Repercussions of European Imperialism in Africa

Repercussions of European Imperialism in Africa

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Repercussions of European Imperialism in Africa

Between 1880 and 1910, Africa was divided up among the Europeans. For
the next 50 years decisions affecting Africa and its people were made
not in Africa, but in London, Paris, Lisbon and other European
capitals. France acquired a huge empire in North and West Africa.
Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Mali and other areas in West
Africa came under French rule. Britain's colonies were scattered
throughout the continent. Although the French controlled the most
territory, Britain ruled the greatest number of people.

Mineral discoveries in the 1860s, the 1870s, and the 1880s had an
enormous impact on the economy of southern Africa and Europe. Diamonds
were initially identified in 1867. The British government, attracted
by the prospect of mineral wealth, quickly took over the diamond
fields. Within two decades of the first diamond find, the industry was
essentially controlled by one monopolistic company "Cecil Rhodes's De
Beers Consolidated Mines." The diamond industry became the key to the
economic fortunes of the Cape Colony by providing the single largest
source of export earnings.

The Suez Canal is a classic example of how and why the Europeans came
to dominate Africa. Completed in 1869, the Canal made the Near East a
major hub for world trade. Instead of the canal being for the benefit
of the Ottoman Turks, it improved British trade and manufacture in
India and aided the British military's ability to protect its empire
in Asia. France and other industrial powers also took advantage of the
Canal. For the Ottomans it simply meant more foreign interference.
Politically, the major European powers extended their authority to
millions more people. The British Empire, the most extensive of the
European states, ruled over more than 200 million Indians alone in its
vast empire that encompassed three continents. The Indian Ocean was
now commonly referred to as the "British Lake".

The discovery of diamonds and gold in South Africa's Transvaal region
and in other areas during the end of the 19th century led to more

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problems than the mineral resources were worth. The mindset and abuse
of the native people as a disposable workforce, the horrible
environmental impact, and other conflicts that erupted as a result of
this newfound mineral wealth are just some of the many problems that
developed after the discovery of those shiny rocks and metals used in
so many engagement rings. All of these issues, and others have left a
rather ugly scar on Africa and it's people.
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