Africa Change over Time Essay
Africa Change over Time
Around the period during the second World War and the Cold War, a Red Scare went on in the most powerful and influential capitalist countries of the world. The Red Scare was basically a fear of the spread of communism. According to the Domino Theory, which was developed in that era, if a specific country turned to communism, communism would soon spread to all the other countries in that area. This fear caused the United States to jump into action at the slightest sign of communist influence in many places in the world, especially subsaharan Africa.
However, over the years, this fear has eased, and the U. S. is more prone to attempting to aid these nations, rather than destroying them. In sub-saharan Africa, from around 1900 to present day, conditions there have both changed and stayed the same. On one hand, western involvement in the area has changed, but on the other hand, the constant civil wars and oppressive circumstances from the past still exist today. Sub-saharan Africa from the beginning of the 20th century up to this present day has been under constant civil war.
South Africa, Sudan, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia and Zaire (or the Republic of Congo) are good examples of this. South Africa was first colonized by the Dutch who integrated themselves into the country. However, in the late 19th century, the English conquered South Africa and moved the Boers (the Dutch-Africans) to the north of the country where they clashed with the native Zulu tribe. When diamonds where later discovered in that area, the Dutch and the English had wars for the territory.
In Sudan, a fundamentalist Islamic group that sits at the head of the government was at civil war with a rebel Christian group. The main reason for this conflict was the obvious religious differences. This conflict has ruined many crops and homes of civilians and forced many others to flee the country. In Mozambique the civil So? a Gruber war there was a proxy war between the Soviet Union, that influenced a Marxist government in that area, and the U. S. , that sponsored a rebel movement to usurp the communist government.
Similarly, in Angola and Ethiopia, a proxy war, sponsored by the two Cold War superpowers tear the countries apart, causing widespread famine and suffering. Finally, the civil war in Congo, that has lasted for decades, was a tug for power between both left and right leaders who, nonetheless, where all power hungry and corrupt. In sub-saharan Africa, there is a continuous pattern of oppression of the people. The examples for this seem to be endless, between constant genocides and militaristic dictators, the people in sub-saharan Africa suffer and die in squalor.
In Rwanda, a mass genocide erupted when the Hutu tribe blamed the Tutsi tribe for their leader’s death. In a time span of 100 days, nearly 8000 people died, and countless more were injured in unspeakable ways. Throughout all of Africa, the use of child soldiers has become extremely popular. It is not uncommon for a 10 year old boy (sometimes even younger) to be drugged and paraded down the street while they shot innocent civilians and mutilated them. The living conditions in many nations are unspeakable.
Many families live in shacks with no running water, and very few of them have any means of contact to the outside world (television, phones, radio, ect. ). Constant civil war force many families to flee their country, creating refugees for other countries, who stick them all in refugee camps. Most methods of war involve hurting civilians, in Sudan, a popular resistance method was scorched-earth policies. Here, armies would burn down everything that would be essential to life, ensuring that no aid would be available to their opponent.
In South Africa, mostly, apartheid was practiced to the extreme. Not only were there segregated bathrooms and schools, but entire towns. A white minority would live in splendor, while the black, native majority would live in squalor. From 1900 to present day, the world’s involvement in sub-saharan Africa has drastically changed. Western involvement in sub-saharan Africa mainly consisted in imperialistic motives and proxy wars. However, its started to change into wanting to help improve the standard of living. South Africa is a very good example of this.
In the times of imperialism, England and Holland both had interest in South Africa. England wanted to create colonies there and the Dutch were already there. After the Dutch kicked the English out of the country, they set up their own personal empire in the region. They created a world where whites ruled over blacks. The insalubrious living conditions there for the native black majority eventually set off the rest of the world. After years of both internal and external pressure, the South African government finally ended apartheid in the country.
This type of change goes on in many African countries. Most of these countries suffer due to futile proxy wars set up in the region by both Soviet and American forces. After decades of watching this fighting, the world decided to step in and help. Red Cross is sent in there to aid and occasionally, the United Nations tries to stop these wars. Non-profit organizations, such as UNICEF and Hand Up Africa encourage western civilians to take part in working for peace in the sub-saharan African nations.
Despite the change in western attitude towards sub-saharan African nations, most of them still are under the threat of constant civil war and their people live in oppressive circumstances. Many of these civil wars were caused by the American fear towards communism and tribal and religious differences. These conflicts bring rise to militaristic dictatorships and decrease the standard of living prominently. However, in retrospect, western nations seemed to have repented for their destruction of the large continent and continuously attempt to rebuild it.