Trade unionism in Kenya had a shared history with its European colonial antecedents. Its national origins were rooted in colonial capitalism, which had been characterized by the use of cheap or forced African labor. The colonial government established administrative systems that ensured control of labor resources. Then, in the pre-independence era, an African working class and migrant labor with deep ties to the rural enclaves assumed a militant posture, in part because of being disposed of land. Militancy was also a reaction to repressive practices by European settlers who strongly opposed trade union formation.