Title

European Colonization of Africa: The Exceptionality of Liberia and Ethiopia Explored

Abstract

This paper analyzes the factors that allowed the nations of Liberia and Ethiopia to resist or remain independent from European colonialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It acknowledges that both countries experienced unique circumstances in comparison to other parts of Africa, which allowed them to be the only two areas able to retain their independence. In the case of Liberia, the paper focuses on that country’s American connection; its founders and early leaders were of American descent, its architecture mirrored that of the American South and the eventual lobbying done by Booker T. Washington of the U.S. government to gain support for the young Liberia. For Ethiopia, that nation’s military might as well as its malleable societal institutions, which allowed it’s people to unite in times of peril, are examined in detail. The speed at which Ethiopia was able to modernize, particularly in the aspect of its military, is also significant in any analysis of the country’s feat in the face of European intrusion.

Start Date

15-3-2013 9:30 AM

End Date

15-3-2013 10:45 AM

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European Colonization of Africa: The Exceptionality of Liberia and Ethiopia Explored

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This paper analyzes the factors that allowed the nations of Liberia and Ethiopia to resist or remain independent from European colonialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It acknowledges that both countries experienced unique circumstances in comparison to other parts of Africa, which allowed them to be the only two areas able to retain their independence. In the case of Liberia, the paper focuses on that country’s American connection; its founders and early leaders were of American descent, its architecture mirrored that of the American South and the eventual lobbying done by Booker T. Washington of the U.S. government to gain support for the young Liberia. For Ethiopia, that nation’s military might as well as its malleable societal institutions, which allowed it’s people to unite in times of peril, are examined in detail. The speed at which Ethiopia was able to modernize, particularly in the aspect of its military, is also significant in any analysis of the country’s feat in the face of European intrusion.