A. Commercial gain
1. Industrial Revolution - the need for
a. raw materials
Many industries, such as the cotton industry, were completely dependent on sources outside of Europe for trade. Europe also needed additional places to invest their profits. Africa, however, was seen as a jewel that could provide raw materials and further stimulate the revolution.
With the Industrial Revolution occurring in Europe, there was a large amount of labor workers but little resources. Eventually, many European industries were producing more goods than Europeans could consume. As a result, many of these industries looked for opportunities in other regions in the world to sell their goods and as an outlet for their surplus capital.. It was also encouraged to colonize Africa especially because of increasing competition and so that markets would be protected by their goods.
c. investment opportunities
Europe’s ruling elites, especially Britain, were in trade deficits for several reasons, but Africa was essentially a wonderland filled with undiscovered materials, which could also supplement them with a lot of cheap labor. There was little competition, unlike European countries. This promised that the countries in trade deficits could shift gears and have trade surpluses.
II. Africa 's potential
A. valuable raw materials
The German acquisition of Togo was a great example that showed how Germany was “beating” Britain and France in the race of the monopoly capital. They had a major interest in palm oil because their expanding industries and railways had required more lubricants, and Africa provided a large market for palm oil.
Timber was an extremely important material in the Industrial revolution, as it wa...
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...f a large overseas empire was imperative to enhancing France’s wealth, prestige, and power.
Immediately after winning independence from the Netherlands in 1830, King Leopold II was determined to increase his own wealth and to make Belgium a more significant country. Claiming the vast Congo Basin was key to making this happen. The king was willing to use his own money to buy a piece of land that was much larger than Belgium itself.
Since Portugal was so small and weakened by European warfare, it was extremely difficult to hold on to much of the land it acquired. Portugal played the role of a catalyst rather than as a leader. Nevertheless, Portugal was the first European country to acquire land in sub-saharan Africa, and asserted its claims to Angola and Mozambique. This Inspired many other European powers to acquire more land in Africa as well.
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