What would Africa and India look like without European imperialism?

How different would Africa and India look if Europe never conquered the entirety of the continent and subcontinent? Would those areas be more prosperous today, having borders that go along the areas tribal territory?
 
Well, that really depends on the context of this lack of imperialism. Africa without imperialism but with the slave trade would have very few nation-states, and mostly consist of tribal peoples. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but these groups would be disorganized in the face of later imperialism from another front (maybe Asia) and would be less able to capitalize on medical and other technology like a nation-state.

Africa without imperialism AND without the external slave trade would have a higher population, less of a history of violence, and more labor benefiting Africa through it's history. You would have more native nation-states, which would probably be more stable. They wouldn't be based on 'tribal' lines though, at least not more so than modern European states.
 
The slave trade would have occurred without European colonization. The Muslim world would still be a huge market and intra-African imperialism would still be a big participant in the enterprise.
An Africa left to it's own devices would witness the continue rise and fall of empires and kingdoms in a process analogous to the eventual formation of more stable nation states in Europe.
 
impossible to tell. The thing that would let us tell, (an accurate historical record); is completely absent from Africa.
 
The slave trade would have occurred without European colonization. The Muslim world would still be a huge market and intra-African imperialism would still be a big participant in the enterprise.
An Africa left to it's own devices would witness the continue rise and fall of empires and kingdoms in a process analogous to the eventual formation of more stable nation states in Europe.
This. Don't get any idea that it will lead to an Africa that is at Europe's level of development by now. However, parts of Africa that did have a pre-European tradition of established states will certainly be better off than they are OTL. Though an important question is why is European imperialism absent in this ATL? That could impact the development of African and Indian states quite heavily.
 
This. Don't get any idea that it will lead to an Africa that is at Europe's level of development by now. However, parts of Africa that did have a pre-European tradition of established states will certainly be better off than they are OTL. Though an important question is why is European imperialism absent in this ATL? That could impact the development of African and Indian states quite heavily.
No assumption made of level of development. Just a general trending...
 
North Africa would probably be the most developed due to the previous introduction of more modern technology and science via the Caliphates and Ottoman Empire, while the bulk of Sub-Saharan Africa would be divided into a number of smaller states like Benin and the Zulu Kingdom. without the technologically superior British to wipe them out, i see no reason why the Zulu wouldn't continue to expand and conquer, though i doubt they would get exceptionally large--probably only as large as the collective regions where they make up a significant portion of the population, with a similar population of about 10.5 million
 
This. Don't get any idea that it will lead to an Africa that is at Europe's level of development by now. However, parts of Africa that did have a pre-European tradition of established states will certainly be better off than they are OTL. Though an important question is why is European imperialism absent in this ATL? That could impact the development of African and Indian states quite heavily.
Maybe the people of Europe realized that the colonization of Africa and India was unethical?
 
No assumption made of level of development. Just a general trending...
Sorry, I should have mentioned that was a general comment rather than one aimed at you. I think you are broadly correct on the matter.
Maybe the people of Europe realized that the colonization of Africa and India was unethical?
Easier said than done. I think some effort to prevent the "New Imperialism" of the 1880's would save Africa from European Imperialism, but that is obviously too late for India. Unfortunately my knowledge of 18th century Indian history is lacking, so maybe someone more knowledgeable than me could suggest ways to keep most of India under native rule (or at least, non-European).
 
How different would Africa and India look if Europe never conquered the entirety of the continent and subcontinent? Would those areas be more prosperous today, having borders that go along the areas tribal territory?
The postcolonial situations of India and Africa are very different. In India's case there isn't really a problem of borders not going along "tribal" territory- the modern states of India are already divided along ethnolinguistic lines.

What would be more important is the possibility of increasing industrial and commercial development in India. In the 18th C there were thriving cottage industries in India that were choked off when Britain took over in favour of a plantation economy producing raw materials instead of manufactured goods. Without British dominance in India that nasvent industrialisation would have continued,
 
Sorry, I should have mentioned that was a general comment rather than one aimed at you. I think you are broadly correct on the matter.

Easier said than done. I think some effort to prevent the "New Imperialism" of the 1880's would save Africa from European Imperialism, but that is obviously too late for India. Unfortunately my knowledge of 18th century Indian history is lacking, so maybe someone more knowledgeable than me could suggest ways to keep most of India under native rule (or at least, non-European).
One way to do it is to keep the French as a viable power in S Asia. This would allow Indian states to play off one European power against another
 
One way to do it is to keep the French as a viable power in S Asia. This would allow Indian states to play off one European power against another
Or stronger Mughal, Maratha or even avoid the empire route, and just have stable balkanized India. The whole reason Britain was able to gain sway was because the Mughal and Maratha Empires were completely in stagnation.
 
Or stronger Mughal, Maratha or even avoid the empire route, and just have stable balkanized India. The whole reason Britain was able to gain sway was because the Mughal and Maratha Empires were completely in stagnation.
Also true. Later I'll dig up my standard post for explaining 18th C Indian politics.
 
From the Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (which does not give data except by implication for the Third World outside India/Pakistan and China):

Per capita levels of Industrialization relative to the UK in 1900 as 100, "Europe as a whole" is 8, India is 7 (in 1750).

The relative shares of world manufacturing output are 23.2% for "Europe as a whole" and 24.5% for India/Pakistan.

This drops to 6 and 19.7% in 1800 for India. Even 1830 is 17.6% of world manufacturing output (same per capita as 1800).

For comparison, this is comparable to the Habsburg Empire or Russia (per capita) - at 7 and 6 respectively.
 
This. Don't get any idea that it will lead to an Africa that is at Europe's level of development by now. However, parts of Africa that did have a pre-European tradition of established states will certainly be better off than they are OTL. Though an important question is why is European imperialism absent in this ATL? That could impact the development of African and Indian states quite heavily.
Slavery isn't the be all and end all of African prosperity. Mali, Morocco, Egypt, Zanzibar and Kongo all had the potential to be large powers. From the right POD, many could be superpowers.

One thing you have to remember is that African coastal city states made a fuckton of money, and were rather prosperous in their own right until Portugal came.
 
India might have pulled off a Meji and be a rich country without the UK taking it over and draining it dry.
Or it might have fallen well short of that as European industrial production and wealth shot ahead and Indian manufacturing stalled (relatively speaking).

It has to be noted, also, that individual areas in India might do either - the idea of "India" uniformly prospering or failing in this context seems unlikely.
 
India might have pulled off a Meji and be a rich country without the UK taking it over and draining it dry.
India wasn't a unified country- what Elfwine says is very true. Conditions in Travancore (which actually won a war with the Dutch in the early 18th C) were very different from conditions in say, Bengal.

Also what will hold Indian states back is their relative energy poverty- the Indian subcontinent lacks rich, good quality coal deposits which rules out heavy 19th C industrialisation. Independent Indian states will look a lot more like Siam than like Japan i.e. independent but still reliant on patronage from the great powers. That doesn't preclude the possibility of them blossoming later- Travancore, for example, will have vast quantities of energy from hydroelectric power (as the Indian state of Kerala does IOTL) but it'll be the early 20th C before alternative resources like hydropower or biodiesel can be harnessed.
 
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OK here's my standard post about 17th-18th C India:

Indian political theory revolved around, not direct control of territory but around the concept of vassalhood. An expanding empire (like, say, the Mughals) would basically issue declarations of supremacy to every king who stood in their path. Those who submitted were given vassalhood, those who resisted were fought and conquered. However, even conquered kings tended to be replaced with other kings or viceroys who ran their territories pretty much as they had before with the exception of sending tribute back to the capital. There tended to be a minimum of direct administration of conquered territory, sort of a feudal system writ large. This provided a rather unstable foundation for nation- and institution-building because as soon as power lapsed at the centre Indian empires tended to fall apart back into their earlier constituent kingdoms or analogues of the same. This is why a lot of Indian 18th C monarch had titles like Nizam or Nawab which literally mean deputies- in times of more strength in Delhi they would have been viceroys for the Mughal Padishah. Such an inherently unstable political landscape isn't the best foundation for nation building.

The exception to this tended to be South India where in the 17th and 18th C you did see more stable state structures beginning to form such as Travancore, Mysore and Hyderabad. The problem here was that with the loss of Mughal control from the centre Northern India and the Deccan were massively destabilised. The Mahrattas were overrunning North India and in Mysore, former Mughal adventurers were destabilising the government. This basically gave the Europeans a perfect situation to play different factions off against each other (as the British and the French did). The potential of properly oranised and relatively centralised Indian states to ward off colonisation was definitely present- in the Travancore-Dutch War, Travancore actually managed to fight the Dutch to a draw and made them cede their dominance of the state of Cochin with it's spice crops and rich trading port to Travancore itself. However Travancore itself was destabilised by invasions from the ex-Mughal warlord regime in Mysore and was thus forced to become a British client.

In short, thus, the collapse of Mughal central control in the 17th C completely destabilised India for two centuries creating a series of knock on effects that precluded stable state formation, allowed outsiders the leeway to play political games of patronage and paved the path for European domination of the subcontinent. The Europeans (specifically the British) had extremely lucky timing. It's noteworthy that the two most successfully centralised states, Hyderabad and Travancore retained their integrity and identity, accepting positions as British vassals but remaining essentially intact, as compared to the other more destabilised Indian states like Bengal, Mysore, and the Mahratta principalities.

It's notable that even after effective independence from Mughal rule that the Nizams of Hyderabad still maintained the legal fiction that they ruled in the name of the Padishah. Coins were minted with the Emperor's seal and Friday prayers in the mosques were conducted in the name of the Padishah not the Nizam. Besides that however the Nizams basically did whatever they wanted within their own territory.

South India in the 17th and 18th centuries is actually an extremely fascinating place which is often overlooked. On the one hand you have Hyderabad, a classic Indian "vassal" kingdom, then you have Mysore, a Hindu vassal kingdom and Travancore, a relatively new kingdom rapidly engaging in a process of state-building (by expanding aggressively against all the other statelets in Kerala) and even managing to take back trade rights from an European power. If the Europeans hadn't turned up when they did South India might well have been a veritable laboratory of nations.
 
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