Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"The African Roots of War"

BY: W.E Burghardt DuBois

In the article, 'The African Roots of War' W.E. Burghardt DuBois explains the role that Africa played in causing World War. Many people saw Africa as this place so removed from World War but the Scramble for Africa was exactly what lead to war.

"Nearly every human empire that has arisen in the world, material and spiritual, has found some of its greatest crises on this continent of Africa,..."

This quote talks about how Africa has contributed to every place in the world in one way or another. DuBois point out how many scientific findings and even the religion of Christianity began in Africa. The nature resources of Africa had so much potential for expanding wealth that other nations rushed there in hopes of becoming rich.

"Yet in a very real sense Africa is a prime cause of this terrible overturning of civilization which we have lived to see and these words seek to show how in the Dark Continent are hidden the roots, not simply of war to-day but of the menace of war to-morrow"

The scramble for Africa was full of murder, rape, lies and theft. People knew that Continent was being robbed blind but those who weren't participating decided to look the other way. America and Britain went into Africa and took billions of African people which left them helpless to victimization by other nations.

Once in Africa the different nation looked to justify there presence by calling natives child-like and barbaric they said they stayed only to help civilize the people. Who were they to walk away from a people in need they said it was 'The White Man's Burden' to help out these people who couldn't help themselves. They said they were there as missionaries to give these people religion and stop them from being lazy by giving them meaning full work to do.

The attitude of superiority and divine right over other as well as the need to exploit other is what leads to the development of the color line.The citizens of France, America and Britain were no longer excepting the low wages and exploitation handed to them by the wealthy class. Europe had experience a revolution called The Enlightenment and European citizens were no longer excepting the inferior treatment. Unfourtanately thej obs that these nations had Dark Continents (i.e.:Africa, Asia, West Indies and Central America) doing were jobs that the took away from their working class.

"resultant jealousies and bitter hatreds continually fester along the color line. We must fight the Chinese, the laborer argues....We must keep the Negroes in their places, or Negroes will take our jobs."

The feelings and thoughts expressed in this quote is what would eventually lead to war and DuBois foresaw it. He warned that if peace was to be kept the reason for war would have to be eliminated. In order to avoid war the exploiting nation would have to extend the democratic attitudes to the Dark Continents not just their native lands.

When presented with the idea of Universal democracy it was said to be impossible they felt like if they left Africa, Africans would be unable to take care of themselves. I ask what were Africans doing before Eurpean influence? Were they not businessmen, farmers, parents and providers..

Well DuBois was right eventually the dishonesty, jealousy and the need for more power, laborers and resources would lead to the Exploiting nations going to war with each other.

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