Scramble for Africa

835 Words4 Pages
European powers were involved in Africa since the mid-1500's but had restricted their area of influence to only the coastal regions of Western Africa, where powers such as Great Britain established hubs for their highly profitable slave trade (David). Over a period of nearly three hundred years, European ships had transported more than 11 million people from Africa to different areas of the world, including America after the slave trade was abolished in Europe, and sold them into slavery (David). In a period of less than 30 years from 1870 – 1900, European powers, consisting of countries like France, Britain, and Portugal, had increased their control of Africa nations from a mere 10% to 90% of the entire continent (David). There were…show more content…
In the time of his occupation, women were held captive and children were mutilated in order to force men to labor on rubber farms, where they were often starved and worked to death (“Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death”). This type of forced labor was the same as the slavery Leopold had apparently come to eradicate and during his occupation of the Congo his sales of rubber had multiplied eightfold (David). Leopold was only stopped when, in 1904, Edmond Morel published an expose detailing the king's atrocities in the Congo, including pictures of the Congolese children maimed at the hands of the Belgian army, and roused the aid of British businessmen concerned with protecting their interests and humanitarians alike (David). Unfortunately, even after Leopold relinquished his control over the Congo, the forced labor system in place continued well into the 1920's until it finally ended because the population of the Congo had diminished so drastically. Works Cited David, Saul. "Salvery and the 'Scramble for Africa'" BBC News. BBC, 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. Ferguson, Niall. "Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World - Maxim Force 3/5."
Open Document