Saturday, November 26, 2022


  e-SBO       Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Concept of Direct Rule, Indirect Rule, Assimilation and Association
Explain the concept of direct rule, indirect rule, assimilation and association
Indirect rule
This is a colonial system of administration, whereby, African traditional rules were involved in administering their fellow Africans at the local level while the colonial officials and administrators administered at the higher level.Indirect rule was pioneered by Sir Fredrick John Lugard who was the British High Commissioner to Nigeria in 1990.
Reasons for the British to use indirect rule in their colonies
The British colonial government used indirect rule in most of her colonies in Africa because of the following reasons.
  1. Britain drew more attention to her colony in India, thus it was difficult for her to introduce direct rule in Africa.
  2. Britain did not have enough manpower to administer her colonies in Africa. For instance, in 1900 it was reported that the British had only 42 British officials in her Nigerian colony. This number was not sufficient to administer the whole colony. The shortage of personnel was caused by lack of experienced workers. Moreover, British citizens were not willing to work in Tropical Africa for fear of Tropical diseases and other physical problems such as transportation.
  3. Less funds were set by the British government for the maintenance of the colonies. It was convenient for the colonial administrators to use the indirect rule system in the colonies so as to reduce administrative costs.
  4. The indirect rule proved to be effective and efficient in their Indian colony; therefore, the British government was inspired to apply it in Africa.
  5. The British thought of using the indirect rule in order to overcome resistances from Africans. Consequently, Africans rulers were made to feel that their status was honored by British, as this system of administration gave them an opportunity of keeping some of the money corrected in form of taxes for their native treasuries. That money was spent for paying messengers and policemen salaries. However, the local African chiefs retained the money for their personal use.
  6. Physical barriers such as poor infrastructure, presence of mountains, thick forests and dangerous animals in the colonial African forces the British to use indirect rule.
  7. A language barrier between the British and the Africans forced the British to use indirect rule. Neither Africans nor Europeans understood the language of the other. Hence, they used interpreters.
Direct rule
This was a colonial system of administration whereby the colonies were governed by Europeans officials at the top position, Arabs Akidas and Liwalis were at the bottom. The Germans preferred this system of administration in their metropolitan country.
Assimilation policy
The termassimilationmeans ‘similar to’. The French used this term to refer to a system of administration that aimed at creating French Black Africans among the West Africans who would be French citizens. The French wanted the French Black Africans to enjoy the same status and privileges or suffer penalties like any French citizen in France.
The assimilation policy was first used in Indo-China and Algeria and later introduced in the four communes of Senegal-Goree, St. Louis, Rufisque and Dakar-in 1854 and spread to other French colonies in Africa. the assimilation policy proved to be successful when it was applied in Morocco. In Senegal the assimilation policy was introduced by Lewis, a trench governor, between 1854 and 1865.
Characteristics of assimilation policy
  1. The French regarded their colonies as their overseas provinces thus the colonies were closely attached to France.
  2. African citizens within the French colonies enjoyed the privileges and the rights that were given to any French citizen in the metropolis.
  3. The African colonies under the French rule were represented in lower House of parliament. This showed that there was political integration of the Africans with France.
  4. There was a close economic relationship between France and her colonies in Africa. The French currency was used in the colonies, an indication that the colonies were integrated to the metropolis country.
  5. They had intention of making the Africans in their colonies to be good French citizens through dictatorship that forced the Africans to learn French language, follow the French laws, apply French civil and political system, be Christians and adopt French manners.
  6. They encountered a lot of difficulties in West Africa, since their attitude towards Africans culture and African chiefs were negative.
The Association Policy
This was the system of French colonial administration that prevailed in the colonies after the failure of the assimilation policy. Unlike assimilation, association policy respected the culture of Africans and allowed them to develop independently, and did not force them to adapt French culture.
The association policy was practiced in Africa after the failure of the assimilation policy. It insisted on the relationship between the Africans and the French being that of association and not otherwise. The association had to use the indigenous elites who were trained in France as administrators to mediate between fellow Africans and French colonial administrators.
The major purpose of association was to create mutual economic development for both the Africans and the French. However, the implementation of the association policy was impractical, since the Africans had their traditional institutions such as custom and traditions.
African rulers were used by the colonial administration to fulfill their demands such as collection of tax, labor recruitments and maintaining peace and order in their areas. African chiefs who failed to perform such duties were replaced.
Africans traditional rulers were not given any authority to execute anything through their own initiatives without the consent of the French colonial administrators.
Unlike the British colonies, the French association policy limited the Africans in their colonies of the right of free speech, trade union activities and freedom of press. This policy of administration wanted the French colonial government to respect the culture of the people in the colonies, and allow them to develop independently instead of forcing them to adapt French culture.
Moreover the association policy of the French treated the other Africans as second class-citizens; they were not obligated to follow the French civil and criminal laws but the assimilees remained as French citizen with all rights. However the non-citizen subjects could suffer arbitrary arrest or serve a longer term in French army than the citizen, a thing that motivated them to be French citizens.
The new French policy of association encouraged the colonial administrators to respect the African cultures and give them freedom of developing separately. However this policy made Africans in the colonies to be regarded as second-class citizens and French criminal and civil laws could not be applied to them. The Africans were governed by a system of law known justice indigiene. This law made Africans to serve the army for a long time by force or face arbitrary arrest; as a result Africans opted in becoming French citizens.
Africans had the right of maintaining their culture. Examples, of such cultural practices were polygamy and Islamic religion in West Africa.
The Motive for the Application of Various Colonial Administrative Systems
Appraise the motive for the application of various colonial administrative systems
The motive for the application of indirect rule
The major reasons that made Europeans to initiate and apply the indirect rule system of administration in Africa were:
  1. The Europeans did not want to interfere with the African traditional systems of administration.
  2. The Europeans administrators wanted their instructions or orders to appear as if they were emanating directly from the African traditional rulers. This was aimed at reducing African resistances against the European policies.
  3. The Europeans wanted the African chiefs to appear as the ones giving orders to their subordinates (fellow Africans).
  4. The Europeans introduced the indirect rule system with an assumption of civilizing the Africans.
  5. In other areas, indirect rule was used when the system of direct rule had proved failure. For example, the British colonial government decided to use indirect rule in Tanganyika to avoid what happened to the Germans.
The reasons or motives for the application of assimilation policy
The assimilation policy made by European countries that employed the policy in their colonies to consider their culture and civilization as superior to those of the colonized people (Africans). The French believed that their culture was the best in the world, and that they had enlightened their colonies with their rich heritage of civilization.
Some of the reasons for introducing the assimilation policy in Senegal were:
  1. The four communes of Senegal consisted of 90% of mulattoes who emerged after the establishment of St. Louis in 1659, a trading post where many French traders (male) intermingled with African women; this led to the creation of light-skinned population (mulatto). Moreover, the mulattoes could be identified more with the French culture than that of the Africans, thus it was easy for the French to assimilate them.
  2. The Africans in the four communes-Goree, Dakar, St. Louis and Rufisque were quite familiar with the white traders in their communes, thus it was easy for them to adapt with the assimilation system.
  3. The four communes of Senegal had a higher percentage of the converted Christian; it was easy to accept the assimilation policy applied by the government in their country.
The Similarities and Differences of Colonial Administrative Systems
Analyse the similarities and differences of the colonial administrative systems
The similarities of direct and indirect rule
Both were colonial systems of administration with one major interest of exploiting Africans and their resources. The two colonial administrative systems used their state organs to suppress the Africans. Their organs were police, courts and prisons. In addition, the two system of colonial administration used African traditional chiefs to supervise colonial works in their areas. However, African rulers who supported colonial administration did not get full support from their people; they were regarded as puppets or traitors. Lastly, both policies maintained racial discrimination. The Europeans were favored and considered superior to Africans. All high ranking jobs in the government were reserved for Europeans while Africans held the lower position of jobs in their local areas.
The differences between direct and indirect rule
  1. The direct rule did not use the traditional Africans chiefs as their intermediaries while the indirect rule used the African chiefs. For instance, in Kenya the British used some Kikuyu chiefs as paramount chiefs, like chiefs Koinange wa Mbiyu and many others. Germans used direct rule in her colonies in African including Tanganyika.
  2. The indirect rule practiced by the British did not great enmity from the Africans because African traditional chiefs were involved in the colonial administration, and their subjects were loyal to them. This was not the case with the direct rule employed by the Germans, since they experienced frequent resistances due to their harsh and brutal treatment of Africans.
  3. Furthermore, it was easy for the indirect rule administration convince African traditional chiefs to mobilize their subjects to participate in various colonial tasks while the direct rule administration rule encountered difficulties in mobilizing Africans to perform their colonial duties and as a result opted to use force to make Africans participate in their various colonial duties. For example, the Germans in Tanganyika forced southern people to work in their colonial plantations.
  4. The indirect rule system of administration had less costs of administration unlike the direct rule that required many Europeans to perform all tasks of administrations hence high costs of administration.
  5. Direct rule was characterized by the use of force and racial superiority. For instance, the Germans considered themselves to be superior to other races. Brutality was also characteristic of direct rule, whereby Africans were handled brutally by colonial administrators. On other hand the indirect rule system of administration used African local chiefs in handling their people and at the same time performing colonial duties.
Despite all the differences stated above between direct and indirect rule, both administrative system was created in order to safeguard the interest of the colonialists and not to benefit the Africans.
The similarities between the direct rule and the assimilation policy
  1. Both the colonial administration system used European officials at the higher administrative position in their colonies.
  2. Both colonial system of administration ensured that Africans were subjected to colonial laws that exploited Africans through tax payment, and forced labor, and deprived Africans of the right to vote.
  3. Both colonial system of administration created positions of chiefs in areas that had no central authorities. For instance, the British did this in some parts of Nigeria and Kenya while the France formulated chieftainship in Senegal.
  4. Both colonial administrative systems exploited the African natural resources, such as minerals, forests and rivers.
  5. Both colonial administrative system underrated and ignored the traditional African chiefs.
The differences between the direct rule and the assimilation policy
  1. The British colonies were separately administered by an appointed governor from Britain, while the French colonies where considered similar to other provinces of France.
  2. The direct rule involved separate administration of African colonies, as opposed to the assimilation policy which involved the administration of all African colonies as a federation.
  3. The British colonies formulated the legislative councils in the colonies and discussed policy that governed the colonies. Thus the British colonies had no representative in house of commons. On the other hand, the French colonies elected representative to the chamber of deputies of France.
  4. The laws that were used by the British in the colonies were those passed by the legislative council in the colonies, while those enacted in the French colonies in Africa were the laws created in France.
  5. The assimilation policy made the Africans who were in French colonies to be French citizens and enjoy all republican rights. This was opposed by the British colonies, whereby no matter what position someone may hold in a colonial state, still he remained the subject of British colony.
The similarities between the assimilation policy and indirect rule
  1. Both systems used crude exploitation measure like taxation, land alienation and forced labor.
  2. Both policies were based on misbelieve about Africans. Europeans considered their religion, races, education, policies and other kind of civilization as superior and thus they had a mission to civilize the Africans.
  3. In both systems, the African chiefs were used as a means to achieve what colonial masters wanted. This caused the chiefs not to work for the interest of their people, nor be loyal to them, but to the Europeans.
  4. Both policies maintained racial discrimination. The Europeans were favored and considered more superior than Africans. All high-ranking jobs in the government were reserved for Europeans while Africans held the lower positions of jobs in their local areas.
  5. In both systems policy-making and legislation were made by their home National Assembly and were sent to the colonies to be implemented by the governor and local authorities through the secretary of state.
  6. The laws which were enforced in both systems originated from their home government judicial systems. This means that the systems ignored the traditional institutions and laws made by them.
The difference between the assimilation and indirect rule
  1. The French used the centralized rule in her colonies. All French colonies had their headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, and the Governor-General was the one who administered all the colonies. The entire system of administration was appointed by leaders from their home country, while the British administration used governors to administer colonies. The governor received the order from the secretary of the colony.
  2. The attitude they had toward their colonies was different. The British regarded their colonies as distinct entities from their mother colonies while the French regarded their colonies as their overseas provinces. The provinces could even provide representative to French parliament. In 1914, Blaise Diagne became the first African representative in the French parliament.
  3. The French assimilation policy designed Africans who were French citizens. These were granted all civil rights and favor given to the French citizens. On the other hand, the British policy never gave any privilege of that nature to Africans in their colonies.
  4. The British policy preserved traditional method of selecting chiefs and local leaders. The French on other hand destroyed and never respected local governments, hence they directly chose and appointed their own African officials who were mostly not popular to the people they were ruling.
  5. In the indirect system, the British allowed African chiefs to collect taxes and supervise the expenditure of some funds they collected while the French collected taxes and spent at their own discretion.
  6. The revenue management of the two systems was quite different; while the French West Africa collected all the tax and spent it to its headquarter in Dakar, Senegal, and was managed by Governor-general for equal distribution and development of all its colonies, for the British each colony was given the freedom to spend the revenue collected for the benefit of that colony.
  7. The indirect rule that was imposed by the British in their colonies did not disrupt the traditional African culture. On the other hand, the French assimilation policy ignored and destroyed the African culture in the colonies.
Similarities between the assimilation and the association policies
  1. Both were metropolitan administration systems introduced in French colonies.
  2. Both systems of administration aimed at plundering the natural resources of Africans.
The differences between the assimilation and association policies
  1. The association policy was a colonial administrative system in which France had to respect the culture of her colonial people. Assimilation policy on other hand was the system of administration used by French in which the Africans were taught how to think and act as French citizens, aiming at colonizing Africans by transforming them into French citizens.
  2. The assimilation policy was economically expensive compared to association system which did not demand more French funds.
  3. In the association policy, colonies were regarded as other colonies in Africa and thus they were not close to the colonial master, while the assimilation policy the colonies were regarded as their overseas provinces. Thus, the colonies were closely attached to the colonial master.
  4. The association policy made the Africans to be regarded as second-class citizens, while the assimilation policy Africans enjoyed the privilege and rights that governed any French citizen in the metropolis.
The similarities between the association policy and direct rule
  1. Both were metropolitan administrative systems with one major interest of exploiting African resources and labor force.
  2. The two systems were characterized by the use of force and racial superiority. For instance, Germans who practiced direct rule felt superior to other races.
  3. In both systems the authoritarian approach was used. For instance, African press, trade union and economic activities were suppressed by colonial governments.
  4. In both systems, colonial imperialists took control of their colonies for a long time, for example, the white settlers in Zimbabwe under direct rule and the French colonies in West Africa.
  5. Both colonial administrative systems aimed at plundering the natural resources of Africa.
The differences between the association policy and direct rule
  1. The association policy did not experience great enmity as it respected African culture, while direct rule experienced great enmity from Africans due to their harsh and brutal rule.
  2. The association system has less cost of administration unlike direct rule which required many Europeans to perform administrative tasks which led to higher costs of administration.
  3. The association system of administration was used by French government after the failure of assimilation while direct rule was used by German colonial power and British in area where they thought indirect system could not work.
  4. In direct rule the European settlers’ population was big in colonies, while in association policy Africans were also allowed to live in their colonial master’s country.
The similarities between association policy and indirect rule
  1. Both colonial administrative systems used in African colonies.
  2. Both systems used African intermediaries in their administration and preserved traditional methods of choosing leaders.
  3. In both policies whites occupied higher administrative posts, while the Africans occupied the lower positions in the administration. All offices from district officers, commissioners and governors were occupied by the British and the French.
  4. Both systems used crude ways of ruling: exploiting, taxation and forced labor.
  5. Both systems were introduced after observing the shortcomings of other systems used previously. For example, association was used after the weaknesses of assimilation policy while indirect rule was introduced after observing the shortcomings of direct rule.
The differences between the association and indirect rule
  1. The association policy encouraged the French colonial administrators to respect the African culture, while the indirect rule system of administration disregarded the African traditional culture but only used traditional chiefs for their interests.
  2. The French emphasized on the use of French language on her colonies, while the British on the other hand considered and allow the use of local and native languages together with English.
  3. The French association policy still maintained aim of transforming Africans into French by making the laws whereby non-citizens faced arbitrary arrest, serving the army for a long time, while the British made no attempt to transform the Africans.
The Strengths, Weaknesses and Impact of the Colonial Administrative Systems on Africa
Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and impact of the colonial administrative systems on Africa
Strength and weaknesses of indirect rule
  1. It avoided African resistance by appointing traditional rulers to rule on their behalf. Hence, all complaints were directed to traditional African rulers.
  2. It was cheap, as local chiefs were used to mobilize their people to pay taxes and work as forced laborers.
  3. Indirect rule created imbalance of development among African states. Areas which had local chiefs assisting the colonial government had development on social services like schools, hospitals and roads while those which had no chiefs in their areas had no or inadequate social services. Such situations had led to many conflicts among Africans after independence.
  4. It had created social differences among Africans. The chiefs’ families and loyal families got privilege of getting social services such as education, hospitals and many more while the rest of the community were not getting such facilities.
  5. Tribalism developed as an impact of indirect rule. African chiefs who were entrusted to rule on behalf of colonialists considered themselves superior to other in their land. For example, Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda created disunity among Ugandan when he declared the Buganda kingdom independent in 1960.
  6. African chiefs became puppets of the administrators and did not serve their people.
  7. The indirect rule cemented centralized bureaucracy through the use of the district commissioners.
The strengths and weaknesses of direct rule
  1. The system solved the shortage of employment among the European population. For example, Germany offered employment to her people in the colonies she occupied. Hence, she managed to reduce the rate of unemployment of her people.
  2. The system managed to suppress resistance, since it ensured that the colonies had enough white military officials to safeguard their interests. For instance, the Abushiri war of resistance of 1888 was suppressed by the German colonial administration. Some weaknesses of direct rule were:
  3. The use of harsh and brutal means to make Africans meet colonial demands such as production of raw materials and paying taxes. Their approach led to many sufferings of the Africans that included death or imprisonment.
  4. It undermined the pre-existing African traditional rulers. For instance, the German administration in Tanganyika removed the African traditional rulers, replacing them with Arab Akidas and Liwalis from the coastal areas.
Weaknesses and impact of assimilation policy
Due to constraints they encountered, the French were forced to loosen their ties by initiating another system of ruling known asassociation.
  • The major reason that made the French to drop the assimilation policy of administration was that, the policy proved quite impractical because it could not make an African a French citizen. It managed to change the person mentally and morally but the person remained inferior because he remained a black man who could not even be accepted by fellow Africans who were not assimilated and would neither be accepted in the European world. On other hand, association gave freedoms to Africans in the colonies to develop in their chiefdoms using their own culture.
  • The assimilation system proved to be too expensive. As the French kept on expanding their territory in Africa, it was a burden to assimilate more of the Africans inhabitants since the French government could incur more costs for building more social facilities such as schools, hospitals, churches and many more. Thus the assimilation system found itself in a dilemma.
  • It arose fears among Frenchmen in France that the assimilated Africans could bring economic challenge to them, since they would get equal rights as other Frenchmen, particularly in trade activities. Thus, they thought of discrediting the assimilation policy in order to safeguard their own interests. Many African traditional authorities were replaced with eroded assimilated rulers who had been brainwashed with the French culture.
  • There was a great gap among Africans as an effect of assimilation policy, as the assimilees were favored by the colonial government while the other people from other community were exploited a great deal. The assimilees were exempted from taxpaying and forced labor because they were considered French citizens, while the unassimilated were forced to pay tax and were subjected to forced labor.
  • The African colonies were regarded as part and parcel of France, since the assimilation system of administration considered their colonies as their overseas provinces.
  • French became an official language in most of African countries that were colonized by French (Francophone countries). The reason behind such decision was the impact of assimilation whereby many Africans were influenced by the French language.
Factors that led to assimilation policy to fail in West Africa
  1. Some African communities with strong cultural ties refused to accept the French assimilation policy and abandon their traditional way of living.
  2. African traditional chiefs discredited the assimilation system because it threatened their authority and assimilees did not accept being under the African chiefs, as they regarded themselves to be superior to them.
  3. Muslim disapproved the assimilation policy for it wanted them to become Christian, while they wished to maintain their Islamic faith.
  4. The spread of Islamic religion in West African communes became an obstacle for the spread of assimilation system, since the system encouraged people to be converted to Christianity.
  5. Africans were not motivated to participate in political affairs of France.
Strengths of association policy
  1. It did not interfere with African cultural practices such as religion, custom and traditions.
  2. The association policy considered the assimilated Africans as French citizens.
  3. It did not apply French civil and criminal law to Africans in the colonies.
Weaknesses of the association policy
  1. The association policy was more authoritarian and withheld Africans rights to freedom of expression, trade union activities and the press freedom.
  2. It forced Africans who were not assimilated to serve French colonial army for longer period than the assimilated ones.
  3. It regarded the non-assimilated Africans as second class citizens.

The Meaning Of Colonial Military And Colonial Legal Institutions
Explain the meaning of colonial military and colonial legal institutions
Colonial military legal institution some time refers to colonial state apparatus that were responsible to protect colonial interests, colonial military force included:
  • The army force
  • Police force
  • Prison/judiciary
These institutions were concerned with the maintenance of law, order and the security of the colonial state to ensure that colonialists achieve their ultimate goals. The British established their military institutions in East Africa and central Africa. In East Africa it was referred to as a East Africa Rifles it has the duty of protecting Uganda and Kenya.
In central Africa it was known as central Africa Rifles of Nyasaland (Malawi). The two military institution were joined in 1902 and formed the king‟s African Rifles (KAR) the KAR had battalions in every British territory. KAR was established in Tabora Tanganyika in 1919. The KAR recruited soldiers from Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika and Malawi.
Another part of the colonial military institution was the police force. This recruited cadets in the colonies or externally. The police recruited from outside the colonies were from India, Europe and some were Nubians from Sudan.
The colonialist always recruited their force to foreign land which would make it easy for these workers to be fierce ruthless and harsh to the people of the foreign land.
On the other hand the French had thier army which was very popular among the French West African colonies such as Senegal, Guinea and Mali. Germany never had a stable recognised army; they preferred hired mercenaries from other parts of the world and Africa.
The major reason for establishing the colonial military force was to defend the White colonial administrators in the colonies and safeguard colonial interests against internal and external threats.
In addition, the colonial army had a duty of suppressing and exploiting Africans with the help of other established colonial organs such as the police, the prison and the judiciary without forgetting the colonial administration, since colonialism was very much resented and resisted by the Africans.
The top and middle positions of the army were dominated by the European officials and the lowest levels consisted of Africans. The Africans were included in the colonial army in the period of world wars I and II. For instance the KAR had all white soldiers in its army during the word wars.
Africans were later recruited in this army in order to suppress the Germans in East Africa. Many of the East Africa KAR soldiers offered their services in Burma, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Somalia.
The police force
The colonial police force was created in order to ensure that peace and order weremaintained in their colonies. In addition it made sure that Africans paid taxes, produced raw materials such as cash crops production in the colonial plantations and performed public works such as building railways, and roads when required by the colonial government.
The other role of the police was to suppress the unacceptable African practices in the eyes of Europeans such as human sacrifice, slavery and the buying of the dead bodies. Police caught African people who committed crimes and brought them before the court of the law for European justice to take its course. In Tanganyika the first police force initiated in 1919, under the command of Dutch officers from South Africa
The prison
Prisons were created in the African colonies in order to discipline and guard African prisoners who were convicted and sentenced by the colonial judicial system. Many African prisoners during colonial rule were those who failed to pay taxes or refused to work in the colonial plantations and for public services.
The Functions of each Colonial Military and Colonial Legal Institutions
Analyse critically the functions of each colonial military and colonial legal institutions
Major functions of the colonial military institutions
To defend of colonial boundaries:The colonial administration ordered their army to fight against their enemies. For instance in 1919, 6 th KAR battalion of the British in Tanganyika fought in World War I in Kalito (Ethiopia) and another part of it fought in Burma and Sudan.
Implemented land alienation for colonial settlers: To establish colonial plantation they enforced the land alienation policy throughout the colonies.
Suppression of African resistance: SomeAfricans reacted very strongly to colonial rulership so it was the duty of colonial military to suppress the opposition. This was used as the only way for colonialists to maintain their administration.
They had a task of maintaining peace and order through maintaining colonial laws and orders: They also prevented crimes in the colonies. Not only that but they also protected the colonial properties such as buildings, infrastructure etc.
Tax collection and information: They were responsible for collecting information and supervising the tax collected in the colony. The information collected was to be communicated to the colonial masters.
Supervision of public works was among the functions of the colonial military institutions:Public works included the construction of infrastructures such as railway, ports, prisons, hospitals, schools, churches etc. all these had to be supervised by the colonial military.
Implement colonial conquest: To effect colonial invasion and domination in Africa during the colonial penetration and occupation the colonial military had to penetrate to the interior for the purpose of establishing the colonisation process.
Characteristics of the colonial military
Provided low wages: Exploited African soldiers through low payment of salaries although they performed the tough work in the army, while the Whites were paidhighly.
Poor working condition:African soldiers were subjected to poor social services. They lived in low standards and small houses with shared bathrooms and toilets while white soldiers and their officers lived in big well-ventilated, well furnished houses; other social services such as health and education were also offered on discriminatory bases.
Practiced racism:Africans was restricted from interacting with white soldiers apart from official meetings. For instance African entertained themselves in their social halls that were of low standards and had minimum facilities and White had their clubs where they interacted among themselves
Poor education: Most colonial forces were more or less illiterate because it was believed that an uneducated force was better for the colonialists.
Applied force not brains: Most colonial forces used strict command with less reasoning.
Colonial legal institutions
The colonial legal institutions were the colonial organisations that dealt with legal issues. It had the duty of advising colonial government, receiving people's claims, educating the society and guiding on the procedures to be followed, and providing legal aid. It included the legislative councils of elders, the prisons and the courts.
They adapted the colonial administrative system such as the councils of elders which were common in British colonies.
The legal systems during the colonial period in many African colonies were led by European judges and magistrates. It sued and sentenced those who were not affecting the oppressive colonial laws.
The nature of punishment administered in the colonial judicial system ranged from fines, caning, imprisonment and execution. The colonial judiciary system was governed by the help of
  • The Criminal Investigation Department: This department performed the task of investigating all criminal reports.
  • The motorised companies: Those performed the task of suppressing strikes formed by trade unionists. The motorised companies were established in 1947.
  • The militia: This took charge of collecting taxes and arrested Africans who failed to pay tax or evaded paying taxes.
Duties of the legal institutions
The major duties of the legal institutions were vast. Some of them were to amend laws, acts and ordinances as they were amended time after time in order to suit the colonial situation. Legal institutions had to do so to ensure that Africans performed various colonial activities.
Among the laws and ordinances made was the crown land ordinance of 1915 in Kenya. This offered white settlers the right to own Kenyan highlands for a 99 years lease. Another instance was that of masters and servants ordinance of 1924 which was established in Tanganyika.
The handling of various claims of the people was done through councils of elders and the legislative council (LEGCO) the councils of elders dealt with African cases while the LEGCO handled both European and African claims.

  1. Explain the meaning of colonial military and colonial legal institutions.
  2. What were the functions of colonial military and colonial legal institutions?
  3. Explain the features of colonial military.
  4. Describe the duties of the colonial legal institutions.
  READ TOPIC 3: Colonial Economy




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