African Studies Case Study

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Laura Caba
African Studies- Professor E. Julmisse
May 20, 2014
Final Examination

1. a) The Conference of Berlin and its consequences
Held between 1884 and 1885, the Berlin Conference was an international convention proposed by Portugal in order to resolve disagreements about territories that occurred because of European activity in the Congo area. It all began when Portugal’s successful expeditions in Africa encouraged other Europeans to voyage to Africa as well. Violent disputes soon began over land and control, growing even more as the Industrial Revolution introduced a great need for inexpensive labor and new products to sell. Led by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the conference looked to oversee the slave trade and encourage civility. However, it proved to be ineffective as it did nothing towards the cause of slavery and the good of Africa. In fact, Africans had lost much of their land as well as their freedom as only Liberia and Ethiopia were left independent. Europeans exploited resources, leaving Africans with a shortage of food and economically unstable. The people of Africa were soon subjected to slavery, being deemed inferior. Social relationships were also ruined with the introduction of education as some chose to receive it and others refused. In the end, the conference was merely a way of dividing Africa among the European colonies.
b) The different methods of colonization by the European nations
Methods of European colonization varied depending on location as well as the time period. At times their approaches were peaceful. For one, they used religion to their advantage. They persuaded Africans that if they fought against European rule they would be going against God’s teachings by using Christian missiona...

... middle of paper ... course that I did not expect to learn. I have learned of the countless African achievements and advancements that others have taken credit for. This seemingly underdeveloped continent is home to some of the greatest empires such as Ghana and Great Zimbabwe. Its political advancements are just as impressive with the concept of monarchy having been developed there. Africa’s wonders also lie in its vast culture being home to many mathematical advancements and the creation of impressive architecture. And these are only some of the magnificent achievements within the continent. I have learned of African struggles from slavery to gender discrimination as well as of its success at overcoming these obstacles. My perception of Africa has completely changed after taking this course. It has introduced me to so many facts about the region that I was previously unaware of.

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