Colonialism and Imperialism in Africa

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Disease and Imperialism in Africa

Diseases were prevalent in Africa during the time of European Imperialism. Disease affected both natives and European peoples in Africa. African diseases affected both natives and European explorers and soldiers as well as diseases brought by the Europeans that affected the Africans.

Numerouks diseases impadcted the Europeans in Africa during the time of Imperialism. During the time of Imperialism many explorers and soldiers died of disease. "During 1804-25 over 60 per cent of the men sent out by the Church Missionary Society died of disease" (McLynn 228). Traveling to Africa was very dangerous. "Before the 19th century, European soldiers in the tropical areas [in Africa] died from disease at four to five time the rate of those in Europe" (Curtin). "By far the greatest fatality in Africa was from malaria" (McLynn 228). Often times entire expeditions would die of disease upon traveling in Africa. "Of the 40 men who accompanied Mongo Park's second expedition to the Niger in 1805, not one returned to England. Six were killed in battle, the rest died of malaria or dysentery" (McLynn 228). The Europeans lacked ways to cure or prevent these diseases because they knew so little about them. "Traditional remedies were lying in steam baths, taking cold dips in the sea, applying bisters or swallowing doses of strychnine, arsenic, and calomel" (McLynn 232). Disease stopped the Europeans from moving quickly through Africa. The symptoms of illness and loss of life halted exploration. Symptoms of malaria were incapacitating; they included "chills, fever, and sweating" ("Malaria"). The cause of malaria was unknown until it was discovered that it was "caused by a blood parasite of man,...

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Masland, Tom, and Rod Nordland. "10 Million Orphans." Newsweek. 17 Jan. 2000. 5 March 2000

McLynn, Frank. Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa. New York: Carrol & Graf, 1993. 227-252.

Reader, John. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. New York: Vintage Books, 1997. 239-248.

Smaldone, Joseph P. "Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa." The Journal of Military History. April 1999: 453-455. Online. Proquest. Proquest UMI. 28 Feb. 2000.

Wekesser, Carol, ed. Africa: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1992. 24-32.
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