The Scramble for Africa can easily be defined as the forced invasion and division of African countries among European superpowers. Those powers included Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and Belgium. Each superpower wanted control over a certain area on the continent and would do anything to ensure that their area remained in their best interest. To bring the conflicts to the forefront, the countries participated in the Berlin Africa Conference in 1884-1885. In this conference, the issues of Anglo-German relations and everybody’s control in Africa were discussed. As a result of the conference, European control began to overtake the African continent and imperialism became a giant part of the European mark. In his book, “Worlds of Color” W.E.B DuBois discusses the idea of whole colonial enterprise stating that the problem the world faces is the color line. This can easily be interpreted as Dr. DuBois giving the idea that if World, more specifically European superpowers stop viewing the color line and Africa’s color line as something less than them a lot of the world’s issues could be detected and fixed. But more importantly, Dr. DuBois is stating that without the Worlds of Color, European industrialization would not exist.
The European colonization of Africa, also known as the Scramble for Africa, Partition of Africa, or Conquest of Africa, occurred between the 1870s and 1900s, and was the invasion, occupation, colonization, and annexation of African territory by European powers during a period of New Imperialism. European control of the continent increased from 10 percent (1870) to 90 percent (1914), with only three territories, Saguia el-Hamra, which was later integrated into Spanish Sahara, Ethiopia and Liberia remaining independent of Europe’s control. There were many reasons for the European colonization of Africa, including economic and political motives, with the Berlin Conference serving as a catalyst. Africans resisted the European invasions of their lands, with the two main methods of opposition were guerilla warfare and direct military engagement. European influence on Africa still remains today, though these influences are generally negative and hurt Africa’s overall development.
Africa faced many serious negative consequences because of imperialism. The resolution of the All African People’s Conference held in Ghana in 1958 said, “...Whereas fundamental human rights… freedom to live a full and abundant life… are denied to Africans through the activities of the Imperialists,” (Document 3). This resolution said that human rights, which are rights entitled to all humans regardless of any difference, were taken away. Because of this, the Africans were made to feel inferior which is not healthy for people and can cause serious consequences like the Africans assimilating to the European culture instead of preserving their rich, diverse culture. Sekou Toure, an African nationalist, had similar ideas, he said, “Our continent possesses tremendous reserves of raw material… with its potential sources of power, give it excellent conditions for industrialization,” (Document 2). So as well as the Africans being stripped of their basic rights
There are many reasons why European decided to take over africa. One being is their power and believing that they can do anything they want because they were powerful and unstoppable. Due to the Europe's national pride and civilized nation, they feel obligated to civilize africa. Imperialism means a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force. That's one of the driving forces.
Before the Europeans began to explore Africa, little was known about the continent. However, after some initial exploration of Africa, the Europeans soon realized how economically important this area was, and how much they could profit from it. At the time, European countries had only small colonies in Africa, but after they realized that they could make money from the resources in the inner regions of Africa, they wanted to invade the African regions and assume control. This led to “ the race” and ultimately, the partition of Africa. There were many motives for the Europeans to imperialize Africa. There were humanitarian and religious goals, political goals, military goals, and most importantly, there were economic interests. During the Berlin conference, The European powers decided that they were going to spread the three C’s (Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization) in Africa. To do this, the conference had three aims “ Ensure free trade for all nations throughout the Congo, to ensure free navigation for all countries on the Niger River of West Africa, and agree to set rules by which the Europeans could proceed to divide the rest of the continent.” (Part II: The European Conquest, Pg 11). Later in the document it states that not one African representative was present at the Berlin Conference to discuss Africa's future. The European people tricked themselves into thinking that what they were doing
Africa faced aggressive imperialist efforts from the Europeans, including diplomatic pressures as well as military invasions. This push for imperialism by the Europeans into Africa was brought on by economic, political, and social factors. After the collapse of the slave trade and all of its profitability, it made the demand for sources of raw materials something that needed to be acquired. There was also a need to search for investment opportunities, as well as a stable market. This made the economic motives the primary need to push into Africa. However, there was also competition between Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain to gain power within politics. One way to gain power within this competition was through the acquisition of territories, hence another reason to push for Africa. Socially, due to the
In the 19th and 20th centuries Europe was thriving and wealthy while most of their colonies in Africa were suffering under their rule. The Europeans all wanted a piece of Africa’s land with its plentiful resources and free labor. Around this time, Europe was going through the industrial revolution and because business was booming the European countries need more resources than they already had. The Africans had the land the Europeans wanted to use to continue having booming businesses, they also had African slaves and workers that they can use so they don’t have to pay for labor. In the 19th century leader of the Europeans countries want to discuss how they will divide Africa without the leaders of Africa knowing. The Europeans then started to invade Africa and take control over the citizens. As the Europeans got more powerful, the Africans become more miserable. Unable to match the guns Europe had, African countries began getting claimed, one by one with the exception of two. The Europeans ruled in a cruel way that left many Africans dead or suffering. Many countries tried and successfully broke away from Europeans after many years under colonization. The Europeans had a negative impact on the lives of many Africans in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially with racism and assimilation. People were taught to be a human they had to be like a European which led to many racist views on African people and culture and is why some nations like France used assimilation to make
Between 1870 and 1914, European countries ceased about ninety percent of Africa. Native Africans faced political, military, and imperialism pressure from various European countries. After the end of the profitable slave trade in Africa, due to abolishing of slavery, Europeans explored for new guaranteed markets, and heavily profitable investments. In addition, European countries were under industrialization, the demand for raw materials heavily increased. Europeans as well faced power struggles with one another and competition for political influence in Africa. European power struggle ultimately lead to the “Scramble for Africa.” Europeans undertook the process of imperialism in Africa in the late 19th century by exercising political, economic, and military power on their African colonies. Some African leaders and societies welcomed Europeans in hopes to protect and develop their native land. Some African leaders and societies responded to European occupation by gathering resistance groups in attempt to fight off foreign imperialists.
The main reason for European imperialism in Africa was for political reasons. According to Document A, the purpose of the colonization of African countries was for political competition between European countries (Doc. A). The partition of Africa in 1884 through 1885 showed that France and Britain were the biggest winners in seizing Africa. The British took most of north and south Africa, when the French took most of western Africa. According to Document B, John Ruskin said,” This is what England must either do or
For cultural and ideological reasons, imperial nations believed that their values and beliefs were superior to anyone else’s. A huge concept of New Imperialism was the European “civilizing mission”. In general, Europeans think they’re doing a good deed by imposing their beliefs onto the inhabitants of Africa. As King Leopold II stated, “Our refined society attaches to human life (and with reason) a value unknown to barbarous communities” (King Leopold II, 222). Since the Africans were “inferior” to Europeans,
Between the period from 1880 to 1914, European powers went after overseas empires in Africa. The governments and political leaders of the European powers believed that this colonization of the African empires was necessary to maintain their global influence. A second group of people supposed that African colonization was the result of the greedy Capitalists who \only cared for new resources and markets. The third group of people claimed it to be their job to enlighten and educate the uncivilized people of Africa. Although the political leaders of European powers encouraged colonization of African empires to advance their nation’s global influence, others argued that it was only for the profiteering of the Capitalists who sought new
Between the years 1881 and 1914, African territory was being invaded by Europeans during the New Imperialism period. Before Europe’s invasion, Africa consisted of various tribes and had no central government due to this during the mid nineteenth century. Europe attempted to colonize Africa using harsh military force and resulted in the European Scramble for Africa. The European Scramble for Africa caused African leaders to have different reactions such as some wanting to have no conflicts, but peace, surrendering to the Europeans due to fear, and also attempting to fight back against the Europeans.
European imperialism started as a source for raw materials and a way to gain advantages over their rival countries (Spielvogel and McTighe 226). Yet, the African countries being imperialized were impacted by this settlement in many positive ways (Spielvogel and McTighe 231). Europeans brought ideas of Westernization and influenced the societies that were not yet industrialized and ones that lacked the modern elements many European countries had acquired (Spielvogel and McTighe 235). Through the spread of western ideals and democracy, the people of Africa were inspired to pursue their own self-rule and continuation of the modernization that the European imperialists left behind on the continent. When European nations first imperialized the African
Politics played a major part in motivating Europe to imperialize in Africa. Document A shows how Africa was divided and which two states remained independent. Fourteen European nations met at the Berlin Conference to decide how Africa would be divided. In Document B, nationalism in Europe increased as the Industrial Revolution and French Revolution ideas spread throughout Europe. Colonists thought to advance the power of England, they needed to claim more territory as fast as possible. “ That their first aim is to be to advance the power of England by land and by sea.”~ Doc B. The Germans had strengths, such as trade and sea power, but wanted to learn about colonial skills from the British and start a friendly competition after them. “It would be wise if we Germans would learn about colonial skills from the British and begin to strive after
Africa is home to countless cultures that all have their own unique ideas and customs. During the past couple of centuries, these cultures were threatened to the point where they almost ceased to exist. The Berlin Conference was a very important occurrence in Africa and Europe's history. It legitimized what the European powers, mainly France and Britain, had been doing for the past hundred years, without the approval of any African country. During the late nineteenth century, France and Britain began imperialistic ventures into Africa, which eventually led Leopold II to conquer the Congo. It was Leopold's II presence in Africa that to led the Berlin Conference.