Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #625) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #625)
Transcript: Some have argued that because of the vastness of the population of Europe and the smallness of their continent its people could not live by farming alone and had to find other means of earning a livelihood. In the process they developed much faster than other societies and within the space of only two hundred years they went through four stages of economic development and in Eastern Europe even five stages have been reached. In such a situation higher forms of social organisation were inevitable.
It is further held that in contrast, the vastness of the African continent and the smallness of its population meant that its people could live off the land and there was thus no incentive for rapid economic development. When the land they occupied lost its fertility, pastures and game became denuded and rivers dried up, they moved on freely into the empty spaces that filled the continent and found virgin land, rich pastures and plenty of game. These conditions, we are told, made them content with primitive forms of social organisation. The inference is that if imperialism had not shattered this self sufficient economy Africans would never have advanced further.
On the contrary, conditions in Africa before the advent of Europeans would only have affected the rate at which social stratification would have occurred. As in Europe and elsewhere classes would have ultimately emerged. In almost every part of the continent Africans had already discovered the art of mining, smelting and fashioning iron. Improved methods of metallurgy, better farming techniques, trade between Africans and Arabs in Western, Northern and Eastern Africa and
Extent and Medium: 1 page