Sincethe AHS has served as the leading scholarly organization in the world dedicated to the study of rural life and agriculture, with our journal Agricultural History serving the scholarly community since
Share via Email Today, although independence and freedom are the public face of modern Africa, the West - and its marketplace - still holds sway over much of the continent. The history of 20th-century Africa is dominated by the desire of outsiders to reshape a vast, diverse continent to a Western design.
This was done in three ways: Nationalist struggles against these three have defined every generation this century. As the century opened, only two countries in Africa, Ethiopia and Liberia, had independent governments; the rest of the continent was run by European governments and companies.
The colonialists came with capitalism, missionaries, teachers and settlers.
They came, too, with military force. Resistance was fierce, and the Europeans sought allies among kings, emirs and chiefs, who realised co-operation could be in their interest. Colonialism brought Europe undreamed of wealth.
Rubber, ivory, copper, gold, cotton, cocoa, tobacco: This new economy demanded a system of migrant labour that destroyed for ever the unity of traditional communities.
The violent consequences of this rapid disruption, coupled with the paternalistic attitudes that justified white rule, began a slow-burning anger among Africans. The Depression of the Thirties plunged Africa into crisis, as its export-oriented economies were halved in value overnight.
Then, in the second world war, hundreds of thousands of Africans fought in the armies of their colonisers, and brought home anti-fascist ideas that cast a new light on the subjugation in their own countries: The fever of anti-colonial politics spread as a handful of educated Africans returned from studies in the US and Britain.
On a wave of euphoria, independence quickly came to the whole continent, with the exception of the white settler regimes in southern Africa - South Africa, Namibia and Rhodesia, and the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. It was to be another story of attempted domination during the Cold War, with the Soviet Union supporting almost every liberation movement in Africa.
In response, the US picked key men among the freedom fighters - some of whom became heads of state, some rebel leaders - and taught them an anti-communism that became the pretext for wholesale repression.
In the process, a political vacuum was created that gave power to the military and brought coups all over Africa. The killing of Congolese nationalist, Patrice Lumumba, in which the CIA had a role, symbolised the ruthless way charismatic leaders were dealt with; and the destruction of Angola, by US proxies, illustrated how an entire country could be sacrificed in an anti-communist crusade, despite there being no communists in power - only a Cuban military force defending the country against South African aggression.
The Seventies and Eighties were grim decades for much of Africa. Just as countries struggled with drought and the impact of two major oil price hikes, the primacy of the market and the unpicking of state structures were imposed from Washington.
As economies deteriorated, so social strains increased and intractable civil wars and refugees became the faces of Africa.
But, in the last decades of the century, South Africa achieved the miracle of majority rule under Nelson Mandela, while in Uganda Yoweri Museveni fought the first post-independence liberation war and became the symbol of a new political generation of leadership in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda - intellectuals who had been through the fire of liberation struggles and set out to build societies which could transcend both the heavy hand of outsiders, and the scourge of ethnic politics.History in Focus.
the guide to Crossing borders: migration in Russia and Eastern Europe during the twentieth century Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester. The Uprooted: Hungarian Refugees and Their Impact on Hungary's Domestic Politics, (New York, ); Rogers Brubaker.
The history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting Europe from prehistory to the present. During the Neolithic era and the time of the Indo-European migrations Europe saw migrations from east and southeast and the following important cultural and material exchange.
The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of ancient Greece. A Note and a disclaimer.
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The Political Economy of the Twentieth Century on Monthly Review | The twentieth century came to a close in an atmosphere astonishingly reminiscent of that.
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This unprecedented work is the first one-volume study of the history of Christianity in Africa. Written by Elizabeth Isichei. Sep 25, · Developments in 19th-century Europe are bounded by two great events.
The French Revolution broke out in , and its effects reverberated throughout much of Europe for many decades. World War I began in Its inception resulted from many trends in European society, culture, and diplomacy during the late 19th century.
In between these boundaries—the one opening a new set of .