Motives for British Imperialism in Africa

5664 Words Apr 13th, 2002 23 Pages
Motives for British Imperialism in Africa
Before the Europeans began the New Imperialism in Africa, very little was known about the inner parts of the continent. However, after some explorers delved deeper into the heart of Africa, the Europeans soon realized how economically important this area was, and how much they could profit from it. At the time, Britain had only small occupations of land in Africa, but after they realized that they could make money from the rich resources from the inner regions of Africa, they wanted to invade the African countries and take over. This led to the scramble and ultimately, the partition of Africa. During the Age of Imperialism, from 1870-1914, Britain was a major country, which proved to be true in
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They took up the scientific ideas of natural selection and the survival of the fittest and applied the concepts to the human social world. However, some westerners actually genuinely thought that they should help and westernize the inferior countries of the world. The British went into Africa, thinking that it was their duty to spread their advances of medicine, law, western civilization, and the Christian religion. This was proved to be embraced in the "anthem of imperialism," called the White Man's Burden by Rudyard Kipling. He expressed in the poem that the duty of the "white man" was to teach and help the people who they cast the inferior rank to. However, it is hard to believe that this was Britain's most important goal in their imperialism. Finally, the most important reason to British imperialism was their desire to advance economically. Their economy was primarily based on trade, and because colonies could be added as a form of imperial control, it only furthered and expanded trade. Because such countries as Germany and France began to rise to power, Britain was confronted with competition, so they felt that they had to take the African land first. The British feared that as the other countries began to become stronger and more stable, they would steal their markets, so that is how the scramble for Africa starts. As for the Suez Canal, it became extremely important for money making

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