Imperialism--Africa
Forms of imperialism
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Economic – control raw materials; gain
new markets for sale of goods –
Example??
Political – military bases; control govts in
“strategic” locations – SUEZ Canal
Cultural – racism – white man’s burden;
“civilize” “Christianize” the backward
peoples of the world (usually those w/
brown skin) – Example??
Europeans in Africa – the
“dark” continent
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1500s - 1600s - trading posts on the coasts
of Africa
Late 1800s - European powers moved
onto the continent
Difficult geography and disease kept them
from moving into the interior
Europeans had little knowledge and
absolutely no ambition to learn about African
culture
Slavery, explorers & missionaries
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Triangular trade African slaves to American colonies
Europeans outlawed the slave trade in the 1800s – mostly
for economic reasons
Explorers set out to map the great African rivers—the Nile
and the Congo
Missionaries saw the African people as
“children” who needed guidance and salvation.
Wanted to win souls to Christianity
Built schools & medical clinics
Forced Africans to reject African traditions
(including religion) and embrace Western culture
& Christianity
The Great Scramble
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Europeans started a scramble for territories in
Africa
The goal was conquest and profit
Newly industrialized nations began to compete
for raw materials & markets
Resources needed for Industrial Revolution:
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1) Diamonds discovered in 1867
2) Gold in 1886
3) Other resources (rubber, copper, tin)
The Berlin Conference
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1884 - In order to avoid war, the Europeans met in
Berlin, Germany
European powers represented (no leaders from
African nations invited)
Purpose: (1) to set up the rules for claiming territories
in Africa
(2) to prevent war between European powers after the
discovery of gold and diamonds in Africa
Outcome: All of Africa was partitioned in less than
20 years
Division of Africa
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Virtually all of Africa was divided among
European powers
Division lines gave little thought to how
different ethnic groups were distributed
Put rival African groups in same
territory
Split up Africans from same tribe into
different territories
External forces that enabled
European Imperialism in Africa
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Technological superiority
– Maxim gun – 1st machine gun
– RRs and steam engine allowed
Europeans to move quickly in
establishing & maintaining control
– Quinine – cure for malaria
Internal forces that enabled
European dominance of Africa
Variety of cultures and languages
prevented unity among African
nations
 Arguments between African nations
over land, water, and trade rights
helped Europeans – African tribes
could not unite
 Low level of technology
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Exploitation
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The people and natural resources of Africa
were exploited by European imperialists
Copper, ivory, rubber, gold, diamonds are
examples of the main natural resources of
Africa
Africans were forced to work in mines under
brutal conditions. Africans were beaten and
disfigured if they refused to work.
Cash crop plantation system
Europeans developed cash-crop
plantations - palm oil, cocoa, rubber
 Land for food grown by African
farmers taken by Europeans
 Europeans also concentrated on mining copper, tin, gold, diamonds
 Depleted African soil – farming for food
nearly impossible
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Tribal meeting
The Boers
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Dutch settlers – came to Cape of Good Hope in
1650s to set up port for shipping.
Took over native lands from Zulu people and
developed large farms - plantations.
Gold/Diamonds discovered in S. Africa (18601880)
British took over the Cape Colony from the
Boers in the 1800s and the two groups
clashed over control of S. Africa
The Boer War
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When: 1899-1902
Where: Dutch republics in So. Africa
Who: The Boers – Dutch farmers vs. GB
Why: The discovery of gold and diamonds
in Southern Africa in 1860s
Outcome: The British won at great cost.
Organized the Union of South Africa.
The Boer War
Don’t write this down!
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Americans and other people from around the world
volunteered to fight in the Boer War. Although they
joined both sides, most fought for the Boers. They
believed the Boers were fighting for freedom from
British tyrants. One group of 46 Irish Americans from
Chicago and Massachusetts caused an international
scandal when they deserted their Red Cross unit
and took up arms for the Boers. Some would return
to Ireland and take up the struggle against GB at
home.
Rise of African Nationalism
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Early 20th century, African leaders
emerged
Educated in western schools
Respected the ways of west but
despised the West’s disrespect of their
homeland
Eager to introduce Western ideas and
institutions into their societies
African Nationalism
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Recognized that Westerners talked about
democracy, equality, and political freedom
but did not apply those values in the
colonies.
Under colonial rule, Africans were
excluded from good paying jobs, deprived
of their lands, and forced to work on
foreign-run plantations or factories.
Discrimination under European rule
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Even wealthier, middle class Africans
could only achieve low level clerical
jobs and even then they were paid
lower wages than whites who
performed the same job.
Growing nationalism
Educated Africans admitted the
superiority of Western culture, but also
had a fierce hatred of colonial rule.
 Across Africa, native people began to
organize political parties and
movements to bring an end to foreign
rule.
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In 1908 Nigerians formed the People’s
Union to work for more rights.
The Young Senegalese Club was
founded in 1910.
In 1912, South African leaders founded
the African National Congress (ANC)
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