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Imperialism in Africa
Transcript of Imperialism in Africa
1881 to 1914
Imperialism in Africa
There are between 2100 and 3000 unique languages spoken in Africa.
The steam engine, which powered the European Industrial Revolution, made it possible for the most powerful European countries to boat upstream into Africa's interior.
As a result of borders imposed at the Berlin Conference, many conflicts between rival ethnic groups in Africa took place and continue through the present day.
ethnic and national boundaries
Several European powers - Great Britain, in particular - were suffering from severe
. They were importing MORE than they were exporting. This meant that they were looking to expand their trading markets to include more people who were interested in BUYING more of their exports.
Causes of Imperialism
of imperialism in Africa:
African people lost control of their land
spread of European diseases, like smallpox
depopulation due to violent conflicts
famine outbreak because of farming cash crops for export
breakdown of traditional African culture
loss of African leadership
African property taken by Europeans
destabilization of African families and village life
division of African continent without regard to ethnic or linguistic territories
human rights abuses and genocide in some regions
civil wars that continue to this day
[We] have been engaged in drawing lines upon maps where no white man’s foot ever trod, we have been giving away mountains and rivers and lakes to each other, only hindered by the small impediment that we never knew exactly where the mountains and rivers and lakes were.
~ Lord Salisbury
Unique cultural and linguistic territories of Africa
Dr. David Livingstone ventured into central Africa in 1851 and remained until 1873 as a missionary and British explorer.
His exploration maps allowed the European powers to infiltrate the African interior land & waterways. His fame attracted other explorers to Africa, too.
The British, along with the French, Germans, Italians, and Belgians would use their technology to take over almost all of the African continent by 1885.
THE BERLIN CONFERENCE took place between 1884 & 1885. The most powerful European countries agreed on 3 major items:
establish free trade
divide up the African continent into exclusive trading zones -
Congo remained the property of Leopold II
Concerned that King Leopold of Belgium was creating an imbalance of power in Europe by claiming the Congo as his personal property in Africa - Chancellor of Germany,
Otto von Bismark
called the great powers of Europe together to discuss the fate of the Congo and the rest of Africa in 1884.
No Africans were invited to attend.
King Leopold II of Belgium
Otto von Bismark, Chancellor of Germany
The Berlin Conference
The Ashanti, Abyssinians, Moroccans, Somalis, the Benin, and the Zulu all made serious attempts to resist colonial domination. The
from the southern most region of Africa were almost successful.
2. Capital investments
Wealthy people are motivated to grow their wealth through
. This means that their cash, today, will be worth MORE in the future. They can make this happen if they buy an
for a low price today and sell it for a high price later on.
AFRICA was a tremendous place to do this because land and labor there were cheap compared to land and labor in Europe.
Wealthy European people took their money and began buying up property in Africa. The land was a treasure box of raw materials that European investors could ship home and convert to finished goods through the
. Africa made them RICHER than ever before!
3. Raw materials
Cecil Rhodes founded De Beers Mining Co. in 1888...
The Abyssinians from Ethiopia were able to remain independent from total European domination.
They defeated the Italians at the Battle of Adwa in 1896.
electroplating for printing press plates
Great Britain's Imperial Impact
Africa is larger than:
and all of Eastern Europe put together!
Africa from space...
Scientists believe that human beings originated in Africa over 7 million years ago.
The first literate civilizations arose in Africa. Egypt dominated north eastern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean from 3300BC to 343BC!
France and Britain
took the largest share.
...which still exists today.
Read the ingredients list on the back of your favorite snacks!
Remember that chocolate was reserved ONLY for the royal court under Louis XIV...
Because of the growth of the bourgeois during the Industrial Revolution, more people could afford chocolate. Eating it became a status symbol!
Today, tea is the second most consumed beverage on Earth - water is the first.
Napoleon Bonaparte considered reconstructing the ancient Egyptian canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea in 1798 but decided against the project.
Muhammad Sa-id Pascha, Sultan of Egypt and Sudan under the Ottoman Emperor, allowed the French to begin construction on the Suez Canal in 1856.
The Suez Canal Co. had permission to operate and collect tolls on the canal for 99 years.
Construction took 10 years by corvee laborers.
1.5 million people worked on the canal during that period. Over 10,000 workers died during the project.
The canal saved English shipping merchants 5100 miles in travel expenses and risk - each way!
Combined with the trans-continental railroad in the USA, goods could now travel around the entire globe in record time!
Muhammad Ali Pasha's grandson, Isma'il Pasha, became the leader of Egypt in 1863 but his financial difficulties forced him to sell his share of ownership in the Suez Canal for 4,000,000. The British gladly purchased his shares.
Remember that the British were interested in markets and trade. Purchasing partial ownership in the Suez Canal Co. made it easier for British merchants to sail from the British Isles to India and China for tea, cotton, silk, and spices.
By 1882, Isma'il Pasha was bankrupt and could no longer pay his debts to the European banks that funded the Suez Canal project. This created conflict within Egypt and an uprising against his government sparked British military intervention.
The British won the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September, 1882, and took over the Suez Canal and the Egyptian government.
Notice the ethnic diversity within each of the modern nation-states.
The borders imposed by the Berlin Conference has created a situation where civil war is common within many of Africa's modern countries.
The Dutch held an incredible network of trade routes around the globe in the 17th century.
They were particularly interested in securing safe-port at the Cape of Good Hope - the southern-most point of Africa.
Cape of Good Hope
Route to India
The Dutch East India Co. build a fort at Cape Town in the 1660s called the Castle of Good Hope. Remember Harrison's line, "Girdle them with your forts..."? Well, here is an example of an early fort built by Europeans in Africa.
The British tried repeatedly to capture Cape Town away from the Dutch beginning in 1795, when the Netherlands was occupied by Napoleon's Grand Army. They tried again in 1806 - by 1814, the British were successful and took control of southern South Africa.
The Boer farmers, also called "Afrikaners", were very upset about the British taking control of their land and laws. They took up arms against the British in two conflicts called the "Boer Wars".
Cape Colony's flag
following the British conquest
During the "Great Trek", over 12,000 Boers migrated north and east to avoid British laws against slavery and segregation by race. They were also resistant to Anglican assimilation and wanted to preserve their unique society.
A few factors caused the Boers to fight the British, rather than escape them:
discovery of gold
discovery of diamonds
conflicts with the Zulus
The Boer Wars are considered one of the first TOTAL WARS:
The British forces burned Boer farms to the ground.
The British also imprisoned Boer women and children in concentration camps and fed them half-rations or less.
Many starved to death.
Remember that the Dutch settlers, the Boers, had lived there for over 160 years!
This brought them into conflict with other African people, namely, the Zulus in the east.
The British finally defeated the Zulu in 1887 and the Boers in 1910 and renamed Cape Colony, "Union of South Africa".
sanitation and infrastructure established in parts of Africa
hospitals and schools built in parts of Africa
African products valued in the international market - this benefited the European colonizers more than the local African people, though
Boers on the "Great Trek"
Two great Zulu kings fought British domination...
King Shaka used advanced military tactics and strategy in 1816 to keep European influence out of his kingdom.
King Cetshwayo, Shaka's nephew, was able to defeat the British forces in battle until 1879.
Begin video at 24:38 Berlin Conference 38:32 Atrocities
105:45 Hostage system 49:57 Belgian chocolates
Documentary: White Man, Red Rubber, Black Death
16:33 to 50:00
DOCUMENTARY: The Boer War
38:36 Summary of 1st months of war
41:51 First Boer defeat
48:05 Typhus epidemic among British
54:30 Boer's guerrilla war
59:44 House burning
1:00:21 Concentration camps
1:05:23 Boer "Bitter-Enders"
1:07:38 Treatment of prisoners
1:11:05 Boer surrender
There are STILL British representatives who sit in Egypt's government as non-voting members of their legislature - TODAY!
ZULU WARS DOCUMENTARY
8:29 Cetshwayo Zulu King
15:52 Zulu attack British
21:59 Cetshwayo defeated, goes to London