Colonization of Africa
19th Century
Colonialism is forced control of one nation by another nation.
Colony is when a nation establishes a government under its rule
in a foreign territory.
Imperialism is empire building by taking over other countries’
government’s trade, and culture.
• Beginning in the early 19th Century, Europeans aggressively
tried to establish colonies in Africa.
• European civilization experienced a period of unprecedented
rapid expansion around the globe during the last third of the
nineteenth century.
Reasons for Colonialism
• Despite Europeans involvement in the Slave
Trade Europeans usually relied on Africans to
trade slaves instead of colonizing the
• By the 1880s every major nation in the world
had abolished the institution of slavery.
• Europeans found a new interest in Africa.
• Africa is a continent of vast wealth.
Positive European
Reasons for Colonialism
1. Colonies provided Europe with strategic military
and economic advantages.
2. Open up new trading markets for European
3. Europe received minerals and other natural
resources (diamonds, gold, cotton, ivory, and
rubber) which fed the Industrial Revolution
4. Spread Christianity throughout the continent.
5. Europeans had access to cheap labor
When most European nations ended slavery in the
1800s they shifted their focus to trading
goods such as gold, ivory, and____________.
Soon after, the European powers divided up most of
Africa. They used imperialism
______________to keep power.
This is a policy of taking over other countries’
government’s trade, and culture.
Negative European
Reasons for Colonialism
• European powers had to fight against
• Colonial rule in many places, especially the
Congo, was morally nauseating (sickening).
The Berlin Conference
In 1884 at the request of
Portugal, German chancellor
Otto von Bismark called
together the major western
powers of the world to
negotiate questions and end
confusion over the control of
Africa. Bismark appreciated
the opportunity to expand
Germany's sphere of
influence over Africa and
desired to force Germany's
rivals to struggle with one
another for territory. At the
time of the conference, 80%
of Africa remained under
traditional and local control.
Berlin Conference (1884)
Berlin Conference in 1884 led by Otto Von Bismarck,
German Chancellor
Series of Meetings in Berlin, Germany, held by
European nations, Africa’s rulers not in attendance.
Met to discuss how to divide Africa’s land.
20% of the Europeans already controlled.
By the end of Colonialism most of Africa was under its
The Berlin Conference
"The Berlin Conference was
Africa's undoing in more ways
than one. The colonial
countries superimposed or
forced their powers on the
African continent. By the time
independence returned to
Africa in 1950, Africa had
developed a condition or
custom of political division
that could not be eliminated
or made to work properly as
a government for the people.
What type of Political boundaries existed before
the Berlin Conference in 1885?
Political Boundaries after Berlin
Impact of Colonial Period/ Partitioning of Africa
Negative Effects for Africa
African tribes lost control of their own countries.
Land was confiscated for farms for the European colonies.
Wars, revolts, and protests were common.
Starvation and disease became widespread.
“NEW BORDERS” were drawn that separated families and tribes.
Conflicts broke out between tribes that were once friendly.
Impact of Colonial Period/ Partitioning of Africa
Positive Effects for Africa
Schools and hospitals built.
Economy was improved by new governments.
Roads and railroads were built.
Health was improved (Health systems, etc…)
Berlin Conference set a specific date for the
end of the slave trade.
• New technology elevated the standard of
Colonization of Africa
Effects on Individual Countries and Regions
South Africa
• Mid-1600s, the Dutch established a small colony
at the Cape of Good Hope (southernmost tip of
• to serve as a trading post for ships on their way
to Asia.
• The Cape grew into a large colony, Dutch
government began awarding Dutch settlers
territories occupied by the native Africans.
• In 1795 the Dutch Monarch invited Great Britain
to take over South Africa.
The Struggle for South Africa
South Africa
• Exacerbated tensions between British colonists and
Afrikaners (white colonists of Dutch descent).
• The British and Afrikaners, however, oppressed the
black Africans.
• Gold and Diamonds discovered in South Africa, led to
violent conflicts between both groups.
• From 1899 – 1902 they fought one another in the Boer
• Both groups used black Africans.
• Many blacks and Afrikaners died in British
concentration camps and suffered due to Britain's
scorched earth warfare.
The Great Trek, 1836-38
Diamond Mines
Raw Diamonds
Boer-British Tensions Increase
 1877 – Britain annexed the Transvaal.
 1883 – Boers fought British in the
Transvaal and regained its
- Paul Kruger becomes President.
 1880s – Gold discovered in the
Boer War
• Scorched earth tactics caused devastation and
starvation among much of the black
population as well.
• Britain's brutal tactics still remain a source of
resentment between Afrikaners and Englishspeaking whites in South Africa.
Boer War
The Boer War: 1899 - 1900
The Boers
The British
The British implementing the scorched earth policy - Boer war
The British found themselves at a disadvantage, due to the size of the territory, lack of familiarity with the
terrain and the mobility and skills of the "Boers". In an effort to bring the war to an end, the British responded
with a scorched-earth policy. This included burning down the farms and homes of the "Boers", and putting
their women and children in concentration camps. Some 26,000 "Boer" women and children and 14,000 black
and colored people were to die in appalling conditions.
European Powers involved in
• Belgium
a) King Leopold II claimed much of the African
b) African Congo became best known for their
rubber plantations and ivory.
• East Africa
The _______controlled
much of East Africa. Large
numbers of Europeans settled in Kenya. But most
colonial rulers used African deputies to control
the countries. Many deputies were traditional
chiefs. They often favored their own peoples. This
caused conflict between ethnic groups.
These conflicts have made it
hard for governments
to influence feelings of
national identity. Most East
African countries gained
independence in the early
Ethiopia however, was
never colonized.
Independence did not solve all
the problems of the former
colonies. New challenges
faced the newly independent
European countries
claimed colonies in
West Africa in the late
1800s and kept control
World War II
until after___________.
They built schools,
roads, and railroads,
but many Africans gave
up farming and worked
for low wages. All the
countries in West Africa
became independent
by 1974.
In the 1800sEuropean
countries began
North Africa. By 1912
Spain and France
Morocco, France also
controlled Tunisia and
Algeria, Italy controlled
Libya, and the British
controlled Egypt.
The countries
in the mid1900s.Algeria
_______ was
the last
country to win
in 1962.
the countries
of North Africa
are trying to
build stronger
ties to other
Some of the
Central African
became rich
from trading
with the
Europeans. But
they were all
weakened in
time… Why?
Name the European
colonial powers.
The people of Central Africa
speak hundreds of different
languages. They also speak
regional varieties of the same
language or ____________.
The reason for the for the
great variety is that each
ethnic group speaks its own
native languae or dialect of
one such as _________.
However each country has an
offical language as well.
Religion in Central
Africa draws heavily
from its colonial history.
Many of the countries
that were once part of
the former French,
Spanish, and Portuguese
colonies are Roman
Catholic while Protestant
Christians can be found
in former British
Dutch Landing in 1652
Shaka Zulu
(1785 – 1828)
Boers Clash With the Xhosa
Boer Farmer
The Great Trek, 1836-38
Diamond Mines
Raw Diamonds
The Struggle for South Africa
Cecil Rhodes
“The Colossus of Rhodes”
Uncle Sam: “The Colossus
of the Pacific” (A Parody)
Paul Kruger
Boer-British Tensions Increase
 1877 – Britain annexed the Transvaal.
 1883 – Boers fought British in the
Transvaal and regained its
- Paul Kruger becomes President.
 1880s – Gold discovered in the
The Boer War: 1899 - 1900
The Boers
The British
A Future British Prime Minister
British Boer War Correspondent,
Winston Churchill

Colonization of Africa