Presentation on theme: "The Scramble for Africa 1850-1900. As the Industrial Revolution continued to move along, the world basically was divided into two units: Those who were."— Presentation transcript:
The Scramble for Africa
As the Industrial Revolution continued to move along, the world basically was divided into two units: Those who were creating large amounts of goods, and those who were not making large amounts of goods. The ones who were making goods could be found almost exclusively in Western Europe and the United States, while the ones who weren’t were found everywhere else. This industrialization gave Europeans and Americans a huge technological advantage over the rest of the world. This advantage would be used to dominate and begin a new period of imperialism, as Europe and the US began to exert their influence on the rest of the world. or
Prior to the 1800’s Africa had been pretty much left alone by European countries. The earliest explorers, such as Vasco de Gama, had simply tried to sail around Africa in order to reach Asia. Even as the slave trade began in the 1600’s, few Europeans traveled far from the coast. The Europeans had other Africans bring slaves to them rather than look inland themselves. There were two main reasons that the Europeans didn’t move inland into Africa: 1) There were many very strong, although primitive armies in Africa…and 2) It was almost impossible for ships to travel up the rivers in Africa due to waterfalls and very strong fast flowing currents. Once the industrial revolution began, these reasons didn’t matter as much anymore.
With the industrial revolution, the Europeans created much better weapons. No longer would they need to fight against the Africans with single shot muskets that were unreliable. Now they had repeating rifles that could fire as many as 28 shots per minute and even Gatling guns which could fire about 600 shots per minute. Not only that, but with Robert Fulton’s invention of the steam boat, the once impassable rivers were now not much of a problem to navigate. Africa, and all of her resources, was now open for European domination.
Now that Europeans COULD dominate Africa, the only question was why would they. Strangely enough, the conquest of Africa may have started with a missionary trip. David Livingstone, from Scotland, entered Africa in the 1860’s to spread Christianity. After many years, he had not contacted anyone back in Europe and was feared to be dead. Henry Stanley, an American newspaper reporter was hired to do a story on Livingstone and decided that he would travel to Africa to find him. Stanley’s trip was financed by King Leopold II of Belgium, who wanted Stanley to also make trade agreements with the Africans that he met. Stanley did this and Belgium began a lucrative rubber trade. Other Europeans saw this and wanted in on the action…the “Scramble for Africa” had begun. =
Many European nations began to move into Africa to gain their own trade agreements. It became obvious that Africa was filled with many resources and the Europeans needed them for their factories and manufacturing. Diamonds were discovered in 1867, gold in 1886, and iron, coal, copper, tin, and oil were found later. The desire for wealth was most likely going to lead the Europeans to wars before cooler heads prevailed. In 1884, through 1885, representatives from 14 European nations met in Berlin, Germany to divide Africa. Basically, the countries decided that if a European country claimed land in Africa and proved that it could control the land, it was theirs. Strangely, no Africans were present at the Berlin Conference, where their land was divided.
Why were the Africans not invited to the Berlin Conference? Because the Europeans didn’t think they needed to be there. The Europeans believed in “Social Darwinism”. This theory said that as in nature, the strongest, best adapted of the people would begin to dominate the weaker. Europeans believed that because of the Industrial Revolution, they were obviously more intelligent than the rest of the world and it was their right and responsibility to dominate the world. By dominating the world, the Europeans would be able to take care of and make life better for all of the other, less intelligent people…such as the Africans.
Once the Europeans began to invade Africa, the landscape was changed forever. Small towns, which would become large cities sprouted up as bases of European operations. Railroad tracks were laid throughout the continent and telegraph wires were strung to increase communication. One problem faced by Europeans was disease as malaria was carried by the many swarms of mosquitos. This problem was ended by the creation of quinine, a drug that prevented malaria infection. As Europeans moved in, they took advantage of old tribal rivalries and pitted one group of Africans against another in order to get what they wanted…access to resources and wealth.
Although the Europeans dominated, their invasion was not without any resistance. In southern Africa, the Zulu fought against the British. From , a war was fought between the two nations. Eventually, the superior weapons of the British would win out and the British would take the Zulu lands by 1887.
The British also had fights with other Europeans in southern Africa. The Dutch had settled around the Cape of Good Hope way back in 1652, as they set up a port for trading ships to stop in on their way to Asia. The Dutch that lived here had become known as the Boers when they established farming communities. When the British claimed the land, the Boers did not agree with their policies and began to fight. The Boers were defeated and forced to move north, away from the coast. This put them in Zulu lands where they again had to fight against the natives. Eventually in the 1870’s, after diamonds were discovered in South Africa, many outsiders flocked to the area and the Boers were again forced to fight to keep the newcomers away from their diamond mines. The Boers blamed the British and the Boer War started. Again the British defeated the Boers. They established the Union of South Africa.
By the end of the 1800s only two areas of Africa remained independent… Ethiopia and Liberia. Liberia remained independent because it was supported by the United States, another “civilized” country. Ethiopia remained independent because they fought for it under the leadership of Menelik II. For years the Ethiopians played one European country off of the other in order to remain independent. Ethiopia seemed to always be in negotiations with more than one European country, so nobody could claim the territory. In the meantime Menelik II was collecting weapons from each of these countries for defense against the others. When Italy tried to force Ethiopia under their control, the Ethiopians fought back. With equal weaponry, they were able to win and therefore remained independent.
1.Why had Europeans not dominated Africa prior to the 1800’s? What changed this? 2.Who was David Livingstone and how did he impact European exploration of Africa/ 3.What was the first country to establish trade agreements with Africans in the center of Africa? What did they trade for? 4.What happened at the Berlin Conference? 5.What is Social Darwinism and what did it have to do with the conquest of Africa? Do you thing it will impact anywhere else in the world? 6.What were some areas where violence broke out in the conquest of Africa? 7.What African nations were able to remain independent during the 1800’s?