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European Imperialism in Africa

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

1 European Imperialism in Africa

2 1st European Contact North Africa existed for centuries along the Mediterranean Sea Sub-Saharan African contact began in the 1400’s with Portuguese sailors

3 WHY GO TO AFRICA? Europe wanted easier access to West Africa gold
Needed to find a shorter route to India Convert people to Christianity After the Portuguese…the Dutch, French and British followed.

4 SLAVE TRADE The slave trade was as old as civilization
Common in ancient China, Greece, Rome and elsewhere BEFORE the Europeans come to Africa Arabs and Egyptians held slaves Slave caravans were common in W. Africa and Sahara

5 NUMBERS OF SLAVES 10-20 MILLION slaves left Africa during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 15th-19th century.

Obtaining slaves: Traders organized their own slave raids Bought slaves from African kings and chiefs (captured during war or tribal raids without concern for family ties) FACT: Europeans mainly stayed near the coasts until the late 1800’s with little knowledge of interior African kingdoms.

1884 Berlin Conference held to set rules to divide Africa between European nations to create colonies. FACT: European conquest for African lands was not smooth, battles and struggles continued until the early 20th century.

8 Outcome of the Conference

9 COLONIAL RULE…WHY? Acquire power Exploit resources (GOLD)
Convert people to Christianity and “civilize” them Have a market for European products

1. Private Companies: Given large areas and allowed to set up administrative system and local populations were used as labor force. 2. Direct Rule: Divided into districts governed by Europeans GOAL: to civilize them and to discourage “backward” customs. PROBLEM: Not enough Europeans, hard to control remote areas, lack of understanding for customs and language British East Africa Company and British South Africa Company

11 Idea for people to have same rights as the Europeans
Assimilation: Idea for people to have same rights as the Europeans (ex. France and Portugal) Indirect Rule: Use of local chiefs who reported back to colonial government (ex. Britain and Spain) FACT: No matter what type of rule that was used, the political and economic development of the colony was NOT a priority!


13 PHASE ONE (start to 1920’s) Improve transportation and communication to gain resources and improve the life for EUROPEANS there. Health, housing and education only came from missionaries and companies to help the businesses German missionaries in Africa


15 PHASE TWO (1920’s to WW2) SLOOOOOW recognition of responsibility to help the people of Africa

16 Colonial development policies began Small industries
PHASE 3 (after WW2) Colonial development policies began Small industries Limited number of hospitals and schools

17 SUMMARY Europeans ruled for over 70 years
Exploited wealth to their advantage with little concerns for Africans Many were Christianized but few were educated.


19 The Empires crumble… Wars drained Europe-by 1945 Africans realized Europeans lacked the resources to hold on. Transition of power went smoothly. Creation of independent self-sufficient nations was a difficult process Since independence-coups (gov’t taken over by force), internal disagreements, dictatorships created.

20 Very little political stability
RESULT… Very little political stability

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