Beginning in the mid 1800’s, the scramble for Africa proved to be one of the most important events in World History. The term “scramble for Africa” describes the rush and uttermost important desire that European countries had to imperialize the countries in Africa. Imperialism is the dominance of a stronger country over a smaller one politically and economically. Stronger countries imperialize weaker countries in order to gain new resources and acquire a better trade system. The Europeans desire to imperialize Africa was driven by their perception of god, gold, and glory.
The Africans felt their race being discriminated. All the countries in Europe wanted to be part of this imperialistic race. Europeans were enthusiastic about controlling Africa and mirroring their own country into African culture. Europeans wanted to completely control the event inside and outside of Africa and their civilization. Nationalism means loyalty and devotion to a specific country.
Leopold’s acquisition and eventual conquest of the Congo can be seen as a reign of terror during which millions were mutilated and repressed while he continued to profit tremendously. He continued to profit from his use of slave labor, while the Congolese continued to suffer during his reign. Leopold’s reign of terror is an example of European colonialism and one’s greed for wealth and power. He set out to acquire the Congo under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism, but rather looted the Congo for its natural resources for his personal gain and enslaved natives in the process to produce ivory and rubber. King Leopold II of Belgium was able to make himself rich by exploiting Africans for natural resources and millions of Congolese died as a result of his
The Black Man’s Burden In the late-nineteen century, the term new imperialism became an element of politics implemented by many European powers to impose their supremacy around the globe. Between 1870 and 1914, as a result of the Great Depression (1873-1879), imperialistic powers such as Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, constructed colonies and protectorates in Asia and Africa in order to exploit their resources and their labor . After the decline of the transatlantic slave trade by the late 1860s, a change occurred around 1880 when France and Britain led European nations in the “scramble of Africa,” which divided the continent from 1880 to 1914. Indeed, after king Leopold II of Belgium conquered most of the Congo River with the excuse of promoting
Europeans took Africans at will, taking people who would be leading societies in Africa, removing the best of individuals from societies that needed them for their functioning. By doing so, indirectly Europeans hindered the development of African societies and caused them to stagnate. Routes like the Triangular Trade were established, which shipped goods to Africa in exchange for slaves, and shipped those slaves to the New World for production of even more goods. When the Europeans had showed up to Africa, major trade hubs that spanned the Sahara to Egypt, existed, trading spices, salt, and other luxuries (Lect. 2, 1/22).
Europe’s imperial ambition that resulted in many deaths, corrupted states, famines and genocides During approximately the 1860’s the competitive Western Nations were in desperate need of domination and therefore started the expansion of their territories overseas. On account of the fact that they finally gained the essential privileges and advantages for a “successful” colonisation, for instance steamships, weapons and quinine medicine, they decided to place their countries’ individual interests in front of the importance of several nations’ futures. In the end of the 19th century (in 1870s) more than 10% of the African territory, mostly around the coastal lines, was controlled by the power-hungry colonial powers who saw this domination
During the period of imperialism in Africa all of the countries were competing for the title of being the richest and the strongest. In fact, the whole scramble for Africa was an opportunity for countries to enhance their overall economy. For example, King Leopold II of Belgium was determined to get the area of land so he can become more wealthy. France’s politicians thought that an overseas company would strengthen the country when it came to wealth, prestige, and power, so as a result they invested in land more toward the west and north-west. Britain wanted to protect their trading routes which required them to purchase land in East Africa, and they they soon discovered the rewards of the land so the were determined to obtain as much as possible.
In the late 1800s, Europe was scrambling to conquer vast amounts of land. Imperialism had swept the continent by storm, with many countries vying for pieces of Africa and Asia to control. From 1880 to 1900, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy fought for African possessions and by 1900, nearly the whole continent had been split and placed under European rule. There was plenty of motivation for Europeans to conquer the world, and while some supported it, others didn’t. Most people in Europe at this time held ethnocentric views toward the “uncivilized” cultures in the world.
How does Heart of Darkness comment on the theme Imperialism? Imperialism in general refers to the power of a country over another country or the power of a person over another person. According to Evans the Scramble for Africa (1880-1900) was the era of imperialism. The Europeans leaders were fighting among themselves to colonize the African continent because Africa was rich in ivory. In 1884 Berlin Conference was held to decide the future of Africa.
“Send forth the worst ye breed, And bind our sons in shackles To serve your selfish greed”. (2-4) For Harrison, the coming of the White man into Africa to ‘liberate’ Africans was deceitful and had an ulterior motive of exploitation and selfish gain. This same thinking was expressed by Henry Parks in, Africa: The Problem of the New Century, where he advocated for blacks in diaspora to colonise Africa. He contended that European “scramble for Africa would blight the continent with liquor, vice, and genocide” ( qtd. in Mitchell 1).