The majestic and beautiful continent of Africa has a disappearing past and culture because of European Imperialism. All of the countries in Europe, except Switzerland, divvied up countries of Africa for their own benefit in 1884 and 1885. People like King Leopold of Belgium used natives in Africa for labor after the trans-Atlantic slave trade was outlawed. The culture that was spread during this time of imperialism, the national pride gained by taking over another’s land, and most importantly, the resources gained during this period, are the most influential reasons that Europe decided that this was a good decision. Cultural spread occurred which is a reason for this European imperialism.
In the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century, western nations wanted to expand their territory. After the industrial revolution provided western Nations wealth and technology that could be used to take over less advanced societies. European powers proceeded on building empires in Africa. They found Africa to be home of many valuable natural resources they needed to fuel they industries, and supply cheap raw materials for factories. They wanted new markets where they could trade good produce by factories, and a place to invest profits. European Nations also wanted to spread Christianity, and though themselves to be superior. Meanwhile, powerful industrialized European countries wanted to gain powers by building overseas Empires. Through economic and military powers, European was able to colonize, and dominate Africa. European Imperialism had a negative impact on African’s culture; environment and was racist to African while trying to make them adapt to western manners.
In the nineteenth century, Europe finally exerted dominance over Africa, after 300 years of trying to do just that. Their eventual success was mainly due to technological advancements that the Africans didn’t have at the time. The major European powers (Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, and France) had many reasons for imperializing the African continent including: economic, political, and technological factors which all contribute to a country’s success. Some people would argue that Europeans took over Africa to improve African quality of life. However, it is clear that the main driving force behind European imperialism in Africa was the fact that Africa was rich in valuable resources. By tapping into this sort of wealth, Europeans were able to consolidate even greater power and prosperity.
With Europe in control, “the policies of the governing powers redirected all African trade to the international export market. Thus today, there is little in the way of inter-African trade, and the pattern of economic dependence continues.” Europeans exported most of the resources in Africa cheaply and sold them costly, which benefited them, but many Africans worked overtime and were not treated with care.
There were many motivations for Europeans to colonize Africa and Asia. The new markets and the source of raw materials that the colonies could provide, offered economic growth to the home country. Nationalism is another motivation, countries want to keep improving, and they believe nationalism is the only way to do that. The most important motivation for Europeans to colonize was to compete with the other European powers. Everyone wanted more power, and colonies provided that power.
At first most Europeans were not interested in visiting West Africa and left it alone. The Portuguese however established a trading post, but only because they were looking for a way to reach India. It really was not until after Columbus discovered America that Europeans took interest in West Africa. Europeans stayed and continued to rule Africa until after the Second World War. After this the movement for independence started and the European nations really did not have the means to continue governing the colonies. (Suds)
With imperialism and nationalism increasing in European countries, they each desired to expand their empires and acquire land to export and import their goods for cheap. With the discovery of more raw materials, European markets could proliferate. Also, many markets were collapsing domestically, so this would support them. Africa offered the chance of much international prestige and power with this.
Competition and power were the main reasons for imperialism in Africa. European countries went to war over these colonies. The only reason the countries wanted these colonies were for the natural resources, to better themselves and have top
Firstly, when the Europeans arrived in Africa mainly the Portuguese, they had a good motive of trade. At that time Africans were the main producers of gold and when the Portuguese arrived they had to establish trading relationships. That trade was of a great significance to the African community because they were able to profit from it by exchanging their gold, ivory and other minerals with the European goods, such as copper, brass, cowrie shells and cloths (Shillington, 1995, p. 169). But still Africa lost its vast minerals and raw materials at that time.
Several European nations took advantage of the West African kingdoms there by trading them cheap goods like glass beads, guns and ammunition etc. for slave labour. Without slave labour the colonization of the West Indies and the Americas couldn’t have been sustained because the colonies needed fresh labour to keep going and expanding. The Europeans knew the things they supplied the Africans weren’t very valuable but they readily gave it to them because the Africans had never seen such things before and were impressed by them. In the beginning of the colonization era the Europeans were not strong enough to outright defeat the African nations so this exploitation helped them to weaken and eventually colonize them. By the 17th and 18th centuries Europe had fully began to colonize and dominate West Africa to their pleasure because they had been able to grow stronger and richer than their African counterparts. The Europeans moved inward and captured younger and stronger people which left the African west without enough strong able bodied people to upkeep their society. This was seen as an open invitation for all Europeans to further exploit and completely take over the nations by intensifying their efforts to change the Africans religion and culture and make them more