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Rwanda Essay

  • Submitted by: thefox48lb
  • on December 7, 2008
  • Category: History
  • Length: 3,530 words

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Below is an essay on "Rwanda" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In the 1890s Germans arrived in Rwanda to find a nation-state with an army and centralized administration. Kigeri IV Rwanbugiri was the king at this current time and had been ruling since the early 1860s. (Prunier 87) The Europeans had predicted that Rwanda would be filled with chaos and small tribes. The Germans and Belgians eventually adopted John Hanning Speke’s Hamitic hypothesis. (Prunier 84) Speke traveled to the region in the 1850s. He theorized that the Tutsi kings were related to Europeans and this was the only explanation for the social and political structure. Before Europeans began colonizing Africa they thought that Africans had no history, culture, or any social structure; they were just people inhabiting an area. Speke believed that central African civilizations could only be due to the Tutsis, who were cousins of the Europeans. Speke gave physical and psychological profiles that became the basis of colonial rule. The Tutsis were tall, had long noses, light skin and other personality traits that Speke labeled “European”. (Prunier 87) The Hutus had flat noses, dark skin, and had fearful personalities. The Twa were compared to apes because of their small size and they had little manners. The German and Belgian colonial administrations gave power to the Tutsis. This was backed by the Catholic Church of Rwanda, which was composed of Tutsis. After World War II the United Nations granted Belgium as the authority over Rwanda but urged reforms to include more native administration of affairs. . Belgium administration included a ten year plan to involve more Hutus in political and social reforms. This was the chance for the Hutus to become elites. The Hutus began to get involved in the administrative structures of the kingdom. Several years later the Hutus began gaining ground and began to outnumber the Tutsis in government. The Tutsis attempted to split control down the middle with the Hutus but they rejected the proposal. The Hutus then gained complete...

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