What attracted European imperialism to Africa & to Asia in the late nineteenth century.

Better Essays
Mortimer Chambers et al define imperialism as a European state 's intervention in and continuing domination over a non-European territory. During the 'Scramble for Africa ' in the late nineteenth century, the most powerful European nations desired to conquer, dominate and exploit African colonies with the hope of building an empire. According to Derrick Murphy, in 1875 only ten percent of Africa was occupied by European states. Twenty years later only ten percent remained unoccupied. There were several factors which attracted European imperialists to Africa. There were opportunities for profitable investment and trade. Raw materials, which Africa possessed in abundance, were also desired. A cheap source of labour was required as it would…show more content…
The British wanted to link their possessions in Southern Africa with their territories in East Africa, and these two areas with the Nile basin. Obtaining the Sudan was vital to the fulfillment of these ambitions especially since Egypt was already under British control. This 'red-line ' through Africa was made famous by Cecil Rhodes and Lord Milner who advocated for a 'Cape to Cairo ' empire linking by rail the Suez Canal to the Southern part which possessed many minerals. According to Brian Levack, there was also a certain level of nationalist competition. The unification of Germany upset the balance of power in Europe. In this climate of tension, governments looked towards enforcing national strength. The newly formed nations of Italy and Germany now sought empires outside Europe as a means of gaining power and prestige within Europe. In the nineteenth century, a German historian Henrich con Treitschke stated "All great nations in the fullness of their strength have desired to set their mark on barbarian lands and those who fail to participate in this great rivalry will pay a pitiable role in time to come." Under the leadership of Bismarck, Germany soon embarked on a quest of expansionism. Bismarck 's distrust of England under Gladstone was one of the reasons he decided to do this. Germany became engaged in an arms race with Great Britain and it
Get Access