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19th Century Imperialism in Africa
Industrialization was undoubtedly beneficial for the countries experiencing this great growth. This industrialization gave countries both, economic power and pride. With newfound pride and power, Europeans were not satisfied with only being successful in Europe: they wanted to expand. Europeans realized that to preserve economic success, they would need outside markets to sell and trade to. This was the start of imperialism. It was cheaper to trade than to purchase goods, therefore Europeans began to trade Africa for oil, tin, and rubber. Of course, imperialism went beyond just trading goods. Europeans, being more powerful, then knew they could occupy and take over the more weak countries they were trading with. Because of this takeover, imperialism brought both positive and negative effects to Africa.
One major factor in beginning imperialism in Africa was the end of the slave trade because this was how Europe was making most of their money during the 18th century. If revenue was not being brought in through the slave trade, other “products” (formerly humans) had to be traded. Greed was why Europeans could overlook the “disease, political instability, lack of transportation, and the generally unhealthy climate” (Duiker & Spielvogel 620) of Africa. If some of these off-putting factors such as transportation could be changed by the Europeans occupying Africa, then why not occupy it? As commercial trade increased, European interest in Africa did also. Europeans no longer wanted to just trade with Africa, but became interested in “permanent presence along the coast” (Duiker & Spielvogel 621). The first settlements were placed along the Gold Coast and in Sierra Leone. Although the slave trade was ...

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...(Kipling). Europeans planned to use the African people as workers for profit in which the

Europeans would claim. The African people would do all of the work, however the Europeans would reap the economic benefits. In the final stanza, Kipling alludes to the terrible conditions African society is exposed to: “Fill full the mouth of Famine.” Kipling also asserts that when the Europeans are satisfied with the revenue brought in, they will no longer “work to help develop Africa.” This solidifies the true reason for imperialism.
19th century imperialism in Africa was fueled by greed and arrogance rather than the supposed willingness to help by the Europeans. This was reflected in the more negative effects on Africa than positive. “The White Man’s Burden” exposed the realistic intentions of imperialism. Further advancement of European countries was the sole concern.
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