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The Causes of the Scramble for Africa

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Lidia Ricciuti

on 15 February 2018

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Transcript of The Causes of the Scramble for Africa

The causes of the Scramble for Africa
The causes of the Scramble for Africa
The carving up of Africa by Europeans became known as "The scramble for Africa"
When did this happen?
Which countries participated?
Why is this colonization important?
Scott David Livingstone
Scottish missionary, doctor and explorer
Agent of empire and anti-slavery activist, He travelled extensively (30 years) through southern equatorial Africa.
He was MIA for a long time. H.M Stanley looked for him.
H.M. Stanley
American Journalist and explorer.
He saw the financial possibility but need financing.
Leopold II was most interested in the Central African basin of the Congo.
He had treaties with some 500 chiefs that allowed their Association to claim the land motivating others.
He was sent after David Livingstone.


Europeans countries needed to regain power.
There was a growing rivalry between the nations that later took part of the partition.
Paternalistic spirit: Europeans shared the belief that African could not govern themselves.
Rise of nationalism: Great pride in acquiring large territories.
Geopolitical significance.
Efforts at diplomacy were pushed aside for greed.
The economic potential of empire was unquestioned.
European hunger for resources due to the industrial revolution. E.g. Palm oils (soaps), Cotton (textiles), gum (paper, fabric)rubber, ivory, hardwoods.
Commercial interest: Need for markets for new manufactured goods in the boom of the industrial revolution.
Gold & diamonds: exacerbated the race for African land.
European Control of African Land
In the 15 years following the Berlin Conference, an intense effort by European powers to claim territories began, they pushed aggressively for land.
King Leopold (Belgium) abused people of the Congo for his own economic benefit.
Portugal - Angola & Mozambique .
Italy - Somaliland & Eritrea on the Red Sea.
Germany - colonies in East Africa and in the west coast at Togo and Cameroons.
The French - most of West Africa.
The British took areas North and South.
Cecile Rhodes protagonist of the British unrolling of the map.
Abuse of local labor occurred all over Africa.
As science and military power improved, Africa became more vulnerable.
Medical advancement
: tropical disease prevention - quinine (malaria, yellow fever)
effect: safer for Europeans to travel to Africa
New and improved weapons
: repeating rifle, Maxim Gun (1st machine gun,); light artillery
effects: lower numbers, more effective
enabled access to the inner portions of Africa beyond the coasts
effect(s): Rivers that were previously inavigable could now be discovered. + these ships required less fuel space than previous watercraft.
Advancement facilitating imperialism
Thank you!
- Time period: 1880- 1914
- European countries came together and partitioned (broke up) Africa during the Berlin Conference
- Interests: Colonization, natural resources, and sources of labor.
- New Imperialism Era: Europe gained global power through expansion and colonization.
- society and economy in Africa were disrupted due to settlers.
- The European hunger for resources and markets caused decades of armed conflicts and thousands of deaths.
- Africa resulted in being extremely diverse.

Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Africa 1860
Early 1800’s: Europeans began limited exploration of interior of Africa.
Until mid 19th century very little was known about Tropical Africa.
Reasons: Malaria; yellow fever; limited military power.
Previous contact was limited mainly to slave trade through European forts and trade stations along the African coasts.

Exploration & Interest
Missionaries and explorers were sent.
Early explorers:
-James Bruce
: travelled in Ethiopia and declared himself to be the first European to look upon the source of the Blue Nile.
•-Mungo Park
: recorded the course of the River Niger.
-•John Speke
: claimed that he had fixed the source to the great Lake Victoria.
•-Sir Richard Burton:
the first European to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile.
Several causes:
Beginning in the 1880s, the colonization of Africa rapidly increased.

began the first colonies in Africa in the 1400s.
In 1659, the
founded the Cape Colony on Africa’s southern tip in 1659.
In the 1600s,
founded the colony of Saint Louis in today’s Senegal.
started to colonize Africa in the 1700s.

The seeds
were planted
In order to avoid armed conflict, leaders of European countries met at the Berlin Conference in 1885.
Europe also agreed to bring “Commerce, Christianity and Civilization” to Africa.
Rules were created to determine how European countries could claim African land.
They agreed to carve up Africa into vast empires, (ignoring the rights of the African people already living in these areas).
The Berlin Conference stated that territorial claims could not merely be made on paper, but had to be made by troops in an "effective occupation".
By 1900, most of Africa had been colonized by the Europeans. Only Liberia and the Empire of Ethiopia remained independent.

Belief in cultural superiority.
Desire to spread Chistianity and “civilization”. Livingstones' the 3 C's.
"Desire to put an end to slavery.
Other significant events in Africa

The Boer Wars
The Zulu Wars
The creation of Rhodesia

William Gladstone (1868 - 1894)
The british Empire
An amazingly detailed depiction of the negative effects of African imperialism on both Africa and Europe, and its depiction of the processes perhaps no account is quite so powerful as Joseph Conrad's 1905 work.
Joseph Conrad's
Heart of Darkness

Marlow, the main character travels up the Congo river by steamboat to meet a colonial administrator. He is disgusted by the greed and brutality of the ivory traders in Africa.
Full transcript