When searching for the factors behind the nation’s backwardness and the retardation of its children in the path of civilization and the transition to the world of the era of modernity and enlightenment, the reason is colonialism, which played a major role in the factors behind the backwardness of this colonized man and his subjugation and the formation of his economic and political development. Not only intellectual, material and social, and the development of his emotions, but also played a very bad role in the fragmentation of many peoples on earth. It also played, inadvertently, a good role in uniting many other peoples, and in both cases, the matter was subject to the interests of the colonial countries.
In the nineteenth century, a race took place between European countries: (Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain) to colonize the world. Britain and France were a pioneer in this regard, and each colonial country was trying to control the largest amount of land to make its colony a large one. Perhaps the peoples who suffered most from the ravages of colonialism, and are still suffering so far, are the peoples of Africa and the Arab region. Africa was exposed to the ugliest images of European colonialism after the Berlin Conference between European countries in 1884–1885, which was devoted to dividing Africa between those countries, as the continent was divided and its peoples have torn apart in order to secure a colonial share for all European countries present at that conference.
This random division contributed to the creation of permanent conflicts between African countries after their independence from the colonialists, and these conflicts are still continuing and it is difficult to stop soon because the amount of sabotage caused by the colonialists was great.
In the Arab region, the condition of its peoples has not been better than that of the African peoples. The British, French, Italian, and Spanish colonialists attacked it, so France colonized Algeria in 1830 and then placed Tunisia under its protection in 1881, and it looked forward to colonizing Morocco. In 1860, Spain invaded Morocco and occupied the Rif and Western Sahara. As for France, it found opposition from Germany, which wanted to control Morocco to take advantage of its mining wealth, which led to a major international crisis in 1905, so Morocco was economically internationalized under the terms of the Algeciras Conference in Spain in January 1906, and the French privileges were curtailed. . But France soon resolved the crisis with Germany by giving the latter lands in Central Africa. Thus, Morocco became the share of the Spanish and French colonialists in 1912.
Although France was colonizing Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and parts of Morocco, it did not unify its colonies under one authority, because it had annexed Algeria in 1848, while it had placed Tunisia under its protection, and left the rest of it with local authority. As for Morocco, it was facing continuous problems in it, and therefore the French colonies in the Maghreb countries remained under multiple powers.
Italy occupied Libya in 1912 and expanded in the Sahara Desert to benefit from the largest amount of land, and therefore Libya remained large even after its independence in 1952. As for Britain, it occupied the Nile Valley (Egypt and Sudan) in 1882, which was united since the days of Muhammad. Ali Pasha. That is why Britain left him alone to benefit from the good things in him. Sudan did not separate from Egypt until 1956.
In the Arab East, Britain had dominated the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula from Aden to Kuwait in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the Ottomans were in the interior, just as they were in Iraq and the Levant. In 1914, World War I broke out and the Ottoman Empire participated in it, and during the war, Britain and France agreed to divide the Ottoman possessions in Iraq and the Levant between them. In 1918 the Ottoman Empire was defeated and then collapsed, and the British-French agreement was put into practice, and Britain was able to seize the three states of Iraq (Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul) and unite them under its control, as it took eastern Jordan and gave Palestine as a gift to the Jews, and France took Syria And the state of Greater Lebanon was established.
When the British and French empires collapsed in the aftermath of World War II, the Arab region remained intact in terms of the division created by colonialism. Not all Arab efforts succeeded in achieving unity among Arabs.
In fact, there are other peoples who had a strong fortune during the colonial era, for example, Indonesia, consisting of about 17 thousand islands, and the Netherlands collected them since the eighteenth century under its control and remained united even after its independence in 1950. India also, Britain gathered it since it began In its colonization in 1661 and although it divided it before giving it independence in 1947 into two states: one for the Hindus, which is India, and the other for the Muslims, which is Pakistan and Bangladesh, India remained nonetheless large, with an area of more than seven million square kilometers, and a population of one billion, and it is now a power An emerging global, thanks to Britain’s unification, which perhaps now blames itself for bringing it together in one country.