Royal and political resistence
A number of rulers were not prepared to compromise with European powers. Sometimes this ended in humiliation, as was the case with the Asante. For the Baganda under Mwanga it was a time of total confusion as he changed sides constantly. For the neighbouring Bunyoro, resistance proved useless. For the Ethiopians resisting the Italians ended in a resounding success. Emperor Menelik defeated the Italians at the battle of Adowa.
In 1895 the new Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, began to pursue an aggressive colonial policy, based on enforced submission and humiliation. In 1896, the Asantehene was forced into exile in the Seychelles via Sierra Leone and the Asanti fell under the authority of the Governor in Accra.
There followed a full-scale military revolt, led by the indefatigable Yaa Asantewa (Queen Mother). This culminated in the Governor being besieged in Kumasi. Yaa Asantewa was only defeated by a British expeditionary force in July 1900. In 1901, Asante was annexed by the British.
Finally Buganda was made a Protectorate in 1894. Already under suspicion of planning a rebellion against the British, Mwanga decided to throw in his lot with his neighbour, the King of the Bunyoro (the Kabarega). Both kings were captured and sent into exile in 1899.
Now there were three African kings in the Seychelles under order of the British. The Kabarega of the Bunyoro returned to his homeland in 1923. King Prempeh did not return to his homeland until 1924. Kabaka Mwanga died in the Seychelles in 1903.
The news was greeted with rejoicing in St. Petersburg - Russia and Ethiopia enjoyed a special relationship because each had an Orthodox Church. Under Emperor Menelik's rule Ethiopia experienced unprecedented modernisation and economic growth. Foreigners were welcomed for their expertise.
British colonial rule was less centralised. French colonial rule was more so. In the early 1900s a desire for change began to be expressed in the form of regional movements and delegations to conferences overseas.
At this stage politics was not national in character, except in North Africa, but rather centred on people's relationship to their chiefs and rulers, on the one hand, and colonial officials, on the other.
An educated urban minority emerged which began to conceive of a new kind of society which would be determined neither by Europe nor by traditional rulers, neither by the past nor the present. It lay in the future, although what that might be precisely was not yet clear.
Aborigines' Rights Protection Society was formed in the Gold Coast in 1897 as an association critical of colonial rule. In 1908, the People's Union was founded in Nigeria. The Young Senegalese Club was founded in 1910. And in 1912, Anti-Slavery and Aborigines' Protection Society was founded in Nigeria. It was in Southern Africa that the first two political movements in Sub-Sahara emerged in 1912.
Journalists and writers
In West Africa two leading critics were: P.Jackson, the Liberian editor of the Lagos Weekly Record, and Edward Blyden, who emigrated to Liberia from the West Indies and believed that an European style education was damaging to African people. He believed that Islam was better suited to their customs and outlook. He argued for African history to be taught and a university to be founded in West Africa.
"...you must see at once that when a youth is sent for education from African to Europe, he must lose a great part of the very training for which he has been sent to school - viz to prepare for the work of his life. The man who, in the process of his education has not imbibed a large race feeling, in whom there is not developed pride of race, has failed in a great part of his education.
And whatever else may be acquitted in Europe, it is evident that, for the Negro, race feeling must be kept in abeyance. And what is a man without this feeling? It is this strong race feeling - this pride of race having been instilled in the mind of the Jew from his earliest infancy, which has given to that peculiar people their unquenchable vitality."
In Angola a vociferous and energetic circle of writers and journalists emerged in the 19th century. They have been described by historians as 'proto-nationalists' and include Jose de Nascimento (1838-1902), Joaquim Dias Cordeiro da Matta (1857-94) and Jose de Fontes Pereira (1838-91).
In Mozambique, a comparable group of educated people formed the Associao African, and in 1910, published one of the earliest protest journals, Brado Africano.
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