The European Scramble for Africa Essays

The European Scramble for Africa Essays

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The scramble for Africa is a significant moment in world history that demonstrated the beginning of a great transformation for the Africans. The increase of European claims of African territories during the New Imperialism period and reflected Europe’s economic, social, and military evolution. The start of the 1880s provided for European rule a small part of Africa with areas largely restricted to the coast and small inland areas along major rivers such as the Niger and the Congo. Learning the causes of the scramble for Africa will lead to understanding Europe’s perception of superiority with the duty to spread western civilization throughout the world which also leads to this discussion on the effects of such event on Africa.
Only ten percent of the African continent was under the control of western nations at the beginning of the 1800s before the Europeans decided to expand and increase their influence into Africa. The economic potential of the European empire was insulated by keeping its markets open and exclusive through trade policies that increased revenues and natural resources and to maintain trade routes to Asia made the Horn of Africa, the southern tip of the continent as well as the West African coast the best strategic locations for world control. Great Britain aimed for a territory inside the continent to have dominance over the north and south by having Cairo linked with Cape Town as all the territory between Cairo in the north and Cape Town in the south have strategic value. The African continent was without fixed borders of any familiar types of government that was considered empty by the Europeans and therefore ripe for the imposition of their authority. The Europeans established themselves on most of n...


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...ive occupation to permanently eliminate permanently Portugal’s claims to half the coastline of Africa. Germany’s aggressiveness in signing treaties asserting German protectorates has also alarmed Great Britain and started to divert from its traditional practice of reluctance to establish political control due to its expensiveness in money and men so as to leave trade matters as much as possible in the hands of the merchants. The British government acted in recognition of the danger that British trade was in and the government duty to protect that trade even with the extension of political responsibility and all its money’s worth. Britain in the scramble for Africa gained a great deal of territory in West Africa keeping to its objective of having enough influence to ensure that no British interests were discriminated against in favor of those of any other power.

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