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The Scramble for Africa 1880- 1914 Causes of Late 19 th Century European Imperialism Economic –Industrialization Raw materials needed for European industries.

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Presentation on theme: "The Scramble for Africa 1880- 1914 Causes of Late 19 th Century European Imperialism Economic –Industrialization Raw materials needed for European industries."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Scramble for Africa

3 Causes of Late 19 th Century European Imperialism Economic –Industrialization Raw materials needed for European industries –Oil in the Middle East –Rubber in Africa –Textiles in India –European Capitalism Higher returns for investments –Less developed areas gave higher dividends To gain access to markets

4 Causes of Late 19 th Century European Imperialism Political –Maintain the balance of power To control strategic areas like sea lanes, access to markets –Status symbols Germany takes colonies to be like other European powers Cultural and Religious –Belief in cultural or racial superiority –Desire to spread Christianity to heathens –To spread civilization

5 Britain Largest colonial empire –Sun never sets on the British Empire –Colonies established to protect trading interests in Africa and Asia –Two kinds of colonies White Colonies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) given self-rule Non-white Colonies (India, Africa) under direct rule

6 France Acquired Algeria in 1830 Took over Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) by the 1880s Expanded into Western Africa in the 1880s Took colonies to make up for loss of Alsace-Lorraine in 1870

7 Germany Bismarck originally opposed colonial expansion –Unnecessary for Germany –Did not want to threaten France or Britain Germany took colonies in 1880s for status symbols –In Africa and Asia

8 United States Did not get involved in European affairs Became colonial power after 1898 –Spanish-American War U.S. gains control of Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines Monroe Doctrine allows US to extend influence into Latin America

9 Scramble for Africa Europe had been interested in Africa for centuries –Through the slave trade Much of Africa still unexplored until 1880s –European influence restricted to coastline Technology allows Europeans to explore African interior –Steamboats, Suez Canal, advances in medicine

10 Scramble for Africa By 1914, 90% of Africa under European control –France in Northern (Algeria) and Western Africa –Britain from Egypt to South Africa –Belgium in the Congo –Italy in Libya and Eastern Africa –Portugal in southern Africa –Germany in scattered areas Berlin Conference in 1885 sets ground rules for European colonization of Africa

11 Scramble for Africa Consequences –Traditional way of life disrupted –Economic exploitation of Africans –European racism imported into Africa –Spread of European culture –Spread of Western technology

12 Belgian Congo or Congo Free State The Belgian Congo... Congo Free State The Congo Free State was held as the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium from 1876 to : Leopold organizes a meeting in Brussels to discuss a plan to open to civilization the only part of our globe where Christianity has not yet penetrated and to pierce the darkness which envelops the whole population.

13 King Leopold II and the Congo Free State I do not want to miss a good chance of getting a slice of this magnificent African cake. --Leopold II (after Brussels conference)

14 Congo Free State 1884: Bismarck calls European powers to Berlin for a conference that leads to the Scramble for Africa. –BC established the rules for conquest of Africa. Leopold is given complete control over the Congo Free State; in return he guarantees free trade rights: no monopolies; no taxes and tariffs, no restriction on trade. 1908: Leopold bequeathed the CFS to Belgium for 150m francs.

15 Berlin Conference Here is Russia and here is France, with Germany in the middle. That is my map of Africa. --Bismarck

16 Rubber tree

17 Belgian Congo Leopolds rule resulted in the torture and murder of an estimated six to ten million Congolese between 1888 and The population of the Congo was reduced by half. Ivory became a Belgian monopoly. Rubber from rubber trees for tires very lucrative.

18 Belgian Congo The rubber harvest was entirely worked through slave labor. Reports of amputation and torture. Congo Reform Association established in 1903 by Roger Casement (friend of Joseph Conrads). Casement got Conrad to write a letter about conditions in the Congo: It is an extraordinary thing that the conscience of Europe which seventy years ago …put down the slave trade on humanitarian grounds tolerates the Congo state today.


20 Causes and Justifications for Partition Imperialism--Capitalism and Industrial Revolution Social Darwinism Morality and the Civilizing Mission European Balance of Power African Resistance to Merchants spurs military conquest Greed

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