Over the next several years, forty-seven African countries attained independence from colonial rule. Many circumstances and events had and were occurring that led to the changes to which he was referring. The decolonization of Africa occurred over time, for a variety of complex reasons, but can be broken down into two major contributing factors: vast changes brought about in the world because of World War II and a growing sense of African nationalism. The colonization of Africa officially began in 1884 with the Berlin Conference. Western European powers began to split up the land and resources in Africa among themselves.
Africa's Influence on Western Art During the mid 19th century up until the Great War of 1914, European countries began to heavily colonize and come into contact with African nations. This was called "new imperialism". During this contact, European culture was influenced by Africa. The influence of the African people can be seen in the European society of the time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, modern artists embraced African art for its lack of pretension or formal qualities.
New York: Library of America, 1998. 296-347 Ingalls, Leonard. ?Portuguese Back Rein over Africa.? New York Times: July 19, 1960. James, C.L.R.
What was the Scramble for Africa? The Scramble for Africa was a period of time where major European countries fought over and colonized land in Africa, stretching from South Africa to Egypt. The scramble for Africa began shortly after the slave trade, and ended at WW1, and is a strong representation of the ‘New Imperialism’. The first country to act was Belgium, who colonized Congo at 1885, but soon, other countries such as Portugal and Great Britain joined in in order to not miss out. Firstly, the European could not colonize Africa easily, due to Africa’s giant land mass and the diseases that spread throughout the land.
By 1885, little to no independent countries existed throughtout the whole African continent. This was due to the imperialism done by strong European countries. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and Spain are to blame. There are many possible contributing factors as to why the European countries decided to completely carve up Africa, split it up, imperialize the whole of the continent. Because of the need for resources Africa could supply, the European desire for power, and the European's reaction to the White Man's burden, they took control of almost every square mile in Africa through imperialization.
In order to properly understand the effects of colonization, one must look at its history. Most of Africa was relatively isolated from Europe throughout early world history, but this changed during the 17th to the 20th centuries. Colonization efforts reached their peak between the 1870s and 1900 in the “Scramble for Africa” which left the continent resembling a jigsaw puzzle Various European powers managed to colonize Africa including Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. This intense imperialist aggression had three major causes. The primary reason was simply for economic gain.
Many of the causes for imperialism in Africa were evident in Joseph Conrad’s turn of the century novel, Heart of Darkness. Successful domination of Africa was not attainable prior to the eighteen hundreds. The obstacles of travel and disease were too powerful to overcome. However, with the development of the steamship and the protection from malaria in the form of quinine, Europeans tackled Africa with a renewed energy (Sanderson “Imperialism notes”). A European council congregated in 1885 and drew up the Berlin Act, which was responsible for the carving of Africa into pieces of land for the major imperialistic powers in Europe (Lehmann “The Scramble for Africa”).
Preceding to 1870, the British, French, Portuguese, and Germans acquired territory and control of large amounts of land on the African continent. This period was known as the “scramble for Africa.” This conference promoted discussing the control of the slave trade and promoting philanthropic generosit... ... middle of paper ... ...ixing the “Africa Problem”, but it was about merrily conquering Africa for selfish and Capitalistic ways. Africa capture was so that the world could share its rich resources in a gain to western economies, but destruction to African culture and its people. The Berlin conference was more like a free-for-all between western players and indigenous people of Africa. The colonizers didn’t have anyone to answer to but themselves.
P. 199 9 Davidson, Basil. Black Man's Burden: African and the Curse of the Nation-State. New York Times Books; 1992. P. 181 10 Ake, Claud. Democracy and Development in Africa.
From its early colonial developments, to its rule and eventual downfall, the Belgian Congo left a legacy of human atrocities and exploitive domination. Before King Leopold II moved into the Congo, the land was a lush and undisturbed region dominated by many different ethnic and tribal groups. Prior to foreign exploration, the Congo was a vast wilderness, rich with resources and inhabited with over 250 ethnic groups and tribes (Edgerton 2002). The country was covered by permanent swampland with dense tropical forests that literally covered the country in darkness (Edgerton 2002). Although unknown to the European powers of the time, the Congo was a situated on a forested plateau where an abundance of resources were ready to be extracted.