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The Scramble For Africa And The Colonization Of Africa

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The Scramble for Africa, named for the speed at which Africa was partitioned and colonized, began with King Leopold II 's conquest of the Congo. However, it did not end with the Belgian occupation of the Congo. Just as Leopold 's Congo was demarcated by the vast extraction of raw materials, most notably rubber, other European powers used African colonies as resource markets. However, economic motivations were not the sole stimulus for colonial expansion into Africa during the late 19th century. The causalities of the Scramble for Africa, and subsequent partition, are the result of a complex interplay between social, political, and economic forces both within Africa and within Europe. The colonization of Africa could not have been as extensive…show more content…
Communication was largely relegated to envoys, land mail, and letters carried on ships before the development of the telegraph. These methods of communication took as "little" time as a few weeks, or as much time as a few months to reach their intended recipient. This is less than ideal because it does not allow vital information, such as political and military occurrences, to be relayed in time for government officials to provide feedback and advice on the matters at hand. The delayed delivery also makes it so that leaders may not have an accurate understanding of the current status of the party that is sending the message. In an area that was as unknown as Africa, being knowledgeable about the current status of the colonies was paramount. The telegraph, couples with the undersea cable, made it so information, such as "commercial and military requirements, administrative decisions, and news" could be relayed in the span of a few hours. In conjunction with the addition of transportation infrastructure, particularly railroads, goods and troops could be relocated to areas of higher need in far less time than before the Industrial…show more content…
The drastic differences in the levels of development between African Nations and European nations,as highlighted through the comparison of military artillery, gave way to the idea that Europeans were of a superior race than Africans. This feeling of superiority developed into a phenomenon known as the "Great White Burden." The Great White burden is an idea that it is the duty of Europeans, as a more "superior" race, to colonize Africa and teach the Africans how to be "civilized." This gave a reason for individuals such as humanitarians and religious figures to enter the continent. Mission societies, from "all denominations" and "all European countries" at the time viewed it as their "divine mission" to convert Africans. These missionaries often gained acclaim from their time in Africa, most notably David Livingston. Livingston wrote an account describing his experiences in Africa, and this served as a type of propaganda of sorts. Not only did the book give hope to some that they might gain the same level of recognition, but it also supplied a more tangible support for the necessity of colonizing Africa. No longer was the notion of needing to aid the Africans in becoming more civilized composed solely of rhetoric purported by others, but never seen by the people
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