destroyed some of the people. After independence, dictators have caused great problems for this country and its way of life. The country may never be able to become a peaceful society again and it definitely can't be what it was before the imperialist pressure showed itself. The previous French rule has started an ongoing cycle of tragedy that may never end. The internal fight for power continues. After the French rule was over one of the things left behind was its language. French is now still the official language even though the actual national language is...
Bibliography: Balch, B. (1998). Inside the Dzanga-Sangha Rain Forest. 408 Broadway New York:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
O 'Toole, T. (1941). Central African Republic in Pictures. Minneapolis:
Lerner Publications Company.
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