Topic outline

  • General

  • Unit 1: Collecting and analysing historical sources


     Sub-topic area 1:  Concepts of History and Historical Research 

    Unit 1Collecting and analysing historical sources 

    Key unit competence 

    To be able to examine the complementarities of material, immaterial and electronic sources of History.

    1.1 Complementarities of historical sources

    Activity 1.1 

    Read the following narration from Rubiggira’s grandfather: Long time ago, my father took me to Ryamurari. I was still a young boy at that time. We visited an old man who lived next to the archaeological site in that area. He told us about some white people who had visited the place. He said that those people did some excavation. “At the end of it, they found some human remains. They also found other things which I did not know. One year ago, somebody told me that a book has been written about the place. He even said that a video was shot to tell the world about Ryamurari.” He said. 

    1. Write down the different historical sources mentioned in the above narration. 

    2. Explain how the different historical sources highlighted in the narration relate to each other.

    From the above activity, you must have realised that sources of historical information depend on each other. They support each other. That is to say that they complement each other. Let us now study the following sources of historical information. Remember that our aim is to find out how they complement each other.

    1. Oral traditional source

    Oral tradition is defined as any information passed by word of mouth (verbally) from one generation to another. This is done through socialisation, especially between the young and the old. The complementarities of oral traditional sources with other historical sources include: 

    (a) Linguistic sources – Linguistics involves studying and analysing languages, their sound, formation and relationship with other languages. The findings are then narrated to other generations. Through that, it complements the oral traditional sources. 

    (b) Archaeological sources – Archaeology is about the study of dug up materials and remains of mans past. It complements oral traditional source whereby the findings are narrated to other generations. This makes the two sources complementary to each other.

                Fig 1.1: An old woman narrating stories to children

    2. Written sources

    These are basically written down materials where information can be read from. Examples include magazines, textbooks, newspapers and diaries. Written records are also complementary with other sources of historical information. For example, information that is written down is sometimes gathered from other sources such as oral tradition. Consider the following examples: 

    a)  Oral traditional sources - Narratives from eye witnesses and testimonies are usually written down in diaries or books. The books later form written sources of historical information.

    b)  Archaeology - The digging of the remains and materials of man’s past is another source of information to written records. It complements written sources whereby, after carbon dating, the results and findings made are written down. The written record is then presented to the public  either in textbooks, internet or magazines for reading.


              Fig 1.2: Newspapers are examples of written sources of History 

    3. Anthropology

    Anthropology involves the study of existing social institutions and relationship of people’s culture, tradition, norms, values and attitudes. The study cannot be done without the support of other sources of historical information. Among other sources which are complementary to anthropology are:

    a)  Written sources - After studying and analysing values, norms and attitudes of people, such findings and conclusions are written down. The written records are intended to help the current and future generation and researchers get information. It is therefore clear that  both written sources of History and anthropology complement one another. For example, anthropologists study the social, economic and political organisations of African communities and later document it in books.

    b)  Oral traditional sources - The narratives of past events further support anthropology. This is because through these narratives, anthropologists acquire relevant information about people’s cultures. They also learn about traditions and norms of different people.
    4. Archaeology

    This is the study of dug up materials or material remains of people’s past. Archaeology as a source of history is complementary with other sources of History such as:

    a)  Oral traditional sources - Here, narratives and stories can help in the location of places where fossils can be found.

    b)  Written sources - In this case, a person can study about fossils  from books and articles on archaeology. Written sources provide a  more permanent way of keeping archaeological records. Therefore,  information about the dug up materials and remains of man is not  forgotten.

    c)  Audio-visual sources - Activities of archaeologists can be watched on television and video. Special programmes (documentaries) on archaeology are always aired on television. This enables interested  people see some of the dugout materials. Learners also get to see  the tools and equipment used during excavation.

            Fig 1.3:  A person shooting a video at an archaeological site

    5. Linguistics
    Linguistics deals with the study and analysis of languages, their sound structure and formation. Linguistics as a source of historical information is well complemented by other historical sources such as:

    a)  Written sources - These sources complement linguistic sources on  the information about language analysis, sound and structure.
    Some textbooks provide information on how some words should be pronounced. They also enable a person to learn about sentence structures of different languages.

    b)  Anthropology - Anthropology is another complementary source of linguistic sources. The study of the existing social institutions and cultures involves people’s languages. Linguists can apply anthropology as their source of historical information. This makes the  two sources complementary. 

    c)  Oral traditional source - This is another complementary source to linguistic sources. Oral traditional source gives a practical support to linguistic sources by providing the pronunciation of certain words in a given language. This facilitates linguistic sources. Linguistics also helps to explain the origin of some languages that are used in oral traditional sources of History. Through finding the origin of some of the languages, the original meaning of some words, phrases, songs as well as sayings are conveyed correctly, avoiding loss of meaning that may arise from transliteration. The study of Linguistics is a major source of information about the origin and migration of various communities living in a place. The meaning of the language used as it evolved as people interacted over time is best captured under the study of Linguistics. Words tend to get meaning depending on the context with which they are being used. This significantly depends on those who use this language and those they interact with. Linguistics is therefore an important part of passing information as used in oral tradition sources.
    Activity 1.2

    For this activity, you need the following items:

    i. An old copy of newspaper

    ii.A story book

    iii.A Biology book

    iv.A Geography book Let each of you pick one of the three books or the newspaper.

    In groups of four, let each person read from the book or newspaper he or she has picked.

    1. Discuss what you have read with your group members.

    2. Tell the whole class about what you have discovered.

    6. Electronic or audio-visual sources

         Fig 1.4: People accessing information using computers

    Audio-visual sources enable us to get historical information by listening and watching. We often get the information on electronic devices such as computer, television and smart phones. It is the most recent source of historical information. Audio-visual sources have got common complementarities with other sources of History such as:

    a)    Oral traditional sources – This is mostly appropriate in the cases of events that involve eye witnesses at the time of happening. For example, during a live football match, a journalist broadcasts news on television in a way of narration. He or she narrates to the viewers what is taking place in the stadium. At the same time, the play is shown live on television. Such narrative is equated to oral traditional source, thereby complementing audio-visual source of historical information.

    b)     Archaeological sources – Remains of man’s past or material he used may be discovered in an area. The discovery may complement audio-visual sources. This is because once a site is discovered, a video recording can be done. The recording may be posted on the  internet for people to watch and listen to. It may also be broadcasted on a television station. This way, archaeology shall have become a complementary source of audio-visual sources.

    c)    Written sources – Written sources of History complement Electronic or audio-visual sources through the various written documents that are required in aiding the recording and arrangement of information logically before being put in the electronic form. Photographs are part of the wider written sources of History that electronic sources require to aid the electronic sources. Remember! Just like all historical sources need each other, and depend on each other, we too need each other for a peaceful co-existence.

    1.2 Challenges faced when using material, immaterial and   electronic sources
    In traditional Africa, the type of education that existed was informal. In this case, children were told stories of the past by their elders. It was mostly during evening hours around fire places. This involved Interesting topics such as fighting with fierce animals and hunting. There was no record keeping because nobody knew how to read and write. As children grew up, some stories were forgotten because they were not recorded down. The elders who told such stories had long died. This was a challenge. The use of oral traditional source for stories can be forgotten when you have no chances of asking back because the eye witness died or lives far away.
    Activity 1.3 

    Use the internet to find out the challenges faced when using electronic, material and immaterial sources of collecting historical information. 

    Use the above passage to guide your discussion.

    a) Material sources
    These include the use of important historical sources that can be considered while collecting historical information.
    The following are challenges faced in using material sources:

    • Written records cannot be used by illiterate people. It is only limited to those who can read and write.
    • Some material sources such as archaeology and linguistics require skills. This explains why archaeologists and linguists are very rare in developing countries.
    • Material sources such as archaeology are expensive to invest in. This is because they require professionals to participate in the digging up and interpreting the findings. Special equipment may also be required in the entire process which may be costly to acquire.
    • Material sources are also time consuming. For example, archaeology may require a lot of time to identify the place where historical evidence can be dug up. It also requires time to correctly analyse the materials.
    • Material sources such as written records can be easily destroyed by fire or water.

    b) Immaterial sources
    These are historical sources that are less used today in a particular situation. They include oral traditional and anthropology sources. The use of immaterial sources is associated with the following challenges:

    • The use of oral traditional sources is not always accurate. Some information may be highly exaggerated to include few or no failures and weaknesses but more successes and achievements.
    • Immaterial sources such as oral traditional are affected by the death of an eye witness. Once he or she dies, information can never be recovered.
    • Anthropology requires skilled people and experts. These experts are very few. 
    • Immaterial sources are affected by language barrier. Information may be collected in a local language which might be not easy to translate into other languages.

    c) Electronic or audio-visual sources
    These include the use of modern technology such as mobile phones, radios, television, cinemas and the Internet. The challenges faced when using electronic sources include the following:

    • They require reliable power supply such as solar or electric power. Without power supply, they cannot be used.
    • In remote areas without network coverage, television, mobile phones and internet cannot be used. Therefore with such state of affairs, it is really challenging to use electronic sources.
    • They may be costly to acquire. Radios, mobile phones, television and cinemas require money to buy. This is a real challenge to low income earners, especially in developing countries.
    • Electronic sources such as radios cannot be used by people with hearing impairment. Television cannot be used by those with visual impairment.
    • The use of internet requires one to have knowledge about information and communication technology. He or she must know how to use the computer. A person who is not computer literate may not access information from it.

    Activity 1.4

    Discuss some of the challenges that a historian is likely to face when collecting historical information.
    We all face challenges. It does not matter whether you are male or female.
    NOTE: In general, all sources of History involve a cost in acquiring and using them. However, some are more expensive than others.

    1.3 Usefulness of different sources of History

    Activity 1.5

    In a certain school, a teacher of History asked Senior 2 students to explain the usefulness of different sources of History. Here is what Umuhoza, Umwali, Isaac, Kalisa and Iradukunda had to give as their answers:

    Role play

    Teacher: Let each of you suggest the usefulness of different sources of History.

    UmUhoza:  Oral traditional source can be used by both educated and  illiterates.
    Umwali:  I feel that, written records are so simple for those who can read and write. They can read a wide range of materials such as newspapers, magazines and books from where information can be got.

    isaac:  I think archaeology is much better for it helps us to come up with first-hand information. This is because since it involves scientific interpretation as well laboratory testing.

    Kalisa:    Linguistic sources can be more efficient for studying languages of the past and best understanding of African languages.

    iradUKUnda: Audio-visual is more interesting and gives information backed  by images of live coverage. It can be used by many people in rural as well as urban areas.

    Dramatise the role play above.

    In reference to the above play, it is so evident that each source of History is useful in one way or another. Each source depends on the nature of the users, location and accessibility.

    Oral traditional source

    •  Other sources rely on it. For example, written sources use information from oral traditional sources. Such information include narratives from eye witnesses. Most of other sources originated from oral traditional source. 
    • Some historical events may be witnessed first hand by people who later pass the information on to generations to come.
    • Sometimes information can be verified whereby there is room for asking questions and getting feedback. This allows one to understand the content and context better.
    • It can be used by all classes of people except those with hearing impairment. This is because it does not involve writing and reading.
    •  It can be interesting and easy to spread over a wide range of people. The information can be spread through narration of stories, tales and proverbs.
    • In some cases, it is cheaper compared to all other sources of History such as archaeology and written sources. The speaker may not require a lot of of money for payment for the information.

    Written sources

    • In some cases, they are more accurate and reliable than oral traditional sources. People can trust them. This is especially if adequate research is done before being documented.
    • Written records can spread faster among people who can read and write. For example, books can be distributed to different people in all parts of the country.
    • They can be translated into different languages for different kinds of people. For example, the information can be translated to Kinyarwanda, English, Kiswahili and French. This makes the information to reach more people.
    • They are fairly cheaper than archaeology. Written sources are affordable hence many people can buy them. 
    • Written records can be stored for a long period time, even more than 100 years. They ensure a relatively permanent storage of historical events for future reference.


    • It gives information about the past where we have no records.
    •  It tells us about life and culture of the ancient people.
    • Archaeology assists historians to understand the past in relation to the present life.


    • Anthropologists help to trace historical facts.
    • Anthropology helps to explain the settlement and growth of different people.
    • An anthropologist interprets the past especially when there is reason to compare societies in certain areas. The anthropologist therefore studies the present in order to understand the past. Linguistics
    • It makes it possible to understand how the present languages came into existence.
    • Linguistics helps in identifying languages of Africa such as Kinyarwanda for Rwandans.
    • Linguistic sources help to determine the migration, origin, and patterns of people.
    • It is a cheap source of historical information as compared to other sources such as archaeology and anthropology.

    Electronic or audio–visual sources

    • The information can be well understood since it is backed by images.
    • Audio-visual sources can spread information to a wide range of people.
    • The source provides first hand information where it involves live broadcasts.
    • The information is generally accessible to people with mobile phones, television and computers.

    Activity 1.6

    Use the information in the S1 History and Citizenship book and the internet to research on the advantages of various sources of history. Present your findings to the class.
    Revision questions
    1. Write down the meaning of the word ‘complementary’.

    2. Explain how the following historical sources complement each other:

    (a)  Oral tradition and linguistics

    (b)  Anthropology and written sources

    3. Explain five challenges that are associated with the use material sources of historical information. 

    4. Written records are very useful in History. Give reasons.

    5. Explain some disadvantages of electronic sources of historical information.

    Files: 3

    Key unit competence To be able to explain the causes and impact of German and Belgian colonisation.

    Activity 2.1

    1. Find out the meaning of the word ‘colonisation’ from the Internet and the dictionary. Write the meaning in your notebook.

    2. Copy the following map in your notebook then answer the following questions:


    i) Identify the current names of the countries on the map.

    ii) Write down the countries that colonised the ones you identified in question (i) above.

    iii) Estimate the period under which colonial administration in each of the shown country ended. Present your findings in class for further discussion.


    German colonisation of Rwanda began with the coming of European explorers to Africa. This was around 1880, when Africa experienced an increase in  European explorers. History has it that the desire to discover unknown facts like the source of the Nile could have been one of the factors that drove explorers to Africa. From 1856, the Geographical Society of London had started to organise regular exploration missions to discover the source of that river. Some of the explorers who visited Rwanda  include Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Dr Oscar Baumann and Comte Gustav Adolf Von Götzen. Sir Henry Morton Stanley reached Akagera River in 1875. He named the river “Alexandrine Nile”. He traveled along the river and finally camped on an  island in Lake Ihema.  He later attempted to enter Rwanda  only to be stopped by Rwandan warriors. This forced him to abandon his plans.


    Another attempt to enter Rwanda was made by Dr Oscar Baumann in 1892. Baumann was a German explorer. On his way from Burundi, he arrived in southern Rwanda on the 11th of September 1892. He left on 15th September 1892. His mission was, just like Morton Stanley, to find the source of the Nile.

    His attempt to enter Rwanda was also unsuccessful as he was attacked and repulsed by Rwandese warriors at Nyarutega (Bwanamukali).


                               Fig. 2.2: Dr Oscar Baumann

    Comte Gustav Adolf Von Götzen was the only  successful explorer to enter  Rwanda. He was a German administrator and an explorer. He led a caravan of 362 people and 17 soldiers. He entered Rwanda after crossing Akagera River above Rusumo Falls.


                                 Fig. 2.3: Comte Gustav Adolf Von Götzen

    Von Götzen was guided by Prince Sharangabo, the son of King Rwabugiri. He was later received by King Kigeli IV Rwabugiri on May 25th 1894 at Kageyo in Kingogo. Von Götzen stayed there up to 2nd June 1894 before leaving in the direction of the volcanoes.

    He did not only succeed to enter Rwanda, but also went on to become the first Governor General of German East Africa and Rwanda.

    German occupation of Rwanda

    Von Götzen was followed by a second German mission led by Captain Ramsay who arrived in Rwanda on March 20th 1897 during the reign of King Yuhi V Musinga. Ramsay was the regional military chief of Tanganyika-Kivu whose capital was at Ujiji in Tanganyika. During this vist, Captain Ramsay gave King Musinga the Germany flag as a symbol of German authority. From then, the German occupation of Rwanda became a reality. This was followed by the German regional territory of Tanganyika-Kivu being divided into small regions. Rwanda-Urundi became a region with the capital in Usumbura (Bujumbura). This region was placed under the control of Captain Bethe. The captain had arrived in Rwanda in March 1898 at the royal residence of Gitwiko in the present day Kamonyi District. Von Götzen had a mission of signing an agreement with King Musinga in which Rwanda would effectively become a German Protectorate. This agreement eventually was concluded on 5th March, 1898 and Rwanda was to be the 20th province in East Africa. The Musinga-Bethe agreement involved political, administrative and military protection which the German Government was to effect.


                                     Fig. 2.4: King Musinga

    2.1  Causes of German and Belgian colonisation

    Activity 2.2

    The following are some of the factors that made Belgians and Germans move into Rwanda:

    • Industrial revolution in Europe

    • Investment of surplus capital

    • Rwanda as a source of raw materials

    • Need for market

    In groups, discuss how each factor led to colonisation of Rwanda. Make notes for presentation in a class discussion.

    a)      Industrial revolution in Europe

     Industrial Revolution begun in Britain in the second half of the 18th Century. It led to an increase in demand for raw materials needed by the industries for further production. As production increased, so was the need for an expanded market for the manufactured products. To ensure that production and subsequent consumption of the manufactured goods continued, European countries had to look up to Africa to provide the much needed raw materials and market.

    b)      Rivalry among European countries

    Rivalry between European countries also contributed to colonisation of African countries. For instance, Britain and France had hated each other for centuries due to the infamous hundred years war, and they both wanted to out-do the other in Africa. However, the race for power was not limited to Britain and France. Other nations wanted to benefit as well, like Germany, Italy and Spain. Nationalism was quite popular in many Western European countries where everyone wanted their country to be the strongest.  Competition to produce more and supply more also contributed to the rivalry among European powers such as Britain and Germany. Both had to protect their overseas territories because the territories supported the entire industrialisation process. Continued occupation and exploitation of these territories subsequently led to the European countries in charge to lay a claim on them as their colonies in years that followed.

    c)       Investment of surplus capital

    Continued production and supply of manufactured goods led to massive profits to bourgeoisies who owned the factories. These wealthy people wanted to invest their surplus income outside their countries because of competition and reduced investment opportunities their countries offered. This factor pushed them to look for opportunities as far as into Africa.

    d)      A source of raw materials and cheap labour

    European colonies were able to acquire raw materials and cheap labour for use in their home industries. The labour was also used in neighbouring colonies to the benefit of the colonisers. For example, Belgians acquired cheaper labour from Rwanda for use in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africans helped in the collection of ivory and rubber and extraction of minerals in the upper Congo basin for sale elsewhere in world. In addition, a number of major Belgian investment companies pushed the Belgian government to take over the Congo and develop the mining sector. This sector required local labour which was regionally acquired.

    e)      Prestige and geostrategic interest

    Some European nations competed to assert themselves as major super powers. For example, the newly formed nations of Germany and Italy wanted to catch up with England, France and other established colonial powers. Thus, they felt that they had to acquire colonies in African countries for national prestige. More colonies for these countries was a sign of a nation’s strength.     In addition, European countries which had already established themselves in some African countries felt that it was necessary for them to acquire more countries for geostrategic reasons. Due to this reason, countries often conquered a country to hinder the expansion of a rival power or to facilitate communication between different regions of the empire. For example, Germany had already acquired Tanganyika, and therefore wanted Rwanda and Burundi in addition for effective control of the region. They also wanted to outdo Belgians who already had Congo Free State.

    f)       Need to spread Christianity

    The colonisation of Rwanda was a way to spread Christianity by European missionaries. The missionaries were mainly Roman Catholics and Anglicans. They later established their churches and missions in Rwanda.

    g)      Stopping slave trade and slavery in Rwanda

     Germany and Belgium colonised Rwanda to stop slave trade. They also wanted to stop inhuman labour that had already taken course in Rwanda.

    h)      Need to settle their excess population

    The colonisation of Rwanda by Germany and Belgium was for a reason. Their main target was to settle their excess population and at the same time provide them with employment opportunities. Unemployment was growing at a high rate amongst European countries. Therefore, colonising Rwanda was seen to provide a solution to the problem.

    i)        Need to promote western civilisation

    The Germans and Belgians considered Rwanda to be backward and therefore had a strong desire to civilise it socially, economically and politically.

    j)        The role of the 1884–1885 Berlin Conference

    During this time, African countries were distributed among European countries where Rwanda was given to Germany. This accelerated and contributed to the colonisation of Rwanda.

    German administration in Rwanda

    Activity 2.3

    1. Draw a sketch map of Rwanda and show its boarders by 1910.

    2. Explain the causes of revolts against Musinga during the German rule.

    3. Discuss the impacts of those revolts on Rwanda.

    In Rwanda, Germans used indirect rule. This form of administration used traditional leaders to administer on behalf of the Germans. It also respected and maintained local culture. The implementation of the German rule was to be attained through the Military Phase and Civil Administration Phase.

    a)      Military Phase (1897-1907)

    This phase was characterised by occupation of Rwanda between 1897 and 1907. At the same time, the German government gave support to the local leaders to stop several revolts. Therefore, the military post at Shangi and Gisenyi were only meant to bring people in those areas under German rule and under the local Rwandan regime headed by King Musinga.

    b)      Civil Administration Phase (1907-1916)

    This started at a time when Rwanda became a Residence Administrative. The administrative services were transferred from Usumbura to Kigali and Richard Kandt was made the head. Kandt was given the responsibility of establishing the civilian rule, conducting census, collecting taxes and creating a police force. Kigali was founded as the imperial residence. In addition to that, the German government provided military support to the local authorities to stop several uprisings like those staged by Ndungutse and his assistants, Rukara and Basebya. The Ndungutse rebellion started in the north of Kabare in 1911. Ndungutse, whose real name was Birasisenge, wanted to declare himself a legitmate king after claiming to be the descendant of Mibambwe IV Rutarindwa and Muserekande nicknamed “Nyiragahumuza.’’

    The following were the causes of the Ndungutse rebellion in northern Rwanda:

    1. There was need to recover lost glory by the people which had been taken over by the royal court of Rwanda.

    2. They were also subjected to forced labour introduced by the Germans during the fixing of frontiers in 1910. To them, this was unfair, and therefore made them to revolt.

    3. The Germans forced people to supply them with food. This annoyed them, causing a revolt not only against the German rule, but also to the central authority headed by the king. Basebya was one of  the rebellion leaders. He was a son to Nyirantwari of Rugezi and a member of the Abashakamba militias of Kigeli IV Rwabugiri. With his group of warriors known as Ibijabura, Basebya conquered Buberuka, Kibali and the whole of Bukonya. With three conquered regions, Musinga’s power was seriously challenged. Following the expedition of Ndungutse in Bumbogo and Buberuka, the acting Resident representative Lieutenant Godivius, nicknamed Bwana Lazima, decided to fight against the opposition. Ndungutse and Rukara were killed a few days later. Rukara was hanged. Basebya, who was arrested by chief  Rwabukwisi, suffered the same fate on May 5th 1912. Another major event that  took place during this phase was the demarcation of Rwanda’s borders. This was done on 8th February 1910 during a conference held in Brussels between Belgium, Germany and Britain. Rwanda was limited in the northern and western frontiers. The redrawing of the borders was done on a map. In this exercise of re-fixing its borders, Rwanda lost one half of its actual size as follows: Ijwi Island, Bwishya and Gishari were annexed to Belgian Congo while Bufumbira was given to Uganda.  Unfortunately, the fixations did not put into account the structure of the local population.

    Activity 2.4

    Write an essay on the importance of religions in Rwanda. Present your findings in class.

    The coming of missionaries

    Christian missionaries came just after the coming of German administrators to Rwanda. The first religious groups to emerge during the German rule

    was the Catholic Church, Islam and Lutheran Protestantism. More religious groups came in during the Belgian rule, for example, the Adventists in 1919, Anglicans in 1918, Pentecosts in 1941 and Methodists in 1943.

    i) Roman Catholic missionaries

    The White Fathers introduced Roman Catholicism in Rwanda. They were led by the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Nyanza (Tanzania), Bishop Joseph Hirth. They were part of the Société des Missionaires d’Afrique,” founded in 1868 by Archbishop of Algiers, Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. He came to Rwanda from Shangi where Captain Bethe was putting up. Later, he arrived at the royal court in Nyanza on February 2nd 1900, accompanied by Father Brard and Father Paul Bartholomew, and Brother Anselme. They were received by the regent Mpamarugamba as the king, because Musinga was still a teenager. Later, in July, the Europeans would see King Musinga for the first time. At the royal court, the missionaries requested for land to settle and their request was accepted. The land given to them was at Save in Bwanamukali where they founded their first mission on February 8th 1900.

    In the following years, they established the following missions:

    There was also the White Sisters who arrived in Rwanda in 1909. In 1912, Rwanda became an independent Vicariate under Bishop Joseph Hirth. The first Rwandan priests were ordained on the 7th October 1917. Among those ordained were Donat Reberaho and Balthazar Gafuku.

    The first Rwandan bishop was called Aloys Bigirumwami, who was ordained on the 1st  June 1952 at Kabgayi by Bishop Laurent Deprimoz.

    Activity 2.5

    Find out from textbooks the impact of religion in the social-cultural setup of Africa. Share your findings with the rest of the class.

    ii) Protestant missionaries

    Protestantism was introduced in Rwanda by the missionaries of the Bethel Society. The first  pastor to arrive in Rwanda was Emmanuel Johanssen who came from Bukoba in Tanzania. As for German Protestant missionaries, they  were received at the royal court in Nyanza on 29th July 1907. They founded their first missions at Remera-Rukoma in 1912, Kilinda in 1907 and  Rubengera in 1909 among others. Protestants later left Rwanda after the defeat of Germany by the Belgians during the First World War in 1916. Their former missionary stations were occupied by Société Missionaire Belge.

    There was also the  first Seventh Adventist Church that  was established at Gitwe by Pastor Meunier in 1919. In the years that followed, other missions were established at Murambi in Buganza and Rwankeri in Buhoma.

    The First World War in Rwanda

    The First World War  that occured between 1914 and 1918 was mainly fought among European nations. However, its impact was indirectly felt in other continents including America, Asia and Africa. In Rwanda, the Germans fought with Belgians who had colonised Congo (DRC). The war was intense in Bugoyi in the north west region and Cyangugu in the south west region. It was the Germans who began the war by attacking Belgian Congo’s Ijwi Island in September 1914. This made the Belgians to respond by fighting back. Belgians were supported by British troops. The troops were deployed in two directions. On the side of Gisenyi, Colonel Molitor (a Belgian) crossed the volcanoes through Uganda and proceeded from Gasabo to Kigali which was finally captured on 6th May 1916. Nyanza collapsed on 19th May 1916. Later, the Belgians moved on with the war through the Rwandan territory towards Burundi. During the war, Rwanda did all she could to support Germany. This support ranged from providing armed warriors called Indugaruga as well as supplying food. For that reason therefore, there was an agreement and collaboration between King Musinga and on the side of Dr Kandt and Captain Max Wingtens. Bwana Tembasi commanded German troops in Rwanda between 1914 and 1916.

    2.2 Impact of German colonisation

    Activity 2.6

    Make a research in addition to the following text and summarise the achievements of German colonial masters in Rwanda. Thereafter, submit your findings to the teacher for assessment. 

    In the beginning, Germans had little control in the region. They were completely dependent on the indigenous government. They did not encourage modernisation and centralisation of the regime. Their reign was short-lived, from 1897 to 1916. This was hampered by their defeat in the First World War in Europe and Rwanda respectively in 1916. They made a little impact as discussed below:

    a)      Demarcation of Rwandan border

    On 14th May 1910, the European Convention of Brussels fixed the borders of Uganda, Congo and East Africa. This included Tanganyika and Rwanda-Urundi. It is until 1918, under the Treaty of Versailles, that the former German colony of Rwanda-Urundi was made a League of Nations protectorate. This led to demarcation of Rwanda’s borders by cutting off some parts. The fixing was done using a map. Rwanda lost parts equal to one and half of its actual size.


              Fig 2.5: Map of Rwanda during demarcation of boarders by 1918

    Activity 2.7

    1. Use a dictionary to find out the meaning of demarcation.

    2. Copy the map shown in Fig 2.5. On it, draw the boundaries separating countries that presently exist. 3. Name each country on the map.

    b)      Support to King Musinga (Mwami)

    The Germans settled and helped the Mwami (King Musinga) gain greater nominal control over Rwandan affairs. They fought rebellions and defended his rule. The Germans used indirect rule in Rwanda that gave power to the king and local authorities.


                       Fig 2.6: King Musinga

    c)       Opening of the country to outside world

    Dr Oscar Baumann came to Rwanda in September 1892. He was followed by Von Götzen in 1894. The latter led an expedition to claim the interior of Tanganyika colony. In 1897, German colonialists and missionaries arrived in Rwanda. Therefore, the initial visits of Baumann and Von Götzen is seen as the beginning of the opening up of Rwanda to the outside world.

    d)      Integration of Rwanda in world economy

    German colonisation of Rwanda led to the export of large quantities of hides and skins and livestock. The exportation was mainly to European countries. This initiated a market economy in Rwanda.

    e)      Introduction of money Money

    was introduced in Rwanda during the German colonisation of Rwanda. People used coin money, heller and rupees. Many Rwandans saw money as a replacement for barter trade in terms of economic prosperity and social standing.

    f)       Introduction of head tax

    German colonisation of Rwanda led to the introduction of the head tax on male adult Rwandans.    

    g)      Coming of European missionaries

    The German colonisation of Rwanda led to the coming of European missionaries in Rwanda. Roman Catholic missionaries, led by the White Fathers, came to Rwanda in 1900. They were followed by the Presbyterian  missionaries in 1907. This promoted Christianity in Rwanda.

    2.3 Reforms introduced by Belgians

    During the First World War I, Germans fought with Belgians in Rwanda. This led to the defeat of Germans in May 1916. Belgians then officially took over control of Rwanda from Germans. The Belgian administration in Rwanda led to a total change in Rwanda’s political, social, economic, cultural and religious sectors. It is important to distinguish the reforms introduced by Belgians in Rwanda into three stages of the entire Belgian rule. These are:

             I. Reforms introduced during the Military Administration (1916-1924)

           ii. Reforms introduced during the Belgian Mandate (1926-1946)

          iii. Reforms introduced during the Trusteeship (1946-1962)

         iv. Reforms introduced during the Military Administration (1916 - 1924)

    Activity 2.8

    Assess the transformations introduced by Germans then present your results to the class.

    After the conquest of Ruanda-Urundi in 1916, German colonialists were replaced by the Belgian occupational troops. The troops were responsible for managing the country. The Belgian Military High Commander in charge was J. P Malfeyt. He was the first Belgian Royal High Commissioner in Rwanda. His residence was at Kigoma. He was tasked to maintain order and public safety over all the territoires in Ruanda-Urundi. He was in charge of Belgian troops in the occupation of Rwanda. He played this role until the end of the First World War. After the War, Rwanda once again fell under military regime, and was divided into military sectors. These were Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Cyangugu and Nyanza. The military sectors were later transformed into territoires, namely: 

    • The western territory (Rubengera territory capital)

    • Northern territory (Ruhengeri territory capital)

    • The territory of Nyanza (Nyanza territory capital)

    • The Eastern territory (Kigali territory capital) Major De Clerk later was named as Resident in 1917. Later, he was replaced by F. Van De Eede in 1919.

    The following are some of the reforms introduced in Rwanda during the military administration:

    a) Systematic disintegration of the monarchy

    b) Undermining the Mwami’s (king’s) legal power

    c) Reduction of the Mwami’s (king’s) political power

    d) Abolition of Ubwiru and Umuganura

    e) Declaration of religious freedom

    f) Abolition of imponoke and indabukirano

    Each of these reforms has been explained below in detail:

    a)      Systematic disintegration of the monarchy

    The relationships of the occupying authorities with the court of the king were very bad. For example, on 25th March 1917, the General Auditor of Kigoma was ordered to arrest the king. It is at this time that the Royal Commissioner, General Malfeyt, decided to send De Clerk as the Resident. Under De Clerk, the residence of Rwanda was divided into Northern, Nyanza, Western and Eastern territories. The division was to facilitate implementation of military orders, food requisition and recruitment of carriers for the Belgian colonialists. Furthermore, in 1922, the decision by Belgians that the Resident at Nyanza would assist the Mwami (King Musinga) in his legal prerogatives was meant to undermine the king’s legal power.

    b)      Undermining the Mwami’s (king’s) legal power

    The king, before the Belgian occupation, had authority to pass ‘life or death’ sentence over his subjects. The king was stripped off this right to determine whether a person would live or be killed because of a crime committed. Crimes that warranted the death sentence from the king included murder, fighting with fellow subjects or treason. Without such authority, the king’s title was reduced to being just but honorary. This, among other reasons, humiliated the king greatly.

    c)       Reduction of the Mwami’s (king’s) political power

    King Musinga was stopped from appointing and dismissing any of his subordinates without permission of the Belgian High Commissioner or Resident. Chiefs and Governors of provinces too did not have the right to dismiss those who worked under them. With time, the final source of authority became the Belgian administration. Chiefs and their deputies therefore were required to report to the Belgian administration and not King Musinga as was the case initially. Traditional authorities were charged with the following responsibilities:

    a) Collecting taxes

    b) Mobilising porters and workers on local roads and tracks

     d)      Abolition of ubwiru and umuganura

    Abiru were officials in Rwandan Kingdom who were in charge of ubwiru. The traditional institution of ubwiru played very important roles in the Rwandan Kingdom and to the mwami (king). Among others, abiru played the following roles:

    • The abiru were guardians of tradition.

    • They kept royal secrets of the kingdom.

    • They also advised and counselled the king.

    • They named the next successor by Umwiru Mukuru, the chief of abiru.

    • Abiru played an important role in the kingdom of Rwanda by coronating the new king.

    • They also conducted rites of the kingdom like imihigo y’umuganura.

    Umuganura was meant to thank God for the harvest. It was also to strategise for the next season, so as to ensure that the harvest is good. It was celebrated by Rwandans after harvest of sorghum. It was a very big event in the kingdom as Rwandans celebrated their achievements in terms of harvest both at the kingdom and family level. Belgians abolished both the ubwiru and umuganura in a systematic way to curtail the king’s powers. Eventually, in 1925, the chief of ubwiru who was called Gashamura was exiled in Burundi. The Resident communicated to King Musinga that umuganura had been abolished.

    e)      Declaration of religious freedom

     In traditional Rwanda, the king was not only an administrative leader but also a religious leader who was an intermediate between God (Imana) and Rwandans. This made Rwandans to consider their King as God and would refer to him as Nyagasani (meaning God). However, with the influence of the Catholic Church and the administration of the Belgians in 1917, King Musinga was forced to sign a law accepting freedom of worship. From then, the King had no option but to allow religious freedom that would favour the Catholics. Therefore, the royal power was separated with religion because the King had just been forced to forego his religious powers.

    f)       Abolition of imponoke and indabukirano

    Indabukirano were gifts given to the chief after being nominated and coronated to the position. The gifts included items like cows and beer (indabukirano). Such was meant to show loyalty to him by his subjects. It was also to enable the new chief cope with the new lifestyle, to show happiness and to congratulate the new chief. Imponoke was a sign of compensation to the chief usually after a heavy loss of cows, especially due to diseases or being struck by lightening. This was a sign of active bystandership to the chief by his subjects. Generally, to the chief, it was a way of compensating him for the loss of cows and to enable him continue living within the lifestyle he was used to before the loss. It was one of the ways Rwandans used to show concern for others in the society. Both imponoke and indabukirano were important because:

     • They were ways of demonstrating loyalty and humility to the chief.

    • They were meant to show love and respect for the chieftaincy.

    • They enabled the chief to rule his subjects happily.

    • They helped to improve the status of the chief (to make him different from ordinary people).

    • They enabled the chief to solve some of the problems that befell his subjects such as famine.

    • They were ways of ensuring sufficient food supply to him and his family.

    • They were ways of showing happiness and congratulating the king.

    The practice of imponoke and indabukirano were abolished by the Belgians when they took over the administration of Rwanda. This was aimed at weakening the influence of the king over his subjects. It was also to help the Belgians remain with monopoly of power. The expected end result was  to reduce the belief in traditional practices where Rwandese had deep attachment.

    Gisaka affairs and the Orts-Milner Convention of 1919

    Activity 2.9

    Carry out a research to find out what could have been the impact of the Orts-Milner Convention of 1919 on Rwanda.

    Share the findings with the rest of the class in a discussion.

    Towards the signing of the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty, Belgium accepted to have negotiations with Britain over the distribution of former German colonies in East Africa. This enabled Belgium to sign an agreement known as the Orts-Milner Convetion on 30th May 1919.

    With this agreement, Belgium accepted to advance to Britain the territories of Gisaka, a part of Ndorwa, a part of Buganza and a part of Mutara from Rwanda. They also gave out Bugufi  from Burundi unwillingly. In return, Great Britain accepted to support the Belgian demand for an agreement of the tracing of frontiers of its colonies all the way to the mouth of Congo River. With the receiving of Gisaka and other territories, it gave Britain a position to realise its project of building a railway line from Cape to Cairo. This, according to their wish, would pass entirely in an area joining together the whole of its colonial empire in Africa.

    However, with the abandoning of the British ambitious project of building this railway, Gisaka Convention lost its economic and political value. The dual abolished the Orts-Milner Convention and informed the League of Nations. The League of Nations took note of this and on 31st August 1923, it confirmed the repossession of the colony by Rwanda. Britain was later evacuated on 31st December 1923. 

    ii. Reforms introduced during the Belgian Mandate (1926-1946)

    A mandated territory is a country or territory that is governed by another country based on the authority given by the League of Nations. The mandate may imply different forms of government varying from direct administration by the other country to being self governing.

    Rwanda under the Belgian Mandate 1926-1946

    Activity 2.10

     Explain the administrative reforms made by the Belgians since 1926 to 1932. Compile your findings for discussion in class.

    Reforms in administration 1926-1931

    Mandated territories were introduced in 1919 . In 1922, the League of Nations gave Belgium a mandate over the territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Belgium was to administer and control the territory while respecting the freedom of religion and stopping slavery. The mandates were divided into three classes, A, B and C, according to the presumed development of their population. Rwanda was put under the mandate B with Belgium as a mandatory power. This mandate was approved on 20th October 1924 by the Belgian parliament. For this reason, from 1916 – 1924, Rwanda was called “a territory under occupation.” However, it was officially known as a “territory under mandate B.” Other countries in this category were Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo and Cameroon.

    The administrative reforms initiated by Belgian authorities started in 1926 and brought with it a number of changes where Rwanda-Burundi was joined to Belgian Congo in terms of administration. This meant that Congolese colonial laws were applied to both countries.

    The following were the other reforms in administration:

    1. Political reforms

    In the ancient Rwanda Kingdom, the day-to-day administration was done by the mwami (king), umugabekazi (the queen mother), abatware (chiefs) and abiru (officials in the kingdom).

    The mwami (king)

    He was the head of political, social and political units of the kingdom. He also acted as a spiritual leader who mediated between God and his subjects. This made his subjects to love and respect him so much. It was for this reason that he was referred to as Nyagasani. His word was final. He also had powers over life and death. He could appoint and dismiss his officials without question.

    The umugabekazi (queen mother)

    The queen mother was the mother of the king. She was the advisor to the king. In fact, the queen mother was an influential person to the king. The queen mother advised the king on administrative issues of the kingdom.

    Abatware b’Intebe

    These were mostly chiefs to the king (ibisonga). They lived at the king’s  palace. Before the coming of the colonialists, Rwanda was divided into districts known as ibiti. The districts were divided into ibikingi. The administration at igikingi level was done by three chiefs. These were the land chief (umutware w’ubutaka), cattle chief (umutware w’umukenke) and the army chief (umutware w’ingabo). The land chief (umutware w’ubutaka) ruled over farmers and received tributes (ikoro) in form of foodstuffs. Umutware w’ubutaka collected millet, peas, bananas, sorghum among others and sent them to the palace. He also distributed land to the landless and solved land disputes. Umutware w’umukenke was concerned with cattle issues (ubworozi). He was also responsible for giving grazing land (inzuri) to the farmers as well as solving conflicts arising between people concerned with pastoralism. Umutware w’ingabo worked along the above two chiefs. He was responsible for offering defence and promoting peace in the kingdom, recruiting and training the army, ensuring expansion of the kingdom frontiers as well as protecting the kingdom. Army chiefs also worked to preserve cultural values of the society. The army chief was the most important of all chief mentioned above in Rwanda kingdom.

    Mortehan reforms (1926-1931)

    Between 1926 and 1932, the Resident of Rwanda called Georges Mortehan introduced reforms in the administrative structure of Rwanda. These reforms marked the end of the three-tier leadership in their various regions. The kingdom was divided into districts (ibikingi), whose leader had to be a chief (chef de cheferie), appointed by the Resident himself. The administration at igikingi level changed. The three former chiefs were replaced with Tutsi chiefs and sub-chiefs who were also appointed Mortehan (Resident). The functions of the chiefs were no longer seen in the administrative system of the country. Their responsibilities were given to the territorial administrators and chiefs of districts. The king no longer had powers to appoint or dismiss chiefs. Unfortunately, the administrative responsibilities in the new structure was unfairly done. It excluded the Hutu, Twa and Tutsi with a moderate background in favour of the Tutsi from well to do families. The chiefs were in turn replaced by their sons who completed from the school reserved for sons of chiefs. This is because they were seen as being able to rule in a modern way.

    Deposition of King Yuhi V Musinga in 1931

    Activity 2.11

    Describe the reasons for the deportation of King Musinga in 1931. Thereafter, compile an essay for the teacher to mark.

    It is important to note that King Musinga first collaborated with the German administrators during German colonialism. The colonialists in return supported him to defeat the northern rebellions. However, Mwami Musinga was opposed to the missionary activities, especially those of the Catholic Church. He considered Christianity as one way for weakening his position. The situation worsened with the coming of the Belgians who collaborated with the Catholic Churchs’ authorities. It is because of this state of affairs that made King Musinga to refuse to be baptised. According to the report of the Vice Governor General Voisin in 1931, he stated, “King Musinga had been accused of being opposed to moral, social and economic activities of the colonial administration. He is at the same time accused of being hostile to the work of the missionaries.” It is this that soured the relationship between the King and the colonial administration, the Catholic missionaries as well as Rwandan collaborators all of whom were Belgians.

    On 12th July 1931, Governor General Voisin announced the deposition of King Yuhi V Musinga. The king was asked to leave Nyanza royal court to Kamembe in Kinyaga. Musinga left for Kamembe on 14th July 1931. On that very date, Rudahigwa, the son of the chief of Nduga-Marangara, was proclaimed King by Vice-Governor General Voisin under the royal name of Mutara III. King Musinga was moved from Kamembe to Moba near Bukavu in Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) in 1940. He spent the last bitter years of his life here, eventually dying on October 25th 1944.

    2. Socio-cultural reforms

    Activity 2.12

    I. Identify some of the cultural ceremonies and festivals practised in Rwanda today.

    2. Explain the significance of each ceremony you have mentioned. Present your findings in class for further discussion.

     a) Traditional education

    Traditionally, education was informal and it was delivered through the family. The family taught boys and girls differently. Girls got their education from their mothers and aunties through urubohero. Boys training was delivered through Itorero. The education offered to the youth in Itorero included military and leadership skills, iron smelting, pottery and basket making. This is because the youth were expected to take over the mantle of leadership and participate in nation building in the future. Itorero training was also meant to instil patriotism and boost self esteem among the granduants.

    However, with the coming of the colonialists, itorero and other forms of traditional education in Rwanda were abolished. They were replaced with secular and religious education. The most important skills acquired from these formal schools were reading, writing and arithmetic. This new form of education also enabled learners to acquire skills necessary to work for Belgians. Unfortunately, this did not benefit the local populace, especially the younger generation, which lost touch with their history and ancestry. Contrary from what was expected, the shift from traditional (informal) education to the formal (colonial) type of education did not serve to address national needs at that time. It instead provided avenues of climbing to a higher social status. Those who went through formal education came to be perceived as being of a better status than those who did not have this type of education. This divided the society rather than unite it as traditional education had done. Since then, primary education which was limited to a lower level was expanded. For instance, between 1925 and 1935, the number of pupils increased. By 1945, the numbers had reached 100,000 pupils in primary schools. Secondary schools started in 1912 with the creation of the minor seminary of Kansi which in 1913 was shifted to Kabgayi. In 1929, with the establishment of the Groupe Scolaire d’Astrida, secondary education grew and increased. In 1933, the pupils of the former school for the sons of chiefs who lived at Nyanza were enrolled. Apart from Groupe scolaire d’Astrida, there were other secondary schools which include the following;

    • Teacher Training School in Save which was started and managed by the Marist Brothers.

    • Teacher Training School in Zaza by Brothers of Charity.

    • Teacher Training School in Ruhengeri by Brothers of Christian Instruction.

    • Teacher Training School for girls at Save managed by White Sisters.

    • Teacher Training School in Kigali for girls ran by the Benedictine Sisters while their auxiliary laymen ran other Training College at Muramba and Byimana.

    • Teacher Training School College in Shyogwe by the Alliance of Protestants.

    b)      Introduction of identity cards

    Before the colonial form of identification, a Rwandan was first identified by his clan. Being Hutu, Twa or Tutsi was a mere social category. The identity cards which were introduced by the Belgians in 1935 classified Rwandans as belonging to Tutsi, Hutu and Twa. Each Rwandan had an ethnic identity card in the years that followed later.

    To ascertain where one belonged, those who owned ten cows or more were classified as being Tutsi. Those with less cows were classified as Hutu while Batwa were considered not only as those without but also as the pygmies and as those who survived on pottery activities.

    Unfortunately, there were cases where some of the children belonging to the same parent could be classified both as Hutu and Tutsi. For instance, one who had cows was regarded as a Tutsi and another one without cows was regarded as Hutu, yet the two shared same biological parents.

    c)       Health centres

    Before the coming of colonialists in Rwanda, Rwandans used natural herbs (imiti gakondo) to cure various diseases such as malaria and headaches. However, colonialists phased out of local herbs and replaced them with western drugs and medicines. In collaboration with the Christian missionaries, the health sector was transformed by constructing various hospitals in different parts of the country. The medical sector was left in the hands of the Christian Missions. By 1932, the colonial administration had 2 hospitals including Kigali hospital and Astrida as well as 29 dispensaries. From 1933, the colonial administration introduced a new policy of replacing all dispensaries with mobile “assistance camps.” All this aimed at providing health care to the local populace in order to solve the problem of insufficient medical infrastructure. The private hospitals were put in place in Kigeme and Shyira by the Anglican Church and some others by Mining companies like hospital of Rutongo by SOMUKI and Rwinkwavu Hospital by GEORWANDA. Other hospitals set up by Christian Missionaries in different parts of the country among others included the following set up the following:

    • Kabgayi and Mibilizi by the Catholic missionaries

    • Kilinda by the Presbyterians

    • Gahini by the Anglicans

    • Ngoma-Mugonero by the Adventists In an attempt to increase the medical staff, a section of training of medical assistants was opened in Groupe Scolaire of Astrida and medical auxiliaries also opened at Astrida and 2 schools for Assistant Nurses at Kabgayi and in Kigali. As a result by the end of Belgium mandate, 4 rural hospitals and more than 10 dispensaries had been built by the Colonial administration.

    d)      Religion (Christianity)

    Before the coming of the colonialists, the king was not only the head of the monarchy, but also a spiritual leader. He was considered divine and therefore held religious rituals regularly. He was thought to be a link between his people and the ancestors. Colonial agents worked against traditional religion as they considered it pagan and backward. In fact, they considered the African way of life to be that of uncivilised people. They used this as an excuse to introduce and support Christianity over traditional religion.

    Important to note is that the spread of Christianity and Christian culture benefited a lot from the 1926 colonial administrative reforms.  These reforms required that to be a chief or sub-chief, one was to have at least some western education acquired from the colonial schools in Rwanda.

    Catholicism was the most dominant religion among other denominations like the Presbyterian, Anglican and Adventists. Churches were built across the county in places such as Zaza, Nyundo, Rwaza, Kabgyayi, Kilinda, Gahini and Gitwe.


                                      Fig 2.7: Kabgayi Catholic Church

    Activity 2.13

    1. Research about other socio-cultural reforms that may have taken place in Rwanda during the Belgium Mandate. Write a brief explanation from your findings.

    2. Besides the Catholic Church, identify other Christian denominations in Rwanda.

    3. Apart from Christianity, mention other religions in Rwanda.

    3. Economic reforms Rwanda experienced a lot transformation during the Belgian Mandate. Such had both negative and positive effects on Rwandans.

    Activity 2.14

    Using textbooks and internet, find out the economic reforms made during the Belgian Mandate. Afterwards, make a report from your findings  to be presented in class.

    Some of the economic reforms introduced in Rwanda during the Belgian Mandate include the following:

    i) Forced labour policy

    During the Belgium rule, some members of a family were required to offer free compulsory labour. This was to accomplish some projects started by the colonial government in a system called the akazi. This labour to the government was to be offered for two days in a week of seven days. Worse still, the forced labour was given amidst cruelty and brutality from the administrators. The introduction of akazi made people feel that they were being punished. The local people underwent suffering while constructing roads, churches and hospitals. This included transporting construction materials from different areas to Kabgayi Catholic Church and growing and cultivating various crops like cassava, sweet potatoes and coffee far from their homes. Locals were also required to transport European goods to places they were asked to. Sometimes, people could fail to harvest what they cultivated due to the long distance from their homes. At times, the farms were intentionally picked near the roads where colonial officials could usually pass so as to create good impression. Due to the forced labour policy, the locals could not get enough time to work on their farms. They instead concentrated on working on coffee farms, with little or no pay. This led to a shortage in food supply. As a result, a number of famines were experienced, such as Rumanura (between 1917 and 1918), Gakwege (between 1928 and 1929) and Ruzagayura (between 1943 and 1944). These famines affected people more often than before the coming of the colonialists. It too resulted into fleeing of many Rwandese to neighbouring countries like Congo and Uganda to look for paid labour.

    ii) Agriculture and animal husbandry

    The Belgians introduced cash crops such as coffee, pyrethrum, cotton and tea. Unfortunately, this was done through forced labour where labourers worked for long hours. They established agricultural research centres in various parts of the country to ensure the best harvests. These included Rubona (Southern Province), Rwerere (Western Pronvince), and Karama (Eastern Province). The Rubona adriculture research station was to deal with agricultural problems affecting average attitude land, Rwerere station in Gisenyi dealt with those affecting higher attitude while Karama station was for low attitude areas. Overemphasis on these crops meant that food crops were not considered as important. The result was frequent food shortages and famines. 

    The Belgians countered food shortages by introducing cassava, maize, soya beans and Irish potatoes to try to improve food production for subsistence farmers. This was important especially because of the two droughts and subsequent famines of Rwakayihura/Rwakayondo and Rudakangwimishanana between 1928-29 and 1943-44 respectively. Hybrid cattle breeds were also introduced to boost the production of hides and skins for export. 

    To support animal husbandry, research centers were set up at Nyamiyaga-Songa in the southern region, Cyeru in the northern region and Nyagatare in the eastern region. Animal health centres were built and veterinary clinics established in rural areas to improve the local breeds by crossbreeding them with exotic ones. This was to develop more productive and resistant breeds.

    iii) Mining activities

     Mining activities started from 1923 with two main companies: RwandaUrundi Tin Mines Company (MINETAIN: Société des Mines d’Etain du Ruanda-Urundi) and Muhinga-Kigali Mining Company (SOMUKI: Société Minière de Muhinga-Kigali) in1934. Some other mining companies such as GEORWANDA was established in 1945 while Compagne de Recherche et d’Exploitation Minière (COREM) was established in 1948. The major minerals extracted by the mining companies were gold, cassiterite, wolfram, tin, colombotantalite and mixed minerals. These mines not only increased the volume of exports but also provided local people with employment opportunities.

    iv) Taxation policy

    In a bid to increase tax revenue to finance their administration and projects, Belgians introduced poll tax in 1917. This was compulsory for all adult male Rwandans. This was to be paid in form of money. Unfortunately, the  methods of collection were brutal. Tax defaulters were flogged while others were imprisoned, which made many people who were unemployed to run to  the Belgians to look for jobs so as to pay taxes.

    v) Trade and commerce

    In pre-colonial times, Rwanda’s socio-economic activities revolved around cattle rearing, crop cultivation, ironwork, art and crafts and hunting. These activities provided the local population with products for subsistence consumption. However, surplus products were used for trade with the neighbouring communities. Like many countries in Africa, trade of goods and services was carried out in Rwanda through a barter trade where goods were exchanged for other goods. During the colonial period, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi were placed under common Belgian protectorate from 1916 to the early 1960s. The introduction of head-tax and use of money as a medium of exchange by the Germans and Belgians respectively changed the society’s socio-economic perception of wealth. Over time, trading centres started to develop. People could find agricultural products as well as crafts from such centres. Colonial administrators established commercial centres where local and foreign traders like Europeans and Asians could trade. Others who took part in the trade were the Belgians, Portuguese, Indians, Greeks, the Omani’s and Pakistanis who

     operated licensed businesses. Generally, the business environment has been expanding since then, to include cross-border and international trade.

    vi) Infrastructural development

    In the 1920s and 1930s, Belgians constructed roads to facilitate trade and effectively administer the colony. The first vehicle arrived in Rwanda in 1927, which led to the construction of the following three international roads:

    • Bujumbura-Bugarama-Astrida-Kigali-Rwamagana-Gatsibo-NyagatareKagitumba

    • Bujumbura-Cyangugu-Bukavu

    • Bukavu-Cyangugu-Astrida

    However, European administrators generally overlooked the abuses of the officials who embezzled the taxes that were collected. They also oversaw forced labour during the construction roads, in various mining activities and during the planting of coffee. There was also the setting up of hydro-electric power stations to produce electricity. These stations were set up as from late 1950’s to supply power to developing industries. Those that were constructed include Mururu (on River Rusizi) and Ntaruka (between lakes Burera and Ruhondo).

    Activity 2.15

    Research on economic activities currently carried out in Rwanda and present your findings in class

    iii) Reforms introduced during the Trusteeship (1946-1962)

    Activity 2.16

    Using the Internet and textbooks, research about what the Belgian colonialist should have done in different sectors to enable Rwanda gain autonomy and be prepared for political independence. Thereafter, compile an essay for marking by the teacher.

    After World War II in 1945, the victorious nations created the United Nations Organisation (UNO) which replaced the League of Nations. This is because the League of Nations had failed to promote world peace. The principle mission of the UNO was to maintain peace and security in the world. By this time, Rwanda’s mandate regime was replaced by the trusteeship regime, although they were all under the Belgian authority. On 13th December 1946, the UNO and Belgium signed a Trusteeship Agreement on Rwanda. On April 29th 1946, the Belgian Parliament approved it. The UNO’s mission was to help prepare Rwanda to reach autonomy before its independence. Later on, the UNO began to have visits every after two years. The purpose of these missions was to hold consultations, examine together with the state holding trusteeship any petition arising from the administrated population and to assess the political situation of the countries under the trusteeship. Such missions in Rwanda were in 1948, 1951, 1954, 1957 and 1960. The UNO requested Belgium to assist her colonies for the political evolution.

    The trusteeship had the following general objectives:

    • To maintain international peace and security.

    • To help in political, economic, social and cultural development of the inhabitants of the territories under trusteeship.

    • To ensure progress towards either autonomous leadership or independence.

    • To promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all irrespective of the race, gender, language and religion.

    • To ensure equal treatment in all social, economic and financial problems to all the members of the UN.

    When UN mission visited Rwanda in 1948, they found that Belgians had done nothing to enable Rwanda reach the political evolution expected. The UN left after requesting Belgium to prepare Rwandans to reach autonomy that was desired for political independence. Belgium, instead of acting as requested by the UN, introduced the Ten Year Plan. This was aimed at achieving social and economic development than political development as requested by the UNO.

    Economic reforms

    The first mission of the UNO in 1948 realised that the Belgian government had not done much in socio-economic development and recommended that more social and economic reforms be promoted. In reaction to this recommendation, the Belgian government elaborated a Ten Year social and economic development plan for Rwanda-Urundi in 1951.

    a) The Ten Year Plan

    The Belgian-led administration in Rwanda put in place a Ten Year Plan, which was meant to bring about political, economic and social development in Rwanda. It also focused on providing significant financial support in public health, agriculture and education. However, this Plan had several weaknesses. These include:

    • It was projected over a long period of time.

    • Not all the people of Rwanda were involved in its formulation. Only the leaders were told about it while the rest of the population was ignored.

    • Since the Belgian administrators who were in charge of the plan could be moved from one country to another, it was difficult for it to be effectively implemented.

    The Ten Year Plan resulted to notable changes in Rwanda, even if these changes were slow despite its full implementation. Under this Plan, the following was achieved:

    a) There was an improved access to education, although the majority of the learners continued to receive basic education. Numbers decreased as learners continued to advance into higher classes.

    b) It had a range of strategies aimed at preventing famine.

    c) The increasing monetarisation of the Rwandan economy enabled more people, apart from the elites, to realise the advantages and opportunities associated with business activities.

    d) Access to medical care also became more equitable, widely available, effective and affordable – independent of sub-group identity. Several projects were financed under this Plan, like the construction of schools, hospitals, dispensaries, roads and the development of marshlands and the plantation of forests. Financing of the Ten Year Plan was in two forms, that is:

    • External financing, which the Belgians achieved by creating a ‘‘Fonds du Bien-Etre Indigène’’ with two million francs. Belgium was also committed to annual financial aid which increased from 150 million per annum in 1950 – 1951 to 560 million in 1961.

    • Financing local projects was done through increasing tax rates on cattle, subjecting polygamy taxation as well as taxing exports.

    b) Abolition of Ubuhake

    On land authorities, there were considerable socio-economic reforms which were done. Among the most notable ones, there was the abolition of the socio-economic dependence system based on the cow or ubuhake by the royal decree of the King Mutara III Rudahigwa on 1st April 1954. The abolition of ubuhake was as a result of the decision of the king in agreement with the indigenous Rwandan Superior Council. The traditional patron-client relationship of ubuhake was a highly personalised relationship between two individuals of unequal social status. The king further argued that the clientship was an obstacle to economic development that could create disorder among the people if not stopped. This abolition had two objectives:

    • To liberate the pastoral clients (abagaragu) who used to spend much of their time working for their patron (shebuja)

    • To encourage private initiatives and to force cattle keepers to reduce the number of cows to manageable and profitable size.

    Political reforms

    During the reign of the Belgian Trusteeship, there were two political reforms brought by the Belgian administrators: the establishment and creation of councils.

    Establishment of councils

    The first reform of its kind was introduced on May 4th 1947. It was the creation of a Conseil du Governement du Ruanda-Urundi. The Council comprised of 22 members, 5 of whom were Belgians including the Governor, 2 Resident Representatives and 2 Belgian state agents. The other 13 members were said to represent other foreigners living in Ruanda-Urundi. From 1949, the Kings of Ruanda-Urundi became members of the Conseil du Governement. This Council was majorly meant for consultation. On March 26th 1949, it was abolished by a Belgian royal decree and replaced with the Conseil Général du Ruanda-Urundi. Conseil Général du Ruanda-Urundi was composed of 50 members. 9 of these were high level personalities and automatic members, who included the Governor, 2 Residents, 2 kings and 4 high level Belgian functionaries. Apart from these, there were seats reserved for 4 representatives chosen by the Haut Conseil du Ruanda-Urundi from among its members, 18 representatives of expatriates and 14 members appointed by the Governor. Another political reform initiated by the Belgians in Rwanda was as a result of the Decree of 14th July, 1952. This was in response to the critical reports of the United National Trusteeship missions in Rwanda in 1948 and 1951. The  decree led to the establishment of councils at local and country levels. They included Conseil de sous-chefferie (sub-chief councils), Conseil de chefferie (the council of chiefs), Conseil de territoire (the council of territory) and Conseil Superieur du Pays (the superior council of the country). The Councils established served for consultation purposes only. They did not have any power in decision making. The composition of each council was as follows:

    (a)  Conseil de sous-chefferie (the Council of sub-chief): It was made up of a sub-chief who presided over it and 5 to 9 elected members.

    (b) Conseil de chefferie (the Council of Chiefs): This was composed of the chief himself who was its chairperson and 10 to 18 members of whom 5 were sub-chiefs elected by their peers. Others were notables elected from members of a college made up of 3 notables from sub-districts. 

    (c) Conseil du territoire (the territorial council): This was made up of the head of the territory and chiefs from that territory as well as a number of sub-chiefs which had to be equal to the number of chiefs. The subchiefs who sat on this council were chosen by their fellow sub-chiefs from their ranks. There were also notables on the council whose number was equal to that of chiefs and sub-chiefs. The notables were elected from an electoral college composed of 3 people elected by each conseil du territoire from among its members.

    (d) Conseil Superieur du Pays (the high council of the state): This was presided over by the king. It was made up of representatives of the councils of the 9 territories (Cyangugu, Astrida, Nyanza, Kigali, Kibungo, Byumba, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Kibuye), 6 chiefs elected by their peers, a representative elected by each council of the territory from the members who sat on it, 4 people chosen because of their understanding of the problems of the country and 4 people chosen based on their level of assimilation towards western culture. 

    The councils were created mainly because the trusteeship terms provided that the Belgian administration was to increase the participation of Rwandans in the administration of their country. Thus, the powers of the local government were increased although they were to be supervised by the trusteeship administration. However, the elections to the councils were to be indirect, and the chiefs were tasked to determine the outcome.

    The decree also had the following effects:

    • It empowered the king to make regulations in the administration of the kingdom.

    • The king was also authorised to make arrangements for social and economic services and to impose communal labour in 60 days.

    • The chiefs had authority to implement the decrees of the king especially communal labour and labour services for the chiefs. The right to vote was introduced in 1954. Nevertheless, the system could hardly be described as democratic. For example, notables responsible for electing the sub-chiefdom councils – that is, the lowest level of councils – would themselves now be elected rather than nominated. Each council would thereafter vote on the membership of the superior council of the country council as previously done. Very important to note was that only nationals were allowed to be members of these councils and they served for a period of three renewable years. The administrative structure of Rwanda after establishment of these councils by 1952 was as follows:


                       Fig 2.8: Administrative structure of Rwanda by 1952

    Activity 2.17

    With the help of a resource person, listen to stories of how Rwanda got independence amidst difficulties. Find out more from textbooks other difficulties that Rwanda faced in attaining self-rule. Make a report and present to the teacher for assessment.

    The Belgians used the divide and rule system of administration. In Rwanda, they took advantage of the historic division of labour between the Hutu and Tutsi. They went ahead to incorporate the Tutsi into the ruling class. Generally, the Belgian rule was characterised by social favouritism towards the Tutsi.

    From the conseil supérieur du pays, a memorandum called Mise au point was made on 22nd February 1957. This was mainly addressed to the UN Trusteeship mission to Rwanda and to the Belgian colonial administration. This document strongly questioned the colonial power. It criticised discrimination based on colour, questioned monopoly of the missionary-led education which compromised its quality and finally demanded for increased representation of Rwandans in the political administration of their country. More so, the Mise au point made the Belgian authorities to mobilise an intellectual group of the Hutu to write another memorandum as a counter attack which they called Le Manifeste des Bahutu (Hutu manifesto) or Note sur l’aspect social du problème racial indigène au Rwanda. It was produced on 23rd March 1957. The signatories of this memorandum included Grégoire Kayibanda, Joseph Habyarimana Gitera, Calliope Murindahabi, Maximillian Niyonzima, Munyambonera Silvastre, Ndahayo Claver, Sentama Godefroid and Sibomana Joseph among others. They were majorly opposed to the power by the Tutsi.

    In such a state of affairs, the colonial power had successfully created a HutuTutsi conflict which had never been there before. Later on, it became a barrier to the unity of Rwandans. This prompted King Mutara III Rudahigwa to establish a committee to study the “Muhutu-Mututsi social problem” on 30th March 1958. In June 1958, the conseil supérieur du pays produced a reaction on the report established by the committee. They pointed out that there was no Hutu– Mututsi problem that existed but a social-political problem on the level of political administration. This problem, they concluded, was not ethnic in nature. The conseil supérieur du pays members moved on to demand the removal of the ethnic mention in the identity cards. The situation intensified with the creation of political parties in Rwanda competing for power.

    These political parties included:

    Union Nationale Rwandaise (UNAR)

    The Union Nationale Rwandaise (UNAR), or Rwanda National Union Party, was officially formed on 3rd September 1959. Its President was Francis Rukeba. Its other leaders were Michel Rwagasana, Michel Kayihura, Pierre Mungarurire and Chrisostome Rwangombwa among others. The party was basically a nationalist, monarchist, anti-colonialist and reformist party. It was formed to demand for immediate independence of Rwanda.

    Rassemblement Démocratique du Rwanda (RADER)

    Rassemblement Démocratique du Rwanda (RADER) or Rwanda Democratic Assembly, had the following members: Bwanakweli Prosper, Ndazaro Lazarus, Priest Bushayija Stanslas and Steven Rwigemera. This Party was quite close to the colonial administration and the Catholic Church. It was also democratic and advocated for constitutional monarchy.

    Parti du Mouvement pour l’Emancipation Hutu (PARMEHUTU)

    Parti du Mouvement pour l’Emancipation Hutu or Movement for the Emancipation of the Hutu was formed in October 1959. It was officially launched as a Party on 18th October 1959 with Grégoire Kayibanda as its President. Other prominent members were Niyonzima Maximillien, Ndahayo Claver, Murindahabi Calliope, Makuza Anastase, Rwasibo Jean Baptiste and Dominique Mbonyumutwa.

    PARMEHUTU advocated for privatisation of property especially land and codification of customs. In the beginning, it seemed to advocate for constitutional monarchy. However, later on, it advocated for a republican state. On May 8th 1960, while in its meeting at Gitarama, the abbreviation of MDR (Mouvement Démocratique Républicain) was adopted to PARMEHUTU.

    Association pour la Promotion Sociale de la Masse (APROSOMA)

    APROSOMA stands for Association for Social Promotion of the Masses. It was established on 1st November 1957 by Joseph Habyarimana Gitera. It was launched officially as a political party on February 15th 1959. Its other influential members were Munyangaju Aloys, Gasigwa Germain and Nizeyimana Isidore. The day-to-day activities of APROSOMA were not far different from that of PARMEHUTU. Besides the above national political parties, there existed other local political clubs. Some of these were:

    AREDETWA: This stands for Association pour le Relèvement Démocratique de Batwa or Association for Democratic Elevation of Batwa. It was founded by Laurent Munyankuge from Gitarama. This party was later absorbed by PARMEHUTU.

    APADEC: This stands for Association du Parti Démocratique Chrétien or Association of Christian Democratic Party. Its founder was called Augustin Rugiramasasu.

    • UMUR: This stands for Union des Masses Rwandaises.

    • UNINTERCOKI: This stands for Union des Intêréts Communs du Kinyaga.

    • ABAKI: This stands for for Alliance des Bakiga.

    • MEMOR: This stands for Mouvement Monarchiste Rwandais.

    • MUR: This stands for Mouvement pour l’Union Rwandaise. The formation of these political parties set the ball rolling for intense mobilisation of their strongholds through public political gatherings. These gatherings were followed by violence. It explains the subsequent violence that occurred in the years that followed, beginning 1959. From 1st to 7th November 1959, violence broke out in Gitarama against the Tutsi and the members of UNAR. This was started by the members of PARMEHUTU and APROSOMA from Byimana in Marangara. Soon, it spread to Ndiza, Gisenyi and Ruhengeri. The origin of this violence was believed to be the attack of Dominic Mbonyumutwa, a member of PARMEHUTU, (who was the chief of Ndiza at that time).

    He was attacked by young Tutsis as he was leaving Catholic Church service at Byimana Parish, in the former prefecture of Gitarama in the present day Ruhango District. Between 7thand 10th November 1959, there was a counter attack prepared by the members of UNAR against the major leaders of PARMEHUTU and APROSOMA. These attacks had been hindered due to intervention of the Force Publique. During that period, the resident representative Preud’homme had put Rwanda under a military occupation regime. Colonel Guy Logiest was dispatched from Stanleyville (Kisangani in Belgian Congo) and appointed commander of the military forces which were operating in Rwanda at the time on the 11th November 1959. This violence had various effects, which included:

    a) Houses belonging to the Hutus and Tutsis were destroyed systematically.

    b)  Many Tutsis were killed, internally displaced and became refugees in neighbouring countries like in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Belgian Congo.

    c)  There were arbitrary arrests, imprisonments and assassinations.

    d) The twenty chiefs were dismissed and 150 sub-chiefs replaced by the members of PARMEHUTU, with the assistance of Colonel Guy Logiest. Following the above, in November 25th 1960, the following administrative reforms were introduced:

    • The General Governor changed the title and became General Resident

    • The sectors or sub-chiefdoms were reduced from 544 to 229. They were renamed Communes then commune elections were prepared.

    • The 10 Territoires become Prefectures headed by the Préfets who were appointed.

    • The High Councils of the state was dissolved and replaced by as a Special Provisional Council comprising 8 members from 4 political Parties namely RADER, PARMEHUTU, UNAR and APROSOMA. This Special Provisional Council was formed on 4th February 1960 at Kigali. King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa could not hide his hostility for that council because it actually substituted his powers.

    • The chiefdoms or Districts were abolished. From 26th to 30th July 1960, there were communal elections. The following results were realised: PARMEHUTU obtained 70.4% equivalent to 2,390 Communal Councilors, APROSOMA obtained 7.4% equivalent to 233 Communal Councilors, RADER obtained 6.6% equivalent to 206 Communal

    Councilors and UNAR got 1.8% which was equivalent to 56 Communal Councilors. From these elections, PARMEHUTU got 166 Bourgmasters from which 21 were from APROSOMA, 18 from APROSOMA-PARMEHUTU, 7 from RADER and 17 from different political parties. In reference to these results, PARMEHUTU was declared the winner. In the meantime, UNAR protested against these results and so did King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa. For this reason, King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa on July, 1960 was forced to go to Congo Belgian to meet the UN Secretary General and as well as to attend Congo’s independence celebration. After these elections, the Belgian Minister in charge of Ruanda-Urundi issued orders stopping King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa from returning to Rwanda.


                          Fig 2.9: Kigeli V Ndahindurwa

    This made the Resident General to put in place a Provisional Government on 26th October 1960. This was made up of 10 Rwanda Ministers and 9 Belgian State Secretaries. A few months later, on 28th January 1961, there a coup at Gitarama, famously  known as Coup d’Etat  de Gitarama. During this time, a meeting took place in a market place in Gitarama in which about 2,900 Councilors and Bourgmasters who had been elected from PARMEHUTU and APROSOMA political parties participated. With full support of the Belgian government, the following resolutions were reached:

    • The monarchy was to be abolished.

    • The Kingdom emblem and the royal drum (Kalinga) was also to be abolished.

    • The Ubwiru institution was also to be abolished.

    • Rwanda was to be officially declared a Republic.

    • Mbonyumutwa Dominique was to be elected as the first President of the Republic.

    • There was to be the formation of a Government made up of 11 ministers with Grégoire Kayibanda as Prime Minister.

    • The was to be a constitution and a judiciary based on the new state.

    In February 1961, the Belgian Trusteeship confirmed that regime and transferred the power of autonomy to them. A new tri-colour flag of Red, yellow and Green was exhibited on 26th February 1961. On September 25th 1961, legislative elections and a referendum were organised and were won by PARMEHUTU. It was declared that majority of voters voted ‘‘No’’ against the monarchy and the candidature of King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa. On 2nd October 1961, the legislative assembly was put in place. Grégoire Kayibanda was elected  the President of the Republic by the Legislative Assembly headed by Joseph Habyarimana Gitera. On 1st July 1962, Rwanda got independence, and the Belgian flag was replaced by the Rwandan flag.


                    Fig 2.10: The flag of Rwanda at independence

    2.4 Effects of Belgian colonisation

    Activity 2.18

    Assess the reforms made by Belgian colonial administrators between  1916-1962. Thereafter, make a presentation in class.

    Political effects

    a) Change in the traditional administration

    Belgians used indirect rule as their administrative method. With this, they stripped off the traditional powers of the Mwami (king) and reduced his position to being ceremonial.

    They rejected the ancient administration of Rwanda that was based on the functions of the three chiefs at igikingi level. The former cattle, land and army chiefs were abolished and replaced with one chief. They reduced the powers of the king including barring him from appointing or dismissing his chiefs. Finally, King Yuhi V Musinga was deposed in 1931. This meant that the entire administration rested in the hands of Belgian administrators.

    b)Formation of councils

    During the Belgian administration, there was formation of councils. These were mainly to prepare Rwandans for autonomy that was to enable them gain total independence. c) Formation of political parties Belgian colonial rule led to the formation of political parties like PARMEHUTU, UNAR and RADER. These were to compete for power during the transition to democracy. However, this was not achieved at all.

    Economic effects

    i)  Improvement in agriculture

    There was transformation in crop cultivation as well as animal husbandry. For instance, they introduced new food and cash crops like cassava and coffee to solve famine and increase the volume of exports respectively. The growing of cash crops was compulsory so as to improve Belgian economy. This was followed by introduction of research centres and animal breeding centres in places such as Karama, Songa and Rubona. These centres were meant to produce better quality seeds in food and cash crops, fast growing and drought resistant varieties as well as quality animal breeds. However, they used forced labour (shiku) where people provided free labour on European gardens as well as plant coffee on their farms by law. Other cash crops introduced included cotton, tea and pyrethrum.

    ii) Generation of electricity

    In the field of energy, from 1958, the dams were constructed to produce hydro-electric power. These included Mururu on Rusizi River and Ntaruka HEP stations.

    iii) Establishment of industries

    Belgians were instrumental in the setting up of industries in Rwanda. Examples of such industries include BRALIRWA, a beer manufacturing company. After establishment, it officially started operating in 1959. In addition, the management of the Breweries of Congo and Burundi, then under the management of Brasseries de Leopoldville (Brewery of Kinshasa), decided to build a brewery in the eastern region of Rwanda (in Gisenyi) on the northern shores of Lake Kivu.


                                 Fig 2.11: A section of Brarilwa Factory

    iv) Introduction of commercial mining

    Mining activities started in 1930 with two main companies: Rwanda-Urundi Tin Mines Company (MINETAIN: Société des Mines d’étain du RuandaUrundi) and Muhinga-Kigali mining company (SOMUKI: Société Minière de Muhinga-Kigali) in 1934. Some other mining companies that were established include GEORWANDA and COREM.

    v) Construction of roads

    In the 1920s and 1930s, Belgians constructed various roads to facilitate trade. However, European administrators generally overlooked the abuses of those officials who embezzled funds collected as taxes, road construction and human abuses in plantation farming.

    vi) Introduction of taxes

    Belgians also introduced the collection of taxes. The introduction of cash taxes instead of agricultural produce was intended to increase cultivation of coffee as a cash crop in their favour. This was very unfair for the majority were not employed and could not pay cash taxes.

    vii) The traditional manufacturing sector was discouraged

    Imported substitutes were encouraged hence replacing the locally produced products since they were of better quality than locally made products. The imported goods included clothes, salt, knives and hoes. This led to poverty and suffering to local entrepreneurs.

    viii) Introduction of forced labour

    Many economic reforms that were introduced were implemented using the forced labour policy. However, this destroyed their aims because instead of solving the economic problems, they led to famines where the energetic people fled to the neighbouring countries to engage in paid labour.

    Social effects

    a) Abolishment of traditional education

    The Belgian colonialists abolished traditional education through itorero and replaced it with colonial education. The Belgian colonial government in collaboration with missionaries established schools like GS Astrida, teacher training schools and seminaries.

    b) Establishment of health centres

    Belgians also set up health centres to take care of the people. The government hospitals established during the Belgian rule included the hospitals at Kigali, Butare, Nyanza, Kibuye, Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Byumba, Kibungo and Rwamagana. Gishari Tuberculosis Centre was established by the Belgian colonial government in 1955.

    c) Construction of churches

    They also constructed churches in different parts of the country like in Kabgayi,  Ngoma-Mugonero and Gahini. This was to facilitate the spread of Christianity.

    Activity 2.19

    Write an essay on the impact of German and Belgian colonisation of Rwanda. With reasons, explain briefly the impact that was worse than all.

    Revision questions

    1. Discuss the causes of German and Belgian colonisation of Rwanda.

    2. Examine the impact of German colonisation of Rwanda.

    3. Give the reforms that were introduced by the Belgian colonisation of Rwanda from 1916 - 1962.

    4. Explain the effects of Belgian colonisation of Rwanda.


    Key unit competence To be able to evaluate causes and consequences of European colonisation of Africa.

    Activity 8.1

    Use a dictionary to find out the meaning of the following words: 

    1. Colony 

    2. Colonialists
    From your answers, we can conclude that colonisation refers to a situation in which a powerful country rules or controls a weaker one for its own economic gains.

    Activity 8.2 

    Below is an incomplete table showing the European colonisers and their colonies. Copy it in your note books then use the example given to complete it.

    NOTE: Ethiopia and Liberia were the only African countries that were not colonised. Ethiopia was too strong for Italy at the Battle of Adowa in Ethiopia in 1896. Liberia had just been founded by United States of America as a home for the freed slaves. This happened after the abolition of slave trade in the late 19th Century. United States of America could not allow any European power to colonise Liberia.

    8.1 Different causes of European colonisation in Africa

    Activity 8.3 

    Follow the instructions carefully. In pairs, find out from your friend the things he or she likes about Rwanda. After that, tell him or her what you like about Rwanda. Present what your friend told you to the class. 

    Africa is a very beautiful continent. It has physical features that people make people from other continents travel to see. Take Rwanda as an example. It has beautiful hills, rivers and lakes. It also has mineral resources. These are some of the things which made Europeans to come to colonise Africa. Let us now discuss them in finer details. 

    • There was need for raw materials for their home industries. This was due to exhaustion of raw materials in their home areas due to industrial revolution. 

    • There was need for market for their finished goods because the European markets were not enough to consume whatever was being produced by their industries. 

    • They also wanted cheap labour for their industries and farms in the New Lands. 

    • They also wanted areas where they could invest their surplus capital. This was because investment was not profitable in Europe due to competition. 

    • They also wanted land to settle the excess population which had grown due to population pressure in their countries medical care. 

    • They wanted to spread Christianity so as to save the Africans from hell. 

    • The Europeans also wanted to stop slave trade and slavery, thereby promoting respect for human rights.
    • They also wanted to civilise Africans by teaching them how to read and write. They also wanted to introduce European cultures for, example, dressing and eating feeding habits. They believed that European culture was the best. 

    Activity 8.4 

    Further activity Research to find more about other causes of European colonisation of Africa.

    8.2 Methods of colonial conquest in Africa

    Activity 8.5 

    Remember the famous saying: There are many ways of killing a rat

    1. What does it mean? 

    2. In groups, discuss various ways which you can use to make more profit in your business.

    In life, some people will do anything to achieve what they want. Likewise, the colonialists used various methods to colonise Africa. The methods are discussed below. 

    a)  Use of explorers 

    Explorers drew maps showing fertile areas and rich mineral areas. They shared information about how rich Africa was. This attracted their home governments to come and take over African areas. 

    b)  Use of missionaries 

    European missionaries encouraged their governments to establish colonial rule in Africa so that they could put an end to the wars between African states, stop the slave trade and protect them from attacks by the locals and Muslims. They also softened African hearts by preaching to them and persuading them to accept Europeans and support their goals. 

    c)  Use of traders (chartered companies) 

    Companies such as IBEACo and GEACo facilitated the colonisation of Africa. 
    The trading companies through their agents signed treaties with the African rulers. Carl Peters of Imperial Germany East Africa Company for example, signed treaties with Sultan Sakwa of Kavirondo, William Mackinnon of Imperial British East Africa Company signed treaties with various Kenyan chiefs.

    d)  Use of force 

    Africans did not meekly accept the imposition of foreign rule. Many communities resisted this. In the face of such resistance, the European powers resorted to military conquest. They used force to subdue the Africans. This method was mainly used by the French, British and Germans. 

    e)  Treaty signing 

    Europeans also signed treaties with African Chiefs to take over African areas. For example, Moffat Treaty, Rudd Concession and the Buganda Agreement. 

    f)  Use of gifts and presents 

    Some African rulers were lured into accepting Europeans through presents such as beads, clothes, weapons and intoxicating drinks. Others were made chiefs while some were promised western education, for example, Semei Kakungulu of Uganda. 

    g)  Use of tricks 

    This is where Europeans deceived African chiefs and took over their areas. For example, Jaja of Opobo was convinced to board a war ship in 1887 by Johnston and deported to the West Indies. 

    h)  Divide and rule tactics 

    Europeans used the divide and rule tactics by playing off one community against another. They encouraged warfare between African communities. Once weak, the European powers occupied it. This was the case with Nupe against the Fulani, the Baganda against the Banyoro and the Maasai against the Nandi.

    Activity 8.6 

    1. With the help of your teacher, watch films or video on European colonisation of Africa. 

    2. Write down the lessons that you have learnt.

     Fig. 8.1:  Map showing European powers and their area of influence in Africa by 1914

    8.3 Colonial systems of administration 

    There were several systems of administration used by colonialists after successfully colonising Africans. These were: 

    i. Indirect rule by the British 

    ii. Assimilation by the French 

    iii. Direct rule by the Germans

    i)  The indirect rule

     It was a system under which the Europeans recognised the existing African political system and used it to rule over the colonies. In this system of administration, African local kings and chiefs were allowed to maintain their positions as administrators. However, they were under the supervision of the British.
    The British made new policies and decisions which were implemented by African local leaders. It should be noted that under indirect rule, African political and social institutions were retained by the colonial masters.

    Reasons why the British used indirect rule 

    1. It was economically cheap. The British wanted to avoid payment of high salaries to white staff and administrators in their colonies. In addition to that, the staff and administrators required good accommodation, troops to provide security. 

    2. The British lacked enough manpower to administer all their colonies in Africa. The number of British citizens in Africa was small compared to their colonies. The British had no alternative but to use African chiefs. 

    3. The British feared resistance and hostilities from Africans. The British wanted to avoid resistances and rebellions that would come after overthrowing the local African kings from power. 

    4. There was language barrier. The British did not understand the languages and customs of Africans. Letting African leaders to rule was a better choice to solve the language problem. 

    5. The African kings and chiefs would act as ‘shock absorbers’ in case of any conflicts and wars. The African kings and chiefs would be blamed in case the British policies became unpopular among Africans. 

    6. There was existence of well established centralised system of administration in Africa. This encouraged the British to rely on such existing systems of administration to implement their policies. Indirect system was applied successfully in Buganda, Rwanda and Northern Nigeria. 

    7. It was a way of deliberately preparing Africans for self-government. The British wanted to train future African leaders for their colonies in Africa. 

    8. The success of indirect rule in other parts of the world such as India also encouraged the British to apply it in Africa. This was because they had seen its good results. This forced the British officers to adopt it in Northern Nigeria and Uganda. 

    9. The British used indirect rule because they expected African loyalty. They expected African leaders to work hard in order to please their masters. This would bring good results to the British government. 

    10. Indirect rule was favourable for the exploitation of African resources. It would create peaceful conditions and give the colonialists enough time to engage in activities such as mining and trade.

    Activity 8.7 

    In your own opinion, which method of colonial administration would you prefer? Give reasons for your answer.

    ii)  The French assimilation policy

    Activity 8.8 

    Use a dictionary or Internet to find out the meaning of ‘assimilation’. In groups, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of assimilation.
    The word ‘assimilation’ is derived from the French word ‘assimiler’ which means cause to resemble or to look alike. Assimilation was a system of administration in which French colonies were given a culture and civilisation similar to that of France. It was intended to make Africans be like the French citizens. That is to say, the Africans were to substitute their indigenous culture, religion and customs with French culture, language, laws, religion and civilisation.

    NOTE: The Africans were to resemble the French citizens in all spheres of life except colour. African colonies were to resemble provinces of France.

    Reasons why the French adopted assimilation policy 

    • The French believed in superiority of their culture and civilisation. They considered it to be more developed. Therefore, they felt it was their duty to spread it among people with backward cultures through assimilation policy.

    • The influence of the French revolutionary ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity also made the French to use assimilation policy. They had a feeling that all people are equal.

     • The French wanted to create a policy that would support France in future conflicts and international issues. This policy would create friendship between France and her African colonies.
    • The French expected this policy to be economically cheap because the process of assimilating Africans was simple and easy. 

    • The French regarded their colonies as overseas French territories. Therefore, assimilation policy was the best alternative system for changing territories to resemble the French provinces in Europe. 

    • The French wanted to create a class of African French men who would help in the administration of their colonies. 

    • The early contacts between the French coastal areas of West Africa especially Senegal made it easy for assimilation. This is because Africans had already adopted French cultures and language. 

    iii) The Germany direct rule

    Activity 8.9 

    1. In pairs, find out what direct rule is. 

    2. In groups, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of direct rule.
    In this system, indigenous and political administrative institutions are replaced with those of colonisers. The Germans used direct rule to administer some of their colonies in Africa (German South West Africa (Namibia) and German East Africa (Tanzania). It involved use of soldiers to directly control their colonies. They would bring in new chiefs where they had no chiefs. They replaced the old chiefs with new ones. 

    Why the Germans applied direct rule

     • It was used because the Germans believed that it was the only system through which they could effectively administer their colonies. 

    • They also believed the system would enable them to exploit and benefit from African resources. For example, they believed that they could raise enough revenue through taxation. 

    • With direct rule, the Germans would ensure that the Africans grow enough cash crops to feed their home industries. 

    • The Germans had used force to take over many parts of Tanganyika. Soldiers had to be used; otherwise Africans could revolt at the slightest opportunity.
    • The Germans had suffered early revolts and therefore had to bring in the harsh leaders to avoid more riots. 

    • The Germans wanted to promote their superior culture over Africans. This would involve imposing their culture on them. 

    • In many societies, there were no chiefs. Where the chiefs existed, they were not faithful or powerful enough. The Germans therefore had no one to entrust authority with. 

    • They opted for this system because they had enough manpower to man all departments. There was no need of recruiting or using Africans. 

    • They feared the expense of training Africans before they could take over administration. They thought that it could strain their budget. 

    • Like other powers, the Germans did not want to use a system that was used by their rivals (British). This would intensify competition and rivalry among them.

    Activity 8.10 

    In groups, discuss the consequences of European colonisation. Present your findings in class.

    8.4 Consequences of European colonisation 

    The colonisation of Africa started after 1870 and ended in 1960s when many African countries got their independence. It had far reaching consequences which were both positive and negative as discussed below.

    Positive consequences 

    (i) Colonisation led to creation of bigger African states. This was as a result of combining small African societies which were combined by the colonialists.

    (ii) European colonisation led to abolition of slavery and slave trade among African societies. For example, the Europeans stopped the Yao, Nyamwezi and Akamba who participated in slave trade. 

    (iii) There was introduction of Western education in the colonies. This brought new scientific knowledge and new languages such as English and French into Africa.

    (iv) There was establishment of communication networks and infrastructures such as roads and railways in African colonies. A case in point is the Uganda railway and Tanzania railway. 

    (v) Colonisation led to the development of agriculture in Africa through introduction of new crops. The new crops included coffee, cotton, cocoa, rubber and sugar cane in addition to plantations agriculture. 

    (vi) Colonisation led to the spread of Christianity in Africa. Many Africans dropped their traditional religion and were converted to Christianity. Today there are many Christians especially in central, eastern and southern parts of Africa. 

    (vii) Western cultures such as ways of dressing, dancing, eating and marriage were introduced in Africa. For example in Senegal, Africans who got assimilated dressed and ate like the French. 

    (viii) Colonisation led to introduction and expansion of legitimate trade in Africa. Africans acquired European manufactured goods in exchange for the African raw materials. The materials included clothes, sauce pans and utensils. They were exchanged for gold, hides and skins.

    (ix) There was emergence and growth of towns and urban centres in African during the colonial period. Such towns started as administrative centres for colonial governments which were developed into modern towns today. 

    (x) Colonisation led to rise of African nationalism where Africans wanted to rule themselves instead of being ruled by Europeans. This brought unity of African people against Europeans. 

    (xi) Colonisation opened up parts of African continent to the outside world. This led to the creation of links between African countries and the rest of the outside world.

    Negative consequences

    (i) Colonisation led to loss of independence for Africa. Many African societies had been independent for long. Things changed only when they were colonised by Europeans, for example, some African chiefs were removed from power. 

    (ii) Colonisation led to rebellions that resulted from resistance of some Africans. Some of the rebellions were the Maji Maji in Tanzania, Shona– Ndebele, Mau Mau in Kenya. Many Africans lost their lives in these wars of rebellion against Europeans.

    (iii) Colonisation led to creation of artificial boundaries in Africa which caused conflict between African modern states. States such as Uganda and Tanzania, Nigeria and Cameroon, and Ethiopia and Eritrea were involved in border conflicts. 

    (iv) The European policy of divide and rule created hatred and disunity among some African tribes. This has continued up to today.

    (v) It led to collapse of African cultures as they were dropped in favour of the European cultures, for example, cultural dances and hospitality. 

    (vi) Colonisation made African countries to remain underdeveloped and dependant on the colonial masters. This has led to the dependency syndrome. 

    (vii) It led to over exploitation of African resources such as gold and fertile soils by the Europeans. They exploited for the resources their own benefits.

    Revision questions
    1. Define the term colonisation. 

    2. Explain different causes of European colonisation of Africa. 

    3. Identify different methods of colonial conquest of Africa. 

    4. Describe the consequences of European colonisation of Africa. 

    5. Identify different colonial systems of administration.


    Key unit competence To be able to analyse the reactions of Africans to colonial conquest.

    9.1 Forms of African responses towards European colonial   conquest

    Different African societies reacted differently towards colonial rule. The reactions depended on the circumstances that existed in such societies. African response can be grouped into two main ways. These are: 

    1. Collaboration 

    2. Resistance 

    Activity 9.1

    In groups, discuss the meanings of the following words: 

    1. Collaboration 

    2. Resistance Make presentation of your findings to the entire class.

    1.  Collaboration 

    In this case, African states and societies cooperated with the Europeans. They even assisted them in the process of establishing colonial rule in Africa. In other words, such African states welcomed Europeans and even allowed them to settle in their societies. Examples of African societies that collaborated with Europeans include Buganda in Uganda, Fante in Ghana and Creoles in Sierra Leone. The following were some of the African leaders who collaborated with Europeans: 

    • Kabaka Mutesa I of Buganda 

    • Semei Kakungulu of Uganda 

    • King Lewanika of Lozi Empire

    • Jaja of Opobo 

    • Gerere of Dahomey 

    • Merere of Nyamwezi

    2.  Resistance

    From what you found out in Activity 9.1, you realise that resistance refers to the situation where Africans opposed the establishment of colonial rule in their societies. This implies that: 

    •  Africans rejected the presence of foreigners in their societies and fought against them. 

    •  Africans refused to cooperate with Europeans as they (Europeans) tried to impose their rule on their (Africans) societies. 

    Nama-Herero Rebelion 1904-1907 

    This was an armed joint resistance in Namibia. It was started by two tribes, the Nama and Herero against German colonial masters. The Germans took over parts of Namibia in 1884 hence subjecting the Nama and Herero to colonial rule. The rebellion was led by Samuel Maherero. It was basically a fight for self-rule. 

    Causes of the Nama-Herero rebellion 

    (a) Land alienation 

    The Nama and Herero lost their land to the Germans. The Germans encouraged white settlers to stay in Namibia. They also encouraged establishment of agricultural plantations. The Nama and Herero were pushed into reserves. The conditions in the reserves were so harsh that it compelled the two tribes to begin a rebellion against the Germans. 

    (b) Outbreak of natural calamities in 1897 

    There was an outbreak of natural calamities such as rinder pest that attacked cattle in Namibia. The disease killed up to 80% of the Herero herds. This was a great loss to the Herero.This was blamed on Germans in Namibia. 

    (c) Forced labour 

    The Nama and Herero were subjected to forced labour by the Germans in plantations, copper mines and railway construction. Pastoral communities which were not used to such conditions had no alternative but to resist.

    (d) Unfair taxation system 

    The Germans imposed a number of taxes such as land tax and hut tax on Herero.  Methods of collection were unfair. Tax defaulters were either imprisoned or their property was confiscated. This also annoyed the two tribes. 

    (e) The role of traditional religion 

    The Nama and the Herero were strongly motivated and encouraged by traditional religion. Prophet Sturman who lived in Nama societies encouraged his people to rebel and promised them victory and immesurable benefits. This inspired the Nama and Herero to begin Nama-Herero rebellion as they believed they would defeat the Germans. 

    (f) Germans’ desire to disarm the Nama

     After the Herero uprising, the Germans decided to disarm the Nama in order to avoid further challenges. This was opposed by Africans who later formed a joint rebellion against Germans. 

    (g) The need to regain lost independence

    The Nama and Herero wanted to regain their independence that they lost to German colonial masters in Namibia. This also provoked them to stage an armed struggle against Germans to demand for self-rule. 

    heart The 1903 Credit Ordinance 

    This was a new law that was passed by the German traders. They were demanding for the payment of their debts from Africans. The German traders had given goods on credit to Africans and demanded payment within one year. This was followed with harassment of Africans who teamed up for the rebellion against German invaders. 

    (i) German harsh rule

    Germans in Namibia were harsh and oppressive to Africans. They mistreated people through their colonial administrative policies. This too annoyed Africans.

    (j) Loss of cattle to the Germans

     German soldiers grabbed cattle belonging to the Nama and the Herero. This, in addition to the effects of rinder pest, made Africans poor and annoyed. 

    (k) Good leadership 

    The Nama and the Herero had good leaders such as Samuel Maherero of Herero and Hendrik Witbooi of Nama. The two organised their people in the society uprising against the Germans. 

    Activity 9.2 

    In groups, research to find out more about Nama-Herero rebellion. Prepare a report for presentation in class discussion.

    Fig. 9.1: Samuel Maherero (1856 - 1917)   Fig. 9.2: Hendrik Witbooi and his wives (1830 - 1905)

    Kabalega of Bunyoro 

    Kabalega was born on 18th June 1853. He was also known as Chwa II Kabalega. His father, Omukama Kyebambe IV, was called Kanyange Nyamutahingurwa. Kabalega was the Omukama of Bunyoro from 1869 to 1899. Kabalega resisted the British attempts to colonise his Bunyoro Kingdom. On 1st January 1894, the British declared war on Bunyoro. For five years, Kabalega was able to resist the British. He, Kabalega, was shot by the British on 9th April 1899. He was wounded in the arm and captured alongside Kabaka Mwanga by Semei Kakungulu and Andreya Luwandagga, two Buganda military generals who were collaborating with the British.

                   Fig 9.3: Chwa II Kabalega (1853 - 1923) 

    Kabalega was then exiled Kabaka in Kismayu and later in Seychelles. In 1923, he was given permission to return to Bunyoro. Unfortunately, he died in Jinja on 6th April 1923. He died shortly before reaching the borders of the kingdom. Kabalega was the last great king of Bunyoro. After his fall, the kingdom was run by the British until Uganda’s independence in 1962. 

    Reasons why Kabalega resisted British colonialism in Bunyoro

     (a) His strong army called Abarusura 

    He had a large well-trained army that he himself trained. His men were equipped with guns that he had acquired from long distance traders. This strongly encouraged him to revolt. He believed that he could defeat the British. 

    (b) Relationship between Buganda and the British 

    The British collaborated with his rivals and enemies, the Baganda. This left him with no choice but to stage resistance against the British.

    (c) Kabalega’s early war victories over neighbours 

    He had earlier on skillfully attacked and defeated his neighbours such as Karagwe. This gave him false confidence of victory against the British. 

    (d) Selfish economic interests 

    The British interfered with the profitable slave trade. As a result, the Nyoro incurred losses. The Nyoro decided to collaborate with Kabalega to resist the British rule in their empire. 

    (e) Forced cash crop production 

    The British introduced a number of cash crops such as coffee, cotton and tea. They were supposed to be grown by the Banyoro. This was viewed as 
    exploitation and a way to prevent them from growing food crops. It also made Kabalega to resist British rule in Bunyoro. 

    (f) Mistreatment of earlier collaborators 

    The colonial masters in Buganda Kingdom reduced powers and authority of the king. They subjected people to forced labour. They took people’s land by force. This increased his hatred against colonialism. For example, Semei Kakungulu believed that the British would allow him to become the King of Bukendi of Busoga, but the British preferred to rule these areas through civil servants in their pay and under their control. The British also limited Kangulu to a 20 square mile area.

    Activity 9.3

    In groups, research to find out more about Bunyoro resistance.

    Prepare a report for presentation in class discussion.

    Samoure Toure and the Mandinka Empire 

    Samuore Toure was born in 1830 in Manyambaladugu, a village south east of Kankan in present-day Guinea. Samoure was a great warrior who fought imperialism in the 19th Century. He refused to submit to French colonisation. He chose to fight. Toure became a well known leader, training and commanding a growing and disciplined army. He expanded his conquests, building a united empire called Mandika. By 1874, he declared himself Faama (monarch). He established the capital of his kingdom at Bisandugu in present-day Gambia in the 1880s. The empire covered Bamako, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Liberia. On 1st May 1898, the French seized the town of Sikasso. Toure and his army took up positions in the Liberian forests to resist.

    How Samori Toure resisted the French for long 

    • He used good methods of fighting which included guerrilla warfare and scorched earth policy. His army destroyed crops, granaries of food, houses and poisoned water before retreating. This made the French lack supplies. He also used guerrilla warfare to avoid direct battles with the French. 

    • He had a very powerful army. It was large, well equipped and well trained. His army consisted of 30,000-35,000 soldiers. 

    • He had strong weapons and large in number. He also had his own workshops where his skilled blacksmith produced weapons such as shields, arrows and spears. He also acquired guns from the coastal traders and the British. 

    • Strong unity and support of his citizens and conquered states enabled him to resist for long. The Mandinka and people from conquered states supplied him with food and joined his army against the French. 

    • Islam also played a very important role. All the Mandika people were Muslims and religion acted as a uniting factor. This unity of the Mandika enabled them to support Toure against the French. 

    • He used diplomacy too. For example, he allied with the British in Sierra Leon who continued supplying him with weapons that he used to fight the French. His relationship with the British scared the French. 

    • Geographical factors also favoured him. The Mandinka were fighting on a home ground that they understood very well. On the other hand, the French were fighting on a foreign land and became challenged. 

    • He had a reliable spy network. Toure had a spy network system composed of Dyulla traders, his old time friends. The spies provided him with information concerning French advances to his empire. This helped him prepare in advance before the French attacks.

    • The personality and character of Samori Toure played a role. He was a military genius and personally commanded his army. He was a brave soldier. This made him to challenge the French troops for long in the Mandinka Empire. 

    Activity 9.4 

    In groups, research to find out more about reasons for the defeat of Samori Toure and the Mandinka. Prepare a report for presentation in class.

               Fig. 9.4: Samori Toure (1830 - 1900) 

    The Maji Maji Rebellion 

    In Tanzania Maji is a Swahili word which means water. It came from the prophecy of a traditional religious leader called Kinjikitile Ngwale. Kinjikitile mixed some water with millet and sorghum flour then sprinkled on African soldiers. He believed that the magic water would protect Africans from bullets of the Germans. This was a reaction of Africans living in south east Tanganyika against the German colonial masters. Many tribes joined this rebellion. The tribes included the Mbuga, Wangindo, Ngoni, Bena, Zaramo, Mafumbi, Makonde, Ngindo and Urugulu.


    Fig. 9.5: A sketch map of German East Africa showing areas affected by rebellion 

    Causes of the Maji Maji rebellion 

    (a) Rise of nationalism among Africans 

    The societies of southern Tanganyika developed too much hatred for the Germans and their rule because of their brutality, forced labour and disrespect of African culture among others. They decided that the only way to have independence was through a rebellion. 

    (b) Heavy taxation

    The German administration introduced taxation as a way of forcing the Africans to work on European farms. Africans (Ngoni, Ngindo, Zaramo, Matumbi, Pogoro, Lungura, Ndendeule, Mpunga and Bena) rebelled as a way of saving themselves from the heavy taxes that were imposed on them by the Germans. Not only were the taxes heavy but even the methods of collection were harsh and brutal.

    (c) Loss of land to Germans 

    The Germans had grabbed the fertile land belonging to Africans, for example, within the rift valley and Mahenge plateau. In those two areas, the Germans established plantations. This compelled Africans to rebel so as to regain their land.

    (d) Forced labour policies 

    Africans were forced to work on German construction projects such as railways and roads. They were also forced to work in the cotton plantations. Africans were made to work for long hours and were given small wages. Sometimes they would work with no pay. This annoyed Africans and they decided to fight the Germans. 

    (e) The oppressive German rule 

    The Germans employed Arab-Swahili as headmen (Jumbes) and chiefs (Akidas) to assist in the administration. These Akidas and Jumbes were very harsh to the African communities. They had no respect for the African traditional rulers and they flogged them in public. Germans used Akidas and Jumbes who were unpopular among the African societies. They were unpopular because they had mistreated people before. They were harsh in the implementation of German rule. They had no respect for the African traditional rulers and at times flogged them in public. 

    (f) Need to revenge on the Germans 

    Some African societies like the Ngoni joined the Maji Maji so as to revenge the Boma massacres of 1897. In this incident, Ngoni leaders were tricked by the German officials into entering a ‘boma’ or fort. Once inside, the Germans tried to arrest them and in the ensuing struggle, many people died. 

    (g) Role of Kinjikitile Ngwale 

    Kinjiketile Ngwale mobilised people in 1904. He sent messengers to the surrounding country to train people. He spread the power of ‘magic water’ from River Rufiji which inspired many people to join the rebellion. The water, they believed, had powers of turning bullets into water. People did not have any fear for the German bullets. The belief in the water gave the warriors courage to face the Germans despite the fact that the latter were better armed. 

    heart Need to preserve the African culture

    Africans wanted to retain their culture as the German administration had disrupted the way of life of the African people. Germans also had no respect for African culture and customs. They and their servants raped Ngindo women, an offence that was punishable by death. They also burnt African shrines.This annoyed the Africans. 

    (i) Outbreak of natural calamities 

    There was an outbreak of natural calamities such as famine in 1905 in the south east Tanganyika states. The famine led to resentment among the locals. Such calamities caused Africans to suffer. They were attributed to the presence of Germans on their land.

    (j) Overthrowal of native leaders 

    Due to the German colonial policy of direct rule, many native African leaders lost their power to German administrators. African leaders such as Mkwawa and Mifambo were replaced with Akidas and Jumbes. These Akidas and Jumbes were harsh to the African communities whom they considered backward and illiterate. Many Africans were not happy. They therefore joined the rebellion as a way of restoring their leaders.

    Activity 9.5 

    1. In pairs, research to find out more about Maji Maji rebellion. 

    2. Prepare a report for presentation in class discussion.

    9.2 Types of resistance 

    Resistance can be divided into two groups. These are: 

    (a) Active resistance 

    (b) Passive resistance 

    a)  Active resistance

    It is also called armed resistance. It involved the use of arms against the colonisers. Examples of African leaders who actively resisted were: 

    (i) Samoure Toure of Mandika 

    (ii) Menelik II of Ethiopia

    (iii) Kabalega of Bunyoro 

    (iv) Kinjikitile Ngwale who led the Maji Maji rebellion 

    b)  Passive resistance 

    It refers to deliberate refusal by the Africans to cooperate with the colonisers. For example, the Pogoro of Tanzania refused to pick cotton.  Some African communities resisted by refusing to pay taxes. Passive resistance is also known as unarmed resistance or noncooperation.

    Activity 9.6 

    For each of the case studies above, identify the form of resistance used. Present your answer in form of  a table. 

    Causes of resistance 

    • African societies resisted because some of their traditional enemies had collaborated with the Europeans. Therefore, they could not join their rivals. For example, the Asante resisted because the Fante collaborated. Bunyoro also resisted because Buganda had collaborated. 

    • Some African societies felt that they were militarily strong and could therefore defeat the Europeans. For example, King Kabalega of Bunyoro did not imagine that there was any force that could defeat his own army. 

    • Other African communities had the desire to protect their trade monopolies and commercial prosperity. They wanted to protect their commercial benefits that they had gained from earlier trades. Examples of such communities are the Hehe and the Ngoni who had big influence in the long distance trade. 

    • Africans wanted to protect their cultural practices and customs. They felt that Europeans were going to interfere with their culture and customs such as polygamy. The Europeans considered such practices primitive and barbaric. 

    • Bad economic policies of Europeans such as forced labour, taxation and land alienation annoyed Africans. These policies made Africans to suffer, forcing them to resist. 

    • Some African leaders were enlightened enough to realise the tricks and plans of Europeans in advance. This made them to resist straight away. 
    For example, Menelik II of Ethiopia demanded writing of the treaty in two languages. 

    • Africans resisted because they wanted to preserve political independence of their territories. The African leaders feared to lose their positions and power to the Europeans. 

    • The influence of African traditional religion also contributed to the spirit of resistance in Africa. African traditional leaders preached to the people against the Europeans. They said that their gods were not happy because of the presence of foreigners on the African land. They also said that occurrence of natural calamities such as prolonged drought and diseases were caused by the whites. 

    • Some African societies resisted because they were economically strong and required no assistance from the Europeans. For example, Samoure Toure had built a strong economy for Mandika Empire through trade. This made him feel that he did not need any support from the Europeans. 

    • Nationalism was also another reason for resistance. Africans resisted because of a high spirit of nationalism for their societies and people. This forced them to fight foreigners who occupied their land. 

    • Other Africans resisted because they were bandits and feared to be punished by colonial governments. For example, the Nandi had stolen materials for construction of the railway. They feared that they would be punished by the British in case they found. They opted to resist. 

    Activity 9.7 

    In pairs, identify seven points that may have been common to all leaders and communities who resisted. Explain your choices in a report to be presented before the class.

    Effects of resistance

    The effects of Africa resistance can be divided into both negative and positive as discussed below:

    Negative effects of African resistance 

    • Many of the Africans died of new diseases, such as small pox, that were brought over by the British. That was because the Africans had no immunity to these diseases.
    • Often times the natives fought the British in battle in order to defend their way of life. Many people were lost to resisting the Europeans.

     • The demand for cash crops caused a shortage of food which led to starvation. Fertile land was taken by Europeans and the dry, unproductive land was left to Africans. It could not support crop growing. 

    • Cultures and customs were broken down when traditional authority figures were replaced. 

    • Homes and property were transferred to the authority of the British and the natives had little or no say in it. 

    • Men were forced to leave their villages to support themselves and their family because there were no opportunities for high paying jobs because they were filled by the British 

    • African culture was disrupted by the European culture through the educational system and spread of Christianity.  

    • There was a division of African culture. Rivals were united while kinship and family members were split because of the artificial boundaries instated by the British. This caused a great amount of tension within regions. 

    Positive effects of African resistance 

    • As a result of African resistance, European colonialists put efforts to improve colonies and resulted in improved sanitation and education. 

    • Hospitals, schools, and factories were built creating more jobs for the people of Africa and also the conditions of work improved because forced labour was abolished in some colonies like in Tanganyika after Maji Maji.

    • The amount of local warfare was reduced greatly due to control of the African government by Europeans. This brought political stability in many African states. 

    • Order and negative peace were brought to the colonies because the Europeans intensified security in their colonies after recognising that Africans had the potential to resist their rule. 

    • The average life expectancy increased as a result of combined factors like improved health facilities, peace and order that were intensified after African resistance.
    • Literacy rates rose because in very many African resistances, the Africans lost the battle and therefore had to succumb to the European civilisation including religion and education.

    Methods of resistance 

    (a) Use of armed resistance 

    Some Africans took up arms against the colonialist. They faced the colonialists in battlefields. Examples of those who used armed resistance against colonialists are Maji Maji in Tanganyika, Nama-Herero in Namibia and Shona-Ndebele in Zimbabwe. 

    (b) Strikes 

    Africans in different countries demonstrated against colonialists due to colonial exploitation and harsh rule. Strikes included both peaceful and violent ones in places such as mines and plantations.

     (c) Boycotts

     Africans boycotted in the following manners: 

    (i) Refusing to buy European goods 

    (ii) Failing to attend European schools, churches and hospitals 

    The aim of the boycotts was to ensure that Europeans made losses in their businesses. This was one way of forcing them to grant independence to Africans. 

    (d) Formation political parties

    Several African elites formed political parties such as African National Congress by Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana formed Conventional People’s Party. All acted as uniting factor for Africans to fight against colonial rule.

    Activity 9.8 

    Do a research about the contributions of Nelson Mandela and Dr Kwame Nkurumah to their respective countries. Summarise your fingings in point form. Present the findings in class.


            Fig. 9.6: Dr Kwame Nkurumah                 Fig. 9.7: Nelson Mandela (1909 - 1972)                                                  (1918 - 2013)

    (e) Forming African Independent churches 

    Africans also formed independent African churches such as Ethiopian, Messianic and Zionist churches. The churches cited exploitation in European led churches. They cited the following cases: 

    (i) High baptism dues

    (ii) Forced tithing 

    (iii) Lack of promotion to high position of priest hood 

    (f) Use of diplomacy 

    This was a non-violent approach. Africans negotiated with Europeans for fairness in administration. They also wrote letters to colonial governments to grant Africans independence. A good example of a country which used diplomacy is Ghana. 

    (g) Formation of trade unions 

    These were labour organisations formed to help workers get fair pay and good treatment at work. Trade unions later acted as political parties and demanded for political independence. 

    (i) Formation of Pan-Africanism 

    This was an organisation that was formed by Africans in Africa and Africans in the Diaspora. It was formed by Dr Marcus Garvey and W.E.B Dubois. It called for speeding up the process for independence and agitated for ‘Africa for Africans’.
    Activity 9.9 

    1. Use internet and other resources to find out the full name of W.E.B Dubois. 

    2. Research on the life histories of Dr Marcus Garvey and W.E.B Dubois.

                                 Fig. 9.8: Dr Marcus Garvey                 Fig. 9.9: W.E.B Dubois        

                                         (1887 - 1940)                                      (1868 - 1963)

    (i) Liberation wars 

    There were also guerrilla movements started by Africans such as Jonas Savimbi of Angola. He formed MPLA (Popular Movement for Liberation of Angola) and Eduarde Mondlame founded FRELIMO (Front for Liberation of Mozambique) in Mozambique. All this pressurised colonial masters. 

    Activity 9.10 

    Carry out a research about Jonas Savimbi. Use internet and other resource materials. Present your findings to the class.
    9.3 Forms of Collaboration The two forms of collaboration that Europeans and African leaders engaged in were:

    (i) Mercenery collaboration 

    (ii)   Career collaboration

    Activity 9.11 

    To understand the meaning of each form of collaboration, your teacher will provide you with two stories of leaders who collaborated. One will be of mercenery collaboration and the other of career collaboration. With reasons, identify each type of collaboration the leaders in the story were.

    9.4 How Africans collaborated with European colonialists

    Africans collaborated with Europeans in the following ways: 

    a)  Signing treaties 

    The most common way of African collaboration was by signing treaties. All these treaties were signed in favour and protection of European interests, for example, giving them authority over land. For example, the Lochner Treaty between Lewanika and British South Africa Company.

    b)  Provision of labour

    Africans also collaborated by providing labour on European farms and construction projects. Africans went ahead to mobilise fellow Africans to work on European farms. 

    c)  Provision of accommodation 

    Africans also collaborated by providing accommodation to the Europeans. They also guided them through the areas which they did not know, especially places that were not easy to locate. 

    d)  Spread Christianity

    Africans helped the Europeans to preach Christianity to fellow Africans. Christianity softened their hearts, thus attracting more collaborators. 

    e)  Helping in interpretation 

    African collaborators also served as interpreters to the European colonialists. Some active collaborators were taught the European languages. They went ahead to interpret to their counterparts who could not understand the languages. 

    Reasons for African collaboration 

    (a) Need for assistance against enemies 

    African societies collaborated in order to get support from Europeans against their enemies. They expected to get military assistance from the Europeans, for example, Buganda against Bunyoro, and the Fante against the Asante. The Shona collaborated with the British so as to use them against the Ndebele. 

    (b) Weak military 

    Some other African societies were militarily weak. They realised that Europeans had better weapons and methods of fighting. They also feared to resist European rule since their resistance would not be successful. They
    therefore decided to collaborate. Some communities chose friendship as a way of protecting their social, economic and political organisation. Examples include Mutesa I of Buganda, Maasai under Lenana, Rumanyika of Karagwe and Tukolor of the Lozi. 

    (c) Natural calamities 

    Natural calamities such as drought, famine and diseases also forced some African societies to collaborate. This is because they expected that collaboration with Europeans would be a solution to their problems. 

    For instance, the Maasai had been weakened by smallpox, rinderpest and internal conflict. On the other hand, the Banyankole were affected by jiggers and rinderpest. They also feared more attacks from Rwanda and Bunyoro. Such societies were too weak to fight the British. They chose to collaborate to solve their problems. 

    (d) Personal interest 

    Some Africans collaborated because of personal interests and gains. They were opportunists and excepted rewards from the colonial governments. Others wanted to acquire wealth. They admired European goods such as clothes, beads, guns, mirrors and wine. On the other hand, others collaborated because they hoped to loot property after defeat of African resisters. An example is Luo support against the Nandi. They wanted high administrative posts. An example of such persons was Semei Kakungulu of Buganda. 

    (e) Benefit from European openings 

    Other Africans collaborated because they wanted to benefit from European trade (legitimate trade). They intended to acquire European manufactured goods such as guns, clothes and glasses. An example of such Africans was Jaja of Opobo. He collaborated with the French because of trade benefits at the coast of West Africa.

     (f) Influence of missionaries 

    Another reason was the influence of missionaries. The missionaries had softened the hearts of Africans through their preaching. They used to say, “We were all created in God’s image. Love one another as you love yourself.” By the time European colonialists came, the Africans were ready to practise Christianity.

    (g) Ignorance

     Africans collaborated due to ignorance of the real intentions of colonialists. They believed that the Europeans were visitors who were in Africa for a short while. Little did they know that they had come to stay. 

    heart Lack of African nationalism

    Lack of African nationalism was also a reason. Some Africans did not have nationalistic feelings. They therefore collaborated so as to fight fellow Africans whom they considered their enemies. 

    (i) Effects of slave trade 

    There was also the issue of effects of slave trade. African societies that were affected by slave trade collaborated because they wanted the Europeans to stop the trade.

    (j) Desire for western civilisation

    Some Africans collaborated with Europeans because they admired the Western culture and civilisation. 

    (k) Succession disputes 

    There were also some succession disputes. Some kings collaborated with Europeans in order to defeat their competitors. An example is King Lenana of Maasai who collaborated with the British in order to defeat his brother Sendeyo.

    Buganda collaboration

    Buganda was one of the largest, best organised and most powerful kingdoms in Eastern Africa in the 19th Century. The reaction of Buganda leaders to the establishment of colonial rule varied. Some resisted at one time but others collaborated at another time depending on circumstances. Kabaka Mutesa collaborated with the Europeans. He collaborated with the Europeans for the following reasons: 

    • He wanted to use the Europeans to reduce the power and influence of the Muslims. In 1875, he invited European Christian missionaries to Buganda. They arrived in 1877 and built mission stations at the Kabaka’s capital. Soon rivalry developed between the Protestant and Catholic missionaries. Each group tried to have more influence over the Kabaka.

    • Mutesa took advantage of this rivalry by playing one group against the other. He did this to ensure that none of the groups became powerful enough to undermine his power. 

    • Mutesa also wanted to obtain maximum benefit from the Europeans. They tried to out do one another in the provision of educational and health facilities and in the supply of firearms to the Kabaka. They also helped the Kabaka to obtain trade goods from the coast.

    Activity 9.12 

    1. In groups, research to find out more about Buganda collaboration. 

    2. Prepare a report for presentation in class discussion.

                                  Fig. 9.10: Kabaka Mutesa I (1837 - 1884) 

    Maasai collaboration 

    The Maasai were among the most powerful communities in Kenya during the first half of the 19th Century. They had a standing army due to their ageregiment system which ensured a steady supply of warriors. The Maasai even attacked Arab caravans who then began to avoid passing through their territory. 
    In the late 19th Century, the British imperialists arrived and the Maasai response was surprisingly one of collaboration. The Maasai collaborated for the following reasons: 

    • Maasai power had declined during the second half of the 19th Century. The power vacuum was filled by the Nandi. The Nandi raided and weakened the Maasai. With their power and wealth gone, they could not offer any resistance to the British invasion and occupation.

    • The community experienced civil wars in the period between 1850 and 1870. In addition to this, there were succession disputes between Lenana and Sendeyo. Both were sons of Laibon Mbatian and the claimants to the throne. Lenana therefore sought British assistance to subdue his brother. Sendeyo was pushed southwards into northern Tanzania and Lenana thus became the undisputed Laibon of the Maasai. 

    • During the second half of the 19th Century, the Maasai were weakened by natural calamities. These included a locust invasion, cholera epidemic, pleuro-pneumonia, small pox and rinderpest. They adversely affected the people and their livestock. 

    • Towards the end of the 19th century, there was famine in Maasai land. Lenana therefore took some of his people to British forts and in Agikuyu land to save them from imminent death. After the famine he went to reclaim them. He found out that they had been sold to  slave dealers by the Agikuyu. He prepared to go to war against the Agikuyu but before he could do so, an incident occurred. In 1895, a caravan of Agikuyu traders and Swahili porters returning from Eldama Ravine were involved in a confrontation with the Maasai. The Maasai massacred 650 Agikuyu and Swahili porters. On hearing the news, a British trader, Andrew Dick, set forth with two French travellers and massacred 100 Maasai single handedly. The Maasai dreaded the military might of the Europeans and thus collaborated.


                          Fig. 9.11: Lenana and the British (1906)

    • On the other hand, the Europeans sought Maasai cooperation to facilitate railway construction. They also hoped to use their morans (warriors) to subdue uncooperative people.

    Activity 9.13 

    Between resistance and collaboration, which one would you have preferred if you lived in the 19th Century? Give reasons for your choice.
    Revision questions
    1. Explain, with examples, how Africans responded to European colonialism. 

    2. Describe the origins of Nama-Herero rebellion 1904-1907.

     3. Explain the causes of African resistance to colonial rule. 

    4. Define the term collaboration.

    5. Describe how Africans collaborated with European colonialists.


    Key unit competence To be able to explain the causes and impact of American Revolution.

    Activity 11.1 In groups, discuss the causes of the 1990 liberation war in Rwanda. Use the knowledge gained from Amatorero, Ibiganiro and other sources of information in your discussion. Let one of you compile a report for class presentation.

    11.1 Causes of American Revolution 

    You read about the word revolution in Unit 10. In that case, it was about industrial revolution. In this unit, we shall discuss another aspect of revolution in relation to America.

    American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place in America between 1765 and 1783. Thirteen American colonies rejected the British monarchy and dictatorship. They overthrew the authority of Great Britain and founded the United States of America. The American Revolution is also known as the American war of independence.  

    The thirteen former British American colonies were Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia. 

    These American colonies had been under British control for a long period of time. They wanted to be independent. 

    During the period of colonisation, the colonies united against the British Empire. They took up arms and started the revolutionary war. This culminated in the declaration of independence in 1776. The thirteen states defeated the British in the battlefield in October 1781. They were led by George Washington as the first American president.

    Activity 11.2 

    Refer to Activity 11.1.

    In groups of three, pick out points from the activity that you think were the same causes of the American Revolution. Group them according to social, political and economic causes. Present your findings in class.

    Let us now study the causes of American Revolution under the following sub-headings:

     (i) Political causes

     (ii) Economic causes

     (iii) Social causes

    11.2  Political causes 

    • The rise and growth of nationalism among the Americans and need for independence 

    This was promoted by nationalists such as Samuel Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. They argued that if the British governed themselves, why not Americans? This awakened the need for self-rule among the Americans hence leading to the revolution.

    • The effects of Anglo-French war of 1756-63 

    During this war, France was fighting with Britain over profitable colony of Canada. The war ended with the defeat of France by Britain, and taking over Canada. The effect of this was that it weakened Britain financially and encouraged the Americans to revolt against her. Britain also raised taxes to solve financial crisis at home. Americans protested against the tax increment.

    The role played by revolutionary leaders The most notable one was George Washington. He organised the minutemen and mobilised foreign support to fight for their independence. 

    • The passing of intolerable acts 

    These included the Stamp Act whereby revenue stamps were put on printed materials and commercial documents like news papers. It was replaced by Townshend Act whereby the British chancellor levied taxes on lead paper, paint, glasses and tea. These were received with negativity by Americans making them to begin a war of independence. 

    • The character of King George III of England 

    He came to power in 1760. Unlike the former kings, he wanted to bring American colonies to closer control. In order to achieve this, he introduced a number of harsh laws. He was also so rigid that he refused to change the taxation system. 


    • The oppressive rule of the British government 

    The British leaders such as Greenville, Townshend and Rocking were harsh to the Americans. They did not allow freedoms such as of speech, press and worship. There were no fair trials in courts of law. All these annoyed the Americans.

    • The Boston massacres of 1770 

    After the Townshend Act, the Americans started shouting and throwing snow and ice to the English troops. The troops responded by firing and killing them at Boston. This is what came to be known as the Boston massacres. It drove the Americans into a war of independence against the British. 

    • Undemocratic nature of the British leadership 

    The Americans were not given chance to participate in the politics of their country. This made them inferior. Only the rich were elected to the colonial assemblies as opposed to the poor. This was opposed by the majority hence leading to the revolution. 

    • Inter-colonial congress at Philadelphia 

    In 1774, representatives from all colonies met at Philadelphia. It was there where they started preparing for war. They chose George Washington as the leader of the revolution. They trained soldiers known as minutemen and started seeking for assistance from other countries. 

    Other causes were unfair judicial system of Britain and the restriction for colonies to occupy new lands of Ohio and Louisiana.


            For a country’s political, social and economic development, peace is a                 requirement. For every country to achieve set goals, its youth must                     work hand in hand with government agencies to promote peace in our                 country. 

    11.3 Economic causes 

    • Poor economic policy of the British 

    The Americans were not allowed to set up their own industries in America. This was intended to force them to continue buying expensive British manufactured goods. This was viewed as a move to subject them to endless poverty. They opposed the policy.

    • The Boston Tea Party in 1773 

    This was when the Americans dropped boxes of tea from Britain into water at Port Boston at night. This made the British government furious. The government decided to close the Boston harbour. It also punished Americans so as to pay back the tea. This too led to American Revolution. 

    • Trade monopoly by the British 

    In America, trade was exclusively done by the British. All European goods imported to the colonies had to pass through England for taxation. The British benefitted while the Americans did not. On top of that, the imports were expensive compared to exports. This exploitation made the Americans to revolt for their independence. 

    • The unfair taxation system 

    In North America, Britain raised taxes in order to meet her debt expenses and to solve financial crisis at home. Both direct and indirect taxes such as like stamp tax, sugar tax and currency tax were introduced

    Other economic causes were:

     • Exploitation of American resources

     • Inflation

     • Forced labour

     • Unemployment

    Activity 11.3 

    The above reasons justify the American rebellion against British oppressors from 1776-1803 which finally succeeded. They got independence with George Washington as the first American president. Categorise the above factors into two parts; immediate and long term factors.

    11.4   Social causes 

    • The role of political philosophers These were intellectuals and great thinkers who exposed the wrongs of the British government to the Americans. Philosophers such as Thomas Penn and Patrick Henry inspired and awakened Americans to fight for their independence. They used newspapers such as New York gazette, American Mercury and The Boston News-Letter.

    • Foreign support 

    The Americans got foreign support from other countries such as France, Germany and Spain. These countries gave Americans military, moral and financial support. This increased the determination of Americans to fight for their independence. 

    • Religious intolerance 

    There were religious differences between the Americans and the British. Americans had many religions which were different from the British Anglicans. The British forced Americans to adopt their religion against their will. The protestant religions practised by the Americans included Lutherans, Puritans, Huguenots and Presbyterians. Americans strongly opposed it thus leading to the revolution.

    In most cases war has negative effects on social, political and economic aspects of the society. Therefore, it is very important that non-violent approaches such as peace talks be used to settle conflicts. The world needs peace. America has the most developed economy in the world. This is partly because she was able to attain her self-rule which led to self-reliance in the long run. It is therefore important that we cooperate towards defending our country’s independence. We can only achieve this by working hard to achieve self-reliance as a tool for economic development.

    11.5 Effects of the American Revolution both in America and   in the rest of the world 

    The American Revolution had a great impact on today’s world political, social and economic systems. Let us now look at its effects.

     1. The revolution led to loss of lives. Many people including soldiers, civilians, Americans, the French and the British died in the war.

     2. It led to destruction of property such as buildings, roads, bridges and communication lines.

     3. It led to the inclusion of blacks into Americans citizenship, a privilege which had earlier been denied to them by the British.

     4. The monopoly of the protestant church was removed and after the revolution. There was freedom of worship among the Americans. It increased religious freedom in all states of America. The citizens were no longer forced to join Protestantism. Many churches came up. Other Americans became Muslims.

     5. It led to French Revolution due to the effects it had on the French government. For example, there was a financial crisis in France. There was also the spread of revolutionary ideas by the ex-soldiers of the American Revolution such as General Lafayette.


     6. It led to the granting of independence to the American colonies. At Paris treaty of 1783, the British king recognised the colonies of America to be free, sovereign and independent. The 13 states were now free to join together and become the United States of America.

     7. There was liberalisation of trade after the American Revolution. The Americans were free to carry out trade without the British monopoly. The British limitations on American trade were removed, allowing the marine merchans to trade freely.

     8. It created good diplomatic relationship between France and America. This was due to the assistance rendered by the French to the Americans against the British imperialists. France provided Americans with arms and a combat army to serve under George Washington. They also sent a navy that prevented the second British army from escaping from Yorktown in 1871.

     9. It increased the status of women and subsequent women emancipation. Women now took control of the families and catered for school going children. Men were away fighting for independence. The revolutionary war affected women by placing them in non-traditional roles. As men went off to war, women were left to fill jobs typically fulfilled by men.

    This in turn changed society by showing the world that women could do what men can do. 

     10. American Revolution increased the status of George Washington for his role in gearing the struggle for independence. During the American Revolution, he led the colonial forces to victory over the British and became a national hero. Its success was attributed to him. He later became the first president of America.

    Activity 11.4 

    With the help of your teacher, watch films and debates on causes and impact of the American Revolution.

    Revision questions
         1. Explain what you understand by the term ‘American Revolution’.

         2. Account for the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776.

         3. Discuss the consequences of the American Revolution both in America              and Europe. 

         4. Asses the significance of the American Revolution in world affairs.

         5. Identify the economic causes of the American cause.


    Sub-topic area 1:  Human rights, duties and responsibilities 

    Unit 12:  Rights, duties and responsibilities 

    Sub-topic area 2:  Democracy and justice 

    Unit 13:  State and government 

    Sub-topic area 3:  

    Unity Unit 14:  Interdependence and unity in diversity 

    Sub-topic area 4:  Conflict transformation 

    Unit 15:  Social cohesion 

    Sub-topic area 5:  Dignity and self-reliance 

    Unit 16:  Hindrances of dignity and self-reliance in Rwandan society 

    Sub-topic 6:  Disability and inclusive education 

    Unit 17:  Concept of disability and inclusive education