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Imperialism in Africa.

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Presentation on theme: "Imperialism in Africa."— Presentation transcript:

1 Imperialism in Africa

2 Between ~1880-1914, European countries gained control of almost all of Africa!

3 Africa Before Imperialism
Thousands of different ethnic groups, tribes, nations, cultures and languages. Complex trade networks, different types of societies. African groups often in conflict with one another.

4 Some major African kingdoms before imperialism
svg By Jeff Israel

5 Major language groups (there are about 2000 different specific languages!)

6 Early contact with Europe
Missionaries Slave trade, coastal trade Explorers But by 1850s, most of Africa still unknown to Europeans –”dark continent”

7 Susan M Pojer at
European Nationalism Source for Raw Materials Missionary Activity Industrial Revolution European Motives For Colonization Markets for Finished Goods Military & Naval Bases Social Darwinism European Racism Places to re-locate Unwanted/ Excess Population Humanitarian Reasons Social & Economic Opportunities “White Man’s Burden” Susan M Pojer at

8 Why was Africa imperialized then? (major reasons)
Some Europeans wanted to spread Christianity. They believed they were culturally and racially superior. By Josiah Wedgwood ,1787

9 “White Man’s Burden” Some Europeans believed that it was their duty to take over “uncivilized” people to help them modernize and become more advanced. They saw imperialism as a humanitarian mission. “Take up the White Man's burden-- Send forth the best ye breed-- Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives' need; To wait in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild-- Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child. “ - Rudyard Kipling, 1899

10 The white man's burden - The Journal, Detroit, Satire of “White Man’s Burden” First printed in Life, March 16, 1899.

11 Europeans wanted access to Africa’s natural resources: ex
Europeans wanted access to Africa’s natural resources: ex. ivory, rubber, gold, diamonds, palm oil, fruit, minerals, etc.

12 Europeans wanted new markets for their goods
Europeans wanted new markets for their goods. Africans bought tools, weapons, clothes that had been inexpensively produced in England during the Industrial Revolution.

13 How did Europeans get control?
Cooperated with local leaders. Took advantage of African conflicts. Traded with Africans. Used more advanced weapons and technology. Ex. Maxim machine gun 303 Maxim gun at Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum. Taken by Max Smith

14 The Conference of Berlin - 1884
European leaders met in Berlin, Germany to divide up Africa. They did not invite any African people!

15 Europeans agreed that to claim an area in Africa, they had to set up a government there.
They called for an end to the slave trade in and within Africa. They gave King Leopold II of Belgium control of the Congo.

16 How did European imperialism affect Africa?
Each European country administered territories differently, but there were common trends.

17 Imposed taxes Europeans made African natives pay taxes in cash.
This forced more natives to plant cash crops, which Europeans encouraged, for export to Europe. Cash crops helped some people gain money, but also led to food shortages.

18 Changed traditional government
Direct rule (French): Europeans set up a government and ran it. Indirect rule (British): Europeans selected native leaders who agreed to work with them and rule through them. …either way, traditional elites often lost power, and political organization became hierarchical with Europeans at very top.

19 Last British Governor General of Nigeria with Tafawa Balewa, first independent Prime Minister

20 Created new boundaries
Political boundaries were created by Europeans to divide areas under their control. Often many diverse and formerly independent groups were forced together under one government.

21 Example: Nigeria has about 250 ethnic groups

22 Consequences of European-imposed Boundaries
Pro: The government forced groups to stop fighting each other and encouraged trade. Con: Groups were deprived of sovereignty, and the stage was set for future struggles for power between ethnic groups within the country.

23 Violence Although European control could potentially eliminate wars between tribes under their control, they often relied on violence to keep control or force labor. Europeans claimed the most desirable land and resources for themselves.

24 Infamous Belgian Congo abuses
Circa 1904 Alice Harris, Anti-Slavery International By Linley Sambourne, in Punch in 1906

25 Modernization Europeans introduced advanced technologies, especially for transportation and communication (railroads, telegraph, etc.). They also brought more modern medicine and built hospitals.

26 From “An Answer to Mark Twain” by the Congo Reform Association, 1909

27 Formal Education Before imperialism, most Africans were educated through systems that used oral traditions and practicing trades and skills. Europeans, especially missionaries, built Western style schools, though only some Africans attended. Those who were educated in European schools often worked for the colonial government and had greater opportunity for promotion. Some of these Africans adopted European ideals of liberal democracy, and began to demand more rights in those terms.

28 From “An Answer to Mark Twain” by the Congo Reform Association, 1909

29 Labor Some areas used forced labor for plantations or construction.
Some areas relied on large amounts of cheap mobile labor, especially from Africans who had lost their land or homes. Some Africans grew wealthy as part of a new commercial elite, or saw working in the colonial troops or police as an opportunity.

30 French colonial troops
Ulrich, 1940,

31 Resistance Many Africans participated in resistance movements.
Some violent – Examples: Mau Mau in Kenya, Zulus in South Africa, Berbers in Algeria. Some peaceful – Example: political organization and protests in Nigeria, pride in traditional cultures and rejection of European influence.

32 http://www. psywar. org/maumau. php http://www. blackpast. org/

33 Big Question: Regarding British imperialism in Africa, a British official, Lord Curzon said: “The British Empire has brought peace, justice, prosperity and freedom to Africa.” To what extent is this belief accurate?

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